professornana (professornana) wrote,

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rainy in South Carolina

Spent a few hours yesterday en route to Myrtle Beach reading BANG by Sharon Flake. WOW! Since her first book, THE SKIN I'M IN, I knew she was a major new voice in the field, but BANG takes her game to a higher level. Here is the story of a young, talented artist whose life is filled, not with beauty and color, but with death and guns. Mann's younger brother, Jason, is killed while playing on his door stoop. There are other casualties as well. Mann's father decides the best thing to do for his son is to make him a man. He takes Mann and Mann's best friend, Kee-lee, on a camping trip and abandons the two hoping they will figure out how to survive. Kee-lee and Mann manage to make it back to the city, but Mann's father will not allow him to come home yet. Mann and Kee-lee are desperate and eventually go to live with one of Kee-lee's family members who runs numbers. Events spiral out of control until Kee-lee is also a victim of a shooting. Mann and his father are eventually reconciled, though the reunion is a difficult one. Flake has written an uncompromising novel that makes me as an adult reader want to shake the living daylights out of Mann's parents and take Mann and Kee-lee home. The book is intense and engaging nonetheless, and compels readers into the story. Incredible story-telling, resonant setting and character development, unpredictable plot twists and so much more, the hallmarks of Flake and her writing.

Almost done with FRAMED, part of a new series that is part CSI for teens combined with THE GIVER. In a future society, teens can select their careers early and specialize their studies. They cannot, however, select their life partners: that is done by the Authorities. Enter Luke Harding, Forensic Investigator, who has just passed his final exam. Before the ink has dried on his license, there is a murder of another student at school followed by murders of two teachers as well. Aided by MALC, his assistant and robot, Luke must determine the perp before he is removed from his first case. Oh, and the number one suspect is Luke himself. This one is nominated for Quick Picks and is a fast and fun read. MALC has no sense of humor and takes everything that is said literally, a nice comedic touch.
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