Invisible Monsters

When your BFF ends up reading two or three books a week, one ends up with stacks and stacks of books in his/her family room, bedroom, bathroom, etc.  In an attempt to work through my own spillage of generously donated books, I picked the top book on the pile, Chuck Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters.  The cover was intriguing, an ambigram, and this is the same author of the Fight Club, so I thought it would be a good read.  I had no idea what I was in for . . .

invisiblemonsters

In the opening scene, I am introduced to Evie whose blond/brown hair has been burned off, and all the clothing that remains on her body are the wire hoops from her wedding dress.  Visual imagery at its best.  What ensues is a complex, often vulgar and absolutely dysfunctional, tale of a brother, sister, her boyfriend, and her best friend.

Now this BFF Sarah mentioned above has introduced me to many a book I would never have picked up on my own, but loved at first read such as the Merry Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton (I love me some Frost).  When I asked her her thoughts on Invisible Monsters, she replied she had abandoned the read after a few chapters.  Ugh!  I wish I had known . . .  For me, though, I am unable to let a read go until completion.  I must see it through to the end as I always tell my students because you can learn from books you both like and dislike, and you never know how it’s going to end until it ends.

After wincing through several portions of Invisible Monsters and learning from others, Palahniuk definitely introduces his readers to cultures of people not necessarily readily known.  Likewise Palahniuk’s message about the emptiness of striving for idealized beauty and sacrificing all in the name of love came through loud and clear after a continuous roller coaster of plot twists.  A definite thriller of a ride which I now need some time from which to recover.

 

Broken

Looking to be owned through a 40,000 word novella?  Then, look no further than Skyla Madi’s Broken. 

A chance encounter on a subway brings together student nurse Emily and seasoned underground fight club participant Jai.  What evolves is a sense of teamwork like no other . . .  think 50 Shades of Grey meets Cliff’s Notes.  Easily read in one sitting (and then reread and read again), be sure and keep the cold compresses handy just in case because you are going to need them.

In all seriousness, though, Madi’s descriptive writing uses sensual language throughout (and not just in the juicy parts) as in, “Fear and desperation curl in thick strands and wrap themselves around my stomach”  (9) when Emily describes her physical response to her unwanted situation as well as her desired physical locale, “. . . a slither of excitement coils around my spine. . . . I’ve always wanted to move to Italy . . ..  Sitting on my porch, I would overlook a vast vineyard while I sucked on feta stuffed olives and wine”  (12).

My one complaint is the misuse of the word “trust” on the top of page 51 when it most definitely should have read “thrust.”  Wait, perhaps I should reread again to be sure . . .

Now, if willing to take that leap of faith and read this novella, Broken,  remember Skull’s (yes, he really is a character) three simple rules:  1) do NOT tell anyone;  2) don’t kill anyone OUTSIDE the cage; and 3) fight when it’s your turn, or you DIE.

If the above doesn’t tantalize you, I am not sure what will.  As for me, I am not so patiently waiting for the release of Twisted, the sequel to Madi’s Broken.

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