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Month in review

Reviews
Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi
The Dastardly Deed by Holly Grant
Dragon Overnight by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and, Emily Jenkins
Fax Me a Bagel by Sharon Kahn
Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks by Victoria J. Coe
The Final Kingdom by Michael Northrop
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford
The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
Hamster Princess: Whiskerella by Ursula Vernon
Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman
Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
The Maze in the Mind and the World: Labyrinths in Modern Literature by Donald Gutierrez
Miss Pickerell Harvests the Sea by Ellen MacGregor and Dora Pantell
Mr. Pants: It's Go Time! by Scott McCormick
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #1: Twilight Sparkle by Thomas Zahler
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Noragami: Stray God Volume 4 by Adachitoka
The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock
Rueful Death by Susan Wittig Albert
The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla
Three Years with the Rat by Jay Hosking
Voltron Legendary Defender Volume 2: The Pilgrimage by Tim Hedrick
The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry

Miscellaneous
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 05)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 12) It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 19)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 26)
January 2018 Sources
January 2018 Summary

Road Essays
Gender in Ozma of Oz
The Splendid Dystopia in the Marvelous Land of Oz
Unmappable structures: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


Let's Talk About Love: 02/17/18

Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann is about Alice. She's recently broken up with her girl friend and moved in with her two best-friends (who are now a couple). She works at a library and is avoiding telling her parents that she doesn't want to be a lawyer. She's asexual, bi-romantic, and lives in the Bay Area. She's also one of my all time favorite YA protagonists.

Alice rates everything in her life by the Cutie Code. Everyone and everything that interests her gets a color. The top of the chart is red. It's not an "I want to bang that list." It's an aesthetic list — a how long she finds herself staring at that person or animal or thing. As an awkward starer at people, animals, and things — I completely relate to the Cutie Code.

Enter Takumi into her life. He's working part time at the same library and he breaks the Cutie Code. As he's the newbie and she has rank and experience, she gets stuck training him. It makes things really awkward.

I really went into this book expecting to not like Takumi. He does come off weird in his intro but so does Alice in her reaction to him. I would say that both crossed the line into harassment those first few days at work. But they work it out by actually communicating.

Takumi steps up after Alice is ditched (or not ditched depending on who you ask) at a costume party. It is after that they they genuinely start to become friends. Mostly it stems from Alice wanting a safe place to be because she's now in the middle of a fight with both roommates.

The middle of the book settles into three different story lines. There's Alice and her parents (and her older siblings) all who want her to declare law as her major. There's Alice in therapy where she tries to come to terms with being asexual and her inability to out herself beyond the three people she's told (her two roommates and her ex-girl friend). Finally there's the relationship between Alice and Takumi.

The book is rather episodic. I mentally read it as a series of short stories or short situations that were linked across a larger arc, rather than in one single novel. That style of narration won't work for everyone but I liked it because it kept any one scene from getting too long.

Five stars

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