Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dawn of Hope by Peter Prichard - Book Review + Interview


About the Book
Dawn Mortenson moved to Fair Shore, Connecticut and within 24 hours of her arrival at Fair Shore High she realized that the town condoned the sexual assault of young girls. She alienated most of the population of the town after her confrontation with the All American football hero found him in the hospital. The ensuing battle landed many friends and foes in jail, the hospital or an early grave. Dawn uses music, the media, a team of young and old allies and a combination of personal courage and mental toughness to change the town’s attitude toward the sexual abuse of young people forever, although at a huge personal cost.




About the Author
Peter Prichard has spent the last thirty-eight years helping thousands of individuals, from high school students to adults of all ages, reach their goals. He has written dozens of articles and several book chapters on how to do that. He began his career by providing career guidance to college students, and he has been particularly interested in assisting young adults and those who want to drive positive change in their particular organizations, their community, and the world. As an acknowledgment of those efforts, he received the Youth Advocate Award from the town in New Jersey in which he lives. The teenage female heroine of this book is a composite of the hundreds of energetic and courageous young people, social activists and teachers he has met over the years.

Author Interview
Contact Information:

Author’s Name or Pseudonym: Peter Prichard
Email Address: peter2451@yahoo.com
Mailing Address: 45 Dodd Street, Montclair NJ 07042 USA
Phone: 973-865-9844


What is the title of your book? 
Dawn of Hope

What is your book about? 
Dawn Mortenson is a 17 year old high school senior who moves to a new town and on her first day of class realizes that girls are sexually abused and bullied with impunity.  She decides to fight back, puts an All-American football hero in the hospital, and ends up receiving death threats which require the hiring of a security service to protect her. During this fight a number of people land in jail or, like her, in the hospital. She leaves the hospital after 14 months a national hero.  The rest of the book describes her fight against sexual abuse and the attempt by tobacco companies to get young people to start smoking, fights that get the FBI involved due to the accelerated threats on her life.


Why did you decide to write it?  
 I have been lucky to have worked with hundreds of young people in my home town, where I won a Youth Advocate award, and around the country.  While getting to know these amazing young people I also heard their stories of bullying and sexual abuse.  I decided to write a story about a strong, resilient female teenager who is a composite of a lot of the young people I met in order to shine a light on the types of life changing sexual abuse that happens to young people on a regular basis.


How did you get your book published?  
 I got published by Outskirts Press after talking with a dozen authors who had been published in the past through the normal agent dominated publishing process and who now fully support the control that on demand publishers provide to authors.


What types of readers will be interested in your book?   
Women of any age; young adult guys with an open mind; and adults in general who have a world view that includes the fact that everybody should be treated with respect.


What is special about your book?  What differentiates it from other books in the same category? 
I am an experienced career counselor and leadership development consultant who has written many articles and book chapters and done hundreds of presentations on how people can reach their goals.  That perspective combined with my extensive experience working with young people and adults who are fighting to make our world a better place combines maturity of perspective and experience with an understanding of young people and how they think and act.  In addition I have a passionate desire to lessen the sexual abuse of young people and the effectiveness of the relentless push by tobacco companies to get young people addicted to tobacco products that will kill them.

In addition, at the end of this work of fiction there are dozens of resources that are listed for individuals who are motivated to find out more about sexual assault and the amoral tobacco industry.  This is very personal for me since I know a lot of amazing young people who have been sexually assaulted while my parents both died from smoking cigarettes and the tobacco companies are now targeting my grandsons which makes me crazy.


Have you published any other books?  Do you plan to publish more?  
 I have completed a follow-up to Dawn of Hope titled Dawn of the Tobacco Wars which will be published by Outskirts Press in 2015.  Both books will be supported by a website I have created called workforthecommongood.com

  MY REVIEW
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

Dawn of Hope tells the story of high school student Dawn Mortenson. She and her mother move to a small town in Connecticut after her parents get divorced. On her first day at school, she's approached by the quarterback of the football team. He proceeds to harass her and she defends herself in a way that lands him in the hospital. From that moment on, Dawn is an outcast at school, and anyone associated with her becomes a target of other members of the football team.

Dawn refuses to become a victim, but at every turn, it seems like her determination to change things is halted by someone or something. The more she pushes forward, the harder her opposition pushes back, eventually taking things to the extreme.

Can Dawn survive the harassment, bullying, and abuse? Will she be able to persevere and implement the changes she so desires to see? Or will everything come crashing down around her?

When I was first offered the chance to read and review Dawn of Hope, I was a little hesitant. I was also intrigued, but this wasn't the type of story I would normally read. I ended up giving it a shot, and for the most part, it was a decent book. There were some things I didn't quite like about it, though.

First, I have to say the book very much reminded me of the case that made the news a while back about Steubenville, Ohio. I'm sure that was the main inspiration for this novel, which should give you a more solid idea of what goes on in the book.

Second, the first half of the book was pretty good. It elicited a variety of emotions, and I could feel myself wanting Dawn to turn into this powerhouse female and take down everyone who stood in her way. She certainly does try, and I definitely had to give her character kudos for sticking to her guns and not really letting other people bring her down too much.

However, the second half of the book was a bit too unrealistic for my taste. I thought it got a bit crazy and was hard for me to stay focused on what was going on. The characters introduced in the second half are a slightly radical, at least to me, and I thought they were also a little extreme. Granted, I understood what they were trying to do and why things happened the way they did, but it was all a bit over the top for me.

Anyway, as for characters, Dawn and her mother are quite likeable enough. Her mother does everything in her power to support Dawn in her mission, even though it means putting her own self at risk. Dawn also has a couple of friends who end up being decent characters, even when they, too, end up on the receiving end of the harsh cruelty that follows Dawn around like a plague.

Most of the characters in Dawn of Hope are despicable, disgusting pigs who you can't help but hate. I can guarantee if you read the book, you will feel so much anger and frustration towards them. Mostly anger. It's a very powerful emotion. And the sad thing is, a lot of the characters I ended up despising were adults.

Plot-wise, the book chugs along at a really good pace during the first half, like I said. You find yourself plowing through it, eager to find out if Dawn's words and actions eventually pay off. But once the second half starts, at least for me, the plot got a little slow and weird. I wasn't overly fond of it or how it ended.

Overall, Dawn of Hope is a decent enough read, although I do wish the second half had been better. It's a very powerful story, to say the least, and it will make you think about how society views both the victims of crimes and the people who commit the crimes.

I'd give Dawn of Hope a solid 3 stars. If you're curious about the story, you can buy a copy below.

Buy Links
Amazon
B&N
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