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jackifulwood

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Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa
Benjamin Constable
The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two
Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan
Joshua Dread: The Nameless Hero
Lee Bacon
Flash Burnout - L.K. Madigan I'm ambivalent toward this book, so it's hard to know what to say about it. While it was a short, quick read, I couldn't wait for it to end.

I simply didn't like the main character/narrator. He wasn't funny, despite his ambitions of becoming a stand-up comic and his continual tally of "points" he awards himself for making people laugh in different situations. I wish he'd been an aspiring photographer instead, since the photography parts were actually fairly interesting and advanced the story. He was completely clueless about balancing a friendship with a girl and a relationship, which is understandable at that age, but he never learns any coping skills. Instead, he destroys both relationships because he never really tried to control the damage. I felt bad for both the friend and the girlfriend in the end, but I just wanted the main character to stop talking already.

I was also bothered by the fact that despite his portrayal as an amazing parent, the hero's father doesn't give him any advice beyond "use condoms, and don't rape girls."

The teenage relationship melodrama is at a high level here, but it is realistic, to be fair. The girlfriend has tantrums if the hero doesn't call her; it's ridiculous, but it's very common. She has tantrums because his friend needs him, and she refuses to understand that the friend doesn't lead the same perfect family life she and the hero enjoy. That's partly because he keeps so many secrets from her, though, with the excuse that he doesn't want to hurt his friend. I didn't see why he couldn't explain the girlfriend trouble to his friend and ask if he could share some of the situation to get himself out of hot water.

Everyone in the book is incredibly self-centered. Again, to be fair, that's realistic. However, while the hero loses a lot in the end, I didn't feel he learned anything. I could imagine him getting into the same situation, or missing the point and never making friends with another girl.

Also, the issues and feelings explored in the book are more complex and mature than I can believe for the age group portrayed. I would have believed it better had the characters been just a year or two older.

Recommend to: Age 14+.

Don't recommend to: Someone who recently suffered a breakup because their other cheated.