Teeny tiny Kate (I believe if I remember correctly that she is described as being 4'9 which officially makes her a "little person" according to Littl Teeny tiny Kate (I believe if I remember correctly that she is described as being 4'9 which officially makes her a "little person" according to Little People of America. ) has lost her memory of the last three years of her life due to smelling some magical flowers in the prior book (Targeted). After this occurs she disappears leaving only her clothing behind but is found back in the states and begins to rebuild her life. The only problem is that she has forgotten that during those last three years, she was mated to a Wulven Kindred named Rone. Once Rone tracks her down, he discovers to his horror that their mating bond seems to have been erased and that they can no longer speak telepathically and as well, Kate is terrified of him and has panic attacks every time they touch. He has to somehow make her remember their bond. Except that she was never bonded to his beast side, since he was too afraid to show it to her for fear she would be hurt...this is another complication for the couple to overcome.
I liked that Rone's personality was a tad different than some of the other Kindred we've come to know in that he came across as an incredibly soft and gentle person, though his devotion to Kate was at times cringe inducing. He even mentions wanting to "worship" the Kate the way that he thinks she deserves, which about had me rolling my eyes out of my head. But I did like that he wasn't too pig-headed or overly stubborn. Kate was okay. She was not quite as wimpy as some of the other heroines, but like many of them she does have a NC sexual experience under her belt that has sexually repressed her, as well as scoliosis scars that embarass her to the point that she never shows her bare back to anyone. At this point, that kind of plotting really needs to be retired. It's getting ridiculously repetitive. I understand that rape happens a lot but not all survivors deal with it in the same way and there are other places she could go with that kind of thing if it's such a necessity to include it in the story (which lets be honest, it really isn't most of the time). The scoliosis stuff was just so damn childish to me. This is supposed to be a grown woman we're talking about here. The scene with the blindfold in the shower (because of the scars- she didn't want him to see them) was also a tad much for me, stupidity-wise- I mean really? Who does that? It's okay for him to feel her up just so long as he doesn't actually look at her? Some of these women act like they are five years old, in terms of their "this is okay but not that" type of approach to sex and their bodies, with zero common sense involved. Probably my biggest complaint this book.
The story as stupid as it was in some parts, was more romantic to me than other Kindred books, probably because of the prior built relationship that Rone was trying to help Kate remember. Of course there is a HEA and we are given a preview of the next book which sounds like it's going to be the E.A. version of Freaky Friday. I won't be reading that one. I will say that I'm curious how many more she is going to write, because I'm not sure where else she would (not could) be willing to take these stories without getting too repetitive. I guess we'll find out.
After putting this series down for several books, I decided to read the last two that have been published, Targeted and Forgotten. As expected it realAfter putting this series down for several books, I decided to read the last two that have been published, Targeted and Forgotten. As expected it really is same ol' same ol'. Emily is a teacher and a rape survivor, and so has a repressed sexual response. And Tragar is a Beast Kindred that lost his family in a tragic event that has caused him to become emotionally unavailable and turned him toward the Dark Side if you will (sorry, just saw Star Wars) and he has become an assassin. Sent to murder Emily for the newest big bad, Tragar instead realizes that she is a Khalla, a revered and rare type of female Kindred on Rageron that travels the land "leaking" her breast "honey" everywhere she goes. Like that's not gross or inconvenient. He decides to protect her and take her to Rageron.
I found the story to be boring, which was disappointing because it sounded more intriguing than some of the past Kindred stories (admittedly, I have not read Divided, Devoured, Enhanced, or Enslaved but I did read reviews and have a general idea of what happened in each of the ones I missed). I did a lot of skimming. There was also yet again, another evil priestess of the goddess to contend with. Funny how so many priestesses of this wonderful and loving goddess, are conniving evil bitches that want to fuck shit up. Something is amiss with the story in that regard. Emily was yet another damaged woman who needed to be guided through her sexual experiences by Tragar, who is probably one of the most unmemorable Kindred men I've read about. I found his personality to be bland and pretty much everything about him to be pretty unremarkable, even with his tortured past. The sex is meh, and takes most of the book for it to even happen. Sure we get a lot of foreplay (read: breastplay) but that isn't quite the same nor is it as satisfying.
