I received this book for free from Author, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Class of '59 by John A. Heldt
Series: American Journey #4
on September 2, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
Source: Author, Publisher
When Mary Beth McIntire settles into a vacation house on June 2, 2017, she anticipates a quiet morning with coffee. Then she hears a noise, peers out a window, and spots a man in 1950s attire standing in the backyard. She panics when the trespasser sees her and enters the house though a door to the basement. She questions her sanity when she cannot find him.
In the same house on March 21, 1959, Mark Ryan finds a letter. Written by the mansion’s original owner in 1900, the letter describes a basement chamber, mysterious crystals, and a formula for time travel. Driven by curiosity, Mark tests the formula twice. On his second trip to 2017, he encounters a beautiful stranger. He meets the woman in the window.
Within hours, Mary Beth and Mark share their secret with her sister and his brother and begin a journey that takes them from the present day to the age of sock hops, drive-ins, and jukeboxes. In CLASS OF ’59, the fourth book in the American Journey series, four young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they navigate the corridors of time and experience Southern California in its storied prime.
My take on this book: Class of ’59 by John A. Heldt is a must read for any reader that loves historical romances or even just loves the 50s. This book is different from the other two books that I have read of Mr. Heldt’s. This is the first book that I am aware of his that has four different main characters. Along with the four different main characters, it also has six different third person point of view chapters scattered throughout the book.
The main character is Mary Beth McIntire. She is a twenty-two-year-old soon-to-be medical student who is spending the summer in Los Angeles, California with her mom, dad, and sister at the house of professor Geoffrey Bell.
What I like about her is that despite losing her fiancé a few months ago she’s still trying to be happy and not ruin her family vacation. She still wants to be a medical student despite losing her plan for her life. I also like how she is kind of like a typical Southern Belle but not completely. What I mean by that is that yeah, she can act polite and do all of this other stuff that a normal Southern girl would but she also doesn’t have a problem speaking her mind and she wants to be a doctor. Mary Beth overall is a great and wonderful young woman who tries to be a good person. She sees the good in everyone despite the trouble that she accidentally brings to herself, her sister, and the two young men they find themselves to be within 1959.
What I don’t like about Mary Beth McIntire is that she falls in love too easily the second time. She is supposed to be mourning the loss of her fiancé but then she runs into this guy from the past and she falls for him. I get that he reminds her of her fiancé but still. This is truly a minor issue for this character, though, as Mr. Heldt has written her so well that she is very three dimensional in my honest opinion.
The second character is Mark Ryan. He is a twenty-two-year-old college senior who is studying to be an engineer so that he could build rockets when he is able to and he lives in 1959 Los Angeles, California.
What I like about Mr. Ryan is that he is a very polite gentleman (you know typical of that era) that tries not to fall for Mary Beth.Ryan has two sides, we see the gentleman side of him when he’s out and about with everyone else, then we see the way he is at home, that side is a very family-orientated man that wants to be there for his family. Reading about Mark Ryan we get a sneak peek into the way they live back then in the 1950s if some of the readers weren’t alive back then (like me). The fifties were a pretty interesting time period. What else I liked about Mark is that he was very kind and generous to Mary Beth and Piper. He helped bring them back into their time, but he was nice and helped them out in his time as well.
What I dislike about Mark is that he didn’t really think about with what would happen if he fell in love with Mary Beth until it happened and they had to say goodbye. I know that is something that no one can predict happening. I also dislike that he didn’t see the trouble from the beginning. Good thing that everything worked out quite well for these four people.
The third character is Piper McIntire. She is an eighteen-year-old high school graduate who is spending her summer vacation in Los Angeles with her parents and sister. She is planning on going to college in Tennessee for dance and art history. Although her parents are not being thrilled about her going to Tennessee.
What I like about Piper McIntire is that she is independent. Another thing that I liked about her is that she knows what she wants. The other thing that I liked about her is that she loves to speak her mind and tell things the way it is. Piper is a very charismatic character, I truly enjoyed her insights.
What I dislike about her is that she doesn’t have a filter, what she thinks just comes out her mouth. Another thing that I dislike about Piper is that she is afraid to engage at times. She doesn’t want to lose anyone close to her.
The fourth character is Ben Ryan. He is an eighteen-year-old high school senior who is still in school in Los Angeles, California in 1959. He lives at home with his brother and mom but is different from his brother.
What I like about Ben is that he doesn’t take no for a final answer, he keeps trying. I think that Ben would be considered a player back in the fifties despite not really being one. Ben doesn’t let his brother makes his decisions.
What I dislike about him is that he is a very cocky person that ends up butting heads with Piper. Although I thought a lot it was kind of cute. Another thing that I dislike about Ben is that he is also very stubborn and didn’t know what to think when the girl he likes didn’t fall for him straight away.
What moved me about this story is the four people’s determination to have a good time in the fifties while also making sure no one finds out about the time travel tunnel. I totally loved the settings and the time travel. I felt like I was transported therethrough Mr. Heldt’s words so I could share the once in a lifetime moments with these wonderful characters. My favorite supporting character I think would have to be Donna Ryan but I won’t get why as I don’t want to ruin the story.
Class of ’59 by John A. Heldt is an amazing book. I am giving this book a five-star rating. I couldn’t stop thinking about it at all or wanting to read about what would happen next to the wonderful characters. In my mind, Mr. Heldt is a fantastic writer that can take you to place you never imagined, including the different time periods he chooses for his books. I still like his way of time travel as it is different than what we are used to seeing/reading about and it’s pretty amazing to read about. This is the third book by him that I have read and I can’t wait to read his other books.
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**Where to find Class of ‘59**
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