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By Singing Light

Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.

Currently reading

The Lost Tools of Learning and the Mind of the Maker
Dorothy L. Sayers
The Seventh Bride
T. Kingfisher
Hope in the Dark
Rebecca Solnit
Outrun the Moon
Stacey Lee
Midnight Thief
Livia Blackburne
The White Hart
Nancy Springer
The Great Wall Of Lucy Wu
Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Jim C. Hines
Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics
Sarah Gristwood
Wonder - R.J. Palacio This is one which I definitely don’t feel is perfect–there were moments where the plot seemed just barely too coincidental, and I though the ending wrapped up very neatly. At the same time, I think that at the target age, I would not necessarily have noticed either of those issues. And overall I though Palacio did a fantastic job of taking a situation that is difficult to write about without sounding twee and after school special-ish, or else completely depressing, and making it honest and heartfelt and real. I didn’t mind the chunks of different narrators, though I didn’t think their voices necessarily sounded all that different from each other except for Justin’s (and even there I think it’s just a difference of grammar). I was glad that August rounded out the book, though, as I think it would have been hard to tie everything back together with a different narrator.

This is such a minor quibble that I almost don’t want to mention it, but I really didn’t like the inclusion of the precepts at the end of the book. I understood why they were there–the metaphorical postcards after the end of the year–but I strongly felt that the narrative should have been allowed to stand on its own. In addition, Julian’s seemed to suggest a level of character development that I did not see anywhere else in the text.