Category Archives: Fiction

Frog Music

Finished Frog Music by Emma Donoghue.

Summary (from Goodreads):

From the author of the worldwide bestseller Room: “Her greatest achievement yet…Emma Donoghue shows more than range with FROG MUSIC–she shows genius.” — Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life

Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman named Jenny Bonnet is shot dead.

The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny’s murderer to justice–if he doesn’t track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers, and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women, and damaged children. It’s the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts.

In thrilling, cinematic style, FROG MUSIC digs up a long-forgotten, never-solved crime. Full of songs that migrated across the world, Emma Donoghue’s lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes captures the pulse of a boomtown like no other.”

This is another review where I can’t be very specific because the story reveals itself in a very specific way and I don’t want to ruin anything for you.

This book reminded me a lot of the other books of hers I’d read and is not at all like Room.  So if you’re expecting another Room, this is not your book.

But this is an amazing piece of historical fiction, which is how I originally know Emma Donoghue (I’ve read The Sealed Letter and Life Mask, in addition to Room).

These are based on real people and I enjoyed the afterword at the end of the book, which gave more information on those characters.

Highly recommended.

One More Night

Finished One More Night by Lauren Blakely.  I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Your presence is requested for another installment in the tale of Julia and Clay, two red-hot lovers. Come inside their world of passion and suspense once more for a deliciously erotic and heart-poundingly dangerous story of pearls, handcuffs, thieves, mobsters, poker and pleasure in the city of sin…

Happy endings don’t come easily. They’re hard-won and Clay Nichols is going to have to keep earning his…
Now living together in New York with her debt safely paid off, sexy bartender Julia Bell and hot-as-hell entertainment lawyer Clay thought their future was clear sailing.
But life doesn’t work that way and the fiery lovers run into a slew of new challenges as Clay tries to put a ring on it. Trouble looms in every corner–trouble from clients, trouble with timing, and, most of all, trouble from her past returns on their trip to Vegas. A dangerous man who knows much more about Julia than he should surfaces in Sin City where they’re supposed to be enjoying a weekend getaway. Following her in the casino, watching her every move at the pool, targeting her as she plays poker.
Too bad Clay is called away repeatedly, leaving Julia alone in a sprawling hotel full of dark corners, back rooms, and unsavory characters. Can Clay save her from danger one more time, and then finally get down on one knee? Or will he be too late for the woman he adores?
Read on in ONE MORE NIGHT, a novel in the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Seductive Nights series packed with more sex, more dirty talk and more danger. And per your request, the recipe for Julia’s award-winning cocktail, the Purple Snow Globe, has finally been revealed in this ebook!”

This was slightly different in tone than the earlier two Clay and Julia books.  They’re already much darker than most of her other books, but this is the darkest yet.  As the synopsis states, there’s a sense of danger all through this book, and while we know it’s coming, we don’t know who the danger is.

But while there are a lot of tense moments, there’s also a lot of the romance (and steamy scenes) we’ve come to expect from Clay and Julia (and from Lauren Blakely’s books in general).

I’m hoping for more Clay and Julia, but I also can’t wait for every other book she writes.  I love that she’s very prolific.

Highly recommended.

Those Who Wish Me Dead

Finished Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta.  I received a copy from the publisher.

Summary (from Goodreads):

The newest thriller from Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author

When 13-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he’s plunged into a new life, issued a false identity and hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare.

The killers, known as the Blackwell Brothers, are slaughtering anyone who gets in their way in a methodical quest to reach him. Now all that remains between them and the boy are Ethan and Allison Serbin, who run the wilderness survival program; Hannah Faber, who occupies a lonely fire lookout tower; and endless miles of desolate Montana mountains.

The clock is ticking, the mountains are burning, and those who wish Jace Wilson dead are no longer far behind.”

First to warn you, I don’t want to discuss the plot too much because it runs the risk of ruining it and you don’t want any aspect of this book to be ruined.

I absolutely loved this book.  I read it over the course of my vacation and it was the best/worst decision I could’ve made.  I didn’t have much free time for reading and it was so hard to walk away from these characters and plot (even though I had a great time).

So I would advise you to learn from my mistake and read this when you have time to read it all in one gulp, because that’s what you’ll want to do.

Like all of his books, this novel is completely intense and the last hundred pages especially are impossible to put down (that’s when I finally basically told Jen to do whatever she wanted to do and that I couldn’t do anything until I was done).

The easy comparison to this book is to The Client, but it’s a lot better.  (No offense to The Client, which I enjoyed when I read it.)  I think the main reason this book completely surpasses that one is the characters. I liked Mark Sway but I love Jace.  Everything about him is believable, including the fact that he’s so obviously a kid who’s way, WAY out of his depth.

