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All You Need Is Kill
Hiroshi Sakurazaka
The Two Towers
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Society of the Spectacle
Guy Debord, Donald Nicholson-Smith
Les Misérables
Victor Hugo, Norman MacAfee, Lee Fahnestock
The Tin Star - J.L. Langley I know J.L. Langley is well-loved but this book is just awful. Nothing rings true in this book. The characters are flat and underdeveloped, the dialogue is stilted, and the plot feels like an afterthought to pad the book between (really bland and repetitive) sex scenes. The two leads get together super fast without any sort of indication of why they fell for each other. It's explained that Jamie had a crush on Ethan for all his life but I never got a sense of what exactly he likes about Ethan, or vice versa. The main characters have little personality and pretty much no real character development.

There are also many things about the story that just don't make any sense. For example, Ethan started off being very quiet about his sexual preferences, he's very careful about not letting others know, and then as soon as he gets together with Jamie he's completely open about it to the point of seeming rather careless and doesn't mind that the whole town pretty much knows. For someone who'd been so careful about it all his life, I don't think it would be so easy for him to shrug off his caution and be perfectly comfortable with everyone knowing and even joking about his sexuality to people he hid it from previously.

And then there are the townspeople's reactions to the couple: either they are completely accepting of homosexuality without judgement, or are openly homophobic and hostile. Realistically, there should have been a wide range of reactions, including people being tolerant but still uncomfortable with it, people who disapprove but aren't openly hostile, people who are confused about their feelings toward their friends who came out, etc.

There was so much that the author could have written about that she just sidestepped; for example, what if Jamie's siblings were a little uncomfortable with their brother being gay? What about the 11 year age difference between the two leads? What about exploring Jamie's relationship with his father-- Jamie being conflicted between being loyal to his family but wanting to get away from his homophobic father and so on. Instead we got one-dimensional characters and equally one-dimensional villains and conflicts that were too easily resolved. I feel like the author took the easy way out, avoided writing about anything really difficult, and thus ended up with a boring and ultimately lazy book.