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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of Santa Ana by Addison J. Chapple with Rachael Flanery

I loved the premise and start of this zany story in which a statistics geek braves his high school reunion, only to be mistaken for a drug kingpin named Santa Ana, but the prolonged gory and absurd scenes made me impatient.

Santa Ana is a madcap story about a misfit who's mistaken for a drug kingpin at his high school reunion.

The authors alternate points of view to show the perspectives of the statistics geek, the best friend intrigued by him, the meathead, the "it" girl, and an omniscient narrator with a twisted sense of humor who breaks the fourth wall and directly addresses the reader/listener.

The California setting is vivid, and the story is zany, entertaining, and full of dark humor. I loved the bizarre twist on high school nostalgia.

The absurdity of the premise had me hooked early on, but in the last quarter of the book the screwball events shift into an ongoing, gory bloodbath. This squashed much of my interest, as I couldn't let myself be lost in the insanity any longer because it was so violent.

The drug-fueled hallucinations late in the book felt like an opportunity to explore pure feelings and for the straight-laced main protagonist to cut loose, but these went on too long for me, and I became impatient with them.

I liked the sassy twists at the end of the book and the way the story is wrapped up, and I enjoyed the inclusion of the Santa Ana winds and their mythical, powerful, chaotic effects. The narrators were wonderfully animated.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

I listened to Santa Ana courtesy of and Blackstone Publishing.


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