Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: Borderline by Mishell Baker

You know, I usually hate books about the film industry. In my personal hierarchy of literary sins, they rank right below books about tortured writers. I mention this so you'll understand where I'm coming from, when I say that Borderline is one of the best books I've read this year.

Mishell Baker starts with a backdrop that I've just had it up to here with, but presents it in a way that's fresh and interesting. Not just by giving us an L.A. that's swimming with fae-folk, and not just by tying them into filmmaking in a delightful way, but by letting us see this world from a rarely-seen point of view.

The protagonist, Millie, is a borderline, double amputee, suicide attempt survivor with severe facial scarring, a penchant for impulsive behavior, and a wry sense of humor. This is such a welcome relief from the typical L.A. protagonist, whose most pronounced character trait is usually a vague sense of ennui. But Millie has grit, and spunk, and if she ever ran into that typical L.A. protagonist, I'm pretty sure she'd kick his ass on general principle. I believe she could do it, too, with or without her prosthetics.

I may be wandering from the point, however. This is a fantastic book. The writing is beautiful, the dialogue is crisp, the plot is twisty and interesting, and the characters are believable. I love it, and I can't wait for the next book in the series.

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