Tamed Lightning by Susana Acosta
Siblings Audrey and Kennedy are in search of someone whom they believe has kidnapped, and possibly murdered, their baby brother Bentley. After a risky prowl through an abandoned house raises life-changing questions, unusual behavior from best friends and neighbors cause alarm. Navigating this mysterious maze of lies will be especially difficult when their parents are out of town.
The premise is impressive. Taking a look inside we see this:
The game was getting old, but the creative ways to punish him were not. If my parents were not going to show a 5 year old how he should behave, and their poor parenting caused me to find silly drawings all over my diary, go on a weekly hunt for my belongings, and eat food with “surprising” ingredients, then I would at least show him how to not behave. I wasn’t the only one who took pride in this chance to train a monster child. My older brother, Kennedy, also shared in all the fun. Today, he was out with Bentley at the store buying him school supplies since Dad had an important deadline to meet for his business meeting tomorrow morning and was slightly behind schedule. Meanwhile, Mom was with Grandma Beth shopping for groceries and new bathroom towels.
All of ours had mysteriously gone missing after Bentley had his first sleep over with his other evil counterparts. I swear there’s something wrong with that kid. I was never that terrible as a child. And coming to think of it, neither was Kennedy. Our parents always bragged about that.
Grandma was in town, which meant everything had to be perfect, especially the food. Thank God I hadn’t gone with them; Nana B. (which is the nickname Kennedy and I had given her when we were kids) was so meticulous about everything and never seemed satisfied. Maybe it was because she was getting old, or maybe it was because by nature she just thought she knew best. In fact, I think they had returned from the market, because I could hear her downstairs complaining now.
“Honey, if you don’t want that chicken parmesan to be so salty, you shouldn’t add excessive spices into the pasta sauce. It just doesn’t make sense.”
I bet my mom had her back turned to her so that Nana B. couldn’t see her trying to hold back the frustrated expressions. Mom always says that mothers will always find ways in which their daughters should be doing something better whether it involves the men they choose, the way they dress or raise their kids, and of course, the way they cook. Every time my mom complains about her mom, I can’t help but wonder if my mom ever considers that I have complaints about her, too. Regardless, I know my mom tries her best always, and I hated when Nana B. nit picked because it would make her feel bad, so I thought about going downstairs soon just to save her. But suddenly I heard the soft, chiming bell melody that let me know someone was calling my phone.
The technical writing lacks experience, but it’s difficult to know if the story is worthwhile with only a small excerpt.
It sounds like a pretty Young Adult novella at something like 140 pages.