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Search tags: david-levithan
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review 2017-03-28 03:27
You Know Me Well
You Know Me Well - Nina LaCour,David Levithan

I thought this book was well-written and the plot moved along at a brisk pace, but honestly, even considering the fact that I am not a YA reading this, I found it unrealistic. There is endless talking and pining for love in this story (I found all the over-analyzing more like college students than high school, but maybe that’s just me) and yay, it’s a story of so many under-represented gay teens, but aside from that, not a whole lot happens. Well, actually, a lot happens in the span of just a few days, but I didn’t find it very believable. Having said that, I will admit that I loved the banter between the friends — I found it smart and funny and the authors established a nice rapport among them; but it was all smart and funny, barely an awkward pause despite the fact that most of them had only just met. I mean I get the whole fast friends thing, but there was a lot of that here – not just one relationship.

 

LaCour and Levithan had their hearts in the right place, but I thought the story that unfolded had the potential to be so much more.

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review 2017-02-17 13:45
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist - Rachel Cohn,David Levithan Please note that I did not give this book any stars. I rounded up to one star on Goodreads.

I read this for Romance Book Bingo 2017: Insta-love square.

This is going to be a bit ranty so I apologize in advance. I loathed this book. From beginning to end. I can't believe that a movie that I enjoyed spun off from this source material. I think at one time I wonder how many times Nick said the "f" word and decided I was too lazy to do a search via my Kindle because I just wanted this book to be over. At least it counted towards a romance book bingo. I realized after I finished I could count it towards the insta-love square. I initially was told that this was New Adult. It's not, it is Young Adult, though due to the actions of this two nitwits you have to think it was for a bunch of middle schoolers.

The book shifts POV between Nick and Norah. I am trying to think of something positive to say. I got nothing. This whole book is just a cliche wrapped in something terrible. Like lima beans. I hate lima beans. So let's go with this book is wrapped in lima beans. It has been left outside to rot in the sun for seven days as well. And then a dog comes along, sniffs it, carries it away, and buries it in the backyard.

Nick is performing with his band in New York City. He is still recovering from having his heart broken by his ex-girlfriend Tris. When he sees her in the audience with another dude, he pretty much starts spiraling. He goes up to Norah and asks her to be his girlfriend for five minutes in order to make Tris jealous (middle school actions). And then somehow they are kissing and feeling something has happened between them. I don't think they even told each other their names at this point by the way. Norah finds herself attracted to Nick, but tells herself because of her breakup with her ex Tal (by the way why the hell are these exes names beginning with the letter "T"?) that she is frigid (GOD JUST GET THROUGH THIS SO YOU CAN STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS BOOK) that Nick can't possibly want to be with a girl like her.

Deep breath.

I maybe started rocking back and forth with the whole frigid talk. Cause I don't think that the character Norah got what it meant and I am pretty surprised the author didn't seem to get she was using that word wrong. And don't get me started on how Nick was the one to get Norah to thaw out. SHUT UP BOOK! Deep breath again.

And considering that Nick at one point was like one freaking second away from never leaving his room again and writing bad break-up poetry, I have some feelings toward the way he was all yes I guess I am no longer in love with Tris. I mean, I have given John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars" rightful crap for how teens are portrayed, but man. I feel like going back and upping my rating on that book due to this mess.

The secondary characters are Cliche 1, 2, 3, and 4. I refuse to go back and tell you who is who besides Tris who I started calling Cliche 1. Cause apparently, she realizes that Nick loves her too much, and she doesn't feel that way, so you know, break up. Though she still wants him I think. But she doesn't. And gives her used to be friend Norah tips on how to kiss by actually kissing her outside. And Norah somehow is getting turned on (and wonders if she is really frigid again). I at one point wondered did I somehow wonder onto the Literotica site and realized, nope, still reading this book and thought about hunting down the Book gods and sacrificing 10 dictionaries in order to have something like this never happen to me again this year. I can't read any more terrible books. I may go into a reading slump and not climb out for three months like the year before last.

The plot is just two teens chasing each other around New York playing a game of do you really like me. That's all I got.

The writing felt and read very amateurish to me too. And repetitive.

“Fuck this.
Fuck this wondering. Fuck this trying and trying. Fuck this belief that two people can become one ideal. Fuck this helplessness. Fuck this waiting for something to happen that probably won't ever happen.”

“We are the ones who take this thing called music and line it up with this thing called time. We are the ticking, we are the pulsing, we are underneath every part of this moment. And by making the moment our own, we are rendering it timeless. There is no audience. There are no instruments. There are only bodies and thoughts and murmurs and looks. It's the concert rush to end all concert rushes, because this is what matters. When the heart races, this is what it's racing towards.”

