Tag Archives: S.E. Hinton

Book Review: Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton (2/5)

20 May

S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders is probably my favorite novel of all time. I adore it each time I read it and I love the movie adaptation. I have a ring with a quote from the book. Everything about it is amazing. So when I found out Hinton had published a novel more recently, I added it to my TBR. It took years, but I finally got to it. And I’m quickly trying to forget about it.

Cover image via Goodreads

Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton

Summary from Goodreads:

An orphan and a bastard, Jamie Sommers grew up knowing he had no hope of heaven. Conceived in adultery and born in sin, Jamie was destined to repeat the sins of his parents–or so the nuns told him. And he proved them right. Taking to sea, Jamie sought out danger and adventure in exotic ports all over the world as a smuggler, gunrunner–and murderer. Tough enough to handle anything, he’s survived foreign prisons, pirates, and a shark attack. But in a quiet seaside town in Delaware, Jamie discovered something that was enough to drive him insane-and change his life forever. For it was in Hawkes Harbor that Jamie came face to face with the ultimate evil…

The book started strong for me. Jamie had a rough childhood and grew up to be a bit of an outlaw but a happy guy until he sees a coworker killed for a cause he doesn’t support. The timeline jumps between his time in a mental ward and spiraling downward in New Orleans. I thought there was some connection between the drugs and alcohol abuse and his space in the ward. Then he moved to Deleware and things seemed to be OK for a while. And here’s where the book lost me. I’m going to spoil it completely so skip this review if you want to read this. There he’s attacked by a vampire and made to be his slave. Yep, no joke. A story that I thought was going to be about the perils of drug abuse and making the wrong friends is about not waking up vampires from their long slumbers. The rest of the book is Jamie trying to escape from the vampire’s grip and their almost friendship by the end. I was hoping for a while that the vampire was some kind of metaphor for Jamie’s state of mind but when I lost that hope, I stopped caring about this book. It was so far from what I loved about Hinton’s other novels, the gritty reality of growing up on the wrong side of town, that I couldn’t like it.

Before the vampire attack, Kell and Jamie seemed like very likable characters and I could picture them easily. I liked easy-going Jamie and too-smark Kell. The first half of the book was great. But when it turned Twilight-y, I was done. Jamie dissolved into a shell and Kell was killed for a quick drink.

I didn’t like any of the characters but the least likable was Louisa, the doctor treating Grenville. She was very cruel to Jamie and I didn’t understand her motivation. She was not his master and even Grenville didn’t treat him as cruelly as Louisa did. She appeared out of nowhere to be a lurking presence in the novel and I wish she’d been taken out, I don’t think she added anything to the book.

At the beginning of the book, Jamie was relatable. He had some rough times, he was a bit impulsive, but he had a good heart. Once he was bitten, I hated him. I think that change made this book kind of hard for me to read. It essentially killed off my favorite character.

S.E. Hinton Image via FixQuotes

Jamie’s stories about sailing with Kell were great. I would have read a book of just that. I liked the adventure and risk he faced. I love the water and I won’t lie, some of that life was really appealing to me. I’d love to be on the water all the time but I’m a little too settled to start now.

The ending of the book was rough for me as well. If Grenville’s curse was lifted, I would have thought he’d age. But I guess every author gets to re-write their vampire lore just a bit. I don’t like that Jamie ended up being a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. I would have thought he’d get out of there completely or never recover from it. I guess his character weakness was too much for me by then. I wanted him back to his former glory and it was never going to happen.

I can’t begin to think of what the theme for this book is. Don’t go sticking your nose somewhere a kid tells you is haunted? Tough luck if you’re attacked by a vampire? It doesn’t matter if your doctor has the best intentions? The book was so disjointed and felt like three different books so I’m not sure what to think of it or even how to critique it. It was just too much.

Writer’s Takeaway: At the beginning, Hinton was using flashbacks to build tension. We saw Jamie growing up and exploring the seas and would return to him in psychiatric care. Unsure what had landed him there, we followed him and heard him share his story with the doctors. Then he’s released and the story fell apart for me there. All the tension seemed unimportant. His adventuring had nothing to do with why he was there, he’d be bitten and had tried to save someone else but was accused of assault. The tension disintegrated and I stopped caring. If using a flashback structure, it’s important that the flashbacks are important.

