To me, there is always a lesson to be learned when I read a novel by Steven Manchester. In The Changing Season, Billy has his entire summer stretching out before him, with only thoughts of what he will study when he goes off to college, getting a job to earn money towards college and spending all the time he can with his elderly dog Jimmy.
He has some great friends and they are all loyal to each other as they grew up together. They go out to parties together and just generally have a great time as teenage boys should. Then because of jealousy, an accident occurs that claims the life of a fellow high school student. One of the boys that is the cause of the accident is in this group of friends that Billy has. Shortly after the accident, the boy tells Billy what he did. Billy wants him to turn man up and turn himself into the police. The boy refuses.
Billy gets himself a job at the local animal shelter and finds that this is something he really likes to do, even the unpleasant aspect of the job. He also spends as much time as he can with his dog but it is becoming increasingly difficult for Jimmy to run and play like he used to.
Billy meets the most beautiful girl, Vicki. He is head over heels for Vicki and the feeling is mutual, and they start spending a lot of time together. Billy finds out that the boy who died in the accident is a cousin to Vicki. He has a dilemma, he wants to tell Vicki what he knows but he still is loyal to his boyhood friend. What should he do? Should he still be loyal to his friend, even knowing that it could ruin his relationship with Vicki?
Billy has a lot of things he needs to decide on and all in the days of summer after high school graduation. This is the second book I have read by Mr. Manchester and like I said previously, there is definitely a lesson to be learned here, who do you stay loyal to and how do you decide what is right? These things are difficult as an adult but a boy on the cusp of manhood, it is very difficult indeed. Another great book, filled with emotion, love and respect on so many levels. I really enjoyed this novel and if you haven't read one of Steve Manchester's novels, then you are missing out on a great story!