there are a couple of things that are more literary than realistic, but i dont live in san francisco, maybe all the young well-off pretty people all end up living in the same buildings, while here in queens i have elderly french canadian lady on one side, and rowdy r&b couple (who ive never seen, maybe they are young and hot) on t'other.
Against this tense background, we meet Jessica, a woman in her late twenties whos struggling to find her place in the world. They become involved, almost against Jessicas better judgment, and she becomes the focus of Joshs next project a map of the human body, hers. As the slow, and sometimes embarrassing, process of mapping her progresses, Jessica becomes increasingly concerned about Josh, and his influence over her. Because the book just starts at a particular moment in Jessicas life, no explanation is given for the state of the world, it just is.
In a present-day America where suicide bombers blow up buses and cars and buildings, killing hundreds on an almost routine basis, twenty-something Jessica Zorich is an advertising copy writer with a slightly messy life, living in San Francisco. As the project moves closer to completion, Jess finds herself seeing Josh's behaviour in a more suspicious, intimidating light, as he dominates her world in more ways than one. Every so often, there comes along a book that seems to have been written just for you - telling a story you never realised you wanted to hear until then, in a prose style that meets every nitpicky expectation with nary a word of complaint (or typo!), about a character you feel is so familiar she could almost be you. This is a book of subtlety, told in present tense which only helps suck you into Jess's world all the more. I recently watched a movie in 3D and I've realised, just now, that that's what reading this book was like: like it was right there, in front of you, in your face, that you were in it, a silent bystander or vocal participator in Jess' life. Then there's Josh, who's a bit of an enigma but is also completely understandable, as a character. I called it "effortless" and by that I mean that I didn't notice the hand of the author at all, and the words seemed to flow like this moment in Jess's life had been directed by a magician to imprint itself on the page, not consciously written there. It also has the most realistic yet completely understandable one-sided phone conversation I think I've ever read (between Josh and his sister) - much of the dialogue is also very natural, occasionally capturing those half-finished sentences and quick changes of direction we have, though it's not used often enough to become irritating.
It was weird to have the main character of this book doing it. I have not a single issue with the characters. The terrorist thread that ran through the novel was interesting and that made sense but the end didn't fit exactly with the rest of the book and the whole "trip to the bridge part" seemed really forced to me.
Have you ever had a friend talk you into going to see a movie you knew nothing about, and once you see it, you think, "oh my gosh, this is the best thing ever, how did I never hear about this before?" That's how I felt about this book.
It was an adequate read, except I felt the author broke his own rules regarding character development in the last third of the book.
The premise of the book seems simple: Jessica meets Josh, a handsome artist, at a party and immediately falls head-over-heels. I'm almost done with this book, and I think I'm going to be sad to part with it. I'm not usually one to re-read books, but I'm going to revisit this one down the road.
Then I got lost in the maudlin, weirdness of the middle and end. Unfortunately, the character of Jessica takes a turn for the worst and the book never recovers.
I started reading "Jessica Z" by Shawn Klomparens while getting gas. Things are exploding with such frequency, that when Jessica hears an explosion she knows she will come home to an answering machine blinking with frantic "Are you okay" messages -- some from people she has forgotten she knows. When Patrick seems to be falling into a relationship with anony-blogger Gretchen, Jessica wages a counter attack and begins dating Josh, an intense artist specializing in phallic symbols. The relationship is beginning to make her uneasy, Patrick is still on her mind. Unfortunately, in order to say what I think about this book, I have to kinda-sorta go there: This book is a total tease, and Klomparens pussed out on the ending it should have had. Instead of a "Zoiks!" it's more like listening to a friend tell a lengthy and involved story where nothing actually happens but it COULD have happened and wouldn't that have been crazy?!