The Date to Save
Stephanie Kate Strohm
Point, September 2017
This succinct story is an oral documentary, delivered in written format. Quite appealing to this avid reader, it seemed to create the quick, concise medium to appropriately accompany the pace of the plot. In a kind-of-counterintuitive way, I feel like this is a fantastic format for the wary reader, too. Essentially composed of conversations, with few notes added; extraneous minutiae is eliminated. Fewer words means better choices. Each sentence is carefully crafted and I definitely dig the dialogue.
Students at San Anselmo Prep are stars among California high school scholars, with none so bright as Angelica’s older brother. Hutch, however; has graduated. This may very well be Angelica’s time to shine. Things are already looking up.
The school newspaper’s churlish chief-of-staff has rejected every idea Angelica has submitted. And yet, she persisted. Admittedly underwhelmed with the assignment to cover the upcoming Academic Battle, Angelica’s optimism easily overrode the terrible topic to embrace the opportunity.
As any decent investigative reporter knows, one thing leads to another. The initial inquiry into the Academic Battle shows a more serious scenario. A school scheduling snafu that cannot have been coincidence is sure to be catastrophic. Compelled to solve the problem and identify the perpetrator; Angelica nevertheless agrees to help the school mascot when he approaches her with a different mystery, affecting the same date.
Countering the wholly consumed Angelica is Becca. The determinedly grumpy, blue-haired-bestie is everyone’s fantasy friend. This fierce non-conformist is a loyal companion bringing balance with her humor and unique outlook.
I found The Date to Save to be a pleasant read with one paragraph in particular that I dearly love, wherein Ms. Strohm articulates a reader’s feelings about books in a way that I want to capture for a t-shirt or bumper sticker.
Reviewed by jv poore, August 2017.