Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book of the Week -- Dead Girl Moon by Charlie Price

Even though Charlie Price's novels are gritty and disturbing his protagonists have heart and are trying for something better than the lot they've ended up with. His settings, while not described in detail really capture the essence of the locations whether in rural Montana (in this book) or in the southwestern desert (in Desert Angel) and make the reader feel the places. Bad things happen in his books and people deal with them. Dead Girl Moon features three teens, all from different places, who end up together in a small town. Grace, the victim of sex abuse goes on the run after deciding not to kill the brothers who have raped her, Mick, has moved repeatedly with his father, a petty criminal who moves on just ahead of the law, and JJ, who is orphaned and living in a trailer with her depressed, drunk, non-functioning aunt, her affable but clueless, baked weed-dealing uncle, and her ten year old uncontrollable (probably due to fetal-alcohol-syndrome) cousin who is often handcuffed to furniture, make unexpected connections.  Life becomes even more perilous when they find a body in the river and know the powerful crooks who run the county are a major danger to them. This is a page turner. Even though it looks like life may never get better for these kids the reader sees the faintest glow of hope. Grittiness on the level of books by Adam Rapp, Ellen Hopkins, Coe Booth, Woodson's Beneath a Meth Moon, and Leavitt's My Book of Life by Angel is leavened by the hope of more than survival for the trio of main characters.

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