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review 2018-01-31 21:28
This shouldn't work but it does
Violent Ends - Brendan Shusterman,Courtney Summers,Neal Shusterman,Beth Revis,Elisa Nader,Shaun Hutchinson,Delilah S. Dawson,Tom Leveen,Trish Doller,Kendare Blake,E. M. Kokie,Blythe Woolston,Mindi Scott,Margie Gelbwasser,Hannah Moskowitz,Steve Brezenoff,Christine Johnso

So I generally reserve 5 star reviews for a both that was both excellent *and* I'm likely to want to reread. In this case, it's not necessarily that I'm likely to pull this down off the shelf over and over again, but that it was a truly remarkable book.

 

Told in 17 points of view, this is the story of - or maybe it's more accurate to say "around" - a high school shooting. Each segment was written by a different YA author and is from a different character or object POV. Remarkably, it still feels like a consistent, singular work. I would have thought the tonal shifts would be too jarring, or the way it doesn't come back around in a classic narrative structure would be more like reading a series of news accounts or a short story anthology. But - and this feels like a super weird comment to make - it reads really well. It's fast, engaging, even entertaining or enjoyable, at some level. The characters are well fleshed out, though it's hard to keep track of them and their relationships to one another, especially at first. There's insight, but not explanations.

 

The book as a whole doesn't answer much. The shooter was a boy with some problems. He might have been a good friend. He might have been destructive from a young age. He might have been bullied. He might have been suicidal. He might have had psychological issues. It might have been the system, or isolation; other kids, or school or genetics. There's complexity and confusion and bad choices and too much unexplored desire and it pretty much captures adolescence and the terrors and triumphs of high school. It's a mess and it's brilliant and remarkable.

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review 2017-12-02 22:23
Something Violent - Kristopher Rufty
Something Violent - Kristopher Rufty

Dr Phil meets Natural Born Killers. Sound like an odd combination? It totally works in Rufty's Something Violent. When Jody and Seth are out on their killing sprees, they are all business. But their marriage has hit the rocks. Where do the serial killers turn to when they can't fix their marriage on their own? They kidnap the famous marriage counselor to the stars, Ron McClure. Ron isn't the first man to fall victim to Jody flaunting her lucious body in public. Too bad he didn't see the taser she had hidden under her skirt. No he finds himself knocked unconscious, shoved in a trunk, and wakes up ducttaped to a chair in some unknown basement. When you counsel Hollywood's elite, you come across some crazy clientele. But nothing could have prepared him for Seth and Jody.

 

 

Something Violent worked for me. The premise is just crazy enough to make you shake your head, but Rufty plays the whole thing straight and makes the streaks of black comedy work. As the demented couple unfurl their story to the counselor, the human element comes through. Sure they're warped as it gets, but in a very odd way, you start to feel for them, care about them. That's what makes the whole thing work. If all they are is monsters kidnapping a doctor, all you would have is the shock value without any substance. Rufty shows how nutcase like Seth and Jody can be three dimensional. Brilliant. Kudos to Rufty for making this a fun, page-turner.

 

 

 

4.5 Purple Wigs out of 5

 

 

You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

 

 

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

 

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

 

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review 2017-08-23 16:50
As the title says – a revenge story which is worth a look
Violent Love Volume 1: Stay Dangerous - ... Violent Love Volume 1: Stay Dangerous - Frank J. Barbiere



This comic collection deals with Daisy dealing with her father being killed by a violent gang and her search for revenge. It's a sort of Bonnie-and-Clyde story which will no doubt be developed further in Volume 2. With mainly black,white and red artwork, there is plenty of character development and the plot moves along at a fair pace. Enjoyable and engaging, it should appeal to many a comic fan. I enjoyed it more than I expected to.

 

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review 2017-03-14 21:56
Scars of the Independence
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth - Holger Hoock

I received this book via LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.

 

The quaint, romanticized version of the American Revolution that many have grown up with through popular history and school curriculum is not the real life story that those living during those years experienced.  In Scars of Independence, Holger Hoock looks past the good versus bad and underdog narratives so prevalent today to reveal the multifaceted struggle and very violent history of the American Revolutionary War from all its participants.

 

Hoock frames the American Revolution as not just a colonial rebellion, but first and foremost a civil war in which the dividing line of loyalties split family.  The Patriot-Loyalist violence, either physical or political, began long before and lasted long after the military conflict.  Once the fighting actually began, both the Americans and the British debated amongst themselves on the appropriate use of the acceptable violence connected to 18th century warfare and on the treatment of prisoners.  While both sides thought about their conduct to those in Europe, the Native Americans were another matter and the violence they were encouraged to inflict or was inflicted upon them was some of the most brutal of the war.  But through all of these treads, Hoock emphasizes one point over and over, that the American Patriots continually won the “propaganda” war not only in the press on their side of the Atlantic but also in Europe and even Great Britain.

 

One of the first things a reader quickly realizes is that Hoock’s descriptions of some of the events of the American Revolution remind us of “modern-day” insurgencies and playbooks of modern terrorists, completely shattering the popular view of the nation’s birth.  Hoock’s writing is gripping for those interested in popular history and his research is thought-provoking for scholars.  Another point in Hoock’s favor is his birth outside the Anglo-American historical sphere in Germany, yet his background in British history and on-off research fellowships in the United States has given him a unique perspective to bring this piece of Anglo-American history out to be consumed, debated, and thought upon.

 

Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth is a fascinating, intriguing, thought-provoking book on the under-reported events of the American Revolutionary War in contrast to the view of the war from popular history.  Holger Hoock gives his readers an easy, yet detailed filled book that will help change their perspective on the founding of the United States by stripping the varnish away to reveal the whole picture.

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review 2017-02-03 00:00
Something Violent
Something Violent - Kristopher Rufty **SPOLIER WARNINGS AHEAD**

NOTE: Once the synopsis is up here on GR, this really won’t be a spoiler at all, but since I didn’t hide it, use caution and read further at your own risk.

Ron McClure, marriage counselor to the stars, just got roped in to do a little pro bono therapy work. It is an offer he can’t refuse, if he wants to live thru the session. He better be damn good at his job too. His life just may depend on it.

Jody and Seth were madly in love. Bathing in the glow of one another, drenched in blood. Some of the ole spark is gone, however, and the sex and murder just isn’t enough anymore. Time for some counseling. They know just the guy.

This was a well written, quick and enjoyable serial killer romp with a True Romance / Natural Born Killers vibe to it. I don’t know why, but I am a little surprised that I liked it as much as I did. It could have been a hot cheesy mess, but it wasn't. Kudos to Rufty for pulling it off.

*As a member of the DarkFuse Readers Group, I received an advanced copy of this title thru NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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