Review: Leave Me

Leave Me
Leave Me by Gayle Forman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Initially, I did not love this story, but it grew on me by the end, enough that I felt slightly more satisfied that I hadn’t completely wasted my time.

My major complaint, beyond the initial disconnect, is that the story doesn’t end far from where it started. None of the major issues are resolved, or even addressed. None of the mysteries are answered. Threads start and then just drop. Kerplop. Never to be picked back up.

While some of the characters are interesting, the majority of them don’t change or grow.

(view spoiler)

Pages: 343 (hide spoiler)]

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Review: Boy

Boy
Boy by Anna Ziegler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this free from SYNC, and since it’s a play, it transitions well to audiobook. It’s dramatic and heart wrenching.

This takes place in the 1960s-1980s and is based on a true story. Back in the 60s, a well-meaning (but rather misguided) doctor convinces 2 parents to raise their infant son as a girl, after a tragic accident. They don’t tell the child that he was born a boy, like his twin brother, and instead, they try to shape him into girl using sterotypical “girl talk” and “Girl activities” to try to cultivate “female” interests.

This play explores gender identity, and the understandings of gender, from past perspectives, which were less than accurate. It’s a short, painful read with touches of humor and hope.

Pages: 55

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Review: A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings
A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was slow for me, especially in the first half. I enjoy the many different story lines, but they drug a bit. It lacks strong forward motion for a while, and that left me with a feeling of random wandering. In return, my attention wandered, and I cheated on this book with other stories, which slowed my pace.

However, I do love many other things about the story lines, characters, and world, so I am still debating whether or not to continue reading this series. I think I need to take a break before moving on to book 3. I want to know what happens, but I feel exhausted.

Pages: 761

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Review: A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since I’m late to this game, I’m not sure what I can add to the discussion on this novel.

In some ways, it’s very Tolkien-esque, in that Martin definitely digs deep into the fantasy world building, and it’s clear there are many layers of information hidden beneath the story that I will never even see or read. In fact, by the end of a novel by either author, I think I have probably forgotten more than I have learned, because it can be so difficult to file away all that information on a first read.

In other ways, it’s nothing like Tolkien, in that Martin writes edgier, darker, bloodier, sexier, and more horrifying scenes and moments than Tolkien ever did. And I both like and hate that, at any given moment.

After I finished reading this, I watched the first season of Game of Thrones, and that worked great. The TV show stuck reasonably close to the book, and it helped me to see all the characters come to life on the screen before moving on to book 2.

Also, it should be noted that I listened to a lot of this on audiobook, and it’s a particularly good recording. I think I almost prefer listening to it over reading it, though I did both, depending on what was convenient in the moment.

Last thought: I recommend this to anyone who digs deep fantasy. You have to be someone who can weather the storm of heavy descriptions, in-depth histories, an extraordinary number of characters, lengthy battles, and multiple, complex story lines. If you can tackle that, I think you’ll find there’s a lot here to love.

Pages: 835

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