Sunday, November 16, 2014

Revisiting an Old Friend

The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know 
Brent Hartinger

I've loved Hartinger's teen books since Geography Club and Last Chance Texaco. I must admit that even though I wanted to know how Russel was as an adult, I started this book for adults with some trepidation. Did Russel turn out ok? Were he, Min, and Gunnar still friends? In The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know my hopes were fulfilled and my fears banished.

It falls into the new adult category, a recent sub genre that combines the angst that doesn't end at 18 or 21 but continues on through the early 20s (and for many, much longer) with adult characters, challenges, and situations. I had never read a Gay romance before (terrible to confess as a reader's advisor who tries to read broadly)  but even though I would classify this as a romance, it doesn't really follow the traditional romance story arc,  there is so much more going on -- friendships, work life, and Bigfoot. It is really true to life of what people think about and worry about in their 20s, including sex.

I hope that all those readers who loved teen age Russel, Min, and Gunnar when they were teens themselves, find this story now as adults.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Book of the Week - The Lightning Horse by John Moore

John Moore's comedic satirical tales always hit my funny bone just right. His long awaited latest novel, is a take off on Frankenstein with lots of echoes of the Gene Wilder film Young Frankenstein and innumerable horse books. It features a couple of gamblers with a dead bay horse named the Roan Ranger who have big plans for his reanimation but a unicorn brain, mobsters, teen angst, and a kick-ass female jockey may throw a monkey wrench in their plans. The twists of language and well known tropes are delightful. Moore's earlier books were published by Ace but this one was published by Yard Dog Press, a small press specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and horror that unfortunately seems to distribute solely through Amazon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

October Reads

                November has been rushing by and I had not yet posted the books I read in October.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Book of the Week - Station Eleven

This amazing literary tour de force is also an excellent apocalyptic science fiction tale full of heart and emotion. Going back an forth in time in the lives of several characters who are linked in strange and round about ways, we come to know them and love them as the sum of the individual stories add up to a larger than life whole. It starts with an actor dropping dead on stage while playing King Lear and along the way we see his first love who draws a graphic novel that influences an insane prophet who is trying to take over the much diminished world following a global pandemic. But that is just a tiny part of the story. So many characters, so many stories, all entwined and woven together to come around into one of the best novels of the year.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book of the Week - The Last Dead Girl by Harry Dolan

The Last Dead Girl
Dolan, Harry
Berkley 2014

Wow! This knock-your-socks-off thriller set in Rome, New York in 1998 features David Malone who is sucked into several murder investigations after being taken in for questioning when he finds the bloody body of his new lover. He only knew Jana, a first year law student working on an innocence project,  for ten days, but the night he met her, he quit going home to his fiancee. He puts everything aside to hunt down her killer starting with investigating where she got the bruise she was sporting when he first set eyes on her. When he investigates he runs afoul of a police detective. The twists and turns in this creepy, topnotch thriller were unexpected and kept me guessing. This is a prequel to Bad Things Happen that featured David in later years after he has moved away and changed his last name to Loogan which caused the blurb on the back from Stephen King to leave me confused. I don’t know how I missed Dolan’s first two David Loogan books and the original hardcover release of this until now but he is definitely on my radar now.

The trade paperback edition was released last week.