But I love everyone—Ethan and Allison and Hannah and all the characters you’ll meet here.  Even the Blackwell brothers, who are the creepiest killers since Anton in No Country For Old Men—they’re unlike anyone I’ve ever seen and I guarantee they’ll give you chills, too.

Highly, highly recommended.

Landline

Finished Landline by Rainbow Rowell.  I received a copy from the publisher.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?”

I am so in love with Rainbow Rowell’s books.  I’ve read all four and they are all so different but all are excellent.

I could relate to Eleanor & Park and Fangirls, but this book was different for me.  I’ve never been married and I’m not anyone’s mother, so I was a little worried initially.  I shouldn’t have been.

This book is amazing and perfect and I didn’t need those relationships to appreciate it.

I loved Georgie and the fact that she had a career and a family and didn’t apologize for it.  (And I loved Neal and the fact that he was comfortable enough to be a stay at home dad and that the two of them were just this fantastic couple.  We didn’t see it so much in the present day but I loved the conversations between present-Georgie and past-Neal.)

And I love the fact that this book absolutely made sense and it didn’t feel cheesy or contrived (like, say, Peggy Sue Got Married).

Highly, highly recommended.

And Then There Were None

Finished And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.  I received a copy from the publisher.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a lonely mansion on Indian Island by a host who fails to appear but leaves a recording accusing all of undetected murder. Cut off by his orders, one by one each die according to a nursery rhyme Ten Little Indians. A confession in a bottle solves how nobody remains alive.”

This was my first Agatha Christie novel, which—as a mystery fan—was a bit embarrassing for me.  I’m very happy that Harper Collins is doing this readathon (a re-readathon for most of the participants) so that I can catch up a bit.

I feel like this is definitely one of her more famous novels (this and Murder on the Orient Express were the two I had always heard mentioned) and I definitely think this is the best one to start with.

From this point on, expect spoilers.

I had read Gretchen McNeil’s Ten, which is a reimagining of this book and I had seen the Facts of Life episode that’s a takeoff on it, but all that really meant is that I knew that one of the characters was the killer and would fake their own death, but I didn’t know which character it was.

I love how everything tied in to the poem (nursery rhyme?) mentioned in the beginning and how the little toy soldiers disappeared as people died.  I thought everything in this book was incredibly clever, although I do understand the annoyance at how it is literally impossible to figure out what’s going on until you get to the epilogue and everything is spelled out.  (But this didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book.)

Now to the book club questions!

1-      When we first meet the “ten soldiers,” while they may not have been the best group of people, you don’t necessarily wish them ill will. As their pasts are revealed and their true personalities unmasked, did you feel any sympathy for them as a victim of the situation? Do you think that we, the reader, were predisposed to dislike certain characters more and feel sympathy for others?

The only one I really didn’t like was Emily Brent.  I liked Vera, even though her crime was arguably the worst.  (Incidentally, her character and situation reminded me of Marion Crane in Psycho—in love with someone she can’t have, due to circumstances beyond her control.  That scenario led both to do something horrible, and both ended up paying for their actions.  So I guess the moral here is don’t fall in love, right?)

But yeah, I hated Emily Brent.  She was so holier-than-thou and definitely enjoyed her perceived status as being better than everyone else.  I have to say of all the deaths in the book, I felt the best about hers.

2-      Each soldier was initially defined by their stature or position in life, did that change for any of them as the story progressed, or did they rely more on their roles off the island for survival?

I think everyone stayed incredibly true to who they were off-island.

3-      One of the themes present throughout And Then There Were None is guilt and the effect it can have on a person. How did each character deal with the guilt of their past crimes? Who handled it the best? And who was the most torn up from it?

I think Vera was the most affected by what she had done (and understandably so).  I think the others were all more or less okay with what they had done (especially Emily Brent, who never seemed to feel at all guilty for what she had done).

4-      What did you think of the use of “Ten Little Soldiers” throughout the book, both the poem posted in the bedrooms and the little disappearing figurines on the dining room table? How do they both figure into the story? Do you think the reminder of the “Ten Little Soldiers” poem was necessary throughout the story?

I don’t think they were necessary, per se, but they were definitely very, very creepy.  It was fun to guess how the next death would occur, and the mental picture of the figurines disappearing one by one was very unsettling.

5-      If you were trapped on Soldier Island, which character’s behavior would you most identify with and why? If not, what would you have done differently?

