Second Chance Delivery by Brandon Terrell
Publisher: Peterson Publishing Company, 2016
Second Chance Delivery, by Brandon Terrell, is an engaging and suspenseful novel about a teenage boy who receives an object and a letter from his past self. He uses this knowledge to prevent his parents’ fatal car accident.
The main character, Ben Kirby, is a seventeen-year-old who struggles to cope with his father’s death and mother’s debilitating leg injury. After his parents car crash, he loses all his friends and navigates through his new situation. Ben’s is a very cautious individual. He was very skeptical when he first stumbled upon the post office and when he received the letter and object in the mail. He thought it was all a prank. I found Ben to be an interesting character because of his determination to alter the past. Readers can relate to Ben if they have ever experienced a death and the coping process.
The author conveys themes like death, family, and sacrifice in the book. Death is shown with Ben mourning his father’s tragic passing in the novel’s opening. This implies that loss is hard to deal with even after a couple years. Sacrifice is conveyed when Ben saves his parents at the end of the novel, conveying the idea that family is worth fighting for.
I liked how this book has very vivid descriptions. One example is when Ben and his friend are walking to the nearby burger place to get dinner:
Outside, the sun dipped below the cityline, casting a warm orange hue over the buildings. Around them, streetlights sparked to life and neon signs began to flicker and glow.
These descriptions make the reader feel as if they are right there with the character.
I also liked how suspense was conveyed. When Ben was driving to save his parents’ fate at the end of the book, the author did a great job of building suspense:
Ben stared up at the red light. Each passing second felt like an eternity. Finally, when it blinked green, he stomped on the accelerator, and the car peeled out. He darted forward, the road clear in front of him.
Ten blocks to go.
The light ahead switched from green to yellow. Ben pressed forward, swerving around a delivery truck and making it through just before the light went red. The driver of the truck blared his horn at Ben.
The reader could feel Ben’s fear and was rooting for him to reach his parents on time to save them from disaster.
In some parts of the story, the book seemed a bit slow. There were some sections that felt like they dragged on a bit. In addition the story was also somewhat confusing at times. The main part I found confusing was when the book transitioned to the new present. I felt that it was a bit abrupt and that where they continued the story from was a strange place.
This book is a good quick read for a mystery/suspense novel. However, despite what some reviews have said about reader age range, this book, with its themes about death as well as its somewhat sophisticated language is definitely not suited for young readers. I would say this book is aimed towards high school students. I recommend Second Chance Delivery if you want a book that you can finish quickly but still enjoy.