The Book Tart's Reviews > The Night Budda Got Deep in It

The Night Budda Got Deep in It by Ron D. Smith
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's review
Sep 14, 2012

really liked it
Read in September, 2012

Originally posted on The Book Tart

I enjoyed this story very much a lot. (Yes , I know that's a double quantifier :p ) I like to read YA stories and this one looked intriguingly different than the paranormal young adult stories I normally gravitate towards.

How a book with drug dealers, ghosts (?), violence, a teen runaway protagonist (very likable) and a slew of unlikable characters (but so well drawn I could picture them) anyway how this story can be so charming and... Well, whimsical, I'm not completely sure, except that the author has a way with words that immediately connected and drew me in.

The protagonists' name is Kevin, but he's called Budda (you have to say it with a southern accent, like butter :) ) He's a 15 year old boy who sets off on a trip to save the girl. He's been a good kid. He listens to his adoptive father and almost always does as he's told. Budda has a voice in his head that he talks with. He calls her Blood Momma and it's never quite spelled out if she's a figment of his imagination, or a ghost. I prefer to think it was his biological mother's spirit. She tells him he needs to go to Kentucky to save his foster sister. So, he sets off.
"By the time the Greyhound reached Effingham, Illinois, commercial bus travel had lost its appeal for Budda. His bony butt was not contoured for long trips, and this was the longest one he had been on. Even worse, the driver maintained an uncomfortably cold cabin. Budda shivered for much of the trip, because he hadn't brought anything warm to wear - it had been unseasonably mild for mid-October when he left St. Louis. Proper preperation was not his strong suit. '

He goes on a trip... I'm not going to call it an adventure, because some people he meets on his journey keep calling it that and it wasn't a fun experience! But this 48 hour period helps him to discover his strengh and realize that there's more to him than he imagined.

I don't want to spoil the story... but I want to tell you how much I adored the storytelling. It has a poetic rythm to it. I could see Budda and I liked what I saw. "Chow Mein will be coming from your ears if you eat any more," she said. Budda unconsciously touched his right ear to see if he could detect any noodles there. "I guess I've had enough then," he said. Your food is real good. Thank you." I could picture the secondary characters, like the drug dealer Odyn, because of the colorful descriptions, 'A roly poly man engulfed the futon. He looked out of place on such a simple piece of furniture. Budda couldn't remember seeing a man so round.'

I love the dialogue and the word pictures. I like Ron's way with a phrase. Like this line, "He's got less sense than a farm turkey in a rainstorm." I could see the story in my head like a movie. This book made me laugh out loud. It's a quick, engrossing read. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in an exciting coming of age journey. One that involves so many seemingly random elements, drug dealers and runaways, McDonalds and Chinese restaurants, orange parkas and Charles Dickens. There's a variety of ingredients mixed in this stew but it combines into an amazing tale. This book has stuck in my head and I've found myself grinning when I think of it. Go get it!

♦eARC provided for review
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