Saturday, October 22, 2011

Black Painted Finger Nails by Steven Herrick

Good Reads Summary

How about we toss a coin? Heads, it's west and a lift. Tails, it's still west, but no lift.'

James is heading into the country on his first teacher-training round when a mysterious girl asks him for a ride. Sophie has him all worked out: 'You live with your parents and they bought you this car, and a very nice car it is too...' At first James can't see past her wild hair and attitude, but then Sophie trusts him with a secret she's been keeping too long.

Steven Herrick masterfully reveals the essence of his characters in this tough and tender story about opening up to love and living a life that's true. Black Painted Fingernails is a captivating novel by the author of By the River and other popular, award-winning books.

My Thoughts

Black Fainted Fingernails would have been ordinary save for two moments that I found positively honest. The story itself swings from James , on his way to becoming a teacher, to Sophie, on her way home, to Michael, who wants nothing more than to have his son break out, just be, and finally, to Angela, who’s having the hardest of times in letting her son go.

Road Trip. As usual there’s the meeting of new AND a slow progression towards getting to know who you’re with. Here, every single one of them discovers a little of what’s in them and of what’s in the people with them. And this is where those “two moments” come in: that James is so unsure about what he wants but dead certain about what he DOES NOT want, is so me. Seriously, truly… that’s me in a handful of words.

The Passenger. How Sophie inserts herself in to his life was too strange too creepy easy, but it was James’ failure to act that had me questioning him: too kind, too helpful… No way, me thought, but her being with him, rubbed off in way because eventually he did show he could be snarky and quick too. But what he said later on, that she was being provocative for the sake of it, was another moment where he showed himself capable of being insightful. It was a moment of him calling it like it was: pure honesty.

Family This was where things turned ordinary and predictable for me. His is one with a mother was hoping for one thing, and a father imagining others. But there’s a re-discovery here too. Again, that re-discovery seemed a bit “too happily ever after” for me, but it was sweet nonetheless/ Hers is a source of heartache. I have come to expect a measure of sad in books from Aussie YA, and this does not fail to deliver. The why of her leaving and the why of her coming home unfold slowly… and got me paying attention, and shocked. Her eventual reaction, had me slightly surprised. Her decision was not an easy one to make.

There’s a moment or two in this that hit it for me…

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