This book of short stories was absolutely fascinating. The need for humans to study and understand animals is so prevalent. One story really got to me...moreThis book of short stories was absolutely fascinating. The need for humans to study and understand animals is so prevalent. One story really got to me. Greyhound has made me think about looking into adopting said breed. All of the stories were not as compelling, but brought to mind all of the fascination we as humans have for other creatures. The world would not be as fascinating without all the other creatures.(less)
Devin Jones has taken a summer job at Joyland Amusement Park for the summer before entering college. He is hoping to forget Wendy, the girl who has br...moreDevin Jones has taken a summer job at Joyland Amusement Park for the summer before entering college. He is hoping to forget Wendy, the girl who has broken up with him. Devin's father is sad to see him leave for the summer, being alone, but understands the need to find something to take Devin's mind off the girl. Devin is going to attend college in the fall, and this might be the best way to get over things. Devin becomes very acclimated to Joyland and the "carny" way of life. He meets friends who also work there and are going to be attending college in the fall. We meet many characters during this time: the fortune teller, the ride masters, etc. Devin becomes aware of a murder that took place in the Horror House many years ago and becomes intrigued by the fact that no one ever caught the perpetrator. A couple of his friends have also become interested, although their time is certainly not taken up with that. It is simply intriguing to them. Every morning and evening as Devin is walking to work on the beach from the room that he rents, he walks by a young boy and his mother in a large green Victorian mansion that is right on the beach. He becomes friendly with the boy, Mike, and his dog, Milo. The mother is a little discerning in her behavior towards Devin. Mike is in a wheelchair and it is obvious that Annie, the mother, is aloof to strangers. The story is not one that I would have thought of as a Stephen King novel, being a huge fan. This is really well written and involves you from the get-go. This just proves to me that this man can write anything. (less)
Jean "Bean" & Liz Holladay are growing up relatively without a mother. Their mother is "finding" herself most of the time and the girls are learni...moreJean "Bean" & Liz Holladay are growing up relatively without a mother. Their mother is "finding" herself most of the time and the girls are learning to take care of themselves and each other without her. The police show up at their door one day and the girls decide to go visit their uncle Tinsley in Byer, Virginia, where he lives in the family home. The girls live there and attend school there, waiting for their mother to come to them. Incidences happen in the small town and there is a life being made for the girls. My biggest question about the book is the title. The Silver Star doesn't have much of a role in the story. Good writing and definitely worth the read. (less)
This is a good novel about the angst felt by a Chinese student in a high school of all white students except for him and one female Chinese student (N...moreThis is a good novel about the angst felt by a Chinese student in a high school of all white students except for him and one female Chinese student (Naomi). Xing (pronounced Shing) and Naomi have been friends since she came to America and Xing is in love with her. There start to be some disappearances of students at the school and each of these students have touched Xing in some manner. One being a bully that had a fight with Xing, one being very intelligent and having strong contact with Naomi, one being the lead in the school play, which Xing is the stand-in for. As the lead has disappeared, Xing becomes the star of the play and works up his courage to do so. He has never had the confidence to believe that he is as good as his music teacher has declared. As we proceed from this, you can almost tell the ending, but the novel is well worth the read. You really feel for Xing and his exclusion from the people around him. Whether it is his own making or not, you will have to read the novel to figure that out for yourself.
