Boarding school girls under quarantine from a virus that changes your body into something else.
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, LGBQTIA+, horror
No. of pages: 357
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
I was glad to hear there is a possibility of a sequel forthcoming, because we don’t get a lot of answers surrounding the myth and history of the world of Raxter, just a small personal history of one of our protagonists – Hetty. Hetty comes across as the ‘born yesterday’ trope, so she is a great protagonist as an introduction to elements the girls at the Raxter boarding school face with some sort of biological outbreak putting the school into isolation. It’s only in the last third of the novel that we start to see her gather her wits and courage to follow her instincts rather that going with the flow. Her questioning the status quo is what really sees the plot revealing itself.
The second POV is from Hetty’s best friend Byatt. Byatt is more gutsy, more head strong, and I feel the narrative only followed her to reveal some plot points because once that job was done, there really wasn’t much use for her perspective. Though she was a great motivator for Hetty.
Reese is Hetty’s love interest and the third member that rounds out this trio of a friendship group. Hetty’s father was the groundskeeper of the Raxter boarding school and a permanent resident of the island. So Reese has intimate knowledge of the islands ins and outs (and secrets.) Reese is the lens that Hetty starts to come to terms with her feelings and burgeoning sexuality. The voice of reason.
The biological outbreak on the island is called the Tox and seems to morph the biology of whatever it infects with elements of other biological organisms – hence the body horror. Parts of the residents of the Raxter School for Girls are taking on characteristics of other things – that is if the Tox doesn’t kill them outright. The Army and CDC are working for a cure offsite and dropping in supplies to help the school survive. The remaining teachers and girls have to gate themselves in the grounds of the school because infected wildlife on the island have now become aggressive and dangerous. Every day is a fight for survival waiting for a cure… or for the Tox to take them down in an agonising death.
I’m conflicted about the girls reaction to death: on the one hand they are dealing with so much they are in shock or suffering a form of PTSD, of the fact of what they have gone through has desensitised them to death, loss, and grief. It’s a hard one to judge – I think a sequel will help me form a better opinion on this and how the author sees the character handling such heavy events.
Rory Power’s writing style is alluring, succinct, and resonant, echoing the horrific and beautiful tone of ‘Wilder Girls.’ I wouldn’t say this is a horror per se, but it has elements of body horror that make your skin crawl.
I really enjoyed my time reading ‘Wilder Girls,’ though the story line is fairly simple and it took a long time for the plot to move forward. There is a lot of space setting up tone, character relationships, character development, and ambience… which I felt slowed down the pace more than necessary. ‘Wilder Girls’ has the feel of a Gothic horror, without being a gothic horror – just in the cadence it is written.
There are a number of seeds planted in the plot that weren’t resolved, that I’m hoping we’ll get to in the sequel(s) – I feel like the story only just got going when ‘Wilder Girls’ ended. I feel I would have rated this higher if I got more of that satisfaction at the end. There were just too many unanswered questions.
I won’t say the story was all that predictable, I mean I had my hunches and they sort of came about, but there was plenty of surprise and mystery to impress me and draw me further into the narrative.
I strong recommendation from me – the writing style alone is enough for me to be shoving this into my friends hands.
Overall feeling: An atmospheric read with elements of body horror
Another series I’ve completed as a part of #BeatTheBacklist. This duology deals with a futuristic society that have identified the HTS (Homicidal Tendency Syndrome) gene – a gene that violent criminals possess, so anyone found with this in their DNA are imprisoned. Is it nature or nurture that determines if we are a killer?
What is your favourite book about gene research used as a plot device? Mine would have to be ‘This Mortal Coil‘ by Emily Suvada.
Warring factions, plague, a country in unrest… how will these crazy kids ever get together?
Genre: Y/A, Dystopia, Science Fiction
No. of pages: 369
He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?
June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.
But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.
