**spoiler alert** This book revisits GOING WRONG in a lot of ways. If I had come to it as a new book by an unknown author, I would have reacted with e**spoiler alert** This book revisits GOING WRONG in a lot of ways. If I had come to it as a new book by an unknown author, I would have reacted with excitement and anticipation of more books. Sadly, there won't be any more. Reading this book was also a melancholy experience for me because it revisits one of RR's saddest themes: the way people trap themselves in prisons of their own making-- be it jealousy, cupidity, or addiction to sugar-free sweets. Or, as with Guy in GOING WRONG or Carl here, some combination of need and substance abuse and growing paranoia.
But wait! There's kind of a glimmer of redemption at the end. We find out that Carl confesses his crimes and goes to prison. Another character, one of Rendell's unassuming sages, comments that confessing must have become less "scary" than not confessing. "And now, now it's all over." And that is the last sentence of RR's last book. RIP and many thanks. ...more
Rader-Day's first novel, THE BLACK HOUR, was wonderful. So is this book, but in quite a different way. LITTLE PRETTY THINGS starts out feeling a lot lRader-Day's first novel, THE BLACK HOUR, was wonderful. So is this book, but in quite a different way. LITTLE PRETTY THINGS starts out feeling a lot like one of Laura Lippman's standalone crime novels, such as WHAT THE DEAD KNOW-- two women in a marginal, unstable situation, with hints of a disturbing past. One of the things I love about LITTLE PRETTY THINGS is that the present is very dynamic. Rather than giving you the feeling you are just waiting around to find out who did what in the past, you have various characters with complex motivation in the present, not to mention the actual murder. Maybe that is why people are comparing Rader-Day to authors like Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott, who write sort of hybrid mystery-thrillers, which have the depth of a secret story in the past, but the excitement of a present one. But also as with those authors, Rader-Day's writing is steeped with true-crime details and atmosphere.
Where this book really differs from THE BLACK HOUR, to me, is that it has a dimension of epicness. There's a mythic quality to the pairing of the two running girls-- fairytale warrior princesses from the past. Early in the book, it's like the spell shatters.
Among her other strengths, Rader-Day knows how to rock a title. I love what she does with the phrase "little pretty things-- " not entirely what you think. ...more
This is a WALLOP of a teen book and I can't wait to sell it! More comments to follow when it's out.
OK, here we go. I enjoyed Larsen's memoir, and I kThis is a WALLOP of a teen book and I can't wait to sell it! More comments to follow when it's out.
OK, here we go. I enjoyed Larsen's memoir, and I knew that when she wrote fiction it would be good. The book takes you a LOT of places in 200 pages and reflects the way life starts zooming ahead at that age. I like it because it deal with issues but is not an "issues book." A lot of it feels like attending a party-- hanging out with cool people who are characters with real depth. The voice is breezy and assured and very teenage. That made the profound betrayal-- horrible, but sadly realistic-- by some of the adults come as even more of a shock. But the main character's reaction to all of it feels very plausible.
By the way, the book deals with weight issues but they are folded into typical high school academic, achievement and dating issues-- in addition to family issues-- in a way that I think will make it pretty universally appealing. ...more