Martha Kennerson, who works in sales and marketing, based this novel on her own personal experience, and it is evident by the descriptive and detailed writing.
Choices is the story of 18-year-old Kristine Alexander and her best friend Linda Gray, who grew up together in a small town outside of Houston, Texas. The two take a trip to Los Angeles after graduating from high school to visit Linda’s boyfriend Davis Langford and his brother, Dennis, budding musicians and heirs to the family oil business. Though things look promising for both couples, there are complications for Kristine and Dennis that have the makings for an interesting and believable story. Kennerson is an effective storyteller who can consistently describe a scene well, whether it’s a nightclub, hotel salon or dorm room.
When things begin to take a turn for the worse in Kristine’s life, resulting in a violent event, Kennerson is at her best describing Kristine’s painful experiences and their aftermath. “The sound of a horn blowing pulled my mind back to the present and away from the ugly and violent path that my thoughts had taken,” she writes. “I’d wandered into the street and was walking aimlessly into traffic, not really knowing what I was doing or where I was going.”
Choices falls short, however, with the ending. At 190 pages, the book feels truncated. Readers are left hanging with only a small glimpse into how Kristine will handle a life-changing event.
The back cover states that Kennerson is “working on her follow-up novel.” One can’t help but wonder if the ending is a calculated attempt to ensure sales of the second novel. If so, the tactic seems unfair to readers who have purchased the book, only to find a story that has no real ending.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.