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Incarnate: Review

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)Title: Incarnate
Author: Jodi Meadows
Release Date: January 2012
Published By: Katherine Tegen
Pages: 374
Goodreads Rating: 3.85 stars

Review: In Range, the same million souls are reincarnated over and over again, until one soul suddenly disappears and is replaced by a new soul: Ana. Everyone knows she's different, but no one knows why, only that with her appearance came an onslaught of dragons and sylphs. While the rest of the citizenry wonder if she's to blame, Sam grows increasingly close to her. Could he fall in love with someone like her - and would everyone else allow it?

INCARNATE brought a new concept to light, with the fascinating idea of a million people repeatedly reincarnated. I've read other books that featured reincarnation but never like this, so I was looking forward to the background aspect of this novel. Unfortunately, there was very little focus on this part and many questions I had about how this world operated were left unanswered. There was a lot of room left over for development of the book's concept, and I felt the story would have been better off with more development in this area and less in the decidedly creepy romance.

The romance was one of my biggest pet peeves in young adult fiction: a super incredibly old guy dating a teenage girl. Even though Sam looks young in person, behind that face is an old, old, old man. It'd be weird if a hundred year old man dated a teenage girl, and it's even weirder for someone thousands of years old to be doing the same. Because of this, I just couldn't relate or appreciate the romance, and instead felt as if too much of the book was concentrating on this facet of the story.

I also found myself continually put off by the protagonist, Ana. I understand she had a rough childhood and went through the trials and tribulations of being isolated from the rest of the world and trapped with an absuive woman, but to put it plainly, she annoyed me. Time and time again through the novel, she was ultra-dependent on everyone else, especially Sam, and didn't always have a spine to support herself. What I really wanted was to see her pick herself up and be strong, or at least try to be, but this wasn't the case.

All in all, INCARNATE had a lot of potential but I felt that it ultimately disappointed me. There could have been more done with its intriguing concept but instead much of the focus was devoted to a romance that was off-putting due to the incredible difference in ages. Ana herself somewhat irritated me, and I did wish she could be a little more independent. Still, fans of paranormal fiction might find this a different and interesting read.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: Review

Title: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Release Date: March 2012
Published By: Abrams
Pages: 295
Goodreads Rating: 3.71 stars

Review: Greg has just one friend, the loud-mouthed and unconventional Earl, with whom he makes crappy movies modeled off cult classics that were less than exemplary to begin with. The movies are just for fun, not to be shown to anyone - that is, until Rachel. Rachel is diagnosed with leukemia, and Greg's mom decides that he should hang out with her to make her feel better. But he finds himself enjoying her company at least a little more than he thought he would, and he wants to make a movie with Earl for her once she stops her treatment and loses all hope. To do so, he must cast off his invisibility and for the first time in his life, take a stand.

I originally picked up ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL because of how completely gorgeous the cover was, and the actual contents of the book certainly did not disappoint. Every word was just as beautiful as the outside, but not in the way you would normally expect from your average "issues" novel. One of the reasons I really loved, loved, loved this book was because of how refreshingly honest and different it is from other books of its type.

When you read the summary of this novel, you would expect that Greg would become best friends with Rachel and maybe even fall in love with her, and that he would gain a newfound appreciation for life and all the opportunities it holds for him, but this was - refreshingly - not the case. He did end up becoming friends of sorts with Rachel but their conversations were hopelessly awkward for much of the novel. And yes, while he did gain something from the experience, he remained very much an immature teenage boy still grappling with his place in the world.

But perhaps my favorite aspect of this book was how funny it was. Greg is cynical and sarcastic, and not afraid to show it, as evidenced through his numerous hilarious remarks. There are sad moments in the novel, but most of the time, if you're crying, they're tears of laughter instead of grief. That's something you wouldn't necessarily expect from a cancer book, and I really enjoyed the different experience.

All in all, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL was so not what I was expecting, but every bit of it was wonderful. It was such a strange reading experience, but so rewarding at the same time. Anyone who's perhaps a little tired at reading "issues" books that are all the same should definitely give this one a whirl; they might just find it to be the same pleasasnt surprise I did.

Waiting on Wednesday (51)

This week, I'm waiting on...

All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen. Here's what Goodreads has to say:

Live comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the bring, life feels complete for the first time, in well, as long as she can remember.

Live knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek ut answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?
All the Broken Pieces releases December 2012. Have you heard of this book? What do you think?

Favorite Book and Poetry Quotes

I was looking over some of my favorite quotes from books and poetry, and came across a famous line by Mark Strand that I really like:

In a field
I am the absence
of field.

What are some of your favorite quotes from books or poetry?

