I've written a lot of reviews. According to Goodreads, I've written 120 of them. I don't review every book I read, but if Goodreads keeps accurate records, that means I've reviewed, on average, about five books a month over the course of the last two years.
That's a lot of reviews, right?
Some reviews are harder to write than others. In a post I wrote about a week ago, I explained how I go about reviewing books.
"I believe in honesty. What I don't like is being mean. In my opinion, being mean serves no purpose whatsoever. I pull every good thing about a book and its author and I write about that. I also write about what I didn't like, the things that didn't really work for me as a reader - but I'm never a jerk about it."
Sometimes it's hard to find a lot of positive things. There's no way I'm going to like every book I read.
On the very best of occasions, it's hard to write a review, not because it's difficult to find good things to say, but because the book was so amazing that I'm not sure how I will ever do it justice. That doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen. There are so many good books out there, but not many of them cause me grief while I'm trying to review them.
Both Billy Purgatory: I Am The Devil Bird and Billy Purgatory: And the Curse of the Satanic Five by Jesse James Freeman caused me grief. A whole lot of it. God, I love it when that happens.
Here is the review I posted for Billy Purgatory: And The Curse of the Satanic Five:
This second book picks up right where the first one, Billy Purgatory: I Am the Devil Bird, left off. There’s a Time Zombie falling through the sky … and he’s got a black-haired skateboarder clinging tightly to him. This tale, much like Billy’s ride through the air alongside his time traveling companion, twists, turns and flies … then lands with a surprising—and delightfully clever—cliff hanger you will never see coming.
Billy assumes that he’s returned to somewhere familiar, but it becomes obvious very quickly that this is not the case. He finds that he’s not only on a different continent, but in an alternate dimension … and that he’s not the adult we left at the end of book one, but a child. Once both grown up Billy and ten-year old Billy get themselves back to their normal dimension, we learn that all of the time traveling they’ve done has served up some unexpected consequences. The adventures that ensue are non-stop and wildly entertaining.
I won’t go into any more detail about story line—only to say that Freeman is an absolute genius when it comes to building and executing an intricate and complex plot. All of the characters I loved (and some I didn’t) made a return visit … and I was treated once more to the multifaceted, offbeat, difficult and ultimately romantic relationship between Billy and Anastasia. There are a few new characters added to the mix, and this second book holds just as many surprises and fast paced story telling as the first.
Jesse James Freeman’s writing is extraordinary. His imagination knows no bounds. Luckily for his readers, neither does his skill for building and shaping words into the most creative and crazy-wonderful tales. Billy Purgatory: And the Curse of the Satanic Five is delightful and dark, breathtaking and hilarious. I don’t know how Freeman does it … I’m just thrilled that he does, and I can’t wait to jump into the next installment of Billy’s fantastic adventures.
If you're interested in reading the review I wrote for Jesse's first book, you can find it here.
I love to read, and I like writing reviews. Some reviews are more fun (and more challenging) than others. These books - and reviews - have been two of my most favorite.