Posts Tagged ‘page-turner’

The Da Vinci Code

February 22, 2012

Author: Dan Brown

Title: The Da Vinci Code

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 454

Geographical Setting: Paris, France and London, England

Time Period: Present

Series: Angels and Demons (Prequel), featuring Robert Langdon

Plot Summary: The mystery begins with the shocking murder of Jacques Sauniere, the elderly museum curator for the Louvre in Paris.  Upon dying he leaves behind a bizarre set of symbols, written in his own blood, as a clue to his allies.  This triggers a hunt for the murderer in which Robert Langdon, a professor of symbology, and Sophie Neveu, a French cryptologist, must search below the glass pyramid of the Louvre, to uncover a perplexing puzzle emanating from a work by one of the world’s greatest artists, Leonardo DaVinci.  But can Langdon and Neveu solve the mystery before it is too late?  Full of action and suspense, this thriller, now a major motion picture, is sure to have you on the edge of your seat!

Subject Headings: 1. Art museum curators — Crimes against — Fiction 2. Cryptographers — Fiction 3. Grail — Fiction 4. Secret Societies — Fiction

Appeal: atmospheric, suspenseful, descriptive, fascinating, intricately plotted,  compelling, thrilling, religious tie-ins, gripping, page-turner, historical aspects, cinematic

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: cinematic, page-turner, intricately plotted

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  1. The Lost City of Z, David Grann – for readers who enjoy a mix of history and mystery.  This is a non-fiction book about the British explorer, Percy Fawcett.
  2. The Way of DaVinci, Jay Williams – for readers who want to know more about Leonardo DaVinci.
  3. Seven Days in the Art World, Sarah Thorton – this book provides a look at the world of contemporary art today through interviews and narratives.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

  1. The Fire, Katherine Neville – Suspenseful, female protagonist, and involves cryptic codes and puzzles.
  2. The Breath of God, Jeffery Small – Compelling, though-provoking, and for readers who want more Christianity-themed fiction.
  3. Timeline, Michael Crichton – for readers who like books set in Paris, also richly detailed and incorporates time travel.

The Lake House

July 25, 2011

Author: James Patterson

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 376

Geographical Setting: Colorado/Washington D.C.

Time Period: Present-Technological Future

Plot Summary:  Ever dreamed of flying? This novel from award-winning author James Patterson follows six extraordinary children who can do just that. Max, Matthew, Icarus, Ozymandias, Peter, and Wendy come from a future where children can be genetically engineered with animal DNA, to produce super-humans. Max and her kind find safety with the only humans they’ve ever learned to trust, a couple, Frannie and Kit. Now villains from the children’s past are resurfacing. An evil doctor named Ethan Kane will try and find the kids so that he can use them in his own sick experiments. Will Frannie and Kit be able to keep these children, who aren’t even their own, safe? Or will these unique beings once again find themselves in cages, kept from the one freedom they love the most?

Subject Headings: Hard-edged Suspense; Advanced Technology; Fantasy; Romance; Biomedical Technology

Appeal: page turner, multiple story-lines, multiple points-of-view, engrossing, sympathetic characters, dramatic, emotional, moving, suspenseful, conversational language, gritty

Three Words or Phrases Best Describing this Book: Suspenseful, emotional, dramatic

Similar Authors and Works

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Flying the Alaska Wild: The Adventures and Misadventures of an Alaska Bush Pilot by Mort D. Mason (suspenseful, flying stories)

Biomedical Engineering: Bridging Medicine and Technology by W. Mark Saltzman (an introduction to biomedical engineering, interesting subject matter for those interested in the subject of biomedics)

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Bird by Christopher Perrins (entertaining, informational, accessible guide for bird-lovers)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Smash Cut by Sandra Brown (dramatic, page-turner, action-packed)

Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell (romantic, suspenseful, engrossing)

Rules of Prey by John Sanford (sympathetic main character, evil antagonist, suspenseful, violent)

Name: Tara Bauer

The Warmth of Other Suns: by Isabel Wilkerson

March 30, 2011

Author: Isabel Wilkerson

Title: The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

Genre: Popular Narrative Non Fiction

Publication Date: 2010

Number of Pages: 640

Geographical Setting: The United States of America

Time Period: 20th Century (mostly from 1935 to 1999)

Plot Summary: This is the story of six million black Americans who courageously chose to leave, or escape, the Jim Crow South and live in Northern or Western parts of the U.S. It is a story of how many of these individuals thrived in the North despite barriers including widespread racism and competitive urban living. Moreover, it is the narrative of three such migrants and their detailed life histories . . . Ida Mae and her husband fled the South in the 1930’s and settled into a Chicago home where they balanced blue collar work, family, religion, and time for Southern cooking and hospitality. George escaped the South in the 1940’s and did his best to establish a home in Harlem with his family, but his work with the railroad required routine travel back to the South. Robert journeyed out of the South in the 1950’s and built his new life in Los Angeles as a family man, respected surgeon, and a hopeless gambler. As Ida Mae, George, and Robert tell their unique stories of life during the Great Migration, an underlying shared experience surfaces.