All in all, it seems not much has changed, in spite of me missing a few books.
I've always been a luke-warm fan of Stephen King, because his novels tend to be hit or miss for me. I was intrigued that he penned this one as a sequeI've always been a luke-warm fan of Stephen King, because his novels tend to be hit or miss for me. I was intrigued that he penned this one as a sequel to the Shining, so I picked it up. One rainy weekend later, I was done with the book, which I enjoyed quite a bit. Perfect? Of course not, but it was entertaining. The first part of the book is mostly dedicated to telling us what happened to Danny Torrance after the events of the Shining and into his adult hood, where he becomes Dan, the promiscuous alcoholic drifter who struggles to live with his Shining (psychic) abilities. Eventually after an eye-opening "morning-after" encounter with a young single mom, her child, and some nose candy, Dan settles down in a sleepy North Eastern town and tries his luck at AA. Meanwhile, elsewhere in New Hampshire, a young girl named Abra Stone is coming into her own Shining abilities. Unfortunately, she's being hunted by a group of RV driving quasi-immortals that call themselves The True Knot. They survive by consuming the "steam" of psychic children, while torturing them to death. Abra cries out for help (psychically, of course) and guess who hears her? Dan to the rescue...
All in all, I thought it was an entertaining read, with some creepy moments, and lots of tension. Some people will probably be annoyed by all of the pop culture references but these were almost a comfort for me, in an odd way, during some of the more tense/creepy moments in the story. I also think they are a reflection of the America we live in today, in which we are bombarded by advertising and driven by consumerism.
I will agree with the reviewers that felt that The True Knot were not as scary as other King villains. They are still human and able to be killed, and they have their own particular weaknesses as members of The True. They also care about each other, which might turn off readers that are into more "pure evil" types of villains. Personally though, I think the mistake that King made was establishing that Abra was incredibly powerful, right from the beginning. The anticipation leading up to her encounters with Rose the Hat and all of the others, was nerve-wracking at times, but the actual encounters themselves were not. Rose gets her ass handed to her in the middle of the book. This kind of made me doubt her as the prime antagonist. And unfortunately, the ending is sort of anti-climactic, which is a problem I've had with other books King has written. There is so much build-up to the end, but then everything just kind of falls flat and it's over in a few pages. That said, there is still much to enjoy here. I read the book in two days, and was glued to the page, so he's still doing something right....more
Purity is not much different than anything else Evangeline Anderson has written. There is a stronger sci-fi element, and less sex, but that’s about i Purity is not much different than anything else Evangeline Anderson has written. There is a stronger sci-fi element, and less sex, but that’s about it. If you’re looking for a compelling sci-fi tale about the woes of being a human (excuse me, an Erian) full of desire and need and how that can mess everything up? Look elsewhere.
I found neither K nor Boone to be inspiring characters. There was nothing about them that really grated on me, but on the other hand, they were both pretty forgettable, personality wise. Their romance was actually quite bland and everything played out very predictably. I felt like K and Boone could have been so much more interesting as characters that had been through a lot. They could have been more complex and in turn made the story more complex. The potential was there, but as per usual, underutilized. Boone falls far too quickly for K (it’s obvious right from the beginning that he’s already developing feelings for her, which is a little weird considering she had just killed a bunch of his comrades) and K overcomes her issues with being touched, a little too easily and quickly for someone who has spent most of her life being brainwashed and pumped full of drugs. Boone’s friend Loki had more spitfire than either K or Boone, and I often found myself wishing that she had pumped some of that into her main leads, rather than saving it for a minor side character.
