Monday, September 29, 2014

Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon Flake


Octobia May lives with her auntie who allows her more freedom than her parents did after Octobia almost died.  She is always causing mischief and has become convinced that the boarder upstairs is actually a vampire who is attacking others in the house.  Octobia May is determined to prove her theory right and she finds some compelling evidence that he is, indeed, up to no good even if he isn't a creature of the night. 
Octobia May is a great heroine - full of spunk, intelligence and unwilling to do much of anything she is told to do.  As much as I liked Octobia, I liked her aunt even more.  Her auntie is strong and independent, full of dreams she wants to pursue at a time when women didn't do that, especially black women.  The scene at the bank was heartbreaking because I wanted her to get the money she needed but knew that she shouldn't sign any papers with those two nasty men!  But while I enjoyed the characters and the bones of the story, I was very disappointed with the choppiness of the writing.  There were lots of times when I wasn't sure how Octobia May had arrived at her conclusion because there hadn't been enough background given.  I am usually a huge fan of Sharon Flake and love to "sell" her books to my students who are also big fans, but the writing in this title would make me hesitate unsure about recommending it to any students.  I'm hoping that the problems are simply because this is in galley form and that it will flow better in final published form.