jess thompson

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Finished 08/03/2017

I can safely say that YA Western was not a genre I’d expressed any interest in before this book but Vengeance Road has shot that assumption out of the water.

It’s 1877 in the Arizona Territory and Kate Thompson’s dad has been murdered by a gang in pursuit of gold. Out to avenge her father’s memory, Kate disguises herself as a boy and sets out to find her father’s killers and bring them to justice. Along the way she forms an unlikely allegiance with a pair of stubborn brothers and an Apache girl, and ends up unearthing more secrets than she bargained for.

This book was well out of my comfort zone and I’m still trying to pinpoint why exactly I enjoyed it so much. I could count the number of Western movies I’ve seen on one hand, and half of those would probably be musicals, and yet I couldn’t get enough of Vengeance Road. The characters feel incredibly realistic for people so far from my reality, and the action packed plot had enough twists and turns to keep me constantly gripped. 

I also enjoyed that the book was written in first person. It’s full of y’alls and aint’s and yet is still extremely readable despite the unusual vernacular. Just the whole feel of the book completely transported you back to the nineteenth century, and my thoughts lingered in this world long after I closed the final page.

Ste’s Escape, #TobyTheTerror Strikes Again and Fur Coats...

Rounding up a week in Hollyoaks (5th-9th June 2017)

Hollyoaks characters not feeling the cold has been something of a long running joke amongst viewers, what with characters often seen sporting very little clothing, even in the middle of winter. However, this week, the opposite was true, as Adam and Maxine arrived back from honeymoon in a ridiculous fashion, and both wearing massive fur coats (in June!). The extravagant clothing, and limo that they arrived back in, was likely to remind viewers, what with their short attention spans and all that, that Adam and Maxine won the lottery just before they left. Anyway, this week there was much celebration for the couple when Minnie took her first steps and they decided to celebrate with a party at The Bean. However, their happiness was short lived when #TobyTheTerror lived up to his name and accused Maxine of hitting him…

Darcy went straight to the police and Maxine was arrested, which caused her no end of worry due to the fact she’s on a suspended sentence for the whole Patrick fiasco (well done for remembering, Hollyoaks!). Despite #TobyTheTerror admitting to making the whole thing up, Maxine was left devastated when Darcy told her and Adam she would not allow her son to be around Maxine and so she decided to leave for America, although how she can go there with her criminal record is something that Hollyoaks keeps forgetting. Adam was frantic when he realised that Maxine had left for the airport and, with a little help from Nancy, declared his love over the taxi radio. It all looked to have been in vain when Jack arrived back alone, but it all came good in the end when Adam returned to the flat to find Maxine waiting for him! The countdown for the next instalment of #MaxineMisery begins now… 

Elsewhere, there was a new face in Hollyoaks this week in the shape of Yasmine’s sister, Farrah, who rocked up on a motorbike outside The Bean. Farrah’s a clinical psychologist and soon found herself caught up in the Kim/Esther mess when she asked Esther out on a date, not realising that she was Kim’s (her patient) wife. Deciding that dating Esther would cause too many problems for Kim, Farrah cancelled their date, leaving Esther upset and confused. First impressions of Farrah are good and it’s nice to see someone working at the hospital in a capacity we’ve not seen before. Something tells me she’s going to be kept very busy! 

Meanwhile, Harry visited Ste in prison and was left alarmed when an inmate, Woody, approached him and ordered him to smuggle drugs into the prison otherwise Ste would get hurt. When James found out what was going on, he attempted to get Ste moved to a different prison but Harry was left disheartened when James told him that the process could take weeks and so took matters into his own hands by reporting Woody to the prison. The following day, Ste was rushed to hospital, having apparently had an accident, but Harry wasn’t convinced and tried to put up a fight when the police later tried to take Ste back to prison. As Ste was led out of the hospital, he suddenly pushed the police officer over and made a run for it. Let’s just ignore the fact that Ste would have been handcuffed to the officer…

Harry returned to Nightingale’s to find a confused Ste waiting for him. Knowing that the police’s arrival was imminent, Ste and Harry made plans to get away, but Harry first had to convince the police that he had no idea where Ste was. Before they left, Ste gave Harry the task of retrieving Leah and Lucas but the plan went wrong when Leah declared that she wanted nothing to do with the man who’d apparently killed her Mother and an innocent remark from Lucas eventually lead the police to Ste. 

Finally, Darren’s drug dealing came back to bite him on the arse when Kyle found out what he’d been up to. Kyle quickly attempted to strike a deal with Darren and told him he wouldn’t tell Nancy as long as Darren gave him a cut of any money made. Later, Kyle followed Ryan into the toilets at The Dog and begged him to continue their affair. Any hopes Ryan had of keeping his secret looked set to be dashed, however, when he emerged from the cubicle to find Scott standing there. When will the residents of Hollyoaks learn not to discuss their secrets in public?!

5 Things We Learnt This Week:

1. Paul Hollywood is not fit to lick Tony’s bowl out. I sincerely hope that’s not a euphemism. 

2. Kim is absolutely not a “fruit-loop lunatic with a destructive personality”.

3. Don’t ask Grace to hand out leaflets. 

4. If you own any sort of business, don’t employ Yasmine. 

5. Auntie Doreen smells of cats. 

Characters Featured:

Adam, Darcy, Darren, DS Thorpe, Esther, Farrah, Goldie, Grace, Harry, Jack, James, Jesse, Kim, Kyle, Leah, Lucas, Maxine, Mercedes, Minnie, Myra, Nancy, Ryan, Scott, Sienna, Ste, Toby, Tony, Warren and Yasmine.

Past Characters Mentioned:

Nico Blake, Patrick Blake, Lindsey Butterfield, Bobby Costello, Clare Devine, Diego Martinez, Bart McQueen, Celine McQueen, John Paul McQueen, Mitzeee Minniver, Trevor Royle, Louise Summers.

Supernatural Birthdays

A list of all specified character birthdays within the show. I skipped historical characters who were only mentioned.

  • Genevieve Padalecki: January 8, 1981
  • Dean Winchester: January 24, 1979
  • Jessica Moore: January 24, 1984
  • Larry Ganem: March 23, 1926
  • Jesse Turner: March 29, 1998
  • Jo Harvelle: April 7, 1985
  • Anna Milton: April 13, 1985 (There’s discrepancy over when her birthday is, but this was shown under her patient files, so I’m using this date.)
  • Elliot Ness: April 19, 1903
  • Amelia Richardson: April 20, 1980
  • Eric Kripke: April 24, 1974
  • Impala: April 24, 1967
  • Sam Winchester: May 2, 1983
  • Serge Ladouceur: June 16, 1952
  • Misha Collins: August 20, 1974
  • Jim Michaels: September 12, 1965
  • Sera Gamble: September 20, 1983
  • Adam Milligan: September 29, 1990
  • Father Max Thompson: October 12, 1910
  • Kevin Tran: December 2, 1995
  • Mary Winchester: December 5, 1954
  • Andy Gallagher: December 30, 1983
  • Ansem Weems: December 30, 1983