Tag: First Line Friday

First Line Friday #55

Today’s First Line Friday is one I received at  Walker Stalker Con in 2016. I met the author and was given a free copy that she signed! I have yet to read it (I know too many books and not enough time!) but hope to one day.

I was eighteen years young when I joined the United States Air Force, young being the operative word if you connect it to the word naive as I do.

No one wants to be a military mattress, but being a woman in uniform comes with a stereotype. When Airman Swanson, an eighteen-year-old idealist, joined the Air Force she did so for two reasons: family and country. By the time she realizes the severity of her mistake, it’s too late. Contracts have been signed, and souls sold. Trapped, she must learn to navigate an unhinged reality. A world of vile crimes and turning heads; in which true camouflage is silence. Right is wrong, and wrong is…right?

With murder, prostitution and deception now commonplace, love is Airman Swanson’s new forbidden fruit. In order to survive she must go beyond all she thought herself incapable; she must divorce her own heart. Knowing the task is too difficult to do alone, she cleverly enlists the help of Sergeant Belinelli, a devilishly handsome former marine and notorious playboy; the kind of man who will rock your world one day, but forget your name the next. With his instruction and a string of lewd affairs, she becomes all that is necessary to be great: cold, calculating and dominate. There is just one problem; part of her heart (although well hidden) still lingers. Despite her newly found authority and inherent power, Airman Swanson secretly morns who she used to be. She must decide if love is worth the surrender of her potential, or if her career is worth her last ounce of benevolence. However, in a world where there are no clear answers, no matter what she chooses, she’s wrong.

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First Line Friday #54

Today’s First Line Friday is a modern classic that is getting a renewed life. Now taking place in the past, this novel is becoming more popular as we move into the unknown future. What will out world become? We will see….

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

George Orwell’s 1984 takes on new life with extraordinary relevance and renewed popularity.

“Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker

In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

Lionel Trilling said of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present.” Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.

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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

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