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McClellan's Bluff

Author: Mary E. Trimble
Genre: Young Adult
Reviewed by Susan DiPlacido

10150402At just seventeen years old, Leslie Cahill is already a smart, talented, and beautiful young woman, and she's at the critical juncture where she's ready to start maturing even more. She takes her first steps when a an older man, twenty-eight year old Sloan Stroh, shows an interest in her. Leslie finds herself flattered and excited by this strange new man in town even though her father and brother vehemently protest her association with him.

In McClellan's Bluff, Mary Trimble skillfully weaves together the conflicting emotions of a young woman who's blossoming with adult desires while still trying to balance those feelings with her inexperience and hesitation. Throw in an extremely protective family hawkeyeing her every move, along with rapid, severe change in that family's dynamics as her father prepares to remarry, and mix it with sleek, sexually charged stranger, and the end result is a volatile delight to read. Trimble definitely nails the psyche of a seventeen year old girl consumed with a new infatuation with the whiff of sexual expectation. And she does an admirable job of bringing her entire life and personality to life. The atmosphere is thick with details of the ranch life, something she's obviously knowledgeable about, and which proves interesting to readers. Additionally, she unfolds the story with darker twists while infusing it with Leslie's maturation in other areas too. She grows as a person as she learns to be a sister and truer friend, taking on more responsibility in her life.

There's no doubt that McClellan's Bluff is a wonderfully written story that will engage the target audience. Additionally, it's so good that most adults would enjoy reading it, and should feel comfortable letting their children read it with the way Trimble handles the situations in both language and tone.

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May 15, 2004 in Young Adults | Permalink

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