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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Boy With The Broken Smile is a work of fiction in the realistic, interpersonal drama and coming of age sub-genres, and was penned by author Roger DeBeers Sr. The work is intended for the mature adult reading audience and is based on a true story. It also contains the use of explicit language throughout, as well as graphic violence and scenes of a sexual nature. We find ourselves following protagonist Rodney through an incredible and difficult life after his father, a Nazi who decided to rescue Jewish children from the death camps, is brutally murdered, leaving his mother in ruins. As Rodney grows up the hard way and learns to survive on the mean streets of San Francisco, so begins an incredible tale of fortitude, empowerment, and learning it all solo.
Author Roger DeBeers Sr. has crafted a vivid, violent, and hyper-realistic work of fiction that will certainly grip its readers by the heart in every chapter, and not let go until the tale is told. One of the features which I found particularly impressive about this piece was the author’s ability to fictionalize real life, delivering an engrossing balance of prose, dialogue, and backstory that gives readers some distance between reality and the storyline. This helps overcome some of the most difficult explicit scenes in a readable manner, where we can appreciate the pain of the young man as he bravely faces so much turmoil, but without it being too overwhelming as a reader. The different scenery and cultures of the work were also vividly described, giving the work a truly cinematic feel overall. I would therefore highly recommend The Boy With The Broken Smile to fans of gritty tales based on real events, powerful emotional dramas, and for readers of emotive fiction everywhere.