Kicked Out by Richard W Hardwick

kicked outThis is the tale of sixteen year old Danny who is made homeless when kicked out of home by his parents after disappearing for two days after his sixteenth birthday.

I started this and really wasn’t sure it was going to be to my taste, but I was glad to be proved wrong. I found the writing style easy to read, but initially it was interspersed with other bits of writing that made the story a little difficult to follow, but this became less over the course of the book. I found that initially Danny came across as a very shallow young lad, but after being made homeless and then finding himself a place in a young people’s hostel I started to see another side to Danny appear. He makes a pal there called Goocher, although finds himself sharing a room with a ’smackhead’ Paul. Lots of fighting happens at the hostel along with drugs, sex and drink, but we also see the camaraderie of the young people and how they will look out for their pals.

When Lucy comes into the picture we can really start to see the softer side to Danny and it makes you feel so sad that his own family have become dysfunctional.

I found that through the story I really started to root for Danny and really hope that he could pull his life around and make something of himself. I then start thinking about life on the streets and those that are homeless. Many probably have much they could give to society, but with their upbringings and hardships that they have had to face make this an almost impossible task for them.

Overall I would say this is a novel that really draws you in and can help you understand the lives of those less fortunate than yourself and I felt could make you think under different circumstances “that could be me!” I have certainly been surprised by other’s behaviour (people that I think I know well) when they have been put under a certain set of circumstances and so I know that people can be a mix of many things depending on their situation. I think this is a book that will stick with me for sure and it’s certainly one that I would recommend.

Published by:  Burning House

RRP: £7.99

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Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek

tomato

A strange, sad and disturbing tale set in the American South in the late 60’s. Ellie lives with her father and mother, but her mother is mentally unstable and after a fall and Tess the ‘Tomato Girl’ comes to stay things steadily deteriorate for her mother and all involved.

Highly addicting reading, however, awful things happen to eleven year old Ellie, one after the other, and it sometimes appears a little difficult to believe, but it certainly makes for page turning stuff.

Ellie has an awful lot to contend with dealing with her mother , father and Tess and one wonders how such a young girl can cope with all that is laid on her shoulders. One minute she seems very young for her years but the next very old. It’s certainly a world that wouldn’t be wished upon such young shoulders and it can be very strange too; the tale of her brother is most definitely disturbing. Ellie definitely had much too much responsibilty for one so young. It shows the strength of her character, but then if one has to deal with an awful situation there sometimes are not many options. It certainly scars her although which is to be expected. Ellie has a good friend who tries to help along the way and also finds there are others out there who will try to help in anyway they can, even if this involves a little bit of magic. It was by no means a cheerful tale,but the ending was certainly fitting and I felt helped lift the story from some of the sadness involved.

Website: http://www.jaynepupek.com

Will Work for Nuts by Matthew Cole

This is an entertaining book that allows people to arrange for certain wildlife, and the occasional pet, to take park in stunts / experiments. I would say most of the stunts require quite a lot of patience and some have a need for wildlife in your back garden. Teaching your goldfish to play football certainly looked interesting as shown by the video here. I have seen the squirrel stunts played out on TV, but most of the other ideas are all new to me. I have to say I can’t imagine myself entering my local wood with a battery powered drill! Read the book to find out more about this.

I would recommend this book as a stocking filler at this time of year and I believe it will entertain and amuse, dare I say, quite a few nature loving men, as I don’t see many ladies wishing to race slugs over razor blades. It’s written in a very humorous way and will lead to a few chuckles, but I would have liked a few more cute animal pictures, however I feel it’s a book more suited to the practicalities of playing out the stunts. One fact I did learn along the way was that if another woodlouse happens upon an upturned woodlouse he will help flip his pal over. It’s good to know even the bugs help each other out!

Overall an enjoyable fun book!

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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Todd is the last boy of Prentisstown, who is shortly to become a man. Only men live in Prentisstown as the women have all died, and it’s an uncomfortable place as everyone’s thoughts can be heard by everyone else, otherwise known as ‘Noise.’

Todd’s parents are both dead and he’s been brought up by Cillan & Ben. Suddenly he finds himself being ordered from his home as Cillan and Ben feel it’s no longer safe for him. He takes with him Manchee his talking dog and takes off into the swamp, where he meets Viola, another orphan. They are destined to travel together on a hunt for Haven: the safe town! At the same time they are the hunted by the men of Prentisstown who will not let him just leave and Aaron, who has only recently become a man is also on their trail.

