Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Review: 'Brought To You By The Color Drab' by Norma Jean Lutz

Norma Jean Lutz, is an author, speaker, writing instructor, and novel critique consultant. She has been in the writing/publishing industry all her adult life. Her first bylines appeared on hundreds of magazine articles and short stories. Today her list of published books stands at more than fifty. She has also served as a Ghostwriter, an instructor at the Oral Roberts University Continuing Education department, a speaker at writers conferences across the nation, an instructor for an international correspondence writing school, and created Notations un-Limited Writing Services, (NUWS Link, Inc.) - offering a critique service, ghostwriting, business writing, proofreading and editing. She has researched subjects ranging from equestrian training, to nutrition, to self-help, to financial planning, to historical events, to writing bios of famous authors, and was one of the authors involved with the American Adventure Series published by Barbour Publishing, Inc, a series of historical Christian adventure books writing 16 of the 48 books in the series.

Norma Jean Lutz has a fondness for ‘sweet teen romances’ – light but meaningful romances that forego the technical driven line of communication that plagues our youth today and instead focusing on one on one communication and relationship development in the world some may label as ‘yesteryear’ – a time when life was gentler and sweet romance could develop without the need of cellphones, texting, selfies, dating apps, etc. She keeps her eye on all aspects of the teen interests and exposures and in this action novel she steps away from primary romance and reenacts the riots in the streets that gain publicity.

Her synopsis offers the outline of the story - It takes a blind man to show Race the way. Throwing the remote across the room, he leaped over the back of the ratty couch and flew down the dimly-lit stairs out into the hot August night. In this riveting teen novel, Race Paloma’s world violently turns upside-down after his older brother, Vince, is murdered in a drive-by. Without Vince’s strong leadership, their once-powerful, hood-ruling pack unravels at the speed of light. The Deuce Dragons threaten takeover in their Cincinnati Over-The-Rhine hood. As life closes in, Race has nowhere to turn. Vince’s tight homie and joint-leader of their pack, Wynn, is sent off to juvie; the Deuce Dragons pressure Race to be jumped in; his mother drowns her grief over Vince’s death in extended drunken bouts; then Race is caught shoplifting and comes face-to-face with the slammer. Could his world get any worse? Vince used to say: “My entire life, every freaking part of it, has been brought to you by the color drab. And I do mean the drabbiest.” Race’s new employer, a blind piano tuner named Stan, says: “…The truth of the matter is, each man colors his own world.”Who’s right? What voice will Race listen to? Set in the year, 2001, this teen novel is replete with gangs, knives, turf wars, car theft, ghetto lifestyle, and drive-by shootings.’

Norma Jean’s prose flows through this book. Book such as this may seem ‘old-fashioned’ to today’s teens, but they are beautifully molded stories of how people need people can find something beautiful in simply living. Grady Harp, May 17
I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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