Category Archives: Fiction

Review: Rape Girl

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Rape Girl By Alina Klein could have been so many things: it could have been depressing, it could have been unconvincing, it could have been hard to read. But it wasn’t any of those things. It was great. And not just a little bit great either.

Valerie’s story makes me mad, and it will probably make you mad too. If you are a teen girl, it will make you wiser. If you are a teen boy, well, consider yourself informed. And if you are a parent of either, this book will do both. This is the kind of story that chips away at taboo topics and makes the world a better place. Really. It’s that simple.

Valerie’s character makes me proud to be a girl. The courage and strength she summons will make any girl proud. Because what Valerie suffers during the rape is horrid, but what she suffers afterwards is a longer version of horrid. Bullied, ignored, blamed, Valerie becomes a shell of her former self. Almost. But then there’s that courage and strength and inner power ever present and ready to bloom in all of us that peeks out for a tiny look. It takes an undefined faith in the human heart to rise above a horror that a fellow human being has caused, and not everyone can or maybe should do it. But Valerie does. Valerie’s mom does. And after reading the author’s notes, you will know too that the author does as well.

Klein is a magical writer. This is her recipe: start with a pinch of John Green, sprinkle with a bit of Wally Lamb, punctuate with some Laurie Halse Anderson. Then cook on perfect pace and speak in dead-on dialogue until done. Cool. You’ve got the amazing Alina Klein. Trust me, you won’t be able to put your fork down.

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Review: The Kitchen Shrink

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Dee DeTarsio told me all about the time she agreed to do a TV reality show called The Kitchen Shrink. This is what I thought the whole time I was reading her book. The thing is though, I’ve never met Dee and I’m pretty sure I’ve never talked to her on the phone unless she works at Verizon which I hope she doesn’t because they spend a lot of time redirecting phone calls. Anyway. After every time that I remembered I didn’t know Dee, my next thought was: Wow, her writing is good. She writes like she’s speaking to me and only me. That’s not an easy thing to do.

The Kitchen Shrink was a delight. I suspect (my friend) Dee works in the TV industry because there are insights here that only those on set could know. Which makes her book that much more fun to read. This is the perfect summer read. Thanks to (my friend) Dee for making me laugh on the trains, planes and automobiles that I took last week.