This book was a huge let down for me, sad to say. Two out of Five Stars

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
#326 Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton | One-Eleven Books2
Hawkes Harbor | The Poisoned Martini
Hawkes Harbor – S.E. Hinton | The Lucid Reader

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WWW Wednesday, 8-May-2019

8 May

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Still going slow with Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min but I did squeeze a bit in this week. I’m not worried about this one taking a while, I figured it would. I’ll get there eventually.
Maybe I’ll finish A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin before I finish Min. It’s not going quickly, but it’s going. I adore the narration of this one and I think I’ll continue to enjoy it for another month or so.
I picked up Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi while I was on my vacation and finished about half of it. I thought I’d get through more but I was so tired on the plane that I slept a lot. The author really focuses on the survival aspect of the camps and I’m really getting a good sense of what he remembers and went through.
I started  Exit West by Mohsin Hamid on audio. Still too early to really say, but I’m excited to start this one after hearing so much about it! It’s a nice, short one, so expect this finished quickly.

Recently finished: I finished Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton right before I left on my trip. I was really disappointed with it if I’m being honest. It’s from the author of my favorite book and it lacked a lot of the emotion I love about that book. If it had been by another author, I’m not sure I would have liked it anymore. The subject matter was just not what I expected.
I wrapped up The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob and really enjoyed it. I was worried about the author narrating this one but she was amazing. Honestly, I’d listen to her narrate any book and I’d be very happy with it. I saw the author has another book out and I’m excited to see how that one is received.

I posted my review of Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. This was one that kept me up late reading. I really adored it, a full 5 out of 5 Stars.

Reading Next: I’m going to keep chipping away at my TBR. I want to read one of my autographed books next since I don’t like those leaving the house and I’ll be home for a few weeks. So I’ll tackle A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. I’ve liked most things I’ve ready by Eggers so I’m excited to read his memoir as well.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 1-May-2019

1 May

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’ve had to work through lunch a lot the past few weeks so I haven’t made much progress on Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min. Partially, it’s because I’m not super interested, but it’s mostly because of time. I hope work slows down and I can get back to it soon.
I’m still moving forward with Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton. I hoped to be done with it by now, but it’s not gripping me. I actually dislike it so far, but I’m hoping things turn around a bit and finish on a better note than they’ve started. I’ll be really disappointed otherwise.
I’ll finish The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob by next week. This one has been enjoyable and I like the back-and-forth timeline it’s using to build suspense. And I keep thinking about the title and all of the things it can mean for the book. I wonder what I’ll finally decide on when I’m done.
As predicted, A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin will be a long haul. I’m on disk four of 36 so I feel like it’s going pretty well. We’ll see if I can keep this pace up for a few weeks and actually finish before it’s due back at the library. I might have to beg for a long renewal.

Recently finished: Nothing new this week, unfortunately. I’m OK with this because I’ve been so far behind on reviews and I finally get a chance to catch up! I think there will be two here next week, though.

I’ve knocked out one more review this week, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I absolutely adored this book and I wish I could imitate Simon’s voice. Albertalli is so talented. I gave it Five out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I’m leaving for a trip tonight and I’m taking Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi with me. I hope to start reading it while I’m gone and on the plane home at the latest.
I’ll need a new eaudiobook soon as well and I’ll be picking up our next book club selection, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. I’ve only heard good things about this one so I’m excited to dive in soon and see what all the fuss is about.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 24-April-2019

24 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m still moving forward with Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min but it’s starting to drag. It feels like nothing has happened in a while and I’m starting to get a little bored of this one. I hope something major happens soon, it feels like it’s due.
I’ve made decent progress on Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton despite being so busy the past week. I try to read a chapter before bed each night, but I keep falling asleep too quickly to finish. I think I can have this one finished next week, though.
I started The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob over the weekend. I’m having flashbacks to Lahiri’s The Lowland so far but I’m not sure if it will continue that way. It’s just something about brothers fighting in India that’s got me comparing them.
I started the long journey that is A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. This monster is 36 disks long and I’m on disk 3. And I’m happy with that. It will be on here a while longer, I’m sure. This is going to be fun.

