Home Wrecker: MY REVIEW

Home Wrecker: Brenda Perlin



Stand in front of a mirror and look closely at the image that is reflected back at you. The face that you are looking at has weathered many storms, might even have some wrinkles or worry lines but the person staring back at you is still YOU! Acceptance of who we are is not always so cut and dry or easy for some people. Others might chastise, criticize and even ridicule us for the way we look, our attitude or even because of our manner of speech or expression. Standing tall, steadfast and looking past what others think is difficult for a young child that is expected to live up to her parent’s expectations and standards. When you meet Brooklyn Rosen as she unravels the many layers of her personality, life and goals within this novel titled Home Wrecker, you will find that the image that is projected or reflected in the mirror has many different sides, can be viewed from many different angles but the end result it is still Brooklyn.


Relationships did not come easy for Brooklyn and dealing with many of her family members brought out her many different sides. Her mother was her champion, her constant and seemed to center her and bring out her fun and joyous side. Her father was tough, hardnosed and often made her feel like she was really not living up to his standards. Sisters that were different hoping to be close but situations putting strains on their relationships that withered away. Describing her first job and moving on from there we learn much about Brooklyn, her goals, thoughts and hopes for her future. But, when someone finally put a camera in her hands the world changed, her energy level rose and things started to fall into place. But, she was not there yet. Many boyfriends, some good some bad, distancing herself from her father after losing her mother to cancer, and then finding out that many experiences in life would cause her to change are just some things that the author relates to the reader about Brooklyn. Waitressing, acting and the combination of both careers seemed to fuel her for a while. Leaving both and then deciding to teach at a gym seemed to bring her some friendships, teach her a lot about people and then something snapped and things went downhill.


Everyone wants what he or she cannot have at times but we need to wait until we can afford to get them. Finding herself in a jail cell after stealing a dress then confronted by the guard who took her in, Brooklyn hopefully learned some hard lessons. Meeting and dating different men would give her several different perspectives including that of many others but in reality she needed to decide for herself and listen to her inner most thoughts.


Her short attention span would hinder her from truly finding her real passion. Smart, astute in her own way even though she did not realize it, Brooklyn’s outlook and assessment of herself was probably harsher than from friends or family. Never pushed to excel or do anything Brooklyn needed to develop her own self-discipline. Turning thirty brought its own hang-ups and issues and a new decade that would hopefully bring out her strengths and stop playing on what she might think are her weaknesses. Flashing back to her thoughts about her mother she realizes and reflects on the important things she was taught. Being who you are, not worrying about what others think of you or trying to be like everyone else are great points to remember. Added in everyone should be an individual and mirroring yourself to be anyone or anything other than the person whose reflection you see in that mirror will present a false persona not only to yourself but the world. Then we learn about her relationship with Gerard and if this is the right man for her. Meeting his family brought mixed emotions, perceptions and feelings. In the company of his family Brooklyn relates her unease. So, why did she experience so many physical issues when preparing for her wedding to Gerard, which should have been happy? In chapters 22-30 we learn about the wedding, the stress and the final result. The decisions made, the difficulty with the dress and the final vows are all part of the first book. Now, let’s learn the rest.


Her father with a woman named Lina and her family at first really great but then things changed when he became sick. Lina wanted money to live in the style she was accustomed or you might say a huge slice of the pie. Greedy, not understanding yet wanting things her father said to give her anything she wanted. Having money from her first husband and really not lacking for anything, then learning her father had cancer she and Gerard took care of him Lina on the other hand wanted his money for her kids. A man that just wanted his family to care about him and not what he could give them. From both families his and Lina’s people came just for money while hoping someone would ask how he felt. His final days were spent with Brooklyn and Gerard. Walking on eggshells through life can cause a fragile existence.


Diagnosed with a disease like Transverse Myelitis which is incurable and then having to deal with doctors that often dismissed her concerns and the cause of her pain, Brooklyn did more than just whether her troubles. Gerard became distant, not really very supportive at times and the end result was hospitalizations, therapy, medications, nurses that were not always compassionate and fear of the unknown and what would happen next.


