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Search tags: Coming-of-Age
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review 2019-03-18 03:05
Fear by Ronald Kelly
Fear - Ronald Kelly

For 10 year old Jeb Sweeney, life in the backwoods town of Pikesville, Tennessee in 1946 is bittersweet.
Growing up without a mom, a father left "simple minded" by shell shock, and a sick grandmother...becoming an adult too early can be a trial.
But he has his friends, his first love.....

And then, he doesn't.

Something horrific has descended upon Jeb's life....a legendary creature from the dark place they call Fear County....it's come to feed, and it has taken his girl, his friends and his dog.

Jeb is about to journey down a dark path....to a place angels fear to tread...to find the witch woman who holds the secret to stopping the terror ripping through his world. Accompanied by his father and a legendary bluesman, Jeb is heading into the heart of a nightmare....welcome to Fear County.

A pitch perfect coming of age/small town horror novel, Kelly's writing brings the people, the time and the place alive with a style of Southern storytelling only he can do. And offer up a monster, and a place, that will rent space in your nightmares for a long time coming.

Highly recommended, FEAR has earned a place on my shelves alongside BOY'S LIFE, SUMMER OF NIGHT, and MIDNIGHT RAIN.

Go get some FEAR for yourself....and grab everything else Ron Kelly has ever written. You'll thank me sooner than later...


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review 2019-03-15 23:49
I'm not the audience for this one
New Kid - Jerry Craft

New Kid by Jerry Craft is a middle grade graphic novel that tells the story of a boy named Jordan who has (against his will) been enrolled in a prestigious private school in the upscale (and predominantly white) neighborhood of Riverdale. While he didn't necessarily feel like he fit in among his peers at his old school in Washington Heights he really feels like the outsider at this school being one of only 3 students of color. (There's a lot of mixing up of names by the teachers + bullying by peers.) In classic 'rebellious preteen' fashion he feels that the world (i.e. good ol' mom) is set on ruining his life because she won't let him go to art school instead of this place where it seems like everyone is either rich, white, or both. To help him sort through his frustrations and rage he takes to working on a sketchbook detailing his experiences. [A/N:These comics are interspersed throughout the book.] New Kid is a coming of age story about classism, racism, and finding out where you truly belong. 

 

Honesty compels me to tell you that I didn't necessarily love this book because of its predictability and slow moving pace. However, this book wasn't written with me in mind as its audience and therefore I think for the young person who is feeling 'other' and beaten down by circumstances out of their control this could be quite an important book. I liked the illustrative style particularly how it worked so well with the sprinkling of Jordan's comics with their very different artistic approach so no complaints on that front. For me it's a 4/10 but in terms of readability for that audience I'd say 8/10.

 

Source: Amazon

 

An example of Craft's style. [Source: iTunes]

 

 

What's Up Next: Remember? Remember? by Charles Beaumont

 

What I'm Currently Reading: ElfQuest Archives Volume 4 by Wendy & Richard Pini

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-03-14 18:00
FEAR by Ronald Kelly
Fear - Ronald Kelly

 

FEAR was a crazy mixture of: creature feature/coming of age/evil in a small town horror. It just doesn't get much more fun than that!

 

In the backwoods of Tennessee, young Jeb Sweeney is fighting for his family. His farmer father has been turned into a simpleton, thanks to a war injury. His mother is gone and his grandmother is gravely ill. There are bullies around their small town and on top of that, some kind of creature has arrived and it's killing anything it can get its hands on. What is a young man supposed to do about all this? You'll have to read FEAR to find out!

 

I have to admit that this book brought me back to the old days when I first started reading horror. (For me, those old days are in the late 70's, early 80's.) Back then, there were a lot of tales like this and they were beefy ones too-500 pages or more. You really would settle in with a book and it would go everywhere with you until you finished it. Coming of age tales were especially popular during that time, but not all of them were great. FEAR was though and I'll tell you why.

