Just home from a mini-vacation that afforded me some time to read some excellent debut novels that I must recommend and watch a couple of great movies. It was a lovely week, though scattered with work that I just couldn't get away from. Alas and alack.
A brilliant, nuanced examination of a small town - Jodi Picoult, eat your heart out. Gudenkauf has a lyrical voice, shifting effortlessly through first person narrative from a variety of characters, including the focus of the novel, a little girl named Callie who is a selective mute. I met Heather a couple of months ago, and she described the book to me thusly: "Two girls go into the woods, and only one comes out. And she can't talk." I can't rave enough about this book - it's just fantastic. It will be published August 1, 2009. I recommend pre-ordering right now!
Another incredibly well done debut, Grant's main character, David Trevellyan, has been billed as the James Bond of our time. Those are big shoes to fill, and Trevellyan pulls it off - sharp, smart-ass, devious and honorable, he's a new hero for us all. Fans of Lee Child (Grant is his younger brother) will LOVE this book.
Willig has a delightful series of books that starts with THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE PINK CARNATION. This is the second in the series, and Willig has such a comfortable style that it's easy to fall right in. Here's the jacket description:
"Harvard grad student Eloise Kelly achieved the academic coup of the century when she unmasked the spy who saved England from Napoleon. But now she has a million questions about the Pink Carnation's deadly French nemesis, the Black Tulip. And she's pretty sure that her handsome onagain, off-again crush, Colin Selwick, has the answers somewhere in his archives. But what she discovers in an old codebook is something juicier than she ever imagined."
I'm a big Nicholas Cage fan, and he doesn't disappoint in this wild thriller. I was a bit put off by the ending, it seemed much too convenient, but some great fight scenes.
Very silly, cute movie about a kid doing anything he can to fit in. Teen angst at it's capitalist best.
Definitely worth the price of admission. I've never read the graphic novel, but loved the character development.