invisiblebridge-2012-08-10-12-00.jpgTHE INVISIBLE BRIDGE by Julie Orringer
Going straight for the cliché here: this is truly “a sweeping family saga.” THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE tells the story of Andras Lévi and his family, Hungarian Jews, during WWII. Set in Paris and Hungary, the book is exquisitely written and the historical context fascinating. I knew little about Hungary during this period (or, I’m ashamed to say, any other period). It was the writing and the history that kept me turning the pages. Andras and his family, while infinitely likable, are a little too perfect. And the romance at the book’s heart, too idealized for my taste. Had the story been less harrowing, less politically nuanced, the writing less compelling, I would have put the book down. Alas, that was not the case. This is a five star read. If you enjoy historical fiction, run, don’t walk, to the nearest copy of THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE.

horns-hc-c-2012-08-10-12-00.jpgHORNS by Joe Hill
Ig Perrish wakes up the morning after a bender and realizes he’s sprouting horns. As an added bonus, he can now read the darkest secrets of everyone around him. This new skill comes in handy, because Ig is aching to find out who viciously murdered his girlfriend, Merrin. There will be those readers who try to turn HORNS into a morality play or automatically label it satanic (a pitchfork on the cover, a protagonist with horns, do the math). If this is you, leave the book on the shelf. This is a smartly written, original story with well-drawn characters and some laugh-out-loud moments. For me, the final showdown drags on a little too long, and whether intentional or not, the story is more mystery than horror. No, it’s not great literature, but it’s an enjoyable read. If there is a message here—and only Joe can say for sure—it’s that evil is a choice.