Krystal's Reviews > Loss

Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler
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Mar 10, 12

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This is one of those books that deals with a difficult topic, but manages to make that topic applicable in such a way that teens/young adults will maintain interest and understand. Billy Ballard is bullied. The former sentence is alliterative and incredibly sad. He doesn't fight back or defend himself, but takes most of the bullying in stride. Adults are even sometimes around when he is bullied, but do nothing...an unfortunate fact in many cases. The reader will connect to Billy and feel terrible on his behalf. He doesn't have the easiest time at home either. His grandfather is slowly succumbing to Alzheimer's disease and the effects of the disease often hurt Billy as well.



When Billy learns he has been more or less tricked into being the White Rider, he has no choice but to accept his fate yet again. However, the more Billy delves into his new role, including his sudden ability to experience certain events in the far past, the more Billy gains his own strength and inner voice. He also learns that he balances out the other Riders. Balance is a strong theme in this book and may play a valuable lesson for the reader if the reader pays close attention.



Billy's character is wonderfully developed. The reader will form and maintain a connection to his character throughout the novel. The other characters, though mainly secondary, are interesting as well. The author has that knack that makes the reader interested in the other characters as well. The author distributes background information at just the right moments in the novel as well. For example, right when the reader is beginning to feel less than sympathetic to the White Rider, she gives the reader a glimpse into his sad past. The Riders of the Apocalypse is a wonderful series that covers difficult and often hidden topics that young adults/adults/teens would enjoy.
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