Meg Rosoff — Jonathan Unleashed

Jonathan is a young man just out of school with his first job that he hates, an apartment in NYC that he may lose at any time when the owner gets out of jail, and a girlfriend who is his total opposite. The best parts of his life are the two dogs he is keeping for his brother (currently on an assignment in Dubai) and the comic books he creates as a hobby. His girlfriend doesn’t like the dogs or appreciate the comics. He’s trying hard to squeeze into a life that doesn’t fit him.

Rosoff writes with humor and insight. For me this was a front-to-back read at one sitting. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jessica Chiarella — And Again

What would you do with a new perfect body? Four terminally ill people are part of a trial program for FDA approval. They are given new genetically perfect clones of themselves—no disease, baby smooth skin, perfect vision, no wrinkles or even freckles.

This sounds like science fiction, but I wouldn’t classify it as such. It’s the story of four people and how they adapt (or don’t adapt) to their new chance at life. How much of your identity lies in your physical body?

Talented artist Hannah’s new body lacks the ability to paint. Politician David fights bad habits from his old life. Beautiful actor Connie tries to reenter the business after five years away. Connie, completely paralyzed for ten years, tries to find her role in a family unit that doesn’t include her.

An excellent first novel.

Janet Evanovich & Phoef Sutton — Curious Minds

As a fan of Evanovich’s early Stephanie Plum novels (although I’ve become disenchanted with the unchanging characters and plots), I wanted to check out this start to a new series with different characters and settings.

The two protagonists are quirky and fun. Emerson Knight is a billionaire eccentric with no social skills who wants to see his gold, which is deposited in a megabank. Riley Moon, recent graduate of Harvard and newest employee at the bank, is assigned to handhold Knight. They chase around the country trying to find the gold. The plot is unbelievable at times, but it’s entertaining.

I enjoyed it enough that I will look for the next book in the series.