Wednesday, February 7, 2024

IWSG Review: Rattlesnake


February is here already. It is a month of love, presidents, human rights, groundhogs, and ice & snow. First Wednesday is kind of late this month, but it is here, and so is another Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG) post. This month, I am going to forego the question and jump right into my post.

I had the pleasure of reading fellow ISWG member C. Lee McKenzie's latest young adult offering, Rattlesnake.

I always look forward to Lee's books because she can elevate a story by adding an out of the box twist. Rattlesnake is no exception. The story of Jonah, his sister Allie, and his aunt Margaret are pulling up stakes and moving from New Hampshire to his deceased uncle's silver claim in Rattlesnake, Nevada.

Needless to say, Jonah and Allie are none too pleased to uproot their old lives for the unknown. Their aunt is trying to treat it all like a grand adventure and hopes the experience will be beneficial for all (there is the promise of an inheritance that includes a silver mine). When Rattlesnake turns out to be an unfriendly, God forsaken, dust bowl and the inheritance fails to materialize, everything goes from bad to worse.

I enjoyed the whole premise. McKenzie elevates the entire story by weaving in the story of a girl from the 1800s named Catherine. You won't believe how her story impacts Jonah's and vice-versa. When those two plotlines unexpectedly intersect, the book goes to a whole new level.

I think teens will enjoy the mystery and suspense. I know I certainly got caught up in the two plots, which to me were perfectly paced. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult, mystery, and historical fiction.

About the Book

The desert town of Rattlesnake isn’t a destination. It’s a last resort. Seventeen-year-old Jonah Guthrie’s aunt sold their home in New England and fled to this place to escape the humiliation of his dad’s indictment for embezzlement and subsequent disappearance.

While their late uncle left them a house and a silver mine, the house is a shambles and the mine is defunct. They’re almost out of money, so they have no choice but to stay in Rattlesnake. And then Jonah discovers they’ve inherited something else. Her name is Catherine, and she’s been dead for over a hundred year. Now, she needs his help.

About C. Lee McKenzie

I always have free gifts for visitors to my 
Blog, so stop by. Sign up and get your gift today, and you can see all of my work on Amazon. I'd love to connect with you on Instagram, too!

In my other life--the one before I began writing for teens and younger readers--I was a teacher and administrator at California State University, San Jose. My field of Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication has carried me to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. I can say, “Where’s the toilet?” and “I’m lost!” in at least five languages and two dialects. Go ahead. Pat me on the back.

My idea of a perfect day is one or all of the following: starting a new novel, finishing writing a blockbuster novel, hiking on a misty morning trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains, saying Namaste after a great yoga practice, sipping a cappuccino topped at a bustling café, reading in front of a fire with snow outside, swimming in an ocean someplace.

Where to Get It


  1. I love when I get to read and review a fellow author friend! Looks like an exciting read!

    1. Yes. It's the best. I am constantly amazed at the talent of my author friends.

  2. I'm finally making it around the blogs for this February! Thank you so much for this shout out, Greg. And congrats again on your newest award.

    1. Thank you, Lee! I have been negligent in responding to my own comments board. Lol. It must mean we have lots of good things keeping us busy!