Anger, stress and lack of understanding can play havoc on a marriage and your life as Gerard’s anger increased and his understanding diminished. So, how would Brooklyn deal with his mood changes and what was next? But, she is a fighter and would not give up. Transverse Myelitis is what she had do deal with and using the net would help her to be equipped with more information and knowledge. Losing her friend to cancer and then going to the gym and meeting Bo, would she forsake her vows?


Life changed for her and although she remained married for a while longer her relationship with Gerard seemed stilted, cold and often disconnected but then there is Bo.  Revenge plays a heavy part when someone feels they are wronged. The interactions between Brooklyn, Bo’s wife and Gerard are related in her own voice as you learn what happens when she decides to get divorced and what Gerard does next. Threats, confrontations, anger and much more would follow as things began to more than heat up for Brooklyn who just wanted to be happy. Would Gerard let go? Would Bo’s wife Ruth finally get the message and back off? Court dates, papers filed and hoping to get a restraining order to keep Ruth away from her.



The ending will definitely make you think about the court system, about how truths get twisted and about whether one woman named Brooklyn will come out alone, with another man she loves or just bear the pain of the title Home Wrecker. You decide after reading this book, hearing her words, finding out what happens as a result and the final verdict in the court case before making your decision. Home Wrecker or were both homes wrecked before Brooklyn and Bo met? This is one novel that will definitely give readers much pause for thought as you learn about betrayals, loyalties, guilt, friendships and one woman’s struggle just to find happiness.


Fran Lewis: Reviewer






Night Buddies: Night Buddies; Impostors, and One Far-Out Flying Machine (Night Buddies #2)

Sands Hetherington


What would you do with a crocodile for a best friend? What would you do if one that was bright red, you heard me, not green, but red lived under your bed. Well, John Degraffenereidt, has a real cool friend named Crosley and together as Night Buddies that manage to have fun, adventures and never ever the same ones twice, their fun or their investigations are called Programs and their handler or boss’s name is Crenwinkle. Crenwinkle if the head Night Buddies Amalgamated, and requires that all operatives carry a special ID GIMCRACK in order to make sure that they are the real agent or Night Buddy they claim to be. We would not want any sensitive information getting into the wrong hangs or scales you might say. John and his pal Crosley have what you call on of a kind program. Entering into a store to buy special equipment something strange happens. Never before did the proprietor ever ask for the ID GIMCRACK. Never before did our friend Cros ever have to produce it for Crenwinkle. But, what happens will explain it all. Telling them in a secret location since the headquarters never stays the same for security reasons, Crosley and John learn that tons of red crocodiles are appearing, committing heinous crimes and poor Crosley will have to contain himself in order to solve the mystery.

Imagine a red croc going to the park and painting the ducks green. How awful is that! Then poor Cros was told the All-Night Drugstore gave me a huge supply of mothballs and that is one thing our Cros would never take. He was never there and you can tell just from what he says he is totally upset. But, there is so much more because how did Crenwinkle find them? Well, doesn’t everyone own their own homing transponder so that your whereabouts are known 24/7? Night Buddies John and Crosley have been enlisted to stop these crocs from continuing their crime spree. But, just how will they do it is really quite unique and just what kind of a program will this turn out to be. Imposters are those that pretend to be someone or something that they are not. How will everyone tell the difference between Crosley and his doubles you might say? Who created them and why?


