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More Reviews Are In…

Angie Ferrara
Aug 21, 12

5 of 5 stars

DeeJay Arens, in my opinion, really hits this one out of the park for me. View from a Rusty Train Car is a tumultuous tale, a tragic yet powerful hybrid love story that makes you feel every emotion rolled into one.

Jared and Luke are best friends and they are also in love. But unfortunately, their love isn’t easy and most can’t or won’t understand. This novel plunges into the tangled world of a forbidden love and confused feelings that have been influenced by closed minded family and peers. Jared is convinced that their love can work and survive anything anybody has to throw at it. Luke tries but has a constant string of underlying influences that convinces him otherwise. Both are fighting for their love but can it really survive the actions of the other?

From the very first chapter to the end, DeeJay Arens has you on a wonderfully amazing emotional roller coaster ride. This book has a powerful message behind it. To me, this isn’t just a novel but a life lesson about the choices we make and the people it may affect. In my opinion, this book is a must read and I highly recommend it to anyone who may be struggling with a similar situation or may know someone who is. I give The View From a Rusty Train Car two enthusiastic thumbs up!!

Mary Cote
Aug 21, 12

5 of 5 stars

I am not sure if anyone else has written a ‘coming of age’ book about two gay characters or not, but I am certainly glad that DeeJay Arens did. The things we take for granted, like simply going to the store for candy, and the things we stress over, like prom dates, all take on a new meaning, thanks to this book. Jared wants to set the record straight… so to speak… explaining that there is no crime in being gay, that gays and lesbians are people as well, but people with a much heavier burden in society because of the shackles placed upon them because of hatred and fear. This is a hard book to read, because it cuts deep, to the bone, revealing the unnecessary pain inflicted on the homosexual community. This book is poignant, sweet, horrible, loving and frustrating as we travel through life with Jared and Luke. Not many books can deliver that sort of emotion; this one definitely does.

June Kramin
Aug 22, 12

5 of 5 stars

This was one of the most amazing books I have read. The love the 2 boys shared was absolutely heart wrenching. It’s so sad to realize the kind of ignorance by some people portrayed in this book is real. I don’t know that there was an emotion I didn’t have while reading it. It was one I couldn’t put down, begging for things to go the way I wanted them to. I made notes to tell the author “I $#@&ing hate you” then “I $#@%ing love you” for the twists and turns it took. If you read one book this year, make this book it – then give it to a friend. Awesome job, DeeJay Arens. I look forward to more from you.

Mike Frissore
Sep 09, 12

5 of 5 stars

I was thinking about something the other day. Never has my family screamed at me or shunned me because of who I dated. Plus, I’ve never been harassed or taken a punch because of who I kissed or held hands with. Not only that, but when I got married, I did so in the pinko commie state of Massachusetts; however, I could have gotten married in whatever part of the country I wanted. It’s truly amazing.

Wait. No, it isn’t amazing. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

I read DeeJay Arens’ debut novel The View From a Rusty Train Car from Writers AMuse Me Publishing in three days on breaks during a conference in San Francisco, of all places. I could hardly put it down. While also being touching and well-written, this book reminds us that all of these things I mentioned earlier should not be taken for granted. It’s a story of two men in love, and the consequences of that love.

In a time of angry pro and anti Chick-Fil-A arguments, Arens presents a normal love story. Well, it should be a normal love story; it’s really anything but. Not because of the same-sex nature of the love, but rather the reaction to it. It’s a tale that everyone – whether strongly for gay marriage, decidedly against it, or somewhere in between – should read.

It is a love story. Not a rant, as it could be. And if you think the things that happen in it are far-fetched, do some Googling. For that, other than the writing itself, is the amazing thing about Arens’ novel. It all happens. We’ll all be ashamed of it one day, but it happens. But to Arens’ credit, the numerous antagonists are never presented as hateful bigots, but rather – as they often are in real life – childish thugs, disapproving family members, or the overly-religious.

There’s been a lot said and written about gay rights over the years. Do yourself a favor, especially if you’re more likely to be in opposition, and read The View From a Rusty Train Car. If it doesn’t get you thinking, I don’t know what will.

Vicki L. Stenerson
Sep 03, 12

5 of 5 stars

A couple meet. They date, fall in love, meet the families, make plans for the future….

But what if both members of the couple are male?

“The View From A Rusty Train Car” is the story of two such men, boys when they fell in love, with all the confusion, terror, and excitement that time brings to us all. They are Luke and Jared, growing up in a climate that does not welcome such revelations. Jared is sure of his sexuality and afraid he will be discovered. Luke knows he loves Jared, but cannot admit he is gay. They have been taught that homosexuality is wrong, evil and a sin. What they feel is real and true and must be kept hidden. Their meeting place is a rusty train car, where they can be themselves.

But life moves on and secrets don’t stay secrets forever. Luke is taken away and can’t reach Jared to explain. Jared is heartbroken, believing Luke abandoned him. Jared goes to college and tries to build a new life; but Luke is never far from his thoughts. Luke gets married and tries to live his life the way everyone expects, but he continues to keep Jared in his heart.

I love a good romance, and this book has it all; love, tears, regrets, tragedy, reconciliation. I had a difficult time putting it down, because I wanted things to be all sunshine and roses. But life doesn’t always work that way, at least not the way we envision it. This is the story of two people in love, who, sadly, cannot share that love with the world. In the end, it is about renewal and self-realization. I know you will enjoy the read as much as I did. Brava, DeeJay; and thank you.

David Smith
Aug 21, 12

5 of 5 stars

Not an easy read but hell it is a good one! A fine book-well written and edited-those that do not understand it will never change-those that do will understand- simply said – poignant book. Five stars all day!


Shelly – LGBT Book Reviews

Sept. 17, 2012

I had the pleasure this past week of reading the debut novel of author DeeJay Arens, The View From A Rusty Train Car. It’s a winner!

DeeJay’s first print effort is the story of two boys, Jared (Jed) and Luke who become friends as pre-teens in 1987 when Jared moves into Luke’s neighborhood. As time goes on and the boys pal around more and more – paying special attention to tree fort they’re building together and a rusty old train car near that and both of their homes – they grow emotionally close. Eventually, while they’re still quite young, they declare their love for each other. It’s when they do this that they realize that what they have is not what the people in their world want to see. Parents on both sides react violently and often as time goes on for the boys and, later, young men.

Jared realizes over time that he is gay. He works to live his life in peace but he just can’t seem to get past his feelings for Luke and move on. Luke meanwhile, does not believe he’s gay at all but that he fell in love with a person – Jed – rather than a gender. He tries hard to live the straight life his family wants him to live. His actions, a result of those of others who do not attempt to understand, have dire consequences.

This book has been described by others as a “roller coaster”. It is that and more. You’ll find yourself believing this work of fiction as though it were real as the characters and their circumstances make you want to scream or shake someone. It twists and it turns and it keeps you turning pages until the end.

Great job DeeJay! I can’t wait to read your next great novel.

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