Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Round-Up#19

Hi there. A lot of good stuff to cover in this extra-special edition. So. Here we go . . .

Book Review: Crooked by Laura and Tom McNeal: This Young-Adult thriller is so stylish, so beautifully written and meticulously paced, that one wonders why it wasn't a smash when it first came out. This is the kind of novel that shows what can be done with Young-Adult fiction when the author - or, in this case, authors - knows his subject matter, understands - or rather remembers - what it really feels like to be a teenager, and knows how to craft a damn good story.
Focusing on the intertwined lives of two teenagers, a boy and a girl - who are just starting to realize that life is not as rosy as they thought - whose parents, in myriad ways, are starting to show for what they really are. Flawed human beings.
Touching, masterfully written, and with spot-on characterization, this is a modern classic that deserves re-discovery, and one that accomplishes quite a feat: leaving the reader wanting more. A must read.


Double Extra! The Dreaming by Robert D. San Souci/Shoot to Kill (1947): This edition's Extra! selections are the novel The Dreaming by Robert D. San Souci and the 1947 thriller Shoot to Kill. Atmospheric, fast-paced, and featuring memorable characters, The Dreaming is a unique vampire tale that mixes Eastern-European folklore with the cliches of vampire-fiction, to produce a sloppily-plotted yet entertaining novel, that is more dark-fantasy than horror, and one with a climax that's very high on imagination and bizarre imagery.
Shoot to Kill (1947), starring Russell Wade, Luana Walters and Edmun MacDonald and directed by William Berke, is a stylish, pulpy thriller that, thanks to a script that throws one outrageous plot twist after another and Berke's energetic direction, is endlessly entertaining and never lags. Worth re-discovering.

That's it for me. So, till next time, keep browsing those shelves.