Mary Jane Logan graduates from college and finds herself back at Square One: no money, no job, no prospects. She has three younger siblings to care for, student loans to pay back, and a documentary project she might never film. When her best friend died senior year, Mary Jane lost more than her friend—she lost sight of her dreams.While she struggles to pay the bills, the wMary Jane Logan graduates from college and finds herself back at Square One: no money, no job, no prospects. She has three younger siblings to care for, student loans to pay back, and a documentary project she might never film. When her best friend died senior year, Mary Jane lost more than her friend—she lost sight of her dreams.While she struggles to pay the bills, the word failure keeps pounding through her head. She isn’t using her degree. She’s washing dishes, waiting tables, scraping by.Then a strange man appears in her life. A man with silver eyes like a leopard and a grin like the devil when the devil plays poker. He looks at Mary Jane and he does not see a failure. Mary Jane looks at him and all she sees is trouble. This man is certainly trouble, more than Mary Jane could have guessed.Torn between her family, her dreams, and her own need for love, Mary Jane must decide what she wants in her life, and how much she’s willing to risk for what matters most....
|Title||:||love and student loans and other big problems|
|Number of Pages||:||108 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
love and student loans and other big problems Reviews
Disclaimer: I am social media friends with the author. For this reason, I have written an impartial review of her novel. I don't know about you, but I'm most honest with my friends. As a writer, I also like to help writers identify what I think they've mastered and what they might need to work on. Indie authors in particular depend on feedback from social media friends they have, as opposed to consumers they do not have. I paid for my copy of this e-book and am under no obligation to submit a review the author did not earn. I believe these factors compound to merit my book report a value to this social network and its members.Music lovers support indie bands. Cinema lovers line up for indie films. I see no reason why as a fiction lover I shouldn't be reading more indie fiction, the best of which outclasses a high percentage of novels published by the Big 4. Love and Student Loans and Other Problems was published by author Melissa Stacy in 2013. This is a professionally edited and formatted genre-crasher, a romance grounded in the reality of the Great Recession, or, fiction that flirts (often playfully) with the sugar and spice of the romance genre. It's more like an indie movie than an indie novel, and this is part of its allure.The story is the first person account of Mary Jane Logan, a 22-year-old graduate of an unnamed Little Ivy university. Her dream--to combine interests in documentary filmmaking and African history for a film project to be shot in Africa--was put on hold after her best friend Hanna was diagnosed with and succumbed to cancer their senior year. With no job prospects and a family in crisis mode, Mary Jane hitchhikes home. She's protected on the road by Ravi, a .22 Magnum that was a gift from her ex-boyfriend, who gave her a diamond ring and the pistol, one she gave back, the other she held onto.Returning to her (fictional) hometown of Goldking, CO, in the San Juan Mountains, Mary Jane's priority becomes keeping her family from going off a cliff. Her mother Gilly is a grown adolescent whose unemployment has run out and spends most of her time in the basement tending or smoking her herb garden. Her older brother Landon is unemployed and rages at his teenage siblings: Richard, Ethan and Mia. Her younger brothers work part-time busing tables, but need help keeping their home from being sold for unpaid taxes. Mary Jane's father is deceased and none of the other men her mother has depended on are in the picture, fortunately. In addition to her family, Mary Jane loves her town.Goldking had four hundred people who lived here year-round, but a whole nation of folks who came to visit each summer. Tourists rode the narrow gauge railroad or drove their RVs from Texas, snapping pictures of wildflowers and tooling around on old mining roads. But when the train stopped running after the first of November, Goldking went back to looking like a ghost town again, with our Main Street boarded up and plywood nailed over the windows, nothing but eight feet of snow and bottles of vodka, and occasionally some reject hippies from Aspen who came to ski and smoke pot. Those were the folks my mom liked the best, the hippies with pot. It wasn't for nothing she named me Mary Jane.The public schools in Goldking falling apart, Mary Jane rents a two-bedroom apartment in the college town of Riverdale for Richard, Ethan, Mia and herself. She works full-time at a childcare center by day and as an airport shuttle driver by night. She starts picking up strays. A homeless mutt follows her home and is named Gandhi. She invites Richard's abuse-survivor best friend Gus to move in so he too can attend a good school. She prevents a depressed co-worker named Steve from killing himself and he moves in, helping with groceries and the kids. Even Mom shows up and behaves herself for a while.Mary Jane suffers panic attacks. Owing $6,000 in property taxes, she