I love this premise. A person with acute introversion and social anxiety is such an original choice for a protagonist, especially for a character in pI love this premise. A person with acute introversion and social anxiety is such an original choice for a protagonist, especially for a character in possession of a working time machine.
Gloria doesn't want to change history or be a part of it; she just wants to see it happen, and she's as responsible as she knows how to be about it. She even invents a way of closing off each timeline that she has visited into an alternate reality, so that no matter what happens, it cannot affect her timeline, which she thinks of as the "real" timeline. She also never visits the same alternate timeline twice -- until she meets someone she decides she wants to see again, and realises upon her return that in spite of the care she has taken, something has gone very wrong.
I really appreciated this for being a sci-fi based time travel novel with a female protagonist as the creator and owner of a time machine. Most sci-fi time travel stories I have encountered feature a man in charge of the time travel mechanism, often with a young woman looking up to him in a supporting role. Not only was Gloria unquestionably in charge of her own invention, but Boaz, an adult man from the Victorian era who comes to travel with Gloria, never once tries to take over, or acts as if he should be the one in charge. He is unfailingly helpful and supportive, as well as showing great respect and admiration for Gloria, in spite of her social awkwardness, which he finds charming.
All in all, this was a great premise for an exciting first novel by Mathison, who has also impressed me with her musical ability and her entrepreneurial spirit. I look forward to reading her other works and seeing her grow as a writer....more
**spoiler alert** This was exactly what I needed this week: a story about teenagers celebrating pride week, and having small-scale romantic and person**spoiler alert** This was exactly what I needed this week: a story about teenagers celebrating pride week, and having small-scale romantic and personal crises. Engaging, and occasionally moving, but nothing too heavy.
I really felt a connection with Kate, who suffers from a bad case of Imposter Syndrome, always doubting herself and thinking she's not worthy of the good things in her life. I was so happy to follow her through finding a new friendship with Mark and negotiating a possible future with Violet and finding some unexpected success with her art.
I kind of wish Mark and Ryan could have ended up together. I hoped that Ryan's reluctance stemmed from the knowledge that he couldn't stay in the closet if his boyfriend was someone his parents and everyone else already knew, but he could have a secret boyfriend in Taylor if no one else in his life knew him. What can I say? I'm a sucker for the friends-to-lovers trope.
But everything turns out great, and everyone gets their happy ending, or at least makes peace with where they are and where they are headed. I only wish real life would be this kind more often....more
I enjoyed this book a lot, though not quite as much as "Every Day". Rhiannon's struggle with figuring out whether and how to love someone who appearedI enjoyed this book a lot, though not quite as much as "Every Day". Rhiannon's struggle with figuring out whether and how to love someone who appeared in a different body every day wasn't quite as compelling to me as A's struggle to establish an identity and an existence while ethically inhabiting the bodies of others. Justin is even more of a jerk and even more unworthy of Rhiannon when seen at close range. I hate guys like that, who constantly make others doubt themselves and walk on eggshells around them. Rhiannon deserved better. I'm very interested to find out what will happen next in both A's and Rhiannon's lives, though I'm especially curious about what is in store next for A....more
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I was a gay teenage boy who was really into musical theater. As it is, I am none of those things, so II think I would have enjoyed this book more if I was a gay teenage boy who was really into musical theater. As it is, I am none of those things, so I just found it to be OK....more
I'll read pretty much anything David Levithan writes. That being said, this was kind of a downer. There was a relentless sad grimness to the way the nI'll read pretty much anything David Levithan writes. That being said, this was kind of a downer. There was a relentless sad grimness to the way the narrator, Evan, monologues to his absent best friend, and his growing obsession makes it clear that he's not ok. I read the whole thing in one sitting, seeking closure because it was so clear that Evan needed closure. It brought up a lot of memories of fraught experiences of high school and the feelings surrounding them. I think readers who struggle with some kinds of mental illness could find something here that speaks to them, but man, this book was rough....more
I read the whole thing in one sitting (when I should have been sleeping) and cried every time someone validated George's, or rather I should say, MeliI read the whole thing in one sitting (when I should have been sleeping) and cried every time someone validated George's, or rather I should say, Melissa's identity. This is such an important book. I hope it finds its way into the hands of the kids who need it most, and lots of other kids as well. This is the way to a better, happier, and more compassionate world. Five stars and three soggy tissues....more
**spoiler alert** I'm trying to take this for what it is, in the knowledge that, without seeing the play, I'm not getting the whole picture, but reall**spoiler alert** I'm trying to take this for what it is, in the knowledge that, without seeing the play, I'm not getting the whole picture, but really ... I dunno. There was a lot here that didn't sit right with me alongside previously published canon. I'm not sure how much of this I can or am expected to accept as being canon.
None of the adults we grew to know and love from the original Harry Potter series felt like themselves. I cannot imagine Hermione growing up to be Minister for Magic, or Harry having a bad relationship with any of his children, or Ron and Ginny being so ... useless and colourless. Or Draco referring to any of them by their first names.
To be honest, the whole idea of Voldemort having a secret daughter, possibly involving time travel, felt like something straight out of bad fanfic from the mid-2000s. I could not take it seriously. Every time it was mentioned that Voldemort might have had a child, I started laughing, and when it turned out to be true ... well, all I could do was shake my head.
I loved the affectionate relationship between Albus and Scorpius. It was everything I wanted it to be. Well, almost everything. Because you can't have a story where two male characters repeatedly affirm their affection for one another without shoehorning in an unconvincing hetero crush for one or both of them, just so it doesn't look too gay. It's 2016, and in a story that went some really dark places, queerness is still apparently one step too far....more
I opted to listen to the audiobook, even though I do also have a paper copy of the novel. Having the story in Cecil's voice -- although, unlike the poI opted to listen to the audiobook, even though I do also have a paper copy of the novel. Having the story in Cecil's voice -- although, unlike the podcast, not in his point of view -- felt right. Unfortunately, Cecil's soothing voice meant that I fell asleep more than a few times, and had to skip back to find my place.
I liked that the story focused on two previously minor female characters, struggling with real and surreal life problems. While Cecil and Carlos and several other major characters are present in the narrative, they are not directly involved in the plot in any major way.
I imagine it must have been a challenge to write a coherent and sustained story of 400 pages (rather than short, interrelated, episodic stories) set in a world where the laws of reality are flexible and don't always apply, and where linear time doesn't affect all the characters in the same way. I think Fink and Cranor did a good job of putting together a story that made sense in the context of the Night Vale world, and was engaging. I'm not sure how much appeal it will have for people who are not regular listeners of the podcast, but for those who are already fans, there is a lot of world-expanding, and in-depth character development of a kind that the podcast doesn't usually have time for....more