Archive for the ‘Homosexuality’ Category

Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler is a warm-hearted coming of age story. Ashleigh Walker is going through a lot. Her parents are either silent with each other (and her) or bickering with each other. Living at home is intolerable. School is no better. It is what school has always been to teenagers: a boring pain. She has no boyfriend and no prospects.


But things are about to change. At a party she meets Dylan, a cute boy who is interested in her. And at school, Miss Murray, the substitute English teacher is making English fun. Moreover, she seems to understand what teens, and especially Ashleigh, are going through. She seems to be able to look right inside Ashleigh and understand her emotions, her innermost thoughts and feelings. The more Ashleigh sees her, the more she wants to see Miss Murray. These feelings confuse her.

In an easy going but engrossing manner, Liz Kessler gets Ashleigh through her parents’ breakup, her sexual identity crisis and her friendships, both old and new. There was something about Read Me Like a Book that made me want to read it straight through. I didn’t, but only because I didn’t have the time.

Ashleigh and her best friend, Cat, are two extremes. The former is more reserved. The latter more wild. Somehow, the combination seems to work for both of them.

All of us need, but few of us find, someone who can read us like a book. It’s gratifying to know that Ashleigh found that person.

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CopTownHaving never read anything by Karin Slaughter prior to Cop Town, I have to give her credit for one thing right off the bat: She certainly has the talent for creating despicable characters.

It is 1970s Atlanta and Maggie Lawson is one of a handful of female police officers. None of the male officers want women on the job, including her brother Jimmy and her uncle Terry. There has been a rash of cop shootings recently and Terry and Jimmy don’t have time to watch out for Maggie. Additionally, it is felt that the women can’t add anything valuable to the investigation.

Partnered with, Kate, an FNG, (Fucking New Girl) from a posh neighborhood, no less, Maggie still wants to be part of the investigation but everyone thinks Kate will wash out by week’s end. When Jimmy’s partner is shot, with Jimmy close by, the murders are brought even closer to home. Everyone in the Lawson household is telling Maggie to resign. Both Kate and Maggie have something to prove to themselves and everybody else.

As I said, Slaughter has created some despicable characters, especially in the police department. Many of the males are veterans of either WW II or the Vietnam War, depending on their ages. They are anti women, anti Black, anti gay, anti everything that isn’t exactly like they are. They are habitually drunk on the job and prefer their own justice to that of the legal system.

Maggie and Kate are interesting characters, stumbling through their jobs, trying to compete in a man’s world.

Slaughter does a nice job describing the various sections of Atlanta. She also does a great job describing the police department of the times; the segregation within it (the ‘colored girls’ dress after the white girls leave the locker room and have put a curtain across it, claiming their own territory), the sexism within the department (the groping as the women enter the building) and the ‘taking the law into their own hands’ mentality.

All in all, I really liked Cop Town and would certainly read another Karin Slaughter book.

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