Plenty of fiction will be competing for readers’ attention next week, including a debut story collection from Riverhead Books that’s getting some buzz: Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans.
Entertainment Weekly gives the book a B+, saying that it “offers rich slices of African-American life . . . and carries a strong scent of freshness and promise.” But trade reviews are more mixed: while Booklist hails author Danielle Evans an “important new voice in literary fiction,”PW observes, “Evans has some great chops that would really shine with a little more narrative breadth.”
Other Notable Fiction On Sale Next Week
Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (Dial Press) is “chock-full of the kind of sitcom shenanigans Kinsella’s fans expect,” says Kirkus.” This latest in the series (Shopaholic & Baby, 2007, etc.) keeps the silly plot moving along. A little more growth from her iconic heroine, though, might have won over new readers as well.”
The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel by Diana Gabaldon and Hoang Nguyen (Del Rey) recasts Gabaldon’s bestselling time-travel romance from her 18th-century Scottish hero’s point of view. PW wasn’t impressed: “Scenes that ought to be exciting, such as sword fights and escapes from the law are breezed over in a page or two. Approximately four out of five panels are simply talking heads, and despite Nguyen’s most valiant efforts, it simply isn’t visually interesting.”
Don’t Blink by James Patterson and James Roughan (Little, Brown) finds reporter Nick Daniels interviewing one of baseball’s legendary bad-boys when he accidentally captures a piece of evidence that lands him in the middle of a mafia war.
Sante Fe Edge by Stuart Woods (Putnam) gets a decent review from Booklist: “while some plotlines are a bit repetitive, particularly regarding Teddy, who has been on the run for many novels, and [his ex-wife] Barbara, who is also always one step ahead of her pursuers, theres plenty of fun here for those who enjoy losing themselves in Woods entertaining escapist fare.”
Bad Blood by John Sandford (Putnam) is the fourth novel featuring Virgil Flowers, agent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Kirkus calls it “lurid and overscaled. . . The mystery, which is resolved early on, leads to an extended series of cat-and-mouse games between Virgil and the people he knows are guilty of some truly heinous crimes.”
Heaven’s Fury by Stephen W. Frey (Atria) follows a sheriff trying to solve a murder before a blizzard isolates his town. PW was not impressed: “The plot of this stand-alone crime thriller from Frey (Hell’s Gate) fails to generate much excitement, despite a gruesome murder that may be the work of a satanic cult and scenes set during a crippling snowstorm.”
And, One We Had to Mention..
Presenting…Tallulah by Tori Spelling and Vanessa Brantley Newton (Aladdin) is a picture book for very young readers by reality show star and bestselling author Spelling. PW and Kirkus both panned it, finding the poor little rich girl unbelievable and unsympathetic. Several libraries we checked haven’t ordered it – but given the success of Spelling’s previous books, you’re likely to be hearing about it.