Rediscovering Lois Duncan

I vividly remember being in middle school and hoarding every Lois Duncan book that came through our school’s library. She was my favorite writer and I inhaled her books in a way that I hadn’t from anyone else.

When I was in my favorite secondhand book store recently, I found two Lois Duncan books that I hadn’t read (or at least at my old age of 27, don’t remember reading). One was Ransom and one was Locked in Time. Of course I bought both of them.

Locked in Time was my favorite of the two. It was unlike any other story I’ve read before. It has it all- murder, mystery, and fantasy. The story is of a girl named Nore trying to accept her new stepfamily. The catch though, is that they are strange and full of secrets. There are constant references to the step-mother Lisette, step-brother Gabe, and step-sister Josie being from a different time period.

Lisette’s goal from the start was for Nore to die, so that no one would come looking for Chuck, and that she would be free to murder him and take his money.  Lisette sends Gabe out to take care of Nore by having her drown in the swamp, but it does not work and Nore survives. Nore knows she is in danger, but she cannot convince her father.

The story takes place in Louisiana- home of weird magical happenings. Nore is correct and Lisette and her children are in fact from a different time period many years ago. Lisette struck a deal with her first husband’s mistress, and in turn Lisette and her children would never age. Nore finds the evidence for this, but is never able to produce the evidence for her father though. When Chuck leaves on a business trip, Lisette attempts to end Nore’s life, but with the help of Gabe, Josie,and Nore’s friend, she survives. Gabe drives off with his mother, leaving Josie behind, and gets into a wreck killing himself and Lisette. Josie goes on to live with Nore and Chuck back in New York, and they put off telling him about the non-ageing Josie, until he figures it out for himself.

I finished this book in two days. It was exciting and different. The book is an easy read, and I highly recommend it. She wrote it in 1985, and it won several awards. The one most notable to me though is the 1988 South Carolina Young Adult Book Award, since I am from South Carolina.

Ransom was also a good book, but I would be lying if I said that I enjoyed it like I enjoyed Locked in Time. It was written in 1966, and one thing I love about reading old books is immersing myself into the language and style of a different time period.

It is the story of five students held hostage while taking a bus home from school in New Mexico. There are three criminals, and they each play different roles; one in charge of phone calls and collecting ransom, one in charge of driving the students and getting them to the cabin where they are being held hostage, and one who plays the “motherly” role. The kids are all very different, one sociopathic all-american guy named Glenn and his brother Bruce, one loner named Dexter, one beautiful girl who has daddy-issues named Marianne, and one well-traveled, intelligent girl named Jesse.

While they are being ransomed for $15,000 each, the kids themselves are hatching a plan to escape. A couple of them are successful in escaping, and when one kidnapper comes after them in the car, he goes over a cliff, dying instantly. I call Glenn a sociopath, because throughout the book it is revealed to us that Glenn is not capable of loving anyone else, but he is capable of doing things like leaving a child to die after hitting him with his vehicle. Even Glenn’s parents have a moment between themselves in the book where they doubt Glenn would save the others if he could get himself out. (They were right).

The book shifts viewpoints between each of the hostage’s views, and the views of their parents. In the end, the same step-dad that Marianne has resented is the one who saves the day. It was a little predictable, but what makes this book so great is that this is such a chilling, realistic scenario. Lois Duncan does a great job at capturing a very real fear that most parents have when sending their kids to school, which is that something bad could happen to them.

The book was a bit rushed, especially at the beginning, but it was still a great read. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in Young Adult fiction or any young adult that loves reading.

I’m so glad I picked these two books up. They helped remind me why I’ve always wanted to write Young Adult fiction. I hope that one day far into the future, people will read my books with the same fondness that I have for Lois Duncan’s books.

