Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spotlight: The Avocadonine and Spring Stone by Patrick Barnes

Inside the Book:

Title: The Avocadonine and Spring Stone
Author: Patrick Barnes
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: January 26, 2015
Pages: 334
Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Book Description:

Praised by many as one of the best YA fiction books you’ll ever read.
Rey Naresh, a likeable kid worth rooting for, is going into the ninth grade at Pemota High.  He’s not sure what to expect being fresh off a visit with a gypsy who may or may not have been psychic, but he’s hoping in ninth grade he’ll get to meet his crush, the pretty green eyed, Christy Lane.  He’s wanted her to notice him since sixth grade and keeps a letter to her in his backpack.  The school bully, Huxley Core, and his friends, who call themselves Nadine’s Puppies, threaten to publish something about Rey in their libelous newsletter.  As Rey looks up at the stars one night he realizes he will have to confront Huxley and be man enough to make Christy fall for him.
One day, on the bus, fellow ninth grader, Ryan O’toole, says to Rey that there’s something wrong with something the students are drinking and that electronics are making a humming sound when he’s near them.  It sounds to Rey like looney toons, but are other students having a similar problem?  Rey and Christy unite and embark on a quest that seems to have to do with mind control by an evil administration and provides a quandary for philosophical thought.  A mystery seems to have taken hold of Pemota High, one that may stretch back generations to a malicious woman and a story of her relationship with a student named Spring Stone.

Book Excerpt:

