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Book Review: Choices: A Novel by Martha Kennerson

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In Choices by Martha Kennerson, we meet Kristine, an 18-year-old, intelligent young woman from a wealthy family. She appears to have everything going for her, including being a year ahead in her schooling. Looking for an adventure before she heads off to college, Kristine develops a phone relationship with her best friend Linda’s boyfriend’s brother Dennis. Dennis and his brother are up-and-coming musicians. They also come from an extremely wealthy family with ties to the oil industry.

Deciding to join Linda in Los Angeles for two months, Kristine goes with them in hopes of developing a deeper relationship with Dennis in person. Dennis is upfront with Kristine about being obligated to marry another woman, whose family is tied to his through their business. He tells her not to fall in love with him, just enjoy their short time together.

Being 18 and truly in love for the first time, Kristine finds herself swept off her feet. Dennis has everything going for him, and Kristine gets caught up in love and lust. Dennis appears to be falling for her as well. When he sticks to his guns and lets Kristine know that no matter what his feelings are, he will continue to honor his obligation to his family, she is devastated.

When she leaves for college, she hasn’t fully dealt with her pain. Deciding to get caught up in the whirlwind of social activity around her college campus, Kristine finds herself out of her league with some pretty heavy partiers who have no limits in regards to their morals. When the hosts of a party get out of hand she finds herself having to overcome her heartbreak and now humiliation. She also discovers that she has another surprise coming her way. The consequences of Kristine’s actions have resulted in creating a future for herself that she could have never imagined.

Choices is a heart-wrenching fictionalized account with aspects drawn from the author’s own personal experiences. Having suffered some heartaches of my own in my life, I found myself really relating to Kristine’s emotional experiences, and could understand why she made some of the poor choices made she did to try to escape her pain, especially since she was only eighteen-years-old. I also found myself cringing, because as a reader, I had to sit on the sidelines and experience everything through her eyes, while I wanted to step in and stop her from doing some of the things that she did. I do the same thing with myself when I look back at some of the things I have done in my past thinking that my actions would help me escape from my pain.

I think there are many readers out there who will relate to this aspect of the story. Those who haven’t been there yet, like fresh high-school graduates will learn some lessons from reading Choices by Martha Kennerson. There are many grammatical errors that I felt detracted from the story. Editing to correct these errors would greatly improve the book. In spite of this, I highly recommend reading it.

(Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views)

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