My thoughts: Why was this book called “Triceratops”? There were no dinosaurs in it. I almost wished there were. But right off the bat, the girl describes sexual discrepancies between the other guys and this Xavier, her roommate artist/boyfriend. Admittedly, I was a tad grossed out by it. Still, it was the savage dialogue—raw and untamed against the bleakness of domestication—that provoked me to read on.
Gorman writes with such laid-back magnetism dripping with a dark and comedic punch that is often reminiscent of Salinger’s poignant tale, The Catcher in the Rye. Gripping and funny!
Mainly told from the views of both Henry and Charlotte, this book takes you through the gritty alleys deep in the heart of New York City. Their pitfalls were often summarized with mindless jabber, which, at times, left me dazed. Sometimes I thought they were just idiots. Who keeps a canvas with splattered brains?
What I liked most about the two main characters was their utter knack for the cold truth. For instance, in the moment when Charlotte spots Henry for the very first time, she states it plainly and simply: “This isn’t a heavenly sign that we should walk down the aisle, exchange vows, hold hands, and wander into the sunset. Because this is real life. This is real life fucking with me. It’s laughing in my face.” (pg. 50)
The author’s expertise in music, film, and television was evident with the many references interspersed throughout, and I enjoyed how they mingled within the story.
My only aversion was that every chapter was written in the first person POV of a character, usually someone other than Charlotte or Henry. It was sometimes hard to tell which character was speaking. And why were we even getting the points of view from other people? I thought this story was supposed to be centered on Henry and Charlotte. Instead I learned of an eccentric clan of characters, which I guess are common around New York. I would include that I couldn’t truly empathize with any of them.
At first, you really think this story is about a bunch of idiots getting high or drunk, but then you find a deeper meaning beneath that wretched layer of barren mediocrity. For these young people, life is about getting through the bad and learning to appreciate the small good, whether it be a night at a museum or a tour through (the real) TV land. Gorman particularly said it best: “There are worse ways to live…It’s better than having a life revolving around a terrible job, a life revolving around a bad family life, a life revolving around deep, upsetting loss.” (pg. 141)
Story: Though she doesn’t remember the trauma that caused it, Holly Miller has Dissociative Identity Disorder. Her personality has fractured into five different identities, together known as The Committee. And as much as they make Holly’s life hell, she can’t live without them.
Then one of those identities, the flirtatious, southern Betty Jane, lands Holly a voiceover job. Betty Jane wants nothing more than to be in the spotlight. The rest of The Committee wants Betty Jane to shut up. Holly’s therapist wants to get to the bottom of her broken psyche. And Holly? She’s just along for the ride…
What would it be like to have 5 people living inside your
head A.K.A. “Multiple Personality Disorder?” How would it feel like to do
things you’ve never thought of doing and sometimes not even remember doing
them? How would it feel to have your actions controlled by someone else and, in
the end, take the blame for it?
Holly can’t seem to get it together, not with all the people
living in her head. Then, after her birthday, she makes a New Year’s resolution
to stop messing around. But, like she said, “The resolve behind the New Year’s
resolutions usually falters after 24 hours.” (pg. 25) This is so TRUE! People always say they're going to quit this and that, but, by mid-January, they always "fall off the wagon."
I often wonder if there is really anything wrong with
talking to yourself. If it doesn’t hurt anyone, is it really wrong? If it keeps
people from going on a killing spree, I’d say go ahead. Craziness saves lives.
At various times, there was a feeble attempt at humor, which
was lacking in depth. I mean, I understood where she was trying to go with it,
but it wasn’t enough to break a chuckle.
The entire story consists of nothing but the whiny banter of
these voices trapped in Holly’s head. God, they must’ve given her lots of
headaches (I know I got a few in the course of this book.)
Overall, I thought Holly was a spoiled brat, who wanted
things to be done for her. I really felt that she never wanted to do the
voice-over gig—she really didn’t want to do anything, to put it frankly—and I
have absolutely no tolerance for people like that. I actually kind’ve empathized with the
older sister, Sarah, the one who always has to take care of things and clean up
This book was okay, but I just thought that it should’ve
been a short story; it just wasn’t interesting enough for a novel. What was the
point really? The character was just nuts! It was an interesting theme, and the
writer reflected great skills, but I just didn’t enjoy the story as much as I
thought I would.
Story: Fate was working against little Brian Mauretti. The food that was meant to nourish him was poisoning him instead, and the doctors said the damage was devastating and absolute. Fate had written off Brian. But fate didn’t count on a woman as determined as Brian’s grandmother, Angela DiMartino, who everyone knew as Mama. Loving her grandson with everything she had, Mama endeavored to battle fate. Fate had no idea what it was in for. An emotional tale about the strength of family bonds, unconditional love, and the perseverance to do our best with the challenging gifts we receive, GOODNIGHT, BRIAN is an uplifting tribute to what happens when giving up is not an option. My thoughts: This is a story about love and family fueled by the good ole' fashion country dialogue you feel when sinking your teeth into a heaping slice of apple pie--full of heart and warmth. You can't help but feel the same mother's instinct Joan feels--the overbearing concern over Brian's waning health, the pounding struggles in trying to figure out the cause, and the frustration of nobody taking her seriously (especially the doctors.) After the invasive medical tests and lab works, we discover that Brian has a rare disease that will prevent him from walking, talking, and perhaps even living. A powerful force of anger and tears barrels the reader in a quick instant, leaving no chance to breathe. It was overwhelming.
