• Not Talking About My Generation

    When I read a review of Alice Adam’s Invincible Summer that described it as a novel that attempts to define a generation, specifically GenX, I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough. I’m all in for GenX novels, being a GenXer myself and kind of loving the zeitgeist we…

  • More Bitter than Sweet

    Tess is a twenty-two-year-old running from, I think, boredom, claiming she was reborn when she crossed the George Washington bridge. Upon arriving in New York City, Tess gets a job at one of the best restaurants in town. The kind of restaurant where “back waiters” can make $60K a year,…

  • Nothing But Writerly Shenanigans

    For a wholly different and more enthusiastic take on All the Missing Girls, I’d like to direct you to LeAnn’s review. She loved this one. I did not. A few weeks ago I expounded on my theories about mysteries whereby some are thrillingly good and literally keep you guessing while…

  • So Much Smug

    First things first, Wendy Walker’s All is Not Forgotten starts with a pretty graphic description of rape. Teenage Jenny Kramer is brutally raped for an hour outside a party in her affluent Connecticut town. When her parents get to the hospital where their daughter has been taken they are given…

  • Sticks the Landing

    Not much will keep Katie and Eric Knox from helping their fifteen-year-old achieve her Olympic gymnastics dream — not mountains of credit card debt, falling apart cars, or their younger son, maybe not even murder. Things are going swell for Katie and Eric and their coterie of gymnastic boosters, coaches,…

  • Mystery at a Northwestern Minnesota Lake

    Lucy Evans is the last of the Evans sisters and as she’s dying she writes her life story, recalling the summer of 1935 when her younger sister Emily mysteriously disappeared at the family’s lake home in Northwestern Minnesota. Upon Lucy’s death in 1999, Justine, a single mother living in San…

  • All the Whining with None of the Story

    When the first six or seven chapters of Jennifer Close’s The Hopefuls were nothing but backstory and a comparison of how vasty superior New York was to Washington, D.C. I should have stopped reading. I didn’t and I gained nothing for having slogged through this book of aimless whining and…

  • Doing Nothing Else But Reading This Book is Cool Too

    I tend to avoid essay collections/memoirs by bloggers. This is a little strange, considering I’m an aspiring author with a blog that turned 16 years old last month. But a lot of times when I see a blogger get a book deal I shrug and think “Meh.” To be fair,…

  • Reading About Awful People

    Fern and Edgar Keating are awful people. They are spoiled, wealthy brats who meet, marry, have three children, and live a charmed life bouncing from a home in Boston to a summer home on Martha’s Vineyard, with a brief stint in awful military housing. Things are going swimmingly for them.…

  • Backstories Better Than the Plot

    There is a scene in the beginning of Cristina Henriquez’s The Book of Unknown Americans that shook me. It’s one of those scenes that makes you pause and think about what it must be like to come to America and try to operate in a country where you don’t know…