Review: The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson


Title: The Prince of Venice Beach
Author: Blake Nelson
Pub. Date: June 2014
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ⭐⭐


Robert “‘Cali” Callahan is a teen runaway, living on the streets of Venice Beach, California. He’s got a pretty sweet life: a treehouse to sleep in, a gang of surf bros, a regular basketball game…even a girl who’s maybe-sorta interested in him.

What he doesn’t have is a plan.

All that changes when a local cop recommends Cali to a private investigator who is looking for a missing teenager. After all, Cali knows everyone in Venice. But the streets are filled with people who don’t want to be found, and when he’s hired to find the beautiful Reese Abernathy, who would do anything to stay hidden, Cali must decide where his loyalties truly lie.

The Review

I am getting tired of reading books that I have no opinion on whatsoever. It’s not that The Prince of Venice Beach was bad. I started it and finished it in a timely manner, and it kept me intrigued until the end. However, there were issues. Which leaves me in a rating dilemma.

Cali is a street kid who just happens to live in a treehouse. He doesn’t go without food, appears to be somewhat clean, etc. I’ve been out on my luck before, but never living on the streets or to such “extremes” that Cali is living. With that said, I can’t say that I know the ins and outs of how to be a street kid. I know there are ways to live a non-street life while still living the street life, but it just seemed odd and unbelievable.

There was no character development. Each character just fell short and felt flat, with no personality. Even Cali’s desire to become a private investigator was unbelievable – he knew he was good at what he did, but the passion he should’ve felt toward doing it for a living didn’t feel real.

Then there’s Reese. Her character at the beginning seemed wild and free, but you knew there was something strange about her. Obviously she was escaping from something. The ending felt cliffhanger-ish in the fact that there wasn’t any real declaration of what happened to Reese’s mother, how her father was involved, etc. The ending felt forced and sudden, and felt like it didn’t quite belong in this story somehow.


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