Thursday, March 16, 2017

Review: Every Day by David Levithan

this image is from

Summary: Every Day tells the story of A who has lived everyday as a different person. A might be a boy one day, and a girl the next. A is never certain what tomorrow will be like, only that it will not be spent on the same body. For A, the only constant is change.

As the novel begins A is sixteen years old and has never known a different way of living. For the most part, A is sure this daily change is fine. A has long since stopped thinking that there should be something more, some sort of consistency. Until one day A meets Rhiannon.

My Review: 
As a typical Young Adult novel, Every Day portrays a romance that develops almost instantly. Since the story is told from A's perspective, the reader is privy to the intense feelings A has for Rhiannon. A's desire and intention to make Rhiannon understand the depth of these feelings is a constant in these pages. A works hard to convince Rhiannon that their feelings are genuine and that they belong together.

While Every day is a love story, David Levithan does a good job of exploring each day of A's life. A's journey; from body to body, life to life, is detailed. When it comes to each person A inhabits - Levithan explores life, family, friends, routines with some solid distinctions.

Levithan also shows A from time to time delve into the emotional aspects or toll that living an ever changing life can bring. Even though this is only happening at all because of Rhiannon.

Notice that I have not stopped mentioning how much A thinks about Rhiannon. That's because it's what you get when you read it. From the moment A realizes that their interaction with Rhiannon was something special, something A has not experienced often (maybe one other time, A has pointed out), they have not been able to let it go. A just has to see Rhiannon again.

And what do you know, A goes out of their way to do just that. A risks themselves and the inhabited person, deviating from the everyday protocol they have established for themselves.

Pretty typical conflict starter, really.

This novel has been praised for its exploration of gender. Its depiction of a love that might just transcend gender.

Personally I don't see that it explored gender at all. It definitely did not ask the questions other people have thought it did.

Such as: What is gender? What does it mean to be a boy? To be a girl? To be neither? What's it like to fall in love with someone - the person, not the their gender? How do we fall in love?

Sure, this book is unique because it's told from the perspective of a genderless protagonist. One who doesn't have control over where and whose life they will inhabit next. But that's about it.

Is this book about acceptance? About seeing differences? Falling in love despite differences? Maybe. Since the author does portray a variety of lives and people.

Maybe it's more about what makes us who we are?

Truthfully, I gave this book 4 out 5 stars as soon as I finished it. Why? Because I think it is a decent YA novel. It was funny and corny and comfortably familiar in parts. It made me smile, laugh, frustrated, and cry. Overall it was an enjoyable read and I'm glad I picked it up.

But I wouldn't attribute anything deep about this book.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: City of the Sun by Juliana Maio

Title: City of the Sun 
Author: Juliana Maio 
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Format/Length: ebook, 380 pages
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press 
Publication Date: March 9, 2014 
Where did I get my copy: Thank you, Greenleaf Book Group Press! 
Learn more about it on Goodreads 
Now available on Amazon

Synopsis: (From CAIRO, EGYPT 1941. As the Second World War rages, the city known as “Paris on the Nile” plays host to an international set who seem more interested in polo matches and swanky nightclubs than the Germans’ unrelenting advance across North Africa. Meanwhile, as refugees, soldiers, and spies stream into the city, the Nazis conspire with the emerging Muslim Brotherhood to fuel the Egyptian people’s seething resentment against their British overlords. 

My Review:  
There a lot of books about World War II. There are a lot of books about love, even about spies, and about Egypt. But I've never read a novel that had all of these together. I was excited about getting a copy of this book and 
I enjoyed it. 

Juliana Maio successfully put together a novel that is wonderful as a whole. All the little parts fit well, there is continuity, the dialogues are seamless, the descriptions are beautiful, and the mystery was interesting.

The historical details in this book is really impressive. The names, places, and events were aplenty. I enjoyed all that information. As a fan of historical fiction, I appreciate all of that hard work. 

I feel like I learned a little more about Egypt in WWII from reading this book. I enjoyed reading about this time in history in a setting outside of USA or Europe. 

The beauty of the Egypt, the glamorous part of the times - the style, the fashion, different lifestyles, it was all perfectly conveyed. It was easy to feel transported by Maio's words. 

Beautiful imagery and passionate writing aside, I think the story seemed weak towards the end. I thought what should have been the climax of the story fell flat. I didn't think it was exciting. It felt rushed. 

Even though it tied up the story just fine, I think it could have been better. All the build up; the tension and the intrigue deserved a heart pounding conclusion. 

City of the Sun is a beautiful debut novel. It has history, romance, and mystery. Maio seamlessly puts together a plot that kept me very engaged. I strongly recommend this novel to lovers of historical fiction. 

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
Oscar Wilde, 1888
epigraph to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, 2011

Image taken from Goodreads

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Love is the world’s infinite mutability; lies, hatred, murder even, are all knit up in it; it is the inevitable blossoming of its opposites, a magnificent rose smelling faintly of blood.
Tony Kushner, The Illusion
the epigraph to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, 2012

Image taken from Pinterest

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Image from Goodreads
Title: The Rosie Project
Learn more about it on Goodreads
Available on Amazon

Synopsis: Don Tillman, thirty-something brilliant Geneticist, is looking for a wife. As a man of Science and reason, he is going to use his knowledge of experimental design to find his ideal mate. He will use a questionnaire, he will go on dates, he will collect information, and analyze data until The Wife Project is completed.

Then he meets Rosie. Logically, she is not an ideal candidate for The Wife Project. She smokes, she curses, and she's constantly late. 

Still, Don thinks she's the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. Plus, she's interesting and intelligent. But she is also on a quest of her own; to find her biological father. So she enlists Don's help and his search for a wife takes a backseat.

Soon Don learns that he can have fun with Rosie and chaos would not ensue just because he did not have every minute planned out. 

My Review:  Oh how I love this book. Let me tell you about it! 

The Rosie Project is an amazing book. It is funny, thoughtful, and intelligent. It is interesting form start to finish. I could not put this book down and I did not want the story to end. 


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