A terrific read for those looking for thrills, romance and some bite.



A loner with a secret disorder meets a gang of outlaw vampires in this captivating, violent thriller.

Fairview, Va., high-school junior Nicholas spends his time working at the local comic shop and dodging disgruntled bullies, all the while hiding that he is an albino who uses hair dye and contact lenses. The son of a pill-popping mother and an abusive father, Nicholas leads a gloomy life and turns to art and fantasy fiction when things get tough. Meanwhile, a half-dozen vampires exiled from the West Coast arrive in town hungry for blood. Caught in the middle of a tussle at a video arcade, Nicholas catches the attention of the bloodsuckers, especially Alexis, a young female with a rebellious spirit and a romantic streak. Alexis disobeys orders to kill Nicholas, introducing him instead to the wonders of sexual intimacy and the advantages that come with eternal life. After the bodies start to pile up, the police, in true Hitchcock style, begin to suspect that Nicholas is one of the killers. First-time author Damanda displays remarkable control over the action of the somewhat familiar story, effortlessly moving the point of view from his alienated hero to the thirsty leader of the vampires and, late in the book, to Frank Gillis, a dishonored sheriff's deputy who sympathizes with Nicholas’s dilemma. The novel’s final showdown between the monsters and the humans is a fantastic set piece that takes place in a juvenile-detention center as the vampires make zombies out of dangerous teen felons. A fast, relentless pace and an offbeat sense of humor–Alexis and her immortal friends travel in a vintage Econoline van with the disco hit “Staying Alive” playing on the radio–elevate the story above standard horror fare. Despite a level of gore that is sometimes gratuitous and a few distasteful plot twists, Damanda maintains a spooky tone and a dangerous edge that never lets up.

A terrific read for those looking for thrills, romance and some bite.

Pub Date: June 26, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-432-70680-7

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

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An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.


A group of strangers who live near each other in London become fast friends after writing their deepest secrets in a shared notebook.

Julian Jessop, a septuagenarian artist, is bone-crushingly lonely when he starts “The Authenticity Project”—as he titles a slim green notebook—and begins its first handwritten entry questioning how well people know each other in his tiny corner of London. After 15 years on his own mourning the loss of his beloved wife, he begins the project with the aim that whoever finds the little volume when he leaves it in a cafe will share their true self with their own entry and then pass the volume on to a stranger. The second person to share their inner selves in the notebook’s pages is Monica, 37, owner of a failing cafe and a former corporate lawyer who desperately wants to have a baby. From there the story unfolds, as the volume travels to Thailand and back to London, seemingly destined to fall only into the hands of people—an alcoholic drug addict, an Australian tourist, a social media influencer/new mother, etc.—who already live clustered together geographically. This is a glossy tale where difficulties and addictions appear and are overcome, where lies are told and then forgiven, where love is sought and found, and where truths, once spoken, can set you free. Secondary characters, including an interracial gay couple, appear with their own nuanced parts in the story. The message is strong, urging readers to get off their smartphones and social media and live in the real, authentic world—no chain stores or brands allowed here—making friends and forming a real-life community and support network. And is that really a bad thing?

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7861-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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