Dirty Little Angels
on Jan. 22, 2012
Lately I signed up for Librarything http://www.librarything.com/, where I immediately volunteered to be an early reviewer. It is madness. You can skim through books coming out soon and then select ones you are interested in and the authors send it to you in exchange for a review!!! Life is very good. For an addict like myself, it allows me to feed my craze with no payment other than writing, which I should be doing already. It’s like cutting back on chocolate by eating caramels.
True, early reviewers have a time limit on reviewing, and many of the books are not as worth spending time with as others, but it’s fun to see what’s out there and sometimes you are very pleasantly surprised. I just finished reading “Dirty Little Angels” by Chris Tusa, for example, and initially wasn’t prepared to like it. All the characters seemed unlikable, no one to root for in it all, the geography was grim in terms of visuals and people. It seemed totally grey. And yet…I got sucked in. I found myself unable to put it down, this story of helpless people surviving in a nasty place. It took me a while to figure out that the protagonist was a girl (I blame reading it at night), and even before I did, I could feel affinity for her creeping in. Heck, I wanted to invite her over and give her hot chocolate, poor wee mite. But she isn’t a poor wee mite. She’s bristly and dangerous in her own way, but with an inner life that is seriously messing with her or saving her. It’s hard to tell.
I never would have picked up this book. But now I know the author and will keep my eyes open for more.
I read this book on the airplane and nearly got myself put in a quiet area after giggling to myself so endlessly. Hutchings has a way with a surprise. I'd be reading one of his startlingly grim stories or poems and he's come out with the punch line and it was all I could do to stop braying out loud. I loved it. It's a quick read, but it's a keeper. I want to go back to it again and again and follow this author. I love his sense of humour - twisted, dark, and oh so right on. Highly recommended!
A Storm Hits Valparaiso is a big, big book - not so much size wise, but definitely theme and story-wise. Others have given a more detailed review, but for those who want the quick and dirty - the characters are well-drawn enough to bring you into caring about their futures, but there are almost too many of them to keep track of. The story is meaningful and historical and I love reading about South America so that drew me in - I found the storyline quite fascinating, but again, almost too big for one novel.
Well-written and engaging, but not for a "last thing before sleep" read - too meaty for this. Would be very good for a wallowing in, over a rainy weekend or at the cottage, where you could just immerse yourself in the characters and ride along. It is a rewarding ride.