Recent Reading: Gran, Moskowitz, Abbott

The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran (Atria, 2018)

Book three in a series about Claire DeWitt, private investigator. I have not read the first two and didn’t mind that at all; this functions pretty much as a standalone novel. Claire is a tough character who is fueled by (sometimes barely believable) determination and a desire to find out the truth. It’s a weird foray into the mystery genre and  on paper it’s not a type that would necessarily appeal to me. But for some reason, despite the weird semi-mysticism, violence, and Las Vegas setting, I enjoyed this book quite a lot and intend to read the first two to catch up. I don’t know either! Something about the extremely surreal writing and characters was exactly what I wanted when I read it. We’ll see if the experience can be repeated. 

Salt by Hannah Moskowitz (Chronicle, 2018)

Four orphaned siblings left with a tenuous legacy of a ship and some monster hunting skills try to find the beast that killed their parents. Moskowitz just drops us straight into the world, which is a really fascinating approach. There’s not much in the way of backstory or world-building, but since this book is voicey as can be* it doesn’t really matter. The characters are compelling enough that I wanted to read on and cared deeply about what happened to them. Indi and his siblings operate in a weird sideways version of reality, more full of strange creatures and pirates than school and driving tests. But his desire to find his place, to find a home connects to that yearning that I think a lot of teens have–there’s something right around the corner if they can only just find it. It’s a slim book, but I’ve thought about it a lot since finishing it.

* a technical reviewing term, right?

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown, 2018)

An adult thriller about a woman who is suddenly confronted with her former best friend from high school. It’s been on my TBR for ages and I was in a mystery/thriller mood, so I gave it a try. I felt like it was weird about PMDD, which is a major part of the story but which was treated in a way that felt like it was there for shock value rather than feminist critique? I don’t know, I might be unfair here, but the story seemed in the end to reinforce stereotypes about the destructive power of female friendship rather than resisting them.



Filed under bookish posts, reviews

7 responses to “Recent Reading: Gran, Moskowitz, Abbott

  1. Lauren Becker

    I’m curious about reading more from Moskowitz. I’ve only read one, but I own two of her other books! Thanks for these mini reviews.


    • Maureen LaFerney

      A History of Glitter and Blood was my favorite by her, but I don’t think I’ve read all her books either.

  2. I have read two Megan Abbott books (including this one), and they both left me feeling like they reinforced stereotypes rather than challenging them. Her first book pissed me off w/r/t child sexual abuse SO MUCH, and my book club was all like “there was no CSA in that book” and I felt like I was losing my mind, AND I was really mad at Megan Abbott for not portraying her subject more responsibly.

  3. “Voicy” should definitely be a word: I hope you don’t mind if I steal it from you at some point! Salt sounds intriguing—I’m a sucker for siblings on sailboats ever since Swallows and Amazons, and there aren’t enough books about sea monsters.

  4. Pingback: March 2019 reading | By Singing Light

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