Sunday, April 13, 2014

All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz

All Night Long was published in 2007 by GP Putman's Sons, New York.




My question to you is, what would you do if you were sixteen years old, and walked in to find your beloved dad had murdered your mom, and then took his own life?  The dad who was a stand up sheriff, and you daddy?  Not only were you out where you weren't supposed to be, but you tried to sneak in, and could hardly open the back door, only to turn on the light, and see the blood.

That's how this books starts...The young lady, Irene, moves away, grows up, marries and divorces, and all of a sudden; the friend, Pam, that dropped her off the night when her parents were killed, emails her that she needs to talk her.  So, Irene, who is now a reporter, buttons up her coat, and goes back to the town and the nightmare.  She stays at a lakefront cabin with unique lodge owner, Luke.

As she gets settled, she waits for her Pam to call.  Irene keeps calling Pam, and only receives voice mail.  This is what starts her to look into why her Pam doesn't call back-she goes to Pam's house, and finds her dead.  But, Irene feels that this is linked to her parents (not everyone believes her-thinks she is not right in her mind).

She and Luke discover that they both have issues, but they find themselves together.  The ending is shocking.  The who done-it is not who you think...

I would say that this is definitely a number 2 book; I enjoyed reading it, but could put it down and come back.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Division


Division

Karen Wyle
Smashwords Edition 2013


We all know someone who has identical twins, or we've gone to school with twins, or we've seen them in movies and commercials. Those of us lucky enough to actually know twins are well aware that having the same genetic code doesn't automatically mean they think the same way at all. As we go through life, different stimulus can strike us in different ways. Two people (even twins) who see a car accident don't always see what happened the same way. One could have been distracted by a bird flying by or a stray thought at a key moment. Different books they might read generate different ideas and beliefs, and as these paths diverge, individuality emerges.

Johnny and Gordon have a unique problem. Nobody sees them as individuals. They've been together all their lives but as they grew, their personalities drifted further and further apart and now it's time they went their separate ways, but due to circumstances beyond their control and a startling family secret-- they can't.

Johnny is restless; he wants to get out on his own. He's sick of having his brother in his face all the time, and has always been the more emotional and impulsive of the two. He wants to take action and stop talking about it.

Gordon's delighted with the current arrangement. All these years he's had Johnny around to help him. They finished one another's sentences. They always did homework together, played sports together, had the same friends and went, together, through the adversity of the folks who stared and pointed and thought they were weird. They had triumphed over all that adversity. Why change anything?

Now the technology is available to give each his own individual life. Johnny wants this desperately. Gordon doesn't see the point. Brothers can feud, but this is orders of magnitude worse. They must go to court, each defending his right to live as he chooses. Johnny's freedom could quite literally threaten Gordon's life. Gordon's preferred life is slavery by Johnny's standards. Is it even possible to find a fair solution?

This is one of the most thought provoking books I've read. The author puts us not only in the presence of the twins, but into their thought processes and emotional states. She tackles, aside from the issue of technology bringing us places we may not want to go, showing, in clear example, the conflicts that arise when two individuals' separate rights have to be sorted out. Does Johnny have the right to endanger his brother to get what he wants? Should Gordon have to completely restructure his life and sacrifice all he holds dear (and possibly his life) because Johnny wants a different path? Are we our brothers' keeper, or do we owe ourselves freedom?

This is adult material, difficult both from the standpoint of erotica (in the context of the story, not gratuitous, we are after all talking about teenage boys), but also from the standpoint of traditional value systems. It is a frank discussion of what it means to be an individual, of what happens when rights conflict and there seem to be no viable answers. We see the public get wrapped in the conflict, both sides angry and vindictive, and wonder how it can ever be resolved. It challenges our view of both freedom and justice, while letting us share in the lives of some very memorable characters. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Falling for the Daughters of Twilight

     There are always new takes on old mythology. Think of Romeo
Secrets, and more secrets
and Juliet. Yes, that was taken from a very old Greek tale about Pyramus and Thisbe, a tale I read long before I read Shakespeare's version. The fact is, many of the writers borrow ideas from mythology, from real life, and from religion. Some keep the tales close to the original story, some are only faithful to the basic idea or plot, and others use the story as a springboard to a much different place. If you read the myth of Pyramus and Thisbe, you will see the old bard stayed pretty true to the original myth with only the names and setting changed to protect the innocent. For a sample of the second, look no further than the tons of rewrites of Cinderella. My favorite is Ever After with Drew Barrymore, though this one almost makes it into the first category. There are also these two modern versions of note, A Cinderella Story with Hannah Robinson and Another Cinderella Story with Selena Gomez. At least these two productions give a nod to the original story, using Cinderella in the title. Then there are movies that only use the idea of a poor, mistreated, or under-appreciated girl who finds true love with the handsome prince of a man. Think Pretty Woman, for instance. Any number of stories can be generated by an idea from mythology or religion, with some fantastical results. Our new movies include, as an example of the springboard type, Thor and his brother. Today's book,  Daughters of Twilight, by Collette Jackson-Fink, uses ideas from the bible to create an intriguing story full of mystery and wonder, as well as evil and not so evil.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Harry Potter: Sorcerer's Stone (first review by Jessica Kosinski)


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (AKA: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)

by J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (1997)



It would be difficult for anyone not to have at least some knowledge of what has become the Harry Potter Universe (HPU). When Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was first released, it became an instant classic. Children and adults alike became immersed in it.

I personally jumped on the HPU bandwagon a few years late. I caught a bit of the third movie when it came out on TV and got hooked, soon acquiring all of the books and movies that had come out to that point. I then proceeded to purchase each new book and movie as soon as they came out. It would therefore be impossible for me to review the book version of Sorcerer's Stone without at least acknowledging a few major issues between it and the rest of the HPU.

Sorcerer's Stone the Book Versus the Movie: