Archives for February 2014
Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble
I think I just might have a new favorite author — or at least one whose additional work I definitely will be reading. And that would be J.H. Trumble author of don’t let me go, a novel that I just completed and absolutely loved. I read the book in one sitting, staying up several hours past my bedtime because I simply could not put it down.
This delicate yet powerful character-driven story follows the love story between two young men, Adam and Nate. They meet in high school and almost immediately, are inseparable and the love that they feel for one another is evident almost from day one. Told from Nate’s point of view, we are privy to the ups and downs of young love as the two teens figure out who they are in the presence of each other and experience growth in the process. The author does an excellent job of weaving together a complicated first love and I found the writing to evocative, with the perfect amount of description.
It’s All About The Angst
But what’s a novel without a little angst, right? If you like angst, you’ll find plenty of it in this book. Shortly before Adam graduates, a horrific event occurs during with Nate suffers both physical and psychological injuries. Adam, whose love is the theater, is presented with an opportunity to go to New York with a theater troupe only a few months after the incident. The question is: should he go or should he stay? If he if goes, how will it affect their relationship?
Well, we know right from the first page that Adam does indeed go as the novel opens with tense scene during with Nate driving Adam to the airport. With the talented use of flashbacks, the author fills us in on how they arrived at this particular point in their lives and what the fallout (and there is indeed fallout) of Adam’s decision will be on Nate’s life and their relationship. Several misunderstandings on the part of the characters creates plenty of obstacles four our pair and their relationship, causing them to not always make the best decisions.
The characters themselves are meticulously developed and as such, the reader truly feels the depth of their relationship as they grow deeper in love and later on in the novel, further apart. The supporting cast of colorful characters is well presented such as Danial the tease who has shadows of his own; Annie, their best friend, who I suspect is still in love with Nate; and of course Granny, who spends her time looking at gay porn on the computer.
The writing is solid and clear, although some people might not like the author’s use of “time-jumping” — but I felt that it worked well in the story and was expertly handled, as it revealed a touching backstory that helped us to know and understand each character’s motivation.
At one point in the story nearing the end of the novel, I found myself getting a tad disgusted with Adam and came to the conclusion that he was kind of a dick. In my eyes, this likable character had transformed into somewhat of an unlikeable brat. If you come to this same point, keep reading — he redeems himself later one (but he doesn’t have an easy time of it). The bad decisions he makes however, does render him more believable as a character as we are all prone to making the wrong choices here and there. But by the end of the novel, you will care deeply about these characters and what happens to them.
In the midst of turmoil, there is humor and I found myself laughing out loud several times throughout the story at the witty dialog that Trumble throws at us. Although there is a light touch in places, don’t be deceived — the author tells a very serious story during which our characters learn about love, loss, disappointment, bigotry, deceit, betrayal and friendship.
Don’t Let Me Go is an excellent young adult coming-of-age tale to which many gay and lesbian teens will be able to relate. I found this book to be a refreshing well-written and emotional story dealing with two gay teens who overcome past hurts to find love and the promise of a future together. I look forward to reading more of this author’s work. Recommended!
Went to the movies last night to see Robocop. I saw the original way back in 1987 when it came out and recall that I enjoyed it at the time, although I don’t remember too much of the plot. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the 2014 version as often, I’m disappointed with remakes (with Carrie being a prime example). But I ended up enjoying the movie much more than I thought I would. While there indeed was a lot of shooting, I seem to remember the 1987 original as being much more violent — but perhaps time has affected my memory.
The year is 2028. OmniCorp, a center for worldwide robot technology, has succeed in placing robot drones on the streets as peacekeepers in many countries, with the United Stated being the exception. In the US, a law prohibits the use of drones. Just when it looks like OmniCorp’s latest attempt to instill drones in the US will fail, Alex Murphy, a Detroit Police Officer played by Joel Kinnamon, is critically wounded in an explosion after investigating some possibly corrupt officers on his force.
The CEO of OmniCorp played by Michael Keaton, seizes this opportunity and uses what’s left of Office Murphy to create a half-man, half-robot police officer called Robocop (actually, he’s more robot – not to much left to him beside brain, heart, lungs and one hand). He is put on the streets and almost immediately, crime in the city is reduced by 80%. But there is a lot more going on here, from corrupt police officers to evil corporate maneuvers — and of course, one key fact that the scientists and corporate monkeys seem to have forgotten: it is still a man inside the machine, complete with fears, anxieties, love and a thirst for vengeance.
While there were several clichés present in the movie such as “one man stands alone against the evil corporation”, I enjoyed the film. It was fast-paced with well-orchestrated action scenes and great acting all around. Samuel L. Jackson (he’s been in everything lately) does an fantastic job as a pro-drone over-the-top game show host and Gary Oldman who plays Dr. Dennett Norton, the scientist responsible for Murphy’s transformation from man to machine, is convincing as his portrayal as the corporate scientist with a heart.
