The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno is a darling book and an interesting twist on the classical mystery. The story begins when Billy Argo receives a detective kit and proceeds to solve the mysteries of his small-town New Jersey home. The book chronicles his journey into adulthood, spreading a layer of comedy and magical realism over the dark tragedies lurking within the story. A very enjoyable read, plus, it comes with your very own decoder ring!
Every Crooked Pot by Renee Rosen is one of the top books I've read this year. It's a coming of age story about Nina, born with a large birthmark over her eye, and her desperate attempts to look "normal". Growing up in Akron, Ohio with her quirky Jewish family, particularly her larger-than-life father, Artie, who is a musician trapped in the body of a carpet salesman, doesn't make being normal any easier. A perfect balance of scenes that make you laugh and ones that make you cry. Stay tuned for my Sun-Times piece on Renee Rosen, scheduled to run later this month.
The Rome Affair by Laura Caldwell was definitely a pleasant surprise. I'm not much for Romantic Suspense, but Laura is such a sweetheart that I had to read her book. It's the story of Rachel Blakely who is trying to put back the pieces of her marriage after her husband's affair. But while in Rome, Blakely has an affair of her own, not knowing that her actions have far more repercussions than she could ever expect. A perfect story of an ordinary woman thrown into extraordinary circumstances, the book is gripping and intriguing, even for those with an aversion to romance.