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Stephanie Parent, Reader and Writer

Stephanie Parent is a graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts as a piano major. She moved to Los Angeles because of Francesca Lia Block's WEETZIE BAT books, which might give you some idea of how much books mean to her. She also loves dogs, books about dogs, and sugary coffee drinks both hot and cold.

Two Roads

Two Roads - L.M. Augustine After reading both of L.M. Augustine’s novels, I’ve decided we need a new word to describe his writing, something that encapsulates the way he mixes a very light, funny style with dark and serious subject matter. “Adoragic,” maybe? Or “tragidorable”? Either way, I really enjoy L.M. Augustine’s writing, and I really enjoyed Two Roads.At the beginning of Two Roads, our narrator Cali is snarky, bitter, and probably a bit unlikable to most, although I have to admit I liked Cali right away. I often relate to the “unlikable” protagonists and tend to write them myself, too; I appreciate characters who are flawed and who don’t always see the world through rose-colored glasses. There was one thing about Cali I really did not like (and I wasn’t supposed to), and that was the way she viewed her “friends” at college. I very much appreciated the way the author resolved this issue by the end of the book, so I’ll just say that if it bothers you, keep reading!The plot and romance of this book revolve around Cali’s relationship with the guy she loves to hate, Logan Waters, who’s transferred to Cali’s college and even lives in the same building as her. Their interactions provide much of the humor in the book, from the outrageous pranks they play on each other to their text message-insult battles. At the same time, Logan and Cali’s relationship is also at the root of the novel’s more serious elements: Cali and Logan are connected by their grief over the suicide of Ben, Cali’s brother and Logan’s best friend, four years earlier. Suicide is a very personal topic for me and can be hard for me to read about, and I thought the author dealt with the topic with sensitivity and realism. He really captured the frustration of not understanding why someone you loved made the choice they did, and the almost desperate need to find someone to blame and a reason behind what happened.I also have to say I loved the emphasis on poetry and poetry blogs in the book. The poetry and poetic references were integrated into the plot very well, and it made the story even more fun to read. So yes, Two Roads is dark and emotional, but it’s fun and hopeful too—like I said, “adoragic”!