Great, dystopian, young adult novel, but I believe is suitable for us oldies too! It’s a real page turner! I haven’t read a story of this genre in a long time, but enjoy it I most certainly did. Its drama all the way through and just as you feel all will settle down the pace accelerates again. Every time I picked it up I found it very hard to put down. It’s a dark read and all told from the view that Todd has on his world. I thought the characters are all well drawn and I adored Manchee, the dog, and his funny ways. I was really sad to finish the book, with an ending I wasn’t expecting, but was very pleased to learn that this is only the first book of a trilogy. I can’t wait for more!

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Aberrations by Penelope Przekop

Narcoleptic Angel Duet struggles with her disability. It means she can fall asleep at no notice and she also suffers with cataplexy which can leave her body asleep, but the mind still awake. The book shows how difficult life can be for Angel as she has to rely on others so much, but she meets 2 new friends: Tim & Kimmy and she tries to overcome her narcolepsy by using a drug of the non prescription type. Throughout the novel Angel is on a mission to find out about her mother who apparently died whilst giving birth and her father is unable to discuss this with her as the pain appears too much for him. He has a new relationship with Carla, who is a down to earth lawyer and try’s in her way to help Angel, but Angel is not ready to accept her help.

A great novel; I loved this book. It was an amazing emotional journey with true depth and I felt it gave a real understanding of the characters. We see people in their true colours; warts and all, including Mac who is married, but at the same time is having an affair. One can’t but help warm to his character, but it left me uneasy at times as I felt by liking him I was almost condoning his adultery. Even though we did not know his wife to any great degree in the novel, she was still a valid person and did she deserve this? However this is what happens in life and it’s not all pretty colours and this novel shows the dilemmas in life very well; people are fallible, but this doesn’t make them totally bad. I also began to question if the illicit drug that Angel took for improving her narcolepsy would actually help and if it did I wondered if there was any clinical testing being done with regards to this; leaving me with research to do.

This novel was great for getting me to think; it had a wonderful flowing story, was written in a very effective way and also had me connecting emotionally to the characters. I couldn’t ask for more.

I highly recommend this book.

Aberrations Book Trailer

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Precious Cargo by Clyde Ford

Precious Cargo by Clyde Ford

African American Charlie Noble loves his boat: The Noble Lady as well as his lady friend Kate. He is hired by Marvin and Angela who pull up an unwanted lady from the bottom of the seabed. Having lost their own daughter they ask Charlie to investigate and find out how this lady came to be there. Charlie takes on the challenge and finds himself in many dangerous situations, but is helped by Raven, a Native American.

For a thriller I found this an extremely laid back read and an enjoyable one too. I was really surprised that as the story was always moving that I could find the story so laidback, however maybe it was the way that Clyde wrote the character of Charlie. I loved the watery theme of this thriller too and it certainly gave it a different slant than many other of the thrillers that I have read lately. It’s certainly left me feeling like a boat trip; however I’d give the bullets a miss.

Clydes website here

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Sugar-Baby Bridge by Brett Edward Stout

Brad Spicer is trying to find his identity after recently finishing his four year stint in the marines and in this novel we follows Brad and his thoughts after meeting in a gay bar with Ron, a wealthy older man. They depart from the bar together and then spend the next few days in each others company with Brad driving them around in Ron’s Mercedes and visiting various friends and relatives around California.

I though this novel was extremely well written and it’s very interesting following Brad’s thought processes as it’s written in the first person. Brad is in his early twenties and Ron is in his early thirties and they appear very different. I feel it would have been great to learn more about Ron in the book, as he was a man of very few words; however I suppose he wouldn’t have been Ron and it would have been a very different story if he had said more. Brad does try to encourage Ron to talk more, but I feel Brad thinks much too much as it seems at times that he can overanalyze absolutely everything and also he always appears to want to fit in everywhere and can try too hard, but then he is young!

Overall it was an enjoyable read, although a little different from most of my reading, but I would recommend it. I’m also interested in the fact that Brad’s life does not end here and there is more to come from Brett.

Interview with Brett here

Brett’s website

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