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Dead in Long Beach, California
Dead in Long Beach, California: A Novel | Venita Blackburn
3 posts | 3 read | 3 to read
A gut-busting and heartbreaking descent into one woman's fraying connection to reality, from a soon-to-be superstar. Coral is the first person to discover her brother Jays dead body in the wake of his suicide. Theres no note, only a drably furnished bachelor pad in Long Beach, California, and a cell phone with a handful of numbers in it. Coral pockets the phone. And then she starts responding to texts as her dead brother. Over the course of one week, Coral, the successful yet lonely author of a hit dystopian novel, Wildfire, becomes increasingly untethered from reality. Blindsided by grief and operating with reckless determination, she doubles and triplesdown on posing as her brother, risking not only her own sanity but her relationship with her precocious niece, Khadijah. As Corals swirl of lies slowly closes in on her, the quirky and mysterious alien world of Wildfire becomes enmeshed in her own reality, in the process pushing long-buried memories, traumas, and secrets dangerously into the present. A form-shifting and soul-crunching chronicle of grief and crisis, Venita Blackburns debut novel, Dead in Long Beach, California, is a fleet-footed marvel of self-discovery and storytelling that explores the depths of humankinds capacity for harm and healing. With the daring, often hilarious imagination that made her an acclaimed short-fiction innovator, Blackburn crafts a layered, page-turning reckoning with what it means to be alive, dead, and somewhere in between.
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review
Lesliereadsalot
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Mehso-so

So…Coral, author of a hit dystopian novel, finds her brother dead by suicide. After the police come and he‘s taken away, she takes his cell and starts replying to messages as if she is her brother. Interspersed with this story, we read sections of her book which seems to become entangled in her real life. Didn‘t love the story, or the grieving main character. But her novel looked good!

review
janeycanuck
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Pickpick

Huh. This has such a strange structure that just defies description. It works, giving such depth to Coral‘s story, but it can be hard to stay in the story. I liked the Wildfire excerpts the best, oddly, and I think if this had been longer, I‘d have better appreciated & understood the way Blackburn was telling the story.

Tiffiney That's the city I work in and used to live in...I didn't realize this book existed. I might have to check it out. 4mo
janeycanuck @Tiffiney Long Beach doesn‘t play too much of a role but it‘s definitely worth checking out! 4mo
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review
BookLineNSinker
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Pickpick

This book was an up close and personal look at the grief of losing a sibling. Coral finds her brother Jay after he commits suicide. As way to say goodbye, Coral uses Jay's phone to text through the history of their lives together. This book was a journey through the unexpected loss of a loved one. Check the trigger warnings before reading. Overall, a sad but thought-provoking read. #netgalley #arc