It’s not easy for a writer to tell a story without sounding preachy when there are numerous lessons to be learned from the characters and events. C. Lee McKenzie pulls it off beautifully in the young adult novel, Not Guilty. Dialogue and narrative keep the reader in the story without a moment’s pause, and yet the reader comes away with powerful conclusions about the nature of true friendship, the rewards that come with honesty and integrity, the need from time to time to stand up for oneself…or a friend, and the risks we face when our anger is uncontrolled. Highly recommended for teen readers and adults (like me) who enjoy good writing.
* Not Guilty
* by C. Lee McKenzie
* Publication Date: October 25, 2019
* Genre: Young Adult
A blood-smeared knife. One young man’s word against another. A lifetime dream crushed.
The evidence points to Devon Carlyle. He was there when it happened. Everyone knows he had it in for Renzo Costa. And Costa says Devon was the one. In the judge’s rap of a gavel, Devon’s found guilty of assault. The star of the Oceanside High’s basketball team loses his shot at the one thing he’s worked so hard for—the championship game where college scouts could see how good he is.
Now he makes his great shots in Juvenile Hall with kids far different from those that have always been in his life.
Angry? Hell, yes.
He’s bent on finding who did the crime. He’s bent on making them pay because he’s Not Guilty.
But can he prove it?
C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. She has published four other young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative, Sudden Secrets
Sometimes she likes to jump into the world of the fantastic and when she does, she writes for the middle-grade reader. Some Very Messy Medieval Magick is the third book in the time-travel adventures of Pete and Weasel, with Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster being the first two. Sign of the Green Dragon, a stand-alone, takes the reader into ancient Chinese dragon myths and a quest for treasure.
When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot of questions about things she still doesn’t understand.
For more information on Lee and her writing, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at her Website.
NOT GUILTY can be found on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. Readers may leave a review on Goodreads as well.
With Halloween celebrated this week, Lee’s giving away five digital copies of NOT GUILTY and a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. This tour-wide giveaway will end at midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 5th.
To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.
Thanks for stopping by today. Do you enjoy stories where the underdog becomes the champion? Don’t forget to enter the giveaway.
Rachna Chhabria says
I have been reading a lot of good things about Lee’s book. Good luck to Lee.
Thanks for stopping by, Rachna.
L. Diane Wolfe says
You can’t preach to young adults – they’ll drop the book in a second.
Exactly! But I feel that way as an adult, too. When I’m reading a thriller or mystery and find the author is clearly telling me how I should think about politics or religion or exercise, for that matter, I close up the book and find a new one.
Alex J. Cavanaugh says
I’ve read nothing but high praise for Lee’s book!
That’s a good sign, Alex!
Mason Canyon says
I enjoyed your review, Patricia. Sometimes as readers we hear that a book is for young adults and we think there’s no use in me reading that. Lee’s book is a great example of why that line of thinking is completely wrong. Thanks for being a part of Lee’s tour and sharing your review.
Mason–Thank you for giving me the chance to read Not Guilty and introducing me to Lee. I’ve learned that YA novels can be a refreshing change from those written for adults.
C. Lee McKenzie says
I think YA authors are trying to show we have good stories and compelling characters that appeal to those beyond the teen years. There are so many who are excellent writers in this category, and we appreciate what you’ve posted here today. Thank you so much for this and for letting me be in your beautiful space for a while.
It was my pleasure to have you and your book featured here today, Lee. I’ll be looking for more of your work.
Margot Kinberg says
Oh, this sounds good, Pat! I really like it that today’s YA novels are every bit as good as (in fact, in some cases, better than) novels marketed towards adults. Thanks for sharing.
I’ve become a real fan of YA novels, Margot. The writing is good and the characters and plots shine.