PositiveLitReactorThe most compelling thread throughout Pull Me Under is Luce’s take on the cultural phenomenon of Kireru (a term used to describe kids in Japan who snap and commit violent acts) and Rio’s fear that it could happen again ... sometimes reads like an old-school fable, getting caught up in events more than key scenes that drive the novel forward. The novel sags a bit through the middle, but recovers as the two halves of Rio’s life can no longer be separated.
PositiveElectric LiteratureBennett nails the paradox modern women face: the freedom of choice and the anxiety that comes with that responsibility?—?that people will still judge your choices ... This is what I love about Bennett’s novel: again and again, women make their decisions and do not apologize for them. Even the more difficult ones ... Bennett broke my heart with this novel, with her investigation of friendship, secrets, love, choice and forgiveness.
PositiveLitReactorNeon Green is a playful and cynical genre-bender. If you are looking for a book about alien invasions or cohabitation attempts, this isn't it. In Wappler’s debut you’ll find a story about family, illness, infidelity, and the shell of regret that stays when things go unresolved.
RaveLitReactorIf there was any required reading in the wake of the recent attacks in Beirut, Paris, and Belgium, it would be The Association of Small Bombs. Karan Mahajan follows the haunting shock of a small-scale terrorist attack with intensity and grace. He also explores what most media frenzies won’t: the lives of the people behind the attacks ... [it] is a book that expertly examines pain. It pulses with awareness, collectivism, and feeling. This political novel isn’t heavy handed with theory or propaganda, instead, cuts to the heart of terrorism by getting to know the people whose lives are deeply changed by it.
RaveLitReactorThis psychological debut taps into a range of viewpoints, from the delicacy of teenage romance to the madness of our global terrorist age. Knecht’s prose gracefully tackles these complex topics with the hushed suspense of a classic like the film Rear Window.
PositiveLitReactor...quiet intimacy is the kind you’ll find in Majka’s debut. Place is essential—the narrator brings readers to the many places she’s called home throughout her life. In the title story, she travels to city soup kitchens around the Midwest in search of company and comfort. Stories that aren’t told from the first-person act as the narrator’s nod to small town rumors and myths, which carry the same mood as the rest of the collection. Loneliness is always there, along with the difficulty of finding a place to call home.
Ed. Meredith Maran
PositiveLitReactorWhy We Write About Ourselves reads like the ultimate guest lecture series. Not every writer agrees on how to address writing about others, which is comforting. Some won’t share anything without permission, others write like everyone they know is dead. Some change names and leave out certain details to avoid hurting people. Even with the best intentions, though, it’s impossible to know exactly where the landmines will be.