Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
This is part of the Tucker Springs series. The books have different authors, so although some of the characters are featured in other books, this can be read as a standalone. This is a meet cute with depth.
Having Owen’s first person POV lets the reader see and feel what his life is like having a congenital arm amputation and stutter. When he gets a new neighbor downstairs, his world changes in ways he could never imagine before. Not because Nick “fixes” anything, but because Owen’s exposure to the outside world is expanded so he observes and learns things for himself that make him question his world view. I didn’t feel I missed anything at all not having Nick’s POV because the writing doesn’t allow it. Nick’s sister has a similar amputation, making June a powerful catalyst. She is a friend who can really understand, but also is a complete contrast to how Owen handles things. June has lived her life with love and support and it shows. That doesn’t mean her reactions to the world are more mature or correct, just different–which shows Owen he can react differently too if he chooses.
I won’t talk much about Nick or Owen’s dad because I don’t want too many spoilers. I will say I adored Nick, but his actions are super frustrating. I could say the same thing about Owen’s father. Most of Owen’s issues stem from his mother, who is completely unpleasant. Watching him gain confidence during the few months of this book is a pleasure. When he actually has a real life with activities and friends, he gives up the unhealthy fantasy life he was living in. The dialogue and the inner monologue flow naturally so the reader feels a part of Owen’s growth, sharing his realizations and small victories. Once Owen actually has a support system in his life, he goes after what he wants, and that is Nick. Everything is not magically fixed at the end, but the characters are set on a much better path that is more likely to be happy and successful.
The cover art for this rerelease was done by Reese Dante. I have to say this model is more appealing and the piano plays a major part in the story.
Kindle Edition, 2nd edition, 149 pages
Published July 5th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press (first published May 13th 2013)
Original TitleNever a Hero
Edition Language English
Series Tucker Springs #5
Characters Owen Meade, Nick Reynolds
setting Tucker Springs, Colorado (United States)
Colorado (United States)