 

We have a family we can care for, more than one antagonist, a compelling setting, and best of all? A creature that can only be described as....SCARY. Sprinkle in some older women busy working their mojo, a traveling blues-man and an entire county of scary creatures, and you have the recipe for F-U-N!

 

This tale did start out slowly as we got to know everyone, the town itself, and the stories surrounding Fear County. Around about the halfway point, things ramped up and then the pace flew through the second half- I had a very hard time putting it down. I suspect that these days, an editor would have cut down the word count a bit, and even though I enjoyed the slower pace of the beginning, I can't deny that a few words could have been cut without hurting the book overall. For that I deducted half a star.

 

FEAR is exactly the type of book that inspired in me a love of horror fiction and dark fiction in general. We have a dirt poor family, a young man to root for, a setting of the small town, and nearby? A place so haunted and scary that no one ever goes there. I mean, really, for a horror fan-what's not to like? I highly recommend this book, especially to fans of coming of age horror and creature features.

 

Get your copy here: FEAR

 

*I purchased my copy with my hard earned cash back in 2014. I'm so glad I finally read this book!*

 

**Ronald Kelly was kind enough to join the Horror Aficionados Group for a group read of this story. Thank you, Mr. Kelly! I had a great time!*

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review 2019-03-14 14:54
not sure I liked Ryker!
Ryker - V.L. Locey,R.J. Scott
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. **This review will be short, I really dislike writing the three star reviews!** Ryker is hockey royalty, coming up as 4th generation championship winning players. Jacob works his family farm with his mum and dad. Both end up at hockey camp for the summer, and are polar opposites in most things. Sharing a room brings them closer, then camp is over and they are on opposite sides of the country. When Ryker switches college to be closer to Jacob, will Jacob let him? I can't put my finger on why this one didn't work for me, and ya'll know how much that does my head in! So, here's what I DID like. Both Jacob and Ryker have their say, so we get both sides of the coin. Both voices are clear and very different, and their voice is in the first person. Each change is clearly headed, and comes as the chapter changes. I saw no spelling or editing errors to spoil my reading. I tagged it as a short read, because it does NOT seem as long as the billed 196 pages! One sitting read, too. There are some characters from the series this one spins off, and that makes me want to go back and read THEIR series, or at least, Jared and Ten (Ryker's dad and step dad) stories. I just . . . .DON'T know what didn't work! Or at least, that was what I thought when writing this review. Now I'm typing it up, I *think* it might be Ryker himself. I dunno, maybe. Possibly. So, gonna leave it at that. 3 good solid but maybe not for me, stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2019-03-11 17:51
Beautiful graphic novel captures the drama of middle school and explores the trials of bullying, friendship, and first crushes through music
Operatic - Kyo Maclear,Byron Eggenschwiler

‘Somewhere in the universe, there is the perfect tune for you.’

 

This stunningly beautiful graphic novel is a treasure to hold in your hands. It’s a story with so many subtle layers, everything from bullying, to individuality, first crushes, and music history, all reflected within finely illustrated pages.

Charlie is nearing the end of middle school and while discovering the ‘soundtrack’ for her life for a school music assignment, she discovers opera and new friendships. While exploring the way we all identify differently with the music we hear, author Maclear tells Charlie’s tale of discovering the opera singer and diva Maria Callas, and those of her new friends Emile and Luka, boys who are alienated for liking bugs (weird) and singing (girly). Charlie recognizes how her classmates feel, their struggle to fit in and find their place along the cliques at school. The push of their class assignment encourages her to reach out to others as well as reach within and let her true self out.

 

The illustrations in this hardbound graphic novel (complete with a purple cloth spine and ribbon) tell so much of the story; they should be pored over and digested slowly. While the themes held within aren’t overt and initially obvious, ‘Operatic’ presents itself as a coming-of-age story that should be discussed and pondered to be absorbed, and it’s truly special.

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/40646241-operatic
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