RaveShelf Awareness... deeply engrossing ... Brendan Slocumb\'s part mystery, part coming-of-age novel unfolds layer by complicated layer. The smooth transition to Ray\'s past effectively introduces a boy whose love for music is instantly infectious. The steps that lead to the discovery of the Stradivarius proceed with suspense and hope, sharing with readers the anxiously excited emotions of a young man enraptured by music, driven to push himself, ready to prove everyone wrong...At the same time, the microaggressions and blatant racism that Ray experiences, both in the past and in the present, illuminate a harsh reality ... Yet through it all, Slocumb imbues Ray with both an admirable patience and an unyielding self-respect, a clear message that it is important--and necessary--to assert one\'s own worth ... The relationship between Ray and his girlfriend is a fiery addition to the story, and Ray\'s bumbling charisma a welcome comic relief ... For those who see themselves in Ray, and for those pursuing their passion, his journey is an unmitigated source of inspiration. The multilayered narrative provides insight into one Black man\'s hard-won success, encouraging compassion for how people of color must surmount additional, unnecessary hurdles. It also takes society to task for discriminatory obstacles that prove insurmountable. Authentic and unexaggerated, this captivating coming-of-age story meets suspenseful crime mystery is a sharp debut.
PositiveShelf Awareness... a smart and biting ... A searing, comedic and accessible take on depression and personality, Sad Janet delivers a comforting message about the value of individuality.
PositiveShelf Awareness... serenely haunting ... told in prose at once lyrical and unsettling ... Visceral in its descriptions and carried by a spellbinding first-person narrative intertwined with lore from fearful Cures, this unworldly story is a well-crafted and eerie exploration of desire.