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight: Review

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: January 2012
Published By: Little Brown
Pages: 236
Goodreads Rating: 3.65 stars

Review: It should have been the worst day of Hadley's life. After all, she just missed her flight to her father's second wedding to a woman she's never met, and now she's stuck at the airport. But someone else is with her: Oliver, a cute and funny British boy who she ran into in the waiting area. A long night flight on the plane brings them together, but they lose each other in the chaos of the landing. Can they find each other again... and will anything come of it?

As the title clearly indicates, THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT is unabashedly a love story, so of course one of the key things to evaluate in a review of this novel is, well, the romance. And yes, the romance was pretty cute. I enjoyed reading about Hadley getting closer and closer to Oliver as they fell in love through their troubled lives, and even though Oliver wasn't so fantastic as to make me wish I was Hadley or anything like that, the romance was perfectly satisfactory.

But an aspect I was not so keen on in this book was how cliché it ended up being. I mean, of course, the summary makes it fairly obvious that this book will not be breaking any new ground and generally I'm okay with that as long as I can lose myself in the novel enough to see past the predictable plot. Yet while I didn't by any means dislike the book, there just wasn't enough to hook me nor was there enough originality to really impress me.

I had hoped that since there were some serious sides to this story, the ending would make up for it, but unfortunately this was not the case. I found the ending to be just too much on the sappy side for my tastes, with everyone ending up all cute and happy and satisfied in disproportionate amounts to their struggles, and it was more or less what I had known was coming.

This review has been relatively negative and I want to stress that I did like reading this book, and it wasn't bad to decompress with. I just wish that I had been able to bury myself more into the story and that the cliché parts of the novel weren't so glaring for me. The romance wasn't bad at all, and I did like that Hadley and Oliver were fairly well-developed characters. All in all, I'd recommend THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT to anyone who wants a thoughtful but somewhat fluffy novel with a cute romance.

Expectations vs. Reality: The Thirteenth Sign

Expectations vs. Reality is a new feature here inspired by Small Review that will compare my expectations from a book cover before seeing the summary with the summary itself.


At first glance, I love the intricacy of the cover with all the creepy-awesome drawings that give it a sort of dark fairy tale vibe. The title and font definitely screams "magic" and "adventure", so I'd suppose this is a dark fairy tale retelling, or maybe a story that combines several fairy tales together.


From Goodreads:
What if there was a 13th zodiac sign?

You’re no longer Sagittarius, but Ophiuchus, the healer, the 13th sign.

Your personality has changed. So has your mom’s and your best friend’s.

What about the rest of the world?

What if you were the one who accidentally unlocked the 13th sign, causing this world-altering change—and infuriating the other 12 signs? 

Jalen did it, and now she must use every ounce of her strength and cunning to send the signs back where they belong. Lives, including her own, depend on it.
I suppose I was somewhat close, since zodiac signs aren't too far away from fairy tales, though I maintain that this cover has more of a fairy tale feel than a Zodiac vibe. Still, the summary sounds awesome and I'm excited to read this book!

What were your first thoughts about this cover? How do they compare to reality?

The Immortal Rules: Giveaway and Q&A

Recently I posted a review of the excellent novel, The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. First up is a fun Q&A with the author, after which is a giveaway - your chance to earn a hardcover copy of the book!

A Q&A with
New York Times Best Selling Author Julie Kagawa

After writing the Iron Fey series for so many years, how difficult was it to immerse yourself in a futuristic world filled with vampires, rabids and an enslaved human race?

    It was...very different.  I think the hardest thing for me was the fact that this story does take place in the real world -- a futuristic, vampire-infested world, but the real world nonetheless.  Things had to make sense, for example: how far can a large group walk in a single day if there were no roads, they were going through thick woods, and there were children in the group?  I had to have logical reasons for everything; I couldn't just make something work "because of faery magic," lol.

Just like Meghan Chase in the Iron Fey series, the main character in The Immortal Rules, Allison Sekemoto, is a “take charge and kick butt” kind of girl.  Is this intentional? What woman – real or fictional, alive or deceased – do you look up to or admire?

    Yes, Allison comes from a very different world than Meghan Chase.  Meghan's upbringing was pretty normal; Allison grew up among vampires and monsters, where every day was a fight to live, so she couldn't afford to be weak.  While Meghan had to learn to "take charge and kick butt," Allison's first impulse is stab first, talk later.  

    As for female role models, the first that comes to mind--when it comes to kicking vampire butt, anyway -- is Buffy Summers.  Thank you, Joss Whedon, for making me love feisty, snarky, heroines who can dust all sorts of nasties but who also look good in a cheerleading outfit. ;)  

You mention in your acknowledgements in The Immortal Rules that at the beginning of your writing career you promised yourself you wouldn’t write a vampire book.  What changed your mind?

