Review: Artistic License

Artistic LicenseArtistic License
by Joana Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Artistic License / B004TEYSV0

I really like the character and setting given so far - I think this is the first story I've read this year with an explicitly gay protagonist. It's very painful to see his daily life and interactions, as he lives his life between the people who love and accept him and those who lash out at him and hurt him - as a reader, you sort of wish you could take him in your arms and give him a big reassuring hug. The high school setting is very realistic, and at the same time has this hazy fog of memory about it that feels very artistic - almost as though the reader is viewing everything through a memory filter.

I feel like the characterization of your narrator is really well done. He seems very genuine and full of the very real hopes and fears and doubts that plague us in high school. Will I go to college? Will my high school love last past high school? What does my future look like? I appreciate how real and genuine he is. I do wish the pacing of the narration would slow down a little and take a more linear tone, though, as I did feel myself a little disoriented with some of the flash-backs and flash-sideways. Overall, though, very original voice and well done.

NOTE: This review is based on a sample excerpt of this book provided through the ABNA contest.

~ Ana Mardoll

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