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Jasper Trueblood, Troy, Connie, Bud, King Rat.

Do you like strong, character driven stories that have you rooting for the protagonist character to successfully navigate through a series of unexpected encounters with the most unexpected of personalities? You’ll like Counterclockwise, a novel by local author and poet, Michael G. Hickey.

Counterclockwise is the first book in the new Jasper Trueblood Trilogy. The second book, Tell Me What You Want, is expected to be released in early 2021, and the final installment, Nothing Left to Lose, is nearing completion.

In my opinion this book is very compelling. We meet and follow Jasper Trueblood shortly after he loses his mother. It’s his birthday and he wants nothing more to do with this town, nor the people in it, including his father.

The story takes place in 1980, shortly after the Vietnam war has ended, and small-town life tries to adjust to changing times. As mentioned, Jasper is pretty much done with this place, and as he sets out to find himself, he meets and reluctantly befriends several unlikely companions and mentors, including Troy, the well-to-do father figure, and Bud, the Vietnam veteran who is on the edge of sanity and could lose it all at any moment.

If you grew up on S.E. Hinton books like I did, you’ll appreciate the well-rounded personalities of each character ~ fully developed and dealing with everything from stress, to loss, addiction, and trauma.

I give the book high marks, and recommend choosing it over bigger named authors if you are looking for a good read that will keep you interested throughout all 283 pages. It will leave you looking forward to the next book in the series.

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