Cry Ohana: Adventure and Suspense in Hawaii
Rosemary & Larry Mild
Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views (11/10)
The story begins with a young family spending a pleasant day in the park. However, things quickly go awry upon their departure. They are involved in a horrible accident in which Malia (the mother) is killed. The father, Hank Pualoa, is imprisoned for his wife’s death, leaving the two children – Leilani and Kekoa (aged four-years and eighteen-months, respectively) – to be raised by their grandmother. After his release from prison, Hank disappears from their lives. About ten years later Kekoa, having witnessed a crime, reluctantly leaves his sister and grandmother in order to protect himself. Unsure of whom he can trust, he must deal with the fact that his survival is in his own hands.
The story focuses on the lives of Kekoa and Leilani as teenagers. After the death of their grandmother, their lives take very different paths. Leilani, although she misses her brother and grandmother, gets the much better fortune in life. She is sent to live with a kind family that has a daughter around her age. She attends an elite college preparatory school and dreams of going to college on the mainland. Kekoa, on the other hand, ends up alone on the streets fighting for his survival and is unable to make plans for his future. However two things still bind them together – the longing for a reunion with each other and the prospect of learning their father’s fate.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. Selecting Hawaii as the setting was an excellent idea. The authors drew me in with their detailed descriptions of the beautiful scenery. The main characters are likable and I truly felt the realness of their pain as well as their happiness. I did find that some parts of the story were dragged out a little too much, while other parts were rushed through too quickly.
“Cry Ohana: Adventure and Suspense in Hawaii” is a suitable book for people sixteen and older. The plot is entertaining and unique. There are secrets between the characters as well as a presiding air of mystery and intrigue. The overwhelming theme of the story is that obstacles can be overcome, but only if the person is brave enough to face them instead of hiding from them.