One other nitpick I have is that the real name of “K” in this story, is Krissana, which is also the name of the heroine in Planet X, a completely different and unrelated story that she wrote a few years ago. (She also repeats in her BOK series; there are two female characters with exes named Mitch.) I mean really? Out of millions of names that exist, and she chooses the same ones all over again? I don’t understand that at all.
Purity isn't the worst book, and certainly not the worst by EA. I liked the skin suit idea, and some of the other sci-fi stuff, but at the same time, the lack of heat in this book (it has a couple of sex scenes but nothing too crazy) combined with the half-ass writing, makes it only a two star read, for this reader. ...more
I read Shadowed feeling a sense of enjoyment through most of it. Even the kidnapping at the beginning didn't bother me, because Reddex at least wasn'tI read Shadowed feeling a sense of enjoyment through most of it. Even the kidnapping at the beginning didn't bother me, because Reddex at least wasn't trying to have sex with Nina (at least not at first) and his characterization and condition was such, that he ended up depending and leaning on Nina quite a bit in the story, which I thought was nice. Nina came across as a gentle and patient soul, and a mature one as well. She wasn't girlish in the way that Nadiah and Lissa were in their books. She had some life experience and wasn't afraid to be strong for Reddex. It was clear that she felt compassion and curiosity about him very early on, so the whole kidnapping thing went over as smooth as something like being thrown over the shoulder of a giant emotionally-neurotic Kindred possibly could. Reddex was kind of refreshing simply because HE DID NOT WANT TO BE TOUCHED. Desperate because he was supposedly inheriting Saber's job as the leader of their clan (due to Saber being in an "incestuous" relationship with Lissa), Reddex goes to an exiled swamp witch on his planet who tells him she can mute all of the emotions he feels with the blood of a woman with healing hands. Just so happens that he's dream sharing with some Earth chick, who of course is Nina, and she's a massage therapist. But of course they crash land on a weird planet and bond (but not BOND because Reddex can't bond a bride to him due to his condition) and then he can't give her up. Also he discovers Nina mutes others' emotions when she's touching Reddex, and he can't feel hers, so after that, he definitely tries (a little too hard at times) to get into her pants. Ah well, it is erotica. Still, the sexy scenes were not as hot as they normally are and I did find myself skimming them a bit at times. Maybe it's just that it's all getting a little old for me. And then....then I got to the last part of the book, which is basically Kat's bonding ceremony. It was very very disappointing to me that the story and solution to the issues between Nina and Reddex, was wrapped up with (view spoiler)[yet another bonding fruit incident. What's more, since the bonding fruit was involuntarily eaten by most of the the people at the reception, there are suddenly consent issues that come into play. Some of what was described in passing (regarding a freaking NUN and some twin kindred, more specifically) sounded like dubious consent at best. I'm certainly not fond of "You must have sex with me even though you don't want to because you'll die due to a health condition" kinds of scenarios. I just can't get down with that. (hide spoiler)] There will be more books coming I'm sure, especially since she sets up another couple of heroines for their stories in this one. But I think this was the final one for me, and I'll be passing on those. ...more
I enjoyed this book of Miranda July's short stories but if we could give half stars, I would give it a 3.5. It's the first of her writing that I haveI enjoyed this book of Miranda July's short stories but if we could give half stars, I would give it a 3.5. It's the first of her writing that I have read, although I have seen Me, You, and Everyone We Know. I remember thinking it was a decent film and charming in its own way. That's kind of how I feel about July herself. She's a decent writer, and charming in her own way. But some of the stories were kind of a drag to read too. After a while I tired of what I came to see as the endless babbling of her writing. At times the point seemed to get lost in the mire of her eccentric/indie writer's perspective, which tainted each and every character in the book.
My favorite stories were Something that Needs Nothing, about a desperate young woman whose love for her girlfriend is not entirely requited; and Telling Stories to Children about a woman who ends up becoming a surrogate mother figure for a little girl whose troubled family life seems to swallow them both whole. I didn't care too much for Making Love in 2003, or the boy from Lam Kien. These were stories that I thought seemed like unfinished ideas. I tend to agree with others who have said that these almost come across more as writing exercises than something that should be published.
