Self-publishing has opened up new vistas for established authors, but it also lets the very young get a sense of what their words look like when published and between covers. Elsa Kibowa is just 12 years old, and while I’ll Never Forget suffers for her lack of experience and training, it also shows her future potential.
Best friends Leslie and Joe (who is male on the first page, but female a few paragraphs later) take a chance and approach a group of young bikers, who take them along on a road trip. Dancing, strange coincidences and romantic entanglements ensue before the duo return from the adventure of a lifetime.
Kibowa writes with an off-the-cuff sense of humor that’s appealing: “Later that day, the seven of them got on the bike and rode off into the sunset–well, truth be told, not into the sunset, more like took a turn–“. Unfortunately, that same quote makes it sound as though all seven are on one motorcycle. Details about character and setting are in scant supply, making the sizable cast hard to tell apart. As a young woman’s fantasy about young adulthood, this is right on target; however, the story is not fleshed out enough to make it a novel or even novella.
I’ll Never Forget isn’t as memorable as one might hope, but given her age, its author shows much promise. With stringent editing and story development, this could become an entertaining escapist beach read. As it stands, though, careful revision is necessary before it will appeal to a larger audience beyond friends and family.
Also available as an ebook.