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Jessica Powers Reading Tonight!
Jessica Powers Reading Tonight! August 15, 2007
--Cinco Puntos Press

Please join us on Wednesday, August 15, at 6 pm, for a reading and reception for our friend and former employee Jessica Powers to celebrate the publication of her first novel THE CONFESSIONAL, a Young Adult murder mystery set in El Paso .

In The Confessional, just out in July from the New York publishing house of Knopf, six young men who go to an all-boys Catholic high school in El Paso try to discover which one of them murdered their friend in what appears to be a racially motivated murder. All six must face their own fears, loyalties, and ulterior motives. After all, everybody's guilty of something, right?

In a starred review, Publisher's Weekly called The Confessional "ambitious" and Kirkus Reviews called it "compelling" and "convincing."

A small number of copies of the book will here in the Cinco Puntos Press store for purchase. (We will not be selling the book online, only in the store.)

Celebratory Reception and Reading for
Jessica Powers at Cinco Puntos

When: Wednesday, August 15, 6 pm

Where: 701 Texas Avenue, El Paso, TX (offices of Cinco Puntos Press)
Call 838-1625 for directions or more information

Additional copies can be purchased at the Barnes and Noble on the Westside, where Jessica will be signing books at 2 pm on Saturday, August 18.

The Confessional

STARRED REVIEW from Publishers Weekly:
Powers's first novel powerfully combines timely story lines regarding illegal immigration, school violence and racial tension. The first of six narrators, MacKenzie Malone attends a Jesuit high school in El Paso, Tex., where most of the Mexican students have branded him a racist after the controversial letter to the editor he's written appears in the local newspaper. Off his Ritalin (he's traded it for coke) and unable to take the taunting, Mackenzie beats up a Mexican classmate so badly that the guy ends up in the hospital. That night Mackenzie, still narrating, is stabbed to death in his front yard. In subsequent chapters, six boys-among them witnesses, suspects, friends-react to the news and reveal their own disturbing secrets as they alternately narrate.

On the surface, the characters fall into stock roles (the closeted gay friend, the brilliant kid hiding behind a stoner persona, the geeky outcast, the peacemaker, and so on), but the author carefully individuates their back stories even as she links the boys via their common fears. If some of the voices sound a little similar and if some of the action seems implausible, the psychological drama as a whole has enough depth and dimension to compensate. The structure Powers builds is ambitious, and she manipulates it for maximum surprise. Ages 14-up.

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