Book Review by Gwendolyn Lee
In the Young Adult Novel, Looking for the Real Thing, a L.A. high school senior seeks a simpler future away from angry kids, stressed adults, monstrous schools, every day violence, massive traffic, bad air, and even junk food. He seeks, instead, a little peace, a little quiet, and some connection to nature.
Most teenagers never go to college. Many do not want to attend. Many do not want to wear suits and ties or drive two or three hours commuting every day. That does not mean they are lazy or gang members or stoners. Some kids do not feel right going along with a mean system they do not like. Maybe they feel trapped. If such students are out there, this book is for them.
In Looking for the Real Thing, the teen hero has felt that rush you can get from stress, but the side effects he feels and sees around him make him back off, hang back, and seek to chill out his situation. He is not with the raging ambitions, angry desires, and frustrations of the masses like his schoolmates. He wants a quiet life out of the rush, working with others who want to make the world better, evident in his description of his senior year:
“I’d loved Cleo since we were kids together. We were the real thing, destined to be soul mates. But in high school, Cleo decided she wanted the good life.
She thought I was crazy, wanting to leave L.A., where all the money is. I hated the choking smog, pollution, brutal schools, gangs, killings, everybody uptight and mean – never any peace and quiet. The mountains, desert, beaches – out there in the silence, my feet on the earth – I could feel a spiritual connection.
Only Cleo vetoed our destiny when she got pregnant by Westside High’s top jock. Then he restored my faith by dumping her. I was the stepfather at the birth, and I thanked God because I found a place in the country where the three of us could start life together. Then the baby’s father showed back up. Had God forsaken me?”
In today’s overdriven society, this young guy is what the future needs – if this society is to have any future.
Looking for the Real Thing is published and distributed by PublishAmerica.