Overall, the book was well-written and endearing, but, at the same time, it was emotionally draining and sad--perhaps a bit too sad. It was just one depressing hurdle after another, a pattern I found rather difficult to get through. I made every attept to trudge through it, often skipping some of the hopeless infractions along the way. By the end, I was left with nothing more than a pitter patter of lassitude and despair.
After reading The Mine, a story
filled with heart and adventure combined with Heldt’s resonant and witty style,
you can bet how quickly I jumped at the chance to review his second book.
Preston has had to live with her regrets most of her life, but being married to
Scott had made them dormant behind a wall of a “perfect wife”; now that he has
laid to rest, those regrets have re-surfaced to the burning layer of nostalgia
and reflection. Then a visit to her high school reunion sends her down memory
lane—literally! It’s another Back to the
Future tale, except our Shelly has a chance to not only try to return to
her time, but try to make the life she should’ve had.
meantime, she must contend with a lot of high school memories as well as her
teenage self. How weird, right? I would be too concerned about altering fate
and changing the parallels of the universe. But for Shelly, that’s her whole
mission. The battle for change quickly begins as she does everything in her
power to make things better…for everyone.
unique about this story is that we receive the thoughts and perspectives of
both Michelles—the one from the future and the one from present-day 1979. With
a dialogue so clever and refreshing, this book sends the reader on a wild ride
through history, veering between lanes of ponderings and second chances.
If you had a
second chance in your life, what would you change? How about going after that one teacher you had
a crush on as a kid, for starters? I was riveted by Shelly’s attempts at
challenging fate—dating her old high school math teacher, consoling and
advising her young self, and throwing puzzling minds into a loop with her inexplicable
knowledge of the future. At the same
time, however, young Shelley must cope with the emptiness of future and complications
of her love life. Should she pick another guy or the guy she marries in the
future? I liked how Shelly ends up
learning things she never could see the second time around. But is it wise to
meddle with history?
wait to find out what happens! This book is a tailspin of comfort, heartache,
drama, and mystery— an enjoyable read every step of the way.
The story: Something just isn’t right at Battlefield Memorial Hospital. Nick Moore, a
sensible middle-aged man from Eastern Texas, must admit that his best friend
Jared might not be losing his marbles after all. By an eerie twist of fate, both
of them end up in this same out-of-the-way hospital at the same time. Nick soon
learns that Jared’s irrational, terrified rants about the place don’t tell the
half of it.
The year is 2010 when Nick is checks in, but at this
hospital, time doesn’t seem to cooperate and the line between nightmare and
reality starts to become blurry. Somehow, Nick becomes involved in a famous
local Comanche Indian fight from the year 1840. As the mystery unfolds, his
values are tested and keeping his sanity becomes more important than his
Hospital mystery meets historical fiction in this
somewhat humorous, often suspenseful PG-rated novella. It has been specially
formatted for all Kindle devices, so we can promise you a smooth, enjoyable electronic
reading experience. Download One Hospital Nightmare today and get ready for one
It all started out with Jared in the hospital. Fingers
coming out of walls and demonic clocks were all the things he was seeing—right
after the surgery. Was it the drugs they had him on? Was it a medical conspiracy?
Or was it just the mere paranoia of being enclosed within the hospital walls? At
first, you’re really not sure what’s going on.
Then a car accident sends his best friend, Nick, to the same
hospital Jared was in. Strange things begin to evolve, leading Nick to a blind
stupor and erratic paranoia. Were they illusions? Were they dreams? Or were
they real? But what did the Indians have to do with any of it?
Curiosity compells the reader to find the answer, however, confusion follows every step of the way.
Some scenes, like Nick shopping for flea spray, were a tad
mundane and long-winded.
Overall, the story was well-written, but I felt that it wasn’t
interesting enough and often found myself seeking the point of it all.What should have started off as a horror
story ended up being almost like a history lesson, which is a plus for all
those who enjoy hearing tales of cowboys and Indians. It seemed to me that the
whole thing was just one puzzling illusion after another. By the end, we find
The book was short and quick, and there was a clear
indication of the author’s delight in it. I must admit that that was what I
enjoyed most of all.
Alison could not believe her own eyes when she met the handsome stranger, whom
her friend referred to as “the keeper.” The interface could almost be taken out of a
James Bond movie—with champagne, fancy tuxedoes, and lustful, quiet stares. Where
else would you get messages like “I still smell your perfume on my shirt”? The
attraction was instantaneous, the desire was intense, and the touch was
unforgettable—all of which were the typical findings of a romance story.
get interesting until the fantasy of “the perfect love” crumpled like a patch
of dry dirt. This was where the seed of bitterness was planted and rooted in
her memory, and a plan soon began to grow. This would be where the reader takes
off on a rollercoaster ride of mystery and suspense, always gripping the edge
of the seat, waiting in angst to see what’s around the next corner. But, like a
premature child, the whole thing “came out too soon,” producing a work that was
underdeveloped and weak. It definitely
could’ve used more time to grow.
At times, I
felt that the day-to-day aspects were a tad too mundane and often read like a
“chore” list rather than a novel. I drudged through the book, glazing over
large portions and looking to the end to see how much I had left to go. I couldn’t
wait to get it done.
In the midst
of it all, however, the author’s skills showed great promise and the delight
for the genre was evident. A sweet irony in the end will be appreciated by
readers. And although the story was not completely up to par, I could still see
where it was trying to go, and, with several more drafts and revisions, I think
it could’ve gotten there.