JAKE, Lucid Dreamer ISBN: 9788494754882, Kwill Books, an e-book by David J. Naiman.
The story is centered on Jake, a young boy now starting middle school four years after losing his beloved mother after an extended life battle that included chemotherapy, gradually extended hospitalization with attendant degenerative changes until her demise. Even four years later he is so devastated that he is unable to realize that his father and younger sister also have been, and still are greatly affected, although each in his/her own way have been able to make adjustments of which he becomes aware only later. Thus, he can only partially and intermittently reciprocate the mutual love that exists within the remaining family. His underlying smoldering anger at the enormity of his loss also reflects in all of his dealings with acquaintances and his entry into this middle school area peopled by individuals described as pimply and awkward with gangling limbs, orthodontic braces, sour attitudes and beginning hormone acceleration. Added to these physical problems provided by this group lying between the more or less friendly elementary school level and the highly competitive ‘almost adult’ high school, are the rising levels of social awareness of boy/girl relationships and the constantly growing ‘bully’ activities. For Jake, nightly dreams offer just one more addition to this huge burden as does the fact that he is of interracial origin (his mother was Chinese). His lengthy journey and steps taken to find an eventual answer to his tortured mind is the subject of the tale.
Discussion: The most prominent feature of this story is how the author has so adroitly handled the number of extremely difficult interrelated subjects – parental loss, a sister seemingly a little slow developmentally either physically or for attention-seeking purposes (adding annoyance to Jake’s already ‘full plate’ regardless of cause), the abundance of ‘middle school’ childhood problems, his interracial origin and his ‘lucid’ dreams. The author further has managed to very creditably depict the problems facing such a student in a manner that individuals of this age can understand so the lessons easily can be assimilated and absorbed by them.
Summary: A very well and thoughtfully written story of a devastatingly heart-breaking, situation set forth in a most movingly heart-warming and thoughtful presentation. Highly recommended.
5* Heartwarmingly told poignant tale for young readers, but thought provoking for anyone.
Closer to Paradise, an e-book published, copyright and written by H. Stinington.
This dancing romance novel is the first volume in a proposed series that follows eighteen-year-old Isabella Anderson and two-year-older partner Daniel Prentiss as they attempt to make their way in the small and highly competitive field of professional dance. They are individually attractive, very talented, perform and look extremely well when performing as a couple. They have just won a title and wish to be selected as the lead couple to represent Daniel’s Canada in a contest to be held in the near future on the international level. Unfortunately her citizenship papers of transfer from the U. S. is taking time and adding just one more layer of tension to the huge number already facing persons entering this totally visible, tightly gathered group activity. And above all else, the couple find themselves stranded by airplane problems that the limited hotel arrangements available lead them to stray across the line of sexual intimacy. Regrettably, although they find they now are fully and joyously happy in all ways, such a relationship is a long-considered taboo in the group supposedly leading to disastrous results. Thus, any witnessed display of the relationship immediately will be noticed and open to discussion by this tightly knit bunch so inundated with interpersonal intrigue, innuendo, canards and hearsay. Some couples have successfully dealt with the situation but unfortunately apparently others have not. So, a state of affairs exists that sadly and somewhat amusingly perhaps best may be described by a Mark Twain quotation: “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.” Regardless, facing this strong group-accepted belief, the young couple is forced to decide whether their careers or their happiness is most important. The remainder of the story recounts their attempts to decide and how best to deal with their decision when made.
Discussion: The dilematous matter is presented in a readable manner; similarly, sexual activity is nicely restrained; these young people exhibit remarkably maturity in their thought patterns; and generally the story presents a certain level of interesting credibility. In this viewer’s opinion, a little expansion of the inner operational aspects of this very visible and beautiful, but often somewhat small audience generating activity, would have offered a fascinating addition. However, the story as provided is one that should have great appeal to younger readers and most especially to devotees of the romance genre.
4* Delightful short tale especially for young romance devotees.