The Family That Wasn't

A Novel

Children - Preteen
128 Pages
Reviewed on 12/17/2013
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Author Biography

Gene Twaronite’s short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines. He is the author of the young adult fantasy novels "The Family That Wasn’t " and "My Vacation in Hell," as well as his new collection of children’s stories "Dragon Daily News." His humorous column “The Absurd Naturalist” appears monthly in 5enses. Follow more of Gene’s writing at his blog “The Twaronite Zone.” thetwaronitezone.com.

Gene is a published member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. An accomplished speaker with a MA in Education, he offers interactive PowerPoint programs, based on his books, free to any school or library in Arizona. His newest book "Approaching Wilderness: Six Stories of Dementia" is now available as a short Kindle e-book.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

The Family That Wasn't: A Novel by Gene Twaronite is an ideal story for teenagers. John Boggle always wanted a dream family; rich and perfect and a family that appreciated and respected him for what he was. Then he finds his dreams coming true. His family suddenly becomes rich and he becomes John Bartlett who lives in the rich Bartlett mansion. But after a while he starts missing his old, poor Boggle family and he starts searching for them. The search for the Boggle family takes him across the USA and he meets various types of people on this journey.

The story has many shades; it is dark, funny, and peppered with a bit of whimsy. The continuous supply of donuts is one whimsical aspect of the story. John's travels across the USA and his meeting people changes his perspective of what a family is. The story is appealing to adults as well. The book is fast paced so that once you start reading you might not want to put it down. The book has a lot of messages for readers. I liked the character of John. He is a fun character, a normal thirteen-year-old boy who changes in the course of the story and ends up being wiser. The author has a done a fine job of blending some dark moments, humor, and charm effortlessly. This book will make us rethink the definition of a perfect family and the perfect life that we all want.