Thursday, April 18, 2013

G79 Book Review of Benjamin by Aaron Powell

Name of Book: Benjamin

Author: Aaron Powell

ISBN: 9781478385691

Publisher: Createspace

Type of book: 1990s?, isolation, abuse, alcoholism, violence

Year it was published: 2012


The harsh winter and great outdoors of upstate New York provide Benjamin with the only solace from an otherwise agonizing existence. His mother's abusive alcoholic boyfriend, the bully on the bus, and a Math teacher who pays a little too much attention to schoolboys are slowly chipping away at his dignity and feelings of self-worth. Benjamin clings to any sense of normalcy until a series of compounding events drives him to the very edge of suicide. He begs God for help - a divine intervention - but his prayers go unanswered and he has an epiphany: God helps those who help themselves.


Benjamin does have some depth in the book, and he is more a bit more complex than two other books I read, but somehow he still felt incomplete somehow, causing me to feel that I'm watching rather than walking in his shoes and experiencing what he's experiencing, although the author tries to make that connection with the reader. The villains of the story are very simple without any complex motivating factors on why they behave the way they do, but for Benjamin it does make sense because he's a high schooler and high schoolers cannot think outside themselves. (I'm not saying one has to blame the victim.) When people are attacked consistently its hard to see from other's points of views, and one doesn't even want to do that.


God helps those who help themselves


This is written in first person narrative completely from Benjamin's point of view. While the story is a lot more darker and there is violence in there along with sexual abuse and so forth, the characters are not very in depth so to speak. I felt that the climax in the story is not, how to put it, strong enough, when Benjamin decides that God helps those help themselves. It seemed very last minute. Benjamin didn't even strike me as religious either.

Author Information:

The United States



Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Romance

member since
July 2012

About this author

Aaron Powell served as a Marine during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2003 with a bachelor of arts in criminal justice, minoring in psychology. He also completed a second bachelor of arts in business administration at Ashford University, where he graduated with distinction in 2011. He is the author of the Doomsday Diaries series, C-Town, Sugar Baby, Hurry Up and Wait, Benjamin, and Scream, “Aye, Sir!” He enjoys reading—particularly military history and nonfiction—writing, and is an active marksman. Aaron and his wife, Michelle, and son, Luke, live near Austin, Texas.


The author is good at creating an atmosphere of somehow you watching a movie whether through an erotica or this type of book. I was surprised that he wrote the mood well, of darkness that Benjamin has to live through. I felt bad for him and the things he goes through. This is not an erotica book, really, you can trust me. What it does have in common with Sugar Baby and Scream, "Aye, Sir!" is the air of fantasy and no law so to speak. I'm not saying its bad, and I'm not criticizing it, but just letting people know that if you're looking for an in-depth book about an abused child, this book is not it. What it is, in an odd way, is a wish fulfillment book for people who had gone through such an abuse, or at least it somehow will feed on their fantasies. (Would not recommend reading it for children, actually.) I liked reading it, although I felt that a subject matter of this magnitude does deserve a longer and an in-depth book.

Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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