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River, Sing Out

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  22 reviews
“And through these ages untold, the river did act as the lifeblood of all those things alongside it.”

Jonah Hargrove is celebrating his thirteenth birthday by avoiding his abusive father, when a girl named River stumbles into his yard, injured and alone. The teenager has stolen thousands of dollars’ worth of meth from her murderous, drug-dealing boyfriend, but lost it somew
Hardcover, 315 pages
Published June 8th 2021 by Blackstone Publishing
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Jovana (NovelOnMyMind)
DNF-ed at 40%

Didn't like the narrator, way too dramatic. The whole time I felt like someone was yelling at me. It was very distracting, I couldn't focus on the story at all.

40% into the book, I just gave up. I almost never DNF, but this was just too much. Why should I bother when all it does is annoy me?

However, my review applies only to the audio version of this book. For all I know, the story might be well worth the read. It did seem really well written.

Also, just wanted to stress out that me
Jun 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I finished reading River, Sing Out, I sat there completely awash in the journey I just took. The end is as the beginning, and the beginning is as the end. And for this reader, the bar for poetic prose excellence was just raised to heights unknown.

Describing this story, or even the style of this story, is going to be difficult. I can still feel the story as much as I can feel my most vivid dream. But trying to describe it? I’ll do my best.

The storyline is complex simplicity. The story
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
If I could only use one word to describe this book, I think it would be poetic. The words flow seamlessly from one subject to another and the imagery fits East Texas to a T.

There are several plots in this story that meld together. There is a young boy, Jonah, that is just trying to survive despite abject poverty. River, a young woman that has lost her way but is determined to find her path, and John Curtis and Cade, local drug dealers and thugs who believe they are above the law. This novel is g
Jun 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
River, Sing Out certainly lives up to the praise it has received so far. The beauty of the language is stunning, and the author’s ability to reflect the minds of the various characters with such precision was one of the best parts of the book for me. From the young boy, Jonah, to John Curtis, and to the old man at the cabin, the differences in voice and characterization were sharp and each came across as such a believable person.

I enjoyed the narrator’s voice, as well. His section always present
Rowena Hoseason
Jun 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
'River, Sing Out' has obvious echoes of modern classics like Winter’s Bone. In East Texas, a young lad reaches beyond the loveless boundaries of his white-trash background. His initial exploration of the bigger world beyond the backwoods might turn out to be his last – he risks everything by sheltering a young woman on the run from a gang of drug dealers.

She’s an opportunistic thief and a junkie; the men hunting her are strung-out scum. Their boss is a manipulative monster, a clear-eyed killer,
River, Sing Out is set in fictional Neches County, Texas, in the East Texas bottomland. It's a hardscrabble existence for many folks, and Jonah Hargrove is no exception. His father works on an oil rig, so the days he's gone on the job are days Jonah doesn't have to duck his blows. In spite of his seemingly bleak existence, though, Jonah has a good heart. So when River, a teenage girl, stumbles into his sphere, injured and running scared after stealing a backpack full of meth from local drug lord ...more
Jennie Rosenblum
Jun 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Most reviews of this book mention the two storylines running parallel. I however feel like there is a third – water/river. The influence of water and the impact it has on all the characters, as well as the changes it makes to the environment, plays a major role. It is a constant and persistent character and action throughout the entire work.

Interspersed with the gritty storylines is an almost lyric approach to the background. The author worked hard and was largely successful in transporting the
Jimmy Strassner
Jun 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
James Wade once again pulls off a breath taking novel of poetic beauty. He weaves a tapestry of brutality, wonderment, innocence and hope into an absolutely compelling plot that you can't stop reading.
I found a new favorite author. I can't wait until his next book.
Darcia Helle
I’m looking for the right words to tell you how I feel about this book, but what I have is a handful of adjectives and an onslaught of emotions.

River, Sing Out is beautiful, dark, heartbreaking, uplifting, and real.

James Wade’s writing has transformative power. Setting is a living entity that’s somehow both claustrophobic and expansive. The characters are all complex people who are flawed and dangerous and hopeful and scared. Their journey becomes ours, and we arrive at our destination with emot
May 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
River, Sing Out is a story of an abused boy with a heart of gold. Jonah Hargrove steps up to help a teenage girl on the run. She doesn’t offer her name, so Jonah dubs her River. Their tale starts out slowly, and both the story tension and plot pace quickly ramp as the threat to Jonah and River increases.

