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The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp + 50/50 Friday

Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.

I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.

This week I'm spotlighting a novel that I've just started in on, The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp.  I'm really excited to read this - it sounds exactly like something I'll love, plus Tammy @ Books Bones & Buffy gave it a glowing review!


Forward by Alistair Sparks

At the centre of the house in which my late brother Jacob and I grew up, there was a black hole.


I endure videos that - gasp - actually do feature moving pictures.  Most of these betray their lineage from Oren Peli's successful "found footage" movie franchise Paranormal Activity.  The clue tends to be the "Paranormal" in their titles.  Shot in people's houses, generally in America, they show someone clowning around or presenting a video about some random topic, before a door slams shut in the background.  Whereas Paranormal Activity did a good job of convincing the viewer that its stars might be real people, the protagonists here are less gifted in the fields of acting and improv.

"Thanks for watching.  Please comment and subscribe. ☺️"

This week I'm also taking part in a brand new linkup called 50/50 Friday, which is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they'll have a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - this week the topic is Best/ Worst villain an author has created.

Best Villain:

Dolores Umbridge from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series - First one that came to mind for me.  I hated her even more than Voldemort!

Worst Villain:

Warner from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - I only read the first book in this series and I have no interest in continuing it, but Warner struck me as very flat, like he was trying to fulfill every villain trope out there.


  1. Great post - lots of recommendations. Thanks for sharing.

    Here's Commonwealth by Ann Patchett.

  2. I saw the shovel handle and immediately wondered if this was for me. Everything else added to my curiosity. I think I would enjoy it.
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

    1. You might like it but it does have a fantasy element. :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. I'm not sure about this book. I rarely read paranormal. However, the opening makes me curious. I hope you're enjoying the story.
    My Friday post features The Midwife of Hope River.

  4. You always feature such great books! I want to read these.

  5. Ooh I forgot about Umbridge but she definitely is a great villain (in an awful way ahah). I hope you enjoy your current read! Sounds interesting :)
    Enchanted by YA

  6. I really didn't like Warner in the first book of the series but as the series continued his character really grew and the last book was excellent.
    Here's my Friday Reads

    1. That's what I've heard, but I just don't know if I can go back to that... Oh, well. Thanks for sharing!

  7. That opening sure grabbed me. Sounds like something I'd like. That cover sure grabs me too:)

    My Friday 56 from One Of Windsor

  8. You have me intrigued. I am diggin' the cover too! Happy weekend!

    1. I see what you did there! :) Hope you have a good one!

  9. I am definitely curious now! Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  10. Hi Lauren,

    I am intrigued by those opening lines and I quite like the cover art. However this definitely isn't one for me, not my genre at all, despite the excellent ratings and reviews it is receiving.

    I hope that you enjoy and have a good weekend :)


    Please excuse the previous deleted comment. It is quite late and my hands and brain have stopped working together :)

    1. Thanks very much, Yvonne. Don't worry about it. :)

  11. I finally found another person that will not continue the shatter me books! ;) Great 56! Here is my 56:

  12. Great answers! Have a great week!

  13. I like the sound of The Last Days of Jack Sparks - and I have to agree that the best villain is Dolores Umbridge - incidentally saw her "movie" last's my Friday meme

  14. I love your picks this week, Lauren! You don't really find out until the last book who the 'real' villain is in the Shatter Me trilogy but it seemed like a last minute switch to me and I agree, Warner didn't seem like the best villain. Regardless, I still loved the series :) I love Umbridge as a villain as well! I feel like she's overlooked a lot because Voldemort is the more obvious villain but I really loved her complexity. I'd love to learn more about her life!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

  15. I really like the opening line to that one. In fact I think I've seen The Last Days of Jack Sparks on another blog somewhere. Hope you enjoy!

  16. I agree! Dolores Umbridge scared me more than Voldemort too!!!!


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