First Line Friday #53

Today’s First Line Friday is a different sort of novel. It is a young adult novel that deals with some tough issues.  It is also written like a screenplay. I hope to read it soon and as I glance through it, I think it would be a quick read that will make you think.  Sadly, as I was preparing this post I found out that the author passed away in 2014 and that there was also a movie filmed in 2016, that is coming to the theaters this month! I could not find much information on it other than it is being released on January 22nd and is an indie-film. At the time that I put together this post I could not find the movie trailer for it. I hate that the author never got to see his novel come to the full screen.

The best time to cry is at night, when the lights are out and someone is being beaten up and screaming for help.

Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I’ll call it what the lady who is the prosecutor called me. Monster.

Fade In: Interior Court. A guard sits at a desk behind Steve. Kathy O’Brien, Steve’s lawyer, is all business as she talks to Steve.

Let me make sure you understand what’s going on. Both you and this king character are on trial for felony murder. Felony Murder is as serious as it gets. . . . When you’re in court, you sit there and pay attetion. You let the jury know that you think the case is a serious as they do. . . .

You think we’re going to win ?

O’Brien (seriously)
It probably depends on what you mean by “win.”

Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon is on trial for murder. A Harlem drugstore owner was shot and killed in his store, and the word is that Steve served as the lookout.

Guilty or innocent, Steve becomes a pawn in the hands of “the system,” cluttered with cynical authority figures and unscrupulous inmates, who will turn in anyone to shorten their own sentences. For the first time, Steve is forced to think about who he is as he faces prison, where he may spend all the tomorrows of his life.

As a way of coping with the horrific events that entangle him, Steve, an amateur filmmaker, decides to transcribe his trial into a script, just like in the movies. He writes it all down, scene by scene, the story of how his whole life was turned around in an instant. But despite his efforts, reality is blurred and his vision obscured until he can no longer tell who he is or what is the truth. This compelling novel is Walter Dean Myers’s writing at its best.


About the Author:

Walter Dean Myers Obituary

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Sisters First

Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life
Authors: Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
Published: October 24, 2017

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 27-31, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Born into a political dynasty, Jenna and Barbara Bush grew up in the public eye. As small children, they watched their grandfather become president; just twelve years later they stood by their father’s side when he took the same oath. They spent their college years watched over by Secret Service agents and became fodder for the tabloids, with teenage mistakes making national headlines.

But the tabloids didn’t tell the whole story. In SISTERS FIRST, Jenna and Barbara take readers on a revealing, thoughtful, and deeply personal tour behind the scenes of their lives, as they share stories about their family, their unexpected adventures, their loves and losses, and the sisterly bond that means everything to them.

Jessica’s Review:

Born into the Bush dynasty, Barbara and Jenna Bush were never going to have a normal life, despite their parents attempting that very fact. And their parents succeeded in that as much as possible. From the moment they were born they were in the public eye and will continue to be.

I am one year older than them, so I really enjoyed this memoir that both ladies co-wrote. Being the same age and growing up at the same time as them, I identified 100% with the ladies. I listened to the audiobook which they both narrated. Their mother Laura Bush narrates the prologue.

You think you know all about the Bush twins with their growing up in the news with Jenna’s troubles and them being in the tabloids, but you don’t. Through this short memoir the reader gets to know the ladies as they grow up with their governor father, then their grandpa becoming President then guess what? Daddy becomes president too! We experience their growing up, their rebellious sides, their heartaches, and fears with 9/11. We see them mature into the ladies they become from the girls they were. The reader also gets to know the Bush family more through this memoir. They have become more like people and less like politicians for me.

We get to experience the beginning of Jenna’s relationship with her now husband. Imagine how he must have felt going to the white house to take out the president’s daughter. Don’t forget, Secret Service agents follow them EVERYWHERE.

There is a sixth disc that includes family pictures that I enjoyed looking at.

No matter your political opinions on the family, this is a memoir everyone should read, because despite everything, The Bush twins are Sisters First.

Sisters First is Recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


The Last Harvest

Author: Kim Liggett
Published: January 10, 2017
304 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

“I plead the blood.” Those were the last words seventeen-year-old golden boy quarterback Clay Tate heard rattling from his dad’s throat when he discovered him dying on the barn floor of the Neely cattle ranch, clutching a crucifix to his chest. Now, on the first anniversary of the Midland, Oklahoma, slaughter, the whole town’s looking at Clay like he might be next to go over the edge. Clay wants to forget the past, but the sons and daughters of the Preservation Society―a group of prominent farmers his dad accused of devil worship―won’t leave him alone. Including Ali, his longtime crush, who suddenly wants to reignite their romance after a year of silence, and hated rival Tyler Neely, who’s behaving like they’re old friends. Even as Clay tries to reassure himself, creepy glances turn to sinister stares and strange coincidences build to gruesome rituals―but when he can never prove that any of it happened, Clay worries he might be following his dad down the path to insanity…or that something far more terrifying lies in wait around the corner.

Kim’s Review:

Holy. Crap. I read this book in one day and even ended up having to delay dinner because I was so engrossed. At one point, I was reading it in the middle of the night while Ivan was a work, and I ended up having to text him to get some reassurance because I was so freaked out! I seriously loved this book so much! The characters were all believable and likeable and without that annoying teenage drama.

Liggett spun this web of conspiracy and evil and demons and led me all over that dang wheat field before I realized where the heck I was and how the story was going to end. And the ending? Dude, I’m still processing. I’m not one for re-reading books as soon as I finish them, that’s my mother-in-law . . . but that’s exactly what I wanted to do after I finished this book. Not sure I want to visit Oklahoma now . . . I’m just kidding, who wants to go with me?? 😊 This is definitely not the book for younger readers, there are some adult themes and a little language. But this is the perfect book for that teenager who loves the creepy and weird! I would recommend this to anybody looking for a scary read! 5 stars!!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK