Compulsion by Heidi Ayarbe

The set-up: The set-up: High school soccer star Jake has to use his magic numbers to get through the week before the final soccer game of the year – the state championship.

Main character’s goals: Jake wants, no needs to win Saturday’s soccer game, because he believes if he does, he won’t need “the numbers” anymore.

My reaction: The whole time I was reading, I was worried. Would Jake help his team win the match? Would he beat the numbers? Would his secret come roaring out at the worst possible moment?

My other reaction: I used to make up equations (usually very simple) ones, for the numbers on digital clocks. Example: 11:24. 1 + 1 + 2 = 4. It would bother me if I couldn’t get them to work, and I’d toy with them, trying to square things if there was a 2, or do division or combine digits…luckily, my being “bothered” if it didn’t work didn’t translate into freaking out.

Of interest to writers: Study this for keeping the tension up in your writing. Look at how sections and chapters are ended, how there’s always something to worry about. I’m feeling tense just remembering Jake’s story. Study the first pages – that right there was tense. Even if I’d wanted to put the book aside to do something else, I couldn’t have.

Bottom line: Clear a day to read this one, you won’t want to put it down. You’ve gotta wait until tomorrow, May 3rd, though – that’s when it’s available for sale.

INTERVIEW WITH HEIDI AYARBE AND COMPULSION GIVE-AWAY COMING UP!!! This Friday or next! Stay tuned! Exciting! Lots of exclamation points!!!

To visit Heidi Ayarbe’s website, click here. To read my review of her previous book, Compromised, click here.

Reminds me of: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. I’m going for the obvious connection, here. Boy protagonist, a little numbers-obsessed.

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