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Familiar Diversions

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

Currently reading

Space Battle Lunchtime Volume 1: Lights, Camera, Snacktion!
Natalie Reiss
Progress: 20/120 pages
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
Report on the Selected Problems of the Technical Departments of the University of Illinois Library
Raynard C. Swank
Progress: 20/42 pages
Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
Professor Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses, The Great Courses
Progress: 34/725 minutes
Son of the Mob - Gordon Korman The son of the head of a mob family falls in love with the daughter of an FBI agent - that's all it took for me to know I had to read this book. Happily, it turned out to be just as enjoyable as I had hoped.I really liked Vince's “voice.” The book is written in the first person, from his perspective. He's a nice guy who tries to live as much like an ordinary, law-abiding citizen as possible, but his family's business has a habit of bleeding into his life. I loved reading about him trying to keep everything together while also trying to keep to his own ideas of right and wrong. Vince wasn't always the brightest of characters (I clued in to some of what was going on with his web design project well before he did), but he was very likable. I wanted things to turn out well for him, even when it wasn't always easy to figure out what “well” might mean for a kid who wants to obey the law but has a family that breaks it at every opportunity.I had wondered how the mob aspects would be handled. In a lot of things I've read and seen in which the mobsters were not supposed to be 100% the bad guys, the mob aspects were often downplayed. The beginning of Son of the Mob made it seem like that's how it would be in that book, too. While on a date, Vince opens the trunk of his car to discover that his brother put someone in there. I at first thought he might be dead, but, no, he was just unconscious. When he woke up, he was more upset about the kind of car he'd been locked up in than that he'd been beaten.While I'm still not sure how dirty Vince's immediate family members ever got their hands, later on it's made clear that the “uncles,” at least, don't all just bruise a guy and then leave him be. There's nothing “on page” - the dark stuff is still, in my opinion, handled lightly - but the mobsters are definitely not all handled in a “rough around the edges but still nice” sort of way.The focus is on Vince, who is only exposed to a very small amount of the stuff his family is involved in. For the most part, Vince is concerned with Kendra, his relationship with his best friend Alex, and his efforts to keep others out of trouble with his family. I thought his relationship with Kendra was cute and fun (they got to know each other better via a mutual need for head lice treatments, and Vince becomes a fan of the many karaoke tapes Kendra records), but I found myself wishing Kendra had known as much as Vince about what was going on. She spent most of the book clueless, confused and hurt by Vince's insistence that they not meet each other's families. I'm tempted to read the sequel, Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle, just to see how things go between the two of them once everyone knows what's going on.All in all, this was a fun, light read.(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)