Roland West, Loner
Publisher: Linden Publishing
Book 1 of the West Brothers Series2nd-Place Winner of the 2016 Catholic Press Association Book Awards in the Teen & YA Fiction Category!Roland West, Loner is a contemporary Christian story of a fourteen-year-old boy who finds himself friendless at a new school and the subject of cruel rumors. Despised by older twin brothers, he feels utterly alone but not without hope. If he can avoid his brothers while his father is away, he might have a solution to his problem.When his brothers lock him away, having a plan of their own, he gets rescued by an unlikely pair: a neighboring autistic boy and his brother. Struggling to trust his new friends, secrets, rumors, lies, and an unusual inheritance put him on a journey that just might have the power to change the life of this loner.
RolandWest, Loner addresses loneliness, sibling relationships,facing fears, autism, and the Communion of the Saints.
Sibling bullying. Twin brothers gang up on their younger brother, one twin rips the younger brother’s shirt, and the twins lock him in the basement and later in a turret (they have a castle-like house). Another character makes fun of a teen who uses a wheelchair.Profanity: None Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: Mild
A character plants cigarettes in another character’s room to get him in trouble. The same character is seen smoking, though other characters show disgust at the behavior.
Publication Date: 2015-12-01
Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
Raised in a military family, Theresa Linden developed strong patriotism and a sense of adventure. She began writing in grade school and her passion for writing has never waned. Love for faith, family, and freedom inspired her to write the Chasing Liberty trilogy, a dystopian story about a future she hopes never becomes a reality. She is also the author of award-winning "Roland West, Loner" the first in a series of Catholic teen fiction. A member of the Catholic Writers Guild and the International Writers Association, she balances her time between family, homeschooling, and writing. She lives in northeast Ohio with her husband, their three teenage boys, and a sweet old dog named Rudy.
Roland West, Loner by Theresa Linden is a Catholic YA novel centered around the relationships between brothers and friends. This book is especially great for Middle School and High School boys. Don’t get me wrong – Roland West, Loner is an entirely engaging and well-written book that anyone would enjoy but I don’t come across very many YA novels completely from a boy’s perspective, which makes this unique and special. Linden knows boys well and writes from this perspective perfectly.
I absolutely loved the development of the friendship between Roland and his neighbor Peter. I also enjoyed the character of Caitlyn and the sweet relationships she had with both boys. Even though it’s titled Roland West, Peter had his own very interesting storyline and issues to overcome. The author fused the two boys storylines together brilliantly through an adventure they embark on together.
There is a deeply religious part of the story, about saints and relics that was brought up in a very intriguing way. This is a subject I’ve never seen addressed before in YA fiction and I think the readers will find it as interesting as I did. Linden does a wonderful job of drawing the reader into Roland’s life. At times I wanted to scream in frustration with how he was treated by his manipulative brothers. The best news is there are several more books by Linden with these characters.
Roland West, Loner is a stellar teen novel! Entering the local public high school forces shy Roland to confront his fears and explore friendship and trust all while dealing with his mean and manipulative older brothers bent on ruining his life.
Dependent on the help of his new friend Peter, Roland’s vulnerability inclines him to share little bits of himself he ordinarily holds close to the vest.
Friendship with Peter also introduces him to sweet Caitlyn with her fiery hair and emerald eyes, gossipy Dominic, and even the guests at Peter’s family’s Bed & Breakfast.
They’ll be drawn into a mystery starting with a locked box and culminating in a life-changing experience for each of them, one that will bring Roland back to the faith of his childhood.
Theresa Linden’s superb writing will draw you in and her real-to-life characters will keep you reading to discover what Roland’s friend Peter has inherited, who’s after it, and whom Roland can trust.
With mystery, suspense, a hint of budding romance and an encounter with the Divine, Roland’s story has something for everyone.