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In A World Of Presumptuous People, Irony Is Alive And Well, Concludes James Morrison, The Narrator Of This Touching Coming Of Age Novel A View Shannie Ortolan James S Longtime Friend, Sometimes Lover, And Full Time Obsession Wouldn T Argue From Their First Encounter As Teenagers Until Shannie S Death, Experience The Twists, Turns And Enthralling Characters That Populate Cemetery StreetOn The Cusp Of The New Millennium, James Fulfills A Promise Reenacting A Childhood Ritual, He Places A Mud Pie Upon A Grave This Simple Act Triggers Powerful MemoriesMeet The People That Shaped James S Life Shannie, Who Among Other Things, Introduces Him To The Sport Of Dodging Freight Trains Count, The Cemetery Caretakers Son, Helps James Navigate The Minefields Of Adolescence Until Destiny Is Met In Desert Storm Russell, An Aging Blind African American, Guards A Horrifying Secret Behind A Cloud Of Cigar Smoke Diane, Shannie S Mother, A College Professor Dispels The Notion Of Tweed Jackets And Elbow Patches Steve Lucas, A Mortician S Son, Who Despite Bizarre Obsessions, Stands By James During His Most Challenging TimesLaugh, Cry, And Blush As James Recounts Events Of Late Twentieth Century American Life BEC S REVIEWCemetery Street is a compelling story and one that had me hooked, despite the disjointed nature of time in the story While maintaining the basic chronological order of the story, many events occurred via flash back or flash forward without any notice in regards as to when in time these events occur While the reason for this somewhat disjointed nature of the story is explained by events later on, it does serve to cause some confusion that could be avoided in some way Another aspect of the story I didn t particularly enjoy were the letter and diary aspect halfway in the story On finishing that aspect I can totally understand their inclusion as an attempt to make an emotional event directly afterwards emotional and maintain contact with a specific character while said character is not with the main protagonist And yet I feel the emotional impact of the event in question would have been just as emotional without their inclusion The letters and diary were a little too off and a tangent and at times their inclusion felt forced It took you away from the main story for a time being, and while I understand the reasoning behind them I still did not enjoy them Despite this slight confusion I did enjoy Cemetery Street It is one of those novels that tells you the shocking event within the first few pages, and then later surprises you with it later on as you know it ll happen but not when in the story or how So even though I knew of this major event and tried to brace myself for it, I was still surprised by how it occurred and able to feel slightly emotional Overall Cemetery Street is a great book and one I recommend. CEMETERY STREET BY JOHN ZUNSKII loved this book I feel one reason is that I lived those times and was around the same age during the 80 s and 90 s as the characters in the stories This book spoke to me in volumes The characters are written with a knowledge that shows the author knew those years as well and felt a kinship with his characters as I did while reading it The 80 s the way I remember them, were a time when friendship meant everything and the mother in this book, unfortunately, reminded me of my own I identified with the male lead in this book, James, on so many levels and at times felt like I was his female counterpart like John Zunski had taken my story and printed it on paper for the world to read The story is about friendship, loss, war, coming to terms with life in general and growing up in a time so much different than today and learning to embrace who you really are.A truly fantastic novel well worth the read, I will actively seek out of this authors work in the near future James, Shannie, and Count will forever be a part of me Wonderful, wonderful book, I simply can t praise it enough 5 Ravens flying high Kitty Bullard Great Minds Think Aloud John Zunski s book is a poignant look into the mixture of happiness and tragedy that accompanies many of us as we navigate our way through the volatile teen years on through to the indecision of early adulthood He beautifully captures the evolution of an early teen friendship James and Shannie and its often confused and conflicted entry into the realm of love Along the way, Zunski helps to remind us that the bonds we establish early in our lives echo into our futures, shaping who we are and how we relate to the world The story is told from the perspective of protagonist James Morrison and begins with him, as an adult, reflecting on the loss of a childhood friend cum confidant cum lover The story quickly takes root in James past where Zunski pieces together the trials and tribulations of the teenage years, as experienced by James and his close knit group of friends, growing up in the shadows of a cemetery A cemetery which, throughout the story, provides a constant reminder of the fragility and sometimes abbreviated nature of life Along the train tracks in a small suburban town outside of Philadelphia, James and his friends grow together forging strong ties starting in middle school, into high school and onto college and professional endeavors which pull them apart only physically Cemetery Street has several themes working throughout, however, at its core, it is a touching tale of a love that never had the opportunity to fully bloom in a manner befitting the protagonist A lack of will, unclear desires and a life cut short all intertwine to create a story revealing that our hopes and aspirations always manage to lie beyond our control Zunski s storytelling strong hand lies in his suppression of the reveal, choosing instead to focus on character development diving deep into their thoughts, troubles, and challenges It is done with a certain finesse allowing the reader to become a witness to events rather than merely a page turning machine.As it must be stated, the novel is not beyond criticism and there were a few elements of the novel which I struggled to digest Specifically, I found there to be some inauthentic language and dialog which had me second guessing specified ages of characters and points in history Additionally, there were a couple of conflict situations which seemed to accelerate at an unnatural pace Taken as a whole though, these elements did not cast much of a shadow over what is otherwise a quality piece of work I look forward to future titles from Zunski I ve recently come across quite a few authors that have just an undefined category as to where you need to stick them Labels seem so harsh at times This book was unique in many factors It was told from a man s perspective, as he was visiting the grave of his lost love It seems that James was caught in a turmoil of drama ever since the day his parents decided to move to Cemetery Street Only somethings are just not meant to be, no matter how much your heart longs for them Love is unique to each person, and therefore each person s story is different No two loves are ever the same, and they never happen in the same way We grow and change But this story being told is of Jame s life from 12 to almost 30 He had a very interesting ride to find himself, and it finally happened in Montana of all places The book begins with James visiting Shannie s grave Shannie was his best friend from 12 until the day she died James fell in love with her somewhere along the way but Shannie would never be his Even though fighting between Jame s parents was continuous, he had a happy childhood with his 2 best friends Count decided after graduating that his future belonged to the army Count was Jame s other best friend Shannie wanted to be a lawyer, and James really didn t have a direction he wanted to go to He floundered a bit, never really being swayed by either parent who seemed to always be stuck in some sort of battle And then of course you mix in some small town weirdness, old rumors, a blind man, Shannie s mother and you have a recipe for a really good read.Jame s goes through a lot during this story He deals with loss constantly throughout is whole story Whether it be a person, a feeling, or a situation His struggles during his life turn him into an interesting adult It almost seems at some points in the book that he obsesses over what he knows he cannot have I would say its a mixture of Stand by Me and Forrest Gump Bits and pieces of both of the movies stuck in my head as I read through the pages This was a tear jerker in a few parts but a book that definitely keeps your attention It makes you re evaluate and think about your own life Can it possibly compare What would you have done differently I really enjoyed going through Jame s memories but I would have liked to have peered into Shannie s diary a bit But all in all it was an excellent read