Monday, February 8, 2016

Another Local Author Makes Good - at least IMHO

How did I come to read Veronika Layne gets the Scoop by Julia Park Tracey?  Well, it happened through LinkedIn.  Julia made contact with me and asked if I was interested in reading one of her books.  I said "Sure" because I always say "Sure."  I usually even buy the book.  But that doesn't mean I always read said book.  In this case, though, I had just finished Memory of Water (very short review coming soon) for the Los Gatos Library Evening Book Club and needed something light.  This definitely fit the bill.  However, that doesn't mean it didn't have substance.  Because it really did.

It's synopsis time (back of the book):

Veronika Layne.  Sassy, tattooed, twenty-something newspaper reporter.  Never saw herself working for the "man."  When her small weekly is swallowed up by Singh Media Group, that's exactly where she ends up.  Stuck writing fluff pieces that might as well be ads, how can she resist digging into rumors that a real estate developer is destroying native burial grounds?  Warned away at every turn by her editor, she worries whether the story will see the light of day.  And dazzled by her sexy rival-turned-coworker, what is she going to do about her love life?

Besides being a fun read, this is also well-written and very clever.  Here are some examples:

When Veronika finds out that she will be covering senior citizens and animal events, she says - "I felt like a Goth forced to wear cheerleader's clothing."

When Veronika faces her editor, she says - "I felt like something he'd blown into a handkerchief."

"Thoughts chased around my mind like a couple of squirrels on the back fence, up the tree, down the roof, and onto the birdfeeder."

I mentally shook myself like an Etch-a-Sketch, let the thought disappear."

Julia's got this kind of stuff throughout the book.  Doesn't she conjure up great visual images?  Say yes.

But there's something else I really liked about this book.  Julia does a great job of describing different scenes without going overboard.  She tells us about a massage; a seashell hunt with an 80-year old; the historical significance of buried bones, rocks, and arrowheads at a construction site; and an archaeological dig, among a few others.  And in each case, you can see and FEEL what she's describing.  What I've said about this book may make you think you're reading fluff.  But I assure you that there is depth to what she writes.  Give it a try.  You will get some chuckles, have a few laughs,  shed a tear or two, and even shake your head a little.  What you won't get or be is bored.

P.S.  I loved the ending.

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