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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

Fabulous Debuts

2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas

It’s the end of August, and we still have quite a few reviews of summer books to share with you. So don’t let this somewhat clumsy grouping at all diminish your regard for the following three debut novels. I start with 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas because, well, great title! And it really does [...]

Family Drama and Mental Illness

What I Had Before I Had You

Today’s books are about family, relationships, secrets, and coming-of-age. Both move back and forth in time, and include characters suffering from mental illness. Sarah Cornwell‘s debut novel, What I Had Before I Had You follows a mother’s memories back into her own turbulent adolescence. The thread that connects past and present is bipolar disorder, which [...]

Family, for Better or Worse

Mother, Mother

Today we review three very different novels about families, none of them easy. The families, that is! Koren Zailckas is well-known for her memoir Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood (Viking, 2005). Mother, Mother is her first novel, and it introduces a doozy of a family dynamic. The story includes elements of suspense, psychological thriller and [...]

Amanda Knox

amanda_knox_waiting_to_be_heard

I don’t watch a lot of TV, especially not TV news or TV tabloids, so while I feel confident that I had heard something about Amanda Knox in the past six years, I really only became aware of the ins and outs of her infamous life this year.  But when I did become aware, it [...]

Enchantments

Enchantments

Kathryn Harrison‘s latest novel centers on Rasputin’s daughter, Matryona Grigorievna Rasputina. After Rasputin’s death, his 18-year-old daughter, Masha, is sent to live at the imperial palace with Tsar Nikolay and his family. When the royal family is placed under house arrest, Masha begins telling stories (both true and imagined) to distract young Aloysha, a hemophiliac, from his [...]

The Wolf Gift and an Interview with the author

The Wolf Gift

The publication of a new novel by Anne Rice is always an event, and especially when she begins a new series. The Wolf Gift is a werewolf novel that displays her unique combination of philosophy, sensuality and gothic horror. I was thrilled to interview Anne Rice for the AB4T blog, and Random House is also [...]

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Working through barriers of language, culture and gender, American Katherine Boo spent over three years in the Mumbai slum of Annawadi. Her extraordinary book reveals the truth of life in urban India. Again and again, reviews mention her novelistic writing, the uncovering of Dickensian depths of corruption, and the detail with which she brings to [...]

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

With good old-fashioned storytelling, Jenny Wingfield sets up a classic struggle between good and evil in small town Arkansas. Homecoming has been widely compared to To Kill a Mockingbird, and its young protagonist, Swan, to Scout Finch. High praise! Although this is Wingfield’s debut novel, she is an experienced screenwriter, best known for “The Man in the Moon” [...]

The Tragedy of Arthur

The Tragedy of Arthur

Today’s guest blogger is Mark Flowers. I’m sure you’ve enjoyed his reviews here, which over the last several months have ranged from graphic novels to fiction to nonfiction: Does it matter if a Shakespearean play was written by William Shakespeare or by a 20th century conman?  Does the value of a piece of art change [...]

Horoscopes for the Dead & Poets House

Horoscopes for the Dead

Today’s guest blogger is Karlan Sick. Karlan and I served together on the Alex Awards committee for four years, and Karlan was always determined to find a book of poetry for the list. She introduced me to Poets House. At least once a summer, we would meet there and spend hours reading through potential collections, [...]