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review 2017-11-25 00:58
The Music of the Spheres
The Music of the Spheres - Milton Chase Potter

3.75 stars, rounded up

 

CW: 

Death, depression, cancer (side character)

(spoiler show)

 

I wouldn't classify this as a romance, though there is a love story. It's more about two boys becoming friends and helping each other through some tough times. Well, it's more Adam helping Ryan through some tough times, but they both fulfill something that's missing in the other's life, as Ryan provides Adam with a surrogate family. Their friendship is wonderful and often put a big grin on my face. 

 

It's first-person POV and present tense, which I know some readers may have issues with. I'm not one who cares about that normally, and while it mostly doesn't bother me here, I did find myself often wanting to see Adam's side of things. This was especially the case in the one brief scene we have with Adam's foster father.

The fact that Adam was in one foster home for three years should tell him that his foster parents are dedicated to him, because that's not very common. And his foster father seemed almost desperate to get to know one of Adam's friends and find out more about him. So why exactly was Adam keeping his foster parents at such a distance when he so readily accepted Ryan's family? And also, why did he so quickly go from "I don't like being touched" to initiating hugs with Ryan?

(spoiler show)

It almost felt like there was something else going on there than the brief explanation that we got, so the choice to do this in first-person does limit how much we get to know about Adam. I also wanted Ryan to figure out his feelings for Adam a lot sooner than he did.

 

I was not prepared for the turn this story made at about the halfway mark. It was very emotional and while I hated what happened, it was beautifully written. The writing throughout the story flowed nicely and I liked seeing how these characters cared about each other and how they "adopted" Adam to their family and helped each other when things got rough.

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review 2017-11-23 20:56
A haunting we will go, a haunting we will go...
Love Wanted - John Inman

What I thought would be a sweet and different story for me just turned out to be a train wreck.  I thought the concept for this one sounded different and interesting but when I got to it...for me this just didn't work. I really couldn't buy into the whole concept of why Mr. Stanhope was doing what he did...even suspending my disbelief my brain still said..."Nope, not a chance...this is so bogus." I just couldn't get my brain around it and then there was the ghost...I've read a few books with ghost in them and I knew there was one in this book but damned if I could buy into all the stuff that this ghost could do and quite honestly I really didn't care for him...nor did really care for most of the characters in this story...so in a nutshell, this one just wasn't working for me on a whole lot of levels.

 

What it comes down to for me is that sometimes a story can be hit or miss and this time around it was definitely a miss but on the upside I got to listen to a new narrator and....

 

Truthfully for me the best part of this book and probably the reason I finished it was that I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by new to me narrator Eziekiel Robison who did an awesome job with the narration on this one and I honestly enjoyed listening to him as he read this book. I liked his voices and the fact that he kept them unique, clear, expressive and consistent all combined to give me an enjoyable listening experience and even thought the story didn't work well for me...the narrator did just fine and I look forward to enjoying future books narrated by Mr. Robison.

 

*************************

An audio book of 'Love Wanted' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-11-23 19:37
Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich

This isn’t a terrible book, but I can’t claim to have enjoyed it. Love Medicine is a somewhat awkward merger between novel and short story collection, made up of 17 pieces about two families living on the Ojibwe/Chippewa reservation over the span of about 50 years, from the 1930s to the 1980s. I call it an awkward merger because the stories all feature the same group of characters, but there’s neither the overarching plot you want from a novel nor the neatly encapsulated plots you expect from short stories. Life happens, but it isn’t organized by much plot structure at all.

Still, my dissatisfaction stemmed less from plotting issues and more from the fact that I simply never became invested in these characters. The first chapter was promising enough, but the older generation’s love triangle provided little interest, and something about the characters’ motivations and viewpoints felt off. It certainly doesn’t help that 13 of the 17 stories are told in first person, by 6 different narrators, of both genders, various ages, and from three different generations, and they all sound alike. Which tends to destroy the illusion that we’re hearing from different people, and for that matter, that these are characters at all rather than multiple figments of the same author’s imagination. It’s always baffled me that first-time authors – those least equipped to write multiple narrators successfully – are the most likely to attempt this feat, but I think I’ve hit on the explanation, which is that almost no one, no matter how experienced, can do this well and debut authors are also the least equipped to recognize their limitations.

That said, awhile back I tried to read Erdrich’s most recent novel, LaRose, and bounced off of it, finding the plot diffuse and the characters uninteresting. So it seems most likely that I simply don’t connect with this author’s writing. Fortunately for me, after finishing this I started Anything Is Possible, which provides everything I wanted here – a constellation of linked short stories about beauty and pain in everyday life, with characters and situations that caught and held my attention – albeit featuring white Midwesterners rather than Native Americans.

An endnote about the endnote: removing “The Tomahawk Factory” from the main text because “it interrupted the flow” and then tacking it on to the end just seems to muddle the book’s ending. I read it second-to-last, which happily turns out to be its chronological placement, once I realized it was meant to be part of this book and not a preview for another one.

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text 2017-11-23 04:17
Reading progress update: I've read 5 out of 320 pages.
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories - Rainbow Rowell,Holly Black,Laini Taylor,Myra McEntire,Kiersten White,Stephanie Perkins,Gayle Forman,Matt de la Pena,Jenny Han,Ally Carter,Kelly Link,David Levithan

Noel is to cute

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review 2017-11-23 00:43
Facing the past brings a family back together
Love's Gamble - Emily Murdoch
Another quick sweet read. I have enjoyed watching this family come back together. This is Aaron's story and his hard road home. He is misunderstood but tried to live up to his reputation. Phoebe enters his life, and despite her secrets, she brings him to face his past. They are sweet together, and I loved their journey.

This is my unsolicited review for a story that I received as a gift.
 
 

 

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