Over the weekend I was thinking, you know what this blog needs more of? Book reviews! On that note, let's talk about my friend Carrie Mesrobian's debut novel, Sex & Violence, which came out October 1.
Sex & Violence is set mainly in Minnesota, a place I've never been and one that doesn't often appear in literature, where the lake-centric landscape is an integral part of life. The teens who populate this book have permissive parents and whole summers to spend at their families' vacation homes, partying and having adventures. S&V completely transported me to that world. Delicious!
Most of all, I was transported into the mind of 17-year-old narrator, Evan Carter, as he spends the summer with his father at their cabin at Pearl Lake recuperating from an attack that has left him physically and mentally broken. On the surface, Evan's the kind of guy who's easy to hate--rich, self-entitled, has no use for girls beyond sex. But Carrie Mesrobian does a great job of portraying Evan's vulnerability and insecurity, making him a very complicated, compelling character.
As habitual loner Evan learns to develop friendships with the other teens at Pearl Lake--particularly Baker, a girl unlike anyone he's ever met before--and navigates his tricky relationship with his widowed father, his humanity deepens and he emerges as someone you can't help but root for. His story will stay in my mind a long time.