Bird Box: A Review

Bird BoxBird Box by Josh Malerman  My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In Bird Box, author Josh Malerman explores humanity’s basic fear of the unseen, quite literally. His protagonists are unable to safely open their eyes, for fear of seeing…something. No one can be entirely sure of what it is they aren’t supposed to see, because everyone who looks grows violent and suicidal. When their home is no longer safe, the three protagonists strike out on a terrifying course, navigating the outdoors blindly in an attempt to find the last safe place. Continue reading

Saints at the River: A Review

Saints at the RiverSaints at the River by Ron Rash My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ron Rash‘s Saints at the River opens with the death of a young tourist in one of South Carolina’s wild and scenic rivers. Ruth Kowalsky’s parents begin a campaign to defy laws governing the river in order to retrieve their daughter’s corpse from a dangerous eddy. From there, the situation turns into an even on both local and national levels, one in which people from all walks of life find a stake. Continue reading

When the Emperor Was Divine: A Review

When the Emperor Was DivineWhen the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I first discovered Julie Otsuka when I picked up a copy of The Buddha in the Attic a few months ago. Her subject material attracted me, her rhythmic writing style pulled me in, and her expert storytelling held me until the book was done. And while her first novel is still a fantastic read, I just didn’t feel quite the same about When the Emperor Was Divine as I did Buddha. Continue reading

In Defense of Holden Caulfield

The Catcher in the RyeThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am one of those people who was in love with J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye from the first page. Shortly after reading it, however, I noticed that the novel and its protagonist are synonymous with ungrateful teenagers and their angst. Maybe I only liked it because I was in high school; I was mad at the world and every crummy thing in it. In many ways, though, I admire and pity Holden Caulfield to this day. Continue reading