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The Exceptions Hardcover – August 7, 2012

37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews



"Dazzlingly moving, and written in knife-sharp prose, THE EXCEPTIONS shows us how faith can be a weapon against fate, identity can be fluid, and love can be a choice that might save us. THE EXCEPTIONS isn't just exceptional; it's a knockout."

--Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You

"Starts with a bang...a nice twist on the standard Mob thriller."

"Unique premise, empathetic characters, believable villains, all beautifully played out as a tale of the limits of love and loyalty."―Kirkus Reviews

"What a riveting and remarkable first novel! The story grabbed me on page one. As the events spin forward, with crackling dialogue and earned surprises, you can't help but root for this most unusual, and lovable narrator--whatever her secret name or home may be at the moment. I didn't want the book to end; I didn't want to leave the wild, wooly wonderfully frightening world that David Cristofano has created. With a poignant and literary flair, this novel fixed my jones for "The Sopranos.""
--Lolly Winston, New York Times bestselling author of Good Grief and Happiness Sold Separately

"...something special..."
--New York Times Book Review

"Intense...the emotions of a woman caught in Melody's unlikely scenario ring deliciously, scarily true."

"Intense, romantic debut...Cristofano's mad love scenario sizzles like garlic in hot olive oil."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This is a compulsively readable, skillfully constructed first novel with well-drawn characters and a plot that twists and turns to what seems the best possible conclusion, marking Cristofano as a writer to watch!"

About the Author

David Cristofano has worked for different branches of the Federal Government for over fifteen years, serving such agencies as the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense. His debut novel, The Girl She Used To Be, was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author. He currently works in the Washington DC area where he lives with his wife, son, and daughter.

THE EXCEPTIONS is his second novel.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446567353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446567350
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,560,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Cristofano has earned degrees in Government & Politics and Computer Science from the University of Maryland at College Park and has worked for different branches of the Federal Government for over a decade. His short works have been published by Like Water Burning and McSweeneys. He currently works in the Washington, D.C. area where he lives with his wife, son and daughter. THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is his first novel.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary Gramlich VINE VOICE on August 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book has a story that has been so well written with just the right amount of intensity that it pushes it right into the "Wow" factor range. Readers love to talk about when they read the last page and shut the book with a sense of completion as well as loss. This is a story that makes you appreciate greatness and seek it out in other books by David Cristofano. THE EXCEPTIONS gives you the sensation of not just reading words on a page but also a feeling of magic flowing from them as characters reveal all their many faceted sides. David Cristofano gives you something you can talk about but have trouble truly describing; it is that complex and riveting at the same time.

I want to say it is about the mafia, but it really is more about family. I want to say it is about a man that hates violence, yet his dark soul side makes that not true. The statement that is factual and makes it such a great read is the running theme about loving someone so much that you are willing to make the ultimate decision of giving up yourself to save them. The underlying love story that slowly plays out chapter after chapter makes you realize that love may not conquer all but it does help you achieve.

Mr. Cristofano does not exploit the characters feelings as much as he reveals them in the darkest of places while showing that there might be some light in there. It is clearly explained what the men running the mafia are made of, their goals, aspirations, and how their actions affect every single member of society whether you realize it or not. You get the sense everything is black or white in this world, grudges never go away, and vendettas must be carried out.

The violence, while gruesome in detail, is required to make it clear how psychopathic this group is, the depth of their greed and manipulation. There is only one goal set regardless of whom it affects and obtaining it is the only means to a successful end.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KJMReviews VINE VOICE on August 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a combination book review for THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE (2009) and THE EXCEPTIONS (2012). I've never done one of these duo reviews before, and honestly, probably won't again, but because these books go hand in hand, I feel it's necessary. These two books are not a series, mind you, but more like carbon-copy reflections of each other.

The Girl She Used to Be:
At age six, Melody Grace McCartney witnessed a violent crime, and after her parents testified against an infamous mafia family, they were sent into Witness Protection. Now twenty-six, and all alone in this world, Melody is sick of being invisible, sick of having no emotional attachment to another soul. She's been countless other names and identities, but the person she longs to be is Melody again. When a stranger shows up one night, calling her by her real name and offering a way out, she takes it. Except this man just happens to be one of the members of the crime family her parents risked everything to put away.
I'm not typically a big fan of first-person, but there's no other way to do a book like this and have the same punch. I also have to give the author a lot of credit as a man writing in the female psyche. This story takes you so much deeper than a high-action mystery with other Witness Protection books. This puts you right in that person's shoes, feeling every lonely night, every fear of recognition, and the desperate existence left after doing the right thing. This story takes you to tears, laughter, numbing hopelessness, and daring for happiness in the course of 241 pages. Mostly literature with romantic elements, this is an emotional must read.

The Exceptions:
Jonathon Bovaro grew up the black sheep in a powerful mafia family.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JetCityBaby on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved Cristofano's first novel, The Girl She Used to Be. LOVED. IT. So I anxiously waited for The Exceptions to be released. I was expecting this one to pick up where TGSUTB left off. So at first, when the lead male character started back at the beginning (actually before the beginning), I was thrown a bit for a loop. But as I settled in, and was able to learn what was going on in his life and his thoughts, I gained a richer perspective, a completeness to the original story. And the ending was so very satisfying and beautiful.

Others have done a good job describing what this book is about. So I will just add that this is not a mafia story with a romantic element. It is a love story, an achingly real and honest look at two flawed people who find each other, and a love that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B.E. Love on August 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
In The Girl She Used To Be we get to hear Melody's story now in the follow up The Exceptions we get Johnny's side. What can I say the second I started reading David Cristofano had me hooked I loved his writing style and immediately fell in love with 10 year old Johnny when he first see's Melody. Melody has been put in witness protection program with her mother and father for seeing a crime commited by Johnny's father. Since then Johnathan has only wanted to protect her while his family has only wanted "no loose ends". This book has great twist and turns that I didn't see coming. I love a good mob story and I'm a sucker for a good romance throw in the witness program and all the twist and turn a gret HEA and you've got a great story.
*I was given a free ARC of this book by NetGallery
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