Passing Notes by D.G. Driver
A YA Novella published by Fire and Ice Young Adult Books (1/29/15)
Mark Dowd has never had a girlfriend and never been in love, so when the girl he’s had a crush on since seventh grade is sitting outside his job, having cried her eyes out, he gets his chance to show her what a decent dateable guy he is. Mark has also never had to woo anyone before and his first halfhearted attempts are met with indignation and the cold shoulder. Mark is making mistakes left and right trying to romance this girl. He’s about to lose her when a mysterious ghost writer begins to give him advice and guide him in writing the perfect love letter and how to deliver it properly. Will this gesture prove to Bethany how much Mark likes her and how he really is exactly who she met that first night?
“Instead of throwing books around, slamming classroom doors, and screeching through hallways, this ghost chose to haunt the high school by teaching random kids how to write better love letters.” (Kindle Locations 481-482).
YA, Male POV, Dating, Teen Love, Romance, Ghost, Guidance, Trying Hard, High School, Novella
I was given a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Why would a straight A student who follows the rules date a guy like Mark? What does he have going for him? Is he good looking? The bad boy? At first he tells us that he’s getting D’s in school, can’t spell, and has poor grammar. He doesn’t brag about anything, so we assume he would never be good enough for Bethany, but his actions throughout this novella show us otherwise. Mark is revealed to be a polite, hard-working boy who really does try his hardest when he wants to attain something of value. He can apologize when he’s wrong. He is humble and works a real job. He is nice and accommodating when his elder grandmother who has Alzheimer’s mistakes him for his grandfather. Mark is not as simple as he made himself out to be. He may not know what the word ‘crude’ means, but he does know when to accept help and when to admit he doesn’t know what he’s doing when romancing Bethany. This is intelligence in spades and what Bethany is surely attracted to. It makes me like Mark, even though he’s failing in school and his life plans only amount to joining the army after graduating. He’s adorably ignorant.
Usually the smart beautiful girl leaves her jerk of a jock boyfriend for the quiet smart cute boy, but Mark isn’t the nerd we all recognize in stories. Mark is different. This made the story different and fun to read. It had a slight spin to the usual boy loves girl plot-line. Though the short story was simple in writing style, plot, characters, and motivations, it kept my attention throughout with its honest elegance.
The magical part of having a ghost was done well. The ghost was connect to Mark in both a premeditated way and an immediate way.
Passing Notes had a beautiful and fitting end that came full circle and was satisfying to read.
For any teen that stumbles through dating, this is a wonderfully informative and entertaining novella that they can learn from.
This novel was published by Fire and Ice Young Adult Books on January 29th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 3.75
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Thank you, Rachel! I really appreciate your review!