Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Ramblings on The Fourth Stall III by Chris Rylander

The Fourth Stall 
By: Chris Rylander
Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013
Author Website
Book Provided By: Walden Pond Press


The saga of Mac, Vince, and middle school organized crime comes to a thrilling conclusion in THE FOURTH STALL PART III. Their business is finished, and Mac’s and Vince’s lives have become something they have never been before: simple. None of the fortune or the glory and none of the risk or threat of juvenile prison. There’s even a new business that has stepped in to take their place (and take the heat off Mac and Vince for once). Things couldn’t be better.

But that was before things at their middle school started to go haywire. Before they found out that there’s a new crime boss at school in the town over trying to consolidate power. And before their old nemesis, Staples, came back to town begging for help after his stint in the clink. Just when Mac and Vince thought they were out, the business pulls them back in. But this time, will they be able to escape with their lives and permanent records intact?
(from goodreads)

My Ramblings:

First let me say that I currently am having a book three problem. It feels like all my favorite trilogies are all coming to a close at the same time. It's draining. I want to know how they end, but I'm not ready for them to be over! So like a bad blogger I've been avoiding them (it's a coping mechanism, okay?!) All these book threes are stacked up in a nice neat pile, just waiting for me to get up the nerve to open them up. The Fourth Stall sat there for a little while, and of course, when I finally grabbed it and opened that first page, I was sucked right in.  

Second. I missed these characters. Like really missed them! With everything else I read it's sometimes hard to remember how fun and easy reading can be. This book, this whole series is just fun to read. I read it and I nod along and giggle and wink back when the story winks- I love that Rylander has his characters acknowledge the Godfather connections, the silliness that is Scarface and the undying love that fans have for the Cubs. 

*** Note- There will be spoilers below. If you haven't read this book yet. Stop reading now. Just know that this is a series you need to go get ***

When the books start we find Mac and Vince trying to live the clean life and stay out of cross hairs. They've shut down their business and are enjoying being retired.  We all know you can't just leave the life. Once you are in, you are in and we see Mac and Vince being approached on several fronts to take up the reins and get back to business. Like usually happens, its the opportunity to make a quick buck without doing any work that ultimately pulls them back in. It was an offer they couldn't refuse that sucked them back under. 

From there the book takes some really interesting twists and turns. We see the return of Staples, someone else who (supposedly) is trying to clean up their act. We meet some new faces, including a kid who makes them that very lucrative offer and a rival at a different school who may just ruin them all completely. 

This was me as I read the book. And not just in my head. I said these things out loud, much to the confusion of the people around me and my dog, who was more then once jolted awake by my comments. 

"Nice! Mac and Vince are back in action!"
"hmmm... Staples? The good guy? Not sure about this..."
"Jimmy refers to himself as Jimmy. Yeah- this isn't going to end well."
"NO WAY! That's Staples' sister!!" (<-- Dog really jumped on that one)
"Wait! What? Dude... they should NOT have trusted Staples"

I'm sure there were many, many more comments that came out of my mouth, but the point is that if this is a feel good read. You can't help but get into it, to root for the good guys, to cheer for the good guy adjacent characters and really just enjoy the ride. I'm bummed that it's over. Still, now that I'm sitting in the drivers seat at the Middle School library I get to watch my students discover these books and enjoy them as much as I do, which is just as good! 

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