Friday, October 8, 2010

Jessica Z.

I really enjoyed reading Jessica Z. by Shawn Klomparens. I started reading it as soon as I finished Shawn Klomparens' 2nd novel, Two Years, No Rain. I am not sure what possessed me to read Two Years, No Rain first, as I got both novels at the same time, but that's what I went with. I really enjoyed Jessica Z. as much as I enjoyed Two Years, No Rain. Both novels get a very high rating in my books. I cannot wait to see what Shawn Klomparens has in store for future novels. I hope he keeps writing & publishing.

With a female character telling the story this time, we read about Jessica's world turning upside down after a terrorist attack in her home town. Her life turns upside down, and the things in her life keep changing. She meets an artist at a part, and ends up becoming his girlfriend and the subject of his next project. As I kept reading the story unfold, I was pulled deeper and deeper into this novel. Once again, I couldn't stop the novel in the middle of a chapter, I had to keep reading to the end before closing the book for the night, even as my eyes were drawing to a close. I found myself at times forcing to keep my eyes open in order to finish the chapter. I didn't want to leave any part of the section I was reading unread.

There were a couple of twists in the novel that I just didn't see happening before they actually happened. Nothing was predictable, and I really liked that about the story. I also found it very refreshing how real the women in the novel were, even though the novel was written by a man. There were times I actually had forgotten that this novel was written by a man, by the way the female characters rang true in their character and by what they were saying or feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed how they were portrayed. There is a point in the novel that I did start to cry, towards the end. I am not sure though, if it was because of my pregnancy hormones or if I would have cried anyhow, if I wasn't pregnant. This novel also makes you think a little about how random things in life could be and something bad could happen, at any place and at any time. Though, these deep dark thoughts didn't stop me from enjoying the novel at all. Though, it did make me a little frightened about terrorist attacks happening anywhere though. But I guess that's one guarantee in life you can't control if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time - if that makes any sense.

Don't worry - this novel isn't all gloomy like that. While there is some gloomy parts, it doesn't bring down the tone of the novel, I find. Rather, I enjoyed finding out the upside to everything after the gloominess.

I would probably give this novel a 4.5 stars out of 5, just as I did for Two Years, No Rain. I do not think I would read this novel again, however. It was enjoyed to read once, but not a novel I'd read again. I also would say that if this novel was turned into a movie, I would defintiely see it as well. However, unlike Two Years, No Rain, I'd probably wait until Jessica Z came out on DVD and go rent the movie, rather than seeing this one in the theater.

Two Years, No Rain

I really enjoyed reading Two Years, No Rain by Shawn Klomparens. It's a novel that I wouldn't normally pick up, as it's not "chick literature", but I gave the book a chance and was honestly hooked within the first few pages of the novel. I was pleasantly surprised at the very beginning. I really liked that it was a male character, Andy Dunne, telling his story, as I am used to reading novels that have women as the main character. It was a nice change. The novel was very well written, and the the pages just seemed to turn nicely one after another.

During the novel I got competely absorbed into Andy's world, and I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next. For example, I wanted to know if he would ever get together with Hillary, his crush. I wanted to see how he was going to pick up the pieces of his life, after everything goes badly for him (losing his wife, the posessions in his house, and then his job). I just wanted the best for him, because the author made me care deeply for the character while reading the book. I wanted him to get the new job, I wanted him to get the girl. I wanted him to succeed in the areas he was failing in. Andy was struggling to do the best he knew how to, and that's what made him real. There was a few times while reading this novel that I found myself chuckling out loud, when I shouldn't have been, because my husband was sleeping soundly next to me, and I was reading by tiny night light. I never wanted to put this book down in the middle of a Chapter.

Even though I was absorbed by Andy's world, the supporting characters in this novel were just as enjoyable to read about. Sometimes though, I found myself not liking Hillary for the way she was acting towards Andy, the love of his life. There was a few times where I was wondering why he wanted to be with a girl like her - but you'll have to read the novel to understand what I mean, otherwise I might be giving away too much about the book. I did enjoy the way they brought Andy's niece into the novel, and the relationship that the two of them shared was very precious.

I would over all give this book a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. I would maybe even read this book again - if I have time after reading all the other books out there that I want to read for a first time, before reading a novel for a 2nd time. If they turned this book into a movie - I'd 150% go and see it.