The Crossroads of Logan Michaels

Fiction - Literary
214 Pages
Reviewed on 03/19/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

James M. Roberts wanted to prove that you don't need to be a college scholar or a perfect writer to put your heart on paper even when it is hurting the most. James's experiences have inspired him to tell his story in order to reach young readers suffering from insecurity, sadness, and addiction. Not only did James drop out of high school, but he also stumbled into deep depression early in his adolescent life. Although he had been an all-star athlete, he was far from happy. He ended up making regrettable choices in order to feel a sense of belonging and worth, especially following his parents' separation. Through it all, James knew that one day he was going to share his "misery" with the world. He struggled through life's lessons and finally put himself through college to earn a business degree and currently has a successful career in sales. James finished his first rough draft at twenty-five while in college. Five years later he erased all 200,000 words and started from scratch. He currently resides in Woburn, Massachusetts, where he continues to thrive and develop his writing. "Don't judge me based on my past errors; judge me based on my growth from them."-James Roberts

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite

The Crossroads of Logan Michaels by James Roberts follows the life of Logan and his family. Logan is a star, both at baseball and basketball, and thinks the world is at his fingertips. Nicknamed ‘Ice’ by his peers, with parents he adores and a brother who looks up to him, for Logan, life cannot get any better. But suddenly and unexpectedly, Logan hears some news that changes his life forever. Devastated as his family falls apart, Logan finds himself following a path he never thought he would tread and leaving behind all he held dear and all his dreams. His future that once seemed so full of promise and so exciting is but a distant memory. Only his mother’s love, and his love for her, can save him.

This is an amazing piece of writing. The author, James Roberts, has managed to encompass so much emotion in the story, taking the reader to the depths of despair and back as they follow Logan’s journey into self-destruction. The characters are believable and portrayed with such passion that it is impossible to stop reading, as the reader wills Logan to see the error of his ways and to open his eyes to the destruction around him. The story portrays the utter desolation and hopelessness that can be caused by drugs and alcohol, both things that can take over not only a person’s mind but their very soul. No-one can read this to the very end and not be moved. Tissues will be needed. Not only is this a moving story, but it makes the reader see those around them in a new light and reinforces the importance of family and love for one another. A sad, but moving and at times inspirational book that should be read by every young person setting out on their life’s journey.

K.C. Finn

The Crossroads of Logan Michaels is a short and effective work of literary fiction that deals with personal and family drama, penned by author James M Roberts. Focusing on the already hard-done-by Maria Michaels, we see our heroine when it seems that her early life has stabilized into adulthood at last. But when everything in her new family suddenly falls apart, Maria struggles to cope with and care for her two sons at the same time. The boys have struggles of their own, and tragedy slowly builds despite the family’s uphill battle to remain stable and happy. When the only way forward seems to be down, it will take a mother’s love to try to redeem the mistakes of the past.

Told from the perspectives of both mother and son, this narrative speaks of real life experience in a tragic yet relatable way. Author James M Roberts draws a bleak portrait of a promising young man falling into the trap of drug addiction, as so many people faced with grief or adverse circumstances do, and the way that this issue comes about is slow burning and convincingly put. The mother’s struggles are more complex, less obvious in their physical considerations, but much stronger as we meet a woman, who has already overcome so much, is burdened yet again by the commitments of this world. I felt this to be a raw and realistic read, and I would highly recommend The Crossroads of Logan Michaels to all readers who enjoy realistic personal narratives of dark and gritty issues.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

The world as Logan knows it isn’t perfect, but it’s as close as he could imagine, at least, until he gets into middle school and things start to change. But the world of girls, sex, drugs and alcohol seems to swamp him. As he grows older it seems like all of his priorities start to change, and before he knows it, he’s an entirely different person, one he’s not so proud of anymore. But will he ever be able to turn his life back around? Does he even want to? No matter what happens next, this is The Crossroads of Logan Michaels by James M. Roberts.

This is the type of story that has something for everyone. It’s about a young boy, turning slowly into a young man and then into an adult. But it’s about more than just the happily ever after that you normally see in these coming of age stories. Logan finds himself in a lot of trouble, and this is a story about choices, about love and about dedication. But will Logan and the rest of his family be able to survive the choices that any of them makes? This is a story filled with more than a little adventure and a whole lot of questions about just what could happen next. There’s no telling what’s going to happen along the way, or with each of the characters. The Crossroads of Logan Michaels by James M. Roberts is a story of the transition to adulthood and the dangers that are out there.

Lorraine Cobcroft

Logan Michaels was a sports super-star, good student, and all-round admired American teen with a promising future, until... When Logan's parents divorced, his world fell apart. He found solace by forming friendships with other mixed-up kids from broken homes, and his life gradually spiraled downhill into depression, addiction and crime. He was on a path to total destruction, until a crisis took him to the crossroads. Which way would he choose to go?

The Crossroads of Logan Michaels reads more like a memoir or coming of age tale. The author does say many of the events are drawn from personal experience, and that shows. James M. Roberts tells Logan's story with an honesty and clarity that can only be achieved when one has lived that life. He takes us into the minds of members of Logan's family and shows us their pain, their fear, and the confusion and frustration that drive their choices. He reveals the challenges that shaped them. He contrasts the amazing strength and resilience of some who suffer great hardship with the weakness and vulnerability of others who yield too easily to temptations, or just buckle under the pressures their daily lives impose.

The characters were well drawn, credible, and pleasingly three-dimensional, and Roberts takes us into their hearts and minds, plumbing the depths of the human psyche and exposing the varying ways we react to hurt. There was a theme readers will relate to, and the conclusion was satisfying. The Crossroads of Logan Michaels is a story that will reach young readers suffering from depression and travelling, or tempted to travel, down a dangerous path. James M. Roberts delivers a story that might give parents and teachers valuable insights, enabling them to recognize danger signs and offer help at the start of the downward spiral. Logan's story is one every parent, teacher, social worker and caring friend should read.

Lesley Jones

In The Crossroads of Logan Michaels by James Roberts, when Logan Michaels moved to North Andover with his younger brother Jared and parents, he was hopeful of a new beginning, but also to retain his passion for basketball. Everything seemed to be going his way, apart from the fact that his secret crush Kelly didn't see him as anything more than just a friend. Logan had visions of becoming a professional athlete and was working hard to attain his goal and live a rich and successful life, something his parents couldn't provide. Suddenly Logan's life started to fall apart when his parents divorced and his beloved father left the family home. Logan begins to gradually distance himself from his friends and over the next few years, he replaces basketball with parties, drugs and alcohol. Logan moves from one catastrophe to the next, and his future seems to be lost. When a life-threatening illness hits the family, it is up to Logan to take control but will he forego his old lifestyle and finally become the man he always wanted to be?

The subject matter of this book was so well researched and written. I thought the protagonist, Logan, was annoying at times because he knew what sort of man he wanted to be, but always chose the easy option, but then again this is what made the story so powerful and realistic. I feel if Logan had miraculously given up his life of crime and drugs, then the story would not have felt so believable. He seemed to make one bad choice after the other and that is the struggle many teenagers have when they are influenced by the wrong people. The supporting characters were also a great addition and very much like teenagers trying to find their way in life. The plot was excellent and the conflict within the story line added tension and interest. The sub-plots involving his parents and brother were also very strong and riveting. There is a clear message throughout this book which I feel would be a great read for every teenager. The message I took from this novel was that everyone has a choice which leads to either a positive or negative outcome. I think if Logan had a strong role model, then maybe he could have become that successful basketball star. I hope there is a follow-on to this novel as I feel there is a lot more to Logan's story.