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Book Reviews: Bad Call + Lost Girls: Adrift

Bad Call by Stephen Wallenfels
Colin, Ceo, Grahame and Rhody make a pact to go camping in Yosemite. Then Rhody backs out and Ceo replaces him with Ellie, who the others have never heard of. They head into Yosemite, ignoring the need for a permit, the weather, their useless tents, the bear prowling nearby and then the bad decisions get worse. This was very good.

There is a Kevin Spacey mention. Grahame is a rage machine. Ceo is contentious and causes negative emotion. Why does Colin have such a pathological attachment to Ceo who is the worst friend ever? Ceo is opportunistic, emotionally demanding, disarms criticism and is a disruptive influence. Ceo has no moral rectitude and is responsible for all the unintended consequences of the trip.

Grahame gets powerfully angry. Ceo allegedly has charm and charisma but is craven, cold, avaricious and manipulative. Ceo has eerie preppy confidence and causes quiet devastation by his stalwart awfulness. Colin is a source of frustration as he’s always in Coe’s emotional slipstream. Ellie’s act of rebellion is a catastrophically bad life choice.

Ceo is not poised and reflective, he acts with haughty decisiveness and causes emotional hurt. Ceo’s cloying and deserves all the naked hostility and ignominies. Colin is angst-ridden and subtly anguished. Why he feels any moral obligation to his ‘friend’ Ceo the petulant jackass is never explained. The camping trip descends into a bleak, edgy, gritty, rough-edged and uncomfortable fight for survival.

One waits for Ceo to show any remorse or regret or rational cognitive arguments, he never does. Ceo deserves burning distrust for all the tension he created. But no. Ceo goes on being meddlesome and sowing discord and ignoring all reasonable and constructive suggestions.

The poisoned atmosphere of the trip turns perilous, all thanks to the repugnant soulless Ceo who deserves ostracism, for the violent fracas he caused. I enjoyed this account of a searing experience in the absolute hellhole that is Yosemite. But the vile Ceo is so especially awful and lacks all propriety, one feels incredublity that he had any friends at all due to his belligerent astonishing self-absorption.

While not thought-provoking drama, one likes this tale of the wilderness, the operatically heart-broken Colin, the shifty sneery Ceo who lives according to his desires without restraint and is a menace who is thoroughly dislikeable and lives unbothered by his own unseemliness.

There is sweaty dread in this thrilling concoction leaving aside the toxic presence of Ceo. Those seeking likeability will recoil from the insistently flawed irritating Ceo who lives his life loudly as an attention seeker with entitled selfishness and is malign and morally suspect and spins a campaign of lies until shattering rage is unleashed and the simmering disquiet Ceo caused will have lifelong consequences.


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Lost Girls: Adrift by Linda Williams Aber
This is Book 1 of 2. This 1992 novel is angst-ridden and faltering and oddly hollow and has no genuine insight into anything. Six girls go off on a boat, a storm blows up and it sinks. The self-martyring twits have overwrought emotion; this is marinated in sentimentality and is overly twee as they are stranded on an island.

This deserves widespread derision and is not intense melodrama. Aber doesn’t write, she types. This is fanciful and not painful, sad or melancholic. The twits aren’t effervescently tormented and this has no irresistible melancholy. This is not emotionally resonant and does absolutely nothing to justify its existence. The twits have no concept of survival tactics and aren’t proficient.

This has such dated touches as blue eyeliner, a girl who lives to hang out at the shopping centre; people pack nightdresses and hairspray for the boatrip and someone wears a scrunchy. There is a tape player and an Enya fan. @@

Best Lines:
“Only one of them was his favourite, and it wasn’t her.”

“Six girls go out for a little boat ride and end up lost forever on some island no one ever heard of.”
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review
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