Matt and John have been through so much together, it’s a wonder they aren’t actually brothers. Yet after a turbulent and tragic four years, their lives have finally begun to settle and they begin preparations for life after high school. The New York born boys set their eyes on Montauk for the summer, selling ice creams along the beach to local kids – saving money for tuition. Then they meet Driana, Jojo, and Stef: three rich Brazilian kids spending the summer in the Hamptons. Matt -utterly smitten with Driana- convinces John to go with him to a party Driana is throwing at her father’s summerRead More →

The Brothers of the Ikkuma Pit have fended for themselves since birth. They have no Mothers; only themselves and each other. When they arrive outside the Pit as babies, they must spend a whole night alone before they are welcomed inside to be cared for and guided by the Brothers that came before them. Every time a new Little Brother enters the Pit, a Big Brother must leave to make room for him. No Big Brother has ever returned after leaving to tell of what the outside world holds. Urgle is a Big Brother and he’s not very good at it. His Little Brother CubbyRead More →

Growing up isn’t easy. It never has been, and it probably never will be. High schooler Jason is just trying to make it to eighteen with as little trouble as possible, which is difficult when you have an abusive small time drug dealer for a dad and a little sister to look after. But Jason knows how to fight back; there isn’t a day that his dad comes at him that Jason doesn’t give as good as he gets. His tough kid reputation has made sure that no one at school messes with him. He makes money doing odd jobs around the city, saving upRead More →

On the day when his younger brother, Luke, needed him the most, Matt Turner wasn’t there for him.  Now, after Luke’s suicide, Matt lives in guilt over not being there for his brother both during the bullying that lead to his suicide and on that last day; anger at both his parents for their ineffectual response to the tragedy; disappointed in friends who turned their backs when things got tough; and completely without faith in God and in a future where life “will get better.”  Matt clings to his girlfriend, Hayden, like a drowning man hanging onto a life preserver, even though their relationship isRead More →

It’s starting again: the loud buzzing in his ears, the crows following him everywhere, the cold sweats and paranoia, and the voice in his head.  Miles had a schizophrenic breakdown  two years ago on the beach near his San Francisco home and he’s blamed himself every day since for the destruction it caused his family.  He’s supposed to be managing his disease with a cocktail of meds and weekly talk therapy, but he knows it isn’t working, and  he’s gotta do something to fix his broken brain and his damaged family: “Sick. Schizo. And it really only feels like a matter of time before theyRead More →

Nell and Layla are sisters with a close bond. Their parents are separated, which requires the girls to rely on one another regarding their friends, school, and personal problems. Layla is the perfect child. She excels in her academics, is involved with extra curriculars at school, and is popular among her peers. Nell looks up to her older sister, especially as she begins her freshman year in high school. She wants to follow Layla’s footsteps and make her proud for accomplishing similar feats and experiences. As the new school year begins, Nell and her best friend Felix, are full of anxious excitement as they begin theirRead More →

Getting out from under the intense weight on my chest after reading Matthew Quick‘s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock has taken some time.  I felt pulled down into a deep, dark hole, all alone with only my thoughts about the futility of life, the lack of care or concern for myself or others, and a resigned sense of defeat in the face of an untenable future.  The slope down into Leonard’s depression is slippery and quick and getting back out isn’t easy work.  Which is the long way of saying that in Leonard Peacock Quick has expertly captured and painfully portrayed depression, anger, and isolation atRead More →

Whoa – I was knocked back by David Massey‘s debut, Torn. Based on simply the slightly cheesy tease on the cover (“An American Soldier. A British Medic. Afghanistan. Can their love survive a War?”), I wasn’t sure what to expect from the book, but within the first few pages I was so captivated, horrified, and walloped by this powerful story that I stayed glued in my chair until I finished the book.  At a swiftly-paced 274 pages, the time flew and before I knew it I was breathlessly coming up for air and looking at war in a whole new way. And then the very nextRead More →

Untold Damage by Robert K. Lewis is the classic tale of a fallen cop who is looking to regain control of his life. Mark Mallen used to be an undercover cop in the San Francisco Bay area attempting to uncover a drug lord who has been smuggling heroin into the city. He has been undercover for a little over a year and has not gone up in rank as much as he hoped. With a wife and new born child waiting for him to come home, he knows he needs to speed up the process. He decides that the best way to really get intoRead More →