Five-Star Review from IndieReader!
My novel Year of the Amphibian has received a five-star review from IndieReader, and I'm over the moon about it. Especially gratifying is that the reviewer is so perceptive about what I was up to in the novel.
On the reviews listing page IndieReader calls Year of the Amphibian "a timeless, beautifully written coming-of-age story about transformation and self-acceptance."
From the review itself:
Author Christopher Pickert deftly explores both big and small influences in Conrad’s year of transformation, detailing everything from school projects to first dates to conversations with strangers. Pickert shows readers how these quiet, seemingly random moments impact Conrad’s perspective by bookending the year with two summers—Conrad has changed in many ways by the time he finally returns to the lake.
Conrad’s keen observation skills and vivid imagination infuse his descriptions of everyone he encounters, giving the novel a strong narrative voice and making even passing characters stand out. Pickert’s portrayal of Conrad’s relationship with his sisters is especially refreshing, as novels rarely show a teenage boy who enjoys playing imaginary games with younger children. His relationship with his mother, though fraught at times, is also beautifully nuanced: they can fight about her choice to move across the country, then share laughs over ice cream minutes later. Even when Conrad feels disconnected from the people around him, their emotions are given as much narrative weight as his, creating a realistic and unforgettable cast.
Conrad’s hyperfocus on describing his surroundings filters into his relationships, insights, and feelings, which serves to illustrate his sense of detachment and add a reflective element that may appeal to adults as well as the intended young adult readership. Readers who enjoy character-driven over plot-driven novels will most appreciate this book, as Pickert excels at showing the beauty in quiet, everyday scenes.
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