Author James Wade’s writing style is Hemingway-esque in its crisp, concise sentences. Mr. Wade’s writing perfectly portrays the desolate setting in Texas. The desperation, struggle and poverty ar
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, netgalley
I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.
Jonah seems to come from a household of no love, but that doesn't take away his sweetness and helpfulness. When River comes to his place as she is running, he ends up with a crush and is willing to put himself in danger to help her get away from the bad guys. As the story unfolds, we see that Jonah is willing to risk everything to help her become free not only from her addiction but from the guys that hunt her. He grows up a lot quicker
Bonnie Brody
Dec 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I think it's just me but I was not in the mood for this book's choppy sentences, violent narrative and the regular changing of topics. Sometimes I actually search for books with these attributes but now isn't the time. I read half way through the novel and just put it down. I loved the author's last book and was hoping I'd get another fix of his writing with this one, but the two novels are very different.

Perhaps it's because of covid. I want something lingering and with continuity. I couldn't f
Thomas Kelley
Jun 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book has quite the cast of characters in it with most of them having bad intentions. This story takes place in Neches County, Texas. There is Jonah Hargrove a 13 year old boy who is someone who is pure and with no friends from a broken home and lives out in the sticks in a dump of a trailer with a father that is rarely there who is also abusive and a drunk. There is a girl that has the nickname of River who decides to steal something that does not belong to her but may provide a way out of ...more
Kay Neff
Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed most of this book!
I really liked Jonah. For growing up in an abusive home with nothing, he was the sweetest character. He was faced with challenges no 13 year old should have to brave alone.

There was a little more violence in the book than I anticipated. But when drugs and cartel are involved I suppose that's to be expected.
Kathleen Gray
May 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Jonah is a 13 year old who has not had a good life. Then it gets really complicated when River shows up with a tale of meth stolen from Dakota, her abusive boyfriend, who works for John Curtis. She lost the meth in the Neches River and she's got to find it. This is a chase/quest novel told from multiple perspectives. These are not good people (except for Jonah and his neighbor Mr. Carson) and this is a dark novel. There's bad choices, violence, and despair. Wade has a way of describing the lands ...more
Maureen Mayer
May 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I enjoyed this book for the most part, but mainly because of characters like Jonah and River. For someone who had been shown so little love by the mother who abandoned him and the abusive father who stuck around, I was amazed by how resilient and kind hearted Jonah became. The world needs more people like him!

I thought the premise of the book was good but ended up not enjoying the chapters that focused on John Curtis and Dakota Cade. I know they were needed for the progression of the pl
Lynn Poppe
Jun 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
RIVER, SING OUT is a gripping and intricate story set in East Texas, where life is difficult and brutal, even to children.

This novel is chock-a-block full of characters, literarily and figuratively. Each character, without exception, is wholly developed and a clear individual, from the characters who may only been in one or two scenes, to the main characters of Jonah, River, and John Curtis. My heart went out to Jonah, who at 13 years old, is basically left to raise himself by his absent father
Ariel Hess
Jun 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Rating :★★★★★
Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of a finished book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an advanced reader copy sent to me in exchange for my honest review. #partner #LSBBT
River, Sing Out is a recently published novel that takes you on a journey through drugs, poverty, abuse, and relationships. Th ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
May 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
River, Sing Out by James Wade is a highly recommended, grim, violent novel set in the East Texas river bottoms.

In an area plagued by poverty and abuse, River, Sing Out follows young Jonah Hargrove as he helps a teenage girl, River. River shows up at his trailer in bad shape. She had stolen a backpack full of crystal meth from John Curtis, head a local meth distribution empire and dogfighting ring. The two end up running from Curtis and Dakota Cade, his murderous enforcer, who, along with all the
Jun 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A poetic and gruesome composition. That is how I am going to start off this review. I was fully enveloped by our author's words from the very beginning to the bitter end. Wade has a way of creating this life, filled with hope and sorrow, and writing it so beautifully. His words, the characters and the setting will keep you sucked in and you won't want to look away.

Our characters are ones that you won't quickly forget. Each was created to showcase the good, the bad, the timid, the brave and the c
Book Hunter Beth
Jun 09, 2021 is currently reading it
Well, apparently the voice and motion capture actor for Arthur Morgan does the audiobook for this novel so I guess I'm listening to it. ...more
Carol Ann
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Feb 20, 2021
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Thieving Magpie
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Jun 12, 2021
Max Knight
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Kathleen Morris
rated it it was amazing
Jun 18, 2021
Nancy Gunn
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Jun 16, 2021
Jordan Wade
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Dec 17, 2020
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James Wade is an award-winning fiction author with twenty short stories published in various literary journals and magazines. His debut novel, All Things Left Wild, was released June 16, 2020 from Blackstone Publishing. Wade's second novel, River, Sing Out will be released June 8, 2021 from Blackstone Publishing.

James spent five years as a journalist, before serving as a legislative director at th

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