When Louisa Luna first made the scene with the acclaimed BRAVE NEW GIRL, a gritty high school drama with a sympathic heroine named Doreen, she established herself as one of the most promising voices of her generation. Now, Luna more than fulfills this promise with CROOKED, an ambitious novel of startling emotional immediacy and maturity. Melody is just out of prison. Faced with the absence of her brother Gary, who's serving life in San Quentin, and hardened by her own experiences in lock-up, Mel, as she likes to be called, struggles to adjust to the harsh realities of life on the outside. She quickly discovers that freedom is relative, she has no money, no prospects, no guidance. Forced to return to her formerly abusive mother's apartment in Marin County and take on a soul-crushing job hauling port-a-potties, Mel finds herself drinking too much and hanging out with her old gang again. Mel offers us glimpses of her harrowing girlhood, revisits the murky circumstances that put her in prison in the first place, and bravely begins to forge a potential path toward redemption and escape.