This was a lovely ending to the initial trilogy (there is a 4th book in this collection ‘Rebel,’) though I must admit I was expecting a few more twists and turns, or surprises in the mix given how Lu delivered them in the first two instalments. Again, the pacing felt a little bogged down with too much detail and political machinations that I didn’t get to enjoy my time with the characters.
The protagonists keep getting injured and knocked out. How do they not have traumatic brain injury or something? It happens a lot in YA novels (and television) which has me wondering why it never gets addressed. If you are knocked out cold for longer than 6 hours it can spell likely brain damage. It’s just a thing that has always puzzled me and stuck with me because authors love to use getting conked on the head, or falling asleep as a great chapter transition. How many of our favourite book characters are actually walking around oblivious to permanent brain damage?
I don’t feel like Day got a lot of character development – I would have liked to see something more happen with him – something to do with his connection to the people and love of the community. June had a bit more development as a character and got to come full circle in a number of plot points, but there was something about the conclusion, as hopeful a note as it ended on, that felt like it petered out.
I’m of two minds of the ending – politics and feelings like that don’t just evaporate. There are teething problems. And people views don’t just go away. It was wrapped up a little too neatly. But I must admit I did enjoy it. It left me satisfied. It’s got me curious for ‘Rebel’ the next book in the series following Eden.
The ending was mostly predictable, a teeny tiny plot twist that kind-of-but-not-really threw a spanner in the works, but all in all I pretty much guessed all that went down. Again, I was hoping for a bigger unexpected event to add some spice.
I’d have to say it was an enjoyable read, but didn’t knock me for six.
Overall feeling: Cute but a little undercooked for me.
After the shocking conclusion to Swarm, the zeroes are scattered, on the run, and desperate. They’re up against challenges from within and from the world around them, and one thing is certain—an epic showdown is guaranteed.
What a great conclusion to the Zeroes trilogy! Again, I have to say what a unique approach this series has to X-men-esque powers. A bunch of rogue teens have formed their own group (found family) and are the anti-heroes we all need.
The narrative for ‘Nexus’ like all the other books in this series follows a different protagonist of the group for each chapter. I usually dislike this mode of storytelling, with six different perspectives (which is a lot,) but in ‘Nexus’ it is not confusing and does not dampen the pacing.
We see the stakes for the gang of Zeroes increase, as well as the type and number of antagonists to make this a really engaging read. I particularly enjoyed a bit of humanity brought into the story with the main cast challenging their moral compass and some romantic interests.
There were a few plot points that weren’t solved. I was really hoping we’d get to discover more about Scam and the origin of his ability and why he is the only one with these abilities.
Pacing is great, each chapter drives the story forward. I think with so many authors and characters it was a must for this novel to be a success. I know what I wanted for the characters, and their arcs, but the uncertainty about their future because of the nature of their powers kept the plot unpredictable.
The ending does a little flash forward to let us glimpse into the characters futures once the main story has concluded. It was a satisfying end to the series and kept me on my toes because I did not know where the narrative was going to take us.
I had started this trilogy years ago and glad to have finally completed the series… the #BeatTheBacklist initiative is really paying off and reducing that TBR (along with the multiple series I’ve started and been distracted away from.)
I’d definitely recommend this YA, I’ve also listened to the audiobooks which are narrated really well.
You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you’re a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you’re Murderbot.
Come for the pew-pew space battles, stay for the most relatable A.I. you’ll read this century.
I’m usually alone in my head, and that’s where 90 plus percent of my problems are.
When Murderbot’s human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.
Drastic action it is, then.
I just love Murderbot, and in my past reviews for the previous novellas in this series I was hoping ‘Network Effect’ would be a Murderbot/ART team-up that involved some sort of contact with alien remnants, or a first contact scenario, maybe not quite that but this novel was everything I could have dreamed of.
