Friday, 7 September 2012

Book Review - The Pineville Heist

Today's book review was submitted by Tara Clare

Book: The Pineville Heist
Author: Lee Chambers
Reviewer: Tara Clare
Available via: Amazon

Seventeen year old Aaron stumbles into the aftermath of a five million dollar bank heist gone wrong. Hiding under a canoe, Aaron partially catches the murder of one of the robbers. In the chaos he sneaks away with the money and heads straight for the closest place of safety, his high school. Terrified, Aaron tells his shocking tale to Amanda Becker, his drama teacher, but it doesn't take long for one of the psychotic robbers to show up. In the locked down school the pair are relentlessly pursued in a quest to get the money back and wipe out the evidence.

The Pineville Heist is based on the award-winning screenplay by Lee Chambers and Todd Gordon. Script consultants included a (former) Senior VP of Production at Universal Pictures and the author of the Screenwriter's Bible.

Intrigue… murder… an adrenaline filled fight for survival. The Pineville Heist is a #1 Best Selling Thriller for young adults by award-winning writer and director Lee Chambers. An action packed novel that young adult readers will find hard to resist, as they identify with the protagonist, Aaron. Your average, every day boy on that transverse journey from childhood to adulthood.

A journey that also incorporates the difficulties experienced between child and parent, as painfully illustrated between Aaron and his father; Aaron having no real understanding of his father’s business dealings; and his father having no understanding of his son’s interest in the ‘softer’ appreciation of the arts that his mother instilled in him; a fact that is magnified even more acutely following the death of his mother.

Aaron also suffers the difficulties of fitting in, as every school kid experiences; however in Aaron’s case, this is exemplified by the difference of Aaron having a wealthy and privileged upbringing, while his school friends’ families are at the mercy of the Pineville Mill surviving, the mill owned by Aaron’s father.

During a school visit, Aaron overhears the Sheriff and Deputy discuss a bank robbery that occurred in the small town of Pineville that morning. Aaron realises he may have seen the robbers and their van after being thrown out of the car, by his father, following a heated argument. Aaron divulges this information to his two closest friends and they decide to skip class to search for the stolen money.

Having been provided this opportunity of proving himself to his father, Aaron is determined to return the money from the bank robbery; money he has no hesitation in believing is his father’s, money that will go towards saving the town’s mill and keep the towns folk employed.

The boys come across the robbers’ hiding place in the woods, however are quickly disturbed by their return. The boys flee. Aaron finds safety under an upturned canoe, where he witnesses the first of a series of murders and discovers one of the satchels of money. Escaping the scene, Aaron frantically heads for the safety of his school where he confides in his young drama teacher, Amanda Becker. The safe sanctity of school doesn’t last long as one of the psychotic robbers hunts him and the money down.

The fight for survival that ensues facilitates the development of Aaron’s character further as he has to make decisions to save his own life and that of Miss Becker, who it is alluded he has (as every school boy experiences) a slight crush on.

The clever use and astute poignancy of the fighting scene using Hamlet props: a scene showing the “softer” arts turn into testosterone battle for survival, the turning point perhaps of child becoming a man!  Just one of the many heart riveting scenes of this fast paced novel.

Also for movie lovers, The Pineville Heist is currently in the process of being made into a movie, starring Booboo Stewart (Seth Clearwater), from Twilight.

Already receiving rave reviews and recently being honoured as a finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards (in the Young Adult Fiction category), The Pineville Heist is sure to reach cult status among the young adult audience it is intended.

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