Book Reivew: The Third Coin by J.A. Howard

Publishing Date: June 2014

Publisher: Apple Isalnd Press


Genre: Fantasy/ YA

Rating: 4.4/5

Publisher’s Description: Bea Brightman is smart; smart enough to know that being popular matters. And after attending eight schools in as many years, she’s got making friends down to a science. That is until her famed archaeologist father moves them to New York City in search of an ever-elusive coin. There she meets Nisha Lakewood who may hold the key to finding it. The only problem is, Nisha wants nothing to do with her.

Review: A very intricately crafted novel that is surprising in delivery with an attuned sense of creative intent. That surprise may have to do (in part) to the Scooby Doo cover art coupled with the Publisher’s Description lending itself to teens flouncing about with one-dimensional interest.

Bea is a superbly written character and draws you in with her focus on the mundane and insightful commentary. A great role model for kids yearning to be comfortable and at peace with who they are without regard. Inter-scholastic pressures not withstanding, the story line takes a comfortable turn into the fantastic and immediately pulls the reader into rooting for the home team. Meanwhile there is this constant build of uneasiness coupled with moments of positive interaction and clarity. This is very intelligent writing that keeps the reader yearning for mystery while providing a comfortable base in the form of family and friendship.

A few bad reviews rounds out what is considered generally favorable by the Goodreads crowd. There was nothing consistent in their dislike of the novel that I could find. One reviewer said there were plot holes everywhere but I think she meant “pot holes” as I could not discern the holes that she was referencing. Sure there are impossible events but this is a work of fantasy. “Preachy writing style” and “Annoying parts” are also referenced without elaboration. Yet I suppose the author deserves this kind of coverage as she rates reviews without content as well (“Becoming” by Micheal Obama).

All in all, a read I looked forward to every night. The ending hints at continuance so lets see if the characters continue to grow.


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