    Well, there were already so many really good books about our favorite bloodsuckers, so many stories and ideas, I thought I didn't have anything new to add to the masses.  I was actually toying with a post-apocalyptic YA novel when my agent mentioned I might want to try writing a vampire series.  I wasn't intrigued with the idea at first, but then I thought about combining vampires with the post-apocalyptic novel and then rest sort of fell into place.   

Allison claims she hates vampires and believes they are monsters yet when faced with a choice of die or become one, she becomes a vampire.  Would you have made that same decision?  

    Me personally?  No.  I'm like Zeke in the belief that there is something better waiting for me beyond this life, and I just have to do my best until it’s time for me to go.  Besides, I love pizza and Mountain Dew too much to give it up.

Who do you think the most complex character is in The Immortal Rules?

    Probably Kanin, Allie's sire.  He's a vampire who has made his peace about being a monster, yet chooses to live by his own set of moral rules.  He warns Allison about getting too close to humans, yet he does not kill unless he absolutely has to.  He is tormented about something in his past that he refuses to share with anyone.  He is certainly the most mysterious of all the characters, if not the most complex.

How many books will be in the Blood of Eden series?  When will the next book be coming out?

    At the moment, there are three books planned, with the second coming out sometime next spring, after the release of the new Iron Fey series this fall.

Before you starting writing full time you were a professional dog trainer.  Do the professions share any similarities?

    Lol, well you have to think on your feet a lot.  And some of the small dogs could be compared to tiny snapping goblins, but writing requires less dodging skills, though perhaps the same amount of creativity and problem solving.

When starting a new series, like Blood of Eden, do you have the entire series mapped out in detail or do you let the story develop book by book?

    I have a high point that I write toward in each story; I know this and this has to happen, but getting from point A to point B usually develops as I go along.

And for the speed round:
What book have you read and re-read, and read yet again?

    Any of the Harry Potter books.

Favorite song to play when writing a fight scene?

    My "favorites" change daily.  Right now its "Awake and Alive" by Skillet.

Worst job?

    Working a kiosk in the mall during Christmas.  It sold glass figurines, and the maneuvering space around the hundreds of very breakable merchandise was quite small.  I was like a bull in a china shop.

Best vacation spot?

    Walt Disney World

Sweets or salty?


One thing most people don’t know about you – and would never guess!

    I used to play the flute when I was a kid.  I was really good at it too, but my instructor stopped teaching to have a family, and I never went back to it.   

And now for the giveaway! It's open to US and Canada residents only, and you have the opportunity to win a hardcover copy of the book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday (50)

This week, I'm waiting on...

When We Wake by Karen Healey. Here's what Goodreads has to say: Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027 - she's happiest when playing the guitar, she's falling in love for the first time, and she's joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.

But on what should have been the best day of Tegan's life, she dies - and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity - even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?

This book will be released May 2013 from Little Brown. What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

The Immortal Rules: Review

Title: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: April 2012
Published By: Harper Teen
Pages: 485
Goodreads Rating: 4.22 stars

Review: The only way Allison can survive in the Fringe surrounding a vampire city is through her hatred of the vampires, the ones who keep humans as blood cattle. Until one night she's attacked, leaving her two choices - to die, or to become one of them. To survive, she must learn to face the rules of immortality, including the most important one: go long enough without human blood, and you'll die.

THE IMMORTAL RULES was certainly one of the better vampire novels I've read, and its story line was a far cry from the likes of Twilight and other derivative paranormal fiction works (not saying all paranormal fiction is the same; it can just be hard to find quality works in this genre sometimes). The idea of a city run by vampires with humans struggling to survive was intriguing, and I loved reading about the thrilling - albeit difficult and dangerous - life of Allison Sekemoto and her group on the Fringe.

The mythology itself with the vampires was interesting, but it did end up playing towards one of my biggest pet peeves. The author used a half-formed scientific explanation that was not only rather hard to believe but also not even approaching fully explained. I'd rather have some other reasoning behind the existence of vampires than a vague "scientific" explanation, but that's just something that personally annoys me.

However, I definitely did appreciate the suspense ratcheted up throughout this novel. I wasn't sure how much I would like this novel, but as soon as I read the first few pages, I found it quite difficult to put down, more than making up for the occasionally cliché moments in the text. This is a book difficult to let go.

All in all, THE IMMORTAL RULES was a pleasant surprise for me, with a fascinating plot line accompanied by enough suspense to keep even the hardiest of readers glued to the pages. I wasn't the biggest fan of the explanation used for why the vampires were actually vampires, but overall I enjoyed this novel and look forward to future books in the series.

