Thursday, August 13, 2015

Book Review: "BOYSTOWN: Season Three" (Jake Biondi)

It only takes one moment to transform dozens of lives forever.

Just ask the characters from Jake Biondi's BOYSTOWN series and its most recently released installment, Season Three. (Catch up on what happened in Season Two here.)

The work picks up with the aftermath of the New Year's Eve party and its revelation about two of the characters and their clandestine relationship. Immediately thereafter, though, before the dust can settle from the announcement, an explosion tears through the lower floor of the hotel, leaving many of the key players affected.

BOYSTOWN relates the melodramatic stories of a group of people (mostly men, with a few women) in a Chicago neighborhood, along with all of their relationships (sexual and otherwise) and interactions with one another. The most prevalent overarching story element is a long-time feud between members of two families, the Mancinis and the Ciancios, that extends even beyond Chicago's borders.

Further elements explored include one love affair and betrayal after another, much like your favorite soap opera but, this time, actually well-written and more genuine. Each of the myriad characters has his or her own personal agenda, usually at odds with many of the other characters, and none of the characters is ever upfront or entirely honest about his or her intentions, goals, desires, or plans, making for suspense like you wouldn't believe.

This most recent installment incorporates deep character wounds, dark and unexpected betrayals, and smoking hot sexuality among its tormented, duty-bound, and secret-keeping cast. Dialogue runs along swiftly, as befits the television-episode style in which the work is written (indeed, each chapter is actually intended to be an episode).

Sometimes, it's chaotic to try to keep everyone straight, especially when so few people are being entirely honest, and when many of the names begin with the same letter (Joyelle, Justin, and Jesse; or David, Dustin, and Derek, for instance). However, whereas the written, words-on-a-page version is somewhat confusing, if the story were televised and each of the characters had his or her own face and personality with whom to visually identify, the confusion would likely be minimized.

Finally, one of the most unique parts of the story is the philosophical statements that begin and end each episode, and serve as a sort of "theme" for the content of that episode among all the different character interactions. These summary statements add a sort of literary flair to an otherwise fast-paced real-world scene.

Let me put it this way ... you'll find, reading this work, that there is never a dull moment in BOYSTOWN!

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Author: Jake Biondi
Title: BOYSTOWN: Season Three
ISBN: 978-1-51182-372-2
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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