While the 2014 movie might not be as bloody as the original, there were a couple of cringe-worthy scenes, one during which the machine is stripped from Office Murphy and we see how little of Robocop is actually a man — all that’s left of Murphy is his exposed brain, heart, lungs and right hand — an eewww moment for sure. Speaking of his hand, I thought it amusing that when he was first revealed, it was his left hand that was human but later on in the movie it was his right. Whoop….little continuity problem there. But confused hands aside, I enjoyed the movie and feel that it’s worth a view.
Imagine that every day when you you woke up, you were a different person. Some days you were a girl, others a boy. Or you might by gay one day, straight the next. Maybe a drug addict on Monday and a Supermodel on Tuesday. Such is the life of sixteen-year-old “A”, the first person point of view character in the book Every Day by David Levithan.
I stumbled across this book awhile back on a reading list and the premise intrigued me. The plot of the books is as described above: our sixteen-year-old character inhabits a different body every day and has no control over where – or in whom – he’ll end up, although he does seem to stay within the same geographical area. I liked the fact that the author presents teenagers from all walks of life, prompting us to perhaps question the perceived notions and stereotypes we have of people. “A’s” personally doesn’t identify as either a girl or a boy – it’s different all the time. He never remembers a time when he didn’t occupy a new body daily – it’s always been this way.
What struck me while reading this book was the idea that this person could never forge any lasting relationships. There was nobody “A” loved, relied upon, depended upon. Not one person even knew who he was or that he even existed. This point was really brought home when one of the young men he was “possessing”, Marc went to the funeral of his grandfather. During the service, tears welled up in “A’s” eyes — not over any sadness for the stranger in the casket, but over the realization that “A” will never have a family to grieve over him. That he will never leave a trail of memories behind. That nobody even will even have known him. There will be nobody to attend his funeral when the time comes.
One day, “A” does the unspeakable; he falls in love. He inhabits the body of Justin, Rhiannon’s self-centered boyfriend and from that point forward A is smitten with her and his world changed. He decides that he is going to transcend his situation and tell Rhiannon his secret; he decides to let her how how he feels about her in the hopes that they can somehow build a life together.
This eloquently-written character driven novel has found a place among my list of favorite books. It causes us to think about the stereotypes we encounter in our daily lives and allows us to perhaps transcend our own biases and see the world in a different way. I loved “A’s” personality and enjoyed watching his emotional progression throughout the book. This refreshing novel pulled me in from the beginning and did not disappoint. Recommended!
You can check out the book HERE
A few years ago, I read a delightful YA coming-of-age novel by Brent Hartinger called The Geography Club which I really enjoyed. I recently learned that the book had been made into a movie. I saw the movie last night and loved it – thought it was really well done. I couldn’t say if it was true to the book though as it’s been a few years ago since I read it.
Here is the editorial blurb:
16-year old Russell is going on dates with girls while nurturing a secret relationship with star quarterback Kevin, who will do anything to prevent his teammates from finding out. Min and Terese tell everyone that they’re just best friends. And then there’s Ike, who can’t figure out who he is or who he wants to be. Finding the truth too hard to hide, they decide to form a Geography Club, thinking nobody else would want to join. However, their secrets may soon be discovered and they could have to face the choice of revealing who they really are.
Russell (played by Cameron Deane Stewart) the main character is an attractive high-school student who is questioning his sexuality and discovers that the school’s football star, Kevin (played by Justin Deeley) is gay – but closeted. Russell meets a few other gay kids who had formed a secret Gay & Lesbian support group at school called The Geography Club, figuring that the name was so boring nobody would want to join. In this way, they would meet without drawing attention to themselves.
Eventually, Russell’s secret comes out and the rest of the movie deals with the fallout. I enjoyed the movie as much as I recall enjoying the book. Even though the book was written ten years ago, I found the movie especially relevant today as each day we read about more and more athletes publicly coming out of the closet. I personally remember all to clearly what it was like being gay in high-school – the fear, the shame, the peer-pressure, the desire to be “normal”. I felt that this movie did an excellent job at portraying how difficult this period of life can be for a gay teen.
This family-friendly film was well-done from the cinematography and storyline to the acting. It’s available in some theaters now and is scheduled to be released on DVD on March 11th. If you think you might enjoy a heartfelt young adult film with fun, colorful characters that portrays the value of friendship and life of a gay teen in high school, then this movie is definitely worth a view.
The first novel of my new YA series featuring 16-year old Medium and Tarot card reader Nick should be released with the next two months (I’m shooting for the 16th of March). Three of them have been written so far with a fourth on the way. I should have the first book “Crossing Bridges: Beginnings” for sale in less than two months.
I have decided to allow my first novel, A Clash of Fangs to go out of print. It’s been around twelve years since I wrote it and it’s a bit dated at this point. I’ve decided to rewrite it, update it and then republish it at a later date.
I have also finished my M/M werewolf novel (title not yet decided). I plan on releasing it after the Crossing Bridges 2 is completed. I’d expect to see it by mid summer.
Thanks for reading and supporting my work!