Since school is about to start up for us again, I thought I'd start reviewing some of this year's Lone Star books. The first on the review list is Brothers, Boyfriends & Other Criminal Minds by April Lurie. Set in 1977 Brooklyn, the novel opens with, "Three murderers live on my block---two on opposite corners like a pair of bookends, and one right across the street from my house. Not the crazed, ax-wielding kind you might see in horror flicks, but genteel killers who go about business in Armani suits and Gucci shoes, their victims disappearing without a trace. This probably sounds creepy, and you might even wonder if I'm afraid for my life, but up until now I've always felt safe. That's because these men are members of La Cosa Nostra, This Thing of Ours. Most people call them Mafia."
Well, that got my attention! I've been a HUGE fan of anything mobster related since I was a little kid. My grandfather was a minister of a small church. One of the older members of his congregation was living a very quite life in his old age compared to his younger years---he actually had been the driver of the get-away car for notorious gangster Al Capone! After reading a book he had written about his life I became incredibly interested in learning all I could about this organization, if you will. Fascinating stuff. Not pretty, but fascinating nonetheless.
14-year-old April Lundquist lives in a very safe neighborhood in Brooklyn. (I mean, what petty criminal is gonna mess around with the Mob, right?) Things have been fine until the angst of her 9th grade year--her older brother Matt is apparently in love with the daughter of a very prominent member of the family, if you know what I mean, the guy she has been crushing on is maybe crushing back on her and her brother's best friend Little Joe is acting funny around her now, too. What is up with everyone? As if that isn't bad enough, her parents think she is an oddball and just don't get her fascination with Edgar Allen Poe, rock music, and the occasional skull candle. What's a girl to do?
I really like this book---and if boys can get past the hot pink cover I think some of you would like it, too. :) It's really a story of friendship and growing into yourself--figuring out who you are and what matters. Enjoy!