Ideally I would have been able to figure out a way to escape.  (But I probably would’ve freaked out like Vera.)  I do think I would’ve followed through with her idea to just lock herself in a room and not leave until help came.  The pantry was apparently very well-stocked and I would’ve just grabbed some tin cans, an opener and just holed up until everyone else was dead.  (The hermit’s guide to surviving a murder mystery!)

6-      From the very beginning certain characters are drawn to each other to form alliances in their strange situation—at first Vera and Emily, later Blore, Armstrong, and Lombard, Armstrong and Wargrave, and then Vera and Lombard. What do you think brought them together? How do these alliances affect events?

I think desperation was behind all of the alliances.  Initially, I think they were formed out of a need to feel safe and the whole safety in numbers idea.  Obviously, though, the alliances didn’t change any of the outcome because “Unknown” has clearly planned for everything.  (Obviously he’s not a great person but I do admire anyone who plans like this.)

7-      Did you have your own theories about who Unknown was before getting to the “Manuscript Document” and if so, at what point?

I didn’t think it was one of the women or Rogers.  I knew that the person was going to fake their death, so the fact that someone died didn’t get them off the hook for me.

8-      It’s widely commented that Christie “violated the standard rules of mystery writing” by making it nearly impossible for us to solve the mystery before she explains it to us. How did that make you feel as a reader?

I understand the annoyance as I said earlier, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book.  I don’t read a book to see if I can figure things out before I’m told.

9-      As Agatha wrote in her author’s note, the plot was so simple, yet so baffling, that she herself was most pleased with the outcome for having done it. Are there any mysteries from recent years that you think come close to what she accomplished here?

I agree with Jenny’s assessment that it’s similar to Gone Girl. I feel like they’re both two of those books where you go along with it and the writer reveals thing in their own time.

Poll

I feel like I always complain about having too many amazing books and not enough time, and yet I keep acquiring more.  (Book blogger problems!)

So here are some of the books I have but haven’t read.  Which ones should I move up?  Which ones can wait a bit?

NONFICTION:

1)  Books, Movies, Rhythm, Blues by Nick Hornby

2)  Young Money by Kevin Roose

3)  Carsick by John Waters

4)  The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

5)  A Year and Six Seconds by Isabel Gillies

ADULT:

1)  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

2)  Never Tell by Alafair Burke

3)  The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

4)  Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican

5)  The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

NA:

1)  The First Comes Love trilogy by Katie Kacvinsky

2)  Caught Up in Her by Lauren Blakely

3)  Frenched by Melanie Harlow (a recommendation from a friend)

4)  Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

5)  The Marked Men series by Jay Crownover

YA:

1)  Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

2)  The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer

3)  The His Fair Assassins trilogy by Robin LaFevers

4)  Every Day by David Levithan

5)  The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

MG:

1)  Ida B by Katherine Hannigan

2)  Escape from Mr. Limoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

3)  Counting by Sevens by Holly Goldberg Sloan

4)  Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

5)  May B by Caroline Starr Rose

The 400-LB Gorilla (An Excerpt)

cover

Matt Danmor thinks he’s lucky. Not many people survive a near death accident with nothing more than a bout of amnesia, a touch of clumsiness and the conviction that the technician who did the MRI had grey skin and hooves. Still, it takes time to recover from trauma like that, especially when the girl who was in the accident with you disappears into thin air. Especially when the shrinks keep telling you she’s just a figment of your imagination. So when the girl turns up months later looking ravishing, and wanting to carry on where they left off, Matt’s troubled life starts looking up. But he hasn’t bargained for the baggage that comes with Silvy, like the fact she isn’t really an English language student, or even a girl. Underneath her traffic stopping exterior is something else altogether, something involving raving fanatics bent on human sacrifice, dimensionally challenged baked bean tins, a vulture with a penchant for profanity, and a security agent for the Dept of Fimmigration (that’s Fae immigration for those of you not in the know) called Kylah with the most amazing gold-flecked eyes The 400 Lb Gorilla is caustic, (vampire-free) introduction to the Hipposync Archives: Contemporary fantasy at its sparkling best.

And an excerpt:

“All in all, it was an okay shift, as casualty night shifts went. The usual gaggle of fate’s victims walked, hobbled, or were wheeled bleeding and in pain through the doors of Accident and Emergency. There was the inevitable clutch of drunks, a couple of sprained ankles, a four-year-old with a split pea up his nose and three myocardial infarcts. Not forgetting the evening’s main entertainment, in the form of a corpulent gentleman of indeterminable age who’d had an altercation with a cucumber. Accidents happen, of course. It was just sheer bad luck, he tried to explain, that his epileptic partner was holding the cucumber at the very moment that the video they’d been watching had, literally, gone on the blink.

