A Whole New World (A Twisted Tale) [by Liz Braswell]

The other day in Barnes and Noble (my home away from home) while I was looking for something to happily blow all of my Christmas money on, I happened upon a display labeled Disney Villains with a smattering of books featuring many of the ?darkest of meanies from various Disney films from my childhood. I’d seen Poor Unfortunate Soul by Serena Valentino before, having found myself curious but never curious enough to buy it. Of course, since I have a rather large weak spot for the story of Aladdin (as noted by the lovely shirt I own from seeing the broadway play only two years ago), the second I noticed this particular book I immediately plucked it up. 

I was admittedly rather weary of this novel, partially due to it’s obvious place in the younger of genres and because rebelling are often incredibly hard to do well. This is not to say that books for younger children aren’t worth reading–there have been many I’ve picked up with my brother in mind and read myself simply because I am a sucker for any good story, be it meant for 10-12 or those categorized as young adult and I’ll give just about anything a chance if it has piqued my curiosity. 

Braswell’s reimagining of the story of Aladdin as though Jafar had actually gotten hold of the lamp was, as far as I’m concerned, well worth the read. It was interesting and showed a take on that particular branch of alternate universe in a way I personally never could have predicted. In this, it had its goods and bads and very strong ones at that. I enjoyed reading it, but would by no means call this an amazing story. I admire Braswell’s boldness as well as her tenacity and while I do intend to read the two other Disney twisted reselling she has written, there are many things I would change about her Aladdin retelling. 

It was surprisingly dark, at times, and brought into play plot ideas that I didn’t particularly care for, particularly with Jafar’s army which I found idiotic and somewhat demeaning to the story and Jafar’s character. Iago’s role in the retelling also deeply upset me, again in regards to Braswell’s portrayal of Jafar’s character. More often than I would have liked, I found myself feeling as though the characters were not themselves, and it is here that I think Braswell hit her largest snag. She simply did not have a great grasp of the original characters and struggled at times to write them in a way that remained true to their nature in the Disney version. I was most disappointed in Jafar, followed closely by Jamie and the Genie. Aladdin, however, was rather impressive, even if he had moments–albeit small–where he didn’t quite fit himself. 

Now, as this is a retelling, it is perfectly reasonable to accept these change in characters. I don’t fault Braswell entirely for her choices and the differences that existed among the characters. But I did not enjoy what I did notice. I was horribly unimpressed with the way in which she chose to free the Genie and had admittedly hoped that at some point the deep friendship between Aladdin and Genie would be addressed, and felt the loss of that friendship greatly throughout the course of the story. I do, however, find less fault in this than in the changes made to Jafar’s character in particular. 

On another note, I believe Braswell did a fantastic job in capturing the world of Agrabah. Other additives, such as Aladdin’s mother and relationships connecting characters I otherwise would never have connected in that way were enjoyable. Overall, it was a wonderful story with various things I can’t help nitpicking at. 

Had this been an original story, without my previous love for the Disney movie, I may have been less critical of some things. I do believe the romance was a bit awkward, however I was willing to overlook that due to my previous experiences with the story of Aladdin. This book was not better than the movie. It did not impress me like the broadway play did. But it was good, in its own way. 

I hope Braswell improves with her other retellings, as this was her very first. 

*Curiosity makes it worth reading.
*Not the most amazing story.
*Chance to seriously hate it, depending on your love for Aladdin.
*Promising author and promising work.
*3.5/5

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I’m Judging You (the Do Better Manual)


(by Luvvie Ajayi)

Writer and blogger, Luvvie Ajayi is a well spoken and intelligent human being who understands sides of this country and this world that many would never see in their lifetime unless they worked incredibly hard to find it. I picked up this book from an airport bookshop, mainly due to the fact that it addresses crucial issues our society faces and I wanted to drop it off for my mother who I was visiting for Christmas. 

What I found in Luvvie’s words was a woman determined to improve the world by getting important information out to those who need it. I have nothing but respect for this book. It’s well written, informative, and touches base on very important subjects and issues this world faces including racsism, sexism, homophobia, beauty standards, and more. 

I’d like to note that this is not an end all to being informed on some of the issues this world and the people in it face. If you want to be informed and beneficial to society, reading Luvvie’s book and nothing else isn’t enough. But it’s a great place to start. I gave this book to my thirteen year old brother in the hopes of enlightening him on issues that our parents failed wholly on instilling in me. 