After the heinous murder of Sharon Tate, her unborn child, and four other people at Sharon's Cielo Drive home by the "Manson followers", Sharon's fami...moreAfter the heinous murder of Sharon Tate, her unborn child, and four other people at Sharon's Cielo Drive home by the "Manson followers", Sharon's family was absolutely devastated. Part of their lives had been ripped from them. Sharon's mother, Doris, didn't even want to talk about it, knowing in her heart that if she did, the reality of Sharon not living any more would rip her apart. Sharon's sister, Patti, held on to her mother as if there was no other buoy for her to hold. Doris became involved in making sure that when the killers came up for parole, that she was there to do everything in her power to stop that from happening. She became a very strong advocate of Victim's rights and when Doris died of cancer, Patti carried on her mother's work. Patti then died of breast cancer and her daughter, Brie, has carried on the work of her grandmother and mother. This is a very strong family with tight bonds to each other and learning of the heartache these people have been through will break your heart. (less)
Mara is a young girl who is growing up in a difficult life. Her parents are divorced and she has always hidden inside herself, so as not to be "steppe...moreMara is a young girl who is growing up in a difficult life. Her parents are divorced and she has always hidden inside herself, so as not to be "stepped on" or noticed. She becomes best friends in high school with Bernadette and has found one person who she can openly relate to and be open with. Mara is an artist and has a proclivity of hiding herself in relationships and sex. She has many lovers who are really just that. She is afraid to build a relationship, thinking that if she does, she will get "stepped on". This is a great debut novel by Danielle Younge-Ullman. Extremely intense and you are so familiar with the characters that they become family to you. I hope that Danielle Younge-Ullman continues to thrill us with more of her work.(less)
How intense! This is so well written, you are gripped from the first page to the last. Done from Alice's point of view and you are feeling her pain, h...moreHow intense! This is so well written, you are gripped from the first page to the last. Done from Alice's point of view and you are feeling her pain, her uncertainty, her heartache as is it were your own.(less)
Casey Sherman's aunt, Mary Sullivan, was killed at the age of 19 in Massachusetts and her death was always pegged as the doing of the Boston Strangler...moreCasey Sherman's aunt, Mary Sullivan, was killed at the age of 19 in Massachusetts and her death was always pegged as the doing of the Boston Strangler. Although the person who is thought of as the Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo, was never tried for the murders. Casey and his mother, Mary's sister, always felt that Mary did not die at the hands of Albert DeSalvo and Casey set out to prove otherwise. You will have to read the book to find out whether he proved that or not. Casey's writing is concise and interesting. You will want to go and do more research after finishing the book.(less)
These are short stories of the noir genre. They are categorized in groups such as: The Weird, The Hardboiled, The Manny Vassey stories, the Brutal, et...moreThese are short stories of the noir genre. They are categorized in groups such as: The Weird, The Hardboiled, The Manny Vassey stories, the Brutal, etc.
These are pretty well-categorized and while this is not a genre that I often read, these were very readable stories.
I have to say that my favorites were the Manny Vassey stories. I really could have read many more of them beyond the three that were included.
Very descriptive wording by the author and the stories pull you in for the short time that you are involved. This is definitely an author I would give another opportunity to take up my time with his writing.
I really wanted to read this after the devastating massacre of children and administrators in Newtown, CT. I thought that maybe something would stand...moreI really wanted to read this after the devastating massacre of children and administrators in Newtown, CT. I thought that maybe something would stand out and help me understand the severity of these attacks by individuals.
Dave Cullen has done such a wonderful job of researching this book. What is so alarming is that we really did see something like this happening with at least one of the individuals, Eric. Dylan seems to be sort of a follower. I don't condone any actions by either of them, it just seems that Eric was the one who was not the stable one. Dave Cullen has designated Eric as a psycopath, and the more that you read into the tragedy, you can really see that is the fact.
I can't help but feel sorry for the parents of these two boys. Understandably, the blame was being put on their shoulders, only because nobody had anyone else to blame, the two boys were gone. The police were certainly not blameless with the way that they handled things, not releasing any information until well past the time when people should have been able to put a close on things and try to start carrying on with their lives.
I sure hope that these tragedies will make people think twice about what they are witnessing, but not start watching too closely. We have to learn to talk to people and help them with their fears, anguish, hormonal imbalances, etc.
I would rate this book a 4 because it helped to answer at least some questions about the actions of Eric and Dylan and made them seem more human than I would have thought plausible. This world is a scary place and we should be able to help stop some of this with the right decisions about getting people some help when we feel that they need it.