April 26th, 2006

reading ladders

welcome to TLA

TLA began with preconferences yesterday in the hot and muggy Houston downtown convention center. There were dozens in attendance for the book talking preconference, and that was heartening to see. After helping to set up the department's exhibit, I had the chance to visit with a few of the publishers nearby and came back to the hotel with some galleys to read. After dinner with Anthony Horowitz (charming, adorable, sweet all come to mind plus the new book, ARK ANGEL), I came back and read th new Gail Giles, WHAT HAPPENED TO CASS MCBRIDE. Well folks, this is another hang on to the edge of the seat, intense ride into the sometimes dark world of troubled teens as well as an exploration of the hierarchy of high school. Cass McBride is one of the IN crowd: beautiful, well put together, aspiring to be the best. Kyle is the older brother of David, a young man who committed suicide in a very public way. The fact that David had asked Cass for a date just days before his suicide is a coincidence, right? Neither Kyle nor Cass believe that to be true, so when their lives intersect, there is bound to be repercussions. The novel is told from three points of view. We hear Cass and Kyle report events from their perspective plus the voice of one of the policemen investigating the crime of what happened to Cass. Short chapters, the piecemeal way in which the plot unfolds from the multiple perspectives, and the headlong racing pace of the novel will attract more readers and create more fans for this talented (and Texas) author.

I am off in a few minutes to the conference armed with a book I doubt I will find time to read.


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