Whichbook Blog

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Can teenage prostitute Acilde change gender and travel backwards in time in order to reverse the overwhelming pollution of the sea surrounding Santo Domingo? And might she be unknowingly accompanied by one with less worthy motives? Enjoy the satisfyingly surreal mix of sex, religion, contemporary art and politics before Acilde makes her final choice.

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Poverty, an alcoholic mother and possibly historical child sex abuse in the family, makes this a difficult read. A young girl, is sent to stay with her grandparents until her mother 'sorts herself out'. She makes friends with some local boys and their adventures become increasingly bold and dangerous. Very disturbing, but with a hopeful outlook. The author's use of language makes this an outstanding novel.

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Invitation to a Bonfire

A love for the novels of Russian author Lev, helps young student Zoya through a difficult time at a New Jersey boarding school. When Lev comes to teach there Zoya becomes infatuated with him. But Lev is a manipulative man and sees his chance to get rid of his dominant wife. Not really a thriller, but a well-constructed story of psychological suspense, loosely based on the life of Nabokov, and with a twist at the end I didn't see coming.

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So Happy It Hurts

A quirkily written, modern-day story featuring Ottila, her love interests, friends and family. Like most of us, Ottila has her fair share of 'issues' that she's desperately trying to deal with - staying off alcohol, her father's death, her sister's mental health and the complication of her love life. I really enjoyed this novel - it was honest, fresh and didn't shy away from the big problems in life that many of us face on a daily basis.

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In the Distance

Full of extraordinarily powerful images, we are plunged into a tumultuous history of the American west that is also a profound meditation on solitude and companionship during our hulking hero’s lonely odyssey. The colourful characters enhance this thrilling, unusual narrative as the lyrical writing oscillates between realistic to dreamlike.

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