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Featured Story: Josh.mp4

Renee Stevens

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Sorry all, I'm running a little behind today, so let's just get right to the review!

Josh.mp4
Albert Nothlit

Reviewer: Puppilull
Status: Complete
Word Count: 34,936

I’m sure many of you know and love Albert Nothlit for his science fiction adventure stories, that bring strange worlds and even stranger creatures alive. I’ve read them and have been on the edge of my seat to find out what will happen to the main characters. You see with Albert, you never really know. Stories can take unexpected turns and go down paths you didn’t see coming. A big plus in my book, but if you’re looking for something more predictable and generally all feelgood, perhaps you should wait with Albert’s work to another day.

This is most certainly the case with the rather dark story behind this review. It concerns the deeply saddening issue of teen suicide. And why should anyone read a tale of such tragedy? Just because all too many of us come face to face with this issue. If not in our immediate circle of friends, I’m pretty sure you all have someone you know or at least know of who have suffered in this way. The first step to prevent suicide is to be aware of the issue. Not hide from it, but face it head on. Difficult and upsetting, but it can save lives if we dare to get involved, dare to ask the question “Are you really OK?”

Josh.mp4 lets us get to know Josh, who is the narrator of the story. As a new arrival in town, he strikes up a sort of friendship with Nathan, who turns out to be the odd one out at school. We get to follow their friendship, which is at times rather reluctant from Josh’s side. It is hard to fully grasp Nathan, maybe because we see him through the eyes of Josh.

To me, Albert captures the mind of teen Josh so well. In his mind, there is not even a possibility of someone taking their own life. But as teen go, he is also preoccupied mainly with himself with the usual obsessions of fitting in, finding friends, getting the attention of various love interests and worrying about his performance in sports. Not uncommon as it is a time in life when you try to find yourself. I commented on getting chills reading the parts describing Josh’s interaction with his high school friends and they weren’t good chills. I would never want to go back to being a high schooler again. To fully take in another person’s issues, especially ones as severe as Nathan’s, at that stage in life is asking a lot of a young person.

I read this a few years ago and kept thinking of my own daughters and their friends. How can I help them deal with issues of this gravity? Maybe if we can make them aware of the risks and maybe signs, perhaps some can be saved. It’s a story that hits you in the heart. So have tissues and some time to reflect afterwards, when reading.

Category: Fiction  Genres:  Drama  Tags:  teen, young adult, gay, under 18, north america, friendship  Rating: Everyone

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You can't go wrong with any of Albert's stories.  I'm not sure I read this one, but will add it to my list to read when I'm in the mood for a dark story.  

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Excellent review, Puppilull. I'll pick the right time to check this story out. :) 

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