Subject Headings: Rural-urban Migration, Migration Internal, United States, History, 20th Century, African Americans, Black Americans, America’s Great Migration, Great Black Migration, Racism

Appeal: builds in intensity, folksy, candid, humorous, insightful, sobering, detailed, factual, multicultural characters, character-centered, multiple plots, socio-political issue-oriented, thought-provoking, hopeful, page-turner

3 terms that best describe this book: a story–that is comprehensive, yet intimate; that reads like fiction, but creatively draws the reader back to its unwavering reality; and that lives up to the title of being epic!

3 Relevant Fiction Works:

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (set during The Great Depression, The Joads, an Oklahoma farming family stricken by the Dust Bowl migrate to California, but are faced with further adversity)

To Help by Kathryn Stockett (explores racism in the South during the Jim Crow era and is humorous with likeable female characters whose situations at home, at work, and in the public arena are sobering)

The Fortunate Pilgrim by Mario Puzo (a tale of an Italian immigrant woman in America who came with family, love of her homeland, and the courage to persevere as her traditional values are challenged)

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works:

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (a comprehensive, yet intimate history of Abraham Lincoln’s personal and political life in the context of friends, rivals, and an America divided by racism)

Branch Rickey by Jimmy Breslin (a biography focused on baseball’s Hall of Famer Branch Rickey and his recruit of Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940’s—an act that defied racial norms)

Fly Away by Peter Rutkoff and William Scott (a 20th century history of how black Southerners who migrated North modernized and shaped American society while maintaining ancestral traditions)

–Jeanne Jesernik

True Betrayals

March 31, 2010

Author: Nora Roberts

Title: True Betrayals

Genre: Romance / Suspense

Publication Date: 2005

Number of Pages: 400

Geographical Setting: Washington DC, Virginia, Southeastern states

Time Period: Present time

Series: Not part of a series

Plot Summary: Kelsey Byden lived the past 26 years surrounded by privilege, the arts, a wonderful education…everything a WASP could dream of. All of that comes to a halt when she receives a letter from her mother, her mother who died 23 years before, or so she thought. Kelsey decides to get to know this lost parent and moves to her horse farm. There she must face truths about the past – her own and her family’s. Enamoured with a new love of horses, her mother and a pushy (but sexy) neighbor Kelsey must fight to defend that when someone wants to bring that all down at any cost.

Subject Headings: Romance, Southern United States, Intrigue, Secrets, Horse Racing

Appeal: Love and romance, humor, mysterious, flashbacks, calculated, page turner, introspective, coming of age

3 terms that best describe this book: Insightful, passionate, gripping

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1. The Home Run Horse: Inside America’s Billion-Dollar Racehorse Industry and the High-Stakes Dreams that Fuel It by Glenye Cain  (Cain takes the reader from the winner’s circle to the stall, detailing what goes into horse racing and how it came to be the staple that it is; horse racing, true stories, humor, history)

2. Making Peace With Your Mom: Steps to a Healthier Mother-Daughter Relationship by H. Norman Wright (Wright helps readers come to terms with their mothers mistakes and rewrite their future relationship; self realization, mother-daughter relationships, making peace with the past)

3. Beyond the Homestretch: What I’ve Learned from Saving Racehorses by Lynn Reardon (Reardon writes about how adopting and rehabilitating horses changed her life and goals; horse racing, true stories, introspective, self realization)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1. Showdown by Tilly Bagshawe (Bobby Cameron takes a job training horses in England and must battle Milly every day to see who is the real trainer; love, humor, horse racing, family relationships)

2. The Chesapeake Diaries: Coming Home by Mariah Stewart (Grady and Vanessa help each other battle inner demons and uncover mysteries of the past; surprise love, determined woman, self-discovery, love, mystery)

