Skip to main content

Dorris Bridge

Dorris Bridge tackles the legends in a small town in 1970s California, and manages to be half YA novel and half adult novel, written by Clive Riddle.

High school senior Kyle Burgess likes pranks, partying, and the new girl in school who doesn't seem to notice him except for the guy that bullied her brother (he didn't know). His father, Randall Burgess, is the Chief of Police and is nearly always dealing with small town politics and infighting with the local Sheriff.

But when a series of deadly hit-and-runs begin to plague the town, Randall is determined to get to the bottom of it. These tragic occurrences only strain Randall and Kyle's relationship further, as they've never seen eye to eye anyway. But Kyle can't ignore the legend of the Lights - as he's seen them himself. Blinding bright Lights that dance in the sky and make your head hurt. They've been reported every night of the accidents.

Randall scoffs at the legends and instead focuses his attention on the hit-and-runs and a thirty-year-old cold case, in which a man went missing after trying to return home to Dorris Bridge.

Could it be that all of these events, legends, and mysteries are in fact intertwined...?

The 70s vibe is evident quickly, and not in a kitschy kind of way - it creates a clear atmosphere of a time period that seems both recent and far away. Dorris Bridgehas a feeling of a 70s movie, giving off an authentic and gritty, but also entertaining and interesting, aura. The full cast of characters is large and varied and the often testosterone-laced dialogue is realistic, if not always to my liking.

The real strength of Dorris Bridge, in my opinion, is the different legends and small town mysteries that are presented. The first hint of the Lights has a spookiness and intrigue. The suspicious death of a man peering at the Indians frowned-upon dancing, the disappearance of the poor Japanese man returning to his beloved inheritance, and the spotty past of the Sheriff all have an equal amount of impact on Dorris Bridge, presenting its secrets and puzzles with inscrutability.

However, there were times when I felt a bit frustrated with the lack of a more consistent thread of progress in the main plots. It did come together eventually, and the relationships, rivalries, and human flaws are very well-written - but some of the legends felt more like great story beginnings, than a complete tale.

Slowly, the pieces of the puzzle did start to fit and my confidence grew near the end, but I was still left a little unsatisfied and unrewarded. But Dorris Bridge is, truly, an honest portrayal of life, pain and secrets and was surprising at some turns. It was just one of those books for me, as someone who has read very many, that seemed to take longer than it should to read. It really has nothing to do with length or quality of the book, per se... it's more a pacing issue and a personal opinion thing. I found a lot to be admired in Dorris Bridge - the characterizations, the enigmas, the revelations, the healing of families - but never seemed to love the novel. It just went slower than I'd like, and lacked the dramatic punch of answers I thought would be waiting at the final turn.

Yet Dorris Bridge remained, for me, a very interesting and, more often than not, appealing look at the present from the past. So, don't hesitate to pick up a copy and read it for yourself.


Popular posts from this blog

Real Live Boyfriends

Real Live Boyfriends is a YA contemporary novel by E. Lockhart, and the fourth novel in the Ruby Oliver quartet.

Here we are on the last day of “Ruby Oliver Week” and if you aren’t already reading these books – well, why not?

But I’m more than sure most of you are – and hopefully you’re all caught up, and therefore not at risk of being spoiled by my review of Real Live Boyfriends. You’ve been warned!

Ruby Oliver is beginning her senior year of high school with a real live boyfriend: Noel.

At least she thought she was.

After having spent the rest of junior year and the beginning of summer being fully in love (okay, they never actually said the word, but the vibes were strongly in that direction), Ruby is now confused.


When Noel went to visit his brother in New York for a while, almost every day they talked on the phone and exchanged funny emails. She never once felt insecure.

Until all of a sudden – communication stopped. Ruby would call and he wouldn’t answer. She’d leave a voice mai…

Titanic: S.O.S.

S.O.S. is the third and final book in Gordon Korman's middle-grade Titanic trilogy.

This is the third book in a trilogy, book addicts! You must, I repeat, must read the first two books (Unsinkable and Collision Course) before you read this review. Otherwise you are just going to ruin all the twists! Sure, we know the Titanic sinks - but the surprises that are revealed about our characters, among other things, should not be spoiled!

But all of you that have read the first two books (which I hope are many of you, because this a great series), can rest assured that I won't spoil anything from S.O.S. itself - just a basic recap and my opinion.

Here goes:

The Titanic is sinking. No one wants to believe it, but the bow is almost imperceptibly starting to dip into the freezing Atlantic Ocean - and our four main characters are thrown into a race for survival.

Paddy is locked up below deck, having finally been caught as a stowaway. In one cell over are the very criminals that wish him dead…


Why hello there, loyal readers!

It's been a long, long time since I last wrote about a new novel - or wrote much of anything original. Life has definitely changed for me in many ways, changing how and where I devote my time.

But... whaddya know? I managed to finally finish a book!

Gardenia is a YA genre mash of murder mystery with a dash of sci-fi/fantasy, written by author Kelsey Sutton.

When Ivy's best friend died, it wasn't a surprise to her.

Because, ever since she was little, Ivy has seen the numbers over everyone's heads. Their countdown, if you will.

But she didn't know the cause of her best friend's death would be... murder.

Labled as a bit of an outcast, due to her odd behavior and reaction to Vanessa's death, Ivy finds herself more alone than ever as she is determined to find her friend's killer.

And she doesn't have much time, herself... as she's known her whole life.

Now, she realizes, it may be that she may give up her life to catch…