I’m a sucker for one-liners. Heck, who isn’t? And that’s why I decided to read PRACTICAL JEAN. Not only was the first line of the back blurb amazing, but so was the first line of the prologue…and I don’t even like prologues. So yeah, I was pretty psyched to get reading.
I’ll share the lines so we can be on the same page (awesome-ly bad joke; had to do it).
Back blurb's first line: Here in Kotemee, all anyone can say now is, thank God I was never a good friend of Jean Vale Horemarsh.
Prologue's first line: You might think that this is a rather horrible and depraved sort of story. But that’s because you’re a nice person.
Now, I could just leave you with that because I’m sure that you’re already sold on reading PRACTICAL JEAN, but because that would be the shortest book review of life, I’ll flush it out a bit.
Jean Horemarsh is a middle-aged woman who lives in a small town with her husband Milt, loves creating ceramic leaves, and cherishes her female friendships. For all intents and purposes, she leads a fairly normal, and sometimes boring life. After spending three months caring for her mother, who was dying of cancer, Jean realizes that getting old sucks (I’m paraphrasing there as the author, Trevor Cole, is far more eloquent than I) and since she loves her friends so dearly, Jean decides that the best way to show her love would be to spare them the misery of aging by doing the only thing she can: murdering them.
Side note: this may be the greatest storyline of all time.
The cool thing about PRACTICAL JEAN, is that, at first, I had positively no idea how things were going to go down. Not only that, though, but Trevor Cole is such a darkly funny author that by about the 60th page, I realized that I loved Jean! Not just her ideas, but the way she views the world. In fact, I felt that I had quite a bit in common with Jean (don't worry friends, I'm not going to face-stab you, haha!). To be frank, I have no idea how Cole managed to make murdering your friends an accessible idea, but he totally did. It was an interesting, enthralling, and unpredictable read.
PRACTICAL JEAN is the kind of book that stays with you long after you’ve finished. Mostly because it’s such a unique plot, and is delivered in such a remarkable way that it’s one of the rare books that I may re-read in the future. So, if you like dark humour (no ha-ha laughs here) with believable characters who do un-be-live-able things, then PRACTICAL JEAN is for you.
Happy reading, everyone!