Recently finished: I finished Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to see the movie as soon as I find a copy. I adored Simon’s voice and I’m not sure how that will translate to film, but I can’t wait to see them try.
I finished The Power by Naomi Alderman over the weekend. I’m still feeling out how I feel about this book. I liked the idea and how it played out, but I’m not sure how I felt about the characters. Sometimes, it was just a little too much for me.

I’ve got two book reviews posted as well. The first was my review of Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. I’m still vacillating about reading the rest of the series. I have an opinion poll on the review page so please check that out.
I also posted my review of News of the World by Paulette Jiles. My book club will be meeting next Monday to discuss this so I’m glad I was able to review it before then. I’ve been falling so far behind that’s become a problem.

Reading Next: I’ll read Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi as my next physical book. It’s been sitting on my shelf for so long. I’m glad to finally get it off.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 17-April-2019

17 Apr

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: It’s still steady-going with Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min. It’s not engrossing me as much as I would like and I keep waiting to be swept into it, but I’m almost halfway through and it’s not happening. I’ll keep pressing forward!
I’m obsessed with Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Simon’s voice is so perfect, I’m loving it. Honestly, it’s making me feel like my YA novel is never going to get published if this is the standard I have to stand up to. I’m finding excuses to drive around so I can listen to this.
I’m getting toward the end of The Power by Naomi Alderman and finally starting to see where it’s going. There are jumps forward and backward in time and they slowly merge into a big event. I’m getting close to it now. I think it’s safe to say this one will be finished next week.
I started reading Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton. Hinton is the author of one of my all-time favorite books, The Outsiders so I’m excited to pick up something new by her. This one is relatively short so I hope it doesn’t stay on this list very long.

Recently finished: I’m happy to say I finished Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. This one had me staying up late to read just a few more pages each night and I think I frustrated my husband by keeping the light on later and later. There’s a movie of this one and I can’t wait to see it. What a complicated issue Bohjalian created. I think it will play out well on screen.

I was able to post one review this week, Dodgers by Bill Beverly. My book club met this past week to discuss it as well so I’ll have another post about this one coming up soon. I enjoyed the book but the discussion actually brought up a few issues I hadn’t thought of before so I’m really glad for this group of people who have challenged me to think more about books.

Reading Next: I still plan to pick up Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi as a physical book, I’ve just pushed it back one. I’ll get to this when Hawkes Harbor is done.
My next eaudiobook will be The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob. This book was hyped a lot a few years ago and I haven’t heard much about it since but it’s lingered on my TBR all the same.
I think it may finally be time. I tend to listen to ‘bad summer books’ in the summer. I’m going to start on A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. This will be a long endeavor to be sure, but I’m ready for it. I’ll be caught up to my husband finally. And it will be good to be catching up on the books as the show ends.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Favorite Female Writers: #3

16 Oct

I’ll be honest: I don’t have any book reviews or writing-related posts for you all this week. School and race training have gotten in the way. What I do have to share with you is a top three list, starting today, continuing tomorrow, and ending Thursday. I want to share with you my top three favorite female writers and talk about why they’re so amazing and why I’m going to encourage everyone to check them out. So, let’s start with #3.

S.E. Hinton

This is an obvious choice for me. Hinton is the author of my favorite non-series book of all time, The Outsiders. I never read this book in school but other classes at my school did and it was reviewed as ‘OK.’ For a required book, that’s the highest praise a book can get and I decided I wanted to read it myself and see how ‘OK’ it was. I was immediately hooked. I went on to read the other YA books Hinton wrote, That Was Then, This is NowTex, and Taming the Star Runner. To me, none compared to The Outsiders but I had very high expectations.

To me, The Outsiders is a perfect book. It has relatable characters who are flawed and who are changed by the course of events in the book without anything seeming forced or out-of-place. The characters and lines from the book stay with you for long after you read it. In fact, I mentioned to a friend that this was my favorite book at a dinner once and he said he hadn’t read it. Almost everyone else at the table was shocked and started telling each other to “Stay gold.” I was in my happy place.

