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review 2014-03-07 02:46
"The Rosie Project," by Graeme Simsion
The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion

The Plot: Unconventional genetics professor Don lives a precisely ordered and catalogued life. Blissfully unaware of his place on the autism spectrum (despite a heavily ironic scene where he has to give a lecture on Asperger's to teenagers), he often has trouble relating to people and responding to social cues, so when he decides he needs a wife, he creates a detailed Wife Project questionnaire to weed out unsuitable people. And yet Rosie, a disorganized woman who approaches him for help finding her biological father, charms her way into his life despite utterly failing his questionnaire.

 

The Good:

  • Charming characters
  • Interesting writing
  • Engaging Pacing
  • Enjoyably romance story

 

The Bad:

  • Have a little trouble believing Don could be that clueless
  • The resolution about Rosie's father is a little vague
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review 2014-02-24 16:26
"The Knife of Never Letting Go," by Patrick Ness (Full Review)
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
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review 2014-02-23 23:20
"Love and Lament," by John Milliken Thompson
Love and Lament - John Milliken Thompson

The Plot: Mary Bet, born in North Carolina at the turn of the 20th century, outlives her mother and her 8 other siblings. Her childhood of constant grief leaves her unwilling to take very many chances or risk important attachments. As she grows up, however, she learns more about the people around her, her community, and her ability to love.

 

The Good:

  • Excellent use of setting
  • Beautiful writing
  • An interesting heroine
  • Lovely Historical Detail

 

The Bad:

  • Meandering plot
  • Uncertain plots and themes
  • Sluggish pacing
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review 2014-02-09 17:56
"Labor Day," by Joyce Maynard
Labor Day - Joyce Maynard

The Plot: A boy named Henry lives in depressing near-isolation with his unstable, depressed mother until they come across an escaped convict named Frank, who asks if he can hide out in their house until the search for him blows over. Amazingly, Henry's mother agrees - and an immediate, powerful love affair develops between her and Frank, while Frank takes a paternal interest in Henry that his own father has never demonstrated. Sadly, nothing gold can stay.

 

The Good:

  • Decent writing
  • Interesting plot
  • Good pacing

 

The Bad:

  • The relationship between Frank and Adele (Henry's mum) is kind of creepy - especially when they describe how often and how clearly Henry can hear them going at it through the walls.
  • Adele is also a really incompetent parent. Her neediness and depression have basically isolated her son as well as herself from the outside world and I spent most of the book pitying Henry. Perhaps that's not fair (his father and his father's family live in town so he could have gone to live with them at any time), and mental illness sucks, but the whole book is really about Adele's selfishness. She never really does anything for Henry or for Henry's sake - it's all about who's able to step in and take care of her. 
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review 2014-02-09 17:47
"Fly by Night," by Frances Hardinge
Fly by Night - Frances Hardinge

The Plot: In a politically-fractured landscape ruled by tyrannical guilds and unions, even the written word is controlled - if it doesn't have the stamp of the Stationers' Guild on it, it gets thrown in the fire (and those who've read it thrown in prison). As a result, our impetuous, ambitious heroine Mosca Mye steals, borrows, and hordes words in a world where people fear reading. When she helps rescue a silver-tongued rascal named Eponymous Clent from her village's stocks, she follows him to increase her vocabulary and also to have an adventure of her own.

 

The Good:

  • Awesomely-detailed and original worldbuilding
  • Gorgeous writing
  • Complex and morally ambiguous child heroine

 

The Bad:

  • Kind of slow-moving, plot-wise
  • Plot is very complex - and while that isn't exactly a bad thing it did slow down my reading experience
  • Couldn't really connect with the material the longer the book went on.
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