Young adult fiction has always been my favorite genre. And in January, I joined the 10 minute novelists Facebook group in a late-attempt at joining the 365k club (I was two days too late), and I introduced myself.
Near the end of January/beginning of February, I happened to see a “Buddy Day post request for reviews” one of which was for this very book, The Marshall Plan. The book is a young adult novel, and sequel to the Partition of Africa, in Ard’s The Bennett Series.
Published in October 2015, The Marshall Plan is written by Olivia Folmar Ard, my fellow colleague from the 10 minute novelists.
Olivia began writing creatively at eight years old. During middle and high school, she attended several writing conferences and submitted poems and short stories to various writing contests. She finished her first long work of fiction, a novella entitled Heaven’s Song, in the tenth grade. Her short story “By Its Cover” placed first in its division in the 2008 District III Alabama Penman Creative Writing Contest. She took a reprieve from writing during her years at the University of Montevallo, where she earned a degree in history in 2012. She finished and published her first novel, The Partition of Africa, in 2014.
Olivia currently lives in central Alabama with her husband, to whom she’s been wed since the age of twenty-two, and their cat, Buddy. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys watching quality television–The Office (US), Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock, and Friends are her favorites–and cooking without recipes. Along with working full-time at her alma mater and studying English at the graduate level, she is busy working on her next literary adventure (Taken from Amazon.com).
What I love most about The Marshall Plan as a whole was that there was never one minute while reading it that I was bored or didn’t feel like I was learning something new about the human experience or the main character Molly Marshall.
I became so engrossed in the story that I felt myself not only relating to Molly but morphing into her. I mean I related to her on so many levels:
- Graduated college but unable to find a job where I could use my degree or degree-related skills
- She has a roommate of a handful of years that doesn’t really acknowledge her because she’s too busy pleasing her boyfriend in every way
- Molly struggles with insecurities that prevent her dream of being a writer coming true that stem from her rough and emotional abusive relationship with her father.
- Gavin insists on waiting until marriage for Molly and him to share physical intimacy (This was refreshing to see featured as a choice of the main male character featured in young adult literature).
Even though I read this book for free as a favor for a friend, I would recommend that everyone read it because Ard commands your undying attention from the first and last touch of the pen to paper. I now am aching to read the next work in the Bennett Series.