Now this is how you write a romance novel! There was one line that captured this for me, ”A first kiss was usually a one-way ticket to a one-night stand or an awkward exit, but this one…I didn’t know where anything was going now.”
I was worried about where the Tucker Springs series was going, but L. A. Witt single-handedly brought the series back to a great, if predictable (it is romance after all), place and pace. I was so impressed with this addition to the series that I’m convinced I should probably look into whether Witt has written any other MM romances and it left me hoping she will contribute more to the series! I received a copy of After the Fall (link to the publisher’s site) from the publisher in return for my honest opinion of the novel. I received no compensation.
What a great book! I’m not sure where or why I decided I needed to read it but I’m glad I did. I think it was on one of the blogs I follow or one of the podcasts I listen to (I think it might’ve been Pop Culture Happy Hour, but I’m not positive), but either way I’m glad I read it.
One reason I thoroughly enjoyed this book is that it reminded me a lot of Perry Moore’s Hero. The heroes in both of these novels are not your standard superheroes, they have unique talents and abilities. What this novel did differently than Hero was to explain why the most mundane tasks are actually superhero worthy. Kaufman talks about choosing a superhero name and speaks to the mundane portion of superheroes regardless of their talents and reminds us that they are (mostly) all human.
“The final stage of finding your superhero name is accepting how little difference it really makes. Okay, there’s this one thing you can do, a thing you can do like no other person on the planet. That makes you special, but being special really doesn’t mean anything. You still have to get dressed in the morning. Your shoelaces still break. Your lover will still leave you if you don’t treat her right.” (77-78)
If I were to write a book I would want it to be this book. I’m serious, I don’t think I need to write a novel anymore because this is what I would want to have written. Maybe one day I will, but I don’t need to having read this. The number of times I cried on the T (from this book and the other bazillion things going on in my life) are uncountable. It was a daily occurrence and I finally had to stop reading it on the T so I’d stop freaking people out. This review does not do this book justice, you need to go read it to really see what I’m talking about.
Levithan’s inspiration for the novel comes from an actual event and he draws other ideas from the past few years which fed into the various story lines and created this masterpiece. I’ve not read anything by Levithan previously, but I do have Boy Meets Boy on my bookshelf. If any of his books are anything like this I’m glad I’ve got another to read. Although this is classified as young adult I think everyone needs to read this novel, there is something so raw and so emotionally wrenching about this novel and Levithan’s writing that it has to speak across so many demographics.
I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book. If I guessed it’s probably the same reason I out off reading The Casual Vacancy, that I didn’t want Rowling to disappoint. And in this instance she didn’t!
With The Casual Vacancy Rowling faced a lot of justified criticism in that the book did nothing and went nowhere. And although I disagreed with the numerous critics, I can see why and how readers would think this. Personally, I preferred the quiet and slow reveal of the story line and the intimacy of all of the characters and the small-town feel. With The Cuckoo’s Calling Rowling answers all of this and more. She provides a fast-paced and gripping thriller with adult characters whom the reader can identify with. As I went into this book, this was my chief concern, whether or not Rowling could write a book solely featuring identifiable and sympathetic/empathetic adult characters.
So I felt really guilty about reviewing either one of these short stories/novellas on their own so I squished them together and counted them as one book. Total they are barely 50 pages, but I’m including them anyway. The first, In Another Life, is an ARC from the publisher and I received nothing for my honest opinion; the second, Karma is the 2013 Boston Book Festival 1 City 1 Story selection.
I would’ve read this ages ago if I would only have realized that it was a novella/short story. For some reason I assumed this was a standard 150-200 page love story type novel. Regardless I am glad that I read it, even if it was only 28 pages.
They say that the hardest thing to write of all forms of writing is a short story. Now I don’t know who they are or whether this is true, but I can say I have read really bad short stories and amazing short stories. I think a lot of authors struggle with the finite amount of space and telling a complete story within the short story structure. And although E. E. Montgomery does a great job with this as a short story (or novella as the publisher says), this story would only have been better if it had more meat to it. I will say there were golden passages that made my breath catch and made me want the love the two characters had such as Click here to continue reading.