Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: The Mason List by S.D.Hendrickson

An epic love. An epic hate. An epic story that would last a lifetime. Today, 8:15 p.m.
I hurt. I hurt so deeply, I felt the pain searing in my bones and jabbing like a hot poker into my heart. I knew nothing would make it better as the memories pulled from the crevices of my mind, detailing the bad and the ugly, filling my thoughts with regret as I slipped into the darkness. . .

When I was eight, my mother was dying of cancer, my father lost his job, and the bank kicked us out of our house. I was forced to move to the strange town of Arlis, Texas where my father and I slept in our car in the hospital parking lot. Desperate and hopeless, we lived on fumes of our former life.

Then one night, everything changed forever. A knock on the car window brought a family into my life that I only wanted to shut out. I hated charity and I hated the Masons. Well, except one. He made it impossible to hate him.

Jess Mason had the biggest blue eyes and ornery smile of any boy I had ever seen. He was a ray of sunshine in my dark world. A boy full of adventure, dragging me across the meadow of Sprayberry Ranch; a beautiful Texas paradise full of horses and tree houses that got us into more trouble than anyone ever imagined.

Jess was my everything as a kid until we grew up and the rules changed. Instead of living happily ever after with a boy full of love. . . I destroyed it.
- Alex Tanner

Author Note: The Mason List is a coming-of-age story that follows the life of Alex Tanner from the age of six to twenty-six. The novel crosses the genres of Young Adult and New Adult. The Mason List is a standalone, 118,940 word, full-length novel.

4 Stars

Review by Jen Hagen 

When Alexander “Alex” was 8 years old her life changed.  She went from living in a quaint little home wearing princess dresses to sleeping in a hot car in the parking lot of a hospital.  Lucky for her and her father, a kind and generous doctor took pity on them and gave them a new life.  This has always been a sensitive matter for Alex, and over the years she has added to “The Mason List” for all the things that she has been given and not earned. 

Jessup “Jess” Mason is the only child of Dr. Mason and his wife.  He instantly befriends Alex and through the years they get into quite a heap of trouble.  Gone is the girl who used to dress up as a princess, and in her place is a girl with a boy as a her best friend.   A lot of time is spent on their shenanigans and although I am not a fan of going back in time, this was tastefully done to let us see that even at a young age these 2 put all their trust into each other.  It may seem to drag on, but this just enforces the fact that they were meant to be together.

Years of friendship develop and over time Jess’s feelings turn into more than just wanting to be friends.   Alex is so hung up on her Mason List and always feeling indebted towards them, that she cannot let go of her hostility of accepting love unconditionally, and that is what Jess does…he loves her.   Throughout the course of his life, with a snotty girlfriend thrown in, his choice will always be Alex. 

When you are a teenager bad decisions are made, and that is the case with Alex.  This brings about a side of Jess she has never seen before – his anger and freeze out.  They lose a precious bond because of a stupid decision.  Can they get it back?

The story starts out in the present, with alternating flashbacks to their younger years and present.  We know that an unfortunate event has occurred but it isn’t until much later in the book that we have been caught up to their entire story to find out what has happened (of course if you are like me the curiousity will get the better of you and you will jump to the end!)  I did feel like the end of the story was rushed from the end of the last chapter to the beginning of the epilogue.  I would have liked to have seen more of that in-between time even if was through recollections in the epilogue.  For me, that left a gigantic hole in the story and because of that I gave it a 4-star rating.  


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