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Robert Zimmermann

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Falling in Fiji (The Falling in Paradise Series) (Volume 1)
Casey Hagen, Lisa Ricard Claro
Progress: 141/286 pages
Little Bernie's Map - Troy Aaron Ratliff I liked this story from the very beginning. The story line of Daniel and his family’s economic troubles drew me right in. I felt like this was going to be a very touching story that many Americans today can relate to.

Eventually my assumption was proven false. The outcome of the story was very far from what I had expected, but that’s not to say it was bad. There was a great build up of the characters and their lives. Daniel was recently let off of work and this was the last vacation he would be able to provide for his wife and young son, Bernie, for the perceived future. The story takes place on the ride back home from Florida to Ohio. That’s where I thought this story would stay.

Even after seeing this story labeled as “horror” on Amazon, I thought there must have been a mistake. How could an author take such a down to Earth set-up and turn the lives of the characters and the readers upside down. Well, Ratliff found a way. I can’t get into what this change was since I don’t want to give away the surprise twist, but I will say it reminded me of something from a Douglas Adams novel. In a way it could be considered “horrific” to readers if they put themselves in the character’s place. For me though, it was on the border of hilarious and absurd. But as I said, this isn’t a bad thing. I really think that this could have been a historical entry in the Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy...though much shorter and less caring for those involved (haha).

All in all, read this story. It’s short; it’ll touch your heart at times. Then it’ll either scared the hell out of you or make you crack up a little bit.

Side note to finish this off: I don’t know if the author intended for me to find bits of this comedic or not, but in my reading of this I more found humor in the tragic event in which the main characters were involved, rather than shock and horror. I think this lead to me enjoying the story more in the end.