Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Row by J.R. Johansson - OPTIONAL

Johansson, J.R. The Row, 343 pgs.  Farrar Straus Giroux, 2016.  $17.99  Content: Language: PG-13 (18 swears); Violence: PG-13; Mature Content: PG-13.  

Riley has grown up with her dad on death row.  She has stayed loyal to him and visits him every week.  When he loses his last appeal and his death date is in four weeks, Riley has a hard time accepting that her father will die for crimes she doesn’t think he has committed.  Teaming up with her new friend, Jordan, they investigate a new lead and happen upon the truth that has been hiding Riley’s whole life.  

This book gave me empathy for prisoner’s families and the negative attention they attract.  At times the story seemed slow and repetitive and the friendship with Jordan seemed too staged.  I enjoyed the last half of the book better than the first half, but that doesn’t make it easy to recommend.  The mature content is underage drinking.  The violence is references to the beating, strangling and murdering of the three victims Riley’s dad is on trial for.   

MS, HS – OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.

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