This was a cute 'lesbian awakening' or perhaps, 'bi awakening' since the main character never really decides on that one. The story itself was interesting, but I felt like the characters were lacking somewhat in emotional depth: or rather, that the emotion was not properly conveyed. There were several scenes where the main character was quite upset, but I didn't really feel sorry for her due to the way the story was written. Even though this was a young adult book, that didn't mean that the characters need be flat. I also felt as if the characters seemed younger than their ages (15-16) and that their attitudes felt them seem like younger people. People at this age tend to be extremely intense, at least from my experience, and the relationships and interactions felt pretty shallow and frivolous to me.
What's more, I had a lot of trouble with the narrator. While she did get into her work, the characters are supposed to be 15-16 and really she sounded more like a 12 year old. Her reading style made the few scattered curse words sound garishly misplaced. I this this contributed to the lack of emotional depth issue.
All that aside, it was a cute story, and someone else might very well love the narrator's way of conveying the story. I liked 'Annie on My Mind' much better, but I would still say this story is worth checking out if you don't have anything else in mind.
This was an interesting premise (a ghost story set in Manhattan), and I found T.M. Wright's style interesting as well, but this story had it's flaws.
There is an annoying disconnect with how Abner (the protagonist) is able to see the dead. The story begins with meeting a strange woman on a train who gives him this ability like a sickness, and yet not only is this seemingly pivotal moment ignored later, it also becomes apparent that Abner has seen at least one ghost when he was a young child. The story has a lot of repetition for effect (which I generally approve of) but it moves in a cyclical nature, where whole passages are repeated verbatim with little new insight.
I liked Wright's style almost immediately, but as the story progressed I found myself almost lost at times. I would have liked more grounding in reality, and I think it would have been wise to interweave the more mundane conflicts a little more strongly with the supernatural ones. Even stronger setting at times would have helped.
The thing I found most frustrating about this story was that Abner is acting out of his 'love' for this woman, Phyllis. He goes to great lengths to try and stay near her, but his actions and reactions aren't always consistent. What was a bigger problem for me, is that I was unable to take his love seriously. I couldn't understand where this supposed connection had come from, and it seemed to me more of a sexual fascination rather than anything more. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that - but as far as motivation for why Abner does what he does, I don't see it.
All that said, I felt both the story and the style had a lot of potential. The premise was really intriguing, I think it could have just done with more fleshing out. I liked Wright's style from the moment I heard the preview. I'll probably give him one more chance, though perhaps with a short story this time rather than a novel.
This book was a bit out of my normal reading zones, but I absolutely loved it. Intriguing, believable characters that you can't help but connect with combined with fascinating ideals surrounding Nichiren Buddhism make this book the sort that you can't stop listening too. I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of religion. Not only is it a wonderful book in it's own right, but I think much of the wisdom within could benefit nearly everyone in their daily lives. I would love to hear more from this author.
I loved this book. The writing is lovely and descriptive, and the development of the romance and the characters feels very true-to-life. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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