learns that a gross neighbor has been paying off the county and promised Landon a pickup and the mortgage deed if Mary Jane will sleep for him. She buys a '91 Buick Regal for five-hundred bucks, the rear window Landon smashes in when she refuses to cooperate with his scheme or give him money. A toothache turns into three wisdom teeth needing to be pulled at a cost of $1,600. Mom gives Mary Jane a ride home after oral surgery and hits a streetlight while trying to light a cigarette. As an apology, Mom fills the apartment with balloons she charges onto Mary Jane's MasterCard at a cost of $198. Her face swollen from surgery, Mary Jane is working the hotel front desk for the night auditor when she meets Carver Greyson, six-three or six-four, as rugged as a bear, with silver eyes and a mischievous grin. He recognizes Mary Jane from a dishwashing job she briefly held at a diner and the stunt she pulled on some jerks who made their waitress cry. Her Buick in the shop, she accepts a ride home from Carver, a father of three who brings his children to town to visit their aunt and ski. He impresses Mary Jane by remembering her, expressing concern and demonstrating respectable knowledge of baseball."Why aren't you at home?" he asked. "If you had three teeth pulled today?""Oh, I have to go in to work so I can give Steve a hard time. You know how it is." I smiled to myself, and then out of nowhere, I added."Ty Cobb once had his tonsils removed without anesthesia. But he still played a ballgame that day." It was a bit trivia from a Ken Burns documentary, which meant I was in a particularly good mood.Carver glanced at my face and returned his gaze to the road. He was smiling again."Not that I want to be like Ty Cobb," I said quickly. "He was so mean and racist. I don't ever want to be an unbearable cuss.""He does go down in history as the biggest S.O.B. in baseball," Carver said.This made me grin. I really liked men who knew about baseball. It was my favorite sport, even if I didn't follow it much. Playing softball in high school helped me get into college, but I could play softball without spending hours watching baseball games. I was never a girl with a lot of time on my hands.Hoping their paths meet again, Mary Jane gets her wish when she shuttles Carver to the airport. The surprises keep coming. Carver tips her several hundred dollars, then changes his mind about leaving town. Opting to stay in Riverdale a week, he asks Mary Jane on a date. Arriving early, he meets her entire family, and Gus correctly identifies Carver Greyson as "Grizz" Greyson, major league baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals. A former phenom, Carver is close to being cut next season by his fourth major league team. Mary Jane later discovers that he went into a slump after his wife and brother were killed in a car accident.Having passed her tests, Carver is taken to Hole-In-the Wall, a mountain cave which Mary Jane last visited with Hanna while she was alive. Throbbing with desire for the patient, family oriented athlete, Mary Jane has no desire for a fling and even less for the life of a baseball wife if it means leaving her family, becoming dependent on a man or giving up her dreams. Love blossoms nonetheless, with Mary Jane helping Carver out of his slump all the way to the World Series and Carver supporting Mary Jane as she pursues a grant for a film project in Kenya. Their chemistry in bed is still not enough for Mary Jane make the same mistakes her mother did with money and men.Love and Student Loans and Other Big Problems is written in a plain, matter-of-fact style, almost as if the chapters were blog entries. Mary Jane tells the reader about her drama with family. She tells about her anxieties with life and she tells about her aspirations for her future. This is not a novel that turns on subtle language, however, it doesn't turn on the tired conventions of the romance novel either, with zombie-eyed princesses waiting to be rescued by manipulative millionaires. What sets the novel apart is Stacy's dialogue--which is above average--and her commitment to character and her recognition of how current social problems affect them.The last contemporary novel I read that dealt with the Great Recession in any way was Gone Girl. I'm sure many others have been written, but fantasy often seems to be far more popular than stories about dinner table issues in the world today. What I liked about this novel was how honest much of it was. I always enjoy reading about characters at work and Stacy devotes many chapters to Mary Jane toiling away on dirty jobs, befriending co-workers, outwitting terrible bosses and falling into deeper debt the more she struggles. Anxiety, domestic abuse, depression and suicide are touched on, but so are poverty, minimum wage, college debt and education.There was one important thing people never discussed when they talked about student learning, and that was the impact a principal had on a school. Teachers worked on a ship, and the students were passengers onboard a vessel, but the principal was the captain, and he directed the whole program. No one ever remembered that when they started screaming about No Child Left Behind. But who was in charge of hiring the best teachers, and who was in charge of getting rid of the bad ones? The hardest thing on this earth was to be a good leader, so it was no wonder to me that so many school systems