Thursday, December 22, 2011

Under Cover #6

Time to check in and see what our detectives are reading! Maybe they can uncover a last minute holiday gift idea or two?

L.R. Giles: I'm reading THE SHOTGUN RULE by Charlie Huston. Though typically not a YA author, Huston takes his dark brand of storytelling into the lives of four 1980's teens who have too much time on their hands during their summer vacation and make the bad decision to break into the wrong house. What happens next is a chain reaction that unveils violent secrets resonating all the way back to when their parents were teens making equally bad choices. An incredible book from an incredible writer, but not recommended for young or sensitive readers.
Kristen Kittscher: I'm reading Maryrose Woods' The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Hidden Gallery and have the same perpetual silly smile glued on my face as I did throughout her hilarious first book in her middle grade series, The Mysterious Howling. While not a book for kids who prefer traditional, fast-paced mysteries, The Hidden Gallery  is a wonderfully absurd, mad-cap romp with a good deal of heart. Miss Penelope Lumley, a fifteen year old governess trained at Agatha Swanburne's Academy for Poor Bright Females, continues her efforts to civilize the three wolf-like children in her charge -- this time in London, where she must marshal all her courage and resourcefulness to keep things from going terribly awry and solve a puzzling mystery. We'll have to wait for the third installment to get to the bottom of all the mysteries, but -- if you're like me -- you'll have so much fun reading it, you won't even mind. This would make a great holiday gift for any precocious young readers you may know.

Talia Vance: I'm reading UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi.  This book is a little bit sci-fi, a little bit fantasy, a little bit romance, and a lotta bit action-adventure.  Don't let the genre-blending scare you.  The writing is beautiful, and the story is as powerful as it is entertaining.  Told in alternative points of view of Aria, who is cast out from a society that lives in virtual spaces, and Perry, a savage from a primitive tribe on the outside, it is a page turner.  Aria and Perry each have mysteries to solve, and their personal journeys intersect in surprising ways. LOVE.

Diana Renn: I'm a few chapters in to Half a Life, a memoir by Darin Strauss. I got hooked by this simple line: "Half a life ago, I killed a girl." The memoir is a compelling study of guilt and responsibility, as Strauss grapples with a tragic event that occurred when he was a teenager. While driving his friends to play mini-golf, he collided with -- and killed -- a girl on his bike, who turned out to be an acquaintance from school. As a mystery writer, I like to read memoirs sometimes to tap into certain emotions; I'm writing something at the moment that involves a character who wrestles with guilt. So far this memoir simmers with guilt and other emotions, without wallowing. I like the honest, precise writing in this book, and the ways in which Strauss constructs his narrative to traverse the past and the present.

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