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Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
April St. Clair has just found out her father has succumbed to a cancer she didn’t even know he had. She would have known, of course, if she had bothered to visit her hometown, aptly named Fever, once in a while. Karen Wiesner brings to life the poverty-stricken upbringing April experienced after her mother died and her father all but stopped living himself. Painting a wonderful picture of April scrubbing floors with hands red from chemical burns, Wiesner does a fantastic job of illustrating this with colorful descriptions.
The tension and embarrassment April still feels at the hands of high school tormentor Shawn Jacobs is palpable from the moment these two get within a few feet of one another. She is cold and he is cruel but they want each other so much that it drives them crazy, because neither of them wants to want the other. Rather than a tale of unrequited love, "Taming April" is a tale of reluctant love of two people from similar backgrounds who can’t stop envying the other long enough to realize they have more in common than they realize. This short story from Karen Wiesner flies by, making you yearn for a longer build-up to the obvious tension between April and Shawn. I wanted April to own up to her feelings for Shawn but at the same time put him in his place for being so cruel to her. Despite their flaws and pride, these are characters you care about and I would love to see this story turned into a full-length novel.