How can one be accidentally saved? That's the question that pops into your head when you see the title.
*** MILD spoilers follow ***
Gracie Lee Eudora AHow can one be accidentally saved? That's the question that pops into your head when you see the title.
*** MILD spoilers follow ***
Gracie Lee Eudora Abbott is ten years old. The summer is almost over, and school is looming ominously on the all-too-close horizon. So every single day is important! But her mother, Anne, makes her and her sister go to church every Sunday. They can't even play all morning because they'll get dirty, so it's basically an entire day gone out of their busy schedules of being kids in the Mississippi Delta of eastern Arkansas in the early 70s.
Gracie's father never goes to church with the girls and their mother. And that is totally not fair. If she has to go, why doesn't he? Sure, he gets drunk (and mean) most nights after working all day on the farms. But that's hardly an excuse.
So it's only natural that Gracie would ask the preacher about it. Everything just . . . kind of got out of hand after that.
Boerner's debut novel is full of wonderful prose, humor, and drop-dead serious situations that this plucky, curious, precocious ten-year-old girl has to navigate: school bullies, death, baptism, church camp, and the mysterious fate of the man in the gray house just down the street from hers. Did he really shoot himself? Is he all right?
*** END mild spoilers ***
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and look forward to Boerner's future novels.
The writing reminded me a lot of A Painted House by John Grisham. It has a similar feel, and it's also from the first-person POV of a child trying to make sense of adult situations. Highly recommended....more
Mantella brings what it takes to hook you, reel you in, and keep you reading for 272 pages: a beautiful prose style and use of dialect, likable (and hMantella brings what it takes to hook you, reel you in, and keep you reading for 272 pages: a beautiful prose style and use of dialect, likable (and hatable) characters, an unusual narrator, and a compelling story that will keep you turning pages.
Ceili Mae Kandal was never born. Her daddy beat up her mommy before she was ready to join the world of the living. Now, she's been "assigned" to stay with her mother -- Vidalia Lee Kandal -- and help her to cope with life with the abusive, evil man she married. Vidalia is the heroine, but Ceili Mae is our muse, narrating the story of her almost-mother. Vidalia can hear her, and talks to her often, but secretly, so no one thinks she's a crazy person.
In spite of everything that happens to Vidalia, she remains positive, a good mother to four born children and one pre-born. But Cieli Mae knows that the worst is yet to come, and that she needs to be there to help her mother get through her darkest hour.
We learn about the back stories and how all these people came to be in Vidalia's life: Doc Feldman, Ruby Pearl Banks, even her mother-in-law Gert. Nine pregnancies with only two full-term births (two sets of twin boys) would turn anyone hateful, considering why there were so many miscarriages, but not Vidalia. Not until the final straw.
It will take everyone -- Doc, Ruby, Ceili Mae, Vidalia's four boys -- to help her through her trying times....more
This is a superhero novel with everything you want from a superhero novel: people with amazing powers doing amazing things, action, an overarching ploThis is a superhero novel with everything you want from a superhero novel: people with amazing powers doing amazing things, action, an overarching plot, great bad guys, and much more. It also has a strong romance between the two main characters, and it does something that I look for in a superhero novel: it deals with the societal, legal, and political ramifications of the existence of superpowers.
It also points out that power is just that--power. How you USE said power is everything.
A very enjoyable read that I highly recommend to anyone who likes a kick-ass superhero book....more
OK, this book is very funny on the whole. So the irony of saying, 'the funny thing about this book' when the whole bThe funny thing about this book --
OK, this book is very funny on the whole. So the irony of saying, 'the funny thing about this book' when the whole book is funny is . . . well, funny.
And it is funny. It has puns. Low-brow humor. High-brow humor. Humor that makes you raise just ONE brow. It's got action. It has romance, but not the 'heaving breasts and manly chests' type.
It is science fiction with a full load of tropes you'll recognize. If you're from/living in Atlanta (no one is actually 'from' Atlanta), you'll have fun identifying all the landmarks Dave includes in the novel that make the city an integral part of the story. It has aliens, advanced technology, and futuristic extrapolations of what Earth would look like after first contact.
It is also urban . . . I was going to say 'Urban Fantasy,' but that typically involves vampires (see 'heaving breasts and manly chests' above) and werewolves and, on occasion, sparkling. Maybe it deserves to be called 'Urban Science Fiction.' Is that a genre? WELL IT IS NOW.
The main characters, Jack and Poly, remind me a bit of the Nick and Nora Charles duo from the old Thin Man series. It would not surprise me in the least to find out that was intentional on Dave's part. Witty repartee abounds, and they are intellectually and physically matched.
It's a fun romp, and you'll turn the pages and end up reading way more than you intended to read and maybe forget to pick the kids up after soccer or burn dinner. They'll get over it, eventually. If not, hand 'em this book and they'll understand.
Oh, and the thing I was going to say at the beginning? The 'funny thing' about this novel? It has a driving, fast-paced plot, memorable characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it . . . and yet the main character, Jack, never really fails at anything. His plans succeed as planned. Little goes wrong that he wasn't expecting (some things do, granted).
Normally, I would ding a book for being boring for having the main character always succeed.
But the funny thing about this book? I didn't even really notice or care. It was just fun to read. And not at all boring.
(Disclaimer: I was one of the early alpha readers of the first 2/3 of the novel, as Dave is in the same writing group as me. That doesn't change the review by a single word.)...more
GONE TO LAGOS is the story of a teenage boy whose twin brother dies, and his struggle to understand what is happening when a series of visions and strGONE TO LAGOS is the story of a teenage boy whose twin brother dies, and his struggle to understand what is happening when a series of visions and strange occurrences happen to him in the wake of his brother's death. After being committed to a mental institution after he brutally attacks his mother's deadbeat boyfriend (who totally deserved it), he falls in with a group of people who claim they will be able to help him escape those who have evil designs on his life -- and his soul.
The only problem is, the "cure" seems as bad as the alternative when he realizes he's now in the hands of a voodoo "cult."
A good story told at a good pace with good characters. I enjoyed it and recommend it. :)...more
Some solid advice, but for my purposes I'm not sure how to apply it. I would have liked to see more about how to handle series and not single books. YSome solid advice, but for my purposes I'm not sure how to apply it. I would have liked to see more about how to handle series and not single books. Yes, the first Harry Potter book was used as an example, but it would have been nice to focus at least one chapter just on series and how to handle them.
(FYI, the four star rating is not because I didn't find it applicable to my specific situation.)...more