The Map of True Places

You guys are super special. You’re getting two (count ’em, TWO) book reviews this week!

Really, it’s because I’m in this weird period of stasis where I’m waiting to find out if this one thing is going to happen – if it is it changes lots of things and if it isn’t I have to make a pretty difficult choice. I’ll let you know what happens once the dust clears, but for now I’m just waiting. But I did get a wonderful shipment of NEW BOOKS this past week!

I’m so happy because my most recent Barnes and Noble haul has come in. This time I got 18 books for 51 dollars and some change. Although I love rereading all of my books for this project, there is almost nothing I’d rather do than curl up on my bed with a brand new book and spend a few hours enveloped in a new story.

That, friends, is exactly what I did with my day yesterday. And it was marvelous. Not in the least because this book is a total gem.

I like this cover okay. I’m really sort of meh about it though. Do covers influence you guys much? If I really don’t like a book’s cover it affects the way I go into a book. Which is totally wrong and everyone knows you’re not supposed to do that (there’s a whole saying dedicated to it) but it’s my life and I am a grown woman and if I want to judge a book by it’s potentially crappy cover, I totally will.

Once again I have the delight of reading about a character who is achingly and refreshingly human. I need writers to stop serving up pale imitations of life and caricatures, give me someone I can really sink my teeth into. I want a character where after reading I feel a little weird referring to this person as a character. That’s my ultimate happy place. If they’ve made the transition from character to personhood I’m almost certainly going to like the book.

Yes, I’m very aware I wrote the word character about forty-seven kabillion times in the last paragraph, oh well.

Lots of things are happening to Zee (whose real name is Hepzibah and just, dang) and I am impressed by the author (her name is Brunonia so maybe she’s just working some things out insofar as names go) and her ability to make each of the subplots legitimately intriguing. They all also stayed (mostly) relevant to Zee’s main journey, which is commendable in itself. Often I find that if an author has too many things going on a few of the subplots get lost and resurface randomly. Although that’s not really a problem with this book, eh. I don’t know. I almost wish she had just written two books or something, or maybe supplemented with some short stories. It just seemed like she had so much to share about these characters and this place and it’s just a lot.

I still enjoyed it though. This is the first review I’ve written of a book I’ve only read once, so who knows. Maybe when I come back to this book in a few years I’ll feel differently, but as of now I’m definitely happy with it’s purchase. I know I’m not so good at the summarizing thing, but I do feel I should give potential readers some idea of what they’re getting into. So here goes:

Zee is a woman in her early 30’s who is dealing with issues that are true for so many right now, which is just sort of figuring herself out. Her father is nearing the late stages of Parkinson’s and she has to return home to Salem not only to take care of him, but to hash out her past and discover what she wants for her future. As always, there’s a love interest and a scary person and a couple of other things in play. I found myself most intrigued with the parts about her mother (who dealt with mental illness) and the fairy tales she wrote.

So yeah! There’s that. Want to buy it? Here’s a good place:

If you read my review of Louis Bayard’s The Black Tower, you’l know what to expect for next week. However, I do have another new book in the B’s to share, so I think I’ll review that one too! It’s going to be a surprise though. So check back in.

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