A review by bandaloop
A Penny For Your Thoughts: (The Lowback Series - Book 1) by Robert Ford, Matt Hayward


Sometimes we are handed events, and other times we choose them. Both come with a price, whether immediate or served cold, and the final bill is usually stuffed with interest, hidden fees, and flat-out robbery of the highway kind. A wheat penny for any wish you want? Who could resist? However, the old adage "be careful what you wish for" is taken to the extreme in this book-in the best possible ways. Remember: there is always a price.

Nestled between the main story of a jar of wishes wrapped around pennies, ready to be granted as soon as the papers are opened, is the story of addiction in its many forms, as well as secrets. Family secrets, neighborhood secrets, cosmic secrets. This novel weaves a thread of addiction to recovery, with the temptations, backsliding, and revelations that comes with it. Some secrets aren't revealed, just as they aren't in life. Some aren't meant to be.

We come away with the knowledge that shortcuts are not a replacement for hard work. Things we thought we wanted, things which would make our lives better, tend to be more of a hindrance or an outright nightmare.

Robert Ford and Matt Hayward managed to put together a tight, focused, and often hilarious piece of work (the double d boobs through line had me cackling each time), especially considering they live an ocean apart. The dialogue is real: staggered, broken sentences--in order words, it reads as if eavesdropping on a conversation.

The authors' voices meld into one, unlike other collaborations where it's easy to distinguish who wrote what. This comes as no surprise to me. Anything Robert Ford writes is brilliant, and I've been a die-hard Hayward fan since his short story collection "Brain Dead Blues".

Be prepared for long nights of little sleep, laughter, tears, chills, and warmth. And remember: Donuts are love.