A sleek and subversive thriller that should appeal to readers who enjoy edgy fiction.


A chance encounter sends two strangers on a wild ride through the streets of Los Angeles, where the stakes are high.

In this thriller, Friday evening means a night of hard partying for Brooke. The spoiled trust fund daughter of actor Danny Ryan, she spends her days lost in a haze of absinthe and coke, hopping from one hot Los Angeles area night spot to the next and documenting her exploits on social media. She ends up at the Doheny Room, where she parties with her friend Ashley and Ashley’s boyfriend, Jared. While Brooke enjoys her evening, an actor named Chase hooks up with Melissa, a young waitress. A former bartender plucked from obscurity, Chase gained fame starring on a teen TV drama called All That Glitters. He believes Melissa may be “The One,” until he murders her. A serial killer, Chase targets the bartenders, servers, and waitresses of Hollywood’s trendiest restaurants and nightclubs. The next night, Brooke and Chase meet by chance when they share the same Uber. After Brooke casually invites Chase to join her, they embark on an odyssey that begins with the search for drugs and ends with an unforgettable house party. The latest novel from Adam (Keep Santa Monica Clean, 2016, etc.) is a twisty and transgressive tale of two jaded and troubled strangers discovering an unlikely connection. On the surface, Brooke appears to be a shallow party girl whose only concern is how she appears on Snapchat or Instagram. But the author subtly adds an undercurrent of vulnerability and emptiness to her glamorous facade, particularly in her references to the “stranger wearing my face.” Chase is a multifaceted and compelling protagonist and villain. A successful actor and aspiring screenwriter, he chooses his victims based on his past as a bartender and nostalgia for the lifestyle. Adam’s sharp and economical prose is punctuated by moments of acerbic humor. When asked by his psychiatrist if he thinks he is insane, Chase replies, “No, I’m a television actor.”

A sleek and subversive thriller that should appeal to readers who enjoy edgy fiction.

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-64606-948-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Post-Entropy

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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A steamy, glitzy, and tender tale of college intrigue.


From the Briar U series

In this opener to Kennedy’s (Hot & Bothered, 2017, etc.) Briar U romance series, two likable students keep getting their signals crossed.

Twenty-one-year-old Summer Heyward-Di Laurentis is expelled from Brown University in the middle of her junior year because she was responsible for a fire at the Kappa Beta Nu sorority house. Fortunately, her father has connections, so she’s now enrolled in Briar University, a prestigious institution about an hour outside Boston. But as she’s about to move into Briar’s Kappa Beta Nu house, she’s asked to leave by the sisters, who don’t want her besmirching their reputation. Her older brother Dean, who’s a former Briar hockey star, comes to her rescue; his buddies, who are still on the hockey team, need a fourth roommate for their townhouse. Three good-looking hockey jocks and a very rich, gorgeous fashion major under the same roof—what could go wrong? Summer becomes quickly infatuated with one of her housemates: Dean’s best friend Colin “Fitzy” Fitzgerald. There’s a definite spark between them, and they exchange smoldering looks, but the tattooed Fitzy, who’s also a video game reviewer and designer, is an introvert who prefers no “drama” in his life. Summer, however, is a charming extrovert, although she has an inferiority complex about her flagging scholastic acumen. As the story goes on, the pair seem to misinterpret each other’s every move. Meanwhile, another roommate and potential suitor, Hunter Davenport, is waiting in the wings. Kennedy’s novel is full of sex, alcohol, and college-level profanity, but it never becomes formulaic. The author adroitly employs snappy dialogue, steady pacing, and humor, as in a scene at a runway fashion show featuring Briar jocks parading in Summer-designed swimwear. The book also manages to touch on some serious subjects, including learning disabilities and abusive behavior by faculty members. Summer and Fitzy’s repeated stumbles propel the plot through engaging twists and turns; the characters trade off narrating the story, which gives each of them a chance to reveal some substance.

A steamy, glitzy, and tender tale of college intrigue.    

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-72482-199-7

Page Count: 372

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

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