#16 – Brother/Sister

Brother/Sister by  Sean Olin


Asheley and Will live with an alcoholic mother who has been dragged off to rehab for a couple of months and her friend, a daddy wanna-be who tries to keep an eye on them by popping in every now and then.  The two teens essentially have no adult supervision for the summer.  Will is socially inept for reasons unclear.  He is dependent on Asheley for everything, but believes he is her guardian and savior.  His lust for his sister is palpable from the beginning but only acted on near the “end.”  Asheley is a typical teenager in high school.  She has friends and a boyfriend and enjoys hanging out with them.  She understands Will and tries to help him socially.  Will is only concerned with pleasing Asheley.

While out hitting golf balls over a cliff, to avoid the party he and Asheley are throwing in the house, Will hears his sister’s cries and goes to her rescue.  Asheley’s boyfriend Craig is raping her.  Will bashes Craig over the head with his golf club, saving Asheley but killing Craig.  At Will’s direction, Asheley helps throw Craig off the cliff and into the bay.  This one incident unleashes an evil part of Will that also becomes increasingly paranoid and delusional.  In all he kills three people and then runs off to Mexico with Asheley uncomfortably and forcibly taken along.  Will tells her their father called and wants to see them.   Asheley is thrilled and believes her father will be able to help them get out of the messes Will has made.  Instead, things go from bad to worse.  Will inappropriately touches and kisses his sister.  She runs away determined to walk to her father’s home.  When she realizes dad never called, never asked to see them and wishes they would just leave, Asheley decides the police are a better option than Will.  In the middle of a statement to the Mexican police the story simply stops.  No ending, just empty white paper.

No Ending, thus the two stars.  This story does not have an ending.  It does not satisfy or even attempt to make closure.  There is a beginning that raises interest and a middle story that keeps the reader guessing, but no ending.  I really wish authors would finish their story before sending it to print.  If they do not know the ending then wait until you figure it out instead of foisting it on unsuspecting readers, causing frustration.  This is a waste of time to read, unless you like stories that just stop, worse, in midsentence.  At least movies with no real ending attach “The End” so we know it is over.  If this is a ploy for a sequel, it is a terrible injustice to the reader.  Author’s need to understand that readers spend a good chunk of time reading their books and when there is no ending, and worse, when the book just stops, the reader becomes frustrated.  We have just wasted time on you and you did not deliver.  Writing 101: beginning, middle, and end.  Know your craft.  Do not disappoint your readers else, you may not have any for the next book.

Without an ending, with stopping in mid-sentence, I cannot recommend this book to anyone.  Without an ending, it is a waste of time to read.  Frustration is what you can expect to feel when the words simply stop.

Note: book received from publisher

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