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A Reason To Forget: Training Games


Must read 🏆

Readers will not be able to put down this heart-pounding thriller until the final page has turned.

Unbounded love between a girl and her grandfather can reach into the depths of forgotten memories. Twelve-year-old Jazz Taylor is devastated by her grandfather’s rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s diagnosis and does everything she can to keep him safe when he is in her care. When his paranoia increases and he loses track of who his family members are, Jazz’s parents are forced to consider professional memory care for him and choose not to tell Jazz right away. In order to ease the transition, Jazz is forced to attend a sleep-away camp while her parents settle Grandpa in to his new surroundings. A scruffy hitchhiker catches Jazz’s eye on the way to camp, foreshadowing a terrifying sequence of events to come.

From the first chapter, readers are drawn into Jazz’s world and connect with her family and their struggles with her grandfather’s illness. Jazz’s love for her grandfather is so profound that she will do anything to make him well again, including searching for diamonds supposedly hidden in a nearby cave. Clues unfold expertly in the text, causing readers to question exactly who her grandfather is as well as the shared history between him and Jazz.

Told from multiple perspectives thanks to an omniscient third-person narrator, readers get a first-hand look at the story from several angles, increasing the dramatic tension throughout the narrative. Though it at first seems like a story set in a world of magic realism, the second half of the book turns that on its head and plunges readers into a page-turning thriller filled with suspense and danger. Frightening action sequences and a heart-pounding race for survival will make even brave readers jump at unexpected sounds.

This book blends middle-grade comedy and friendship with a Hannibal Lecter-esque villain; it straddles the genres of middle grade and YA and is accessible to a wide spread of ages. The first in a series, this unique story will have readers clambering to read the next installment as soon as this book ends. This is a highly recommended tale for readers who enjoy a captivating thriller with wholesome family values.

Reviewed by

I review books for kids, tweens, and teens and blog about them on my website. To date, I have over 500 published reviews. Sign up for my monthly newsletter at to get recommendations straight to your inbox! I primarily write reviews, but will create video reviews upon request.

A Big Responsibility

About the author

C. L. Giles is the author of A Reason to Forget: Training Games, nominated for the Dixie Lee Connor Award for Exceptional Children's Writing. Her protagonists exemplify the fighting spirit in all ordinary heroes and the extraordinary ability they cultivate to overcome insurmountable problems. view profile

Published on April 09, 2021

50000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Young Adult

Reviewed by