Book Review | “Jane Two” by Sean Patrick Flanery A debut novel about coming-of age by an actor I grew up watching on tv series and in films.

Posted Thursday, 28 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, I started by reviewing releases by FaithWords (the novels of Stephanie Grace Whitson), their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been blessed to start reviewing for them.

I received a complimentary copy of “Jane Two” direct from the publisher Center Street (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On Dedications & Acknowledgements and why I wanted to read ‘Jane Two’:

Hallo, hallo dear hearts! I have a habit of reading through a particular series of steps which in the past I may have outlined on another review. As I recognise I’ve spoken about this before, however, the reason I re-draw attention to this habit, is because as I picked up Jane Two, Mr Flanery left me with such a pause of thought to ponder! I am unsure what makes me giddier, the nebulous references to key moments in an author’s life (such as he has done) or the lovely gush of joy and exuberance bursting through the note Cathy Kelly left at the close of Between Sisters (the latter of which is my forthcoming second review on behalf of a novel by Grand Central). I have a keen story to share with you then about serendipity and the beauty of unexpected joys.

Flanery dedicated his debut novel to “her“, which he repeats in full favour by mentioning her again in his closing remarks… it is the kind of quiet sentiment you love to find. Your half privy to his thoughts but withheld from the truer meaning behind why he’s chosen to share what he has left behind.

I appreciated the sentiment that we all grow and develop into our authentic selves through a process of experiences (his word: moments). I was raised by parents who cherished the ability to help me cultivate experiences and adventures; the latter here could be as simple as climbing trees or flying solo (within a touring group) to Mexico. To be observant of the still moments where we understand a piece of ourselves not yet disclosed and to embrace the unknown; as life is never quite predictable.

The only moment where I faltered not to spoilt the context of the story is when I accidentally opened the novel and my eyes caught sight of a curious cluster of words. Mind you, once caught, even for a nanosecond, of course I stopped what I was doing and read the paragraph in full. I read the rest of the page and then the proceeding page and closed the book rather flummoxed by what the short reading yielded into view. Language aside (as I’ll address that later) it was the tone and the choice(s) in dialogue that furrowed my brow in confusion.

I can honestly say I could not even fathom how such an exchange could exist in childhood. I hadn’t thought my growing years were too dissimilar to anyone else, but in light of that singular moment, I drew a breath knowing I was about to read a story that very well could be a challenge to understand. I wasn’t lost on the fact that I am not that far off in age from the author, yet we’ve lived lives so very separate from each other,…

That being said, I still held my original thoughts about why I wanted to read ‘Jane Two’ forefront in mind, as I was quite curious how Flanery would summarise his coming-of age philosophical tale:

I caught sight of #JaneTwo earlier in the year, as Winter was starting to wan – it took me half a moon to sort out where Mr Flanery was on Twitter (*which I did cheekily mention*) – but what caught my eye the most, is the tender coming-of age story written by an actor I quite literally saw grow up on camera and screen. I did not pick this title to read as a book blogger based on the promotional praise it was receiving nor even the fact Flanery wrote it; I picked this title because I wanted to read the story behind the synopsis by a bloke I believed in. I watched the choices in characters he has picked as well as fell out of knowing what he was doing for a spell of time, too. I brought myself up to speed when I saw the release of #JaneTwo and knew I wanted to support this new chapter of his life, too. FYI: The fact he wrote a ‘coming-of age’ story was icing on the cake, as I have a soft spot for those types of stories! – originally disclosed on my #WWWeds No.7

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Book Review | “Jane Two” by Sean Patrick Flanery A debut novel about coming-of age by an actor I grew up watching on tv series and in films.Jane Two

A coming of age debut novel from The Boondock Saints and Young Indiana Jones actor Sean Patrick Flanery.

A young Mickey navigates through the dense Texas humidity of the 70's and out onto the porch every single time his Granddaddy calls him, where he's presented with the heirloom recipe for life, love, and manhood. But all the logic and insight in the world cannot prepare him to operate correctly in the presence of a wonderfully beautiful little girl who moves in just behind his rear fence. How will this magical moment divide Mickey's life into a "before and after" and permanently change his motion and direct it down the unpaved road to which only a lucky few are granted access?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781455539437

on 5th April, 2016

Pages: 304

Published by: Center Street (
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #SeanPatrickFlanery + #JaneTwo & #ContemporaryFiction

About Sean Patrick Flanery

Sean Patrick Flanery Photo Credit: John Schell

SEAN PATRICK FLANERY is an American actor who was raised in a small town outside Houston, Texas. He has appeared in over 100 movies and television shows, some of which he hopes you've seen and some of which he hopes you haven't. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his family, where he works in the entertainment industry, writes, and owns and operates a martial arts academy.

