Addison Harding - Luminous
Mini Contemporary Solo
The Dance Loft
Nuvo Pittsburgh 2020
Music: 4416_Mastered_Luminous 01-12904 - Atlantic Screen Music
Saturday night portrait practice. I really really want to show you guys the acrylic pet portraits I’m working on at the moment, but they’re Christmas gifts/commissions, so I won’t be able to post them until the new year!
Study of a tramp
Original pen and ink drawing on paper, c1941
Hand signed and dated in ink by the artist
Size of visible drawing: 4.9" x 2.9" (12.4cm x 7.3cm)
Size of original period frame: 12" x 10" (30.4cm x 25.4cm)
Condition: very good
With gallery certificate of authenticity and written provenance
(provenance available on request)
+44 (0) 20 3633 4341
Little White Lies [Goodreads] was… interesting, to say the least. It was certainly the most zany Jennifer Lynn Barnes book I’ve read, but I wouldn’t say it’s going down as one of my favorites from her.
First of all, this book read like a speedrun of a novel. We moved from plot point, to plot point with no down time between them. A good example of this is the inciting incident of the novel. Sawyer’s grandmother gives her the opportunity of a lifetime a full ride to university, however she would have to give up her life to do so, yet before we have the time to work through the implications within the narrative Sawyer makes the choice and were shoved head first into the rest of the book. A lot more in-between moments were needed in this book. Time to reflect on actions and for characters to be a little introspective, without them it felt like we were rushing into the story
Sawyer is a lot like Camie from Barnes’ Fixer duology. They’re both headstrong, tough-girls with the skill set to solve a mystery and a love of threatening assholes with castration. While I liked this archetype well enough in the Fixer series, it felt a little tired in Little White Lies. It’s probably because I’d already read this same character in the Fixer. I mean, they’re both also obsessed with finding out the identity of their father. The resemblance is uncanny.
What really killed Sawyer for me was she just wasn’t the most interesting character in the novel. The main plot of the novel is centralized around the conflicts between other characters, and while Sawyer is instrumental in unravelling the mysteries and solving the problems she has no emotional connection to the action. I think either her cousin, Lily or especially the resident mean girl, Campbell would have been much better choices for protagonists because they had much deeper personal connections with the mystery rather than Sawyer did as the new girl in town.
The book was very wildly paced. Not only did it feel rushed, but there were weird time jumps between chapters. Something would happen, and then we’d jump two months, and then something else would happen and then we’d jump three weeks, and so on and so forth. It was such an odd choice because there was no real narrative reason for the book to have such long time stretches between plot points. I would assume Barnes did this because the traditional Debutante process takes nine months and she wanted to remain accurate to the story, but it had weird implications for the story.
For one, because of the frequent time jumps the action of the novel feels like it took place over at most two months instead of nine. This created a disconnect between my subjective understanding of the story and the factual truth. For example, while it felt to me as if Sawyer and Lily were acquaintances because we never saw them really interact outside of their investigation or spend time together, I’m told they spent nine months together by the end of the book, so they should be close, but I just couldn’t buy it.
My last gripe with this book is the dual perspective Barnes went with for the narrative. In the book we mainly follows Sawyers chronological experience, but every few chapters we get a short snipped from the perspective of a police officer nine months after the start of the novel. I know Barnes intended for these sections to build suspense, a sort of “however did our characters get in this situation!”, but all it did was confuse me in the first hundred pages and slow the climax to a screeching halt during the end of the book.
This book wasn’t all bad. I generally like the light hearted mysteries of JLB books. The wacky hijinks that made up the meat of this story were actually quite entertaining. Barnes knows how to write a good teen mystery and a shocking (at least to me) twists that both makes perfect sense and that I didn’t see coming at all. She wrote a fun romp successfully. The final twist in this novel was absolutely fucking bonkers in a good way (seriously I don’t think anyone could predict THAT ending). I audibly gasped and instantly texted my friends about it. That reaction is why I like Barnes in the first place; she writes shamelessly fun books about teens doing outlandish things and I need cheesy escapism sometimes.
So, Little White Lies wasn’t my favorite Barnes novel. It accomplished what it was trying to do, but some of the structural issues held it back from being something I could easily recommend to people. If you already like Barnes’ writing give this one a go, but If you’re a newbie to her works I’d recommend starting with her Fixer duology before you pick up this one. I don’t know if I’ll continue with this series though.
Obsessed with this TBR pile right now 😍
Waves crashed against the cliff-side, and the torrential wind and rain absorbed any sound I made; my footsteps, the clattering of my teeth and grunts of effort, even if I were to scream it’d be carried away into nothing. I kept a hand gripped firmly around my torch, while the other held the collar of my hooded coat together. My head was leant down to keep the rain from my eyes as I fought my way up the dark path. It was the dead of night, I couldn’t see my feet, and the ground was uneven, so, I had to aim the light directly in front of me as I walked.
I was following the path that I’d heard was once considered to be a pilgrimage of repentance; that after you completed the journey up the cliff, then over the steep slopes of boundless hills, onto the isolated moors, a little over a mile north-west; there would sit a crumbled ruin of a shrine-like structure where you’d be given forgiveness for all and any transgressions. It was an old, forgotten tradition that was practised centuries ago, specific to the nearest village I happened to come across during my travels.
We are closing the 9th Edition of our special Random Contemporary Music series, with the amazing music of György Ligeti.
Today on Musica in Extenso:
Etude No. 8 “Fem”
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, pianist
Etude No. 8 is based on chords of the open fifth, with short, irregular, asymmetrically grouped melodic fragments playing off one another.
See you next week! - Editor-in-Chief
Acrilico su tela, 20x15 cm
Could Have Been