But I still felt inspired. There were sentences that had me enraptured with her writing, even while I was kind of annoyed at it. I think she has a gift for adding significance to seemingly insignificant events that most of us wouldn't bat an eyelash at. The loneliness and shadow of melancholy that seemed to overshadow the characters was something that I could relate to, even when their actions seemed absurd. This was a hugely redeeming feature of the book for me, and hence the 3.5 stars....more
Evangeline Anderson's newest installment (notice, I didn't say last) in her Brides of the Kindred series is already out and just in time for the holidEvangeline Anderson's newest installment (notice, I didn't say last) in her Brides of the Kindred series is already out and just in time for the holidays down time, should you be so fortunate to have it :).
My overall impression: More of the same, with some unexpected elements that pleased me.
Lissa, the new high priestess of First World is the heroine in this one, and Saber, her adoptive-brother and clan mate, is her hero. Both have agreed to go on a dangerous mission to the laughably campy matriarchal planet, Yonnie Six (lol) in order to recover some scrolls that are sacred to the Kindred. They must infiltrate a society in which men are treated like dogs, complete with leash and shock collars, and pleasure is the prime objective. This is more of an obstacle for the naturally submissive and virginal Lissa, than it is for Saber. Considering that Kindred men are typically over-supplicating to the women they love, as well as over-sexed, this makes sense. Saber takes to his role fairly well, save for bristling at the more unpleasant and abusive ladies, of which there are a few. I actually liked Saber for the most part, although I will admit that I also found him a little boring as well. He struck me as a benevolent leader sort. He also didn't act like a horny guard dog, though there were some "low rumbling growls" and what not. It was very subtle though.
Lissa...I didn't care for her much. She's not completely useless like Sophia or Olivia, but she came across as very one note: timid, shy, righteously angry when she needed to be, but completely saccharine otherwise. It's a boring archetype. If they're not virginal innocents, they're dumb and bitchy, that's how Anderson likes to roll with her leading ladies, I guess. But considering that both Lissa and Saber were boring together, it kind of worked.
The unexpected stuff: (view spoiler)["Evil" Draven devises a plan with Lauren's clone who calls herself "L" (seriously? you can't come up with something better than that?), to implant a device on the Mothership, that switches the bodies up of the Kindred and their mates. This means that Baird gets to experience Olivia's pregnancy all the way up until the baby pops out of her. And Sylvan experiences Sophia's pregnancy as well. Elise and Merrick have some hot switched body sex, although sadly, this is only mentioned later on, and we don't get to experience it with them. There is also a scene in which Lissa fucks Saber with a strap on in front of some people, and they both love it, but both feel ashamed that they did, for different reasons. Predictable angst ensues. Then they both make mature decisions to suck it up and accept it, and of course HEA. I was kind of surprised. I saw definite evidence of adult maturity in this relationship. It was pretty refreshing. I also liked seeing the dude on the receiving end for once, not gonna lie. (hide spoiler)]
Anyway, other stuff happens of course. In fact, I would almost say that the last part of the book feels both crammed and rushed. Everything wrapped up a little too neatly, which is something I sort of loath in books, in case you haven't grasped that from my reviews yet. It's insulting and lazy. There were also a few glaring grammatical/placement errors that stuck out to me too, which doesn't usually happen for me with these books. I'm guessing she just wanted to get it out before the holidays. Apparently, she is going to start working on yet another book, early next year. I'm crossing my fingers for some kind of new angle, something fresh. Maybe a transsexual or hobo or someone who already has children or something challenging like that? Maybe a hero who dreams of something other than "taking a bride" or who is reluctant to commit (in this case, that would be weird)? Stranger things have happened. ...more
After reading her book Wild, I decided to pick up Cheryl Strayed's book Tiny Beautiful Things, mainly because I liked Strayed's writing style and I waAfter reading her book Wild, I decided to pick up Cheryl Strayed's book Tiny Beautiful Things, mainly because I liked Strayed's writing style and I wanted to know more about her. In hindsight, I probably could have saved myself the money because you can read many of the letters written if not all, in the archives of the Rumpus website.
