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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Abigail Revasch, Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Tara Sands, Listening Library
Progress: 67/473 minutes
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 58/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
50 Girls 50 and Other Stories
Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Gary Groth
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: A Novel
Becky Chambers
Progress: 148/441 pages
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, Bill Homewood, Naxos AudioBooks
Progress: 667/3165 minutes
A Matter of Oaths
Helen S. Wright
Progress: 101/277 pages
Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
Professor Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses, The Great Courses
Progress: 34/725 minutes
The Rules - Stacey Kade Fast-paced YA is really working out well for me right now. I managed to read this in a little over a day, and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I've been having problems writing this review. I've decided it's time for another bullet point review.Things I liked:- The romance: This aspect of the book was fabulous. Ariane didn't magically fall for Zane. She thought he was physically attractive – he reminded her of Superman, her fictional crush – but in all other areas he had to earn her trust. He had noticed, in the past, that she'd come to school with broken fingers, and that she flinched away from people who tried to touch her. He thought her father was overly controlling, and he guessed he was also abusive (not actually the case, but Zane didn't know that). He did his best to behave in ways that wouldn't frighten her. He gave her space when he talked to her, so that he didn't loom over her. One of my favorite moments was when Ariane was about to turn away and leave, and Zane stopped her not by grabbing her arm, but rather by grabbing the edge of her bag. He didn't want to scare or upset her by touching her without permission. I loved that.- Zane: I was iffy about him, at first. He was friends with Rachel even though he seemed to hate her, and he did nothing to stop her cruel prank at the beginning of the book. As the book progressed, however, I came to like and feel sympathy for him. He'd lived his life in the shadow of his older brother, constantly trying and failing to please his father. Being Rachel's friend was part of that, since her family, particularly her grandfather, was influential. After Zane's mother ran off, Zane figured she'd left him behind because he'd become too horrible, tried too hard to get his father's approval. His only friends were people who did cruel things for laughs, and he wasn't sure how to break free without ending up completely alone. Every time he did something sweet and/or perceptive, I wanted to hug him.- Ariane: I sympathized with her almost from the start, but those feelings deepened as I got to know more about what her life was like at the research facility and in the years after she escaped. I won't say too much, because that would spoil things, but there was more to her life in the research facility than just being poked and prodded, demonstrating super powers while under constant supervision. Dr. Jacobs was a horrible guy.Things I disliked:- The weak science fiction aspects: Although I considered this a science fiction romance, the science fiction aspects were a lot weaker than the romance aspects. For most of the book, Ariane had no control of or access to her telekinetic powers. She disguised her appearance as much as possible in order to blend in, darkening her hair, wearing contacts, and hiding the identification number tattooed on her right shoulder blade. No one but her “father” had any idea she was part alien. Some of the science fiction elements weren't even all that consistent. For example, early on Ariane states that the list of things that would kill her is shorter than the list of things that would kill a full-blooded human, and yet I never saw any evidence of this. In fact, the constant mentions of her fragile bones made her seem weaker than full humans.- Weak secondary characters: Zane and Ariane were wonderful, sympathetic characters. The secondary characters, not so much. Most of them were props designed to make Zane and Ariane strive to go someplace else. Dr. Jacobs was a cardboard bad guy. I never really got a feel for Rachel. Seen through both Ariane and Zane's eyes, she should have been fascinatingly complex, but instead she seemed more like a plot device. Ariane's father had a bit more depth, but not much. And I saw what Kade was trying to do with Jenna, but I don't think all the pieces came together quite right.- Overuse of parenthetical phrases: This is hypocritical of me, because I have the exact same problem. Even so, it bugged me a little. Kade uses a lot of parenthetical phrases, particularly in the beginning of the book.All in all, I really enjoyed this. The science fiction aspects were far from ground-breaking, but, for me, the fabulousness of the romance aspects made up for that. I look forward to reading more of this series.(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)