I had vaguely minor irritations on the repetition of the phrase “I’m judging…(etc.)” and Luvvie’s tendency to write colloquially using her own made up words to represent what I assume is an accent slang. I’ve never been a fan of that sort of thing in writing and tend to dislike books for doing that. Luvvie keeps it to a minimum, however, and does explain each of the slang terms she introduces. 

In the end this is truly a do better manual. And if you were ever looking for a way to become a more informed, good human being, read her book. She’ll set you on the right path to start. 

*Great book.
*Need to read.
*5/5

Academy 7

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(by Anne Osterlund)

Academy 7 is by no means one of the best books I’ve ever read. In fact, it does become somewhat forgettable after you’ve read it and moved on to other books. That aside, the world and story Osterlund guides her readers through is thoroughly captivating. This is the sort of book that engages its readers for an extended period of time. You consistently want to know what happens next or to learn more about the characters, specifically the two main ones, Dane and Aerin.

In a world where citizens of various planets have come together to form The Alliance, a governing system in which the politics are vastly explored, all teenagers take an entrance exam in order to determine which school they will be going to. Only the top 50 scorers are granted admission into Academy 7 and even less remain there after the first year. The bulk of this story takes place at the Academy, where the students interact in various classes and showcase their abilities in areas such as debate (regarding the fascinating politics of the planetary system), combat, and science (which includes majorly the technology Osterlund has provided this world with).

The main characters, Aerin and Dane come from two very different worlds, their early life experiences shaping them in ways that eventually bring them together. Aerin has lived much of her life with a vast array of difficulties culminating in living her life after her father’s death on a rather poor planet ridden with illegal activities, such as the slave trade. Dane, on the other hand, was raised in luxury, but even that has not promised him a pleasant life. Readers will find themselves on the edge of their seats to learn the details of the secrets these two characters keep about their lives.

One of the most impressive things about Osterlund’s Academy 7 is the true depth you’ll find in both her characters and the relationship they eventually build together. I genuinely felt myself loving these characters and grew incredibly attached to their plights. It’s certainly a book worth reading.

Of course, as I said, it’s not the best book in the world. Upon finishing it, I immediately wanted to read the sequel, which unfortunately has yet to have been written as Osterlund focuses on finishing her other, less interesting, series. But, at the same time, the ending felt rushed and perhaps revealed a bit more than it should have to the characters about the secret that connects them. The ultimate plot does feel a bit anti-climactic and overdone, and while I look forward to how Osterlund will approach the rest of the story later on, I will admit that this part was somewhat of a disappointment.

*Definitely worth reading.
*Small complaints.
*Incredibly engaging.
*Possible long wait for the sequel.
*4/5

 

Let’s Talk About Writing

What motivates you? What inspires you? What do you do when you’ve hit a block? Do you write every day? How do you bring yourself to write every day? What is your writing schedule?

One thing I’ve consistently noticed throughout my time as a writer is that motivation is a key factor. Having something to write about is almost equally as important, but it’s motivation that usually drags a writer down. The authors that make it, the writers who actually get published always seem to treat writing as a job. It’s something they do every single day, or at least something they work at on a schedule.

Some authors publish only one book a year. Some publish their books several years apart. Impressively there are authors out there who type out and publish two to three books a year. In my experience, the authors who manage to publish more than one lengthy book a year have been romance authors, a genre that is unfortunately not to my taste. But I do have a lot of respect for the fact that they manage to write so much.

Here’s the thing I think about, though. Writing something every day is important. You won’t necessarily write amazing things every day of your life, but what this is doing for you is developing a habit. Habits are not easy to break, though they are difficult to start on occasion.

The important thing to remember with this is that a habit of writing is something that will ultimately improve your skills. If you get an idea, write about it. If you don’t get an idea, write about your day. Journaling is such an underrated thing sometimes.

One thing I personally believe does not get enough respect in the writing communities is fanfiction, even the bad kind. It is impressive beyond belief that we have people in this world who dedicate so much of their time to writing free material for others to have readily available to read. And fanfiction is one of the most interesting ways to improve one’s writing. I’ve dabbled in it myself, in the past.

My motivator suggestion today, for all you writers out there, is that if you ever read a book and find the author has written something you have a better idea for–something you think could have been written better or you could have improved upon–I challenge you to re-write it. Write it how you wish it had been written.