Strayed is very high empathy which I appreciated a lot while reading her responses to some of the letters she's received since become "Sugar" of the Dear Sugar advice column on the rumpus. In fact, I would say Strayed has a gift for conveying her empathy via writing, while still not fearing to tell it like it is or shy away from the truth lurking behind many of her reader's issues. I didn't always agree with her advice but not once did I ever feel like throwing the book at the wall,even when I did disagree.
After a while, it became clear that Strayed uses these reader letters as a jump-off point to then relate it back to something in her life, and wax-poetic on that. In other words, the advice column seems to be a platform for her writing every bit as much as it is for advice. This is partially why I picked the book up in the first place, but there were times when I couldn't help thinking "You just spent 2 pages talking about yourself and one paragraph addressing the other person's problem". I can't help but feel Strayed is a tad self-centered (aren't we all?)but I think that is almost impossible to avoid when you are heavily involved in memoir-style writing, so I can't complain too much.
All in all, I found this book to be an inspiring read. And there are so many delicious quotables, I doubt I'll be able to keep my copy unmarked.
I don't even know where to begin with this review. I had such mixed feelings. I picked this book up on a Friday afternoon and read about 20 or 30 pageI don't even know where to begin with this review. I had such mixed feelings. I picked this book up on a Friday afternoon and read about 20 or 30 pages in, then picked it up again on Sunday and read the rest in one sitting. That is a testament to Cheryl Strayed's writing. It really is superb, and she has a gift I think, for drawing readers into the story.
The book begins with some back history of Strayed's childhood, growing up with her siblings and mother on a farmhouse with her step-dad (she had a very poor relationship with her biological father who was abusive to her mother). It then moves to her college years, when she and her mother begin to attend classes together and apart, both to get their degrees in-you guessed it Oprah Book club fans, Women's Studies. Strayed marries a good man at 19 but 3 years later, she finds out her mother is dying of lung cancer. After that happens, her life falls apart. She has a massive breakdown and begins cheating on her husband repeatedly until she confesses her infidelities and he leaves her. She claims that she still loved him very much and that he was still her best friend. She hooks up with a junkie who in turn hooks her up with heroin. She gets pregnant via said junkie and has an abortion. She then decides to hike the PCT from Mojave to Cascade Blocks in Oregon. In spite of months of preparation, she finds as she begins her journey, that she is still woefully unprepared and ridiculously naive in regards to what her 1100 mile+ hike would actually be like. Heaving her massive and heavy pack nicknamed "monster" along the way, Strayed slowly but surely acclimates to life on the trail. Along the way, she meets other hikers and makes some friends, as well as having a few spooky encounters with snakes, bears, and creepy men, armed only with a whistle (which I found incredibly stupid btw…I would never go hiking alone without some kind of real protection or firearm. That's just me though). She even has time along the way to hook up with yet another stranger, while taking a break from the hike in Ashland. By journey's end, Strayed is fitter, happier, and….well, maybe just fitter.
What I liked:
In a way, I can relate to Strayed. Someone close to me is a heroin abuser, and knowing what drove him to that, I could easily see the pain of her mother's death bringing her to that. I could also relate to her self-destructiveness in general, especially when she mentioned how she imagined that people who were "cutters" enjoyed the pain they caused themselves. That hit home for me in a pretty real way.
I really enjoyed the actual "journey" parts of this book. Strayed makes a few bad judgment calls and underestimates how much stress her body would have to go through. Unlike some, these dumb decisions didn't drive me batty and I found her to be somewhat endearing in her foolishness. She is pretty lucky that nothing really bad happened to her. I also found her encounters with the other hikers to be interesting (more specifically, the fact that just about everyone she came across was friendly and helpful to her in some way).
