Friday, July 31, 2009

The Evolution of Shadows by Jason Quinn Malott

Emil, Jack, and Lian are three very different people who come together with one thing in common: their love of a former lover and colleague named Gray. As a group, they return to Sarajevo to track him down and bring him home. The plot takes place from within war-torn land, thick with the memories of when all three were last there. This setting provides a dark and heavy feel that comes across as oddly refreshing.

Malott has written an engaging and beautiful book that is gripping and yet gentle with it's contents. Hope and charm shine through the tragedy of loss, leaving readers with a little heartache but nonetheless content.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano

When Melody Grace McCartney was a child, her family witnessed an act of unspeakable horror involving the NYC Italian Mafia. In exchange for their testimony, her family enters into a life-long relationship with the Witness Protection Program. But when her parents are found and killed, she is far from safety. Coupled with her inability to create bonds with those around her, Melody uses the Witness Protection Program to relocate and re-invent herself every few years.

Until now. During her most recent move, she meets Jonathan Bovaro, son of the mafioso murderer she met when she was young. He knows Melody better than anyone, and the allure is too much for her to stay away.

It is intriguing to learn about the not-often-spoken-about government program. Cristofano tells a gripping story about a poor girl lost in the system and trying to get out. Once I started this book, I could not put it down and stayed up late watching the back and forth between good guys and bad guys unfold.

David Cristofano is a name I will be putting on my future reading list!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

DAIRY QUEEN and THE OFF SEASON were incredible, and now Catherine Gilbert adds a third book equally as amazing.

FRONT AND CENTER is genuine sports fiction for teenage girls, but readers of all sorts would love it. DJ Schwenk has been on her high school boys football team and helped her brother back from a paralyzing sports injury, but nothing compares to the challenge she's up against in this book - finding a college. She is elligible for more than a few scholarships, thanks to her super basketball playing and coaching skills, and the pressure to find the right college is not easy. Throughout the process, DJ navigates good from bad, right from wrong, and still manages to hold it all together for a rewarding happy ending.

Teens will love the conversational tone of the writing and will identify with DJ as she grows up and becomes wise about the world around her. Family and boyfriend issues are nothing new, but Murdock makes them feel unique with her characters and writing style.

Let's see a book of DJ's first year in college!