Archive for July, 2010

SAVAGES by Don Winslow

SAVAGES is a unique romp on the wild side. Its anti-heroes, Ben, Chon and O (or multiple O as she’s fondly known) are a cast of characters you gotta love. Ben and Chon are the greatest developers and suppliers of hydroponic weed in Laguna Beach and they have a loyal following. Their weed can be custom made for just the kind of high you want. They provide for the rich and famous. They live well and have been happily supplying their customers for years.

July 31, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: California, Humorous, Unique Narrative, y Award Winning Author


Years ago, I sent out a birthday invitation with the theme, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” Funny – or so I thought.

But for Daley Amory, the main character of Lily King’s poignant and at times heartbreaking FATHER OF THE RAIN, those words are anything but funny. We meet her as an 11-year-old, torn between the liberal and do-good world of her mother and the conservative, erratic, liquor-soaked world of her charismatic and arrogant father. A WASP of the first-degree – rich, Harvard-educated, disconnected – his signature phrase, while lying on his chaise chair, drink in one hand, cigarette in the other, is, “I wonder what the poor people are doing today.”

July 30, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Character Driven, Contemporary, Family Matters, Literary, NE & New York, Reading Guide, y Award Winning Author


It is important to set the parameters, or the standards, of a Young Adult novel right up front when reviewing one in a public forum. The Young Adult novel is a genre that allows authors to explore edgy content within the typical bathos of teen self-consciousness. If a novel is to be successful in this market, it must ambitiously try to underscore topics such as murder, sickness, abuse, heroin addiction, suicide, sexuality – pretty much any topic with an “edge” – and have a central character that is either surrounded by the subject, or is going to potentially be lost to the subject. Take Romeo & Juliet, minus out the words of William Shakespeare, put it in first person narrative form – let’s let Romeo be the narrator – and you will be soundly situated in a Young Adult novel.

July 30, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Australia, Coming-of-Age, Mystery/Suspense, Psychological Suspense

ABLE ONE by Ben Bova

In ABLE ONE, Ben Bova turns up the heat with the threat of war. A Korean faction takes out most of the world’s satellites by exploding a missile in orbit. Through unaffected, hardened military satellites, the government watches the Korean launch pad where two more missiles stand ready.

The Korean threat turns Harry Hartunian’s first airborne test of an experimental, anti-missile laser into the real thing. The Airbourne Laser, or ABL-1 (Able One), housed in the retrofitted body of a 747 Boing jet, is America’s best hope of averting a war with not just Korea, but by extension China as well.

July 29, 2010 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Speculative (Beyond Reality), Thriller/Spy/Caper


WHERE MEN WIN GLORY, by Jon Krakauer, is a book about several things – Pat Tillman, the NFL, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. army and its role in Pat Tilman’s death, friendly fire during wars, and the history of our involvement in the Middle East. Each of these topics is covered in a wonderfully page-turning manner, with the reader not wanting to put the book down. At the same time, Krakauer provides a huge amount of information that may be new, surprising or downright horrific.

July 29, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Afghanistan, Middle East, Non-fiction, Reading Guide

STASH by David Matthew Klein

Debut novelist Klein has written a smart and nervy domestic drama/thriller. The pages fly, and the prose is crisp and economical. He tackles difficult, dicey, and controversial subject matter without handing out platitudes or falling into blunt party line agendas. I am tempted to call it a non-puff beach read. It is lively, energetic, and easily accessible, but it is also thought provoking and ultimately bold.

July 28, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Debut Novel, Mystery/Suspense, Reading Guide