Thursday, September 27, 2012
The Exceptions by David Cristofano
I read David Cristofano's first book, The Girl She Used to Be, in 2009 and loved it so much I still have my copy (till we moved, I could even point it out on the correct shelf) and still remembered the real name of the heroine, Melody. But, I only had hazy memories of the rest of the story when I began reading The Exceptions.
Rather than a continuation of The Girl She Used to Be, The Exceptions takes readers all the way back to the inciting event, when Melody Grace McCartney's family witnessed a murder that led to their becoming targets of the Bovaro family. The Girl She Used to Be tells the story from Melody's perspective at 26.
Now, we get to find out whether that shifty Bovaro dude was telling the truth about her being safer with him than in WITSEC. There was much more mystery and suspense to reading Melody's side of the story, but The Exceptions beautifully fills in the blanks and explains everything that was missing -- all the background info you probably desired to know while reading The Girl She Used to Be is there, plus a lot more. The reader gets to witness the scene of the crime, Jonathan's childhood, how Melody's parents died, "Johnny's" failures in the family as he's sent to kill Melody, repeatedly, but comes back with excuses and what Jonathan was doing when he failed to kill Melody.
I loved both books, but I will say that I actually liked The Girl She Used to Be just a tiny bit better than The Exceptions because the writing was more spare and not knowing Jonathan's character made The Girl She Used to Be truly gripping. The Exceptions gives the story a great deal of depth, though, and I enjoyed that. Since I liked the first story so much, I loved learning more about Johnny and getting an understanding of who he was, why he failed to kill Melody and how their story finally ended. It goes beyond the ending of The Girl She Used to Be and while I found that first title satisfying, I must say the ending of The Exceptions is even more so.
Highly recommended to readers who enjoyed The Girl She Used to Be, and those who enjoy crime fiction with a touch of romance, a bit of scary mafia violence (never my favorite bits, although there's one kick-butt scene that is justified) and a satisfying ending. If my copy didn't happen to be buried in a box in the room we currently refer to as "The Warehouse", I'd be tempted to at least pull the book out and skim it to compare the two. Unfortunately, it's going to take a while before I locate that box.
An important aside: Rape is treated as it should be in The Exceptions - described as something that tears a person apart and haunts them forever after. Way to go, David Cristofano! Very few authors give rape the emotional weight it deserves.
In other news:
I'm slowly learning how to work with this new Blogger interface. I still do not love it. It has some advantages but it also has its bugs (I have not yet succeeded in changing typeface to a different color, for example, and moving images to the correct place without altering the spacing is also troublesome).
And, bookish news:
It's been a long time since I mentioned arrivals . . . I think. I'll have to go back and look, but I'm pretty sure it's been at least 6 weeks. I've been trying to keep all new arrivals in the same place. It's not unusual for them to walk away (in my hands), though. I'm going to gather everything together and photograph/list them in my next post, just for grins.
Children's Day forthcoming:
Among the many books I've received since I started sharing my new address have been a handful of children's books, so I'll be doing a Children's Day, soon -- probably next week. I think I have 6 children's books to review (!!), so it'll have to be a day when the mood strikes me.
I'm going to continue to leave the "Now Reading" image in my sidebar blank because it makes me feel a little freer to abandon a book (you didn't see it in my sidebar, so you have no expectations) but I will tell you I'm currently reading Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure -- yep, gave in to the urge -- and Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon. Yesterday, Isabel chewed on the covers of both (I directed her to her mint-flavored chew toy, which she loves), then shortly after that, Fiona chewed on Isabel hard enough to make her cry out and got a time-out. Wednesday was an interesting kitty day.
Have you recently read that daily wahooing is good for your mental health and general outlook on life? Journaling about good things (even a brief list) daily is good for you! Wahoo! I should go back to wahooing regularly. Our biggest wahoo, at the moment, is that any time of day we can go out on our porch and watch the hummingbirds, which is immensely relaxing. Also, hummingbird photos should be coming up in future posts. Happy Wednesday! Do some wahooing!!!
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