Charles's Reviews > Storylandia Issue 3: The Wapshott Journal of Fiction

Storylandia Issue 3 by Michelle Brooks
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's review
Apr 17, 11

it was amazing
bookshelves: literary
Read from April 11 to 17, 2011 — I own a copy

Issue 3 of Storylandia consists of a novella by Michelle Brooks called "Dead Girl, Live Boy." Brooks is a Detroit writer and the work is set in Detroit. It features a young woman named Josette and her brother Josh, both severely wounded by childhood, who live together as roommates and try to survive in a world full of bad relationships, a world where almost every decision has to be made between something bad and something worse. The story is told from Josette’s point of view, and begins: “The night my brother Josh took a razor and carved a grin underneath his mouth…”

Although this book would generally be classified as literary fiction, it certainly has elements of psychological horror in it. The writing is superb, the characterization top notch. At times, the combination of Josette’s insight into her world, and yet her inability to rescue either herself or her brother is heart-wrenching. And their parents? Simply chilling, in an understated way. I won’t spoil the ending by saying anything specific, but if you read and appreciate literary fiction you’ll probably have a rough idea of how things will end. Even if you don’t typically read literary fiction, this might make a good foray into that field.

I highly recommend it.

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