Rising Together

The Prosperity Series Book 1

Young Adult - Coming of Age
172 Pages
Reviewed on 11/30/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cloie Belle Daffon for Readers' Favorite

Christopher Cole and K.M. Sparks’s Rising Together: The Prosperity Series Book 1 is a story about two best friends who are completely different from one another. The only similarity they have would be the care and protectiveness they both feel for each other. Tim usually gets in trouble but he is not the one that causes it. His strong sense of justice leads him to protect people who are being bullied and this gets him into fights almost every day. Meanwhile, Haze is a quiet and sweet girl who would not hurt a fly. She loves to read books during her free time and always gets her homework done. However, there comes a day when Haze discovers Tim’s sad and painful situation at home. After finding out about the abuse he goes through, Haze changes, and a newfound strength within her emerges. She courageously tries to help him get out of his miserable circumstance. Will everything finally be better for Tim or will this cause him more pain and suffering and will these trials ruin their friendship?

Rising Together by Christopher Cole and K.M. Sparks is a well-written story that depicts the hardships that abused people go through. This book is filled with valuable lessons that inspire and teach readers. The most important lesson that I learned from this story would be not to judge a book by its cover. Tim often gives off the vibes of being the usual troublemaker, because he is always getting into fights, but the story behind the wounds he gets in school shows me a brave child who only wants to help those who could not defend themselves. I think it is unfair for some people to see Tim as a troublemaker but the true bullies get away with their wrongdoings. It is best to understand where a person is coming from first before judging them wholly. Another lesson I learned would be to appreciate the things we have because each of us is not in the same boat in life. Some live a worry-free life and some struggle every single day just to make ends meet. Not only is the tale eye-opening, but it also warms my heart, especially during the parts where Hazel showed a lot of courage and strength because she wanted to help Tim. Their strong friendship and pure love for each other is something that I wish everyone would have. I cannot wait to find out how Tim and Haze are doing in the next book! Wonderful work!

Edith Wairimu

The heartfelt coming-of-age novel, Rising Together (The Prosperity Series Book 1) by Christopher Cole and K.M. Sparks explores child abuse, bullying, and friendship. Tim finds solace from his abusive home in his close friendship with Haze. Haze, on the other hand, faces bullying at school but Tim stands up for her. When he opens up to her about the physical and emotional abuse he is facing, Haze devises a plan. Things take a different turn for Tim and suddenly he is thrust into a new environment that requires him to make unexpected adjustments. The only thing that he can hold on to at this point is his friendship with Haze but even that could be taken away from him. Determined to take control of the situation and their lives, Haze and Tim develop a new plan.

When reading Rising Together, I loved that the main characters are different but they complement each other. Tim is brave and will stand up against bullies while Haze is concerned for Tim and helps him with his schoolwork. Their friendship provides an anchor for Tim when his life is turned upside down. Its heavy themes are balanced by the many light-hearted moments it also contains. The plot includes exciting twists. Throughout the story, it adds descriptions of how the changes affect the characters’ emotional states. Secondary characters are also critical in the story. They help develop the book’s themes and the main characters’ lives. The book culminates in a realistic and hopeful ending. Rising Together is a teenage romance novel with likable characters and important themes.

Grant Leishman

Rising Together (The Prosperity Series Book 1) by Christopher Cole and K.M. Sparks is a coming-of-age novel that looks at how family break-ups and domestic violence can impinge on a young person’s view of life and themselves. Tim and Haze are middle-school pupils who have become best friends and always look out for each other. Tim’s family, however, is unstable, with his father drinking heavily and physically, emotionally, and mentally abusing his wife and two sons. In many ways, Haze comes from the exact opposite environment with a loving, caring family. Tim, at school, despises bullies, perhaps as a reaction to his father’s bullying, and will always stand up for the bullied and the underdog, meaning he is often in trouble with the school authorities for fighting. Haze is a quiet introverted young girl who studies hard and often allows her shyness to rule her life. When Haze discovers Tim’s family troubles, she summons up her courage and convinces Tim to say something to someone in authority, a school counselor. Tim’s older brother has also had enough of the constant violence and threats of violence at home and decides to take action also and tell someone. The ensuing fallout from these revelations will tear this family apart and Tim will rely heavily on his loving friend Haze to help him through the emotional maelstrom he now finds himself in.

Rising Together (The Prosperity Series Book 1) is a short novel, even a novella, yet it manages to pack a good, solid plot into those pages. Authors Christopher Cole and K.M. Sparks have created two characters that will be instantly recognizable to most young people of that age. Tim and Haze have an unusually close friendship at an age when friendships between girls and boys often seem perilous, as strong emotions and hormones are sweeping through these young people. I particularly enjoyed the language employed by the young people which was age-appropriate for the characters and not slanted toward adult feelings and emotions. Although Tim made a decision that would have a major impact on all the members of his family and especially himself personally, the story reminds us that violence within the home, of any sort, is totally unacceptable and should never be tolerated. The journey that Tim and Haze are on is frightening at times and it is the fear of the unknown, of not being wanted that shone through most for me. This book is simple to read, well written, and will definitely appeal to the target audience of middle and high-school young adults. I can recommend this read.