Strayed's writing as I said, is pretty damn good. She is honest and forthright about her past, and I don't feel like she tried to paint herself as a victim too much, which is good, because I didn't see her as such.
What I didn't like:
I felt like Strayed didn't do the greatest job of explaining her "transformation" while on the trail. In fact, it almost seemed like she didn't change much at all, except to mention that she felt she no longer needed heroin at the end. Oh yeah, and instead of sleeping with a man she is attracted to, she decides not to. I mean, both of those things are important I suppose, but I just needed…more. I felt like Strayed needed more redemption or something. She basically just rationalizes away the shitty things she did, because they lead her to hiking the PCT, which somehow leads her to a rebirth that isn't quite believable to me, as presented. I expected a little bit more contrition, and maybe for her to stop using her ex-husband as an emotional tampon (in all fairness, she did make some comments like maybe she was truly moving beyond him but it was only a couple of lines). Another reviewer mentioned that if we reversed the gender roles in this story and a man had written it, this book wouldn't have quite as many four and five star reviews because we would all be so focused on what an asshole he was to cheat on his loving and supportive wife repeatedly and engage in heroin use. I kind of tend to agree that it wouldn't also. And while I think anyone who hiked the trail is a bad-ass for even trying to go so far, Strayed admits multiple times that she is constantly being helped out and complimented because she is pretty. There is even a scene where three guys she met on the trail tell her that she is lucky to get helped out by strangers like that, because no one at all wants to help three men out. It kind of took away from the "empowerment" aspect of her journey. I mean really, had she not had all of the little handouts and whatnot, I don't know that her story would have ended the same way, because she found herself in some sort of dire circumstances at times. Not that it really lessens her feat greatly, because I don't think that it does. Things are what they are and she did make it the whole way.
I probably sound pretty judgmental of Strayed and but I honestly am trying hard not to be. I'm not by any means perfect and I'm in no place to truly judge her as a person. She may have well evolved immensely on her trip, but she didn't convey that personal internal evolution very well to me with her writing, and that's what I'm criticizing because I have a feeling that Strayed is probably a cool lady now a days. I'm happy that she found someone worth marrying again and had a family. She lives in Portland just like me, so maybe someday I'll meet her. I'm definitely going to check out more of her writing and her Dear Sugar column. ...more
I decided to take a break, first from reading, and then from reading mindless poorly written garbage. I felt as though my brain were trapped in a clouI decided to take a break, first from reading, and then from reading mindless poorly written garbage. I felt as though my brain were trapped in a cloud of smoke and cheap words.
So I heard about this memoir by Lidia Yuknavitch, and I had to give it a go. Lidia lives here in the Portland area and somehow knowing she's around, a real person existing, is kind of exciting.
The book is comprised of vignettes; various memories that Lidia recalls and show/tells us with her often poetic prose and use of various literary devices. After opening with the death of her still-born daughter at age 26, the first part of the book is mainly about her dark and frightening childhood, shared with her sister. The failings of her parents are pretty grievous, and her father especially took some pretty fucked up liberties with his daughters. Lidia however, is a gifted swimmer and finds her strength in swimming, and later in her life, writing. She is careful not to cast her parents into specific boxes; while she is deeply hurt by her father, she also speaks of his vast intelligence and artistry and while she resents her mother for not protecting her more, she also remembers how much her mother was there for her in other ways.
After moving to go to college in Texas, Lidia's life seems to spiral into a mess of alcohol, sex with just about everyone(and abortions), drugs, and mayhem. Crimes are committed. Men are married (three of them). Lidia is fearless in exploring art, writing, sexuality. She also relates to how she found writing through doing workshops with Ken Kesey and meeting Kathy Acker. Eventually she goes on to be a professor herself, and marries one of her students, with whom she eventually had a child and is still married to, today. While Lidia does some morally questionable things in her life, she keeps it real. She tells it like it is, even when she isn't explicitly telling it. She writes with a dispassionate hindsight. The tone seems at times amused, other times somewhat apologetic, but only subtly so.
