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Q&A | February 27, 2014

Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld



Describe your latest book. The Enchanted is a story narrated by a man on death row. The novel was inspired by my work as a death penalty... Continue »
  1. $18.19 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Enchanted

    Rene Denfeld 9780062285508

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Customer Comments

Beverly B has commented on (176) products.

Panic by Lauren Oliver
Panic

Beverly B, April 16, 2014

Lauren Oliver is a powerful writer whose prose punches the reader in the gut while creating empathy for the characters and building suspense. Panic does this in spades. It has a desperate, pessimistic, chilling tone that reflects the feelings of the main characters. Heather, Dodge, Natalie and Bishop know there is only a bleak future for them if they stay in their small rural dead-end town, but too poor for college and with no money to move, they have no way to escape. Participating in The Panic, a perilous and potentially deadly series of dares, offers a minuscule chance at winning a pool of money large enough to start a new life somewhere else. The very realistic characters are portrayed as flawed and sincere teens. They are rash and narcissistic, but loyal to a fault when it comes to looking out for the ones they love. Each has a different motive for participating, different plans for the money, and the determination of a mother grizzly. None of the teens is likable all the time, but none is despicable, either. The reader feels their deep unhappiness and hopes each will find some joy and optimism.
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Storm (The Sylo Chronicles #2) by D. J. MacHale
Storm (The Sylo Chronicles #2)

Beverly B, April 9, 2014

Storm is the rare sequel that is even better than the first novel in the series, and even more rare, it is so exciting and suspenseful, it leaves the reader anxious for book 3. Tucker, and his small gang of escapees from the annihilating battle between the navy and the air force on Pemberwick Island, are on the run. They have no idea what they will find on the mainland, where they are going or what they are going to do, but they are united in their desire for revenge on Sylo, the group they believe is responsible for the deaths of their friends and families. As they travel across the country, surviving near-death contact with the killer drones and finding groups fighting back, they, and the reader, believe some of the questions from book one are answered: What is going on? Who are the bad guys? How do you stop them? But every time a key question seems to be answered, author MacHale, sets up a pivotal event that makes it appear Tucker was deceived again. Even as he decides no one is trustworthy and his goal futile, Tucker persists in his campaign of revenge. The nail-biting crisis and climax will have readers holding their breath.
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Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
Grasshopper Jungle

Beverly B, April 5, 2014

Grasshopper Jungle 5 stars is an absurd, touching, honest, funny and creepy story. Mostly, it is absurd, but it is the emotional coming-of-age element that is memorable for me. I am sure most 15 year old males, however, would argue that the humor and sexual angst make the story. Austin is a very befuddled teenager trying to figure out life, love and his future. He records his thoughts and many fears in a journal in which he also chronicles, in delightful detail, the goings on of his small dying rural Iowa town. The story starts out as a typical YA realistic fiction, turns briefly into a bioterrorism thriller, and then morphs into a hilarious B movie monster horror story. Along the way it satirizes hypocrites, big agribusiness and politicians. Poor Austin is so overwhelmed by his conflicted love interests, even when the town is being decimated by six foot man-eating bugs, he is most worried about who he really loves and if he will ever be happy. Because the story is told from Austin's point of view, the other characters are not developed in any depth at all. Austin is way too self-absorbed to have more than superficial relationships, but Austin is a loyal and devoted friend who does not want to hurt anyone's feelings which makes his love triangle all the more stressful for him. The ambiguous ending was a disappointment. Austin's conflict is not resolved, just neatly wrapped up. Was that to leave room for sequels or did Andrew Smith chicken out?
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No Safety in Numbers (No Safety in Numbers) by Dayna Lorentz
No Safety in Numbers (No Safety in Numbers)

Beverly B, March 28, 2014

No Safety In Numbers is a Breakfast Club + Contagion + Lord of the Flies sci-fi thriller. The plot is tense from the very first page. Thousands of people in the mall are told they are locked in indefinitely, and surprisingly everyone remains calm and goes about their day then their night and then the next day, and the next, until day six. As long as there are movies, food and places to sleep, people are impatient, but tolerant. Of course, most of the teens in the mall see it as a chance to party without parents, and they take over the "fun" areas of the mall. The many characters are interesting, but too YA predictable: the loner, the entitled bully, the super-athlete, the computer geek, the intellectual artist. When word leaks out that their situation is dire, and most will probably all die, no one, adult or teen, emerges as a leader. The ensuing violent and suspenseful chaos lasts for the entire second half of the book and builds to a climax with no resolution. The ending is abrupt and obviously a set up for the sequel. That said, most YA readers will not be bothered by the cliches, or predictability, and will eagerly snatch up books 2 and 3.
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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor and Park

Beverly B, March 28, 2014

I doubted that Eleanor and Park could live up to its rave reviews, but it did. It has been described as a modern day Romeo and Juliet, but I think it is more of an updated The Outsiders. Eleanor is stuck in a horribly poor, horror of a home. She is also a white newcomer in a mostly black high school. She tries to hide her poverty by making it look like she is wearing tattered ill-fitting clothes on purpose. Park is also a misfit. He is a middle class, artistic "mixed" Asian among the mostly blue color sports and party centered student body. He does not like Eleanor for a long time, but when his friends start to harass her, he feels sorry for her. He sort of adopts her just to reduce the amount of belittling she has to endure. Their romance blooms when he introduces her to super hero comic books and punk rock. Eleanor is not an easy person to love. She is so guarded and fearful, she can barely have a normal conversation, but she appreciates Park's optimism and confidence. She also loves being in his normal home with his normal parents. When she needs him most, Park, and his parents, are there for her even though Park knows it means he may never see Eleanor again.
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