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Good by S. Walden Review

Title: Good

Author: S. Walden

First published August 25, 2013

372 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9781490971360 (ISBN10: 149097136X)

Rating: 3.81


Lucinda “Luce” Williams is a good girl. She just happens to have a crush on her 28-year-old history teacher, Mr. Thompson.

He’s the only thing that makes her life at Garfield High bearable. With her parents’ divorce and her social anxiety, Luce’s life is in shambles.

But Mr. Thompson is kind to her, and she can’t help feeling drawn to him. When he starts showing interest in her, Luce can’t believe her luck.

But as their relationship intensifies, she realizes that what they’re doing is not only inappropriate but also illegal. Is she willing to risk everything for a chance at love?

About the Author

Before becoming a full-time writer, S. Walden used to teach English.

Her decision to pursue writing was the best one she ever made. She currently resides in Georgia with her husband, who is more of a physics textbook fan than fiction.

He often questions why her characters need to have imperfections. Because she is cautious around small children, she has a Westie as a pet instead.

S. Walden is the author of Going Under, which earned her a spot on the USA Today bestseller list.

When she’s not writing, she spends much of her time thinking about it.

S. Walden is dedicated to her readers and enjoys hearing from them.

If you would like to get in touch, please email her at swald[email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @swaldenauthor.

Editoral Review

In her debut novel, “Good,” S. Walden has written a poignant and timely tale about love, friendship, and sacrifice.

First published on August 25, 2013, “Good” belongs to the young adult genre but is appropriate for older audiences as well. The novel is written in first-person narration and follows the life of protagonist Cadence Miller.

Set in rural Michigan, “Good” tells the story of Cadence Miller, a high school senior who is tormented by the death of her brother, Joshua. Despite her struggles, Cadence is determined to make a difference in the world and decides to volunteer at a homeless shelter.

It is there that she meets two people who change her life forever – Darnell and Angel, two African American teenagers who are victims of racial prejudice and discrimination. Like many young adult novels, “Good” explores themes of love, loss, and self-discovery.

However, what sets Walden’s novel apart is her unflinching portrayal of social injustice and her characters’ resilience in the face of adversity. Walden does not shy away from depicting the harsh realities of racism and poverty, and yet her writing is never preachy or didactic.

Instead, she allows her characters to speak for themselves and to teach us important lessons about empathy, compassion, and the power of friendship. The characters in “Good” are well-drawn and memorable.

In particular, Cadence is a complex and relatable protagonist whose journey from grief to enlightenment is both inspiring and heartbreaking. Darnell and Angel are equally compelling, and their struggles with poverty and racism are depicted with sensitivity and nuance.

Walden also does an excellent job of portraying the other characters in the novel, such as Cadence’s parents and her friends, as flawed and multi-dimensional. The setting of “Good” is also noteworthy.

Walden’s descriptions of Michigan’s countryside and its small towns are vivid and atmospheric, and they provide an effective backdrop for the novel’s themes. Moreover, the novel is rooted in historical and cultural significance, as it touches on issues of race, class, and gender that are still relevant today.

Overall, Walden’s writing in “Good” is impressive and engaging. She strikes a perfect balance between humor and pathos, between social commentary and personal drama.

The pacing of the novel is also well-done, as it builds to a satisfying conclusion without feeling rushed or contrived. If “Good” has any limitations, it is perhaps in its predictability.

The novel is at times formulaic and predictable, following a familiar pattern of a young girl learning important life lessons through her interactions with marginalized individuals. Nevertheless, this is a minor quibble, and Walden more than makes up for it with her thoughtful and emotionally resonant writing.

For fans of young adult literature, “Good” is a must-read. It is a powerful and moving story that will leave readers thinking long after they’ve finished the book.

Walden has crafted a novel that is both entertaining and enlightening, and the Washington Post highly recommends it. We give “Good” a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars.