"My Name Is Finn" by Julieanne Swiatczak

Discuss the May 2015 book of the month, Holding Fire.
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 3403
Joined: 31 Jul 2006, 23:00
2019 Reading Goal: 52
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 19
2018 Reading Goal: 52
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 7
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 25
Favorite Author: Voltairine de Cleyre
Currently Reading: The Unbound Soul
Bookshelf Size: 288
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-scott.html
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Publishing Contest Votes: 960
fav_author_id: 2660

"My Name Is Finn" by Julieanne Swiatczak

Post by Scott »

Please use this topic to discuss the second story in Holding Fire, "My Name Is Finn" by Julieanne Swiatczak.

What do you think of this story? What do you like most about it?

I really love the placement of this story. The ending of the story itself acts as a cool ending to the whole book.

The most poignant scene for me is not the ending, however. It is when the bullied, battered, emotional boy is finding peace making out with his girlfriend and then—BAM!--his awful parents are right there ruining everything in unimaginable ways. I would have loved to learn more about the parents and why they were so nasty. For instance, one possible cool backstory might be that the grandfather (husband to the overly wise grandmother) was himself abusive and that anger and vengefulness over that is what drove the previously-abused parent to also become a monster. Seeing this pattern happen would explain both the grandmother's wisdom and one of Finn's parent's abusiveness. On the other hand, maybe the author meant to leave things like that out (or even meant to leave those easy-to-get-to-explanations open) because the main key of her story is of a boy who blames himself.

What do you think?
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid

User avatar
Posts: 8
Joined: 02 Jan 2015, 18:51
Bookshelf Size: 1

Post by lovejoybr »

This story was poignant and beautiful and sorrowful all at once. It hurt my heart but kept me hoping the whole time. There were also so many words that made me pause, think and feel. My life has not been touched by the ravages experienced by the main character (touch wood) and yet I felt an understanding as if I was right there with him. Excellent piece. Would love to read more of this author's work.

User avatar
Posts: 502
Joined: 18 Nov 2014, 15:45
Favorite Author: Depends on Genre
Favorite Book: The Angel and the Outlaw
Bookshelf Size: 12
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-khudecek.html
Latest Review: "See Bride Run!" by Charlotte Hughes

Post by khudecek »

This story was very disturbing. I don't like to think about anyone, especially a young person, committing suicide. I think this story could have easily taken another route and ended up being about forgiveness, redemption and the success of Finn. But then, it wouldn't have fit into the theme of the contest. I get it.

A couple of questions occurred to me while I read the book. Is there a real Finn? When I think about his character, he's very real and he's a survivor which made his suicide all the more tragic.

Why didn't Maggie call the cops or someone to help him? We don't know why she stopped pounding on the door. It was almost like she'd resigned herself to the fact that her brother was going to kill himself and gave up.

This story could have been a lot longer but I understand the word limit.

It was quite good and I was taken in at the very beginning. There were a few errors in it with the editing but it didn't take away from the reading experience.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
Latest Review: "See Bride Run!" by Charlotte Hughes

User avatar
Posts: 104
Joined: 22 Sep 2014, 19:49
Currently Reading: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-michelle-lit.html
Latest Review: "Take Her" by Midnight Taylor

Post by Michelle-lit »

I was unfortunately unable to read the story. 90% of it was whited out on my nook :(
Latest Review: "Take Her" by Midnight Taylor

Posts: 5985
Joined: 27 Mar 2013, 20:01
Favorite Author: ---------
Favorite Book: <a href="http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelve ... =3452">The Thorn Birds</a>
Currently Reading: The Last Stonestepper
Bookshelf Size: 79

Post by zeldas_lullaby »

Michelle-Lit, it was highlighted too in my Kindle computer app, but I was able to read it. I don't know if that helps.

This story was sad yet meaningful, and I loved the way it incorporated that stuff about the hot coal. The only thing I didn't like about it was that the dad wasn't charged with reckless vehicular homicide or DUI, or whatever. I often wonder if one reason we have a justice system is so that people won't have as strong a need to desire or seek out revenge in the first place...? :-(

Gee, I'd probably want to off myself too if I were Finn.

I agree with Scott that this was the perfect story to end the set. It tied all the themes in together.

The part about Finn feeling like everything was his fault was very relatable. Not just his GF's death, but his parents being alcoholics, etc. I could grasp his self-hatred.

