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STONER WITH A BONER

(IT'S A LONG STORY)

In spite of a silly title, occasional mature insights into mature acts make for a memorable sexual escapade.

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A modern tale of sex, drugs and day jobs from author K. (Honey B., 2012).

As the title suggests rather explicitly, this is a book about marijuana and sex. Narrated by an unnamed grocery store manager who explores naughty pleasures in his free time, the praise of marijuana and beautiful women never diminishes. Whether it’s coupling with a woman who enjoys falling asleep during the act or finding the best way to store quality weed, the narrator never bores of either subject. Always careful to maintain his day job, avoid any romantic complications with his love trysts, and not get anywhere near being caught with an illegal substance, the narrator is free to enjoy himself. After all, the outside world respects him as an ordinary citizen by day, while various women devour him by night: “Margaret was not shy, she slid my hand from her knee up between soft bare thighs to her silk covered mound.” Written in a loose, free-wheeling prose that mimics the narrator’s lifestyle, the story glides from woman to woman and bong hit to bong hit without the burdens of plot or conflict. Though many reflections have the tedious feel of a stoner who can’t stop singing pot’s praises (“Marijuana leads to lingering. The herb makes nipples delicious. Nothing like being naked and doing a doobie. Bong. Bong. Bong.”), the composition as a whole is more mature than what one might infer from the title. The narrator repeatedly praises women for their individual differences and sexuality. Erotic scenes are explicit, though the individuals engaged in them are marked with idiosyncrasies. “In Brenda’s case,” says the grocer, “I could catch her scented signal but on my tongue she felt like thick water, clear but possessing weight, it wouldn’t splash, it would smear.” The narrator never gives much more of himself to the reader beyond his somewhat predictable views on drug laws and oral sex, but his adventure is entertaining for those curious about how an attractive, tough-but-fair store manager might spend his weekends.

In spite of a silly title, occasional mature insights into mature acts make for a memorable sexual escapade.            

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2011

ISBN: 978-1463583682

Page Count: 138

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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JUPITER STORM

In more ways than one, a tale about young creatures testing their wings; a moving, entertaining winner.

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A fifth-grade New Orleans girl discovers a mysterious chrysalis containing an unexpected creature in this middle-grade novel.

Jacquelyn Marie Johnson, called Jackie, is a 10-year-old African-American girl, the second oldest and the only girl of six siblings. She’s responsible, smart, and enjoys being in charge; she likes “paper dolls and long division and imagining things she had never seen.” Normally, Jackie has no trouble obeying her strict but loving parents. But when her potted snapdragon acquires a peculiar egg or maybe a chrysalis (she dubs it a chrysalegg), Jackie’s strong desire to protect it runs up against her mother’s rule against plants in the house. Jackie doesn’t exactly mean to lie, but she tells her mother she needs to keep the snapdragon in her room for a science project and gets permission. Jackie draws the chrysalegg daily, waiting for something to happen as it gets larger. When the amazing creature inside breaks free, Jackie is more determined than ever to protect it, but this leads her further into secrets and lies. The results when her parents find out are painful, and resolving the problem will take courage, honesty, and trust. Dumas (Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest: Episode 5, 2017, etc.) presents a very likable character in Jackie. At 10, she’s young enough to enjoy playing with paper dolls but has a maturity that even older kids can lack. She’s resourceful, as when she wants to measure a red spot on the chrysalegg; lacking calipers, she fashions one from her hairpin. Jackie’s inward struggle about what to obey—her dearest wishes or the parents she loves—is one many readers will understand. The book complicates this question by making Jackie’s parents, especially her mother, strict (as one might expect to keep order in a large family) but undeniably loving and protective as well—it’s not just a question of outwitting clueless adults. Jackie’s feelings about the creature (tender and responsible but also more than a little obsessive) are similarly shaded rather than black-and-white. The ending suggests that an intriguing sequel is to come.

In more ways than one, a tale about young creatures testing their wings; a moving, entertaining winner.

Pub Date: Nov. 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943169-32-0

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Plum Street Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

BROTHERS IN ARMS

BLUFORD HIGH SERIES #9

A YA novel that treats its subject and its readers with respect while delivering an engaging story.

In the ninth book in the Bluford young-adult series, a young Latino man walks away from violence—but at great personal cost.

In a large Southern California city, 16-year-old Martin Luna hangs out on the fringes of gang life. He’s disaffected, fatherless and increasingly drawn into the orbit of the older, rougher Frankie. When a stray bullet kills Martin’s adored 8-year-old brother, Huero, Martin seems to be heading into a life of crime. But Martin’s mother, determined not to lose another son, moves him to another neighborhood—the fictional town of Bluford, where he attends the racially diverse Bluford High. At his new school, the still-grieving Martin quickly makes enemies and gets into trouble. But he also makes friends with a kind English teacher and catches the eye of Vicky, a smart, pretty and outgoing Bluford student. Martin’s first-person narration supplies much of the book’s power. His dialogue is plain, but realistic and believable, and the authors wisely avoid the temptation to lard his speech with dated and potentially embarrassing slang. The author draws a vivid and affecting picture of Martin’s pain and confusion, bringing a tight-lipped teenager to life. In fact, Martin’s character is so well drawn that when he realizes the truth about his friend Frankie, readers won’t feel as if they are watching an after-school special, but as though they are observing the natural progression of Martin’s personal growth. This short novel appears to be aimed at urban teens who don’t often see their neighborhoods portrayed in young-adult fiction, but its sophisticated characters and affecting story will likely have much wider appeal.

A YA novel that treats its subject and its readers with respect while delivering an engaging story.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2004

ISBN: 978-1591940173

Page Count: 152

Publisher: Townsend Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2013

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