Cover Change: Peaches

This is a bit old, but I stumbled across a cover change for Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson.

Here's the original:

This is an okay cover for me. The background color is nice and I like the repeated image of the peaches, but I'm not a huge fan of the font. Generally I like simplistic covers, but this one just isn't attention-grabbing enough and comes across as plain as opposed to striking.

Here's the new cover:

I like this new cover! The background image of the girl hugging the hug is cute and colorful, and the title text works well. My only complaint would be that it doesn't really properly convey the tone or the message of the story. This looks like a fun, light romantic comedy, which isn't quite in line with the book.

All in all, I prefer the new cover, though it isn't my favorite. Which one do you like better?

Organizing What You Read

I've been thinking recently about my huge reliance on Goodreads for organizing the books I read. It provides a convenient way to sort all the books in my life into neat categories of "read", "to-read", and "currently-reading", as well as the customizable ones like "to-review".

I don't think I could possibly sustain this blog without the Goodreads shelves. How else would I know what I need to review next, or what book I should pick up from all the ones I want to read? Of course, I could always make a list on paper or type one up on a document, but I certainly don't want to list out all 504 books on my to-read list, not to mention the lack of a search feature to find all the books whose titles I can only remember a word or two of.

How do you organize what you read?

Waiting on Wednesday (49)

This week, I'm waiting on...

The Archived by Victoria Schwab. Here's what Goodreads has to say: Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous—it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall. 

Just how insanely awesome does this sound? I can't wait for it to release!

Have you heard of this book? What do you think? What are you waiting for on Wednesday?

Libraries Rating Books

A while ago there was some controversy about an article suggesting libraries have a rating system on books to help parents discern what might be good or bad for their children to read. I definitely find myself agreeing with the ALA on this - that libraries rating books is a form of censorship.

Public libraries should not endorse stopping kids from reading certain books. That responsibility - deciding what exactly is appropriate for a child of a given age - belongs with the parents of that child, not to mention the impossibility of giving an actual sweeping generalization of what's appropriate and what's not. Every child is different, and what's okay for one eleven-year-old might not be for another.

Of course, there are ways for parents to see ratings for books if they so desire (websites and the like), but these ratings should not be something sanctioned and endorsed by the library. They should be private resources for parents who want to follow them.

What do you think of the idea of rating books?

Life is But a Dream: Review

Title: Life is But a Dream
Author: Brian James
Release Date: March 2012
Published By: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 234
Goodreads Rating: 3.82

Review: Sabrina is diagnosed with schizophrenia and her parents check her into the Wellness Center, where the soft, blurred colors of her world slowly begin to solidify into the harsh lines of reality. But then she meets Alec, who convinces her it's the rest of the world that's crazy, not them. She worries her doctors are making her lose her dreams and everything that makes her her, so she listens to him and they concoct a plan that could have disastrous consequences.

LIFE IS BUT A DREAM was an eye-opening look at an issue very few people truly know about: schizophrenia. Until I read this book, I always thought it was just something like multiple personalities disorder, but from this story I was able to gain a deeper understanding of what it's really like. Sabrina lives trapped in her own dream world, separate from reality and both beautiful and frightening.

Every word in this book was tinged with emotion, and I found it both disturbing - in a good way - and sweet. The romance between Sabrina and Alec was scary but I could empathize with her and see why she was swayed by him, and with every horrible thing that happened, my heart ached for her. It can be hard to fully relate to a character with metal disorders because they seem to be so far from us, but I didn't have that problem with Sabrina.

If there was one aspect I wasn't such a fan of, it was the ending. It should have been the culmination of everything that happened, and while all the events were wrapped up and resolved, it was a little too much. It was almost as if a bow was slapped on the story and made everything a bit unbelievable. I just couldn't picture such a perfect and easy ending happening, and it spoiled my reading experience to an extent.

Overall, LIFE IS BUT A DREAM has an incredible concept that will change your perception of people with mental disorders. The emotional side of this story tugged on my heartstrings like few books truly can, and I was surprised at how much I could relate to Sabrina. I did wish the ending was a little different, but I still highly recommend this novel.

New Cover: Shatter Me

Here is the original cover of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi:

and the new cover:

I really like the original cover, with the cool exploding glass and neat typography, but I LOVE the new cover. The iridescent eye surrounded by the blended colors and shadowy plants is incredibly cool, and all these gorgeous colors make me want to run out and buy this new copy.

What do you think of the new cover? Which do you like better?

