Book Review: The Big Score By Og Maciel

The Big Score By Og Maciel

A Young Adult Action/Adventure Novel published by Og Maciel (10/12/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC

Summary:

Kate won’t let being new in town stop her from trying to fit in as soon as possible. She joins the local underground car emblem stealing contest to prove herself worthy but tensions are high as rivals Torres and Abby are tied with a few more emblems to go to win the race. One big score could determine the King or Queen of the emblems.

Keywords:

Car Emblem, High School, Competition, Stealing, Friendship, Thieves, New in Town, Skateboarding

My Review:

Maciel has a clean and efficient writing style that is easy and fun to read. This particular book proceeds immediately to the main plot and intrigue of the story. The book is on the shorter side, which didn’t leave much room for subplot development or deviation from the main plot. The core idea of this book, a contest where teens steal car emblems was fresh and interesting.

The characters are in high school and they act like they are teenagers, but the length of the story and the simple aspect of the plot, the stereotypically bad guy villain, and lessons learned make it seem like it’s intended for a younger audience. It’s as if this is a book written for middle schoolers wanting to read about kids older than themselves.

Kate is agonizingly outgoing. She is all in for excitement. She participates in a talent contest the day after she arrives in a new town. As an introvert myself, I wish I was more like Kate. To me, she seems fearless.

I love how we get the range of communication types of the teens. Kate has been taught by her software QA mother how to have an open dialogue and communication using communication techniques. While Abby is so blinded by her emotional reaction to something that happened last year that she won’t even talk to the person she’s upset with about it.

The big showdown climax was super exciting and the last chapter “Closing Time” reminded me of the way movies end with some text on the screen saying what happened to the characters after the movie ended. In general, this book, full of action and dialogue between the characters reminded me of a teenage TV drama show or PG movie that is interesting enough to watch as a teenager or adult.

If you enjoy over-the-top teen action movies or books, you will get a kick out of this fast YA read.

This novel was published by Og Maciel on 10/12/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25

Links for more information:

Og Maciel’s Website

Book Review: I.C.Q.: A Novel By Og Maciel

I.C.Q.: A Novel By Og Maciel

A YA Contemporary Romance Novel published by Og Maciel (02/09/21)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery as an ARC

Summary:

Auggie is a senior who spends most of his spare time teaching himself coding and freelancing his skills to earn some money. He meets Clarissa online in a chat platform and quickly falls head over heels for this girl he’s never met in person.

Keywords:

High School, Epistolary, Coding, Online Persona, Self-Taught, Online Games, Computers, 90’s, Online Relationship, Romance, Pop Culture, Dating

My Review:

I was a child of the ’90s and was never into computers like the main character Auggie. He is at the forefront of coding and using home computing technology when it first came out. It’s fascinating to read books like I.C.Q because of our culture (and generation’s) obsession with technology. The home computer of the ’90s is like the personal phone of the 2000s. New and exciting and, of course, the parents just don’t get it. I could really feel Auggie’s excitement and his passion for working with computers, software development, and coding. I sympathized with him so much when his parents dismissed his work with the computer as just a hobby and not that important. Maciel really brought this relationship alive and I wished I was into coding!

The very adult conversations that Auggie has with his parents are awesome and rather fascinating. He’s levelheaded and can provide an outside – almost- perspective. With his own relationship, he is anything but objective. He gets caught up in his own feelings and emotions and reactions to the point where he doesn’t even realize that his girlfriend might also be hurt and upset. He is a great model of showing growth and communication in a romantic relationship.

I pulled out my high school love notes because of this book and they were just as sappy and romantic as the correspondence between Auggie and Clarissa in the back half of this story. The overly dramatic way they write to each is very much the essence of a high school romance. I might have rolled my eyes a few times, but reading their letters reminded me of my 17-year old self away on an adventure and constantly writing love notes to send in the mail to my boyfriend of the time. This book will bring out all the nostalgia and is very authentic to teenage drama and heartache. If you would like the nostalgic feeling of teenage love, you’ll definitely enjoy the emotion this book brings out.

The format of this novel changed a bit over halfway through and you’ll be reading those love letters for most of the rest of the chapters.

The ending was disappointing for me. It lacked a satisfying conclusion and a sense of closure for the characters and their relationship. I prefer to have a closed ending. If you’re a reader who doesn’t mind open endings, you might not be disappointed because there is a lesson learned and Auggie does express his thoughts about what happens in the end.

This novel was published by Og Maciel on 02/09/2021 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.0

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Og Maciel’s Website