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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
Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater I really, really wish this book wasn't a romance. The premise holds so much promise - humans, once bitten, turn into werewolves for the winter when the temperature drops; maybe farfetched, but it has the potential to be spun into a hundred different stories. The bond between the members of the pack, both human and wolf - the morals and ethics behind biting people and essentially cursing them - the history and treatment of the werewolves. There were hints of what could have been fascinating drama with varied characters and personalities. Unfortunately, since it was a romance, this book focused primarily on the characters of Grace (a pretty wooden, uncreative character) and Sam (a very interesting, multilayered character with drama and potential for growth). It's basically How Grace and Sam Got Together ... oh, and Dealt With the Werewolf Menace.

The dialogue jumped between feeling kind of convoluted to some clever one-liners. The descriptions, especially of wolf senses, were fun to read and well-done, in my opinion. And the characters certainly behaved in a realistic manner. I was torn between liking the actual romance between Grace and Sam because it seemed very natural and sweet, and disliking them (especially whenever they were in public) because they seemed very annoying. A particular scene where Grace and Sam basically make out in front of a girl they barely know and/or actively dislike particularly jumped out at me as obnoxious.

Also, I didn't feel much of a well-thought-out plot beyond the romance. Large problems were hyped up and then resolved in a single sentence. I never really felt as though many of the characters were in extreme danger. Actually, their fates were pretty telegraphed from the beginning.

I hope the author branches out more with her mythos in later books, if there are sequels (I'm sure there will be). Going beyond the relationship aspect into a little more about the individuals and other plot threads would be a very interesting read.