Tag: Black Rose Writing

Book Reviews

Book Review: No Fences in Alaska by Glen Sobey

Title: No Fences in Alaska
Author: Glen Sobey
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Black Rose Writing Release Date: June 27, 2019
Format: eBook
Pages: 381
Source: Author
Rating: ★★★★★

Their worlds are about to come crashing down…

At sixteen years old, Harper Lyon’s life is spinning out of control. She threatens her parents with suicide unless she can meet her drug-dealing boyfriend, a college student who doesn’t know she’s pregnant. Cooper Lyons, her estranged grandfather, lives in rural Alaska with only his dog and cat for company. He has just been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, and he doesn’t plan on letting the disease run its course. Harper needs to escape her parents and decide what to do about the baby. She and her grandpa are worlds apart, but they may be exactly what the other needs. When Harper calls her grandfather, he welcomes the opportunity to help her and redeem his previous failure with his daughter Heather, who died from a drug overdose years ago.

Can they save each other?

For the love of all that is holy, get a box of tissues before you read this book. I’m not even kidding. You will need them, especially towards the end.

Harper Lyons may not be your “typical” teenager, but I have to say, there were a few girls like her in my high school. Chases the boys, has sex, does drugs, drinks, you name it, she’s probably done it or thought about it. But Harper doesn’t really want to be that way, does she?

This book will hit you right in the feels, if you’ll forgive the expression. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll be furious. Glen Sobey writes teenage angst and problems with the best of them. Do all such stories get happy endings? No, sadly they don’t. But you’ll love the ending of this one… mostly.

The way Glen Sobey writes his books, you’d think he has some sort of personal experience with the subject matter. He doesn’t write like he’s just imagining these things, he writes like he’s lived it. Or perhaps like he knows someone who has lived these stories. This was the second novel of his I’ve read and I am determined that I’ll read more of them!

If you don’t find yourself relating to Harper, Gabriel, Cooper, Rachel, Greg, or Natalie, then I don’t know what to tell you. I found ways to related to them all and found ways to connect with all of them. Zachary… let’s just say that’s one part of the story that didn’t make me cry.

You honestly have to read this book. It’s a superb rendering of how the love of a family member, even one you don’t know very well, can lead to redemption. Definitely a 5 star read.

I received a copy of this book free from Glen Sobey in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Book Reviews

Book Review: The War Blog by Glen Sobey

Title: The War Blog
Author: Glen Sobey
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Release Date: December 27, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★☆

Crystal Rose, a 17-year-old high school junior, and her younger brother were abandoned by their drug-addicted mother fifteen years ago in an Alaskan Native village, an event which Crystal resented for years. However, when she learns that her mother was raped in high school, Crystal declares war against a society which reduces girls to their looks, forcing them to feel worthless without the approval of guys.

While living in a small Alaskan town, she starts The War Blog website, along with her best friend and crush Kato—a brilliant Native boy—attacking everything promoting female objectification and offering ways to fight back, all supplemented by her original songs. Crystal rises from nothing in the wilds of Alaska to become a champion for change, risking her life against men who would force her to keep silent. She faces her parents’ abusive past and fights for a better world.

If there is one thing I can’t stand, it is a social justice warrior. Most of the ones I’ve run across never go farther than retweeting, reblogging, sharing and arguing with people who don’t share their world view, all while using hashtags like #staywoke or #justicefor(insert name here). I can’t stand them because they don’t get away from the keyboard and screen to do anything to affect change. But the social justice warriors in The War Blog by Glen Sobey aren’t like that.

Kato doesn’t just blog about Native problems in Alaska, he speaks to classes about them. He tries to make his people see that they need to make changes.

Crystal also makes it a point to affect change. Yes she has her blog and her songs. But she also comes up with ways to help make changes. She tells the stories that need to be told and tries to find ways to make the changes necessary. She suggests actual changes, in person, to the people instead of just blogging, reblogging, tweeting, etc..

The War Blog is an anti-rape culture and feminist blog. To be honest, rape culture is directly related to how men view women as less than equals. Crystal’s blog speaks out against rape culture. She speaks out against keeping silent, against letting the men who commit rape and abuse toward women get away with it.

The book is full of surprising twists that almost overshadow the social justice issues that Kato and Crystal’s blogs are meant to talk about. Even more surprising is that the book was written by a man. You just wouldn’t think that a male author would think of these things, being that the blame for rape culture is almost exclusively placed on men. Perhaps this was the author’s way of saying “Hey we aren’t all like that.”

You will grow to love most of the characters. You will want to hug Crystal, JD, Kato, etc.. You will want to punch Eugene/Steve, Dylan, etc..

This book gets 4 out of 5 stars. I loved the book, but a couple of “bit part” characters had story lines that were left hanging. I’d also love to see a sequel to this book, just to see how things are going in the future.

I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.