Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek
By Jill Osborne
Buy it HERE
About the book (from Amazon):
If you’re gonna run for your life, you gotta wear the right shoes.
Riley Mae Hart loves sports and action—so when the Swiftriver Shoe Company offers her a contract to be the spokesperson for their new outdoor sport collection, she jumps at the chance. Soon she’s appearing in commercials and magazine ads, and every girl in town wants to wear Riley Mae shoes. Well, except for Riley. Because walking in those shoes means missing out on softball season, making her best friend TJ mad, and embarrassing her new friend, Rusty. It also means sneaking around, hiding, and keeping secrets—because suddenly something isn’t quite right at Swiftriver. But a contract’s a contract, so Riley laces up her “Rock Shocker” hiking boots for a climb up Half-Dome in Yosemite. Will they be the right shoes to get her back on solid ground?
What I Didn’t Like:
At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book. She doesn’t see her younger brother in a very positive light and they have a hard time getting along. He’s ‘weird’ and at one point in time he says something like “I’m glad Jesus loves me because not many other people do”, which is a good way to explain how people view him. It was kinda sad, but I think the author is using it to show what it feels like to be a misunderstood kid, so it did have a very good point.
Several times the kids do something without telling their parents, or Riley Mae does something wrong (not on purpose) and makes people promise not to tell her parents. There’s also one point in time where she sneaks around with two of her friends, trying to figure out it one of the guys she works with is homeless. That was obviously just plain stupid.
Her best friend gets mad at her and stays that way through most of the book, being mean some of the time. Her friends older sister is all into talking and hanging out with boys (which is described as gross, but still in there).
What I Liked:
Despite those ^ things, I thought this book was great! I really enjoyed how much interaction her parents had with her. A lot of time in MG books, the parents are more of a complication instead of part of the story. Her parents were two of the big components in this plot-line. Yay!
Another thing I really appreciated is that when trouble came up, or when they had a decision to make, the first thing they did was pray. Finally, finally, finally! I’m so very happy to see a book that has prayer all throughout it. Not that they actually had the prayers in there, but that they did pray. It was done in such a way that it added to the story instead of taking away from it, which is a hard art to master.
The storyline was really intriguing to me. Riley Mae was a fun (it felt almost interactive) character to have tell the story. She’s enthusiastic about life, she cares about others, she doesn’t understand everything about the Bible, but she wants to learn. All in all, I really liked her!
I hadn’t realized this was supposed to be a mystery book, and the first part wasn’t really, but I never felt like it dragged. When the mystery started happening I was like “Woah, what’s going on here?” It was great. I read it all in one day, despite being busy, because it was really interesting and kept my attention so I worked at finding time to read.
One review I read pegged the characters as ‘shallow’ or something like that, and while it’s true there wasn’t tons of depth, I still felt as if they were learning and growing. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and look forward to learning more about them in the next book.
This book does have some attitudes, but over all it’s not bad and is actually one of the best MG books I’ve read in a while. I wish a few things had been left out, but all in all, I’m really happy with the book and I’m so glad that it’s out there for kids to read. I would let my younger sisters read it.
It was engaging, fun, interesting and had a really great plot. Instead of looking at this book and thinking “I can’t believe kids are going to read this and pick up on all the bad attitudes” I was left thinking “Wow! Hopefully this will help kids see others in a different light and show that how we act really does effect others. Hopefully this will help them pray more and realize that parents are great!” Etc… Well done, Mrs. Osborne!
I’d give it four stars.
*I got this book free from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are mine*