3. Family Secrets: A Novel by Judith Henry Wall (Follow three sisters as the uncover the mysterious death of their grandmother and try to save their mother and their lives; love, mystery, family relationships, self-discovery)

Name:  Michael Ann


November 4, 2009

Title: Relic

Author: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Publication Date: 1995

Number of Pages: 468

Genre: Horror

Geographical Setting: New York, NY

Time Period: Present Day

Series: Pendergast novels, 1

Plot Summary: Deep within the Amazon jungle, a small group of explorers in search of the legendary Kothoga, or shadow people, discover a carved stone figurine of a beast with features that appear both human and reptilian. The figurine, believed to be a representation of the god Mbwun, is shipped to the New York Museum of Natural History where it remains crated in the one of the multitude of storerooms located in the museum’s sub-basement. A year later the museum is in the midst of preparations for a massive new exhibit called “Superstition” that will feature among other things the stone statue of Mbwun, when the mutilated bodies of two young boys are found in the building’s basement. More bodies are soon discovered, all of them showing signs of decapitation and vicious dismemberment and as the opening of the gala draws near, museum officials scramble to counteract the bad publicity. Graduate student Margo Green and her advisor Dr. Frock join forces with FBI special agent Pendergast and Lt. Vincent D’Agosta to track down this savage and intelligent killer; a killer who appears to possess unusual DNA patterns as well as super-human strength and who prowls the vast labyrinth of rooms and passages found in the museum basement; a killer in the form of a monster who may or may not be human.  As Green, Frock, and Pendergast investigate the eerie tunnels, hallways, and passages in search of this monster, there is an overriding sense of fear and foreboding. How will they stop this creature who is part man and part reptile and who may indeed be the incarnation of the evil god Mbwun?

Subject Headings: American Museum of Natural History, New York; FBI agents; Murder; Monsters; Statues; Exhibitions; Women graduate students; Natural history museums- -New York City; Museum murders- -New York City; Indians of South America- -Amazon Valley- -Antiquities; New York City; Horror stories, American; Suspense stories, American; Collaborative novel.

Appeal: fast-paced, intense, page-turner, evil, menacing atmosphere, building sense of foreboding, terrifying, plot-centered, well-drawn characters, open-ended with a surprising plot twist, chilling, grisly, gripping, suspenseful, graphic descriptions of violence, detailed scientific explanations of DNA and evolution, monsters, intriguing setting, detailed behind-the-scenes descriptions of museum archives, natural history museum settings.

Three terms that best describe this book: Menacing, grisly, Natural History Museum

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton – On an island off the coast of Costa Rica, a theme park has been developed that will feature live dinosaurs as its main attraction. Fifteen different species of dinosaurs have been created and when a small group of humans arrives to tour the park, things go terribly wrong and the visitors discover that they must fight for their lives in order to survive. (Fact-paced, detailed explanations of DNA and evolution, combines science with horror, monsters that are the result of deviations in DNA and/or evolution, menacing atmosphere, detailed descriptions of setting, building sense of foreboding).

Deep Current by Benjamin E. Miller – A group of Marines and biologists are sent to investigate a floating glacier and when they reach it, they discover that it is populated by mollusk-like creatures called cephids, monsters that are the result of evolution gone awry, who have killed all but two members of a passenger ship. As the creatures begin to gruesomely kill members of the landing party, the survivors realize they must pull together group to defeat the enemy. (Fast-paced, horror, chilling, menacing atmosphere, monsters that are the result of deviations in DNA and/or evolution, building sense of foreboding).

Murder at the Museum of Natural History by Michael Jahn – The host of an exhibit at the American Natural History Museum is found murdered on the exhibit’s opening night and Lt. Bill Donovan must search the museum’s Hall of Dinosaurs to find the killer. (Fast-paced, suspenseful, detailed descriptions of museum archives, natural history museum settings). Although this is not a horror book, I thought it would appeal to readers who enjoyed the museum setting and the intricate details about the natural history museum.

Relevant Non-fiction Works and Authors:

Dinosaurs in the Attic: An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History by Douglas Preston –  Fascinating chronicle of the expeditions, discoveries, and scientists behind the collection of the American Museum of Natural History. Preston also takes readers on a tour of the storerooms and vaults that house the collection.

Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum by Richard Fortey – Engaging stories and colorful anecdotes that provide readers with information about the inner workings of all the departments of the Natural History Museum in London.

Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in DNA by Daniel J. Fairbanks – Presents the details of evolution, the discoveries in genetics, and “intelligent design” theory in a conversational style that will appeal to general readers.