Christy didn’t feel like changing the channel, largely because she was exhausted from the afternoon’s events.  Her purple phone rang, two short rings and then a long one, and she picked it up.  When she heard Annette’s voice she smiled.
“Hey Christy.  You sure get around,” Annette said with mock disapproval.  This always made Christy laugh.
“Annette, who told you?”  She said.
“Freddie Prinze Junior and Orlando Bloom.”
“They’re always talking about me.  It’s so not cool.”
Annette laughed. “Speaking of sluts, is the bitch back yet?”  She imitated a movie advertiser’s voice.  “This fall, from Leander, ‘the bitch is back.’”
“No, she’ll be home at four-thirty.”  Christy laboriously got up and put her feet on the floor letting out an expression of exasperation.
“I just got back from volleyball practice.  We kicked major butt.  Did you do your math homework yet?”  Annette had transferred out of standard math because she thought it was too easy.  Ms. Aster, however, was not one to be a pushover, and Annette had to call Christy nearly every night for help with math homework because she had missed so much material from the beginning of the school year.
“No.  I haven’t been home.”
“Where have you been?” Annette asked.
Christy blew her bangs off her forehead.  “Running from Huxley.”
“Get out.”
“You sure you want to hear this?”
“Yes, darlin’.  Spare no detail.”
Christy told her all about the trials of the afternoon.  She told her how Rey had offered to walk with her, about confronting Huxley, Der, and Joe, and running through the woods.  She even told her about the deserted home, the turret, and the basement like door.  Annette interjected every once in awhile with a question or a quiet, “Oh my God.”  Christy finished by explaining that she was able to walk home in peace, that they weren’t waiting for her.
“Christy do you think they might really hurt you?”
“No.  They just wanted to scare me.  I hope.”  Then after a long silence on the line: “I have no idea.”
“Saying that to Huxley must have been such a rush.”
Christy looked at an 8-ball on her desk, as a meaningless message rose to the surface.  As she had walked down Daphne St., she had put her feelings about the afternoon’s events into words.  Christy and Annette had been friends for almost two years.  They met in seventh grade swim class when Annette had told Christy she really needed to cut her toe-nails and this had started a discussion filled with laughter.  To this day, Christy rarely went a few days without checking to see they hadn’t grown too long.
Christy sighed.  There was a silence on the line.  “All the time, no matter where I am, I feel this feeling.  Like a weight.  Like a storm cloud.  That was the first time I didn’t feel it.  Running from Huxley.”
“What do you think causes it?”
“Brianna.  And being second.”
“Christy, you can’t spend your whole life competing with your sister.  Who cares what Brianna thinks?  And especially, who cares what Huxley thinks.  The only reason Huxley said all that stuff is because he thinks your sis is hot.”
“It really hurt my feelings.”
“Well, hopefully you really hurt his.”  Annette was suddenly struck by a notion.  “Christy, maybe you should go out with him.”
Christy put the eight ball down and stood up.  “With who?”
“With Rey Naresh you little bimbo.  Who else?”
Rey was all right looking she supposed, but Christy had never had a boyfriend before, and would never have expected to start a relationship running from Huxley and friends.  “I don’t know.”
“You so should.  Do you know Mike Elsetta kissed Gabrielle Reese?”
“Yeah.  You told me.”  Christy hit the power button on the remote and turned off Skywarriors.
“Have you met Mike Elsetta’s foreign exchange student?”
The ninth grade French class was doing a foreign exchange program and the Americans had spent the summer with their student in France. “No.”
“Her name is Blanche Dupont and she thinks she’s the prettiest girl ever.  Last Friday, Mike wanted me to hang out with him and Blanche at the reservoir in the middle of the night.  And...”
“What’s at the reservoir in the middle of the night?”
“The towns water supply.  And drinking Bud Light.”
“Oh.”  Why hadn’t Annette invited her?  Maybe Annette thought she’d never go for it.
“Blanche was there and all she did the entire time was talk about her face, all the flaws on it, which there are none of course.  And every time Mike said something about her looks she would blush.  That’s the last time I’m hanging out with Blanche Dupont.”
“All the guys think she’s hot.”
“Yeah, well, guys will think any French foreign exchange student is hot.”
“Huxley likes her.”  Christy only realized that now because she had noticed him talking to a pretty girl she hadn’t seen before in the hallway.  That must have been Blanche.
“Huxley can blow horses for all I care.  Today he pinched Viola Speck’s butt and offered to sell her to Jason Masago for three dollars.”
“That’s so messed up.”
“Viola is such a sweet girl Christy.  I mean she can’t help that she’s fat.  Besides, she played volleyball like all the time to try to lose the weight.  She stopped playing volleyball this year though and no one knows why.  She was the best setter and everyone loved her.  There’s some rumor going around about her and Mike said that it’s too horrible to repeat.  I’ve got to know what it is.”
Christy fell down on her bed; a short silence.  “I don’t know Annette.  It is horrible.”
Annette was chewing on a Nutri-grain bar now and Christy could hear her munching as she said, “Tell me.”
Christy felt her eyes tearing up.  She wiped them with her hands.  “Her father beats her.”
“Oh no.  Who did you hear that from?”
Christy heard noises downstairs.  She listened for a moment and heard Brianna coddling Ruffenstein.  Christy rolled her eyes when she heard Brianna say to the dog, “Hey Ruffenstein.  My warrior prince.”
“Brianna’s home.”  She adjusted her weight on the bed.   “I heard it from Blair Carlyle in science class.  I think everyone in the ninth grade is talking about it.”
“Christy we have to do something.”
“Have you ever met her father?”
“Yeah.  Lots of times.  His name’s Jack.  He’s very macho.  But I mean so is Dwayne Johnson.  Yet, I did see him at The Pub every time we went this summer.”  Annette sounded disappointed in herself, like she should have stopped the abuse before it started.
“Why did you go to The Pub?”
“Lois, my brother’s girlfriend, would drive us.  We would go there and order cheese fries.  When we had the munchies.”  Annette sounded a little too happy to just be talking about cheese fries.
“You were smoking?”
“Only a couple times.”
Christy knew she would never smoke marijuana even if they legalized it.  She felt a distance growing between her and Annette.  Annette was acting loose-tongued.  Perhaps Annette was trying to measure up to Christy’s interesting story about Huxley with stories of her own.
 “Christy, come downstairs,” Radelle called. “And say hello to your sister for God’s sake.”
“Jeez,” Christy said.
“Christy, don’t worry,” Annette said.  “I’m not going to smoke at all during the school year.  It was just a couple times.  Because Lois does it.”
“No.  That wasn’t what I was saying jeez to.  My sisters downstairs.  I have to go.”
“All right.  Call me later.  I need your help on section 3.2.  And we’ll talk about Viola.”
“Okay.  Bye Annette.”
She hung up the phone.  The patterns on the ceiling seemed to be calling her attention like clouds in the sky that took certain fortuitous shapes.  She stared for a short while before going to face her family.

For More Information:
The Avocadonine and Spring Stone is available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Goodreads

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads

Meet the Author

Patrick Barnes lives in Charleston, South Carolina.  The Avocadonine and Spring Stone is his second book.  It has been awarded a five star review from Readers Favorite, and a four and a half star average among critics on  He has a Bachelors Degree in Film and Writing from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters in Library Science from the University of South Carolina.  He has won first place in Arts and Entertainment Writing at the Yankee Penn Journalism Conference, and has worked as a Librarian at the Folly Beach Public Library.  When he’s not writing, he likes to walk on the beach with his dog, and watch movies.

For More Information:

Virtual Book Tour

No comments:

Post a Comment