by Todd Grimson

Schaffner Press, $14.95, 356 pages

Lisa Nova is a 26-year-old film director trying to make it in Hollywood. Getting turned down for another job, despite her personal relationship with the producer, Lisa decides to seek revenge on him and his family. For this, she turns to Boro, a strange and dangerous man, who agrees to deliver Lisa’s revenge. This starts a series of events that make things better for Lisa but worse for everyone who crosses her. Soon she finds that she, too, can make things happen with just her will.

Brand New Cherry Flavor should’ve been a fascinating book. And parts of it are – particularly the unraveling mystery of Boro, Lisa’s discovery of her power and the increasingly deadly and creepy events that unfold. However, the character of Lisa makes this a hard book to get through. She has a remarkable talent for denial through most of the book, takes no responsibility for her actions, has no real connection to her own life and has no real character growth in the story. Frankly, it is hard to care about what happens to her. The writing style is intriguing and gritty but mostly this book feels like a missed opportunity for something great.

Barbara Cothern