Review: A Brighter Spark by Mary Borsellino (AWW Challenge 2013 #4)

brighter sparkReaders of this blog will know how much I adore Mary Borsellino’s horror fiction. The Wolf House and The Devil’s Mixtape remain two of my very favourite works.

Have I mentioned how versatile that writer is, though? Have I? Because she is. Not only does she write amazing horror, she also writes fun and sexy erotica with wit and intelligence.

While her latest, A Brighter Spark, hasn’t the complexity of her longer genre work, the deceptively simple story addresses a very modern human issue: how do you know when you’re a proper, fully functioning adult? And why would you want that, instead of the freewheeling excitement of being young?

Suzy is a single mum of kids in their awkward teens, and feels like life is slipping away from her. She doesn’t feel like a proper grown up, but the mad joys of her youth are obviously well behind her. Feeling at a dead end, Suzy meets the gorgeous and possibly perfect Daniel, and a one night stand blooms into the potential for something more. But Suzy fears she can’t possibly live up to him, just as she fears that being a proper adult means leaving behind all the fun stuff forever.

Suzy is likeable and you can readily identify with her as she stumbles through the difficulties of learning what responsible adulthood really means. Daniel is indeed a picture of perfection, but with just enough charm and a little geekiness to make him very appealing. As always, Borsellino does a pitch-perfect job of creating the teenaged characters and their relationships with the respective parents.

A Brighter Spark is a light, fun read, populated with appealing characters, good humour and some distractingly passionate scenes.