Name: Maggie

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

October 28, 2009

Author:  Jeff Lindsay

Title:  Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Publication Date:  2004

Number of Pages:  304

Geographical Setting: Miami, Florida

Time Period: Present Day

Series (If Applicable): Dexter, 1

Plot Summary:  Dexter Morgan is a blood-splatter analyst for the Miami police department.  This is a good job for him because Dexter has a secret life that only he and his late foster father Harry knew about.  Inside Dexter is a monster who needs to kill and it is currently controlled by the “Code of Harry” which states that Dexter is only to kill bad guys – not good guys.  This job keeps him close to those bad guys that need to be taken care of.  A killer is on the loose in Miami cutting up women and Dexter starts to relate to the killer and uses his insight to help his sister, Deborah, who is also a cop move from “streetwalker” patrol to homicide.  Dexter understands what makes this guy tick and he begins to admire the killers work.  He struggles to live his life like other normal humans but inside he feels the Dark Passenger demand that he kill again.

Subject Headings:  Serial murderers, Forensic scientists, Psychopathic criminals, Vigilantes,
Murderer-detectives, Adoptees, PolicewomenMiami, Florida, PoliceMiami, Florida,
Brothers and sisters, Father and son, Serial murders, Serial murder investigation, Crime scene searches, Crime laboratories, Mutilation, Secrets, Personal conduct, Men/women relations,
Miami, Florida, Psychological suspense stories

Appeal: Dark, Methodical, Thriller, Horror, Graphic, Mutilation, Ominous, Strange, Twists, Unresolved ending, Series, Chilling, Measured Pacing, First Person Narration, Creepy, Psychological Suspense, Madness, Serial Killers, Disturbing, Page-Turner.

3 Terms that best describe this book: Disturbing, Graphic and Suspenseful

Similar Authors and Works (Why are they similar?):

3 Non-Fiction Works

Inside the Minds of Serial Killers: Why They Kill by Katherine Ramsland – This book details a wide variety of motives for why people become serial killers. It shows that there is not a profile for serial killers.

Serial Killers: The Method and the Madness of Monsters by Peter Vronsky – This book talks about the history of serial killers and documents the psychological, investigative, and cultural aspects of serial murder.

Serial Killers and Mass Murderers: Profiles of the World’s Most Barbaric Criminals by Nigel Cawthorne – This book describes what makes ordinary people turn into killers.  It explores the minds of these people who commit these crimes and why people are so fascinated by them.

3 Fiction Works

Dearly Devoted Dexter: a Novel by Jeff Lindsay – Book 2 in the Dexter series continues the story of the first book.  There is a new serial killer on the loose and Sergeant Drakes is getting more suspicious of Dexter.

Deeper than the Dead by Tami Hoag – Two boys and a girl stumble on a murder victim of the “See No Evil Killer” who just may turn out to be the father of one of the boys.

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris – Will Graham has the ability to project himself into the minds of psychopathic serial killers.  He is called on to investigate the murders of two suburban families.

Name: Chris S.

Water For Elephants

October 22, 2009

Title: Water for Elephants

Author: Sara Gruen

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 335

Playaway: 11.5 hours (unabridged)

Genre: Historical Fiction/Best Seller/Audio Book

Geographical Setting: United States

Time Period: 1931 & Present Day

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: The time period is the Great Depression. Jacob Jankowski, a young man of twenty-three, is about to take his final exams in veterinary medicine and join his father’s veterinary practice when his life falls apart. He learns that his parents have died in a car accident leaving him with nothing. Jacob, suddenly homeless and heartbroken, leaves school and hops a train unaware that it is a circus train. When Uncle Al, the unscrupulous owner of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, learns that Jacob studied veterinary medicine, he hires him to be the circus’ vet and Jacob finds himself immersed in the exotic, gritty and often dangerous world of a traveling circus. While Jacob cares for the menagerie of animals that make up the circus’ animal acts, he finds himself falling in love with both a magnificent, intelligent elephant named Rosie and the beautiful circus performer, Marlena , who is married to August, Jacob’s cruel, sadistic boss. Jacob and Marlena manage to fight their growing attraction to each other until one fateful day when there is a horrific incident that involves Jacob, Marlena, August and even Rosie. This engrossing story, told in flashbacks by Jacob who is now in his nineties and living in a nursing home, paints a vivid and accurate picture of circus life while following the circus and its unusual and sometimes freakish inhabitants as it travels from town to town across the United States.

