FYI I'm currently 5 books behind in reviews. Sigh.
I picked up November Blues as part of our multicultural unit. I thought I was picking up the first book of a two-parter, but it turned out to be the middle book of a trilogy. FAIL. So this book picks up after Josh has died leaving his girlfriend, November, pregnant and his best-friend/cousin, Jericho, in so much grief that he can't play his trumpet. Okay the parallel kind of fails a bit.
Jericho copes with his grief by putting down his trumpet and trying out for the football team, which of course he's a natural at. At the same time he develops a relationship with Olivia, an otherwise-ignored tuba and sousaphone player, after he is dumped by Arielle. He also provides support to November and his yet-to-be-born cousin.
Obviously, this is November's story. Jericho's grief is great, I'm sure, but November will have a day-in, day-out reminder of Josh. Fortunately, she loved Josh, but she's not mourning him as her one, true love. She just has to deal with whether she should give up the baby to Josh's parents, how she is going to college now that she can't go to Cornell, a mom who is extremely disappointed in her, and worries that her baby will have the same genetic defects as her brother.
Couple that with a dramatic medi-vac flight to Good Sam (aka the hospital you can see my apartment from). And it's a good story. I had a couple issues with Draper's writing style. The dialect fell flat at times. And while I love me some Cincinnati shout-outs, it was almost too much. However, I think that was just the newness talking, because I had no such problems in the book that followed... So I'm pretty much willing to chalk it up to second-in-the-series sag (think Empire Strikes Back, New Moon, etc.*).
So check out The Jericho Trilogy and check back for reviews of Just Another Hero and The Battle of Jericho.
*Wait a second. Did she just put Star Wars and Twilight in the same category?!? Why yes I did. :-)