Boy21: Review

Title: Boy 21
Author: Matthew Quick
Release Date: March 2012
Published By: Little, Brown
Pages: 250
Goodreads Rating: 4.25 stars

Review: Finley's only escape is basketball amid the racially charged tensions of his town, even though his nickname is "White Rabbit" as the sole white member of the team. Still, he holds hope that his girlfriend Erin and his magic jersey number - 21 - will save him. Then Russ, a former basketball phenomenon whose life was turned upside down by tragedy, moves to town and will only respond to the name "Boy21" and has an unusual obsession with outer space. Soon it seems that Boy21 may be the only answer for both of them.

I have read another novel, Sorta Like A Rock Star, by the same author in the past and greatly enjoyed it, so it was with high expectations that I approached this book. And just as I had hoped, I ended up really liking BOY 21, though I didn't find it as good as the former. Just as I have grown to expect from Matthew Quick, the story is told with the somewhat quirky and offbeat tone that has made readers everywhere love his previous novel and will make them love this one.

Of course, a story as charged as this one would be terribly amiss if there wasn't a hefty element of emotion involved, and there certainly was. This was an endearing novel that melted my heart at points as I read about the unlikely but close friendship forged between these two contrasting boys, separated by far more than just their racial differences - and brought together in spite of it. It takes a certain grace to write a book like this one about damaged teenagers healing, but if anyone could pull it off, it's Matthew Quick.

If there's one thing I could change about this novel, it's the development of certain other aspects of the storyline. There were several on-going plot threads but not all of them were expanded to the extent they could have been, and instead the book ended, leaving me wanting to know more. This book could have been so much more satisfying if the author had gone more in-depth with these facets.

All in all, BOY 21 was an excellent book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoyed Matthew Quick's first novel. From an endearing story with an emotional cast of characters to a unique voice and tone, this is a book that can touch anyone's heart. The ending did not leave me as satisfied as I had hoped, but this is still a very solid novel that will win over many readers.

Waiting on Wednesday (48)

This week, I'm waiting on...

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards.
2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an ‘ape’, a ‘throwback’, but this is one ape girl who won’t give in.

Jarra invents a fake background for herself – as a normal child of Military parents – and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. When an ancient skyscraper collapses, burying another research team, Jarra’s role in their rescue puts her in the spotlight. No hiding at back of class now. To make life more complicated, she finds herself falling in love with one of her classmates – a norm from another planet. Somehow, she has to keep the deception going.

A freak solar storm strikes the atmosphere, and the class is ordered to portal off-world for safety – no problem for a real child of military parents, but fatal for Jarra. The storm is so bad that the crews of the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years. And one is on collision course with their shelter.
 This book sounds majorly cool! What do you think? What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Various Positions: Review

Title: Various Positions
Author: Martha Schabas
Release Date: June 2011
Published By: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 368
Goodreads Rating: 3.09 stars

Review: Shy and introverted Georgia is only relaxed when she's dancing, and when she's accepted into the most prestigious ballet school in Canada, she thinks she's found the perfect escape. As the famous and notoriously frightening director, Roderick, shows more and more interest in her as a star, she obsesses over becoming his perfect student. But a disturbing incident along with the disintegration of her parents' marriage leads her to reassess her physical boundaries in a way that threatens both Roderick's future and her own.

VARIOUS POSITIONS has received quite a few one-star reviews on Goodreads, and that proves my next point: this is most certainly not a book for everyone. It's disturbing and uncomfortable, and it is not a book about ballet but one about a fourteen-year-old's disquieting struggle with the interpersonal relationships in her life and her warped, twisted, and corrupted views on sex. Georgia is not a character most people can relate to because she cannot forge a normal and healthy relationship with anyone, and it can be very, very hard to read this book from her perspective, which is why many did not like this book.

I can't exactly say I liked or enjoyed this book given the difficult subject matter, but I can say that it is a great and well-written novel that unflinchingly tackles very sensitive issues. Many readers did not like the vaguely sick feeling the story can give you, which is why it's not for everyone, but that added to the painfully realistic story and made this the emotional struggle it was.

The one aspect I wasn't a big fan of was the unclear resolution. I understand that in real life these kinds of situations don't necessarily have a resolution and I'm not asking for a big wrapped-up happy ending complete with a bright red ribbon or something, but I did wish there was more of a sense of completeness at the ending. I don't mind ambiguous endings that much so long as they feel like endings.

All in all, VARIOUS POSITIONS was a difficult but touching read that is definitely not for you if it's hard for you to read about issues like child-adult sexual relationships. If you can, though, this book is absolutely worth the read. There's a beautifully horrifying story under all the grit, one that will stay with you for a long time to come.