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5 Star IHIBRP Book Review: “Sandhills – A Novel” by Alan Vandervoort

A Breathtaking Coming-Of-Age Masterpiece!

Alan Vandervoort’s “Sandhills” is beautifully written, with scenes that will take your breath away! This novel takes the American dream and turns it on its head as a group of small-town, high-school teens is impacted and challenged by their parents’ own hopes and visions for their children’s futures.

The story takes place in Portsmouth, Ohio, where a young teen named Jeremy shows an amazing talent for music—much to his single-minded, sports-motivated father’s chagrin. When Jeremy can no longer take his father’s constant harassment and bullying, he makes plans to leave Portsmouth behind upon his graduation to seek out his freedom in sunny California. The only problem is… he’s clearly abandoning Kate—the love of his life and the girl of his dreams.

Vandervoort winds an intricate yarn in “Sandhills”, weaving several teen lives together in order to present a visual tapestry of how the unfulfilled dreams and expectations of parents can weigh heavy on the hearts of budding young adults. There are no deceptions or detours in this novel—Vandervoort effectively deals with the typical teen topics of self-esteem, acceptance, bullying, suicide, and all the other pressures that come to bear in the formation of a young life, with the clarity and understanding of one who has either studied the subject of teen angst extensively or experienced it himself firsthand. His characters are as real as any neighborhood teenager group—so real, one feels as though they are sitting beside you, seeking counsel and advice.

Although there is some strong language, and spots where the dialogue seems much too mature for a pre-teen in middle school, snappy repertoires combined with typical teen banter and a few really great wisecracks caused me to burst out laughing a time or two… or ten… or twenty.

“Sandhills” gives much insight into the stressful yet magical years when children seem to search out their independence by turning away from parents to seek guidance from their peers in order to transition to adulthood. I highly recommend this read for the young at heart and romantics, but also for mature teens, young adults, and parents looking for common ground in dealing with their relationships.

Congratulations to the author on this IHIBRP 5 Star Recommended Read!

Find “Sandhills – A Novel” by Alan Vandervoort on Amazon & Kindle at


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