Unfortunately, said partner had not turned away in time. The result of the subsequent stroboscopically induced convulsion was a flesh mock-up of a Soyuz spacecraft violently docking with the International Space Station, as the charge nurse so very nicely put it to the naïve med student who had picked up the case. No one asked why the man was dressed in a babydoll nighty and a thong. After all, if someone walked in wearing scuba diving gear and holding a spear gun, with an arm missing and a shark’s tooth hanging from the stump, the scenario wouldn’t need much explanation. The same principle applied with the man in the nighty. Not funny for the watery-eyed patient, yet gut-achingly hysterical for the staff. There followed a fun half hour of swapped ‘war stories’ about pan handles, light bulbs, and even a dentist’s drill, all infamous for having found their way into an orifice designed more for things leaving than entering. All about as PC as Porky’s, of course. But then, a sense of gallows humour was compulsory for a job in A & E if you wanted to survive. The giggles only ended—and even then after a fresh wave of guffaws—when the radiographer who had taken the X-rays muttered that she preferred her cucumber in Pimms with ice.

Preferably, though, not that particular cucumber.”

You guys, I’ve read this and this book is AMAZING.  It’s incredibly funny but also a total page-turner.  You’ve never read anything like this before.

 

GOODREADS LINK:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18430806-the-400lb-gorilla

 

Get Your Copy Today!

 

AmazonB&NBook Depository

 

TOUR SCHEDULE

 

June 23rd

Such a Novel Idea (http://suchanovelidea11@gmail.com) | Review

Book Lovers Life (http://bookloverslife.blogspot.ie/) | Teaser

Mythical Books (http://www.mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro/) | Interview

 

June 24th

Deal Sharing Aunt (http://www.dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com) | Review

KellyVision (http://Kellyvision.wordpress.com) | Excerpt

Coffee, Books, & Art (http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/) | Book Highlight & Giveaway

 

June 25th

Fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s Ramblins and Reviews (http://fuonlyknew.com) | Review

The Cover Contessa (http://www.thecovercontessa.com) | Top Ten

Good Choice Reading (www.goodchoicereading.com) Interview

 

June 26th

Dalene’s Book Reviews (http://dalenesbookreviews.blogspot.com) | Review

WS Momma Readers Nook (http://wsmommareadersnook.blogspot.com/) | Excerpt

Deal Sharing Aunt (http://www.dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/) Review

 

June 27th 

Tanya’s Book Nook (http://tanyasbooknook.blogspot.com) | Review

Little Whimsy Books (Http://www.littlewhimsybooks.tumblr.com) | Review

Platypire Reviews (http://platypire.com) | Review

017-Dyl-017_2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Once a successful doctor of medicine, DC Farmer now works two days a week for the NHS and, thanks to the wonders of Krudian physics, the other nine days a 011-Dyl-011week for Hipposync Enterprises, as a scribe.

Hipposync was established in the early fourteenth century as a purveyor and publisher of rare books, the sort of stuff you are not able to get elsewhere and which contains information as varied as how to guard your castle against the Hordes of Maltasub using Harpie blood and tar, and how to change a beetle into a useful toothpick.

Of course, you will have gathered from all of this that Hipposync is, in fact, just a cover. What lurks beneath that thin veneer of respectability (yeah, right) is much, much more interesting. Hiding behind an office on the banks of the canal in Jericho, Oxford is the Department of Fimmigration (as in Fae immigration). Hey, there has to be one, otherwise just anyone could walk in, right?

DC’s role in documenting the work of the Fimmigration Service has, over the years, led to the realization that the world needs to know. Moreover, if he doesn’t tell someone soon he is going to burst. So, within these pages you will find actual accounts of the splendid work of the Fimmigration Service, beginning with The 400 Lb Gorilla–a sample of which is also on this site, and which will soon be published in its totality by Spence City once appropriate clearance from the ‘authorities’ has been obtained.

Some people say that this is contemporary fantasy fiction. Believe me, it’s real enough on planet hipposync.

DC Farmer is alive and well in darkest West Wales.

 And I have a giveaway! Click here to enter.

400LB Teaser3

Upcoming Spence City books!

You’re in for a treat, you guys.  A lot of great books are coming out soon, and while I didn’t work on all of these, they’re all amazing.

Copper Ravens by Jennifer Allis Provost is out TODAY.  It’s the sequel to Copper Girl and it’s wonderful.

