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Marilee J. Layman

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07:16 pm: Tattoo Girl by Brooke Stevens

Brooke is a guy; I looked his poorly-made website up to find out. I also found part of the review from the WashPost that made me buy the book. This, and other books, is what is making me read non-SF from the library instead of buying them.

A teenage girl covered in mud and twigs turns up in a mall after hours. She doesn't talk when the guard finds her or when the police come to get her. Her picture was in the paper and a woman named Lucy -- former fat lady in a circus -- comes to be her adoptive mother. The company requires married het couples, but when things start getting weird, she can take her, naming her Emma.

Emma has been tattooed with scales all over her, like a fish. She's like a board at first, but after a while she's responding to Lucy although still not talking. Lucy thinks she needs to find out how Emma was tattooed and where she came from. In the process, she runs into the evil people who did it, and do similar things to her. They had her locked in a metal meat locker until she was too thin to stand. Emma starts looking for her and then realizes that the evil people are the same ones that made her what she is. Each tries to save the other.

I won't give you the end; if you decide to read this, you'll want to read it yourself.

The evil people in here are Jesus people. Not particularly weird ones, either. Just evil.

My problem with the book is that when the evil people kill innocent people, it's a lot like reading it in the newspaper instead of feeling it in the story. (A dead teenage girl was found in a trash can in DC today and that actually brought more feeling to me than the book.)

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