Beautiful and hopeful, haunting and touching and sweet. The great depression is the perfect setting and backdrop for this story of hope and kindness a...moreBeautiful and hopeful, haunting and touching and sweet. The great depression is the perfect setting and backdrop for this story of hope and kindness and the impact we can have on each others' lives if we're willing to open our hearts.(less)
This book was very different from what I had anticipated, and it took me a few days to decide whether I liked it or not. I believe I decided...more4.5 stars
This book was very different from what I had anticipated, and it took me a few days to decide whether I liked it or not. I believe I decided that I do indeed like it. A lot. I could sympathize a little bit with both of the mc's right from the start, and I loved watching their journeys.
I think the thing I liked the most was that while both men each admit that they're broken, they don't try to fix each other. (view spoiler)[ although I'm still not sure how much I like Wes saying that if Michael wanted to go back to whoring that he would learn to live with it. I get that he was trying to be supportive and non-controlling, but I have a hard time accepting that someone would let the man they love sell himself like that. So while I'm all in favor of the giving them encouragement while they fix themselves approach, I do feel that there are some things that are important enough that they can be stood up for.
On the other hand, Wes saying that really proved to Michael that he would let him have his own life and not try to control or dictate to him, and it did come across as rather sweet, once I got over the shock of having him say it at all. Ugh, so I guess I'm STILL not sure how much I like him saying that (hide spoiler)]. Instead, each acts as a catalyst to encourage the other to fix himself. I loved that they each had to find the courage to face their own demons, but that once they found that courage, they also found the other standing right there next to them.
And I love how their relationship develops. How they become friends and are able to find in each other the acceptance and support that they hadn't found anywhere else.
The biggest thing that kept this from getting 5 stars from me was that the solution with Wes's dad seemed too simplistic. The dad's decision just seemed so out of character and rather felt as though the author just didn't know what else to do with him.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
It might have had to do with my having read several really dark, depressing, painful-to-read books lately, but this book was just so light and fun and...moreIt might have had to do with my having read several really dark, depressing, painful-to-read books lately, but this book was just so light and fun and refreshing I couldn't help but love it.
It's just a very sweet story. Yes, disbelief must be suspended by more than just the time-travel premise: Alexander has a stranger appear in his house and says "hey, you look just like my lover who disappeared! What's that? You're from the future and you're in love with me? Well, shucks, you better hop right on into my bed, then!" It wasn't enough to pull me out of the story, just made me chuckle a little at the time.
If you're in the mood for a light, sweet, improbable romance with a little dash of historical. This one is definitely fun.(less)
I was surprised by how much I loved this book. I was a little nervous about the whole he falls in love with his wife's brother bit, afraid it might sq...moreI was surprised by how much I loved this book. I was a little nervous about the whole he falls in love with his wife's brother bit, afraid it might squick me. I think the thing that surprised me the most was Charlotte. She is officially my new favorite female character out of any M/M book I've read yet.
I was also a little nervous when I read that they separate and one goes back to war. I was afraid they'd be all whiny and angsty and annoying. Again I was very pleasantly surprised by what actually happened. It's so refreshing to read about people who make actual grown-up decisions when things happen that they don't like instead of sitting around whining about everything.
This is definitely my new favorite historical! I will definitely be reading this one again just to get to spend more time with these characters. (less)
The history of the Mormon pioneers--perhaps in another dimension. Totally fictionalized, Card's characterizations were totally offensive. Especially t...moreThe history of the Mormon pioneers--perhaps in another dimension. Totally fictionalized, Card's characterizations were totally offensive. Especially that of the Prophet Joseph, whom Card portrays as this aggressively angry man who enjoys wrestling and stick-pulling (which he really did enjoy) not for the fun aspect of it, but as relatively innocent ways of releasing his hidden aggression.
Told from the point of view of a fictional wife of Joseph, this novel creates an alternate version of the motives behind the actions of the early members of the Church--forcing the reader to view these individuals in new and often disturbing ways.(less)
**spoiler alert** I've had the hardest time trying to decide what star rating to give this one. It started out super slow for me, and I had to force m...more**spoiler alert** I've had the hardest time trying to decide what star rating to give this one. It started out super slow for me, and I had to force myself to keep reading, hoping that it would get better.
As the blurb says, Zac's lover gets killed the same day as this really famous actor. The first hundred and fifty pages (151/938 in ibooks) were a lot of Zac suffering, and a lot of flashbacks of Zac's life with Nick... and not really very interesting flashbacks. I found myself having a hard time caring about learning about a character who was already dead when the book started.
Once Zac starts talking to Jonathan and learning more about Marc the story really picked up, and I was totally loving it. I think I was hooked from when they sat and watched the video showing Zac with Marc back in the 1950's.
Speaking of which, I have to admit I'm a big fan of time-travel stories. I love that I get to experience what a different time might have been like through the eyes of someone who's just as much an outsider in that time as I am. I ADORED that Ethan Day chose a time when the people Zac knew back then are still alive in the 2011 present. That made everything so much more intriguing for me, that Zac got to know both the younger and the older versions of some of these people. I also loved SO much that Zac was able to change things so that Max didn't die. I was totally cracking up when Max was giving Zac shit about the letter he'd left.
I also adored Marc and Zac. I loved each of them separately and just couldn't get enough of the two of them together. And I loved that I got to (re)live through some scenes Zac had seen from the future, and yet that Zac was able to change things just enough from the future we'd seen in the first part of the book that I could still be surprised.
The thing that I liked least about the book (and I know this may be silly, and that it is 100% my personal taste) was that Marc aged an extra 6 years before he came forward to Zac's time. It had made me a little uncomfortable from the outset that Zac was only 20/21 and Marc was 28... And then to add another six years onto that just made me uncomfortable. And, yes, I know that there are bigger age gaps in other books, and I haven't been bothered as much by those. I think it was maybe that Zac was just so YOUNG! Twenty and 34 sounds like a much bigger difference than 30 and 44 for example.
Overall, I loved the book. It was definitely different from any other Ethan Day book I've read, but it was still very well written and I still fell totally in love with the characters.(less)
I'm a little disappointed that this is a Newberry medalist. It came across to me as more of a Christian morality fairy tale than an inspirational book...moreI'm a little disappointed that this is a Newberry medalist. It came across to me as more of a Christian morality fairy tale than an inspirational book for children. Just the way everything worked out so perfectly at the end in my mind left the realm of reality and crossed the line into fantasy. It seemed to send the message that if you work hard and say your prayers that all your dreams will come true and only good things will happen to you.
That being said, it was an interesting glimpse into medieval England and the life of the son of a wealthy and powerful nobleman. There were also some lines and some ideas which I really liked. I liked how Robin took Luke's encouraging words "Anybody can NOT do it" and turned them into his catch phrase and his encouragement when he came across difficult things.
Actually, right up until the end, I could totally see why this won the Newberry medal. It was just the end that seemed too perfect to me that brought it down to 3 stars for me.(less)