TITLE: Black Crow, White Lie
AUTHOR: Candi Sary
PUBLISHER: Casperian Books
LENGTH: 159 pages
Underneath the glamour of Hollywood is a collection of battered people with broken dreams. In Black Crow, White Lie
, twelve-year-old Carson’s mother is one of those desperate souls. A psychic by day and an alcoholic by night, Carson’s mother plants ideas of grandeur in his head. Carson grows up hopping from motel to motel, all the while believing that he is destined to become a great healer, that his mother can tell the future, and that his father was a war hero. As he treads the delicate line between boyhood and manhood, Carson must grow up to face the truths both around him and inside of himself. Mystical and inspiring, Carson’s coming-of-age story kept me turning pages well into the night.Black Crow, White Lie
is simple and almost plainly written. However, I must give the author credit: the plain writing suited the age of the protagonist. I feel that Candi Sary sold herself short on her first novel by boxing herself within the mind of a pre-teen, but that did not keep me from choosing the book as a Top Pick. Candi’s style is memoir-esque and the beauty within the pages comes not from flowering prose but from heartfelt character development. The story is so gritty and real that even when Carson began to use his healing powers, I did not feel as though I had to suspend my disbelief. While the plot is somewhat predictable, the overall message is worthwhile and the final pages are perfectly satisfying.
THE RECOMMENDATIONBlack Crow, White Lie
is a touching coming-of-age story about family bonds, love, and being true to yourself. It is a quick read, and appropriate for adults and young adults alike. I highly suggest putting this book on the top of your reading list.
I’d give this crow nine out of ten feathers: just enough to fly to a Top Pick.
THE LINKSBuy it on AmazonVisit Candi's website
Candi is giving away 5 signed copies of Black Crow White Lie
to our Weekly Newsletter subscribers! If you don't have a subscription already, subscribe
by Friday, February 22 and you will receive instructions under "Book Giveaways" at the bottom of your Weekly Newsletter email.
TITLE: Tell a Thousand Lies
AUTHOR: Rasana Atreya
PUBLISHER: self-published through CreateSpace
GENRE: literary, women's fiction
If you’re looking for a peek into the lives and traditions of rural communities in India during the 1980’s and 90’s, Tell a Thousand Lies
will be an eye-opener. Pullamma, the main character, is a young girl brought up to believe that one of the worst things a woman can do is get a good education. All she wants to do is get married to the perfect husband and have beautiful children, but this proves nearly impossible when she is proclaimed a Goddess by the local oracle. In Tell a Thousand Lies
, author Rasanya Atrea juggles political corruption, superstition and deep-rooted traditions as she weaves a love story that could break your heart.
Not being familiar with Indian names or traditions, the first few chapters weren't a quick read. But as I kept going, I became familiar with terms and word usage that once seemed foreign, and the book picked up speed. Rasanya’s writing is smooth, but it was not her use of words that drew me in or kept me reading. I was intrigued by the setting and premise of the story.
About halfway through the book, though, I found myself disappointed. While the main character, Pullamma, is written to be a sweet young woman who only wants to do the right thing, she is often shallow and selfish. Even though I rooted for her and turned the pages to find out what happened next, I was never able to identify with her. I cheered for her as she became a more independent, confident character, but the stronger she became the less I could connect to her.
THE RECOMMENDATIONTell a Thousand Lies
is an exciting tale of love, deceit, family values and superstition. If you are interested in the traditions and culture of India, pick it up, but prepare yourself for a heroine who is an emotional wreck. The book is suitable for a young adult audience.
Find it on Amazon
Find it on Goodreads
Visit Rasana's website
Every once and a while a young adult book comes along that surprises me. The Domino Effect
falls into this category, both thoughtful-- yet humorous, moralistic-- yet light-hearted. Cotto's coming-of-age story left me invigorated, and thinking to myself, “Now, that's how you tell a story.”
Though The Domino Effect
has not seen the rampant readership like current fantasy and sci-fi novels, it should. The story chronicles the high school career, particularly the senior year, of Danny “Domino” Rorro. After a violent attack at his old school, Danny's parents enroll him in Hamden Academy, a prestigious boarding school far different than life at home. Danny manages to maintain his comical out-look on life in this new setting, though he carries scars from the past. Things begin to change for Danny when he is assigned a roommate, Terance King, the only African American at Hamden Academy. This event propels both boys into a conflict of race that tests them to the core and changes them forever.
Though the novel takes a while to warm up, the depth of Danny's character will draw you in and keep you captive. Danny's wise-cracking, street-wise Italian voice will keep you chuckling. Cotto is a master at the adolescent banter and the descriptions of Hamden, told through Danny, were pitch perfect. The tender romance between Danny and Brenda Devine is touching and heartfelt. My one complaint would be that Cotto opens with pages of exposition on the previous three years, much of which could have been dealt out later or cut completely. I fear that readers may get bogged down in the first few pages and miss the gold lurking beyond.
Overall, The Domino Effect
, does not disappoint. You'll find yourself cheering for Danny through the end. But more importantly, you'll find yourself reflecting on deep issues, something that is often lacking in teen literature of today.
You can find The Domino Effect here.
You can find Andrew Cotto's website here
, his Facebook here
and his twitter here