Fran W


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Smashwords book reviews by Fran W

  • Vintage: A Ghost Story on Jan. 06, 2012

    An excellent contemporary YA novel, with a very believable and likeable protagonist who has several problems: he's a goth high-school-dropout trying to find his place in the world; he's a closeted gay boy who's been kicked out by his family; he's a lonely teen who yearns for romance and a boyfriend; and he can see ghosts. The way the problems are intertwined, the unexpected twist in the goth/ghost romance, and the eventual resolution, are very well done. The lessons learned along the way are subtle but solid. And once you start reading you can't stop. This is one of the best YA novels I've ever read. Buy two copies, because you'll want to loan it to your friends.
  • A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories on Jan. 06, 2012

    This is a solid and very enjoyable collection of steampunk, science fiction, and fantasy stories. There's not a clear theme among the stories, other than, perhaps, how sex and gender affect people. The writing is poetically beautiful, and the settings lush and vivid. The stories include a SF piece featuring a narrator whose dual-gender sibling is forced to work as a prostitute, an alternate history piece featuring a black woman whose daughter is sold to a man who will surely rape her, a lesbian SF tale, and -- most disturbing, but perhaps the best story -- a futuristic story about a man on an exploration/discovery mission who rapes a native child. If you've not read Bernobich's work before, you're in for a real treat.