Writer Friends with Great Books: Lori Ann Stephens
Every once in a while, a friend of mine – either online or real life – sends me a manuscript to critique or a new book to read. I almost always find myself holding my breath as I open to the first pages and begin. Will it be good? Horrible? Great? Will finishing it be like eating a mountain of goat poo? (By the way, we now have goats at my house, so there may be a lot of goat references from now on. Be warned.)
Or will the novel in front of me catch me by the throat and not let me go until that very last page is turned, and will I be happy – so happy! – for my friend, who has written this amazing thing?
Like I was this week when I read Lori Ann Stephens’ debut YA, Some Act of Vision.
Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
After ten years of ballet lessons, Jordan Walker has finally landed her first principal role in Romeo and Juliet. Sweeter yet, “Romeo” has asked her to the May Fling Ball at Winston High. But a massive Texas earthquake triggered by the fracking activity nearby tears apart the community and Jordan’s future as a dancer. The Walker family survives the earthquake, but wake up the next morning utterly invisible.
On the run from a military with nefarious plans, Jordan and her family are forced to abandon their old lives and flee to Galveston. It isn’t until she meets Caleb, a blind musician, that Jordan dares to hope again. And the more their secret friendship develops, the more Jordan understands the danger she’s placed everyone in.
I had a great time reading this book, and I raced through it. Fast-paced and fascinating, I couldn’t stop reading. I loved the way Lori handled Jordan’s relationship with her little brother, and the love story with Caleb.
Some Act of Vision is great – and I see wonderful things in Lori’s future as a YA writer!