Tag Archives: Angry Young Man

Two Books That Were Not Gone Girl

America’s Test Kitchen Radio has this great feature where they test kitchen gadgets and tell you one that’s hot and one that’s not. So I’ve got two Gone Girl knockoffs, one that’s hot and one that I read anyway. You: A Novel has an irresistible premise, in which a stalker narrates his growing obsession with a troubled young woman. He addresses her using the 2nd person, but within the context of a first person narrative. Author Caroline Kepnes had to use a teeny bit of…

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The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman (Magicians Trilogy)

Synopsis: As Quentin tries to make sense of a life without Fillory, a mysterious bird summons him to pull off the heist of a magical lifetime. Review: I got so much reading pleasure out of the trilogy that concludes in The Magician’s Land that I won’t wallow too much in my disappointment. Let me make one thing clear–my theological differences with Grossman have nothing to do with my criticisms of the ending of the story. Sure, his worldview is about as far from mine as…

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The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Reread)

Synopsis: Check out my review from three years ago. Review: What struck me most on my re-read ofThe Magicians was how hard Grossman was working to pull off the implausibility of his scenario. He needed Quentin & co. to be college age so that they could drink and then head out into the working world and suffer quarter life crises and all that, but he also wanted to play with the conventions of the classic boarding school story, which typically take place in high school.…

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Panic by Lauren Oliver

Synopsis: A girl whose mom is an abusive alcoholic joins a dangerous game in order to win the money to escape with her younger sister, only to find herself caught in an even tighter prison of fear that may be deadly. Review: Panic has an irresistible hook–every year small town teens play a dangerous Survivor-style game that left one girl paralyzed–and breathless execution. Her intricate characterizations and willingness to linger on small moments between people, combined with her inventive plotting (tigers!) make this book yet…

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Synopsis: Offered the chance to infiltrate the training academy for the elite ruling class in a future where Mars has been colonized, a young miner who once believed in love transforms himself completely into a ruthless killer. Review: All comparisons between Red Rising and Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games are entirely and awesomely appropriate. I’m almost sad I got a review copy because I’ll just have to wait that much longer for the next installment in the story. The storytelling, worldbuilding, character development, and…

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Dead by Sunset by Ann Rule

Synopsis: The true crime account of the murder of a brilliant attorney by her sociopathically narcissistic husband. Review: I was looking for a quick and easy read and decided to return to an old favorite. Dead by Sunset is one of Ann Rule’s best books, offering an exquisitely detailed portrait of a narcissist and the destruction he created in the lives of his wives (5 of them), girlfriends (too numerous to count), kids (sadly he was a bad father to 6 kids), and business associates.…

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

Synopsis: In a world divided into five factions ruled by a defining character trait, a young woman risks excommunication if anyone discovers that she is Divergent–showing tendencies to more than one character trait. Review: I initially dismissed Divergent as part of the post-Hunger Games dystopian frenzy and assumed it wouldn’t grip me and enthrall me in quite the same way. I was dead wrong–I actually think Divergent is a better story than HG–at least so far. I felt way more invested in Tris’s dilemma because…

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The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan

Synopsis: Greer’s been dumped in a home for disturbed kids, but amazingly she meets the boy of her dreams–and his creepy AA sponsor, a 50-year-old possibly homeless guy who has grand plans for Addison, Greer, and their friends. Review: The Believing Game is the portrait of a nascent cult. While Greer doesn’t quite buy Joshua as a spiritual leader, she’s so in love with Addison that she accepts Joshua so as not to lose her boyfriend. But Joshua has a way of getting under people’s…

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Boot Camp by Todd Strasser

Synopsis: Sent to a teen boot camp for falling in love with his teacher, Garrett fights to keep his integrity through beatings and psychological torture, while planning his escape. Review: Boot Camp was titillating and highly readable, but I don’t know that I’d recommend it. It just felt so extreme, not just in its depiction of the boot camp but in the characterizations and plot. It definitely kept me hooked in, but when it was over I didn’t feel like it rocked my world. Share…

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Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

Synopsis: A teen girl’s new boyfriend isn’t the gentleman he seems to be, but she alienates her two best friends when they try to intervene, with violent results. Review: Bitter End is an insightful look at the psychology of a teen girl in love with an abusive boy. I thought that Jennifer Brown‘s execution was perceptive, risky, and emotionally honest. It was hard to watch Alex push her friends away, hard to see her put up with excuses and apologies, but I understood every choice…

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