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SM Johnson lives in northern Wisconsin with one husband, one child, one dog and one cat. The kid is cool, but the cat is shady. She writes not-quite romance stories with characters who aren't exactly mainstream and don't do what's expected of them. Her favorite winter activity is hibernating with a great book.
Life is messy, let's play in it!
on Nov. 18, 2014 :
It took a bit for me to get into this book but I pushed through and I am glad I did! I liked the alternating POV.
I did not like the characters through most of the book and the rest of the time I just felt sorry for them. However, I was kept on edge and turning the pages to the end. This book is well written but the entire time it is like WTF!
When Jeremiah Quick finds Pretty Loberg twenty years after high school, Pretty gets into his car, even though she knows Jeremiah will disrupt her marriage and her life. The entire time I was asking, "WHY!"
SM describes the characters perfectly when she says, "Jeremiah Quick He doesn't give a f**k about society, or middle class values, or following the crowd. He's kinky, mean, controlling, and more than a little bit broken.
Pretty wants to fix him.
Jeremiah wants to break her, remake her, and talk her into doing something terrible."
I recommend this book to anyone who likes their boundaries pushed.
This book was provided by the Author for an honest review
(reviewed 61 days after purchase)
on Oct. 12, 2014 :
Definitely not your run-of-the-mill romance...
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Pretty met Jeremiah in high school, and she was quick to latch onto him. He was the complete opposite of her and everyone around her, and he drew her attention like moth to a flame. But all of a sudden, he was gone, and she was left to make her own way through life, all alone. However, leaving the grocery store one day 10 years later, ready to head home to her husband and two children, he steps from the shadows and back into her life, taking her on a whirlwind adventure she will never forget.
I will start by saying this book is nitty, gritty, descriptive, and definitely not for the faint of heart. However, the characters are gripping, Jeremiah's story is both sad and determined, and Pretty is just trying to figure out where she fits in all this. If you're squeamish and/or extremely vanilla and mainstream, this is probably not the book for you. However, if you like to flirt with the dark (or sleep with it every night), I would definitely recommend this story, and you will not be disappointed.
(reviewed 8 months after purchase)
on Aug. 28, 2014 :
Immediately I was drawn into this book especially with all the “Labyrinth” references. For me it added a bit of playfulness and comfort. (I had a blast pointing them out and explaining what I thought they meant to a friend who, can you believe has never seen this classic?! /gasp hehe)
*There are Spoilers in this review*
In the beginning of chapter 35 one can find this:
"...I have re-ordered time, turned the world upside down, and I did it all for him. And I was never, not even once, exhausted from living up to his expectations of me ...." Jeremiah Quick, S.M. Johnson
“...You asked that the child be taken. I took him. You cowered before me, I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for *you*! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations. Isn't that generous? ...” Labyrinth (retrieved quote from IMDB)
I do not find it odd that the parts not quoted, are the most telling. I believe that this, among other things are a result of Johnson's own gentle guiding magick.
When the Goblin King, Jareth says 'you cowered before me and I was frightening' ...so f*cking right, on so many levels.
She wanted to cower to him so he made it okay to cower. Just as Pretty, wanted to be dirty/dark Jeremiah made it okay to submit. (in fact needed it for their magick) He mastered her. Always had. Knew her, always had. Loved her, always had. Hated her, always had. Taught her, always had. Helped her, always had. In the end they both, let 'theirs' go.
He let her leave him and take with her all that he'd given. Even though he played the part of taker. Had he not, he could not have given, neither could she. ...generous
Jeremiah Quick, made me cry. (literally cry and I am not entirely sure why) It is way deeper then anything I have read in a long time.
I was expecting a light romance with a few spanking sessions. You know the story, old boyfriend comes back rocks girl's world. This time the twist is maybe boy schools girl on some quasi political views. Girl learns to like spanks.
-----now that was the expectation
What I got was nothing less than magic, both blood and love ...Magick. What I got was a very unique, great, and terrible tale. One I wont soon forget. I am astounded ...moved...and a little ashamed of myself. (literally ashamed and I am not entirely sure why)
Maybe because I undeservedly received so much.?.
Maybe because I was eager to learn more of the ghost of a lover... and then he said:
Jeremiah Quick 41:53-57
Book chapter vers sentences
"...Once there was a beautiful boy, the most beautiful boy in the world…
And then she heard it, inside her head, a voice, not her voice. And not Jeremiah's, either.
“And that boy, he made the most terrible mistake…”..."
S.M. Johnson, Jeremiah Quick
Suddenly my eagerness felt like total disrespect.
I thought I wanted a little dark and a little sexy.
Then I realized I wanted exactly what I received, dark and lovely.
I think a word needs to be made that is defined as 'exquisitely beautiful yet exquisitely painful' that would be the word for this book ...So much darker ... so much deeper ...
I would be remiss; if I did not mention the awesomely sticky sex!
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
White Sun Press
on March 04, 2014 :
Wow. What to say about this novel.
It's...intense. I highly doubt people will have a "neutral" reaction to this book.
Personally, I loved it. It felt real on a deep level, even if that reality was in part symbolic. It also totally resonated with relationships I had in my own high school years, in particular with a very close friend who struggled with a lot of the same issues, in terms of feeling forever out of step with the world, and needing an intensity of feeling and connection with others to counteract that in some way, or maybe just to bear it. Flirting with the dark but loving and being drawn to the light was a component in our relationship, as well.
I don't want to say too much about the plot itself, because 1) I don't want to spoil it, and 2) more than anything, it served for me as a psychological journey and deconstruction. Primarily among the latter, it was like witnessing the systematic removal of all of the social "niceties" to reveal a kernel of raw truth underneath.
Or, it was a highly skilled exercise in brainwashing by an incredibly brilliant and manipulative sociopath...you decide.
Of course, I'm somewhat biased because I absolutely love this writer, and pretty much love everything of hers that I read. She captures spaces with her words like no other writer I know, and makes her characters so real I feel almost like I know them. Moreover, she has that gift of making sympathetic those situations and people who, on their face, might seem like they shouldn't be...which is a particular weakness of mine anyway.
Not for the faint of heart, however...or for those who like their morality in neat, succinct, black and white boxes where some things are always "good" and some people are always "bad" regardless of their life situations and the depth of feeling inside their hearts.
(reviewed the day of purchase)