This is probably actually closer to a 2 1/2 for me, and I'll probably check out the next installment. However, this one took me a while to get through...moreThis is probably actually closer to a 2 1/2 for me, and I'll probably check out the next installment. However, this one took me a while to get through despite how fast of a read it is when you get going. I never felt really immersed in the world, and didn't really feel all the stakes of the world. The idea of who we're fighting or why is not something I feel extremely invested in at this point. For the length of the book, I don't really have an ending sensation of all that much happening. Neither did I feel like I really had a handle on Paige before going on this adventure with her. I lost all concept of passage of time within the novel; the end listed much longer than I thought the events had set up. Maybe the publisher's hype played into what I was expecting from this novel, but for something that had so much promotion power behind it, I was expecting very specific and clear world. The potential is there, and that potential will carry me over to the next book.(less)
This book held a lot of promise: woman getting on after failed relationship, possible romance, Columbia studying, books. Instead I was forced to follo...moreThis book held a lot of promise: woman getting on after failed relationship, possible romance, Columbia studying, books. Instead I was forced to follow Esme, a reasonably an intelligent character, continue a relationship that started as shallow and problematic and ended with me thinking about emotional abuse, without Esme really acknowledging how messed up the romance is. Instead, she insists throughout how in love with Mitchell she is, how she can't live without him. Which is all well and good as people in such relationships often do genuinely love their partner, which makes it all the more complicated. However, this book was given to us from Esme's point-of-view, and I was never given anything redeeming about Mitchell. All we are given are Esme's assertions that she loves him, which always ring false, and yet are integral to the story. For a while the bookstore bits kept me going. I was still mostly enjoying it. And then Esme's relationship with Mitchell didn't end. And she willingly put up with really abysmal behavior from him and took on fault for it. And none of this was really explored in Esme's mind in herself acknowledging that this treatment was not okay. Overall I'm just disappointed in the potential I never really felt come to fruition in this book. At the same time, others might have a very different response to the way Esme and Mitchell's relationship, in particular, is handled.(less)
I appreciated that this book attempted to give us a different Anne, an earlier Anne, on the cusp of something rather than the tragic story that plays...moreI appreciated that this book attempted to give us a different Anne, an earlier Anne, on the cusp of something rather than the tragic story that plays out later. I appreciated seeing a woman attempting to gain control of her own life in a world not at all in favor of that. However, some bits fell a little flatter than I would have liked. It felt slow at times, the urgency getting lost in the timeline. Overall though a very enjoyable read. (less)
If you want a quick read that packs an undeniable punch, look no further. In Two Boys Kissing, Leviethan shows us the lives of gay boys in all differe...moreIf you want a quick read that packs an undeniable punch, look no further. In Two Boys Kissing, Leviethan shows us the lives of gay boys in all different places in their lives, as well as stages of relationships. We have a couple that have dated for an extended period of time, and are navigating what that level of comfort and knowledge of the other person means in their relationship going forward. We see the beginnings of a new couple. We see a couple that are broken up, but still friends. We see a boy alone and looking online for companionship, even if only for a couple of minutes or a night. We see accepting parents, parents trying to accept, and those that can't. There is a transexual character. This book runs the gamet without ever feeling contrived for covering everything.
All of this is given to the reader through the lense of their guardian angels, gay men who died of AIDS in the eighties. This use of narration was one of the buzziest things about this novel, and it works beautifully. From the beginning they say, "you don't know us, but..." and their story becomes laced in, showing progress and how far we still have to come. They say they are characters in a Kushner play, and while most teens won't get this reference (I know I wouldn't have as a teen), it is vital. I've seen blurbs from the book call them a Greek chorus narrator, because they are many and they narrate on the main action. This description doesn't completely fit for me, but the narration does.
This is a look how far we've come, but look how far we still have to go. It's about the issues, but it's also about the people. It becomes about the issues when it hate or prejudice impede on our characters. This is good writing. It doesn't feel didactic, and that is an easy pitfall for a novel of this ilk, especially with the narration. But the prose rises above this by being poetic and touching.
On the surface, this is a novel about two boys attempting to beat the Guiness world record for longest kiss. But, its really about souls striving for something greater, something more, trying to figure out themselves and the world. What teen, what person, doesn't need to hear that story?Don't be fooled this is an absolutely necessary story for everyone. It is beautiful, and heartbreaking.
Earlier this fall I finally got around to reading Boy Meets Boy. I think Two Boys Kissing far surpasses that work. I can't wait to delve into some further worlds with this author. (less)
I'm so torn over this book. It had some of the same problems for me that Insurgent did, if maybe a little more, in that the conflict felt somewhat con...moreI'm so torn over this book. It had some of the same problems for me that Insurgent did, if maybe a little more, in that the conflict felt somewhat contrived. Some of this can be pinned on the world building. We were put in a new environment, and it just didn't feel as compelling as the factions. And we didn't really deal with the conflict it felt like the first two books were setting us up for. Thus, some of the big twists in this book that I wanted to like for their bravery (and they still touched me don't be wrong), lacked some of their punch because I didn't feel their necessity. It didn't seem to build to those moments, because the conflict itself was somewhat muddled. Like Insurgent, it took me a little bit to re-enter the world. This time around I didn't feel as close to Tris as in the past, except when she was talking about her mother.
I know there's a lot of controversy about the ending of this book right now. For me, it's not about being angry about the big choices made. Rather, those choices didn't always feel earned. Rather, they existed to serve a larger didactic message within the books. (less)