Friday, September 13, 2013

If Only - a book review

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you had made a different decision? What if you had said 'yes' instead of 'no?' Or the other way around? If Only is new work of fiction from authors  J. Anderson, B. Rowley, and J. Mulinaro that weaves a tale around those 'Ifs.'

This 400+ page work weaves places and mindsets from the past 45 years into a tale about life, and the choices we make in it. This book is for adults, even though it spends a lot of time talking about High School. As I read, some of the scenes made me laugh while remembering my own high school years, some made me want to weep. 

The Characters in this drama are much so that at times I wanted to step into the book and slap them, or at least give them a good shake. The choices we make DO change our future, and one of the recurring themes in the book is honesty. More than one person suffers during the story because of a lack of total, soul-baring honesty.

Readers will be drawn into Indiana in the 1960's. Some may wonder if these Midwestern values ever really existed. They did. Many of the scenes depicted could just as easily have happened in the 1970's, 80's or early 90's. Life was different then than it is now. The cars and clothes have changed, but manners, or lack thereof, have not.

It takes a while for the story to build, but not overly long. I find it a better-than-average first attempt at writing a book. I might have condensed some of the details about settings, and brought it down to just under 400 pages, but they are not tedious.  I perhaps have an advantage over the everyday reader because of having grown up not too far from the setting. In my mind's eye I can easily picture the places and people. If you grew up on either coast, the details will help you more fully understand the story.

Overall I give the book a B-. If you remember Pep Rallies, Football games, and hanging out at the local pizza joint in the days before cell phones, I think you'll enjoy this book. If your co-workers can't seem to understand you when you talk about your past, maybe this book will open some eyes and minds. If your twenty-something adult-child still thinks your generation never did anything cool, or just can't understand you...put a copy with their name on it under the tree this year.

If Only is available from IUniverse in hardcover ($34.95), softcover ($24.95), or e-book form ($8.99).

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from one of the authors in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. I was not compensated in any other way, nor was I required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

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