Steal the North by Heather Brittain Bergstrom

Steal the North tells the story of Emmy Nolan, a sixteen-year-old from Sacramento sent to live with her aunt and uncle in eastern Washington for the summer. This is all fine and dandy, except Emmy had no idea that these relatives even existed. Moreover, they primarily want her to come because they need a virgin to participate in their fundamentalist faith-healing ceremony to keep Aunt Bethany from miscarrying again. Ahh, there’s a another problem: Emmy isn’t exactly a virgin, but declaring this to all involved wouldn’t exactly improve her situation. Personally, the whole “we-need-a-virgin-for-our-ritual” thing is a bit disturbing, but none of the characters seem too phased by this minor detail. Continue reading…

The Man in the Window by Jon Cohen

Louis Malone was disfigured by a fire at the age of sixteen, and has lived as a recluse since that time. Iris Shula is an unattractive nurse who has been ostracized for her entire life due to her physical appearance. One day, Louis Malone falls out of his window, and meets Iris during his hospital stay. Amazon will have you believe that these two hit it off in this love story that will “make you laugh and that will break – and remake – your heart.” Ummm…no. I was expecting a love story, as that’s how the novel was publicized. However, that aspect of the novel was severely lacking and just plain awkward. In fact, this entire novel was severely lacking and just plain awkward. Continue reading…

The Walking Dead, Episode 416: “A”

I had a thorough discussion regarding “A” with my mother last night, who is one of the true authorities out there on The Walking Dead. My mom’s main concern about this episode was one that had not occurred to me, but now that she has brought it up, I must admit that I find it quite disconcerting as well. How exactly does one cannibalize a human during a zombie apocalypse? The virus is in everyone, so when someone dies, he or she will inevitably become a zombie. What is the turnover time here? Apparently, a good method is just to “chop them up and toss ‘em on the grill,” at least according to mom. Maybe. Hopefully this will be addressed in Season 5, because it is a significant issue. Continue reading…

The Walking Dead, Episode 414: “The Grove”

The modus operandi for The Walking Dead has been to bore viewers to the point of suicidal thoughts, and then to shock the hell out of them. The shocking episodes have been increasingly few and far between, making them all the more surprising when they do show up. I cant decide if this is a genius ploy or a cheap gimmick, but it keeps me watching this show every time I’m right on the verge of entirely giving up on it. “The Grove” hooked me again. Continue reading…

Blood Will Out by Walter Kirn

This is a true account of a man who was one of many to be swindled by a murderous psychopath. Journalist Walter Kirn, under some bizarre circumstances, meets and befriends Clark Rockefeller, of the Rockefellers. The two continue a correspondence over many years, during which time Rockefeller regales Kirn with his various monetary exploits and awkward character tics. It eventually comes out that Clark Rockefeller is only an assumed¬†identity, and that the man behind the masquerade is not an eccentric bajillionaire, but a ruthless killer. Continue reading…