Another reason I admire Hinton is that she write The Outsiders, her first book, while in high school. The raw talent that shows is astounding. I’ve wanted to be a writer since high school and I’ve always felt that if Hinton did it, I could have done it, too, had I tried hard enough. And just because I didn’t then doesn’t mean I can’t now.

I’ve lent this book to people more times than I can count because I think it’s essential reading. I’m always scared, though, that it won’t come back or will come back damaged. You have to be a really good friend to borrow this one!

So there’s #3 of my top favorite female writers. Turn in tomorrow for #2 and Thursday for #1!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Friday Book Memes, 20-February-2015

20 Feb

Welcome to the ‘frigid cold’ edition of Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 hosted by Rose City Reader and Freda on Freda’s Voice. Head on over there and check out the other participating blogs.

This week I’ll be featuring a book I read over a year ago, Some of Tim’s Stories by S.E. Hinton. Hinton is one of my favorite writers of all time and her book, The Outsiders is my #1 recommended book. This is a short story collection she published much later.

BB.Button

Book Beginnings is all about that very important opening sentence (or two) that us writers are always worrying about! Hinton starts her book off with these:

“Not till you’re twelve. That’s the rule,” Uncle TJ said.
“That’s a dumb rule,” Terry said. “That’s two more years.”

This is a great way to introduce characters without too much of an info dump. The boys want to go camping with their father and uncle but the brothers like to have their time away. Terry wants to grow up too fast. Its a great setup for the book.

Friday 56

The way this meme works is pretty simple. If you want to join in, head over to Freda’s blog and add your link.

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book (I grab the one I’m currently reading)
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.

The quote on page 56 that I’ve chosen relates to many of the same themes as the opening quote, which I’m geeking out about.

What did grown-ups have to fear? He knew when he was grown up, his own fears would be gone- like not being able to find his room on the first day of school, that maybe driving a car would be beyond him, that he might not be good enough for big-league baseball after all.

Hinton talks about growing up a lot in her books so this is no surprise. I love her characters and they way she writes their thoughts and fears. Now I really want to re-read The Outsiders

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Who Influences You?

13 Feb

My husband suggested I talk about influences and I think that’s a great conversation to start. I hope you’ll join me in it. I’d never thought much about my influences until I started writing seriously, about a year ago. Before then, writing was  something I did when I had nothing else to do and an itch in my brain to put words on a page. Now that it’s one of my biggest hobbies, I think about it a lot.

I think we have influences in different aspects of our writing. For example, S.E. Hinton is an influence of mine because her books made me think that I could write. She was so young when she wrote The Outsiders, and it made me thing that I could write when I’m young and that I could write something worth reading. I also love how she is able to portray male characters that men can relate to. It shows that you can write another gender and do it well.

Sonia said to me that she sees Hinton’s characters in my book and I was incredibly honored. I assure you the resemblance between Ponyboy and Johnny isn’t too strong (my character is a 1920s gangster instead of a Tulsa greaser), but that she was able to see the same strong male persona in my character was really heartwarming.

While Hinton inspired me to start writing and encouraged me to know I can write about men and boys, I don’t strive to emulate her style. Let me explain other ways I’ve been influenced

J.K. Rowling is another big influence of mine. I’m not just saying this because I’m a Potterhead, mind you (though I am). Rowling’s popularity showed me that the whole world can care about Young Adult literature and that it’s sphere of influence can extend well beyond the 12-19 age group. I know I’m unlikely to write something as universally appealing as Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but knowing how seriously YA lit is taken today makes me feel more confident in saying I want to be a YA author.

Philippa Gregory inspired me to write Historical Fiction. I love her books about Tudor England and am awed by the way she is able to transport the reader to the time period so effortlessly, without explaining the way things are and letting them be. I always feel like I’m learning while I read her books and it made me want to read more and more and more historical pieces to learn and enjoy at the same time. So when I started writing historical pieces, I wanted to make my setting and characters seem as effortless. I want my readers to learn about the 1920s and fall in love with them as much as I have while researching my book.

I thank these women for making me want to write. It’s a coincidence that they are all woman, something I didn’t even notice until editing this piece. When I see their books on my shelf, I’m filled with confidence.

Who inspires and influences you? In what ways have you been influenced by other writers? Please leave me a comment and let me know.

Until next time, write on.

