Sunday, July 20, 2014

Jack & Jill - Discussion Post

Welcome to week three of our novella month! I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been sharing in the conversations over these books! It's been a ton of fun to see where we agree and differ in opinions. Trust me when I say, none of us will ever fault you for not loving a book. We just want your honest opinion! So share it out.

This week's novella was one that I wasn't sure about presenting to you but, as it had a ton of recommendations from fellow bibliophiles, I figured I'd give it a shot. I know it was a darker read than some of you may be used to, so not to worry if you didn't click with it. Let's share our feelings on Jack & Jill.


Discussion Questions:

* Are you normally a reader of the horror genre, or was this outside your normal reading pattern?

* How do you feel Jack & Jill stacks up against other horror you've read? Do you think it deserves that categorization?

* What did you think of writing style that Kealan Patrick Burke uses? Were the dream sequences an asset or a hindrance to your reading?

* Did you connect to any of the characters or situations?

* Share your thoughts on the ending. Are you a fan, or wish it had been different?


My Thoughts:

As I said above, many of the people I talk books with on a daily basis utterly loved this novella. They sang its (and KPB's) praises over and over again, which is why I ultimately chose it for our novella month. I'm a little torn on this one, to be honest. There were things that I liked about it, and things that I'm not sure I really clicked with. I'll try to break them down the best I can.

In terms reading horror, I'm a definite fan of the genre. I read everything from zombie books, to slashers, right down to psychological horror. The thing is, this is a ridiculously huge genre that holds an umbrella over many types of books. I'd say KPB's book classifies more in the psychological department. I felt like his aim was to creep us out by wondering if the mother in this story was sane, or if she was going to snap because of her scarred childhood. 

I liked the dream sequences. I think they were the most interesting part of the story line, even if they were a little jarring sometimes. I liked seeing what she thought about when there was no logical part of her trying to push it all away. The problem was, that I didn't really care about her at all. I felt like she wasn't trying very hard to get out of her situation and that, despite how much she obviously loved her children, she really didn't want to fix herself that badly. It made me frustrated. It made me upset. Then the novella was ending, and I was so damn confused. What happened? Did she snap? Did he really do it? *sigh* I guess I'll never know.

I give points to this novella for the writing, for sure. It's haunting, and lyrical at times. I'll also give credit where credit is due, and say that the villain in this story (because all good horror needs a villain) is perfectly evil. It's not just her father that's the bad guy, but all the deep-seeded animosity and terror that he left behind. It makes the mother in this story her own type of villain, trapped in her head for all eternity. So did I like the ending? Not really. Did I like this book? For the most part, yes. I'd be willing to give KPB another shot.

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