“Cuckoo Cuckoo” by Nicholas Ponticello

Cuckoo Cuckoo

Nicholas Ponticello
Independently Published (2022)
ISBN: ‎978-0990824725
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (10/2022)

Charles Abernathy Vanderough, also known as Charlie B, has just graduated from the Price-Harold School for Boys. What makes this school distinctive is that is a private school for clones. Charlie had a donor, rather than a father. Expecting to graduate with great wealth, like his classmates, Charlie is dismayed when he discovers that his donor, Charlie A, wanted him to have a different life than one of great wealth and privilege, and left him barely enough to support himself for a year. Charlie A wanted to help Charlie B escape committing suicide, as he and his predecessor had done. He felt a meaningful life could help prevent this. By meaningful, he meant a life where you have to earn a living. Charlie B is furious! So, he decides to go to Charlie A’s mansion and deceitfully insinuate himself in with his family. This family is a cast of eccentric characters that harbor their own secrets. Unusual circumstances occur and Charlie finds himself remembering things that he should not be able to, and he sees an apparition that helps guide him to critical information. While engaging in deceptive activities, he soon discovers that he is not alone in creating a false image. The house is full of secrets. Charlie must make huge changes to try to escape the same fate as his predecessors. Can he do it?

“Cuckoo Cuckoo,” is such a uniquely creative tale. I felt like I was on a roller coaster! I loved the inventiveness of Nicholas Ponticello. I liked how well he incorporated real current events into the storyline. He also did a wonderful job of creating a cast of quirky, eccentric people. The protagonist is not very likeable because he is a greedy little monster who feels that he should override his donor’s wishes, even though his donor was trying to do what was best for him. While I noted that his behavior was not very nice, I also could understand why he felt he was entitled to a huge inheritance. He does have the same exact genes as his donor, so why not let him be rich too?

Interspersed in with the story are current events that were actually taking place around 2015-16. It was refreshing to see all the actual life events that were mentioned in this story. It was also nice that it was pre-pandemic, so we did not get over exhausted from a situation that seems never ending. The current events and the politics were all too realistic! It was funny to note that some of those famous, real life politicians that were portrayed also had clones getting ready to graduate. I cannot wait to read more books by this author. Readers will love “Cuckoo Cuckoo!”

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