The “Get to Know Me Tag”

Thank you so much GaillovesGod for nominating me to do this! I’m excited to share a little about myself with my followers 🙂

Below are questions & answers for all of the nominees  ❤

  • What are my strengths?
    • I’m not easily intimidated.
    • I don’t take no for an answer.
    • I can talk to anyone about anything.
  • What are my short term goals?
    • To continue to blog regularly.
    • To get my health back to normal.
    • I’d like to be accepted onto a baking show that I entered a contest for.
  • What are my long term goals?
    • To write my book and get it published.
    • To run for public office and be elected.
  • Who matters the most to me?
    • God
    • My family
    • My boyfriend Johnny
    • My friends
    • My English bulldog Nugget
  • What am I ashamed of?
    • That I’ve gained weight.
    • That I’m not always grateful for what I have in life.
  • What do I like to do for fun?
    • I love going to Disney World with my boyfriend.
    • I love going to Clemson football games.
    • I love a good glass of wine and a book.
  • What new activities am I willing to try?
    • I’d like to try white water rafting.
  • What am I worried about?
    • Not living up to my potential and wasting the talents I have been given.
  • What are my values?
    • My values come from God and my momma.
  • If I had one wish, it would be…?
    • to be able to talk with my cousin David.
  • Where do I feel the safest?
    • with Johnny
    • the Library
  • What or who gives me comfort?
    • Johnny
    • My mom
  • If I was afraid, I would…?
    • Call my Daddy
  • What is my proudest accomplishment?
    • Passing the Bar exam and being admitted to the South Carolina Bar
  • Am I a night owl or early bird?
    • An early bird
  • What does my inner critic tell me?
    • That I can be better than I am, and I’m not living up to my potential.
  • What do I do to show my self, self-care?
    • I love getting my nails done.
    • I love going to yoga.
  • Am I an introvert or extrovert?
    • I am an extroverted introvert. I enjoy talking to other people and being with other people, but I retreat to my corner as soon as I can.
  • What am I passionate about?
    • politics, a good cup of coffee, and Clemson football
  • What do my dreams tell me?
    • That I need to work on being less anxious.
  • What is my favourite non-fiction book?
    • The only Non-fiction book I read is the Bible. I read some biographies every now and then, but the Bible will always be my favorite non-fiction book!
  • What is my favourite fiction book?
    • This is the hardest question on here by far. I love anything by Agatha Christie, John Grisham, the Hannah Swensen mysteries by JoAnne Fluke, and growing up Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew were all I would read.
  • What is my favourite movie?
    • Beauty and the Beast
  • What is my favourite band?
    • the Beatles or the Eagles depending on my mood
  • What is my favourite food?
    • Burritos
  • What is my favourite colour?
    • Black
  • What am I grateful for?
    • That I have a family that loves me and has sacrificed to get me to the point that I am today.
    • That I have a God who forgives every wrong I have ever made.
  • When I am feeling down, I like to?
    •    Listen to Disney music
  • I know I am stressed when?
    • I feel anxious or my face is breaking out.

 

 

Thanks for nominating me GaillovesGod!

I nominate:

PerfectlyTolerable

Alexx’s Keto Avenue

BaffledMum

Georgia’s Pampering

 

Share-It Saturday: 50 Hilarious Memes You’ll Relate To If You Love Books — Vampires, Crime and Angels…Eclectic Me

Reblogged from Buzzfeed ~ “There are two kinds of people: people who use bookmarks, and monsters.” Jarry Lee ~ BuzzFeed Deputy Books Editor ~ 1. Kayla Yandoli / BuzzFeed . 2. media.bookbub.com . 3. Cathy Ngo / BuzzFeed . 4. Kayla Yandoli / BuzzFeed . 5. Kayla Yandoli / BuzzFeed . 6. media.bookbub.com . 7. https://embed.tumblr.com/embed/post/t9b5junpPVsV4dotezqmug/58523588092?width=542&language=en_US&did=0dada0793731574ed50fefef4d99fbef9677bb82 %5B…%5D

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