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Month in review

Reviews
Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
Bob by Wendy Mass
Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher
Dear Poppy by Ronni Arno
Decaffeinated Corpse by Cleo Coyle
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 1 by Ryoko Kui
Depth by Lev A.C. Rosen
Don't Cry for Me, Hot Pastrami by Sharon Kahn
Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question by Martha Freeman
The Enchanted Egg by Kallie George
Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes by Mary E. Lambert
Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz
French Pressed by Cleo Coyle
The Frozen Rabbi by Steve Stern
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call by Kelly Thompson and Corin Howell
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King
Lemons by Melissa Savage
The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger
Night of the Animals by Bill Broun
One Good Thing about America by Ruth Freeman
The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
Runaways: Battleworld by Noëlle Stevenson
Two Times a Traitor by Karen Bass
Wandering Son: Volume 4 by Takako Shimura
Whatshisface by Gordon Korman
The Witch's Glass by Holly Grant
The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher
You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly
Young Frances by Hartley Lin

Miscellaneous
August 2018 Sources
August 2018 Summary
The great logic puzzle of life
A Holmesian Approach to Magnum PI
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 03)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 10)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 17)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 24)

Road Essays
FFFFCC: Orphans, Utopia and Mazes
FFCC66: Orphans traveling off road through time
FF9966: Orphans off road in the wildlands
99FFFF-990000: Scarecrows and Minotaurs

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


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Finding Perfect: 09/24/18

Finding Perfect

Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz is a middle grade novel about Molly who wants to win the poetry slam to convince her mother to come home early from her year long sabbatical. The problem though is her good luck habits and cleansing rituals are getting out of control.

Finding Perfect was the sixth or seventh middle grade OCD novel I read in tight succession last year and frankly the breaking point for me on this particular topic. It was also the third poetry slam book. It basically had the bad fortune of coming after so many similarly themed books.

Middle grade characters are tricky. They're right at that point where they're going through that last big growth spurt. They're rapidly growing into their adult body and the young version of their adult mindset. They can be prone to emotional outbursts and breakdowns — anyone can be but in middle grade fiction sometimes these outbursts are over done, making the main character seem much younger than they are.

Molly suffers most from being written too young. I know she misses her mother. I know she's trying to cope with both the feelings of loss and betrayal as well as her growing need to ritualize her life but she still comes off as three or more years younger than she is. The effect is to make her a less sympathetic and less relatable character.

Three stars

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