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Jesse's Girl Paperback – March 13, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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About the Author

A highly respected playwright, author and media executive, Gary Morgenstein is the author of three other sensational novels.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441492240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441492241
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,673,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Ramirez on May 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
I received Jesse's Girl by Gary Morgenstein for review yesterday. While I was intrigued, I wasn't particularly hopeful that it was going to be much of a page-turner. Was I ever wrong. I really got into the story from the very beginning. As I come from a family that has had its own issues with addiction and chemical dependence, it is possible that I was able to better relate to the characters in this novel, thus making it more real to me.

The premise of the book centers on Teddy Mentor and his sixteen year old adopted son, Jesse. Jesse has been sent away to a wilderness program in rural Montana in a last ditch effort to put an end to the drug problems that have plagued him for years. The problems escalated after the death of his adopted mother (and Teddy's soon to be ex wife), and had reached a point where Teddy had to admit he was incapable of controlling or protecting his child. With nowhere else to turn, he entrusts his only child to the professionals at the Mountain Wilderness Center.

Big mistake. Not two weeks later he gets a 1AM phone call. His son is missing. Risking his job, he books a flight away from Brooklyn and towards his son. After a couple days of searching, he gets the break he needs and tracks his son to a bus stop in Illinois, en route to Kentucky to meet his long-lost birth sister (whom Jesse leads Teddy to believe is his long-distance girlfriend). Jesse swears up and down that he is done with the drugs; in that convincing way all users seem to have. However, it isn't long before Teddy notices that he is missing some of his antidepressants and that his son occasionally reeks of beer. Jesse's lies come to a head when he OD's on heroin in the middle of the night while sharing a hotel room with his dad.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not finished this book, but the mistakes are just killing me. Morgantown is not the capitol of WV (Charleston duh) and Carter Caves is not in Carter National Park. It is Carter Caves State Park in Kentucky. Has this author ever even been to this part of the country? The park doesn't have tour guides through the caves, they have park rangers. And of course, stereotypes abound. I am from there and I have never lived in a trailer park or had a husband I referred to as my brother, etc. etc.
I am going to finish the book because I want to see the development of the relationships, which is good so far, but please, try a fact checker, an editor, or write about a place you actually know! Oh, and Theresa is practically illiterate, but that would be an oddity in an area that is filled with colleges and universities, she is like a character from some past time (little dumb southern girl with a cute butt in her Daisy Duke shorts) ERG. I might change my star to a 1.
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By houston on September 2, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a good read as a book of reconciliation between a father and his son. Adopted son Jesse is an addict who has lost his adopted mother and blames his adopted father. His quest to find his birth family leads to this journey. Although not entirely believable, it is still an enjoyable story. My only complaint is the editing, which left a lot of misspelled words and incorrect punctuation marks. If the author reads this, hopefully his editors will do a better job in the next book.
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I initially liked Jesse's father, Teddy Mentor, but he seemed to grow weaker more and more ineffective as a father as the story progressed. And as the body count mounted, I became a frustrated with how Teddy could only to react to the never-ending stream of issues created by his son, Jesse. I like a hero to grow stronger through the course of a story, not continually demonstrate his weak points.

Of course, the other side of this is that the teenage character, Jesse, was quite well-written, always running off half-cocked and with only half a plan, so his "solutions" only led to bigger problems - which seemed very realistic.

My main complaint was that the plot was elusive. Bad things kept happening, and the characters kept reacting to those bad things, and then another bad thing would happen... When Teddy and Jesse and Co got a chance to regroup, they still weren't capable of any real planning, and no one seemed to learn or grow in a positive way during the story.

I thought the basic plot was for the father to save the son, and for the son to mature somewhat. But in the end, Jesse was still drinking, and not even hiding it from Teddy, and there was no suggestion that he would go into treatment for chemical dependency. Teddy had lost his job and spent every penny he had during the course of "saving" Jesse, but apparently Jesse's big inheritance heals all wounds, and negates the need for real-life consequences.

I also didn't care for the final concept that an adopted child would just shake off the parents who raised him and align his loyalty with the blood family he'd never known. Is blood (and a convenient inheritance) really that much thicker than time, attention, and love?
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I had several issues with this book - the first being the complete lack of proof-reading and/or editing. On numerous occasions Jesse's name was misspelled as Jessie. Really? Some more grammatical, and spelling errors, but the spelling of the main character's name was almost enough for me to stop reading.

I grew up with an addict for a mother and have more insite into the realm of addiction than most people. I will have to credit the author for writing something he obviously knows about. The self-destruction and constant cycle of tough love vs. enabling is consistent throughout. I have no doubt the author has a history with addiction in one way or another.

However, that being said, I HATED the beginning of this book. I felt there was not enough background and way too much anger and foul language directed to Teddy's runaway son. For goodness sake, you don't try to spook an already spooked runaway teenage addict. You try to soothe them into trusting you, then you can work with what you've got.

Once Theresa came into the picture I felt the novel got much better and was actually looking forward to picking the book back up and reading more. It stayed that way until the incident at Klaus' house. (Don't worry - no spoilers).

After the "incident" at Klaus' I felt the ending was too tangled, too many close calls, too many twists and turns. Almost a soap opera-ish feel to the ending.

All in all. It was an okay read, but I am disappointed a little because it has so much promise it could have been great!
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