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review 2017-07-20 01:04
I liked better than WoT
Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind

This is the good stuff. Epic fantasy with about as much patience with the "wait for the answers while I hint you to death" bullshit as I have, an uninformed protagonist that refuses to carry the idiot ball nonetheless, funny and wise wizard, and heavy hitter female (though I got tired of her "let me die before I hurt you" thing waaay before the end). And of the main villain's three appearances (yeah, neat on the rule), the squicky ruthless first, and his eminently charismatic second were a wonder.

Even better: it is pretty much self contained. We are left a lot of issues to pursue in subsequent volumes, but the adventure we start on we finish (and thank god, given all those pages).

It wont be soon, but I'm likely to keep reading this saga.

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review 2017-07-01 01:43
THE DARKEST HOUR by Erin Hunter
The Darkest Hour - Erin Hunter
  This ends the first series of the Warrior books. Fireheart is now the leader of ThunderClan. There is a new danger in the woods and not what he expected. As he works to bring his clan together again and discover the new danger to them, he also deals with becoming the leader needed by the clan at this time.

I love this series. Though reluctant to get into the books at first, I look forward to reading more of

I love this series. Though reluctant to get into the books at first, I look forward to reading more of the clans. I needed Kleenex for this one as Fireheart becomes Firestar and goes through the ceremony for that then dealing with those whose lives will end (there is always someone who won't be back) and the betrayals. This is a series recommended by niece and she never gives me a hint of what will happen.
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review 2017-07-01 01:04
A DANGEROUS PATH by Erin Hunter
A Dangerous Path - Erin Hunter
  Tigerclaw has finally gotten what he wants--his own clan. Now Tigerstar, he is the leader of Shadow Clan. He is tearing Thunder Clan apart as the clan tries to rebuild after the fire (see book 4.) Fireheart is having problems as the deputy of Thunder Clan. Bluestar is not well and has lost faith in Star Clan. Fireheart knows how bad it is for the clan and now there is more darkness in the forest that seeks to destroy Thunder Clan.

I love this series. As I get further into the story I get sucked in the books and want to know what will happen. Now truths are being publicly revealed. Loyalties are being tested and strained. New problems are arising. What is the sense of keeping your clan's secrets when full disclosure would help all the clans?

This series is well done and will hold the interest of all readers regardless of age.
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review 2017-06-15 23:06
Boy Meets Boy: Or, a gay teen Meet Cute of a book
Boy Meets Boy - David Levithan

I was in the mood for something light and sweet for Pride month, and this delivered. This is one of those books where I feel like its strengths and its weakness come from exactly the same place. This book is refreshingly free of tragedy, which is usually the order of the day when it comes to most teen books centered around queer characters. The town the main character lives in is so fantastically whimsical and diverse it almost feels like magical realism. I mean, the cheerleaders ride motorcycles - it's intentionally unrealistic and utopian. This tone meant I wasn't crying my eyes out and depressed, but it also pulled me out of the story because it was difficult for me to fully buy into the world.

 

As per usual I liked Levithan's writing, heart, and characters. I was rooting for Paul and Noah. I had my fingers crossed for the friendships at stake. But really the character and story arc that captured my heart was Tony, which is telling because that was the part of the story with the most sadness and realism. Tony isn't from Paul's magical town - he's from here and now. And the conversations and mirroring between these two worlds was the best part of the book for me.

 

If you're on the hunt for an adorable gay teen romance without a lot of tragedy and angst then this is the book you have been searching for. Filled with whimsy, sweetness, and plenty of ups and downs to keep you glued to the page, this book is truly fun and nice. It's a dessert of a book, so know that when you dig in and enjoy the fluffy sweetness.

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review 2017-06-06 21:58
Release
Release - Patrick Ness
Once upon a time I read a Patrick Ness book, and it pissed me off so much I threw it across the room. In the years that have followed he has since published numerous books that have sparked my interest, but I always ended up giving them a pass - first impressions matter. When I managed to get my hands on an advance copy of this book (Thank you, Harper!) I was dubious, but curious. I'm so glad my curiosity won out - this is one of my favorite reads so far this year.

Taking place all within one tumultuous day, Release managed to encapsulate what it feels like to have one of those days where everything is changing way too fast to keep up. It's one of those days where everything shifts and goes sideways. It could so easily feel contrived, but Ness manages to make the non-stop hits feel connected and realistic. We've all had that day where it's one thing after another and before you know it things start snowballing. Especially when you're young and feelings run so deep and swift.

(One note on content, since I know some people like teachers, school librarians, and parents occasionally have this question: Yes, this book has sex in it. And the main character is gay, and it is graphic. It's also important to the story, and I wouldn't want it any other way. Still, you might want to take that into account before giving it to younger readers if you have concerns.)

Structurally this book has some ups and downs for me. The action moves swiftly, and the book is divided into smaller chunks, which kept me reading past my bedtime. This book is hard to put down. The one part of this book I'm still not certain worked for me was the ghost story that runs parallel to Adam's story. I'm still not 100% sold that it added to the story - even though the stories mirrored each other the tones really clashed. 

I loved the characters. I loved Adam, and I loved his friends. Even the characters I disliked I appreciated because they felt real and well drawn. Without saying too much I will say I also really appreciated the ending, both in its subtlety and where Ness chose to end the narrative. I set the book down feeling satisfied and I'm still thinking about it weeks later.

This is a book about feeling trapped, not just in the closet but also in your circumstances and family. This is a book about love, both the good and the bad sides, with not just lovers but friends and family. This is a book about acceptance, of self, others, and reality. And more than anything this is a book about learning to let go. I loved this book, and I can't wait to press it into people's hands this fall.

 

 
 
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