Flawless, a Claire Fontaine novella

Rated 4.00/5 based on 1 reviews
It's not easy being the hottest girl in school, but for Edgemont High senior Claire Fontaine, it's worth it. After meeting Trevor, the gorgeous new boy in town, she becomes the target of a stranger with a malicious agenda. Now she wonders, who is this perfect boy? What's his connection to the recent death of another Edgemont teen? How much will she have to sacrifice to save herself and keep him? More

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About Saul Tanpepper

Saul spent his formative years in a creaky century-old house overlooking the Erie Canal in Upstate New York. His bedroom was a refurbished attic, which he shared with all manner of creatures, not all, he is convinced, flesh and blood.

After bouncing around the US and Europe, he settled down to pursue a career in the sciences, opting to study the mysteries of human molecular genetics. But even positions as an experimental biologist, teacher, manager and biotech entrepreneur could keep him from his true love: literature.

eFiction magazine calls Saul a writer armed with "a PhD and a whacked out sense of humor." He now writes speculative fiction full time from his attic-less home in the San Francisco Bay Area, which he shares with his wife, kids, four dogs, three cats, six chickens and the occasional possum.

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Carl Martin reviewed on May 28, 2012

I'm a stickler for plot, and this story definitely has its weaknesses, but what it lacks in cohesiveness, it more than makes up for in intrigue and detail. As well as surprises.

The first third of the story was spent really introducing Claire to the reader. She's a shallow high school senior completely focused on her looks, so that immediately puts a bit of a barrier between her and the reader. But I found her likeable nonetheless, perhaps because her life isn't as perfect as you might think for the most beautiful girl in school. Things are a mess just beneath the surface, which, I guess, is what this story is about: appearances. So when bad things start to happen to her, I couldn't help but root a little for her.

I was quite intrigued by what happened to Dennis, beginning with how he died (the funeral scene at the very beginning was both disturbing and funny at the same time) and what the connection was to Claire. And the twist at the very end, though perhaps a bit abrupt, felt satisfying. At least it wasn't obvious from the beginning. Tanppper does a fair job of planting clues throughout. I totally guessed wrong about who Trevor ended up being, so that was a surprise.

I probably would've gone for three or three and a half stars, but the writing was good, the dialogue felt natural and the characters were interesting. The title suggests we'll see more of Claire; I'm intrigued enough that I'll probably get the next story featuring her.

A decent read; intriguing, December 30, 2011
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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