Welcome back to my blog fellow book sharks, writers, bloggers, loyal readers, friends, family and everyone in between!
Jana here, back ‘atcha with another book review, this one on a book I had borrowed from my library simply due to the cover and title. I didn’t even read the synopsis when I checked it out, but I felt I got the gist of the story premise from just the cover and title.
So, without further adieu, let’s dive on in to Prince of Pot by Tanya Lloyd Kyi.
Release Date: September 5, 2017
GoodReads Synopsis: “Isaac loves art class, drives an old pickup, argues with his father and hangs out with his best buddy, Hazel. But his life is anything but normal. His parents operate an illegal marijuana grow-op, Hazel is a bear that guards the property, and his family’s livelihood is a deep secret.
It’s no time to fall in love with the daughter of a cop.
Isaac’s girlfriend Sam is unpredictable, ambitious and needy. And as his final year of high school comes to an end, she makes him consider a new kind of life pursuing his interest in art, even if that means leaving behind his beloved home in the Rockies and severing all ties with his family.
For a while he hopes he can have it all, until a disastrous graduation night, when Sam’s desperate grab for her father’s attention suddenly puts his entire family at risk.”
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟.5 (3.5/5)
**NOTE: Feel free to click on the cover photo up above to be taken directly to the Goodreads page to add this novel to your TBR!**
This book begins and we meet Issac and his family – his mother, father, and grandfather – discussing the new arrivals to their town, the Druids. Issac and his family are marijuana farmers, a tradition passed down in their family from generation to generation. They live in the Rocky Mountains of Canada’s western provinces, in a very small, very well camouflaged cabin, on a very large grow-op specializing in true BC Bud, famous for a strain named Draft Dodger Dark. With the convening of the “druids” in the near-by town, Issac is sent out on a boarder patrol of his families property, and this, is where our story really begins.
While on his patrol, Issac wanders across a hiker, a girl he recognizes from school named Sam. As he deters Sam from wandering too close to his families livelihood, he becomes enamored with this girl with the brightly coloured lipstick. He takes Sam on a walk through the woods, showing her his special place – a secluded waterfall, before running into Hazel on their way back from their walk. Hazel, the giant brown bear that lives on the family property with three other bears, frightens Sam, and it’s Issac the rescue telling Hazel to “bugger off” and off the bear goes. Little to Sam’s knowledge, Issac raised Hazel from a cub and was the only to bottlefeed the infant bear. Hazel is as much as pet to Issac, as my puppy Piper, my dog Cash, and my other rescues are to me.
The following day, low and behold, the low profile that Issac has promised his father he would keep in order to no longer be homeschooled and to attend the local public highschool has been blown by one walk with a girl in the woods. Sam, despite not realizing the outcome of her actions, took it upon herself to tell some friends about their interaction with the bear in the woods, and Issac becomes a bear-whispering hero. Slowly, more and more people know his name and recognize him in the hallways instead of passing by him as if he was just another kid in school. Not exactly the best thing for the Prince of Pot and heir to a major marijuana grow-op located in the Rocky Mountains of Canada’s western provinces.
Over the course of the next few chapters, Sam and Isaac’s relationship blossoms, and for the first time in his life, Isaac thinks there may be a chance for him to be something other than just a pot-farmer like his father, and grandfather before him. Isaac has dreams of being an artist, and has never even thought of pursuing them as he knew his father would be against it and tell him it was a waste. [side bar: I hate parents that put dampers on their children’s dreams – screw off, it’s their dream, not yours. Aren’t parents supposed to support their children’s hopes and dreams? I know my parents did.]
After a few dates with Sam, Isaac learns something that puts his entire family and their family business in deep trouble – Sam’s dad is an RCMP constable. For those of you not in Canada, the RCMP are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and located out in the Western provinces of Canada. A lot of times they’re seen mounted on horses doing their patrols, and they are the main law-force enforcers out in Canada’s amazingly beautiful western provinces – if you haven’t visited western Canada, I implore you to. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to, and been lucky enough to live for a portion of my life. But, let’s continue on with this review.
Throughout the book, Sam and Isaac’s relationship grows, and becomes more and more turmoil. Isaac’s low profile is no longer so low, with Sam writing brightly coloured apology letters on his locker in lipstick, to her telling her friends about the things she does with Isaac and the interactions they have had. It becomes very clear to Isaac that he and Sam are from completely different walks of life, and want different things in their lives. The thing is, he can’t help the way he feels about her and how much he is drawn to her. She is like no one he has ever met before, and she makes him feel something he’s never felt in his life. Sam makes Isaac feel like there is something else out there for him other than a life operating a marijuana farm.
As the book comes close to the end, Isaac is on point for graduation – a celebration he never intended on attending, with good reason as getting to town, or getting his parents to come to town, is never an easy task what with the hike from the cabin to the ATV, then taking the ATV down to the logging road where Isaac leaves his beat-up old pick-up truck.
After attending graduation, and being surprised by his sister whom had moved into town the year prior, went to the family cabin to look after their grandfather whom had suffered a stroke, Isaac’s parents were able to attend and see him graduate from high school.
After the graduation ceremony, Isaac takes Sam to the graduation dance, and subsequently the after-party, which is where the story takes a turn for the worse. It becomes very apparent to Isaac that Sam was never truly interested in him as a person or a boyfriend, she was only interested in making her over-bearing RCMP father angry. Through out the novel, it becomes slowly apparent that Sam is a wild child, hell-bent on making her father’s life a living hell, and making absolutely everything difficult for him.
Now, I don’t want to give away the ending of the book because I mean, I think you should form your own opinion, but, I will say it took a turn for the worse, and I wasn’t exactly expecting what I got. Not to mention, when the author killed off my favourite character in the entire book, I sat in my chair sobbing, while my husband looked at me like a crazy person and asked why I continued to read if it was making me cry. Quite obviously I needed to know exactly how it ended, and I will say this – I was so angry with the ending it basically ruined the entire book for me. I was enjoying it, it was an easy, light read, until the ending. It doesn’t feel like the book was finished. I was left wondering what the hell is going to happen to Isaac next and how he deals with how things panned out in the end.
All in all, I enjoyed most of the book, up until the last few chapters. I felt the ending could have used more and there were so many questions left unanswered. It does leave room for a sequel, but I am unsure if the author has plans to continue on in Isaac’s story, or if she intended to leave the reader wondering and questioning. I don’t believe I would re-read this book, but I am happy to have read it, and will be adding it to my personal library, if only for nostalgia purposes.
Well, that’s all for today’s review. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you end up picking up this book, please let me know what you thought. If you end up writing up a review, I’d also love to read that so make sure you send me a link to your finished review!
As always, may your coffee be strong, and your books transport you somewhere magical. And remember to stay wild, moonchildren, and creep it real, witches.