BLURB: A collection of new entwined stories by best-selling Young Adult author, John H. Ames. Love that reaches beyond the boundaries of the physical realm…
The not so unrealistic detailed account of how my best friend and I swapped bodies for a short period of time. -High school is one of the most excruciating and painful periods of any teenager’s life. To Kyle, it’s hell on earth. Being the target of the jocks made him hate high school more than anything in the world. All he has is his best friend and the center of the jock’s interest, the beautiful Kylie Bursnell. But Kylie is not your typical beauty. She hates the jocks even more than Kyle, especially Lucas Edward Johnson, a jock who is madly in love with her and Kyle’s forbidden dream. After a bizarre and freaky night, they swap bodies and are force to live each other’s live. Can this actually be true? Has Kyle’s dream come true? Will he be able to love Lucas Edward Johnson unconditionally until the end of time? Or is their love nothing but a beautiful dream enveloped in heartache and pain?
The Spirit Indestructible
Brandon Angelo William has it all. He’s hot, popular, shy, humble, and one of the typical and regular guys in high school. But, unbeknownst to everyone, he’s a closeted gay teen who came out to his parents the previous year. They loved and accepted him with open arms so what more could Brandon want? Love. The one thing that his soul and body need. After a late night out with his best friend, Kevin, Brad sees one of the most beautiful guys he has ever laid eyes on. But could the teen in front of him be real? Or is he the legendary hitching ghost that everyone talks about? Brad needs to find out and what he discovers shocks him and changes his young life forever…
The Lake View Psychopath
Jocks beware, he’s here and he’s not scared. Ashton Hall hates his existence at Lake View High. The jocks have made his life a living hell and his friends have completely turned their backs on him. Why? For being gay and dating the love of his life, Austin Young. Almost overnight, they became the center of every joke and every bully’s paradise. To make matters worse, even the school’s coach allows his ‘jock superstars’ to make fun of them.
But everything the night Austin Young is brutally murdered by the jocks and they walk free. Something snaps inside Ashton’s head and the only think he can think of is revenge. Will Ashton come to his sense and let Austin go? Or will he become one of the greatest serial killers of all time?
Thanks to the author and Creative Minds Promotions for the opportunity to read and review. Love, Joy, Heartache, & Pain by John H. Ames isn’t exactly an anthology but more a collection of stories set in the same location. I liked the way the author connected the three stories with main characters from one story mentioned in passing in the next—although reinforcing the idea they are set in the same universe, it also brought across the feeling of being in a small town where everyone knows everyone else.
I had different reactions to each of the stories. The first story Swapatize reminded me of the plot of Freaky Friday, but with a few twists. It was great seeing a guy having to deal with the stuff women do, but I found Kyle a not very likeable character. Some of the stuff he did I shook my head over. There were also quite a few grammar mistakes in the story which pulled me out of it, just as I was enjoying some of the humourous bits.
On the flip side, I loved the second story The Spirit Indestructible. This was my favourite by far and I’d recommend reading the book just for this story. It was a lovely twist on a ghost story, and very poignant and romantic. I loved the mention of these guys in the third story—it felt like getting good news of old friends.
Sorry, but I didn’t enjoy the third story The Lake View Psychopath. The author does too good a job with the main character, and he is disturbing as hell. It was a little too violent for my tastes, and I couldn’t justify the MC’s actions at all. Kudos to the author for creating such a disconcerting character—it worked well on that side of things.
I’d recommend Love, Joy, Heartache & Pain to readers who like stories which are linked by setting and in which major characters from one story are mentioned in the next, and to those who like humour, a few twists, and don’t mind a bit of gore courtesy of a psychopath. 3 out of 5 stars.