Some of Tim’s Stories by S.E. Hinton (4/5)

2 Jan

My final book of the 2013 Reading Challenge successfully complete! I saw that S.E. Hinton’s short stories had been put together in a collection and added it to my list. I was extatic when I found a copy in a resale shop down the street and grabbed it. What a wonderful find.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Some of Tim’s Stories by S.E. Hinton

Most people recognize S.E. Hinton’s name from The Outsiders but haven’t read her other books. With my fangirl personality, I read all of her YA novels when I was in high school and am proud to own three of them. I think she does a wonderful job of portraying the disadvantaged and explaining that we’re all following our lot in life and some were dealt a bad hand. There’s only so much we can do with what we have.

These short stories follow cousins Terry and Mike whose fathers pass away when they are young. Both boys grow up without a strong male role model and mothers weakened by loss. They’ve turned to some illegal activities to make ends meat when Terry is arrested, leaving Mike alone to fight his way through the myriad of relationships left behind.

I liked that this story jumped forward and backward in time while revealing how Mike dealt with Terry’s absence. The story of what happened to land Terry in jail comes later in the book and reveals why Mike holds so much guilt in his heart. Terry is a very minor character in the story’s action, but his presence and memory drive all of Mike’s motivations.

Like many of Hinton’s books, this one deals with those who are just getting by, the edge of society and those who don’t have a better future to look forward to. When Terry and Mike decided to get involved in illegal activities, they don’t see another option for themselves. It’s the only way they can see for the world to be just and give them the money they work so hard to earn. Mike’s ideas that the universe will pay him back for what he’s done continue well after Terry’s in jail. He tells himself that he cannot be happy in a relationship and drives away a woman who loves him. When misfortune befalls him and he’s injured at work, he sees it as punishment for how he’s acted before. When Terry returns, Mike finally realizes that he didn’t need to punish himself and that Terry’s not all the way gone. He’s finally able to respect himself a little more and move on with his life.

The copy I read was half interviews with Hinton and I loved reading these. She talked frequently about her relationships with the actors from The Outsiders movie and what it was like to be a part of the film making process. Her answers were always terse, much like her prose which always gets right to the point. It felt to me like it made her prose even more genuine because it felt like she had become her own characters, sharing in their speaking mannerisms.

What I like about Hinton is that she shows that criminals are not always bad people. Her characters frequently steal, sell drugs, and carry guns but that doesn’t define who they are. She shows us that we can sympathize with criminals once we know their motivations. One of the themes in my novel is that there is no black and white, only shades of grey and I think that Hinton likes to show this in her stories as well. Maybe I should count her among my influences.

Writer’s Takeaway: I have addressed before that I’m interested in what makes a work a collection of short stores instead of a novel. Many times it’s the same characters, which is the case in this collection as well. I think the even more prominent connection is the theme of redemption. Terry is redeemed when he emerges from jail much the same person as when he left. Tim is redeemed when he can prove to himself that he can love. He loves Mike and his aunt and when he knows that, he can love others as well. It’s a pity it takes so long for him to figure this out.

Overall, I prefer her novels, but this was a great quick read. Four out of Five stars.

Until next time, Reader, write on.

My Favorite Authors Across Genres

27 Nov

Asking a reader who their favorite author is usually feels like picking a favorite child (I’m assuming, I have no children, this is what I’ve been told). So, instead, I’ll tell you about my favorite authors for each genre that I read, long one or two runners-up who are worthy of mention.

This list is a bit short. I realized I’m not much of a repeat-reader as far as reading multiple books from an author. Unless it’s a series, which you’ll see a bit below. I like variety, some say it’s the spice of life.

Action: Steig Larsson

Contemporary Fiction: Khaled Hosseini

General Fiction: John Irving

Historical Fiction: Phillipa Gregory
Honorable Mention: Tracy Chevalier

Non-Fiction: A.J. Jacobs

Young Adult: J.K. Rowling (are you really surprised?)
Honorable Mention: S.E. Hinton

If I have to pick overall, I usually say John Irving. He gets a little repetitive if you read him a lot, but I love his storytelling style.

Who are your favorite writers? What other genres would you have chosen? Anyone I should read? Leave a comment and let me know!

Until next time, write on.