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Book Review: Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice

Music From The Dead by Bebe Faas Rice is a young adult horror novel originally published in April 1997.  Marnie and her cousin Peter drive up to the mansion that Marnie's father rented for the summer ahead of her father.  When the cousins arrive at the mansion called Stonycraig and settle in, Marnie is nervous because she thought she saw a shadow in one of the windows.  Then, she starts hearing a woman crying late at night.  Are the stories about Stonycraig being haunted true? This is a book I originally read as a teenager, and I remember being impressed by the storyline and writing.  I recently decided to reread it as an adult to see if it was as good as I remembered.  I have to say it was phenomenal.  Well-written and unputdownable.   Even though there were parts that came back to me as I made my way through Music From The Dead , I still found it to be perfectly eerie and creepy.  There was even a little bit of romance but nothing inappropriate for a tween or teen.  The only com

Book Review: Many Are Invited by Dennis Cuesta

book review many are invited dennis cuesta

Many Are Invited by Dennis Cuesta opens with John Goertz calling a meeting to deal with Y2K, but he bypasses the normal procedures and makes enemies at work, one of them being Steve Galanos.  After awhile, John and Steve become good friends.  After a few years, John leaves the company for a startup, and the two men's lives start going in different directions.  When John gets a windfall of money from a successful IPO, gets married, and buys a house, distrust builds to the two friends.  Yet, it's a housewarming party for John and his wife that leads to a tragic event.

I'd like to thank NetGalley and Celestial Eyes Press for the Advanced Readers Copy of Many Are Invited by Dennis Cuesta.  The synopsis and the cover of the book had me intrigued, so I was ecstatic to be selected to read and review this book ahead of its expected publication of October 6, 2022.

The storyline for Many Are Invited is exactly what I thought it would be based on the synopsis.  The first few pages didn't immediately suck me in, but once I got a few chapters into the book, the tale really became interesting.  I couldn't read fast enough to see what would happen.  I had completely forgotten about Y2K and how many people panicked about it, so there was some nostalgia in reading about that event.

Like most books, there were some characters that were likable and some that weren't.  The character development was great for the most part, and I enjoyed the internal dialogue of the main character, Steve.  I felt like Steve's perceptions of the early to mid twenties crowd compared to his perception of people in their mid-thirties was spot on.  These two age groups are in such different places in their lives.  I felt like Dennis Cuesta did a great job of characterizing how John and Steve talked in private about women.  I've overheard men in passing that discussed women in that same way . . . not to say that all men are like that though.

The length of Many Are Invited was perfect . . . not too long and not too short.  It left me wanting more!  I loved the references to The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and some of the similarities between the two stories.  If you've read both of these books, I think you'll see what I mean, and I don't want to give anything away.  The ending of the novel was bittersweet, which is the only thing I didn't care for, but it was concluded in away that didn't leave me hanging.

All in all, I absolutely loved Many Are Invited by Dennis Cuesta and gave it four out of five stars.  I can't wait to read the other book Dennis Cuesta has written and hope he writes many more novels.  This is a book I will definitely be recommending to the book club I belong to.

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