Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Love and First Sight—Josh Sundquist

Title: Love and First Sight
Author: Josh Sundquist
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company, 2017
Pages: 288 p.
Source: VOYA
Compensation: None
Read: Dec 2017

Josh Sundquist’s Love and First Sight
Will starts his first day at a new high school groping a girl on the stairs, sitting on a kid in the cafeteria, and making a fellow classmate cry just by looking at her. All in all a successful day for a sixteen-year-old blind boy who had never been in a public school. Will manages to navigate high school with his cane, his iPhone, and his ability to memorize routes once he has taken them. Navigating high school friendships turns out to be a bit trickier. Will becomes friends with the boy from the cafeteria and the girl he made cry, but when an experimental surgery gives Will eyesight he discovers that they were not as forthcoming with him as he thought. Cecily, the crying girl Will is falling in love with, has a facial birthmark that does not meet traditional standards of beauty. Will insists that what Cecily looks like really does not matter, but he feels betrayed by her and their friends for keeping it from him when he could not see it. 

Sundquist writes about Will's blindness with sensitivity. Although Will is completely incapable of seeing anything in the beginning of the story--not even shadows--he is not helpless or powerless. He is flawed, not because he cannot see with his eyes, but rather because of how he responds when he can see with them. The lesson in Love and First Sight is clear and predictable, but readers will enjoy Will's journey anyway.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Keep Her

Title: Keep Her
Author: Leora Krygier
Publisher: She Writes Press, 2016.
Pages: 264 p.
Source: VOYA
Compensation: None
Read: November 2016

Leora Krygier’s Keep Her
Maddie is a seventeen-year-old recent graduate contemplating her future. Although she loves numbers and scientific rational thinking, she has been accepted into a university program for fine art. She creates collages from photographs and unwanted scraps of material. While waiting for her pictures to be developed, the camera store she is in is suddenly flooded from a water main break. Maddie starts to panic, but is quickly rescued by a young man. Aiden and Maddie instantly bond over their frightening experience and form an interesting friendship. Maddie is dealing with emotions from her adoption, as well as the consequences of her brother's criminal behavior. Aiden is dealing with his own demons, namely the guilt over his younger brother's accidental death and the life-changing decision he is faced with--whether or not to keep his infant daughter. When Maddie learns Aiden is considering putting his daughter up for adoption, she tries to convince him to keep her.

Keep Her is a quick interesting read that will engage fans of contemporary fiction. Maddie and Aiden's relationship blooms very quickly, but throughout the novel there are flashbacks to Aiden's mission to save endangered whales that suggest that maybe Aiden's been waiting for Maddie for a lot longer. Fans of meant-to-be romance stories will not be disappointed.


Monday, January 08, 2018

Visitors--Orson Scott Card

Title: Visitors
Author: Orson Scott Card
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 2014
Pages: 608 p.
Source: Library Ebook
Compensation: None
Read: November 2016

Orson Scott Card's Visitors

Visitors is the conclusion to the Pathfinder trilogy that includes Pathfinder and Ruins. There is no point in even attempting to read this unless you've read the first two.

I've seen the negative reviews of this book (and series) but I enjoyed this series. Rigg and his friends have discovered that the world is in danger of obliteration from visitors with deadly intentions. Luckily, Rigg and his friends are not ordinary teens. They each possess different talents letting them manipulate time. They put those talents to use as they frantically search for a way to prevent the destruction of everything they know and save the world.

Just like Ruins, this is not the book to read while watching TV or multitasking. You need to devote some time to this and then some more time to think about it when you're done reading. I love time travel and I'm a big fan of tv shows/movies that explore its ramifications. It helped that I've already thought about the concept of time and Riggs & Umbo's conversations about causality and the relationship between the past and the future were conversations that I've thought about. This book is *deep*. The entire series is deep. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it, but it'll take a special reader to truly appreciate it.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Ruins—Orson Scott Card

Title: Ruins
Author: Orson Scott Card
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 2013
Pages: 544 p.
Source: Library E-Book
Compensation: None
Read: November 2016

Orson Scott Card’s Ruins
This is the second book in Orson Scott Card’s Pathfinder series and without reading the first you’ll be lost and confused and simply unhappy. If you haven’t read the first, go ahead and do that before you read this review.

Rigg, his friend Umbo, and his newly discovered sister Param all have special powers to help them manipulate time. On the run from people who would like to prevent Rigg and/or Param from claiming their birthright, they cross the forbidden Wall between the world they know and one they can only imagine. Here they uncover even more mysteries and are not sure who they can trust. Even though they spend a lot of time bickering and being suspicious of one another, they have to work together if they are going to prevent the horror that the future brings—a destructive force with deadly intentions that’s hurtling across time and space towards Garden.

Get ready to use your brains because there is some DEEP thinking about time and cause/effect in this mind-bending sequel. This is a complex book that deserves undivided attention.

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