The Right Side

Written by Spencer Quinn

The Right Side


Spencer Quinn wrote one of my all-time favorite series.  Chet and Bernie hold a place in the pantheon of Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon, Flicka, and Percy Jackson.  Illustrious company in my book.  The day my dad handed The Right Side to me, my heart sank.  I am absolutely terrified that this means the end of Chet and Bernie.

Can we have a moment of silence, please?

What It’s About

LeeAnn Hogan is a soldier who was badly injured by a bomb in Afghanistan.  The Right Side is the story of what happens after.

The Good

Quinn makes Lt. Hogan human and relatable, even when she herself doesn’t want to be.  He avoids cliché even when it would be expected or understandable.  Instead, he paints the story of a difficult woman in a difficult situation.  Every time he breaks your heart, he takes you deeper.  This is a dark, disturbing story that feels so very real.  I don’t want to count the times he made me cry.

The Not-So-Good

I miss the light of Chet and Bernie.  But this is a different place and different story.

Final Thoughts

Look, this is not a tale of sweetness and light.  It’s not told by a dog.  It’s not fun.  But you read on because you have to help LeAnne make it.  You want her to be okay so very desperately.  When I was in high school, I wrote a college entrance essay about A Few Good Men, referencing the line, “They stand on a wall and say nothing’s going to hurt you tonight.  Not on my watch.”  LeAnne Hogan is a testament to that statement and to all those who watch over us.  This book tells the story of what happens “after”, how we find our place in the world.  It’s a story of a soldier who survives, but it’s also a story that explains life.


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