Audio Book Review: In this entertaining audio version of Water for Elephants, two distinct voices bring to life the story of Jacob Jankowski. David LeDoux provides the voice of Jacob as a 23 year old, a voice that is full of passion, enthusiasm, and wonder at all he sees and experiences and John Randolph Jones provides the voice of Jacob at the age of 90 or 93. Jones’ voice, cracked, reedy, and world weary, brings to life the elder Jacob as a man who, at the age of 93,rails against his current surroundings as he reflects on his past, wonders what happened to the young man he used to be and asks the question, who is the old man in the mirror?

Subject Headings: Circus performers; Reminiscing in old age; Depressions –1929-1941; Traffic accident victims; Human/animal relations; Parents — Death; Veterinarians; Men/women relations; Triangles (Interpersonal relations); Women circus performers; Circus animals; Women horse trainers; Elephants; Human-animal communication; Manic-depressive men; Circus.

Appeal: engrossing, page-turner, vivid, quirky secondary characters, authentic, accurate, exotic, circus performers, cinematic, story told through flashbacks, resolved ending, accurate, lush, detailed descriptions of the life of a traveling circus, Great Depression, gritty, nostalgic, romantic, mesmerizing.

Three terms that best describe this book: Exotic, Nostalgic, Circus

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day – The interconnected short stories that are featured in this book offer readers a glimpse into the lives and relationships between the townspeople of Lima, Indiana and the acrobats, clowns and other circus performers of the Great Porter Circus who spend their winters in Lima during the years 1884-1939. (Circus performers, narrative that shifts across time, circus elephants and trainers).

Embrace Me by Lisa Samson – Valentine who is scarred and disfigured, and Lella, a quadriplegic, become best friends while making a living working in the Roland Wayfaring Marvels and Oddities. (Circus performers, traveling circus).

Waterborne: A Novel by Bruce Murkoff – Engineer Filius Poe,  pretty Lena McCardell, and Jewish outlaw Lew Beck all journey to the Hoover Dam construction site in Nevada during the Great Depression hoping to find work and start their lives over. (Protagonists trying to start their lives over, Great Depression, romance, men/women relationships).

The House at Riverton: A Novel by Kate Morton – In 1924 a tragedy occurs at Riverton House and Grace the Hartford’s family maid is a witness to it. When a filmmaker who is working on a movie about the Hartford family contracts Grace, her long suppressed memories of the event come back and Grace, who is now ninety-eight, recounts through flashbacks what really happened. (Engrossing, story told through flashbacks, authentic recreation of an earlier period).

Relevant Non-fiction Works and Authors:

The Circus Age: Culture and Society under the American Big Top by Janet M. Davis – Fascinating history and examination of the traveling railroad circuses at the turn of the century.

Love, War, and Circuses: The Age-Old Relationship Between Elephants and Humans by Eric Scigliano – Examines the relationships and connections between humans and elephants.

Lions & Tigers & Mares, Oh My! by Gay Louise Balliet –Humorous and touching stories about the daily life of a veterinarian in eastern Pennsylvania  who treats large and exotic animals from farms, exotic game parks, traveling circuses, and horse breeders.

Name: Maggie


June 24, 2009

Author: Zane

Title: Skyscraper

Genre: African-American, Women’s Lives

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 289

Geographical Setting: Washington, D.C.

Time Period: Present Day

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: It’s the week before Christmas, and the employees at Wolfe Industries are acting naughty, not nice: blackmail, prostitution, and corporate espionage are only a few of the activities conducted after hours. This book weaves together the story of three employees and the head executive, bringing the action to a head at the annual Christmas party. Zane’s main characters are fun to follow, and her cast of mischievous secondary characters are equally enjoyable.  Readers looking for sexy scenes, funny dialogue, and a happily resolved ending will not be disappointed.

Subject Headings: African-American owned businesses, African-Americans, Men/women relations, Sexuality, Christmas parties, Single mothers, Marriage, Office romance, Extramarital relations, Secrets, Erotic fiction, African-American, African-American fiction21st century

Appeal Terms: Gossipy, urban, conversational, sexy, light tone, interweaving plot lines, multiple points of view, graphic, page-turner, character-centered, racy, resolved ending

3 terms that best describe this book: Conversational, sexy, character-centered

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction:

If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs by Big Boom (Humorous, conversational, contemporary love advice)

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment by Steve Harvey (Conversational, relationship-centered, contemporary love advice)

