November 15, 2011

Fresh Heir by Michael Reilly

Fresh Heir is a Literary Fiction.

Jamie Shoop is a twelve-year-old prodigy.  He has the remarkable and uncanny gift of remembering everything he has ever read.  Jamie's father, Doug, is obsessed with making sure that all the right people know about his highly gifted son.

When Jamie is accepted into a prestigious summer program for the gifted which is located in San Francisco, Doug plans a cross-country trip for himself, his children, Jamie and five-year-old Frizzy and an educational consultant, Ashley, who appears to have very unconventional ways of educating Jamie.

Along the journey, Doug curses at the traffic, he suffers from road rage, and quizzes Jamie out of a specially created binder with all kinds of Americana trivia for Jamie to sharpen his skills upon.  Doug plans on taking them to landmarks and famous areas to further strengthen Jamie's education and visit relatives whom they haven't seen in a very long time.

As the group travel across country, they each become to know themselves a little bit more and understand the way life is meant to be.  Before the journey is complete, Doug and Jamie must decide if everything they have come to learn is worth the sacrifice.

I thought this was an entertaining read and relished the hilarity found within the pages.  The wit is sometimes dry but often leaves the reader chuckling as you follow the group across America.

I loved Doug, with all his hang ups and insecurities and thought his confusion worked with the plot.  I loved the dysfunctional family setting and how the situations resolved himself.  I could not believe his antics with Grandpa and it left me giggling in spite of the situation, though I saw it coming, I was delighted with the outcome nonetheless.

I liked the interaction with Jamie and the other people in his life.  He was a great brother and son and believed his actions were to benefit those around him without thinking of his own benefits.  I loved his wisdom of his surroundings and the people in his life and his interaction with his grandfather was perfect.

I truly enjoyed the ending and was glad to see that everything works out the way it should.  I think this would make a hilarious, comedic movie and often pictured the scenes in such a manner.

I would give Fresh Heir a four out of five stars.  If I had anything bad to say about it, it would be that the cover truly doesn't do the book any justice.

Jamie is a twelve-year-old who has been labeled highly gifted. Good news, right? Except with it comes a cross-county car trip…with his ultra-obsessed dad…his annoying little sister…and a wacky educational consultant his dad has hired. Jamie could suggest better ways to spend his summer, and to live his life, if only someone would listen. But his dad, Doug, can’t hear above the loud voices demanding nothing but the best for his son. Doug will do anything to give Jamie the leg up he needs to compete in a vicious world and get into an Ivy League school. Michael Reilly’s hysterical road-trip in search of achievement is a wide-eyed satire about the pressures of modern parenthood. As they set out on the trip to San Francisco, where Jamie will attend a summer program for gifted youth, Doug’s enthusiasm and hyperkinetic desire to enrich Jamie at every turn leads to hilarious complications and enlightening predicaments. A riotous portrayal of a father desperate to have the promise of his youth fulfilled through the life of his son, Doug’s journey is not unlike that of many parents in modern-day America. With good grades, extracurricular activities, and solid SATs no longer the benchmark for entrance into top colleges, the pressure and stress of giving children the best opportunities for success can often lead to misplaced motivations. Accurately depicting the push-pull of parenthood and childhood and the need for adults to understand the voices of their children, Fresh Heir is a laugh-out-loud journey of self-discovery.

I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post.

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