Bookmark: White Birch Books (North Conway, NH). Support your local independent!
Tastes like chicken: A cross between Thomas M. Disch and China Mieville.
The book follows the adventures of a three-piece band in Birmingham, Alabama (a female singer/bass player who works in a coffee shop to pay the bills, her heroin-addict guitarist boyfriend, and the drummer, who's a mechanic by day). In their extended circle are the local goth kids who are in thrall to a woman named Spyder, who... has some issues. Some of the goth kids have an ill-advised peyote ritual in Spyder's basement, where Spyder's psyche keeps its ghosts. Nefariousness ensues and sucks the band down with it.
What I liked: This book painted a neat world, a neat set of characters. It moved, to me, at the right pace thoughout. The ending's speed seemed right, the resolution reasonable.
Not so much: There were spots where the detail seemed a little too rich, but I got used to it after a while. This certainly wasn't one of those W.E.B. Griffin books Ed likes so much!
Lesson: Drugs are bad? That's an over-simplified moral, but so what. I was explaining to the boy what a gothic horror would be, and he wandered off with the book. I'm not sure how far he'll get into it. Perhaps by the time the lesbian sex scene comes around, he'll have abandoned it, or be a little older... we'll see.