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twicefivemiles

Twice Five Miles

Space between Trees

Space between Trees - Katie Williams Unlikable characters and a short yet dragging tale utterly redeemed by fantastic prose.
Parallel - Lauren   Miller A little difficult to keep straight at first, the time difference between the parallels kept throwing me off but I see how it was a necessary plot device to keep the MC in the dark. I could have done without the "old, wise" character throwing religion into the pot (yeah, guy, if you're going to seriously try to work out an equation for "fate" re: the path your divine creator intended then of course you are going to be laughed out of the scientific community).

I know the point of the book wasn't about the science, but there was a real opportunity to explore the actual concepts of predestination and the illusion of free will but instead we got a feel good line about destiny and paths and blah, blah, blah.

I had no huge issues with the MC but I still feel I would have been much more engaged if the genius friend had been the protagonist instead.
Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction - Diana Peterfreund, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Matt de la Pena, Simone Elkeles, Heather Brewer, Laini Taylor, Michael  Grant, Saundra Mitchell, Carrie Ryan, Lisa McMann, Malinda Lo, Richelle Mead Decent in-flight read but I felt that the majority of the stories barely fit the theme.
Strangelets - Michelle Gagnon Devoured this book in a five hour session but can't quite give it five stars. It's a fast, easy read with a highly interesting and engaging first half and a disappointing ending. Point of view skips around three different characters but despite that they still seemed sort of underdeveloped. The plot moves along at a steady clip but nothing revealed is "shocking" - you constantly as though you are feel several revelations ahead of the characters.

For me, everything sort of unraveled interest-wise around the big reveal. Before that the tension and action and fear was really working for me and afterward it just seemed like a run-of-the-mill survival novel.
Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1) - R.J. Anderson The romance was creepily inappropriate and I would have liked to see more development between Alison and Tori but overall it was interesting enough to capture my attention for an entire sick day.
At the Mountains of Madness - H.P. Lovecraft, Colin J.E. Lupton An interesting travelogue but it is not horror. We only know it is meant to be terrifying because the narrator tells us so. Multiple times. I found the writing to be at times too... much. As if, if it hadn't been Lovecraft, an editor would have stricken many passages as being self indulgent. And to that point, how many times can you fit the phrase "mountains of madness" into a novella?

That said, I did enjoy it. It hints enough to make you curious about the rest of this mythos if you aren't already familiar. I spent a good deal of time after reading looking up illustrations - it just stays with you.
Midnight at the Well of Souls  - Jack L. Chalker I don't know, I got about halfway before giving up. The ideas are sort of interesting but the execution is boring. The beginning bits with archeology were good and I enjoyed the introduction of the various races but after that it got too plodding and dull and I couldn't stand Brazil or whoever he ends up being.
Transfer Student - Laura A.H. Elliott The story is interesting enough but holy crap was this thing not ready to be published. Confusing sentence structure, abrupt changes in characterization and I don't even know how many times I re-read a segment wondering if there were missing words. I came away thinking that it could have been much better with a thorough edit.
The Future of Us - Jay Asher, Carolyn Mackler I didn't hate it but I can't really say why I liked it either. Maybe it is just the nostalgia. There is a very small window where this novel can be relevant: while Facebook is still a thing and its users are old enough to remember the 90s. And I think that may be all there was that kept me reading: 90s references - even when it felt forced.

And oh my god did it sometimes feel forced.

The characters weren't great so it must just have been the nostalgia. But if that's what you want in a novel (and you're a Gen Xer), I would suggest Douglas Coupland's Generation X or Shampoo Planet. These novels were actually published in the time period they're set in but it's still a better experience.
The Ghost of Graylock - Dan Poblocki Classic ghost story with some very atmospheric moments. It may not be original but the characters are likable and there were a few parts where I had to look up from my book because DID SOMETHING IN THE CORNER JUST MOVE?
Level 2 - Lenore Appelhans I really wanted to like this book. I was waiting what seemed like ages for it to be released. ...and I just closed it for good in chapter six.

Never mind the stilted, boring prose, I could handle that. But Julian? If I had to read one more sentence about the main character fearing his advances but letting him touch her anyway, I was going to scream.

Sorry, author. The premise is fascinating but the characters and narrative couldn't keep me invested enough to read about the world.
Glass Houses - Rachel Caine I just couldn't. When I realized I was skimming in chapter three I knew I wasn't going to get through this book. I couldn't stomach a single character.
The Mark - Marilyn Bunderson I couldn't force myself past the third chapter. The prologue and the first few chapters were enough to put me off completely.

The idea is interesting but I cannot stick out the amateurish writing style (it reads as awkward as anything, really) and infuriating typical characters to find out what is going on.

I've recently stopped forcing myself to finish books that do not hook me and this one does even less than that - it actively turns me off the story. I would have liked to read more for a more fair review but if I can't even get three chapters in, I think that says enough.