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Month in review

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Blowing Clear by Joseph C. Lincoln
Captain Superlative by J.S. Puller
Charlie & Frog by Karen Kane
The Divided Earth by Faith Erin Hicks
File M for Murder by Miranda James
Flotsametrics and the Floating World by Curtis Ebbesmeyer
Giant Days Volume 8 by John Allison
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
If Someone Says 'You Complete Me,' RUN! by Whoopi Goldberg
Inkling by Kenneth Oppel
Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard
The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage
Little Red Rodent Hood by Ursula Vernon
The Lotterys More or Less by Emma Donoghue
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan
The Mystery of the Missing Mask by M.A. Wilson
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
Promise the Night by Michaela MacColl
The Rhino in Right Field by Stacy DeKeyser
Runaways, Volume 2: Best Friends Forever by Rainbow Rowell
Secret Coders: Potions & Parameters by Gene Luen Yang and Matthew Holmes
Seldom Disappointed by Tony Hillerman
Show Me a Story! by Leonard S. Marcus
Small Favor by Jim Butcher
Soof by Sarah Weeks
The Speaker by Traci Chee
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
Very Rich by Polly Horvath
Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™ by Rebecca Roanhorse

Miscellaneous
Cybils Update (December 04)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 03)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 10)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 17)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 24)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 31)
November 2018 Sources
November 2018 Summary

Best of the Year
Favorites of the second half of 2018

Thirteen favourite Canadian reads of 2018

Twelve favorite diverse books read in 2018

Twelve Favorite graphic novels read in 2018

Twelve favorite mysteries read in 2018

Twelve favorite Road Narrative Spectrum books read in 2018

Twelve favorite road narrative spectrum essays written in 2018

Road Essays
FF9900 Orphan Wildlands Blue Highway

FF66FF: orphan home cornfield: or who lives alone in a cornfield?

FF66CC: Orphans at home in the maze

FF6699: orphans at home in the labyrinth

Road Narrative Update for November 2018

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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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Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity: 12/14/18

Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity

Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity by Kristin Elizabeth Clark is a roadtrip to a wedding. Jess's father is getting remarried and it's the first time he'll being seeing his daughter now that she's started to transition. Christophe — who Jess rudely calls Chunk for most of the book — is a long time friend and is doing her a huge favor.

Along the way Jess and Christophe run into a girl who is in the middle of breaking up with her boyfriend. For reasons that will take too long to explain here, they end up at her house where things go to hell in a hand-basket, as my grandmother would say.

As a transgender story, the book is lacking. The main problem is that the author is writing it from the perspective of a parent of a transgender child. She has essentially written this book to work through her fears for her child. That's fine but it makes Jess's voice sound less genuine and the boogeymen on the road more threatening.

Initially I thought this book settled higher up on the road narrative spectrum at a 660000 (marginalized city interstate), which is where For Today I am a Boy by Kim Fu sits. It certainly starts there but later with pacing similar to The Graduate by Charles Webb, Christophe manages to blurt out his love for Jess and she reciprocates, thus lowering the book's placement to 330000 (couple city interstate).

The coupling at the end while awkwardly romantic, also feels a bit like a cop-out. The couple as road narrative protagonist are safe (or rather, the woman is safe) because of the privileged man. If they are a fat kid and a trans-woman traveling together as friends, they are narrationally less safe than if they are a couple.

Four stars

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