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Time and Again
Jack Finney
This is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death
Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo, David Malki, Nathan Burgoine, Toby W. Rush, Rhiannon Kelly, Ryan Estrada, George Page III, Chandler Kaiden, Tom Francis, Grace Seybold, D.L.E. Roger, Daliso Chaponda, John Takis, Ada Hoffmann, Rebecca Black, Karen Stay Ahlstrom, Gord Sellar, M
Highland Guardian - Melissa Mayhue So I started this book because it was sitting on my pile of old paperbacks on my bookcase and because I seriously went through four books, only able to read the first few pages of each before I couldn't read any more. I just couldn't focus on them, even though I know I ought to have liked them. It was like reader's block. For example, I'm sure Zadie Smith's new book, Changing My Mind, is really good, and I really liked what I read of the first five pages or so. Maybe another time I can return to it and fully enjoy it.

I picked Highland Guardian because it looked fluffy and relaxed and maybe engaging. It is all of those things. Fluffy, for sure. A story about a half-fairy/faerie dude and a romance writer named Mary Sue, I mean Sarah, hanging out in Scotland is not going to be complex. Relaxed, yes. Aside from some minor drama that's easily resolved, and the standard hero's "I'm Going Away to Save You, Even If You Hate Me For It" trope, it's a calm book. And it does manage to be engaging. There is an underlying humor to it, and the characters do stay sympathetic.

My problems with it were basically problems that crop up in any book like this. The climax where the protagonist is in mortal danger could easily have been averted just like every crisis on Three's Company and Lost could have been averted, if people actually talked to each other instead of being cryptic and wrapping themselves up in their own problems. It is really unbelievable when you have two people who love each other and then don't TALK to each other or try to work together to resolve problems. Also, the villain was not suitably villainous. For the depth of Evil that Sarah feels rolling off of him, I wanted some real evil. He seemed minor league. Also. I have a hard time not giggling every time the manly guys are referred to as fairies. I'm sorry. It just doesn't seem manly.

So I really did enjoy reading it in a fluffy way. Like a candy bar. It reset my brain and I think I can move on to other books now.