It’s No Secret: From Nas to Jay-Z, from Seduction to Scandal–a Hip-Hop Helen of Troy Tells All by Carmen Bryan (Gossipy, sexy, contemporary, scandalous)

3 Relevant Fiction:
Thong on Fire: An Urban Erotic Tale by Noire (Sexy, contemporary, conversational, page-turner)

The Playa’s Handbook by Brenda Jackson (Romantic, sexy, contemporary, resolved ending)

Pleasure by Eric Jerome Dickey (Sexy, contemporary, page-turner)

Name: Marisa

The Shotgun Rule by Charlie Huston

June 1, 2009

Shotgun Rule cover

Author: Charlie Huston

Title: The Shotgun Rule

Genre: Suspense fiction

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 248

Geographical Setting: California, unnamed suburb of Oakland

Time Period: 1983

Series (If applicable): n/a

Plot Summary: It’s summer break, 1983, and George, Paul, Hector, and Andy are four bored teenagers. Upon breaking into a house, they discover a meth lab and steal a bag of drugs from the dealers. The theft sets off a chain of events that leads to unsettling violence, as well as the unfortunate reconnection of old friends. Issues of familial loyalty, dark secrets, and the complex back story of the boys and their fathers rise through the violence, making this book impossible to put down.

Subject Headings: Teenage boys, drug dealers, suspense fiction.

Appeal: Dark, page-turner, conversational, suburban, action-oriented, violent, multiple points of view, compelling, suspenseful, plot twists, direct, well-drawn characters.

3 terms that best describe this book: Compelling, dark secrets, strong characters.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Drive-by by Gary Rivlin (complex look at teenagers who commit violence, multiple characters)
Where the River Bends: A Memoir by Barry Raine (multiple characters, teenagers, action-oriented, violent)
Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in LA by Luis J. Rodriguez (action-oriented, teenagers coming-of-age, compelling, violent)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:
It by Steven King (complex back stories, male friendships, multiple characters, action and gore)
Gone for Good by Harlan Coben (complex back stories, twists, multiple characters, action and gore, family secrets)
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane (complicated back stories, blue-collar setting, suspense, multiple characters, violence, and secrets)

Name: Marisa Bernstein

Shame on It All

April 15, 2009

Title: Shame on It All
Author: Zane
Publication date: 2001
Page count: 355
Genre: Urban fiction, African American
Geographical setting: Baltimore/Washington D.C. area
Series: n/a

Plot summary: This humorous, fast moving novel chronicles the lives of the three Whitfield sisters: Harmony, Lucky, and Bryce, who don’t always see eye to eye, but love each other just the same. Harmony and Bryce are highly successful career women, while Lucky is an ambitious medical school student. However, it’s not long before the sisters run into trouble. Harmony has just received news that will change her life forever;  a secret she’s deterimined to keep from her sisters and her longtime boyfriend, Zachary, whom she abruptly begins pushing out of her life. Bryce goes through a messy breakup herself, when she discovers her man has been cheating on her. Finally, while at school, Lucky meets the love of her life, Robbie. But a mistake from her not-too-distant past has the potential to put their relationship, and, in fact, her entire future in jeopardy. The sisters’ struggles to get back on track often result in hilarious and surprising twists, and their friends’ scrapes provide for some unforgettable subplots. In spite of their squabbles and outrageous predicaments, the deep friendships and unbreakable bonds amongst the sisters and their friends manage to grow even stronger.

Subject headings: African American women; African Americans; Sisters; Female friendship; Dating (social customs); Family
Appeal: steamy, erotic, unembellished, raw, multiple points of view, humorous, page turner, fast moving, strong secondary characters, romantic, contemporary, sexually explicit, graphic, gritty, racy, family-centered, drama, strong female characters

Similar works (fiction): Soul Mates Dissipate – Mary B. Morrison (relationships, steamy, plot twists, romance)
Ladies’ Night Out – Electa Rome Parks (erotic, female friendship, successful female characters)
Sister, Sister – Eric Jerome Dickey (multiple points of view, sisters, family, relationships)

Similar works (nonfiction): Sucka Free Love: How to Avoid Dating the Dumb, the Deceitful, the Dastardly, the Dysfunctional and the Deranged – Deborrah Cooper (dating, relationships, sex, African American viewpoint)
What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know About Sex: The Real Deal on Passion, Loving, and Intimacy – Denene Millner and Nick Chiles (African American viewpoint, sex, relationships)
Having it All? Black Women and Success – Veronica Chambers (strong women, careers, community)

Name: Suzanne