Title: I’ll Always Miss You
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press – Harmony Ink Press Title
Author: Raine O’Tierney
Isa Zaman might forgive his parents for taking in a friend’s son if only he wasn’t the most boring teenager in the universe. Macklin “Mackie” Cormack’s only interests are reading and the outdoors. Yeah, right. Isa’s convinced Mackie is either a pyro or a klepto. Plus, as a white kid, Mackie looks ridiculous in the Zamans’ Arab American household. Forced to share a bedroom, the boys keep butting heads until an absurd fight finally breaks the tension between them.
Isa’s just starting to figure life out: this new houseguest, his cultural identity, school, and even girls, when the entire family is uprooted from their home for reasons Isa can’t understand. They move from their tiny city apartment to a giant, old house in a small town, hours away from everything he’s ever known. Oh, and the new house? It’s probably haunted, or so says the blank-faced ten-year-old next door. As if things weren’t weird enough, Isa’s friendship with Mackie suddenly takes a strange turn down a path Isa’s not sure he’s ready to follow. It turns out Mackie Cormack isn’t nearly as boring as Isa once imagined.
Raine O’Tierney’s, I’ll Always Miss You, is a coming of age story about two young men thrown into a situation neither wanted. The story is written from Isa’s point of view and the young man pulls the reader in from the first paragraph. While not on the dark side, this is a story that is at times is full of angst and more than once I worried that the story would not end well.
Isa is the only son in an Arab American family and while at times he feels something is missing, he is happy with his family life. When his parents start talking about adoption he thinks it is just a phase, one he hopes they will grow out of soon. He is even more shocked when he is suddenly presented with a “brother” his own age that he now has to share everything, including his small bedroom, with. Isa’s bratty behavior is understandable given the way his parents went about everything, as well as their lack of communication with Isa who is affected the most with the introduction of Mackie into the family.
As the readers would expect the two boys have a hard time connecting, however, the author does find a way to bring the two of them close in a way that is believable. It is just as that new friendship is starting to form that their parents once again throw the family into upheaval.
Not only is moving the way the family does troubling for Isa, but the fact that he is starting to have feelings for Mackie that are different from anything he has felt before confuses and scares him. There are a lot of misunderstandings between the two young men before they both end up on the same page.
The author has also woven a mystery/ghost story in to the book that well leave readers wondering as to what or who could be about. Of course part of this portion of the story is easy to figure out, however it is no less entertaining. I think readers will also enjoy the wonderful way in which the author wraps up this story.
This is my first book by Ms. O’Tierney but it will not be my last. I would urge others who have not yet tried her books to give them a shot.
Reviewed by: Lydia
Check the Dreampinner Press website HERE