I think you might be surprised at not only how fun it is, but also how much of a help it can be for you as a writer in the future.

Freak of Nature (IFICS, #1)

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(by Julia Crane)

Now just look at that cover. It’s not any wonder, I think, that I was drawn to this book. With my love and forever repeated praise of Cinder by Marissa Meyer, naturally a book like this would draw me in. Even the synopsys, detailing a girl who’d given her body to science and was now meant to be more robot than human and how she deals with the emotions she knows she is not supposed to have was incredibly intriguing.

In the past, I have made no secret of my absolute hatred and disgust of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. I’ve described it as a pathetic piece of writing with utterly abhorrent, unrealistic, and useless (not to mention one abusive) characters, an incredibly disturbing and stupid plot that made absolutely no sense and honestly shames the world of literature. I never in my life believed I would ever read anything worse, at least in terms of literary merit.

Then again, at least Crane’s book had a decent editor and a sincere lack of grammatical errors.

And yet, here I am, with this book by Julia Crane and I find myself utterly astounded at how awful it was from the very beginning. To be quite honest, I’m not even sure where to begin. Is it the downward spiral of any potential the book had of having an interesting plot? Is it the potential the author flippantly threw away without a second thought? Is it the absolute pathetic nature of the main love interest, Lucas? Or how about the disturbing lack of feeling for anything other than an insane lust vomiting itself disgustingly all over any possible personality the author could have given her main character, Kaitlyn.

Now, I understand that the main character is supposed to have had her emotions programmed out of her, but the author took the most idiotic route in her decision to give her character feelings. The desire to search for her past is wholly expressed by Kaitlyn’s friend, Quess, not Kaitlyn herself.

Crane doesn’t even bother to input her main character with any true empty feelings–regarding her missing life–or any genuine desire to learn about what was stolen from her. Anything Kaitlyn feels in that aspect was wholly fabricated by her interactions with Quess. And, really, I might have been able to take this story a little more seriously and perhaps even respected it a bit if that hadn’t been the case and Kaitlyn actually did have some sort of emotion in that department.

But, instead, the author goes out of her way to state that Kaitlyn doesn’t have those feelings, explicitly mentioning that she had a notion in the back of her mind that she should hate Professor Adams and the man in charge for taking away her feelings, but that she actually had no ability to feel anything toward them at all. So then all we’re left with is her ridiculous fawning over Lucas? It’s an absolute insult. If I wanted to read sub-par love stories, I’d dabble in poorly written romance novels or sup-par fanfiction, not a book that was supposed to have an actual plot.

Seriously. What is this?

Author Julia Crane had no interest in writing a novel with any real plot or meaning, but instead was too preoccupied with her unrealistic love expectations to bother. She utterly trashed a brilliant idea with insane amounts of potential to have her silly fantasy of extremely impossible ideas of human characteristics. Her characters are dull, and static. They have no real depth to them. They are driven by lust portrayed as love.

I don’t think anything could have saved this book after the disaster her characters turned out to be. In the end, if you find yourself thinking you want to read this book, I can only say, don’t even bother–I can’t believe I did.

It’s no wonder Crane’s kindle version of the book was offered for free on amazon. It’s too disastrous to waste money on.

*Would not recommend.
*Disastrous read.
*Ugh characters.
*Bad characters=bad book.
*Wasted potential.
*Maybe try again, Julia.
*0.5/5

How Much Do You (the Reader) Owe a Book?

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I’ve always found this to be a rather interesting question.

As a reader, when you pick up a book you generally have every intention of finishing it. Very rarely does a book-lover think when they start reading that this will be the book they do not finish. In my life, there have only been three books I did not finish, all three due to poor writing. Only one because it disgusted me to the point of near vomit.

There have been numerous others that I powered through, disliking the entire time I read them. Of these books, I’ve found I occasionally wish I could get the time I spent reading them back. It’s the closest I’ve come to regretting spending time on a book. And generally, unless a book does something horrendously unforgivable I will, eventually (though some have taken me years), finish it.

I will never label a book DNF unless I have every intention of never picking it up again.

I do wonder: what is it that makes us, as readers, decide a book is not worth our time? What makes us decide a book is not worth considering as a gestalt (whole) when we look back on the experience. There have been several books I’ve read that genuinely changed my mind regarding the poor quality I believed it had as I read further. So what is it about some books that bring us to a point where we ultimately give up on them?

