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Book Review: Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau is a coming of age novel taking place in Baltimore, Maryland. During the 1970's, fourteen year old Mary Jane is caught in the middle of her family's conservative ideals and the progressive ideals of the Cone family where she is a summer nanny. Mary Jane is a sheltered teen who enjoys cooking with her mother, listening to Broadway Show Tunes, and singing in the church choir. On the first day of work, she is shocked at the mess in the Cone's home and introduces them to home cooked meals and keeping the house clean. In return, Mary Jane gets a front row seat to sex, drugs, and rock & roll. This novel was the selected for the book club I belong to. Again, this is a novel that I likely wouldn't have chosen to read on my own, but I was glad I did. Mary Jane is the first novel I've read by Jessica Anya Blau, and I was impressed with her storytelling.  Touching on race, class, and stereotypes, along with drugs and infidelity, it reminded

Book Review: The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick

book review the mall richie tankersley cusick
He's everywhere . . . Trish thinks he's  just a weird customer at Muffin-Mania where she works, but suddenly, Trish thinks she sees him everywhere. She has no one to confide in and no where to hide in The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick.

The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick is a book I read in high school, and I remember being completely creeped out by it. I swore I'd never work in a mall . . . little did I know that I would several years later. I thought I recalled who the mystery man was, but my recollection was completely wrong.

Rereading this book as an adult, I was still completely unsettled by the storyline, and I wish there had been a thunderstorm while reading it so I could have had that extra creepy feeling. It's great that a young adult book can still have the same affect on me as an adult that it did when I was a teen . . . that just shows what a talented writer Richie Tankersley Cusick is. It was even better than I remembered.

There is nothing negative I can say about the book, and I think tweens and teens of today would enjoy it, even if there is some dated material in it like there being pay phones. Five out of five stars is what I give The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick.


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