Then we learn more about how they intend to do this. First, they need to go out on a stakeout with the aid of a racing blimp that flies high in the sky. Next, of course they need some grownups to help with this program so let’s meet Fanny who seems to know tons about racing blimps and is going to lend them one. Meet Rodney whose claim to fame are his famous nuclear wieners and who owns an exclusive concession for sauerkraut’s jellybean hot dogs for any “freak that might ever want one.” So, excited that they are going to meet this famous man both Cros and John along with Fanny. But, it’s Fanny who knows how to get the blimp going and doesn’t everyone need to know, I know I do how to work an upgas packer to help fire up the blimp? Portable blimps that you can pick up and take out of the door. What will they think of next and what will they do with the one they picked? Imagine a blimp that runs on magnetic force but before you get out of yours make sure you put it in Hover Lok or it might roll or fly away! Teenagers that insult both John and Cros, crocodiles that spray paint nasty sayings all over town and hot dog wieners that well you might think before you try one yet he needed their help to stop what the imposters were doing. Rodney was unique to say the least and these two had a great Program going. But, what would happen if they could not stop what the imposters were doing? What would happen if no one believed that they were not doing this?


What would you do if you saw yourself doing something wrong and you know it was not you but could not stop what you think you were doing? That’s right you got it! Cros looked down from the blimp and what or whom do you think he saw? None other than a red crocodile who was not wearing his Pineapple Cheesecake Camouflage Vest and what do you think Cros should do?


Trying to warn Rodney who was caught in the thick of things was not going to happen. The Night Buddies Amalgamated was on the case and headed for the park entrance and hoping to save Rodney who was toppled over and whose cart spilled out well you guessed it sauerkraut. If you really want to get in on the action and help out meet Rodney on page 100 and maybe you can think of a way to help this guy!  Stealing Rodney’s cart they went after the imposter Crosley, the police seeing the cart but not helping them. The action is quite fast, what they try to do hilarious and the two Night Buddies do their best to capture the bad guys. But, when Rodney asks if they caught him well: guess not! He disappeared! But, this guy sounded like Crosley and kept saying Night Buddies Amalgamated. Mothballs make poor Cros burb and mothballs are what goes in lizard cheese and green is their favorite color. So, were they on to something? But, our Cros is really smart and he figured out what gang was doing this all over town and now he all they had to was stop them but how? So, what would you do? Our two Night Buddies decided to teach this gang a real lesson in honesty and when someone says something mean about you why not tell the truth about yourself. Activating the script writing mode by the smoke-colored buttons and now if you read pages 129 and 132-133 and find out just what they did. You really don’t think I would give it away do you? As the ugly creatures come into light and they created their own signs that insulted our two great Night Buddies, Crosley make sure that he took an armload of Fro-Madges and wrote well you need to read it for yourself and decide who got the better of who! Just where else did these imposters hide and what other damage and nasty things did they write? You just won’t believe it and you will understand why John and his friends would not let them win until the Program was completed the right way. As the Night Buddies find all of the signs, meet up with these gang members, read what they have written and hopefully can stop them they have a endless supply of pineapple cheesecake frozen yogurt to keep them cool and comfy during their long nights. Mass mayhem, confusion, mistaken identities and a town that is in havoc as on Crocodile tries to contain himself in order to chase these imposters, stake them out, using their flying machine and off the wall ideas and plan can they stop what has started and is spiraling to become a disaster? Some think he’s the crook and others want to call for help. From the train station to all over town until Officer Finnegan and Lonnie caught on of the gang members and what they did well it’s priceless. Author Sands Hetherington teaches children the importance of honesty, teamwork, caring, obeying the rules and the laws and how to be a good friend. Illustrations by Jessica Love to help bring the characters to life. Just what do you think? Can a young boy be best friends with a crocodile, solve crimes and freeze his parents with his special telescope pointed at them. Will they realize what he was missing for so long or will time be stopped? What happens at the end will surprise you? What happens to the moles and the impostors will renew your faith in kindness. An interesting story but at times hard to follow and many unusual words that required the author to put their translations and a glossary at the beginning which many kids might need to use or just make up their own meanings for these words from the context of the story. Crusted Crème Fro-Madge frozen yogurt, special party favors and more this is one story that will definitely keep you guessing. One crocs reputation at stake and two Night Buddies that need to unlock the reason.


Fran Lewis: reviewer