Three Hardcovers Three Dollars

These books are hard covers and I found them on the cheap. I couldn’t believe it and couldn’t resist them. The only thing that disappoints me is The Hunt is a series I’ve not read. I’ve been in a mood lately and reading a lot of stuff similar to 1984. These are going to do just fine. The first two, J and The Hunt are going to be twisted dark dystopia fantasy types. Eleanor sounds really interesting and has been compared to A Wrinkle in Time. We will see.

J: A Novel
by Howard Jacobson

Man Booker Prize–winner Howard Jacobson’s brilliant and profound new novel, J, “invites comparison with George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World” (Sunday Times, London). Set in a world where collective memory has vanished and the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited, J is a boldly inventive love story, both tender and terrifying.

Kevern Cohen doesn’t know why his father always drew two fingers across his lips when he said a word starting with a J. It wasn’t then, and isn’t now, the time or place to be asking questions. When the extravagantly beautiful Ailinn Solomons arrives in his village by a sea that laps no other shore, Kevern is instantly drawn to her. Although mistrustful by nature, the two become linked as if they were meant for each other. Together, they form a refuge from the commonplace brutality that is the legacy of a historic catastrophe shrouded in suspicion, denial, and apology, simply referred to as WHAT HAPPENED, IF IT HAPPENED. To Ailinn’s guardian, Esme Nussbaum, Ailinn and Kevern are fragile shoots of hopefulness. As this unusual pair’s actions draw them into ever-increasing danger, Esme is determined to keep them together—whatever the cost.

In this stunning, evocative, and terribly heartbreaking work, where one couple’s love affair could have shattering consequences for the human race, Howard Jacobson gathers his prodigious gifts for the crowning achievement of a remarkable career.

The Hunted (The Enemy book 6)
by Charlie Higson

The sickness struck everyone sixteen and older. First it twisted their minds; next it ravaged their bodies. Now the sickos roam the streets, crazed and hungry for young flesh.

Ella’s friends had told her that the country would be safer than the city. They were wrong. Now they’re dead and Ella’s all alone–alone, that is, except for her silent rescuer, Scarface. But she doesn’t even know if he’s a kid or a grown-up.

Back in London, Ed is determined to find Ella and keep his promise to Small Sam that he will reunite sister and brother. But getting out of town has never been more dangerous. It seems that every sicko in the country is coming from all directions, almost as if they’re being summoned to the capital. Will anything be able to stop the invading horde?

Eleanor
by Jason Gurley

When a terrible accident claims the life of Eleanor’s twin, her family is left in tatters, and her reality begins to unravel, dropping her in and out of unfamiliar worlds. When she returns to her own time and place, hours and days have flown by without her. One fateful day, Eleanor leaps from a cliff…and vanishes. In a strange in-between place, she meets a mysterious stranger who understands the weight of her family history: Eleanor’s twin wasn’t the only tragic loss. And unless Eleanor can master her strange new abilities, she may not be the last.

Sorrowed Souls

Sorrowed Souls
by
Brenda Youngerman

The threads of fate beautifully weave; The beholder often times refuses to see.

Sorrowed Souls is filled with a multitude of different types of characters. I guess that is the case for most books already. What stands out and what gave the story its depth, I could not see the connection or relationship of those characters right away. Each character had a stand alone story of their own. And, their troubles.

It is a tapestry of lives, and each of them hold key factors that answered the “why?” for me as I was reading. Looking in from my point of view, piece by piece, the puzzle was put together, connecting the characters and their issues. It was a slow but rich process.

“Gus, ever since I’ve known you, the world has been at your beck and call, and you have felt like you were alone. You put yourself on a fringe when you could’ve stepped right into the middle at any point. When the day comes that you are finally ready to jump in, then you’ll be able to move forward and get out of the rut and the ‘curse’ you feel that you’re under. It’s time to stop blaming everyone around you and start taking a personal inventory to determine what it is you need to be a better Augustus Winston Hill.”

Gus was one of my favorite characters throughout. He had a leading type of soul even as a young child. While his disadvantages may have actually given him a sort of strength, he did not see it. He seemed to relish in his weaknesses to the point he was unable to ever really find peace. I simply adored this character. He reminds me of myself and others that I know in my life. He seemed to have been born into a self hell and lived his entire life battling that. For that reason, he simply did not learn, or know how, to ‘feel’ a secure happy life.

And then there are Gus’s parents. The privileged lives lived. Wow, how often have I said “If I were a millionaire”? For a lot of the story, money was never the issue or problem. The lack of money was not exactly why people were unhappy or why there was self destruction. The author most likely wrote it that way to prove, you can have the money and still have the problems. It is something deeper.

What ever it is that makes us break inside seemed to flow like water in these pages and opened my eyes to life and just how fragile it really is.

How it made me feel.

Sorrowed Souls’ has left a lasting impression on me. I spent quite a bit of the time crying. It was horrific what the characters had to endure and how their lives were changed by cruel acts. Not once in the story did I ever feel that the characters were over reacting to their life happenings. I felt compassion that their life choices, and their pain was pretty much justified. However, sometimes I witnessed them missing their mark and they could have without a doubt avoided some or all of the pain they seemed to willingly absorb.

I cry for these people as if they are real to me, because they are real. Every day real people are suffering the way these characters suffered. The homeless are highlighted in this book with a real look at how one living on the street might have gotten there, and how they might survive. Often times in this life, it takes grand moments of fate to snap us back and to get us on track.

This is not a fantasy type story with hobbits, vampires, dragons or werewolves. This is fiction, tho close to non-fiction, with breathing, bleeding human beings.

Synopsis (book description)

The eyes are said to be the window to the soul. Have you ever looked at someone whose eyes have no light? Follow the journey out of the darkness. In the space of a moment, Bryan Tines thought he had lost everything that was important to him. Waking up in a strange place with no recollection of where he came from, or who he was; lost, hungry and dirty, his life would have been over if not for the kindness of the invisible layer of society. Gus Hill was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and alcohol coursing through his veins. Living on the outside looking in, Gus goes down a path of self-destruction and finds that the harsh words of a true friend enable him to help himself and others who feel their lives have no meaning. Through this path, Gus finds what is really important. Amy Pickens was born into a working class family-a planned and difficult birth-her mother never let her forget how much of a burden Amy’s life was to her. She became the unwanted child. Struggling with confidence issues, she accidentally finds happiness, which in one fleeting moment, appears to go awry. Brenda Youngerman writes a tale of stunning clarity and insight into the lives of average people. Beautifully written, her novel explores the human condition, the ways in which our past torture and free us, and the risks we’re willing to take to realize the illusive dream of happiness. This is Brenda Youngerman’s fourth novel and she is currently writing her fifth. She lives in Southern California.

About the Author

Brenda Youngerman (1960 – ) Was raised in Southern California and has been writing since she was a child. Her first novel, Private Scars, was published in 2006 and takes an insiders view of domestic abuse and allows the reader a vantage point on how a victim is isolated and alienated from everything they know and love. Private Scars won both the editors choice and publishers choice awards. Since the release of Private Scars Youngerman has released a novel a year bringing up what she calls, “Fiction With a Purpose,” books that take on social issues and very real world problems. She hopes that a reader puts down one of her books and asks the question, “Was that real?”

If one person is helped by reading a Youngerman novel and realizes that they are not alone in their predicament, she has achieved success in her eyes.

 

(previously read and reviewed December 2010)