Make sure to read the extras and Thanks to Harley West

You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin; 2011; $16.99; 362 pages; Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY; 978-0-316-07742-2; Teen; purchased from Multnomah County Librarys’ Title Wave Used Bookstore; 8/16-8/20

Why did I pick this up?  Sean was at Wordstock last year so I read Fade to Blue and really liked it.  Then when I heard he and some other authors I liked were going to be at Powell’s in Beaverton I went and picked up his book The Infects which I really liked.  I loaned this to my friend Harley West and he recommended it so I read, I like Seans’ writing and I value Harleys’ recommendation.

What is the story?  Wesley Payne was killed or committed suicide by hanging on the football goal post at Salt River High School and Dalton Rev and his associate are hired by the victims’ sister to find out who and why he was killed and what happened to some money that was involved.  Dalton is  a high school student who is working as a detective to raise money to buy body armor for his brothers unit which is deployed to the Middle East.  Every clique at the school has a racket they run to make money, all the teachers and administration are corrupt and charge for almost everything including grades.  Dalton runs through enough red herrings that he could can them and sell an entire of them at the local supermarket.  The vocabulary at Salt River is incredible as are the various cliques that operate at the school.  Dalton solves the case, you think I am going to tell you the entire plot, what kind of asshat would that make me.

Did I like it?  One of the funniest things I have read in a long time, but still a classic whodunit, with all the hard boiled detectives cliches well used.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?   I think Sean had as much fun writing the glossary, the breakdown of the cliques and the excerpts from the books Dalton refers to for his detective work as he did writing the story.  Make sure to read everything, read the glossary and the Salt River Clique Index before you read the story to maximize your enjoyment.  I gave this book to my friend Harley West and asked him to let me know how he liked it.  He gave it a good recommendation so that motivated me to read it.  Thanks, Harley.

 

Some ID Please

The Originals, Three Girls.  One Life.  by Cat Patrick; 2013; $18.00; 296 pages; Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY; 978-0-316-21943-3; Teen Fiction; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hillsdale; 8/13-8/15

Why did I pick this up?  Because I read Cats’ two previous books Forgotten and Revived last year and really liked both of them.  She is also reportedly coming to Wordstock this fall.

What is the story?  Ella, Lizzie and Betsey are three girls who look so much alike that the split the day in thirds, one goes to morning classes, one to classes after lunch and the other to evening events and classes.  This is something they agreed to when they were nine and now that they are in high school they are each trying to assert their own identities.  Two of the girls like different guys which makes for interesting days at school.  Their is no Dad in their lives, their Mom is an ER Doctor, then they find out differently.  It is an interesting story which may be based on a true story.

Did I like it?  The initial premise is pretty easy to believe today.  I would encourage you to read it, but I don’t want to say much more because that would give some key plot points away.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  Although each of Cat Patricks’ books have a different premise the basic theme of each of them is a struggle to find our own identity.  Also in this story three people are inhabiting one identity and each struggles to assert their own identity and find themselves.

Soundtrack by Randy Newman

Pink Smog, Becoming Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block; 2012; $17.99; 185 pages; Harper Teen, New York, NY; 978-0-06-156598-4; Teen; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Fairview Branch; 7/18-7/19

Why did I pick this up?  The author is scheduled to be at Wordstock , October 5 & 6 at The Oregon Convention Center and I like to read books of authors that are coming.

What is the story?  Louise is a young girl whose parents are splitting up as the story begins.  She encounters some bullying from mean girls at her schools, makes friends with some other outliers, finds strange riddles that lead her to various places around Los Angeles.  She tries to figure out why her parents split and who she is and where she fits in to the various parts of her life.  She becomes a strong young woman who knows where she belongs and has a stronger sense of who she is.

Did I like it?  Yes, it is a mystery, a slice of life and an ode to my favorite city.   The author does a great job of evoking all that is Los Angeles.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  The story is as much about the city of Los Angeles as it is about the main character and I kept thinking of Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.”  as I read the book.