The 400-LB Gorilla by DC Farmer is out on June 24.  It’s sort of like Memento but more action-packed and also funnier.

Blood for the Sun by Errick Nunnally is out July 1.  These are not your teenager’s vampires.  If, like me, you’ve wanted vampires that are terrifying and not sparkly, this is for you.

Elements of Mind by Walter H. Hunt is out on July 8.  This book will give you chills, so it’s good that it’s out in summer.

Divinity by Michelle L. Johnson is out on September 23.  This book is fun and sweet and creepy.  It’s a great vacation read but if, like me, your vacation time is all gone by the time its release date rolls around, it’ll turn your living room into a beach anyway.  Umbrella drink not included.

The Stag Lord by Darby Kaye (the name Darby Karchut is using when she’s writing adult fiction) is out December 2.  So is Into the Night by Suzanne Rigdon!

Mr. Mercedes

Finished Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.  I received a copy from the publisher at BEA.

Summary (from Goodreads):

In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the perp; and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy. Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

In the gloomy pre-dawn hours of a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of unemployed hopefuls are lined up for a job fair. Without warning, a merciless driver plows through the crowd in a roaring Mercedes. Eight people are killed; 15 are wounded. The killer escapes into the early-spring fog never to be seen from again. Until now..

Detective Bill Hodges is a battle-hardened and streetwise crime fighter originally assigned to the Mercedes killings. Now retired, Hodges has lost his way in boredom and depression craving the thrills of taking down the region’s most notorious criminals. When a disturbing letter from the Mercedes Killer arrives at his door, Hodges soon finds himself uncontrollably drawn into a cat-n-mouse pursuit with stakes beyond comprehension.

Mr. Mercedes is Stephen’s first “hard-boiled detective tale.” It will transport you into a vibrant and dangerous world filled with gritty characters living on the bleeding edge of reason. Be prepared…”

This was my first post-BEA read, and that probably doesn’t surprise anyone.  As you know, Stephen King is my favorite author, and any time he has a new book out, I try and start it as soon as I can.  (In this case, it was in the hotel room post-Saturday craziness.)

(Also, thank you to Simon & Schuster—especially Wendy!—for giving away copies of this on Saturday at BEA.)

I don’t want to say very much about this because there’s a lot to be said for the book revealing things in its own time.

I’ve often said that Stephen King has written books in almost every genre, and this is his first real mystery.  Not surprisingly, this book is disturbing in parts, but it’s not at all a horror novel.  It’s more suspenseful (and more than a little gross from time to time) than anything else.

I absolutely loved this book, and I think Brady is one of his creepier villains.  He’s no Pennywise, granted, but he’s definitely up there.  I think that—like Annie Wilkes—the scariest thing is the fact that they come across as so normal in their interactions with people, but we-as-the-reader know just how batshit crazy they actually are.  It kind of makes you wonder how many people we know that only have a tenuous hold on reality.  But that’s better not to think about, right?

Highly recommended.

Girls Like Us

Finished Girls Like Us by Gail Giles.

Summary (from Goodreads):

With gentle humor and unflinching realism, Gail Giles tells the gritty, ultimately hopeful story of two special ed teenagers entering the adult world.

We understand stuff. We just learn it slow. And most of what we understand is that people what ain’t Speddies think we too stupid to get out our own way. And that makes me mad.

Quincy and Biddy are both graduates of their high school’s special ed program, but they couldn’t be more different: suspicious Quincy faces the world with her fists up, while gentle Biddy is frightened to step outside her front door. When they’re thrown together as roommates in their first “real world” apartment, it initially seems to be an uneasy fit. But as Biddy’s past resurfaces and Quincy faces a harrowing experience that no one should have to go through alone, the two of them realize that they might have more in common than they thought — and more important, that they might be able to help each other move forward.

Hard-hitting and compassionate, Girls Like Us is a story about growing up in a world that can be cruel, and finding the strength — and the support — to carry on.”

I’ve been a huge fan of Gail Giles’ books since I read Dark Song.  Her books tend to be dark and disturbing, and this book is no exception.  (Although at first glance it may seem to be.)

It’s told by Biddy and Quincy in (mostly) alternating chapters.  These two women are living on their own for the first time and they don’t really get along.  Quincy is a lot more…well, we’ll go with “acerbic” than Biddy is used to, and Quincy is probably going to murder Biddy in her sleep if she doesn’t drop the Pollyanna bit.

It’s probably not a spoiler to say that the two eventually start to get along, although it comes at a pretty big cost.

Like all of her books, this is a fast read but not really an easy one.  Be prepared to cry a little.

Highly recommended.