As fast and easy a read as ‘Network Effect’ was (and the pacing fairly standard throughout) it read a lot like a longer version of the serialised novellas. So there were moments where the pacing dropped off a little. The format Murderbot Diaries has been following in the novellas does not work as well in a full length novel… you need more than one or two twists/reveals, and you need a lot more character development and exploration of secondary characters and their arcs. ‘Network Effect’ did manage this successfully, but it wasn’t a home run. I still had so many unanswered questions. But this is a part of an on-going plot that is continuing on for another four confirmed sequels. So rather than look at this as a standalone novel, or a novel in the traditional sense, I’m viewing it as another novella addition/episode… that happens to be a ‘big’ novella.
Murderbot gets put through the ringer again and we see him get shot, maimed, and suffer forced reboots. It’s become standard that Murderbot will sustain some sort of damage in each adventure; all while pondering its existence, meaning, and relationships.
The snarky/abusive banter between ART and Murderbot is up front and centre in ‘Network Effect’ and added much needed comic relief – and this time some of the humans get let in on the jokes. But in this episode we see the human-type failings of the personalities from both Murderbot and ART.
I wanted a few bigger twists and reveals from ‘Network Effect,’ for some reason the plot did not feel big enough for what I’ve expected from the series to date. But the concept of Abandoned/Reclaimed colonies and seeing the effects of actual alien remnants was a joy. It’s been hinted at for so long in the series, it was so much fun to have a front row seat to an encounter…. well not for the characters in the story, but definitely for the reader.
We start to see a real jump in the expanding universe of Murderbot and I am excited for the possibilities.
The story was mostly predictable with the exception of final reveal – but it wasn’t too shocking, so I think that’s where the slightly underwhelming feeling come from.
Wells does a brilliant job of constructing the world of the Colony, space, and constructs (AI/bots), as well as that of an alien threat. I was completely engrossed and not pulled from the narrative once.
I also loved the discussion of what a friendship or relationship means/is for an artificial construct. Though it’s not defined, ‘Network Effect’ takes some solid steps in that direction. Now I’m totally amped up for the next in the series ‘Fugitive Telemetry.’
Overall feeling: Everything, everywhere, all at once.
This book wowed, surprised, and empowered me so much. That is saying a lot from a memoir written by a news host and journalist (now author.) I became an instant fan of someone I was only peripherally aware of; Tracey Spicer has inspired me to research even more memoir’s written by women navigating their way in a male dominated society and finding their voice.
Is there a female figure that has inspired you through a memoir or autobiography?
An invaluable addition to my library that I uses often…
Genre: Non-Fiction, Fashion, Design, Textbook
No. of pages: 832
Renowned for its comprehensive coverage, exceptional illustrations, and clear instructions, this hallmark book offers detailed yet easy-to-understand explanations of the essence of patternmaking. Hinging on a recurring theme that all designs are based on one or more of the three major patternmaking and design principles–dart manipulation, added fullness, and contouring–it provides all the relevant information necessary to create design patterns with accuracy regardless of their complexity. Sewing guides included for the pleated trouser (with pattern layout), belt/loops, pockets, and zipper; the jean pant with pockets, countour belt, and fly front; and the gusset. Updated jacket foundation draft includes fabric preparation, interfacing, chest piece, tape control, and shoulder pads. Pant drafts–Trouser draft including pocket, waistband, and loop; dungaree foundation draft; grunge pant draft; and three jean waistline variations including pocket and sewing instruction. Includes fitting corrections for the basic patterns. Unique section on patternmaking for bias-cut garments. For anyone developing their patternmaking skills.
My mother passed on some general sewing know-how: she had completed a drafting course in her youth, and grown up in an era (and poverty) where it was essential to know how to sew for the home, and clothing for the family. I’ve picked up tid-bits here and there and had lots and lots of practice, and had a general idea on how to construct a pattern from scratch, and finishes to produce a reasonable garment. Also making costumes for dance and theatre really drove my skill as it meant saving thousands of dollars. One time when I outsourced a number of dresses due to time constraints, the designer recommended ‘Patternmaking for Fashion Design’ as a great resource. It was the text book they used in his fashion design course. And I can’t say how valuable a resource it has been. This elevated my sewing skill exponentially as it not only gives simple-to-understand instructions for every type of design and construction, but can also be a source of inspiration to make your garment that bit more elevated.
