Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: How To Get Into The Twin Palms

Read 7/5/12 - 7/7/12
4 Stars - Strongly Recommended to readers who have always wanted to be someone else and will do just about anything to become them
Pgs: 194
Publisher: Two Dollar Radio
Releases: July 17, 2012

Have you ever slept with a man that sort of disgusted you just to get something you want? Anya, a Polish-born, Russian-wanna-be will stop at almost nothing to get into the exclusive Twin Palms. Including pulling a man who smells like sour milk and may or may not be a local Russian gangster into her bed.

Living in the apartment complex directly across the street from the exclusive club, Anya begins to salivate at the thought of walking through those doors and up those stairs, mingling with her town's local Russian population. She hides behind the potted tree on her balcony, mesmerized by the comings and goings of those who are allowed entrance into Twin Palms. She studies their clothing, their hair, their attitudes... and then she begins the long, hard transformation from invisible blonde Polish girl to sultry Russian sexpot. 

Singling out one seemingly unattached club patron, Anya tests out her new persona on him... killing what doesn't work and turning up the dial on what does. 

During the day, she's barely scraping together a living, ignoring her overbearing mother's phone calls, collecting unemployment checks while calling bingo numbers for a bunch of horny old ladies. By night, she waits for Lev to come knocking and willingly becomes his plaything, even though there is much about him that turns her stomach... all to gain entrance into the mysterious Twin Palms.

You know how people always say "be careful what you wish for" and "the grass is always greener"? Well,  How To Get Into The Twin Palms  is the perfect cautionary tale for exactly that. Set during the great wild fire season in California, told in one of the most passive voices I have ever read, our leading lady seemed content to live her life in the passenger seat. Like those fires, she wandered where the wind led her, until it blew her across the street from Twin Palms. And when Anya finally makes a move of her own, things don't go quite go the way she anticipates. The flames from the fires she sets prove too difficult to control and in the end, it's Anya who's left to sift through the ashes.

Make no doubt about it... Karolina Waclawiak's got a knack for the nutty. Her novel speaks to the latent wanna-be in me; the girl who always gawked enviously at the punky chicks with partially shaved heads and rainbow colored hair, the ones with the coal black eyes and nose and lip rings, the ones who looked like they took life by the neck and wrung it without regret. It will speak to the women who wished they could pull off  floor length fur coats and flashy diamond rings. It will tease the sexy delinquent who hides deep inside all of us. But most of all, it will make you appreciate your good sense not to attempt to become those kinds of things. Because sometimes... living vicariously is so much less of a let down.

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