“My heartbeat accelerates. I am in the here, in the now. I am also in the future. I am holding her and wanting and knowing and hoping all at once. We are the ones who take this thing called music and line it up with this thing called time. We are the ticking, we are the pulsing, we are the underneath every part of this moment. And by making this moment our own, we are rendering it timeless. There is no audience. There are no instruments. There are only bodies and thoughts and murmurs and looks. It's the concert rush to end all concert rushes, because this is what matters. When the heart races, this is what it's racing toward.”


The flow of the book was not great either. It just snaps back and forth between Nick and Norah. And since when we see Norah's POV, Nick seems kind and control, and when we switch to Nick he is too busy thinking of the "f" word or some other damn thing, I was not getting this kind, wise, and sweet guy that she was. Also who the hell falls in love in like a few hours? Ugh. I have to stop, I just want this book done.

New York would not be a place I want to visit after finishing this book. It never comes alive. We have Nick and Norah rushing from points A to B throughout the book and I never got a sense at all where the heck they were. I just gave up and kept reading so I could finally be at the end.

Bah to the whole ending.
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review 2017-01-18 20:42
Another Day - David Levithan
Another Day - David Levithan

Many stories move too quickly for characters to stop and think, but I always love seeing thought on the page or on the film. There’s a lot of thinking here. Faced with an extremely weird situation, a highschool student stops, repeatedly, to consider fresh information and fresh experiences, to see how they fit in: is she comfortable with this? How does that work? Would you really? And also, friends are terribly important to the story, which could easily be ignored in favor of a love triangle.

It's a very grounded and realistic book for one with such a high-concept basis.

Library copy

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review 2017-01-09 11:25
Review: You Know Me Well
You Know Me Well - Nina LaCour,David Levithan

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

A delightful story focusing on two teens during Pride week in San Francisco. Mark is in love with his best friend Ryan while Kate’s best friend has set her up with a girl who she’s built up in her mind and finally gets to meet after hearing about her from other people. Only instead of going to the meeting Kate chickens out and winds up at the same club where Mark and Ryan are hanging out. A chance meeting and somehow a friendship forms as the night progresses between Kate and Mark.

 

Mark is trying not to be jealous while Ryan is out on the dance floor and having fun, Kate is trying not to freak over ditching out on meeting Violet, the girl she’s supposed to be meeting. Each chapter is told in a viewpoint of either Kate or Mark, both voices are likeable, and very believable. Mark as he tries to convince Ryan they should be together, and the effects this has on him when trying to work through as Ryan meets someone else. While Kate is struggling to understand why she’s friends with her best friend Lehna. She’s known Lehna forever, they’re both out and proud and a beacon for other gay kids at their school. Yet Lehna’s personality is very forward and brash and I found her character irritating and obnoxious. Violet, the girl Kate is supposed to be meeting is actually Lehna’s cousin, and Lehna has told her things about Kate that aren’t exactly true.

 

Though through meeting Mark at a club in San Francisco and winding up at a glamerous party somewhere later, Kate finds the stories Lehna told about her are actually, in a kind of unexpected way, turning out to come true. Out of the two storylines, Kate’s I found was more interesting when Violet finally turns up, Kate’s story I found as a reader I was able to identify with much more and therefore liked her character a lot more. And there was some pretty swoony romance.

 

While I liked Mark, his story was more angsty, and seemed to just be focused on I love Ryan, does he love me or this other guy he’s started seeing and wouldn’t have started seeing him if I hadn’t convinced him to go out that night? It does get a bit emotional, but I did find it kind of repetitive. Though together, the two stories actually did work pretty well.

 

There was one bit towards the end where Mark and Kate go to a poetry slam and some of their other friends are there, some of the poetry was a little lost on me, some of it was awful, while other pieces were incredibly powerful and very moving.

 

All in all a very good read that managed to smoothly go from quirky and funny to angst to emotional and switch back and forth provoking a range of different emotions. I liked this so much I bought a finished copy.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2016-12-30 01:35
Dash & Lily Holiday Extravaganza
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares - 'David Levithan','Rachel Cohn'
The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily - Rachel Cohn,David Levithan

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares:

I've yet to read something by David Levithan that didn't charm me and touch my heart. With that in mind it shouldn't be a surprise that all of Dash's sections were my favorite parts of this book. While Rachel Cohn is a good author I just didn't connect with Lily the same way I did to Dash. While this is at its core a cute, playful, and fun little teen romance it did have moments within it if depth and insight, which made it stand out among its peers. Glad I read this one during the holiday season - it added some cheer and magic to a busy season.

 

Twelve Days of Dash & Lily:

If you enjoyed Dash & Lily's Book of Dares you'll enjoy this book too. The story picks up one year later and chronicles Dash and Lily's second holiday season together. I read both books back to back and it really felt like a seamless continuation of the story. I particularly liked the insights on how the transition between a fresh new relationship into an older and deeper one can be rocky and confusing. Again I found myself enjoying Dash more than Lily, especially since she's a ball of doom and gloom in this one. Still, this felt like a satisfying expansion (and conclusion I'm guessing) of their story.

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