Friday, May 30, 2008

The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine


Lurie, April. 2008. The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine.

Wow. Wow. Super-wow. You must read this book. I really really enjoyed April Lurie's first book, Brothers, Boyfriends, and Other Criminal Minds though it never did get the proper review since I reviewed it while I had the flu. (Here it is in its entirety: You'll just have to take my word for it that it is fabulous. Set in 1978, it is the story of one girl--her friends, her family, her neighborhood. It all works. It's just a good, good, thoroughly enjoyable book.) I didn't think it would be possible to love this next book even more. But I was wrong. Oh so wrong. I just loved and adored THE LATENT POWERS OF DYLAN FONTAINE.

I know I can't do it justice. It's one of those books that you'll just have to discover for yourself. But I can try. The writing, the characterization, everything is just so so so good. Dylan's narration of the novel is just oh-so-perfect. As a reader I just fell in love with him, his family, his friends. Dylan's life is far from perfect, far from ideal. He's going through a lot--and I do mean a lot--we first meet him in a jail cell. But it isn't what you think, not really. Yes, he stole two packages of Fruit-of-the-Loom underwear, but really...there's a good explanation for his crime.

Read for yourself all about Dylan in this wonderfully brilliant all-too-human coming-of-age novel.

Family. Friendship. Love. Life. The good. The bad. The ugly. Full of hope, full of wit, full of authentic and unforgettable characters. THE LATENT POWERS OF DYLAN FONTAINE has it all.

First sentence: I can tell you from experience that a jail cell is not a place you'd like to visit.

April Lurie's blog
April Lurie's web site

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

6 comments:

Chris 8:30 PM  

Well this one's going straight onto the wishlist! Sounds excellent and I really love the cover of it. hmmm...future book group read???

Patricia 9:57 PM  

I'm new to blogging and new to your site. "Dylan Fontaine" sounds fun and I will be adding it to my never-ending list of books to find. Thanks

colourmebrown 6:43 AM  

Nice review becky! Keep up the good works!

Becky 6:01 PM  

Chris, I think you'd enjoy. And I'd be happy to consider this one for the book group at some point. I'll include it in one of the next polls. Part of me is wondering, and I'll ask this of the group at some point during the summer, if I should try to stick to books that are widely available in libraries and/or are available in paperbacks. Or if I should have a mix. Like, The Host, is brand new...but the interest was so high...I just HAD to do it now. I couldn't wait a year. But with all of my other titles, I've always thought ahead as to what would be convenient and affordable.

But back to the book in hand, I loved this book. And I think you would enjoy it as well. It's just so well done. And all the characters are so interestingly and authentically drawn. :)

Matt,  2:49 PM  

Excellent book, I read it in just a few days, one of the best books I have ever read!

Anonymous,  3:59 AM  

Hello! My name is Antonio, and I live in Seville, Spain (I apologize in advance for my english). It's the second time I get into your blog, and I really like the way you describe books. Not many spanish writers/journalist/book lovers happen to write in such a clear and thoughtful way, actually encouraging people to read. I love movies too and, in a way, your blog reminds me of Cameron Crowe's world and interests. I will surely buy April Lurie's first novel, and then go on from there.
Thank you in advance, and keep on the good work!!!

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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