The way that the book is written is so...lovely. I really love Lidia's writing voice. She has a mastery of language. To me, a well written memoir should bring the reader closer to who the writer is. And this was something that I felt reading the book. I felt connected to her, which is something that makes the book far more meaningful to me. Our life experiences are pretty vastly different too, but the emotions, the feelings...I felt a kinship, even though you can't actually put emotions into language. She gets close enough sometimes. Sure it's not a work of perfection, objectively speaking. There were a few lines that had me rolling my eyes. But nothing that really took away from book, as a whole. ...more
I had heard much about this book when I was going through my "radfem" phase (I have since declared myself a humanist) and bought it a few years back.I had heard much about this book when I was going through my "radfem" phase (I have since declared myself a humanist) and bought it a few years back. I read it pretty quickly but decided I thought it was a little over-the-top and unrealistic, but that I enjoyed it. I tend to like reading about dystopias and alternate futures and the like. However, over the years passed, I have reevaluated and I do believe that the potential is there for something similar to what happened in this story, to happen in America. Human beings, being deeply flawed and the ones tending toward irrational fanaticism have lead me to believe this. I think its an incredibly remote chance, and I also think it would start a war in this country. The point is that I don't think it's *impossible.* I believe that was Margaret Atwood's point too.
I found myself horrified and disgusted by the way women and all societal outliers were treated in this dystopian world. The idea of being forced to have sex with an assigned patriarch is absolutely revolting to me. While the narrator seems to keep her wits about her and maintain a solid frame throughout the novel, it did not lessen the tragedy of being separated from her daughter and husband. But of course, anyone who is immersed in any kind of government/ruling system, will soon find agency in their own ways, and also learn to exploit loopholes in the system, as well as learning to exploit human weaknesses, which don't disappear simply because one lives in a totalitarian state. Offred (the narrator) does just this in striking up illicit affairs with both the commander and Nick, and is able to find a way out (it is implied that she is indeed taken in by the resistance in the epilogue. I choose to believe this as well.) I enjoyed this read very much and recommend it to anyone who is intrigued by "speculative fiction."
Last month I took a class that Kevin Sampsell taught (along with Chloe Caldwell) and my interest in reading and writing memoir was piqued. Kevin mentiLast month I took a class that Kevin Sampsell taught (along with Chloe Caldwell) and my interest in reading and writing memoir was piqued. Kevin mentioned he had written this book, so I decided to read it. It was all the more exciting because I love reading people's writing that I know or have even just met, in Kevin's case.
The book is told in little vignettes and short essays on his youth spent in Kennewick, WA. The first parts of the book establish a somber tone that seemed to linger through the entire thing, at least for me. Nothing I read later on was really funny, in light of knowing that their dad was a pedophile and got his older (not blood related if I understood correctly,but still...)sister pregnant. It was disturbing.
Still, I could relate to the awkwardness of his teen years, and the need for love and affection from the opposite sex. There are some somewhat brow raising tales of love and sex, porn-booths and prostitutes. He also talks of some of his first jobs and living in different cities as he moved into young adulthood. I was never bored. Even the little moments that seemed inconsequential, weren't because I knew they were important to him. He was writing about it, so it must have meant something. That's what counts to me. Plus little things can have a big impact on a person's life.
I liked the style that the book was written in, it made it seem easier to read, having everything broken down into the vignettes. It flowed well. I wish I could have had a bit more reflection on the darker aspects of his life. Or maybe a piece that tied together all of the times he felt like crying or killing himself, or hated his dad or anyone else...that's really just my preference though.
Verdict: I look forward to reading more writing from Mr. Sampsell.