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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Pushing Back is a work of fiction in the southern fiction, drama, and coming of age sub-genres, and was penned by author Jim Hartsell as Book One in the Boone Series. Written for mature audiences from teens upwards, the book does contain some use of explicit language and violence but it is quite mild and accessible to most readers. With no-one left to turn to, we meet our protagonist Boone as he decides that school is a waste of time, and is also still agonizing over what happened to his brother Frankie. So begins a gritty tale of a journey from boy to man, finding his way and learning whether he can ever trust anyone again.
Author Jim Hartsell delivers an excellent series opener which establishes a tough central character with depth and heart. One of the things which I really enjoyed about Boone’s character was the truth of him, giving us both his dark and light sides, and his struggles and poor decisions as well as the moments of triumph. This humanizes him and gives us a powerful emotional core as he moves through the plot, delivering a character-led story where the audience will surely be desperate to know how he comes out of each situation and tragedy. What results is an emotionally strong work that readers of all ages will be sure to relate to, and overall I would highly recommend Pushing Back as an accomplished work of drama, most suitable for fans of gritty realism and family strife.