Photo Credit: John Schell

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My Review of Jane Two:

Jane Two begins with a stream of consciousness as it’s central context of pace, reflectively drawing memories into the foreground vying for your attention. The odd bit is that I felt we were entering the story not at the beginning, but rather at a junction someplace in the middle? There was this harried state of awareness that it was pertinent to get the details down and to give enough information to you as could be spared to centre you on why this part of the character’s life is as influential on him or her to be told, but it lacked a bit of clarity on the back-story of why we’re entering this person’s life (here or anywhere). I have read stories that start off on this sort of note before, but generally speaking, the story pulls back a bit from this sort of flowing narrative to let you become known to the character your attempting to invest your attention; sadly this was not quite the case with Jane Two.

It isn’t often that I find the cover art design is as readily apparent for authentically tying itself into the heart of a story as it became obvious to me within the early chapters of Jane Two. It nearly felt like the shoes on the cover (and on the flagpole directly) were launched inside their own metaphor to explain a particular moment of a coming-of awareness for the lead character. They symbolised childhood and a ‘arriving moment’ of personal clarity as an image never has beforehand as it was intrinsically tied to how Flanery entered the reader into his debut novel.

What truly surprised me is how I could not get attached to the lead character at all, for starters, despite the fact his name is mentioned in the synopsis, his name wasn’t mentioned in the opening bits of the novel. I honestly felt like I had walked inside a story that was not aligning properly with the novel I was expecting to read. It was that much of a 360 turnabout for me! I wasn’t even sure what upset me more, the choice in the story’s delivery or the incredibly thick lacing of vulgarity that truly made me flinch, yes flinch!, from reading anything further! I simply do not equate such language with inspirational stories as to me they don’t convey the scope or tone of a story I’d feel comfortable reading.

More shocking is that I simply did not have the heart to move past this opening sequence to even find the true philosophical purpose of the novel, as I did feel, from what I gathered prior to picking up this novel to read, at the heart of it’s message is a philosophy about how to approach living your life and how best to handle what life brings to your path. I simply could not read the words in order to see how Flanery fused this to his story, as honestly, it was too abrasive for me to draw my eyes further into the text itself. I realise I am in the minority whose reacting this way to the novel, but I have to leave behind my honest impressions and these were mine. I do hope others continue to find inspiration where I found none and can continue to rally behind a story I simply do not understand.

Fly in the Ointment:

I had this moment of questioning how there could be so many vulgar words back to back inside of a book under the imprint of Center Street… where I was trying to sort out where the inspirational bits might have been captured instead. It isn’t so much that I’m against strong language (as I’ve blogged about this extensively where I think my readers know where my heart lies on the subject) but it’s how it’s included and why it’s included that I find myself in most offense to find in modern literature. Even the tone draws into question, as for some reason, most of the stories where it’s littered through the context of a story, the tone takes a downturn into that darker grittier scope of humanity that I am not entirely motivated to explore outright.

In this particular case, I have no words to truly describe my first impressions or thoughts in regards to the language choices on behalf of Flanery’s characters. They are so far removed from any person I knew in my own childhood it’s like reading a novel set in an alternative universe! I simply did not grow up with children in middle school who spoke like this, as it simply wasn’t allowed or perhaps, my classmates weren’t as inclined to be so vocal in my presence. Either way, it’s just hard for me to process how this is the everyday language and context of expression for this particular age group. I realise since I’ve left school (in the mid-1990s) things have changed dramatically as I have heard enough stories from my friends who have raised children in today’s world to know the stark differences therein. However, Flanery and I are not that ‘far’ off in age so that was a bit of confusion on my part. Grant you, we both grew up in Southern states, his not that far off from my own but perhaps, they were a world apart in other ways not seen in geography? I don’t know. I spent more time trying to sort out how this story was constructed than I honestly spent reading it.

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This book review is courtesy of:

Center Street

Stay tuned! More Hachette reviews are coming on Jorie Loves A Story!

This July, I reviewed “Two Across” (see Review) by Grand Central Publishing; this past Tuesday I reviewed “Claiming Noah” (see Review) by Center Street and before August, I will be sharing my thoughts on “A Place Called Hope” (Center Street) and “Messenger by Moonlight” my third Stephanie Grace Whitson novel (by FaithWords). I am wicked delighted to read such a cross-section of Hachette Books!

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!

Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst bloggers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Jane Two”, book synopsis, author biography and author photograph of Sean Patrick Flanery were all provided by the publisher Hachette Book Group Inc. (via their Bloggers Portal) and used with permission. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Ruminations & Impressions Banner and Comment Box Banner. As well as the Next Reads banner shared in the tweet about “Jane Two”, “Claiming Noah” and “Messenger by Moonlight”.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2016.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Thursday, 28 July, 2016 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), CenterStreet, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fly in the Ointment, Realistic Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Vulgarity in Literature

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