More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

I can’t say I liked this book, but I’m so glad I read it and I want everyone in the world to read More Happy Than Not.  I read the entire thing in one night: it was wholly engrossing, and then the plot kicked me upside the head and I learned a new kind of desperation for MUST READ.  This is not a feel-good book, but it might leave you feeling….no I can’t do the cheesy “more happy than not” line.  Because honestly, I closed the book feeling more UNhappy than not.  I tend to expect my YA books to have happily ever after endings, and this one was serious is a wonderful but disconcerting way.   Continue reading

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Oh noooO!!!  Too many feelings.  This review is going to be less intelligent and more an emotional outpouring of OH MY GOSH THIS BOOK.

I mean, the premise is fantastic.  Harry August lives his life, dies, and…is reborn.  As himself, same parents, same place, same situation.  But he remembers everything of his life before.  It turns out there are other people like him, and this is the story of how these men and women influence the world and each other.

It’s super cool and fascinating, and the structure allows for some amazing questions.  There’s the run of the mill immortal quandary:  What do you do to keep life interesting if you’ll never die?  Harry becomes a scientist, doctor, engineer, world traveler, etc.  He learns everything, he meets everyone, he gets married a few times in different lives to different women.  He is captured, tortured, and dies in a whole bunch of different ways.   Continue reading

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

If it were acceptable book review practice to simply post paragraphs of “!!!!!” over and over again, I would.  Pierce Brown seems to delight in leading his readers to believe that one thing will happen…and then making everything fall apart so that you’re left staring at the page, wondering how in the world Darrow will escape this time.  And by “this time” I mean every fifty pages or so.  The big moments come hard and fast, and nothing ever goes as I expect it.  I LOVE IT.

While Rising Red was a small(er) stakes revenge story, Golden Son widens its scope to the whole solar system, and this time Darrow has matured into a desire, not for revenge, but for transformation.  He doesn’t shy away from the battles he needs to fight (and agh!  the battles!  the enormous death counts of actual main characters!), but his overarching goal is to redesign the Society into a place where every color can be and do what they will.  It’s a more complex goal, but nobler as well.  Continue reading