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Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

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Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#1 by bookowlie
» 04 Feb 2017, 16:36

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Blue Car" by Frederick Bruce.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by bookowlie
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The Blue Car: A Trilogy by Frederick Bruce is a fiction collection of three short stories that interconnect in various ways. In the first story, Lori feels unfulfilled working for an insurance broker, despite earning a good salary. She dreams of being a masseuse and decides to change careers. After going through training, Lori starts her own company as a licensed massage therapist, scaling back on her lifestyle to achieve her goals. It’s an uphill battle as money is tight and it’s difficult to build up a client base. There is also a side plot about one of Lori’s clients that has an impact on her future.

“Jason’s Story” (each story’s title includes the name of the character) focuses on a young attorney’s lifelong desire to be a history teacher. Jason became a lawyer at his father’s urging since childhood, but his real passion is teaching. A thorny issue is that his fiancé’s father is a partner in the firm Jason works for; in addition, Jason is hesitant to disappoint his own father. In “Sara’s Story,” a woman is fired after a client makes sexual advances and then tells a different tale to the owner of the company.

The main characters are vividly written with clear backstories. Jason is particularly likable and relatable as a person who is strongly encouraged by his father to become an attorney. It’s fairly common that parents will steer their children toward certain goals, such as specific colleges or careers. While the plot veered off track a bit with long passages about the legal profession, this information was still interesting. I liked the way the stories are intertwined through the characters’ interactions and common themes. There is also a creative way Lori’s car is linked to the characters in the rest of the trilogy.

The writing is easy to understand, but lacks depth. The stories are slow paced and I didn’t feel a sense of urgency to keep reading; for a relatively short book, it took longer to read than anticipated for this normally fast reader. The overall concept is interesting and the characters are realistically written. However, the individual storylines are not very compelling. Instead, it’s really the threads that tie the characters’ situations together that make this book shine.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed the ways in which the author linked the stories. In particular, the climax of the book is both unexpected and satisfying. There are several errors throughout the book, although nothing that is too distracting. I would recommend this collection to readers who enjoy short stories with likable characters and a positive message.

******
The Blue Car
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#2 by gali
» 05 Feb 2017, 04:12

Sounds like a nice book. A pity the writing lacks depth. I am glad you enjoyed the book overall. Thank you for the insightful review!
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#3 by bookowlie
» 05 Feb 2017, 09:39

Thanks Gali! The author did a good job of tying the three people's stories together.
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#4 by CatInTheHat
» 05 Feb 2017, 09:45

Do you think the author focused so much on connecting the stories that it was detrimental to the overall depth? That was my first thought, when you mentioned lack of depth.
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#5 by bookowlie
» 05 Feb 2017, 10:01

CatInTheHat wrote:Do you think the author focused so much on connecting the stories that it was detrimental to the overall depth? That was my first thought, when you mentioned lack of depth.


Interesting question! I do think the author might have started out with an overall concept to link the stories. The lack of depth I mentioned relates more to the writing style which is a little basic. At times I felt like I was reading a book geared toward younger readers. Hope this makes sense.
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#6 by CatInTheHat
» 05 Feb 2017, 10:24

bookowlie wrote:[

Interesting question! I do think the author might have started out with an overall concept to link the stories. The lack of depth I mentioned relates more to the writing style which is a little basic. At times I felt like I was reading a book geared toward younger readers. Hope this makes sense.


That does make sense, thanks for explaining.
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#7 by sourav15
» 06 Feb 2017, 01:36

A nice and thorough review. Inter-connecting different stories into a big story is always a fascinating read to me, specially because of how the author ends it and how that affects different threads.
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#8 by hsimone
» 06 Feb 2017, 07:12

Another great well-rounded review, bookowlie! Lacking depth and slow-paced definitely is not to my taste, but it's nice the characters seemed to have some depth. Glad you were able to enjoy it!
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#9 by kimmyschemy06
» 06 Feb 2017, 23:27

The plot sounds great. I like it when an author is able to link characters with separate stories, it takes a lot of thinking. Too bad, though, about the lack of depth. Great job on the review.
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#10 by bookowlie
» 07 Feb 2017, 11:16

sourav15 wrote:A nice and thorough review. Inter-connecting different stories into a big story is always a fascinating read to me, specially because of how the author ends it and how that affects different threads.


Thanks Sourav15! Intertwining the stories was what made the book more interesting than a collection of three standalone stories.

-- 07 Feb 2017, 12:19 --

hsimone wrote:Another great well-rounded review, bookowlie! Lacking depth and slow-paced definitely is not to my taste, but it's nice the characters seemed to have some depth. Glad you were able to enjoy it!


Thanks Hsimone for your kind words. :) Although the book isn't terribly slow-paced, I did find that the book took a lot longer to finish than I expected, given the short length (75 pages).

-- 07 Feb 2017, 12:21 --

Thanks Kimmyschemy! The way the stories connected was very creatively done.
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#11 by kandscreeley
» 09 Feb 2017, 08:39

I love a book with good characters, but I admit that I like the book to urge me to continue reading. This doesn't sound like it would do so. Thanks for the review!
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#12 by klbradley
» 09 Feb 2017, 08:48

As always, a great review! Im not usually a fan of short story combinations, but I'm glad you enjoyed this one!
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#13 by bookowlie
» 09 Feb 2017, 09:08

klbradley wrote:As always, a great review! Im not usually a fan of short story combinations, but I'm glad you enjoyed this one!


Thanks for your kind words. :). I don't read a lot of short stories either, but there is a nice perk that comes with the genre - you don't have to wait too long to find out the ending!

-- 09 Feb 2017, 10:12 --

kandscreeley wrote:I love a book with good characters, but I admit that I like the book to urge me to continue reading. This doesn't sound like it would do so. Thanks for the review!


Thanks Kandscreeley! I will say that the last sections of the book were very engrossing and gave me a more positive view of the book overall.
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#14 by Cee-Jay Aurinko
» 09 Feb 2017, 15:23

Hey bookowlie. Read your review and couldn't help but wonder how a lawyer ends up wanting to become a history teacher. Jack sounds interesting lol. His dreams should be the other way around.
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Re: Official Review: The Blue Car by Frederick Bruce

Post Number:#15 by bookowlie
» 11 Feb 2017, 09:28

Cee-Jay Aurinko wrote:Hey bookowlie. Read your review and couldn't help but wonder how a lawyer ends up wanting to become a history teacher. Jack sounds interesting lol. His dreams should be the other way around.


Hey Cee-Jay, long time no see! Hope all is well. Actually, Jack's real passion was history and he always dreamed of being a history teacher. His father was the one who pushed him to be a lawyer. You see, the father was an accountant and was very impressed by the lawyers he had dealings with.
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