28 March 2017

Today's Read: Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love

Could you survive as leader of a South Central LA gang? What if you avoided the limelight because, like Lola, you've learned it can be rough if you're woman in power . . . especially in the drug world.

Lola stands across the craggy square of backyard she shares with Garcia. He mans the grill, rusted tongs and Corona with lime in hand, making the center of a cluster of men, their biceps bare and beaded with sweat, Crenshaw Six tattoos evident in their standard uniform of wife-beaters and torn cargo pants. If Lola were alone with Garcia, she would take her turn over the smoking meat, too, but as afternoon transforms Huntington Park from light to shadow, Lola stays away from the heat. Her place now is at the center of a cluster of women, their necks craning toward any high-pitched squeak that might be gossip, each one standing with a single hip cocked, as if at any second someone might place a sleeping child there for comfort.
Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love (Crown, 2017, p. 1 [uncorrected proof])

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times; Los Angeles, elsewhere in the US Southwest
  • Circumstances: When Lola's gang, the Crenshaw Six, is given the chance to take over the territory of a rival dealer, they jump at the opportunity, even though they have to put up a guarantee. Thus Lola's life is on the line, under the guise as girlfriend to Garcia, the presumed man in charge. All they have to do is intercept a drop-off and their boss, the drug lord, will make them rich. The gang, however, runs into trouble, and Lola must find a way to save herself and her crew from death by assassination.
  • Genre: contemporary thriller, mystery, crime fiction
  • Themes: women's roles, Latino Americans, the drug culture, revenge
  • Why I want to read Lola: I'm not normally drawn to books set in the drug culture, but I'm curious about Lola, who rose from a very bad childhood to a position of power in a world that doesn't generally respect women. She's been called ruthless, smart, and a survivor and has been compared to Lisbeth Salander (but isn't every tough female character these days?) mixed with a touch of Walter White.
  • What reviewers have said: Most reviews describe the novel as action packed and mentioned that Lola was vividly portrayed. A couple of readers commented on the number of characters and the difficulty keeping them straight. Some thought the plot didn't hold up, but others are looking forward to a second book about Lola. Generally, however, the reviews have been more positive than negative.
  • About the author: Melissa Scrivner Lover, daughter of a police officer and a court reporter, is a television screenwriter for crime shows, including CSI: Miami. This is her first novel.


(Diane) bookchickdi 3/28/17, 7:29 AM  

I'm very curious about Lola, I received a copy and while it's not the type of story I would read, it looks intriguing.

rhapsodyinbooks 3/28/17, 8:05 AM  

I don't think my review has posted yet, but Jim and I both loved this one. Very unique!

Unknown 3/28/17, 8:25 AM  

Sounds like my kind of book.

Mine this week is from a murder mystery set in the Canadian wilds: https://wp.me/p3Nz8P-1g2

Kathy Martin 3/28/17, 8:44 AM  

I've seen this book around a lot lately. It doesn't sound like the sort of book I'd read. Too contemporary! Come see my teaser from Gauntlet by Holly Jennings. Happy reading!

bermudaonion 3/28/17, 9:14 AM  

This sounds pretty intense.

Majanka Verstraete 3/28/17, 10:06 AM  

I'm quite intrigued by this book. I hope you enjoyed it!

My teaser for this week.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 3/28/17, 10:50 AM  

Not my usual read...but I think I'd make an exception based on what you've shared.

Anonymous,  3/28/17, 11:03 AM  

That certainly peaks my interest. I hope you enjoy it. Here's the link to my intro/teaser for today: http://wp.me/p4DMf0-1wi

Literary Feline 3/28/17, 11:12 AM  

The drug culture isn't one I'm am particularly drawn to either, but Lola sounds like an interesting character and her role as the leader in a male dominated position has me even more curious. I may have to look for this one. Thanks for sharing!

Laurel-Rain Snow 3/28/17, 11:29 AM  

I've been eyeing this book. I am also intrigued by the idea of a woman at the center of a gang....and want to know how it all plays out.

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Unknown 3/28/17, 11:41 AM  

I shy away from books about gangs, but this one has an interesting premise.

My TT from Crossing In Time

Margot 3/28/17, 12:19 PM  

This is just different enough that I'm curious. It's a different world from mine - but that's one of the reasons I love to read.

Anonymous,  3/28/17, 3:38 PM  

This one sounds very intriguing and different - many thanks for sharing, Beth. This is my TT this week - https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/teaser-tuesday-28th-march-2016/

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 3/28/17, 7:23 PM  

This sounds different; hope you enjoy it.

Cleopatra Loves Books 3/29/17, 3:25 AM  

Well this is contemporary with a capital C - I'm intrigued that's for sure and more so than if it didn't have a woman at the heart of the gang.

Daryl 3/29/17, 10:14 AM  

very interesting premise ... putting on my TBR list. thanks!

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