May 20, 2016

After a garden party one hazy summer evening, where her mother had one glass of one too many, a girl goes looking for her older sister. No one knows where she is, exactly, and something doesn’t feel right. The girl eventually finds her sister sprawled in a darkened corner of the garden, bleeding, unconscious, and half-naked. No one knows what happened. No one saw anything. 

Was it the googly-eyed grandfather, rumored to have roving hands? Was it the superhero dad, whose relationship with the gi...

May 7, 2016

When Jill Charron opens her eyes, she finds herself in a hospital bed, fresh from unconsciousness. She is told that she was involved in a car accident in Italy, and that she was jettisoned back to the United States by a friend of her father’s. Jill can’t remember a thing, and in fact, she is missing the last six weeks of her life. As if losing her memory wasn’t bad enough, it is revealed that Jill’s best friend, Simone, was also in the car -- but Jill is the only one who survived.

 

Soon, Jill is...

April 8, 2016

 A baby boy is born in the darkness of a basement. As he grows up, he learns that there was a horrific fire that left his grandmother, parents, and older brother and sister scarred and disfigured for life. His sister’s injuries are so grotesque that she has been forced to wear a mask. His grandmother lost her eye-sight. His brother has developmental disabilities that render him as a bit of a clumsy, child-like beast. His parents have scarred, twisted faces, which the boy touches gently and tende...

March 16, 2016

Lucas is a seventeen-year-old gringo from Houston, who spends his summers in Puerto Rico with his father, a big-shot developer of beachfront hotels. He has grown up hearing the stories of the old señoras about the mysterious, high-walled house at the end of Calle Sol, where a mad scientist lives with his cursed daughter. According to local lore, the girl has green skin and grass for hair, but perhaps most interesting, she is said to grant wishes from behind her wall of stone and poison plants. L...

March 11, 2016

A small indiscretion. Is there really such a thing?

 

From the synopsis: “At nineteen, Annie Black trades a bleak future in a washed-out California town for a London winter of drinking and abandon. Twenty years later, she is a San Francisco lighting designer and happily married mother of three who has put her reckless youth behind her. Then a photo from that distant winter in Europe arrives inexplicably in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened.

 

Past and present collide, Annie’s marriage fa...

March 5, 2016

Angela Davis has been an inmate at Brunesfield, a juvenile detention facility, for three years. She’s a tough cookie who has led a hard and fast life of crime. Her time at Brunesfield has been punctuated by borderline poor treatment, but she finds solace in her friendships with Cara and Issie, two other wayward girls with sad stories of their own. When we meet her, Angela is just a few months away from release and being reunited with her little brother, Charlie. All she has to do is keep her hea...

February 28, 2016

After a very long time, I read a book that I finished in less than 24 hours. That is how engaging The Girl on the Train was.

 

The characters are real and their shortcomings even more so. If the term "grey" had not been given book snob connotations, I would totally declare it the color of the book.

 

Rachel takes the 8:04 am train to London everyday and has made up stories in her head about a certain couple in a certain house that the train stops by on its way. She is close enough to know their silh...

January 19, 2016

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan was an entertaining read, full of mystery and good humor. The best part is, a baby elephant plays a significant role!

 

When Inspector Ashwin Chopra inherits a baby elephant from his late uncle, he is completely taken aback. How is a man supposed to raise a moody baby elephant in the middle of the city, while living in an apartment no less?! His anxious wife, mean-spirited mother-in-law, and bull-headed landlady don't make his task any...

December 18, 2015

“Wow!” 

Then, “What?”

Then, “Hmm. What did I just read?”

These were my initial reactions upon finishing Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls in less than 24 hours.

June and Delia were best friends. Beyond best friends, actually. They were soul mates. With both girls coming from homes without strong, supportive parental units, they relied solely upon themselves and upon each other to get through the days and nights. June loved Delia for her reckless wildness that sometimes brought out the wild...

December 11, 2015

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler promises dark family secrets, magic, and a mysterious book. Also, the main character is a librarian! For most any book lover, this book seems destined to be as captivating as the back cover touts.  

 

The Book of Speculation has two narrative viewpoints, based in two different time periods.  

 

Simon is a young librarian who lost his mother as a young child to drowning, his father to death from grief, and his little sister, though still liv...

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I love the abstract, delicate, profound, vague, voluptuously wordless sensation of living ecstatically. - Anais Nin

 

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