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Official Review: Re-tread by James Vincent

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Official Review: Re-tread by James Vincent

Post Number:#1 by MarisaRose
» 19 Jul 2017, 19:50

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Re-tread" by James Vincent.]

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2 out of 4 stars
Review by MarisaRose
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For many of us, our high-school years are long forgotten. Yet have you ever stopped to wonder what you would do differently during those years if you knew then what you know now? In Re-tread by James Vincent, Jake, a fifty-four-year-old man, is suddenly transported back to 1979 one day while working on his uncooperative lawnmower. Unsure of how to return to the present, Jake goes about his senior year of high school with a whole different outlook on life than he had the first time around.

From the first page, the protagonist is thrown back in time to his teenage life. At first, the lack of any present-day development of the protagonist was irksome, but as the story progressed, it was enjoyable to learn about Jake’s character through his interactions and thoughts as a teenager. In some ways, the author’s use of the first person narration successfully captured the emotions and frustrations felt by Jake throughout his predicament. That being said, the narrator’s tone throughout the book is rather apathetic. Jake never fully comes across as being overly upset or excited about being trapped in his seventeen-year-old life which made him difficult to connect to.

The story is told strictly through Jake’s first-person perspective; this style quickly becomes tedious to read through. So much of the narrative consists of ‘I said this,’ or ‘then we did that.’ The writing lacks real action and relies too heavily on summarizing scenes instead of letting them play out naturally. On top of the tedious narration, the book contains various grammatical errors related to comma usage and incorrectly used tenses. Though the errors were not overly distracting, it is clear the manuscript has not been professionally edited.

Although the premise of this book is nothing new, a unique twist or satisfying ending could have made this one standout. Unfortunately, the majority of the story is mundane and fails to go anywhere. The narrative focuses on day to day activities like shopping, going to school, talking on the phone, and a whole lot of technically-underage drinking. There is a minor twist when Jake’s wife, Mimi, is also transported back to 1979, yet the lack of explanation or suspense associated with this plot device makes it feel unrealistic and absurd. Further, the ending is unsatisfying and fails to answer any of the main questions posed throughout the story. Similarly, by the end, neither Jake nor Mimi seem to have grown or changed at all. Conflict and suspense are relatively nonexistent in this book, and the lack of a concrete story arc makes Re-tread feel like a daydream instead of a fully formed novel.

Overall, the first-person perspective was poorly executed in Re-tread, and the plot came across as uninspired and boring. The ineffective writing style and lack of a story arc lead me to rate Re-tread 2 out of 4 stars. If the writing had portrayed more action, and if the plot contained realistic conflict or suspense, I would have rated this one higher. Readers who enjoy reading about unexplainable time travel may find some merit in this book.

******
Re-tread
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Re: Official Review: Re-tread by James Vincent

Post Number:#2 by Jaime Lync
» 20 Jul 2017, 14:36

Great review! I don't think not knowing much about the protagonist before he time travelled would irks me much...
Disappointing end though is quite awful.
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Re: Official Review: Re-tread by James Vincent

Post Number:#3 by kandscreeley
» 20 Jul 2017, 14:49

I thought about reviewing this one myself. I was hesitant, though, as this story has been done so many times. Looks like I was right. Sorry it wasn't more enjoyable for you!
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Re: Official Review: Re-tread by James Vincent

Post Number:#4 by MarisaRose
» 20 Jul 2017, 17:29

kandscreeley wrote:I thought about reviewing this one myself. I was hesitant, though, as this story has been done so many times. Looks like I was right. Sorry it wasn't more enjoyable for you!


Thanks for commenting! I was really hoping for a different take on this age-old plot; unfortunately it just missed the mark.
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Re: Official Review: Re-tread by James Vincent

Post Number:#5 by Naval Aulakh
» 25 Jul 2017, 23:25

I really liked your review. You have given your genuine views about the book. I really appreciate it :)
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Re: Official Review: Re-tread by James Vincent

Post Number:#6 by The Researcher
» 03 Aug 2017, 00:58

Nice review! The book sounds a little boring according to my taste. Thanks for sharing your views.
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Re: Official Review: Re-tread by James Vincent

Post Number:#7 by Juliet Esther
» 03 Aug 2017, 01:40

This is not for me at all, seems too boring with repeated storyline and many grammatical errors. Nice review
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