I’ve always been of the mind that I will give every book a fair chance to impress me, a fair chance to receive a reasonably well thought out rating and review. I believe I have done a relatively good job with that goal.

If I do not finish a book, it automatically gets a 1 star rating on Goodreads, though possibly a 0 star rating in my heart. I try to treat my decision to not finish a book as an important one, and while many may think that it’s just a book and it isn’t a big decision to decide not to finish one, my desire to respect the authors and the numerous other people who have put their time into making a book, whatever the quality, available for me to read propels me to reject not finishing a book. I may leave a scathing review, I may choose not to read an sequels or other books by that author, but it is rare that I will not at least give them one chance.

To date, the only books I have not finished due to their poor writing and possibly otherwise disturbing themes that removes my respect for the novel and author are Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. JamesAwake by Natasha Preston, and The Game by Terry Schott. No doubt at some point in the future I will update my reviews for those books and explain my reasons for not finishing them here.

So now, I leave with this: what books have you decided not to finish in the past? Why? What do you think we owe the books we pick up and the authors who have written them, if anything at all?

I think about this a lot, and I’ve given my reasons currently for why I’ve read the way I have. The rest, as Lauren Oliver once wrote in her novel Before I Fall (which is a book I deeply adore), you have to figure out for yourself. 

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles 3.5 [prequel])

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(by Marissa Meyer)

Here’s the thing–

Giving a backstory to an evil character is hard. There are so many things that you have to account for in order to have one that makes sense, and that alone is difficult. You not only need a credible story, but you also need a little something more. Typically, when one writes the story of their villain, I don’t expect a whole lot. Too many times writers tend to go with the cliche that makes you suddenly feel terrible for the villain and suddenly you start loving them. If the author has come up with something I can accept as reasonable, they’ve got my attention, but I don’t hold high hopes for anything too impressive.

This novel went well above and beyond any reasonable expectation I had.

Once again I find myself astounded and impressed by Meyer’s work, and really, at this point I should just stop thinking her books will disappoint because they never have.

The idea that a writer must have a reason for a character to be evil has been so overdone that it’s gotten to the point where most books have the most obvious, cliche, and ridiculous explanation imaginable. With Fairest, Marissa Meyer took a character who grew up in a manner which held her to a certain predisposition to become the person she did. Nothing about what Meyer wrote for Levana was “typical.” Nothing about Levana was overdone or cliche.

Readers weren’t introduced to a woman who had one bad experience that shaped her cruel and harsh nature. Readers weren’t given one simple explanation for Levana’s cruelty. The personality of the Lunar Chronicles’ villain was corrupted from a very early age and as she grew into her life, she experienced more and more to shape who she would become. But let me be clear; Levana was selfish from the start. She may have acted in ways which she believed were nice, but her own personality told us better. With or without the trauma she experienced, Levana was always going to be someone ruled by her own clouded beliefs.

She was a girl born of privilege to a family where cruelty was second nature. Levana was not someone who could have truly been wholly good in any circumstance as her personality alone led her to be greedy and entirely in possession of the ability to take what she wanted and needed when the time came for it. All it takes is one look at the ways in which she was jealous of Solstice and how she responds to the situation of taking over her appearance. Levana, ultimately, was damaged psychologically into believing that she was something she was not, that people felt things for her that they did not.

And in the most fascinating way, that was the most beautiful and captivating part of the story. She was intelligent enough to believe she knew better ways of ruling the moon than her sister. She was able to grow confident enough to take everything she needed and wanted and even managed to delude herself into believing things were different than they actually were. She made choices and sacrifices that no person who could have truly grown up to be especially moral and good could have made.

And in an ultimate statement of her character, Levana was never truly capable of standing up to her sister. She bit back her hatred–a feeling which was always somehow veiled over by her fear and an incredibly small speck of familial feelings–and in no way would have been capable of killing her sister. But her sister’s child? That was much easier. And while she grappled with the decision in her attempt to be someone whom she felt deserved love only to push past that and truly accept and approve of who she was through her delusion in order to allow herself to believe that her actions were exactly what should be done. She thought, by doing the wrong thing, she was doing the right thing. And this delusion existed for her throughout her entire life.