User avatar
avid reader28
Posts: 109
Joined: 10 May 2015, 21:29
Bookshelf Size: 65
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-avid-reader28.html

Post by avid reader28 »

Well, the story was highly emotional one but I need a strong back-story so I could relate to the characters, but it was well written story overall and I enjoyed it. :D

User avatar
Posts: 87
Joined: 08 Apr 2015, 13:23
Bookshelf Size: 21
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-memory.html
Latest Review: "Rogue & Royal" by Alan S. Blood

Post by memory »

I thought this one was well written and I had trouble with it because I really wanted Finn to break out from his horrendous parents and actually have good things happen to him. I realize that wouldn't meet the theme of the book, but I wanted Finn to succeed anyway.
Latest Review: "Rogue & Royal" by Alan S. Blood

User avatar
Posts: 22
Joined: 27 Sep 2014, 18:34
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 8
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-calfurshoney.html

Post by calfurshoney »

It was a sad story to read. But it kept me interested to the end. Not the end I was hoping for. Unfortunately this short story could be someone's real life.

User avatar
Posts: 186
Joined: 13 Sep 2013, 02:13
Favorite Author: G.G. Marquez
Favorite Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude
Currently Reading: The Palace of Dreams
Bookshelf Size: 107
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-castor.html
Latest Review: "Dangerous Obsessions" by Bob Van Laerhoven
Reading Device: B002R5UYXY

Post by castor »

It is a sad story. At the beginning I was about to quit it because the violent scenes against a boy. The story leaves me with some questions on why the parents did not want him and why the so different behavior against him and his sister?
Latest Review: "Dangerous Obsessions" by Bob Van Laerhoven

User avatar
Posts: 1376
Joined: 07 Jun 2015, 13:59
2017 Reading Goal: 60
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Favorite Author: S. Morgenstern ha ha
Favorite Book: Crik
Currently Reading: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Bookshelf Size: 543
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-levi.html
Latest Review: "The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana" by Katlynn Brooke
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Levi »

A very engaging story. I also found the part about his dad not being punished for drunkenly causing a fatal accident hard to believe, and I still can't come up with a good reason for it. Other than that I found only minor issues, and think the author did a great job with the subject matter in the space allowed.
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." —Ernest Hemingway
Latest Review: "The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana" by Katlynn Brooke

User avatar
Posts: 74
Joined: 29 May 2014, 06:33
2017 Reading Goal: 150
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 1
Currently Reading: Defending Jacob
Bookshelf Size: 27
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-stacihunsinger.html
Latest Review: Audible Book of your Choice by Amazon
Reading Device: 1400698987

Post by stacihunsinger »

This story kept me reading all the way to the end, but it was so very sad!! I truly felt for this character and all that he had gone through. There were times that I wanted to reach out and give him a hug. This was a very powerful story!!

User avatar
Posts: 76
Joined: 09 Jun 2015, 09:24
Currently Reading: Library of Souls
Bookshelf Size: 110
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-litmonster.html

Post by litmonster »

I’m really not a fan of this story. Perhaps I’ve had too many friends and people I’ve known that have killed themselves or died, but this story really just irked me more than anything else. I understand the points the writer is trying to make, but for me, they are lost in a sad tale that has a bad, albeit interesting, way to end a story. It's a story where I have a feeling the ending was the idea that came first, while the story was added in to try to make it work.

User avatar
Posts: 157
Joined: 26 Aug 2015, 09:34
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 3
Currently Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Bookshelf Size: 321
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bookfix-blog.html
Latest Review: "Audiobooks.com Book of your Choice" by Audiobooks

Post by TangledinText »

My Name is Finn seemed to have to worst positioning. You cannot end that story like they did then the next page on the eBook asks for a review. I wanted to vent out my frustration and give the entire book a bad rating because of that ending. I respected the plot but wish it was set with an older boy. I didn’t think it plausible a four-year old was being referenced to feeling empathy and consoling a neighbor and had enough mental capacity to understand that his wife had died and he was feeling lonely. I don’t like stories that in my mind stretch reality.
Latest Review: "Audiobooks.com Book of your Choice" by Audiobooks

Posts: 524
Joined: 07 May 2014, 21:57
Favorite Author: Karen Kingsbury
Favorite Book: Gone With the Wind
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 68
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-acwoolet.html
Latest Review: JED by Jim Wetton
fav_author_id: 6216

Post by Acwoolet »

So strongly written but so sad.
Latest Review: JED by Jim Wetton

User avatar
Posts: 8482
Joined: 21 Aug 2014, 07:14
2017 Reading Goal: 125
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 3
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 375
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-alynnpowers.html
Latest Review: My Guiding Light by Joanna Liggitt
Reading Device: B0051QVF7A
Publishing Contest Votes: 13

Post by ALynnPowers »

I loved this story so much! It was sad and depressing, but I think that was kind of the point. A great story to end the book with!

Post Reply

Return to “"Holding Fire: Short Stories of Self-Destruction"”