Thursday, October 11, 2007

Newest Richards Family Writer

Thumbs up to my niece, Alex Richards and her debut young adult novel, Back Talk. The characters are vivid and believable. Gemma, the ingenue from Idaho, new to New York and working as an intern at a TV talk show, is just the right balance of naive and hip. Her roomates, celebrity-money Dana and old-money America, are distinctly drawn and complementary to each other and Gemma. I think I especially liked America, understated and from a totally different world than either of the others.

The villains, twins with claws, were wonderful, and their comeuppance was brilliantly plotted and completely satisfactory. The whole plot involving a teenage prostitute whom Gemma finds for the talk show, then befriends, was excellent, and Gemma makes a significant personal odyssey.

There's a lot more sex and booze and drugs than in Nancy Drew.

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