Book Review: The Diary of Dakota Hammell April 19, 2011Posted by Jaidis in 4 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews.
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Dakota Hammell was an ordinary teenager until he ran away from home at the age of sixteen, but after being brutally beaten, raped and left for dead, there seems to be little hope in his life—that is, until a man claiming to be a psychologist walks into the alleyway he’s lying near-dead in and offers him a second chance at life. John tells Dakota he can stay with him as long as he wants, but there’s a catch: For each day he stays, he has to write a journal entry about his life, his problems, and his potential future. With little choice, Dakota agrees, but is wary of the situation, as past experience with strangers has shown to have negative effects. But when things with John begin to work out and life becomes nothing out of the ordinary, his heart finally begins to open and his journey can finally be told.
A story of hope, of healing, and ultimately, of friendship, The Diary of Dakota Hammell offers a brief glimpse into a life of fractured teenager who has lost everything but his ability to write.
The Diary of Dakota Hammell by Kody Boye introduces readers to the intimately personal journal entries of teen runaway Dakota Hammell. After running away from home, Dakota is forced to do whatever it takes to survive, even if that means selling himself to make some extra cash. After a tragic event that left Dakota raped and beaten, the friendly John takes Dakota under his wing. John is a psychologist and tells Dakota that he can stay in the spare room at his house but he must earn his keep by writing a journal. The more he writes, the longer he can stay. Thankful and having nowhere else to go, Dakota accepts the offer and so The Diary of Dakota Hammell is created. John takes care of Dakota, not only by getting him proper medical care and a safe place to stay, but by being a friendly shoulder to lean on.
Being written in a journal format, it was very easy for me to experience the emotions that Dakota struggled with on his path to self discovery. At times I felt as though I was invading Dakota’s privacy by reading the intimate details of not only his tragic rape but his every day living. Dakota doesn’t have any labels for himself or know where his future is headed, but lives in the now while trying to make peace with the past.
The Diary of Dakota Hammell didn’t end the way that I thought it would which was both intriguing and frustrating at the same time. I can’t really say why I felt this way without giving away the ending so I will just say that the ending felt a little rushed.
Mr. Boye did a wonderful job in telling such a dark and tragic story while shining light on the fact that goodness and friendship does still exist in the world today.
The Diary of Dakota does contain adult language as well as M/M scenes so should only be read by mature adult audiences.