Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reviews and such

The Story of Forgetting
by Stefan Merrill Block
Adult fiction
Available now in paperback

This is my favorite book cover of all time. Normally that would be enough to convince me to read the book, but this one is not my kind of novel--it's about two men, Alzheimer's, and Texas...none of which are things I normally read about (see below for confirmation). I read this because Stefan Merrill Block is a hilarious and awesome person, which I learned at a BEA luncheon in May. I'm really glad I read it. The book is about Abel, a hunchbacked old man who has lost his twin brother to familial early-onset Alzheimer's and now lives alone on the family farm; and Seth Waller, a 15-year-old boy whose mother is suffering the same disease. The narrative shifts back and forth between them and is interspersed with tales from the fictional land of Isidora. Block's prose is somehow both spare and emotionally complex. I found myself identifying very strongly with Seth, whose primary goal is to be invisible. All in all, a very good literary debut. (HOWEVER: Stefan Merrill Block is only 3 years older than me, which made me feel like I need to get on the ball and accomplish something fairly soon.)

Scarlett Fever
by Maureen Johnson
Young Adult Fiction
Due February 2010

Yes! Scarlett, Spencer, Lola, and Marlene are back in this follow-up to Suite Scarlett. Scarlett is still working for the crazy Amy Amberson, who does not disappoint--when she lands Spencer a role that makes him instantly infamous, the Martin family find themselves at the center of a media whirlwind yet again. Meanwhile, Scarlett is trying to get over Eric and survive Max Biggs, her new "work project." This novel is full of all the things we expect from Maureen Johnson: slapstick humor, loveable characters, crazy antics, teenage drama, regular drama, and general hilarity.

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