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review 2016-12-28 00:10
Breaking my crooked heart...
Crooked Kingdom: A Sequel to Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo

*sobs uncontrollably for a minute*

 

Okay, better.

 

So, I read Six of Crows and loved it. And then I moved to NZ for a year and books were expensive so I haven't read Crooked Kingdom until just now and oh my god. What everyone (and by that I mean my co-workers) were telling me was totally true! And of course it didn't make it any easier to handle when I actually read it.

 

Soooo, this had all the stuff I loved about Six of Crows in it. Diverse, complex characters, deception, scheming, action, emotions. Each character got a sort of "deep dive" chapter about their past, which I ate up. And they happened so seamlessly with what was currently going on I sometimes found myself thinking, "What were we talking about? Oh right, screwing someone over." It also occurred to me, during these intimate looks into these characters' lives, how attached I'd gotten to them even though this is only a two book series.

 

I could go on more about how the subject matter in this book is rather topical, how Ketterdam could be seen as a hyperbolic representation of our own world where money and the market rule and people are the last things to be concerned about. But I don't want to ruin the book for myself. I want to just focus on the characters and how, even though they do terrible things that does not make them terrible people (not entirely anyway).

 

If you have not read Six of Crows, read it. And then read Crooked Kingdom and prepare to be sad.

 

~Ren

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review 2015-03-18 14:43
Green and Levithan make me want to be a teen again...weird, I know
Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green,David Levithan

I've read all of John Green's books, and I've read several David Levithan books, and I've enjoyed every one of them. So it would stand to reason that I'd love a book written by both of them. And I did! 

 

So the premise really quick. Two boys, both named Will Grayson, meet unexpectedly one night on the streets of Chicago and both of their lives are changed, with everything culminating in a high school musical the likes of which have never been seen before. 

 

These two authors have distinct writing styles but are good enough to be able to capture each other's characters when there is a crossover. Green writes in a style that is easy to read and very accessible while still being insightful and though-provoking. Levithan is raw, emotionally charged and gives voice to his characters well. The two styles compliment each other very well in the book. They create two very different characters who, at first, seem to have nothing in common, but as you read you see they are both trying to overcome the same problem: they are afraid to let themselves care about someone, they are afraid to feel. 

 

I'm not joking when I say reading this book made me want to be a teenager again. While all the characters (including great supporting characters like Tiny Cooper) are going through this tumultuous, angst-filled time in their lives where hormones are going crazy and they are just trying to make sense of the world and themselves, all that seemed exciting compared to the marginally-figured-out-adult-life I'm living now.

 

Maybe it's only in hindsight going back to teenage years seems inciting. The first time around you feel like everything is going to bring about the end of the world. After you grow up you realize it wasn't, not even close. But I think what is appealing about those emotionally charged teenage years is it was so effortless to feel something about anything, whether it was rational or not. 

 

I've gone off topic a bit here, so I'll end by saying Will Grayson, Will Grayson was a funny, emotional, crass book to read and I look forward to reading more by these authors. 

 

~Ren

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