Levana is the villain who believes with every speck of her being that she is doing the best and the right thing–she deludes herself into this constantly. With her actions regarding Solstice, Winter, and Evret–Levana was brilliant in how she convinced herself that he really did love her, regardless of how many times he repeatedly informed her that he did not, that she was confusing him and hurting him. She manipulated him into a situation which he did not want to be a part of and yet she loved him, believing without question that the world was as she perceived it–or wanted to perceive it–as.

I am nothing if not exceedingly impressed with what Marissa Meyer has done with Levana and even as I try to explain why in this review, I find myself failing to find the proper words and descriptions. What I have written is only scratching the surface in a dismal way of describing how brilliant it was.

Meyer did not simply give an overly simple reason for Levana’s evil nature nor did she shove too many bad experiences into the reader’s faces. She gave us a flawed character from the beginning with a cruel sister and a horrible childhood experience that only exacerbated who she was and who she would become when the time came for her to make choices based on what she wanted out of her life.

And I am so impressed that it baffles me that the rating of this book isn’t even higher.

Levana is beautifully just that sort of villain that you LOVE to hate. 

*Marissa Meyer continues to impress.
*Unquestionably love her writing.
*5/5

13 Little Blue Envelopes

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(by Maureen Johnson)

I laughed when I found out this book had a sequel. Seems Maureen Johnson couldn’t help getting a bit more out of her book with that last letter. I’m surprised it actually got as much attention as it did that she was able to sell a sequel.

This book was, unfortunately, quite terrible.

I’m of a firm belief that if you don’t like, love, or at least love hating the main character of a novel, the author has done something wrong. I felt no love for the main character, Ginny, as she set out on her journey to follow the directions of her now deceased Aunt Peg. In fact, at times I found her quite annoying.

Her thoughts, most of all, were the most irritating. Not only were they rather vapid and way too bad (squeely, annoying, ect) teenage girl for me, but we didn’t even get the chance to see her thoughts often at all. The book progressed in a “Mary Sue did this. Mary Sue walked that way. Mary Sue waited somewhere. Mary Sue stopped at an ATM.” manner. Ginny had little depth and did not change much at all from her experience. She was dull, pointless, and irritating.

In fact, many of the characters were irritating and dull.

The most interesting character throughout the entire novel was Ginny’s Aunt Peg, who we only knew through the twelve letters she had sent her niece and the brief moments in which other characters talked about her. I find it horribly ironic that Ginny mentions that her Aunt “made her interesting” because frankly, I can’t help but agree–though that certainly wasn’t the message the book was trying to get across.

Richard, a rather important character you’ll come to find, is barely around and when he is he exists as an incredibly boring background character readers don’t even get the chance to know. I ironically just finished this book and cannot even recall the name of the love interest other than the fact that his name starts with a K, that is how uninterested in the thieving, no respect playwright I am. I disliked this character immensely.

Other notable annoyances exist in the form of the random characters Aunt Peg knows, the ridiculously frustrating and annoying David and Fiona, and Ginny’s friend from home who exists as nothing more than a blip and a way for Ginny to let out her ugh teenage girl comments about boys.

The journey itself and the motivation of her Aunt was boring at best and genuinely quite dumb in how it was presented. I’ve seen others do a much better job of this plotline. The ending was predictable and pointless to me. The only good moment in this book came with the theft of the final letter, and even that was monumentally irritating. But hey! If you really wanna know what it said, you can go read the 282 page sequel that I’m sure is just as equally irritating.

I understand the author was trying to portray a message and an idea, but the writing and the characters were not good enough to get that across. This book simply wasn’t doing it for me. I genuinely wish I could get the time I spent reading it back so I could read something better.

*Would not recommend.
*Bad characters=bad novel.
*1.5/5 at best, but maybe not even then.

This is How You Lose Her

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(by Junot Diaz)

I was disappointed by this book. It wasn’t what I expected by a long shot, despite the overflow of good press it received. I didn’t find it inspiring or impressive like so many did. I stumbled upon it as a result of my reader/writer friends on tumblr who raved about it’s poignant moments and repeatedly quoted it in their blogs.

They were right, of course, about one thing. This book does have some rather poignant moments. At times, I even found myself in tears relating to some of the experiences described by the author. But aside from a few quotes and a few moments of emotion on my end, I found this book incredibly mediocre. It fell short of all the small expectations I’d developed as a result of the praise it had gotten.

