Thursday, August 14, 2014

Travis Thrasher's Marvelous ~ Reviewed

Marvelous: A Novel [Paperback]
By Travis Thrasher (Author)
Pages 331
Binding Softcover
Release Date Apr 1, 2014
Publisher Tyndale House Publishers
Series Books Of Marvella
Series Number 1
ISBN 1612916236


Brandon Jeffery's summer started out with a bang--as in, a friend crashed his car and now he has to work two jobs to pay it off. It's at Fascination Street Records that he's introduced to a beautiful but quiet girl named Marvel. She's new to Hidden Cove and looking for a summer job, so Brandon secretly strikes a deal with their boss to work for free so she can be hired.When a classmate is found murdered, however, their summer takes a turn for the mysterious. Brandon's friend Devon is sure he knows just who's to blame: the creepy recluse of the town quarry. But the police have few leads, and Brandon has the sneaking suspicion he's being watched.That's not what's in the forefront of on his mind, though. More than trying to pay off his car to his unemployed, alcoholic father and protecting Seth Belcher from the school bullies, he's determined to date Marvel. He doesn't understand why they seem so close and she refuses to date him, but as the mystery behind her tragic past begins to unravel, Marvel finally confesses her reason: God has revealed she's destined to die saving others--and it's going to be soon.


I meant to give this book to Travis Thrasher's Number One Fan, Michelle Griep, when she recently came for a visit. 

But, instead, I cracked the cover. And then I couldn't stop reading the book. Sorry Michelle, catch ya later. 

Thrasher creates complex, living breathing characters and puts them in some pretty sticky situations. Brandon, the summer before his senior year, is working two jobs to repair/replace the car his friend borrowed and crashed. Marvella is a new, funky girl in town.

The two of them meet at the quirky record store where both need a job. Brandon had already snagged it, but inspired by instant attraction for Marvella, he interviews her and offers her the job. Brandon then has two jobs but only gets paid for one. But he receives another form of payment, time with Marvel and her friendship. And if the story was just that it'd be sweet and adorable, the end.

But that's not the story line. 

Marvel is loaded with dark and twisty secrets that will rock Brandon's world as she shares them as their friendship grows. Brandon has a shameful secret of his own. And unsettling things are happening all around them.  A former classmate is found in the river and it's not an accidental drowning, is there a serial killer living in their small town? Then Brandon ends up on half the football team's whuppin list when he stands up to a gang of bullies. Marvel finally reveals a piece of the puzzle to Brandon, that she is destined to save people and that destiny is galloping toward them. 

Whew. This is a page turner. It could be too intense for younger teens because of the subject matter. However, those who love nitty gritty fiction should adore this one. The writing is tight enough to bounce a quarter off and Thrasher has come up with a page turner. I was so disappointed when Marvelous ended because I now have to wait for the other shoe to drop. Or shoes, there are four books in the series. 

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Bonus Review:

Thrasher knocks this one out of the park. Loved it. The thunderstorms. The lurking danger. The complete lack of safety anywhere. Marvelous is one creepy read, but not too creepalicious. I seriously expected one of the characters I cared about to die by the end of the book. Yeah, there are two deaths, but none that wigged me out. Whew. Dodged the bullet this time, but I seriously need the next book NOW. As in why am I typing a review when I should be over at Amazon buying WONDER, the next book in the series?

My favorite character is Brandon, the hero. He's not perfect, which makes him totally believable, but his heart is big. He's got a lot of questions about God that go unanswered. Again, just like real life, eh? I have hope for him, but there's also a certain amount of dread because there's lots of foreshadowing that goes on in this book. I have high expectations for the next one, but I'm pretty confident Travis Thrasher can pull it off.

If you know a teen that likes scary, I heartily recommend this book.

Reviewed by: Michelle Griep 

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