Today I am sharing my review as a part of the blog tour for XYZ by William Knight. This one shows the differences in the generations out there (X, Y, and Z). **There is also an international giveaway going on!**
Jack Cooper is a depressed, analogue throwback; a cynical, alcoholic Gen-Xer whose glory days are behind him. He’s unemployed, his marriage has broken down, he’s addicted to internet hook-ups, and is deeply ashamed of his son Geronimo, who lives life dressed as a bear.
When Jack’s daughter engineers a job for him at totally-lit tech firm Sweet, he’s confronted by a Millennial and Zoomer culture he can’t relate to. He loathes every detail – every IM, gif and emoji – apart from Freya, twenty years his junior and addicted to broadcasting her life on social media.
Can Jack evolve to fit in at Sweet, or will he remain a dinosaur stuck in the 1980s? And will he halt his slide into loneliness and repair his family relationships?
XYZ is for every Gen-Xer who ever struggled with a device, and for everyone else who loves emojis … said no one ever.
XYZ: One Man, Two Kids, Ten Devices, and an Internet-Sized Generation Gap
Author: William Knight
Published: July 13, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 16-25, 2019
XYZ covers three generations of people and the author determines the generations as these:
Generation X: ‘Gen X’ Born 1964-1980
Generation Y: ‘Millennials’ Born 1981-1996
Generation Z: ‘Zoomers” Born 1996- Present day
These years of generations vary based on who you talk to. I was born in 1980, so I am fortunately NOT a Millennial in this case! I like to define myself as Generation Confused: I don’t fit in with GenX’ers, but I am definitely NOT a Millennial! I thought Millennials were younger (IE: in their 20’s and not as old as they actually are, what a shock to me).
This being said, I am not the target reader of XYZ. I would say the target reader would be a male middle ager/GenX’er, same as our protagonist Jack. Any male reader of that age would identify with him: Reaching middle age and feeling alone and all of these younger ‘workers’ and the things they do with their phones: emojis, ‘jazz hands’, constant need for social media connection versus real life connection, etc. Jack 100% does not fit in! Besides work, Jack’s family life is in disarray. Until this book I had not heard of ‘jazz hands’, so this was a new one on me! Am I already out of touch at 39!?!?
It can be a funny novel and reading about the younger workers, I just rolled my eyes. What is the world coming to!?!? Are younger people all about the digital age, and forget about ‘real life’ where we all actually exist!?!?!? Omg…… I AM getting old! XYZ is an entertaining read that will appeal to the older Gen X’er, and maybe those younger.
Fair warning: There is foul language throughout the novel, so that might deter some readers.
But don’t give up hope for Jack: There is a satisfying and happy ending!
About the Author:
William Knight is British born writer and technologist currently living and working in Wellington, New Zealand. He’s chased a portfolio career which began in acting, progressed to music, flirted with handbag manufacturing and was eventually wired into technology in the late nineties.
“I had my first feature published in Computing magazine back in 2003 and subsequently wrote about the many successes and failings of high-tech for the Guardian, Financial Times and the BBC among many others publications. I now work as an IT consultant, and write blistering content for technology firms :-)” says William
The Donated (formerly Generation), his debut novel and a Sci-tech Thriller, started in 2001 and was ten years in development. XYZ, “A mid-life crisis with a comic vein”, took far less time. “But I think it’s funnier and better. Yay. Jazz hands!”
Win $10 Amazon voucher and a signed copy of XYZ
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The Envious Siblings and Other Morbid Nursery Rhymes
Author: Landis Blair
Published: Today, October 8, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Eight gleefully macabre vignettes by an award- winning comics artist, as delightful as they are deadly.
Inspired by the dark imagination of Edward Gorey, Envious Siblings is a twisted and hauntingly funny debut. Comics artist Landis Blair interweaves absurdist horror and humor into brief, rhyming vignettes at once transgressive and hilarious. In Blair’s surreal universe, a lost child watches as bewhiskered monsters gobble up her fellow train passengers; a band of kids merrily plays a gut-churning game with playground toys; and two sisters, grinning madly, tear each other apart. These charmingly perverse creations take ordinary settings—a living room, a subway car, a playground— and spin them in a nightmarish direction.
Envious Siblings heralds a brilliant new cartooning talent, and will captivate readers who have thrilled to the lurid fantasies of Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake, Charles Addams, Shel Silverstein, and Tim Burton.
I was surprised and excited to get this book in the mail. I received a free arc copy in exchange for an honest review. I’m torn between saying that I’m totally gonna read these stories to my kids and horrified that I would even consider that! I truly enjoyed this stories and found them imaginative and entertaining! Obviously I couldn’t recommend that all people read these to their kids, but hey, I wouldn’t mind reading them to mine. The rhymes are cute and the artwork is macabre but not explicit.
Overall, this is a great collection and I think a wide range of audiences would really enjoy it.
Author: Dave Barry
Narrator: Todd Haberkorn
Published: April 26, 2016
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 21-23, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Last year, Wyatt Palmer was the hero of middle school, having foiled a plot against the president of the United States. But now he and his friends are in Coral Cove High School-home of the Fighting Conchs-and Wyatt is no longer a hero: He’s just another undersized freshman, hoping to fit in, or at least not be unpopular. Things start to go wrong when Matt Diaz, who is Wyatt’s best friend but also unfortunately an idiot, decides to bring his pet ferret, Frank, to school. Through an unfortunate series of events Frank ends up in the hands of the Bevin brothers, who are the most popular boys at Coral Cove High, but are also, as Matt soon discovers, the nastiest. When Wyatt and Matt try to get Frank back, they concoct a plan to attend a party for the cool clique at the Bevin’s waterfront mansion and stumble onto the Bevin family’s dark and deadly secret. That’s when Wyatt learns that some things are worse than being unpopular in high school. MUCH worse.
I listened to The Worst Class Trip Ever at the end of last year and it was a very pleasant surprise (My review is here). I was able to listen to The Worst Night Ever which is the second book in the series. Wyatt and his friends are back for another adventure and this time they are in their freshman year of high school. Wyatt’s friend Matt decides to bring his pet ferret Frank to school, which leads them on a crazy series of events. They stumble upon a dangerous secret involving the family of the biggest bullies of the school.
Worst Night Ever was enjoyable, but there was not as much magic to it that Worst Class Trip had. The beginning dragged for me, and it all just seemed too silly. Even though they are in high school now, Wyatt and friends still came off as middle schoolers. Maybe this is just ‘boy mentality’/ lack of maturity. Everything dealing with Frank the ferret just did not work for me, though it all led up to Wyatt’s discovery. When it got to the ‘dangerous secret’ I became interested in the story.
These stories are not believable at all (in a good way); this would be enjoyed by and appropriate for middle schoolers, especially boys. The narrator Todd Haberkorn portrays Wyatt perfectly. I would like to see what adventure Wyatt and his friends find themselves in next. I can’t see any adventure being better than the first.
The Worst Night Ever is recommended.[Top]