It felt like a summary.

Now, I’m an avid supporter of the show, don’t tell aspect of writing. Often times when I offer editing services to writers and friends, one of the most important critiques I will give them when I read their story is to take places where they have dragged on with these incredibly dull talking moments in their writing and turn it into something with dialogue, something with action. It is what I would have told this author, if given the chance.

The main character in this ultimately became a person I just hated. I couldn’t get on board with his personality, I found nothing likable about him. I didn’t respect this character, this man. I found him somewhat pathetic, in fact, and considered the possibility that he may have truly deserved the pain he put on himself.

I found it a bit fascinating how this character had everything wrong with his life, but didn’t manage to pull any sympathy from me for it. It was an interesting read, but I don’t think it was a great book. I expected different things, a more likable character for one. I was disappointed with what I found.

This is How You Lose Her didn’t do what it should have done. For me, the summary aspect and a character I hated, but couldn’t love hating, ruined it.

*Would not read again.
*Not for me, but for others.
*Ugh character.
*1/5

Candor

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(by Pam Bachorz)

This is one of those books that just hits me right in the feels. And, truthfully, it bugs me that the novel doesn’t have a higher average rating. To be fair, I can understand why because by the time you’ve reached the end of the novel you’re just frustrated and upset. The main character can, at times, be a bit of an ass. And for some readers, that might not be their sort of book and that’s fine. But I do often find myself feeling as though this book doesn’t get the credit it deserves for being so fantastic.

Pam Bachorz explores an incredibly unique world one cannot help but love to hate. The story takes readers into a horrifying authoritarian community through the eyes of an amazingly interesting and dynamic young man who has been fighting the control of his father for years. And it’s brilliant. It’s somewhat Stepford Wives-esque, but still manages to be uniquely its own.

Bachorz touches base with some important and fascinating questions people have been faced with for years. What are we willing to give up for perfection? What will we do to keep the people we love? How far is a person willing to go? And she does it in such a way that it gives us a view into a dystopian world that a great many blindly believe is a utopia.

And how could you not sympathize with the main character? How could you not find him enticing? Her novel is told from the point of view of an almost pervy little shit who I simply couldn’t help loving every step of the way. The brainwashed town of Candor took someone who could have been less plagued and disgusted with the world around him and put him in the scary role of being the only person in town who really knew what was going on.

And that’s just the beginning.

[major spoilers from this point forward]

He’s spent his entire life watching the people around him become exactly like everyone else. He’s watched problem children become perfect little specimens, adults turned drones in his father’s vision of a perfect world, and watched every single thing that could ever be unique about a person get slowly erased as the people spend more and more time listening to music peppered with “messages” that are meant to control each and every citizen living there.

And when “perfect” Oscar Banks meets Nia he knows, but basically decides for himself, that she’s special.

So when she’s suddenly taken and everything unique about her is slowly erased until she becomes just like everyone else, Oscar’s world quickly falls apart. The perfect persona he’s kept up for years begins to dissolve, the people around him grow more and more suspicious, and Oscar himself begins to make more mistakes than he can afford to.

To save himself and the girl he has grown to love, Oscar decides he has to leave Candor. It is here that the story takes a despairing turn for on the night he expects to escape with Nia, his father–the orchestrator of this “perfect little town”–finds out.

I’ve always gone back and forth with how I felt about the ending. As a reader and a reader alone, it is emotionally draining and by far one of the most impressive acts of selflessness I have ever seen. It is also incredibly depressing. There’s an insane mixture of hope, happiness, and utter despair. As a writer, I believe it is beyond impressive. Of course we readers always expect the best for the characters we read about. Of course we always want the happy ending. And I believe that when the happy endings don’t happen, many of us get spiteful.

But the thing is: this book was brilliant. The fact that we didn’t get a happy ending doesn’t make it any less brilliant. I go back and forth on whether or not I think there should be a sequel, but I can guarantee if there were, we could not help ourselves from getting the second book. It’s simply too tempting not to. Bachorz’ writing is impressive. And the ending, while sad, is a risky and amazing decision on her part. It leaves me both wishing for more, and happy to have no satisfactory ending–because the whole point of the novel is to have the feeling we’re left with when we think about poor Oscar Banks and what he had to go through.

It means something. It means something important.

*I’m impressed.
*It’s possible others won’t be.
*5/5