- The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell
This was a quick read, although it can't really be called an "easy" book. There are many topics that might turn-off some readers including drugs and sex, both involving young teens. There is also a constant sense of love and loyalty, between the sisters and within Marnie's crew of friends. I think that is really the true theme of the book, love in unexpected places and with atypical faces.
Some authors attempt the multiple narrator concept only to have the voices blend, that never happens here and O'Donnell does a great job of crafting distinct voices. I loved reading Nellie's voice, but it would definitely have been too much as a sole narrator. The voices are definitely the book's strength. At times, I felt like it got too gritty...not in the sense that it was offensive (it WAS disturbing, but it is meant to be) but it felt like the author just kept adding more for the sake of more. There are also moments intended as comic relief that didn't really mesh for me, like the dog tearing up pieces of the parents' graves.
Three and a half to four stars, depending on where my mind is focusing at that moment. Clear writing talent and recommended just for watching the voices work.