Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan


The day that Emily is mortified in front of her whole church by singing a horrible rendition of "I'll Be There", is the day that Sam walks into her life.

Sam and his brother Riddle were taken away from their mother 10 years earlier by their father. Sam's last year of school was when he was in second grade. They have never lived in the same place for long because their father is a thief and when things get too hot for him he takes off.

Sam likes to visit churches. Even though he is not religious he likes to go. The morning that Emily sings he knows that it isn't good, but it is like she is singing to him. Telling him that she will be there for him. 

Sam has always been the caretaker for Riddle. When introduced to Emily's family her mother instantly sees that something is not right with Riddle. Being a nurse she is able to have him checked out and finds that he has asthma. For the first time in years Riddle is able to breathe. Being cared for for the first time in their lives the boys become attached to Emily and her family.

The boys' father finds out that they have been making friends and it is once again time for them to leave a city. But this time the voices are telling him that he would be better off without the boys. Driving them to a remote mountain wilderness sets off a string of harrowing experiences for both boys. Will they be able to survive and make it back to Emily and her family?

I was engaged in the characters. I felt the story was very believable. The problem I had with it was the insertion of irrelevant material. Such as the thoughts of a bear in the mountain. Or the wrapping up the story with little back stories of everyone that the boys had come in contact with. The book was almost 400 pages long and I thought that it drug in spots. By the time I got about 3/4 of the way through I was skimming pages just to hurry it up. For the most part though the story was good and like I said, the characters were engaging.

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