“Wheelboys,” by Dd Jaseron. BookPatch LLC

In this resounding debut novel by Dd Jaseron, readers are strapped in for a twisting, turning ride through the world of competitive karting that explores speed, grief and greed in surprisingly profound ways. “Wheelboys” delivers excitement and suspense on the track while also examining how youthful aspirations and a need for speed can be exploited by the very figures that young racers idolize.

In the opening of the book, a horrible auto accident claims the life of a young woman and puts the driver, Gary Lee, in a coma. Gary Lee’s parents hope for the best outcome for their son but are troubled to learn of a criminal investigation, which initially determines excessive speed to be the cause of the fatal accident. Gary Lee’s affiliation with the local karting club is implicated in this tragedy as the town of Blue Springs, Alabama, is suddenly divided by the tragedy. Many residents of the otherwise quiet town blame the racing club for encouraging dangerous behavior on the roads and contributing to the loss of more than one young life. Some defend Gary Lee, insisting that boys will be boys and that the crash was simply an unfortunate accident.


While Gary Lee fights for life in the hospital, his best friend and racing partner, Chad Gibbons, is left to navigate an uncertain future on his own. Chad and Gary Lee always dreamed of breaking into professional auto racing together and achieving greatness on the track. After the accident, Chad faces even greater challenges and risks to reaching his goals of racing glory. Faster karts, more aggressive drivers and mounting costs for club membership threaten Chad’s dream, but he is determined to achieve greatness and move beyond the small town where he was raised.

One of the remarkable aspects of this book is how Jaseron incorporates a number of characters and shifts in perspective in a meaningful and moving way. The story moves beyond the limited perspectives of Gary Lee and Chad to incorporate a number of side stories and additional points of view in the telling. Gary Lee’s parents, Elle and Drew Dillanger, face the daunting challenge of helping their son recover while also trying to prove his innocence in the criminal case against him. The founder of the karting club, Monroe Kilgore, has big plans to expand his track operations in the future, but his wife, Uma, begins seeing ghosts from their past. Three generations of the Kilgore family have found immense success as professional racers and amassed a large fortune, but at what cost?

With each side story, Jaseron presents another layer of the intermingled lives of Blue Springs’ residents. And as with any good auto race, the author builds suspense continuously throughout this book and finishes with some really great twists and turns before the checkered flag.


Jaseron, an experienced writer based in Central Florida, has had several poems and short stories published, but “Wheelboys” is her first novel. Her writing is notable for excellent dialogue and character interactions in carefully rendered scenes. “Wheelboys” demonstrates Jaseron’s aptitude for telling an exciting story while also representing the complexities and interconnectedness of the conflicts that arise. Each additional angle and attitude presented in the story increases the overall impact of this unique tale.

“Wheelboys” is an exceptional novel that will be of particular interest to readers who love a propulsive, exciting story that also delivers a deeper message. The intrigue and excitement of the world of karting is a great initial hook that speaks to universal themes of youth, resilience and ambition. The author then expounds and explores how those attributes can be exploited by people in power to further their own interests. “Wheelboys” shifts through a full range of gears to keep momentum and meaning all the way to the finish line.

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