As authors get acclaim for their work at ever-younger ages, more young scribes are trying their hand at writing. Lalae Mozie is just 14 and has completed her second novel. While Always Will has some hurdles to contend with, Mozie shows great potential as an author.
At 30, Kennedy Shaver is nanny to five boisterous girls. She begins to reminisce about the teenage love of her life, and as a result the girls push her to leave her safe job and follow her heart.
The good news here is plentiful. Mozie handles numerous characters and a story-within-a-story plotline with panache. She has a nice ear for romance writing, as when Kennedy reflects, “I liked being somebody’s someone.” And she knows what romance readers like: just enough conflict to keep us hooked, then a surprising conclusion and a kiss to send us off. All this works in her favor.
That said, the story suffers a bit from Mozie’s lack of experience or willingness to research. Subplots about a newspaper job and the publishing world show she knows little about the realities of either. In addition, she describes most of the dialogue as being “screamed” instead of spoken.
The book is dedicated to “my munchkins,” so perhaps Mozie is drawing in part from her own experience as a nanny. If the story focused on a younger nanny’s life and work, this could succeed as a young adult novel; the decision to cast an adult in the role needlessly complicates things and makes the book harder to classify.
While Always Will is not quite ready for a mass audience, it shows us an author just beginning to find her voice and place in the world. Here’s hoping she continues to grow as an artist.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.