You can craft a design from scratch, to form fit from a body’s measurements, have sewing tips to ensure the best finish, and gives you the ability to produce tools (or purchase them) for a seamless process from start to finish.
This books talks about how to sketch a dress with construction in mind, how to draft up a panel/pattern, how to lay the pattern on the desired material, how the material behaves (stretch, bias, maximise useage, shrinkage after washing, etc…) I can’t list everything here as I would waste an afternoon, but suffice to say this book is a one stop shop for everything you will need for designing and constructing a garment. From formal wear, casual wear, lingerie, to swimwear; I’d happily recommend this book to anyone wishing to elevate their sewing.
I did have to go to a specialist book supplier to get a copy, but it was well worth it.
There are 5 novels being released in April that are tickling my fancy (and 2 I’m still deciding upon) : a lot of different genres, and if I wasn’t on a book buying ban I’d purchase them all!
Throwback – Maurene Goo
Back to the Future meets The Joy Luck Club in this YA contemporary romance about a Korean American girl sent back to the ’90s to (reluctantly) help her teenage mom win Homecoming Queen.
Being a first-generation Asian American immigrant is hard. You know what’s harder? Being the daughter of one. Samantha Kang has never gotten along with her mother, Priscilla—and has never understood her bougie-nightmare, John Hughes high school expectations. After a huge fight between them, Sam is desperate to move forward—but instead, finds herself thrown back. Way back.
To her shock, Sam finds herself back in high school . . . in the ’90s . . . with a 17-year-old Priscilla. Now this Gen Z girl must try to fit into an analog world. She’s got the fashion down, but everything else is baffling. What is “microfiche”? What’s with the casual racism and misogyny? And why does it feel like Priscilla is someone she could actually be . . . friends with?
Sam’s blast to the past has her finding the right romance in the wrong time while questioning everything she thought she knew about her mom . . . and herself. Will Sam figure out what she needs to do to fix things for her mom so that she can go back to a time she understands? Brimming with heart and humor, Maurene Goo’s time-travel romance asks big questions about what exactly one inherits and loses in the immigrant experience.
Happy Place – Emily Henry
Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.
They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.
Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blue week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.
Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?
The Only Survivors – Megan Miranda
A mystery about a group of former classmates who reunite to mark the tenth anniversary of a tragic accident—only to have one of the survivors disappear, casting fear and suspicion on the original tragedy.
Seven hours in the past. Seven days in the present. Seven survivors remaining. Who would you save?
A decade ago, two vans filled with high school seniors on a school service trip crashed into a Tennessee ravine—a tragedy that claimed the lives of multiple classmates and teachers. The nine students who managed to escape the river that night were irrevocably changed. A year later, after one of the survivors dies by suicide on the anniversary of the crash, the rest of them make a pact: to come together each year to commemorate that terrible night.
To keep one another safe. To hold one another accountable. Or both.
Their annual meeting place, a house on the Outer Banks, has long been a refuge. But by the tenth anniversary, Cassidy Bent has worked to distance herself from the tragedy, and from the other survivors. She’s changed her mobile number. She’s blocked the others’ email addresses. This year, she is determined to finally break ties once and for all. But on the day of the reunion, she receives a text with an obituary attached: another survivor is gone. Now they are seven—and Cassidy finds herself hurling back toward the group, wild with grief—and suspicion.
Almost immediately, something feels off this year. Cassidy is the first to notice when Amaya, annual organizer, slips away, overwhelmed. This wouldn’t raise alarm except for the impending storm. Suddenly, they’re facing the threat of closed roads and surging waters…again. Then Amaya stops responding to her phone. After all they’ve been through, she wouldn’t willfully make them worry. Would she?
And—as they promised long ago—each survivor will do whatever he or she can do to save one another. Won’t they?
