Thursday, December 29, 2011

The New Phenomenon by Chris Raabe (Review)

"Every teenager wants to fit in, and Christian Pearson is no different. He is a phenomenon on the athletic field and in the classroom, but a terrifying accident on a fishing trip with his grandfather changes Christian's life forever. As he enters his freshman year of high school, Christian hides a secret that he plans to take to his grave. When the Pearson family moved from the city to the sleepy town of Red Oak, Iowa, before his freshman year of high school, Christian hoped for a smooth transition to small town life. Being the new kid in school has been a blessing and a curse. Most of the boys in Christian's class view him as a threat, so Christian struggles to fit it, but as an outcast, his secret is safe. When three freshmen, all from the same family, start school a week late, Christian senses something different about these new students. He reaches out to "The Three" seeking some semblance of friendship in his new hometown. When "The Three" confront Christian about the secret he hides, Christian is faced with a huge problem. Will this secret cost Christian his friends, his family, his freedom, and even his life?"

I give it: 3/5 stars
*I received this book for review; however, all opinions in this review are solely my own. 

     When I received this book for review, I was a little surprised. The New Phenomenon is by far the lengthiest review book I've had so far. I pushed it back on my list of review books because I feared getting stuck in the middle of the novel and being unable to get to the huge pile of books I needed to review. Thankfully, that was not a problem. I was able to finish the New Phenomenon quickly and enjoy it. I would recommend this novel to many people. 
     I loved the plot and characters in the novel. Although there were parts where the book strongly resembled other storylines I'd read, I loved the unique twist to this novel. Similarly, some parts of the novel were lightly predictable but the plot wasn't relying on the few predictable events to carry the story.
     There were, however, some parts of the novel that I didn't enjoy. The first forth of the novel was very reliant on small town social structures and football. I had very, very little idea what was going on in the scenes relating to football because my knowledge of the sport is so limited. In contrast, I grew up in a small town and felt that the protagonist's musings of the social structure of his school was exaggerated and a little unrealistic. The descriptions in the novel were very extensive and I felt like the book could have been easily condensed then re-expanded to focus on some events and draw out the story in a more even way. 
     Despite the flaws I've expansively outlined above, I really loved this novel. The characters were all fun, witty, and interesting. The plot was extremely drawing and unique and I will doubtlessly read the next book that comes out to expand on this story (what a cliffhanger!). I suggest this novel for readers looking for a new type of book to read. The novel is lengthy but a very easy and fun read. It will leave you gripping your seat waiting for more!


  1. This sounds like an intriguing read... I haven't heard of it before so thanks for sharing it. I think I'll look into this one next year.

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

  2. This sounds interesting. 9th grade, 10th grade, and 11th grade, I was the new kid at school. I can see why Christian had a hard time fitting in.

  3. Awesome @Megan! Thanks for commenting!

    It was, @Rita. I was a new student in ninth grade as well, but in a different environment than Christian.