One Part Angel by George Shaffner
Rating: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
Challenge: A-Z (title)
Summary/Review: This book is just as incomprehensible to me as the first one (In the Land of Second Chances) was, possibly more so. In many ways this book is little more than a retread of In the Land... except the "sermonettes" are slightly different. Instead of hope and faith, we have the difference between smart and stupid, and strong and weak. But the reasoning is the same: Let me prove to you why it makes more sense, from a rational perspective, to behave a smart way, as defined by the author, of course.
It's clear, from the title, if nothing else, that we're supposed to believe that Vernon Moore is something close to an angel. Maybe that's why the entire town accepts him into their lives and treats him as their long-lost best friend. I found it entirely unbelievable though. Yes, it's a small, friendly town, and yes, he's a nice guy, but that's about it. And yet, the entire town comes to believe that he's the only answer to all their troubles. So much for that old-fashioned mid-west belief in self-reliance!
Fortunately for them, though, he does return, and does manage to solve all their problems, while at the same time maintaining his secret identity and denying that he had anything at all to do with getting things fixed. Humble to an extreme, and way past the extreme, if you asked me.
I had just one other problem with this book, and it grated on me so much that I feel like I have to mention it: It's possible that Shaffner has never heard a teenage boy speak, even when he was one. He has his 16-year-old male character talking like a California valley girl who's been dropped into southeast Nebraska.
In short, this book bothered me on many levels and in ways that I can't fully explain. I'm only going to read the third book because I've already agreed to do so, but I hope some questions are answered there, because I'm certainly not going to read a fourth book (if there is one).