During a long, troubling night, filled with threats and violence, three young adults stumble upon each other at a shady hotel. Roam is a Young Adult novel in the mystery, thriller and suspense genre. It is written by Erik Therme and was published on February 21, 2017.
We first meet Sarah Cate, a modern damsel in distress, on the occasion of her 21st birthday. After her car is stranded in the middle of the night and Matt, her angry boyfriend, frightens her, she sets out on an adventure alone.
Sarah is picked up by Kevin Reed who, during the course of the story, comes to her rescue multiple times, yet she still sees him as a kid due to a small age difference.
Sarah asks Kevin to take her to Scotty Mason, an old childhood friend, who is haunted by the death of his father and the feelings of guilt for not being able to prevent his death.
When these characters meet, their histories intertwine and lead to detrimental consequences following their foolish, yet at times compassionate, actions.
Erik Therme has created a true pager-turner with Roam, polishing credible protagonists. The supporting characters are even described in such details that you are able to imagine them in your mind. Sarah’s choice for abusive men is made clear once we meet her mother, who thinks that women should just be the Good Girlfriends who do not talk back. The best thing that could happen to Sarah is Kevin, the aspiring writer with a troubled past that he overcame through acts of kindness from strangers. Even though he doesn’t know Sarah, he helps her out and takes her to her childhood friend.
Scotty has had a tough time since his father died, not getting any help from his brother or girlfriend. His view of people is not the best, though we learn that he really does care for Sarah, feelings that will lead him to an unfavorable position at the end of the story.
While all the characters have compelling depths about them, there are some scenes described to a greater length than is necessary. For example, Scotty meets this dark stranger in the hotel who tells him the story of a boy being haunted by the ghost of his father, eventually killing himself. This leads Scotty to believe even more that he is responsible for his own father’s death. Yet, we never find out the real agenda of this stranger, why he tells the story to Scotty and how he knows about Scotty’s past in the first place.
The ending came abruptly and left me rather disappointed. I hoped that the author would fill in missing details as he had with many of the other scenes.
You also do not find out the fate of some characters, like Scotty and Sarah’s manipulative boyfriend Matt. That being said, it is still an enjoyable read that is hard to put down and has a surprising twist at the end.
By Erik Therme
When Kevin finds Sarah stranded by the side of the road, he’s more than willing to give her a ride. Young, beautiful and distraught—she’s everything a single guy could ask for in a girl. What he doesn’t know is that she already has a guy: an abusive, drunken boyfriend who left her there in a fit of rage. And when that boyfriend comes back and finds Sarah missing, a simple ride will turn deadly.
Like Josh Gaylord and Daniel Kraus before him, author Erik Therme explores the angst of disconnected youth in his enthralling and powerful Roam. Therme’s darkly tinged novel is an unforgettable tale of three errant souls brutalized by life’s cruel circumstances, and a remarkable night of discovery and violence that will change them forever.