John A. Heldt is the prolific author of American Journey, a series of books dealing with time travel and the mysteries they could present. Class of ’59 is the fourth offering, putting modern day Mary Beth McIntire on a collision course with Mark Ryan, who just happens to reside in the same house. The only issue is their date of reference. Mark’s is March of ’59.
Set in Southern California, the book reminds me of the 1980’s movie Peggy Sue Got Married, where a woman travels back in time to about the same date. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and Heldt doesn’t disappoint in his description of the late ’50’s.
The scenes Heldt sets in LA and Hollywood are vaguely familiar to me from movies of that period, perhaps a treat to relive for older readers. Class of ’59 is 293 pages, about 4118 on my Kindle Fire, and a pleasure to read. Published on September 1, 2016, the novel runs $4.99.
The writing is good solid fun, and quite entertaining as believable characters (with backstory and actual feelings) move back and forth through time. The author focuses much of the story on what was happening in his characters minds in 1959, with high school and young love, instead of trying to prove the experience is real or worrying about the difference in our American heritage from 50-odd years ago. There is a huge difference, and it has to be dealt with, but it’s not the main story.
Characters: 16 Honesty: 16 Originality: 15 Plot and Pacing: 16 Storytelling: 17
CHOPS Review total on a scale of 100: 80 Points
Star grading: up to 19 points = 1 star, 20-39 points = 2 stars, 40-59 points = 3 starts, 60-79 points = 4 stars, 80-100 points= 5 stars