If I See You Again Tomorrow – Robbie Crouch
From the author of The Sky Blues and Blaine for the Win comes a speculative young adult romance about a teen stuck in a time loop that’s endlessly monotonous until he meets the boy of his dreams.
For some reason, Clark has woken up and relived the same monotonous Monday 309 times. Until Day 310 turns out to be…different. Suddenly, his usual torturous math class is interrupted by an anomaly—a boy he’s never seen before in all his previous Mondays.
When shy, reserved Clark decides to throw caution to the wind and join effusive and effervescent Beau on a series of “errands” across the Windy City, he never imagines that anything will really change, because nothing has in such a long time. And he definitely doesn’t expect to fall this hard or this fast for someone in just one day.
There’s just one problem: how do you build a future with someone if you can never get to tomorrow?
The Scourge Between Stars – Ness Brown
Ness Brown’s The Scourge Between Stars is a tense, claustrophobic sci-fi/horror blend set aboard a doomed generation ship harboring something terrible within its walls.
“A perfect scare to swallow up in one sitting.” —Chloe Gong, #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights “ Highly recommended.” —Library Journal, STARRED review
As acting captain of the starship Calypso, Jacklyn Albright is responsible for keeping the last of humanity alive as they limp back to Earth from their forebears’ failed colony on a distant planet.
Faced with constant threats of starvation and destruction in the treacherous minefield of interstellar space, Jacklyn’s crew has reached their breaking point. As unrest begins to spread throughout the ship’s Wards, a new threat emerges, picking off crew members in grim, bloody fashion.
Jacklyn and her team must hunt down the ship’s unknown intruder if they have any hope of making it back to their solar system alive.
…and two novels I’m on the fence about but thought I‘d mention:
The Instructor – T. R. Hendricks
Dive into The Instructor, former Army intelligence officer T. R. Hendricks’ fast paced, action-packed debut thriller that’s Jack Reacher meets Survivorman, the first novel in the Derek Harrington series!
“Packed with action, tension, and humanity, The Instructor delivers.” —Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Burner, a Gray Man Novel
Derek Harrington, retired Marine Force Recon and SERE instructor, is barely scraping by teaching the basics of wilderness survival. His fledgling bushcraft school is on the cusp of going out of business and expenses are piling up fast. His only true mission these days? To get his ailing father into a full care facility and to support his ex-wife and their son.
When one of his students presents him with an opportunity too good to be true—$20,000 to instruct a private group for 30 days in upstate New York—Derek reluctantly takes the job, despite his reservations about the group’s insistence on anonymity. But it isn’t long before the training takes an unexpected turn—and a new offer is made.
Reaching out to an FBI contact to sound his concerns, Derek soon finds himself in deep cover, deep in the woods, embroiled with a fringe group led by a charismatic leader who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. When what he wants becomes Derek’s head, the teacher is pitted against his students as Derek races against time to stop what could very well be the first attack of a domestic terrorist cell.
“A pulse-pounding thriller. . . Hendricks delivers on all cylinders!” —Simon Gervais, former RCMP counterterrorism officer and bestselling author of The Last Protector
Spell Bound – F. T. Lukens
Two rival apprentice sorcerers must team up to save their teachers and protect their own magic in this lively young adult romantic adventure from the New York Times bestselling author of In Deeper Waters and So This Is Ever After.
Edison Rooker isn’t sure what to expect when he enters the office of Antonia Hex, the powerful sorceress who runs a call center for magical emergencies. He doesn’t have much experience with hexes or curses. Heck, he doesn’t even have magic. But he does have a plan—to regain the access to the magical world he lost when his grandmother passed.
Antonia is…intimidating, but she gives him a job and a new name—Rook—both of which he’s happy to accept. Now all Rook has to do is keep his Spell Binder, an illegal magical detection device, hidden from the Magical Consortium. And contend with Sun, the grumpy and annoyingly cute apprentice to Antonia’s rival colleague, Fable. But dealing with competition isn’t so bad; as Sun seems to pop up more and more, and Rook minds less and less.
