Struck by Conscience by C.K Green
Publisher: Whimsical Publications
Genre: Contemporary, Sci Fi/Fantasy
Age Recommendation: 12+
Length: Short Story (48 pgs)
Rating: 4 suns
Reviewed by Forsythia
I, Charisma Mansfield, do solemnly swear that... I never asked to be popular. I never asked to be voted Prom Queen. I definitely never asked to have an invisible pixie perched on my shoulder whispering her opinions into my ear 24/7. But of all the things I never asked for, this is the worst one yet—when brooding but gorgeous Heath Ruvelas (my next door neighbor and the guy I used to be best friends with before jr. high) rescued me from drowning in the school pool. My already bizarre life would never be the same.
When life flashes before your eyes, what do you hope to see? C.K. Green's Struck by Conscience really makes you wonder this very question in the first pages of her book. Charisma Mansfield isn't your ordinary teenager. Not only does her life take a different turn after she nearly drowned in a pool, she also carries around a little sprite on her shoulder named Dahlia since as far back as she can remember. Although that sounds a little far-fetched, Charisma (Risa for short) seems to be a very genuine and strong character. For a short story she is definitely one of the best written characters I've seen in a while. Green's writing helps you get to know Risa and feel everything the character is feeling.
Risa's life came into prospective when she almost drowned in her school gym's swimming pool. As her life flashed before her eyes it seemed so unexciting and mundane! Sure, she was the popular girl in school and every girl wished to be her. She was voted homecoming and prom queen and had her token popular boyfriend at her side. Was this what she really wanted? Why didn't her boyfriend jump in after her? Why was it her childhood friend that she traded in for popularity helped her instead? Now her feelings toward everything started shifting gears. Luckily, she had her little sprite to help her make some decisions.
My favorite thing about this story was the fact that what most teenage girls strive for wasn't what Risa wanted and it made her such a strong character. Torn between life changing moments, confused feelings of love and loss from what she's been so used to, C.K. Green makes Risa feel so real to the reader. The things people might think are important really aren't what defines you as a person. When life takes you to a cross road which road will you take? I think Ms. Green wrote a great heart felt story with little whimsical twists following Risa around. Hopefully, there will be more of Risa and Dahlia to look forward to in the future. It really was an impressive coming-of-age story. It made this reader fall into the story from the moment Risa fell into that pool.