The 99th of August
When wandering away from the future, can fate be blamed if all goes wrong? If most moves are made to bridge barriers that block a dead end, can these moves be called progress? The 99th of August tells of that particular time in young life when temptation has much greater appeal than opportunity, and what better way to tell such a story than from the mind and through the eyes of a 16-year-old? After all, aren't the teen years the time when a person almost has a license to screw up? So you screw up. So what? Unlike when you're older, screwing up when you're young is almost always forgiven.
What's more, it's often hilarious.
You remember. You were there.

Still, without strong roots, and without solid family backing, the aftermath of responding to impulse creates its own math, and this kind of math can add up to a weight heavy enough to change a person's course from forward, onward, and upward to backward, downward, and awkward.

To keep the story above the bleak, and to have it go deep without sinking, this is where the teenage narrator comes in. Teens are remarkable for their insights and absurdities, and if you can combine that with their natural optimism, skepticism, and profound capacity to entertain, then you've got a story light enough to float you all the way to a place where everything works out just
fine – only a bit too late.

341 pages, by Johnny Bock. Lunchbreak Press.