But when the Consortium gets wind of Rook’s Spell Binder, they come for Antonia. All alone, Rook runs to the only other magical person he knows: Sun. Except Fable has also been attacked, and now Rook and Sun have no choice but to work together to get their mentors back…or face losing their magic forever.
So many books I wish I could jump into – are there any April releases that you feel are deserving of this list? Let me know in the comments.
Coming out, going places, and learning lessons… with some background music.
Genre: Y/A, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT+
No. of pages: 314
A story about finding the people who become your home.
Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he’s excited to start his new life–where he’s no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents’ disapproval.
From the outside, Marty’s life looks like a perfect fantasy: in the span of a few weeks, he’s made new friends, he’s getting closer with his first ever boyfriend, and he’s even traveling around Europe. But Marty knows he can’t keep up the facade. He hasn’t spoken to his parents since he arrived, he’s tearing through his meager savings, his homesickness and anxiety are getting worse and worse, and he hasn’t even come close to landing the job of his dreams. Will Marty be able to find a place that feels like home?
What a cute little diddy! Stamper really knows how to craft a genuine coming of age tale harmonised with music, religion, and identity.
I felt the pacing was slow with ‘As Far As You’ll Take Me’ but I think it was due to me not connecting well with the material or the protagonist. Firstly there is a lot about music and musical instruments, which was fascinating and educational… but not something I’m not particularly interested in, so after a few chapters, my eyes started to glaze over with the depictions of music and instrumentation. Marty is anxious, quiet, a little bit of a mouse. A people pleaser. And I appreciate the experience of life from his perspective, but I can’t say my shoulders weren’t bunched up in frustration. I just wanted to yell at him to ‘get over it,’ or ‘wake up.’ Which is a great thing because as a writer you really want to pull emotion from your reader; but by the end of the novel I was, frankly, a little exhausted. But it does make for a great place for Marty’s character arc.
The background of the UK and Europe was magical – I wish there was as much time and care gone into painting the landscape as there was the musical elements of the story. I’d love to get lost in that ambience.
Marty felt whiny and without back bone for most of this read. Being an artsy type and fairly new to the gay scene, and the world at large, this innocence coupled with anxiety made it hard for me to get invested in his story. He’s the type of character I’d describe as ‘nice,’ not compelling, or cute. Other readers may love this type of character, but it didn’t connect with me so much. Maybe if the tone of ‘As Far As You’ll Take Me’ shifted to something more sarcastic or tongue-in-cheek I may have enjoyed it more. ‘As Far As You’ll Take Me’ is quiet, like its protagonist. Admittedly I put this book down a lot for breaks. I love the representation, but the cast were all a little vanilla for my tastes.
Marty spent most of the novel with blinders on. He ignored, or ran away from just about everything. Most of the novel is spent luring the reader away from tension, away from the interesting bits.
Pierce, as Marty’s love interest sent my alarm bells ringing from the first few sentences, I took an instant disliking to him. There were maybe a few moments where my opinion thawed from some cute scenes, but on the whole he never sat well with me from the get-go, so I think that was another aspect that had stopping me from really getting immersed in ‘As Far As You’ll Take Me.’ I just wasn’t invested in this couple.
All the things I’ve had issues with is what makes this book unique and a masterpiece in its own right. A realistic depiction of growing up gay and finding your tribe… and navigating all the potholes along the way. It just wasn’t the right narrative for me.
I predicted most of the book fairly early on, I was hoping for some more unexpected twists and turns, like I mentioned before, this book feels very vanilla.
I wanted more humour, more sass, more angst.
This is a soft recommendation for me. I think it does a great job for representation of gay youth, of mental illness like anxiety, eating disorders, and shed a light on social climbing and toxic relationships. With so many dark aspects in the narrative, I think that’s why I didn’t enjoy this as much as I was expecting to. But some readers may love this, but it’s not a story I’d recommend often.