on March 1, 2019
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Award-winning author Sylvain Neuvel explores an immigration dystopia in The Test
Britain, the not-too-distant future.Idir is sitting the British Citizenship Test.He wants his family to belong.
Twenty-five questions to determine their fate. Twenty-five chances to impress.
When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death.How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?
Black sheep alert! I know I will be in the vast minority of readers who didn’t dig this book, which is a true bummer because it was among my highly anticipated releases for the year.
I know what Sylvain Neuvel is capable of. His Themis Files is among my most favorite sci-fi series ever. He can pen a beautiful and mind-blowingly awesome tale. The Test just isn’t that AT ALL. Would I watch this as an episode of Black Mirror, sure – but it probably wouldn’t be a season standout in that form either.
I get that this is an important theme for Nationalist countries to hear right now, but the message is so heavy-handed, lacking any finesse or art in its delivery. This trends towards the absurd, rather than the poignant.
I maintain high hopes for Neuvel’s next release. I hope he goes back to telling me a story, rather than shouting a message.
*****My Very 90s Romance by Jenny Colgan
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on March 12, 2019
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From New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan comes a hilarious romantic comedy about a down-on-her-luck florist whose future begins to bloom when she takes on the challenge of helping to transform her nerdy roommate.
Holly is a frustrated florist whose life doesn’t seem to be coming up roses. Fleeing a roommate situation from hell, she moves in with a motley crew of friends—Josh, a sexually confused merchant banker; Kate, a high-flying legal eagle with talons to match; and Addison, a gorgeous computer geek who spends his days communicating with his online girlfriend and anyone who worships at the altar of Jean-Luc Picard. From the moment Holly catches a rare glimpse of Addison, she’s smitten. The only problem is how to get him to swivel his chair from the computer screen to her adoring gaze.
After a series of false starts—involving a new friend and mathematician, Finn—Holly coaxes Addison away from his computer screen and out into the open. While “out in the open” spells disaster for Addison, curiously, her own future begins to bloom. Holly and her friends make desperate attempts to connect with Addison, drag him away from his fiercely possessive girlfriend, Claudia, and get him to communicate with the real world.
With Jenny Colgan’s trademark wit and a cast of unforgettable characters, My Very '90s Romance will capture your heart.
From the very beginning, something felt off about this one and it took me a while to realize that I really disliked the main character Holly. She is supremely judgmental in a way that was rude and not in any way charming. The cast of surrounding characters were not terribly developed or likable either. About an hour in, there still was no semblance of plot taking shape so I opted to throw in the towel. I do think some people will really like this, because it has the smack of generic things people tend to find ok – like a sitcom that doesn’t really have any heart, but it’s not getting canceled right away sort of vibe.