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  • Posted December 12, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    The coming-of-age novel comes of age

    "Life" is not your typical novel. The premise of the story is that Jack was asked to write his life's story for a school assignment. He doesn't think he can really write his story, so he asks his friends to help make his autobiography truthful. What you get then is two or more different versions of the same event. More than just characters having a dialogue with each other, the narrative seems to be conversing with itself.<BR/><BR/>This technique really works because you get both sides of a love story. More than having just one character longing for another, you get to hear how both of the main characters long for each other. It makes it all the more frustrating (and enjoyable) to experience their love story. I mean that's why we read love stories.<BR/><BR/>This is really a character driven story. It is well written, but don't look for this story to have a great amount of plot or story. It's not really about that. It's about teenagers in love and trying to come to terms with their growing affection for each other. I gave this three stars for realism, but maybe it should be more. It is probably more realistic than you would think. It is placed in the real world, so... I don't know. The autobiography in the subtitle makes you think that this is real.<BR/><BR/>I think part of the problem with the realism issue has to do with the subject matter. This book has some elements and themes of the "Twilight" series (minus the vampires, etc.) This book is firmly placed in the real world. To accept the adult themes are happening in teenagers' lives might make some question the realism. Of course, it could be a reality that people choose to ignore. It doesn't idealize love, but it makes you believe in love.<BR/><BR/>This is not a simple book. It is written in a easy to read style, but it challenges the reader to think. You find yourself laughing out loud and sharing this with people who are near you. You can't help but to share it with those near you. You just laugh and your friends want to know what is so funny.<BR/><BR/>I highly recommend this book. I just wouldn't recommend it to the very young teenagers. It has adult themes. It is okay for 13 and up. The book... It doesn't treat you like you are stupid. It's written in a style that is very frank and honest. This is what makes it so good. It doesn't romanticize love, but it makes it all the more romantic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    He loves her she loved him

    Great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2009

    Professional Review by Jacqueline Aguilera, MLA

    Written in a voice so honest and rich that to truly appreciate what is being offered one must experience it, Jack Gunthridge's Life: An Autobiography As Told By Jack Gunthridge is a modern literary masterpiece. Presented in narrative form, this work reads like having a conversation over coffee with a close friend. Gunthridge invites his reader's into a time of life when transitions rage as quickly and ferociously as adolescent hormones.

    Jack and Christine are linked from birth. In fact, Christine claims she owes her existence to Jack. If it were not for his parents conceiving a child, her competitive father would not have followed suit. Unfortunately for Christine, she is not born a boy, and an early rejection from her father begins an intensely intriguing journey with the opposite sex that contributes to the pain and joy of Jack's heart.

    From their young days playing house to becoming heads of their own households while still in their teenage years, Jack and Christine's lives are linked, and Christine quickly becomes the love of his life. There is no doubt of his love for Christine, and he bluntly exposes his feelings for her to his readers, taking them by the hand into the heart and soul of the unrequited lover beginning at the age of six.

    Unlike so many works where one reads only one version from one voice, even when recounting the voices of others, Gunthridge invites the important players in this journey to add their particular views of his recollections. With equal honesty, we get to know Jack not only from his heart and from the desire of his heart, but also from his best friend Arthur and from Melinda, who loves him as much as he loves Christine and loves him enough to let him be with his happiness.

    Much more than simply a story of adolescence, Gunthridge writes in a voice reminiscent of J.D. Salinger. His accounts cross the generation line. If you have ever loved, you will be touched by this work. He crosses the act of love with the past, present and future bringing forth unexpected emotional involvement with his words, ideas and philosophies. He reminds readers why we love in the first place, why we consider the meaning of life, and later, why we examine the meaning of our own existence.

    For such powerfully touching words to come from such a young voice is extraordinary. This is not a simple memoir from a high school student, the mere fulfillment of an assignment, another reflection of teenage alienation and loss of innocence. This is a declaration of love for all time, not only for another, but in the end, for one's self. The ultimate love comes from the self and is expressed only when one is ready for more than passion. It is, as Gunthridge writes, "not a question of love or desire. I am looking at the commitment and how to keep it" (p 92).

    This work can easily be read alone or on a Saturday afternoon with the one you love. It can be shared between and across the generations. Gunthridge has given us one of those novels that you pass on to those you care for in your life. His work is an opportunity to experience now what will later be considered a classic. Read Gunthridge's Life and get a taste of profound writing in its youth and prime, poised to be as influential on the future of literature as the writer himself.

    Jacqueline Aguilera, MLA Reviewer

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2010

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    Posted April 17, 2013

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    Posted June 14, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2009

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