Chad Lutzke is a master at writing heartfelt stories, especially in the realm of coming-of-age tales. Slow Burn on Riverside is his latest to fit this category.
Technically a prequel to The Same Deep Water as You, this novella provides more background on the character named Jex. If you’re new to Lutzke’s work, I’d recommend reading these in order for the full effect, but it’s not a requirement. They both work as standalone stories too.
Lutzke’s stories are tough to put down, and this was no exception. It’s a quick read, and once I started, I knew I’d finish this in one or two sittings. The wild ride that is Jex’s summer goes by in a blur, but it’s packed full of human struggle and emotion. The story is told from Jex’s point of view, so we see his experiences and his feelings firsthand.
I loved that I found certain parts relatable, despite not sharing the exact same interests and life experience of the main character. The dialogue and the storyline are realistic enough to draw readers into the story and carry them along to the end. This one started out feeling like I was just along for the ride in the characters’ crazy summer, but ended with a creep factor I didn’t see coming. I love that it left me with questions regarding what truly happened.
I’ll say no more for fear of spoilers, but just know that if you’re into stories with heart and authenticity, Chad Lutzke’s writing should be on your shelf.