Moody, David. Hater. Infected Books, 2006. ISBN 978-0955005169 244 pp. $
A number of nonsensical murders are taking place in the UK as people snap for seemingly no apparent reason. The narrator wonders if he, or his family members, are next.
It takes WAY to long for the author to get to the motivation. The violence actually became DULL, because of the repetition. Poor storytelling, and an unsympathetic narrator.
Barbara Hall. The Music Teacher.
When divorcee violinist Pearl takes on a new student, Hallie, she is delighted to discover a rare diamond in the rough: this teenage orphan has perfect pitch and an innate sense of how to imbibe music with emotion. Hallie clearly escapes from her abysmal living situation with relatives into her music. Pearl knows there is something odd going on, evidenced by the chip on her shoulder and bruise on her wrist, but isn’t sure what to do–confront? report? remain silent? When Pearl finally makes her choice, she has to live with the consequences of her decision.
The voice of Pearl is strong and authentic: sharp and edged with attitude and a dash of angst. The pacing is perfect. The supporting cast, mostly the other people who work at the music shop with Pearl, are richly drawn; Hall conveys a lot about character with just a few carefully chosen details. Although this is a title for adults, Pearl’s philosophical ruminations on art and sex and music may be compelling for the teen demographic that wrestles with just these sorts of definitions as they form identity.
The story is told in present tense, with Pearl backtracking into the past to tell the reader about Hallie. The time shifts, though masterfully done, may stump some readers
Weitz, Patricia. College Girl. Riverhead, 2008. ISBN 978-1594488535 336 pp. $
Coming of age tale about attending UConn in the 90’s. Weak and unlikeable characters, unresolved plot points and a predictable, unsatisfying ending.