suffered.While I overlooked the wallpaper style of the book, its flaw is Carver Greyson, who is not only Mary Jane's perfect man but literally a man without flaw. Not only has there never been a man this patient, this charitable, this good with kids, this sexually attractive and this charming in major league baseball, but probably not in any sport, professional, college, semi-pro, etc. The speed which he falls in love with Mary Jane almost seems plausible, mostly because I wanted to see both characters happy, but also seems like a concession to the romance genre and is out of sorts with the social aspects of the book.The redeeming factor of Love and Student Loans and Other Big Problems for me was Stacy's commitment to her protagonist, who might fantasize about Prince Charming when it comes to ripping his shirt off, but doesn't live in that world or want to be dependent on a man. Mary Jane's antipathy toward marriage and childbearing are explored, as is her education, her pride and her aspiration to do something in life other than support someone else. The novel is well-researched, with a mountain town exhibiting real contrasts in the haves and have-nots, and characters who are given a certain amount of psychological depth.This product rates five stars when it comes to editing, formatting and proofreading. I didn't spot a single spelling or grammatical flub. The cover design is two stars; as bland as it could possibly be, but if the cover looked anything like most romance novels, I might never have read it. Rather than be frustrated that the novel didn't satisfy the requirements of a genre, I enjoyed how Stacy left it to the reader to determine what sort of story this was and where it was going. She includes chapter titles--which I wish more authors did--and never asks us to feel sorry for her financially strapped protagonist throughout her adventures.
Are you like me? Are you tired of books featuring male love interests who treat the main female character like steaming dog crap? Who threaten her? Push her around? Impose their will on her? Are tired of weak female main characters who flutter their eyes at such assholes and go, I love you even if you're a complete asshole who is mean to me and scares me? Who get everything handed to them and don't earn it?Are you sick of Mary Sues? Well, read about Mary Jane instead. She's strong and independent as she graduates from college, struggling to deal with the loss of a friend and life in the real world. She tries to care for her younger siblings and to hold on to her dreams.She meets Carver who is a really lovely, awesome, sweet but STRONG MALE LOVE INTEREST! Do you know how RARE it is to see those? So many books feature controlling assholes who swoop in and eclipse a woman, breaking and bending her to their will. It's frustrating to me. I don't like this trend! You do NOT get this with this book! Carver is a strong, powerful baseball player who falls for Mary Jane and they try to put their different lives together.Read this book! You can get it on Amazon.com right this very moment for only 2.99 on Kindle, which you can get as a free app for your phone. Or, you can buy the paperback. I suggest buying the paperback, which costs more, but this writer deserves your money so buy this book. Tell your friends about it and let's make books with awesome male love interests popular!
My third adventure into the literature of Melissa Stacy has left me anticipating her next work. This was a rollercoaster of emotions that had me in knots, joy, and tears. I was constantly cheering for the main character to overcome such obstacles and so relatable that makes you look in a mirror after you've finished the book. Simply so many feels that left me grinning at the end and not caring how I looked in public while doing it. This is a MUST read!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a fun, easy read and I got lost in the storyline - it didn't take me long to feel close to the main characters. There were moments that I laughed out loud and lots of moments that I didn't want to put the book down. ;)
This story is full of humor and sadness, and the great power of love. Itâ€™s a book about what it means to believeâ€”in your family, in your friends, and, most importantly, in yourself.*Spoilers*Mary Jane has just graduated college; but instead of hope and opportunity; she finds herself back at Square One, with despair filling her heart. Yet, as life seems to throw her into the darkest depths of poverty and hardship, (druggie mother, abusive brother, younger siblings in need of food, bills piling up) she finds love and begins a tentative voyage into becoming the sort of strong, loving, hopeful woman she may have been had tragedy not struck when it did.These characters were real, vivid, and at times funny. They made me laugh with their jokes, cry at their sufferings, and cheer along with their triumphs.Highly recommend to realistic fiction readers looking for a female lead who grows into a strong woman while living a bit of a Disney fairytale (if Disney princesses met hunky baseball stars!).
This was a fine example of Melissa's writing skills. Although the first half of the book felt disconnected - it read like some short stories put together to simply provide the background - the second half felt more seamless. I appreciated the depth Melissa used to provide the background for the characters.
This is my second novel. :)