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Crime & Beyond met last Monday to discuss That Night by Chevy Stevens, the latest installment in our YA series on teen bullying. I heard that I really missed an interesting book discussion. It sounds like you either loved or hated the book. I got the scuttlebutt and heard that Jeff didn’t finish the book [I would have thrown it across the room, but I was reading it on my iPad.-Ed.], the Vasquez’s can’t agree to save their lives, and Sharon Long sent a letter of apology to the group for recommending the book. What is happening?!??!

The scores started at 1 (2 people gave this rating) and topped off at 8 (3 people were here). And then there was everything in between, but it looks like there were several scores of 3, 5, and 6. Very interesting, I must say.

Apparently Chevy Stevens is a female Canadian author whose books seem to be frequently made into movies. Ashley is casting Jennifer Lawrence as Toni for that. So stay tuned to see that movie. We’ll do that right after the next Gillian Flynn movie.

The book centered around Toni, sentenced to jail for the murder of her younger sister. The murder happened in high school and in the present day, Toni is out of prison after serving 18 years of her sentence. Of course she claims her innocence, but seems to want to get on with her life, even though she’s chosen to try and do that back in her hometown where everyone thinks she’s a murderer. Hello?! Her boyfriend, Ryan, who also went down for the murder, is out on parole as well. He is pushing to find the real killer and Toni is caught up in this. The action toggles from scenes from high school, which were reminiscent of Reconstructing Amelia where mean girls were bullying Toni. We also get info from Toni’s time in prison, as well as current day while she’s on parole.

Some positive comments were that the book was entertaining, easy to read, engaging, liked the characters, the end was very interesting, liked the location on Vancouver Island. Some liked the romance between Toni and Ryan too. I started off not liking the book and hoping it would end soon, and once the high school stuff was over I liked it much better. I did get a little tired of absolutely NO ONE being on Toni’s side. I think the friend from the Shelter who kept Toni’s dog Captain was the only one who was nice to her. That just got old for me. I needed her to have someone on her side.

The negative comments included the fact that several members don’t like prison stories. I know I never mention it, but I don’t like mob stories, so I totally get it. Ashley thought the first 2/3 of the book was worthless and Jeff only read the first 1/3. But from what I can tell, the author really picked up the last 1/3. Of course Jeff will never know, and I suspect he doesn’t much care. It broke his long standing record of finishing every book, and that is why he is slapping Chevy Stevens. Ashley was also appalled at the Frank/Nicole relationship. Dave pretended that Toni was played by Ashley Judd in order to even finish the popcorn novel.

The book brought up the topic of bullying again, as did Reconstructing Amelia. I think this topic is very current, although many club members have mentioned their own experiences with it in the past too. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that so many books have this as an element, or if it’s a trend like zombies and vampires. Although bullying really exists and I’m not confirming or denying the existence of zombies or vampires.

The book was compared to Orange is the New Black. Which makes sense from what I’ve heard of the show.

There were a lot of characters we hated. The mother is one and I think the reason is clear. Frank for getting involved with such a young girl – um, yuck! Jay thought that Nicole got involved with Frank to get even with Toni.

Frank and the mother seemed to get the most slap votes, so we’ll call it a tie and slap them both really hard.

RocklandPrisonCake

Rockland Prison cake.

TributeFlower

Tribute flower.

Thanks to Lorraine who brought a really cool cake. I hope someone got a photo, I hear it was very creative and I'm bummed I didn't get to taste it. [The prisoner number spells 'not guilty' using the telephone code.-Ed.]

Also thank you Lorraine for bringing the flower for Linda. She was a wonderful person and we will all miss her.

A few other notes: I sent a separate email that Jeff Lindsay will be reading from his latest Dexter book, Dexter is Dead, and signing books at the Tattered Cover on Colfax on Thursday, July 9 at 7pm. I plan to attend, so if anyone is interested let me know. I am always open for dinner, coffee, or drinks - before or after. You know how picky I am about those kinds of things.

Our next book is One Kick by Chelsea Cain. It’s the first book in a new series featuring Kick Lannigan, whomever she might be. I’m excited to read it. Kerry is leading and Ashley is bringing snacks. We will meet on Monday, July 27th. Ashley, let me know if anything happens and you can’t bring snacks. Excuses I will accept include, but are not limited to: loss of limb (but only if it’s one required to be used to actually make the snack), serial killer ate my cake, Dexter stopped by to borrow my hacksaw and I spent so much time trying to find it that I ran out of time to bake cookies, or Jose really pissed me off so I buried him in the backyard and time got away from me. This one only works if in fact Jose is not present, and you can show us some dirt under your fingernails.

Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend.

Kerry

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