Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash

Age: 24

Pages: 76 / 287; 26%
ISBN: 9781566894647

The Reason for the Reaping: Small presses for the win. This title from Coffee House Press here in Minneapolis seems promising. Esp with that badass lynx on the cover. AND, It’s on the 2018 Tournament of Books Longlist. BOOM.  Continue reading “Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash”


The Leavers by Lisa Ko

Age: 24

Pages: 76 / 306 [eReader edition]; 25%
ISBN: 9781616207137 

The Reason for the Reaping: National Book Awards fo life! Secret: this book was my blind predicted winner when the longlist was announced. Does it live up to the hype??

The Great Comparisons: Pachinko, The Goldfinch

As I Lay Summarizing: Deming, a young Chinese-American, lives with his mom, her boyfriend, her boyfriend’s sister, and her boyfriend’s sister’s son (got that?) in New York City. Suddenly, someone (can you guess?) leaves. Proceed with the implosion of Deming’s world.

The Line That Killed Me: “his mother loved everything bagels, the sheer balls of it, the New York audacity that a bagel could proclaim to be everything, even if it was only topped with sesame seeds and poppy seeds and salt” (9). Death by consuming some-things bagels.

Best Character: Kay

Why [As] You Like It: The glimpse this story gives into culture and identity is rather interesting, especially from the POV of a child. Yeah. That’s all I got with that. You’ll just have to trust. 

Why I’m Gone, Girl: “A drum-beat’s taut assault gave him a semi-boner” (66). As you can see, Ko likes to think she knows what a boy on the cusp of puberty actually thinks about. Most of the time she does, but then you get gems disasters like this. While I will not make a generalization as to how inaccurate or accurate that sentence is, I will say this: cool it, Lisa.

Last Line, Last Chance: “…were so bright, the floorboards so wide and wooden. The mix….”

Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom?

I’m second guessing the winner-winner status of this, but the story and the characters are interesting enough to keep going. Plus, the predictable conclusion needs to just happen already, so let’s get to it.