A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Run for it All by Carolyn Levine Topol

Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

run-for-it-allDavid Martin isn’t happy when he finds out he has to go live with his father and his father’s partner while his mothers are overseas on a work-related project during his sophomore year.  But his tune changes after he gets to know Kevin Ringer, the captain of the track team—the young man who will eventually be David’s lover.

During the first six months or so, living with his dad and his dad’s partner, Scott, who also happens to be his high school track coach, he’s shocked by how much he comes to appreciate Scott. So much in his life changes within such a short time that he finds himself wishing for even more time with Kevin, Scott, and his dad, who has now become very important to him. It surprises them all when he reveals how much he now respects Scott and even loves him, and he makes Scott’s day when he announces he’s decided to call Scott Pop. 

There’s plenty of drama throughout the story as his father learns the meaning of being a full time parent and acquires the skills to express his love and respect for his son; there’s also an ongoing issue with the track team member who was previously involved in an attack on Kevin.  And, of course, there’s the love story developing between David and Kevin and David’s angst over whether or not he has to leave behind everything and everyone he’s grown to love.

It might have been a good story, but I didn’t care for the author’s writing style, including the portrayal of David’s character and personality, which I comment on further below.  But—here’s one of my biggest quirks with the writing—when the author first used the phrase “(he) rolled his lips,” I thought it was supremely awkward, but then it was used again and I started to squirm. The third time, I began to highlight the instances on my app and ultimately found it was used 8 times!  I’m sorry, but no. First, it’s too weird to picture, and second, that’s way too many times to use a term like that in one story.  I’m surprised the editor didn’t pick up on it.

Another issue, and granted, I may be very old-fashioned, but I found the way David spoke, whether with family or friends, to be extremely mature and somewhat formal. Yes, he’s a smart kid and was raised by intelligent women, but I just felt his language and behaviors were over-the-top too formal and mature for a fifteen year old. And speaking of fifteen—I also found it odd that both sets of parents saw no issue in letting the boys stay overnight in each other’s homes, knowing they were having sex. I may have lost touch with today’s reality, but there wouldn’t be full, penetrative sex in my home and condoned by me if my child was that age. Thankfully, the sex was off page, but I’m still surprised because most YA books I’ve read have held off mentioning having full sex until both boys were eighteen.

So, although the book was okay, and I liked a few parts, primarily the relationship between David and his two “dads,” I wouldn’t recommend it.

The cover by Alexandria Corza features head shots of two young men set against a background of a track meet, depicting the primary focus of the story.

Sales Links

Harmony Ink Press


Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: September 22nd 2016 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN 1634770668 (ISBN13: 9781634770668)
Edition LanguageEnglish

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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