Monday, 31 October 2011

Book Review: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

First published in Great Britain: 6th January 2011
By: Andersen Press Limited

Miranda's life is starting to unravel. Her best friend, Sal, gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The key that Miranda's mum keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives:

'I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own.
I ask two favours. First, you must write me a letter.'

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realises that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late.

My review:

This book won the Newbery Medal in 2010, but was only published in the UK this year. It's a lovely story - bittersweet, but ultimately heartwarming. When You Reach Me is less than 200 pages, separated into lots of short, easy to digest chapters, so the whole thing can be read in a day. That's how I did it and I was instantly transported back to the reading of my childhood. This book felt very much in the style of the YA/middle-grade I grew up reading, the Judy Blumes and the Paula Danzigers - it's even set in 1979. The life it describes, however, is timeless.

Our protagonist, Miranda, is a twelve year-old girl who lives with her single mother, in a rundown apartment in New York City. We follow her through all those recognisable problems of that age: Having your best friend stop talking to you. Being embarrassed by your mother. Wishing you could swap lives with another girl. Liking a boy and not knowing if he'll like you back.

The twist to this simple tale, is that Miranda is telling it to someone we don't know yet. We learn that she has been getting notes from a person claiming to be from the future. This person has asked Miranda to write about her life, in order to stop a terrible tragedy.

Because Miranda is not sure how seriously to take the request, this plot strand stays in the background for most of the novel and the focus is on Miranda's feelings and relationships. Miranda is a very relatable character and her thoughts and concerns were immediately familiar to me, as ones I had at 12. The growing up she does in this novel feels really natural and is subtly done, and it's a pleasure to accompany her on that journey.

When the time-travel element finally takes centre stage, it draws all the story threads together in a satisfying way and is extremely moving to boot. I'd guessed at the identity of the time-traveller (not a spectacular achievement; there are only a few characters, so only a few options, anyway), but I never imagined all the details that made up this sad story. I loved it and it made me cry. I think it's a story that would be really interesting to see told from the other side, too: A story about someone who learns to time travel and goes back to try and prevent an incident from his past, with the help of a young girl. So, Rebecca Stead, if you are thinking of writing a companion novel from the time traveller's POV, know that you have at least one eager reader for that.

Something that made me feel very dense, is that I have not read A Wrinkle in Time and know nothing about the plot of it. Look, we all have some gaps in our childhood reading, OK? It's not vital that you know it to understand When You Reach Me, but A Wrinkle in Time is Miranda's favourite book and is discussed quite a bit. Before the title was said, I was sitting there wondering if Meg and Camazotz and IT were from a real book or not. So I felt stupid and while it didn't impinge on my enjoyment of the book one iota, it's possible When You Reach Me may be an even richer experience if you're familiar with the earlier book.

I found When You Reach Me to be such a nice read, such a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. The next time you have a free one, I recommend you pick it up and do the same.

Rating: 4 stars

Sunday, 30 October 2011

In My Mailbox #22

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi @ The Story Siren. All links go to the Book Depository UK.

From NetGalley:

Despite historical fiction being one of my favourite genres, I find myself not having read any for months! This book can remedy that and if there's any historical figure who's going to attract me back into the genre, it's Marie Antoinette.

I've had an eye on reading this for a while and now NetGalley has given me the opportunity. The Victorian language of flowers is something I've always been interested in, so a novel set around that really appeals to me. 

Now to see what you all got this week! 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday #19

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

Q. If you could have dinner with your favorite book character, who would you eat with and what would you serve?
The thing is, there are a lot of characters whom I love (Katniss, for example, or Akiva from Daughter of Smoke and Bone), but who I don't actually think would be fun company. I want to have a good time at this dinner, not spend it staring awkwardly at my plate because someone mentioned the war. A guy who'd be great to have dinner with is Fred Weasley. He'd keep me in hysterics and show me a few magic tricks. I could serve him up some pasta, but as I'm a sub-par cook, it'd make more sense for him to bring along some of Mrs. Weasley's good home-cooking for us to enjoy.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Book Review: Perception by Heather Cashman

First published: 29th June 2011
By: Heather Cashman

Your perception will sharpen once you see through a tiger’s eyes.

More than five hundred years after the apocalypse, the survivors of off-grid genetic experimentation have refined their mixed DNA to the point that humans and their animal counterparts share physical and mental links. Varying species have divided into districts, living in a tenuous peace under the President of Calem.

Ardana and her tiger ingenium Rijan leave their life of exile and abuse in the Outskirts, setting out with their twin brothers to redeem themselves and become citizens of the Center. But shedding their past isn’t as easy as they had hoped. When the system that shunned them becomes embroiled in political conflict and treachery, their unique abilities and experiences from the Outskirts make them invaluable to every faction. The runaways become pawns to friends as well as enemies, and with every step it becomes more difficult to tell which is which.

My review:

My first thought about Perception was: Confusing. The reader is dropped right into the middle of the action, with no explanation of who everyone is and what kind of world they're living in. You only get little bits of information at infrequent intervals, so I spent a lot of the first part of the book not sure what was going on. Because every character has an 'ingenium' (an animal companion/other half) there are twice as many names to learn and the names are quite difficult and often really similar (there's Ardana, Adamas and Adomar, then Kade, Khan and Kliax). If I was reading a paperback, I would have made myself dizzy by constantly flicking back to re-read and double-check things, but I read this on a Kindle, where I find it cumbersome to go back to previous pages, so I just lived with the confusion and kept reading.

Keeping reading, however, was a good thing. Despite what the synopsis says, I never got the sense that this was a post-apocalyptic future - apart from one reference to The Jungle Book, I didn't spot anything to suggest this was our world - what it did feel like was high fantasy and fortunately, I love high fantasy. Perception is a quest narrative, which includes newly discovered parentage, magic books, castles, secret passageways, buried treasure and an evil ruler who needs to be toppled, and I eat that stuff up with a spoon.

The protagonist and narrator of  Perception is Ardana, who has been raised in the Outskirts (outside the legal districts of the land) with her brother, Kade. Ardana and Kade have tiger ingenium - Rijan and Adamas, respectively - creatures they are psychically linked with. The whole concept of ingenium is similar to the daemons in Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, except the animals are real animals and not manifestations of a person's soul. I found that difference interesting; the bond between the humans and the animals was always apparent, but the animals had distinct personalities of their own. Rijan was my favourite character, actually, and the balance she found between being loyal to Ardana and fulfilling her own desires as a tigress was cool to read about. I had mixed feelings about Ardana, because I didn't always think her character was cohesively written - sometimes she seemed naive and immature, sometimes she seemed like a world-weary fighter. I didn't really get a handle on who she was as a whole, until the end (I liked her then, though).

The story sets off when strangers come looking for Kade in the Outskirts. Fearing for his life, Ardana and Kade (and their ingenium) run away and start on a journey to find their father. On their way they meet new allies and new enemies and it's not always possible to tell which is which. From here, the book seemed to go from one setting to another. There was the part in the forest, then the part in the safehouse, then the part in the castle. Some of these parts I enjoyed, but there were always some scenes that didn't work for me and the transitioning between them could feel awkward. I will say that the last part of the book, in which the characters take part in a tournament, is a whole lotta fun. It starts with a mad horseback race, turns into an Indiana Jones-style treasure hunt, complete with dangerous booby-traps and then culminates in one of the best fight scenes I've ever read. If you've ever wanted to read about an epic brawl that includes humans, swords, tigers, cobras and scorpions, then you'll find it here.

Obviously, this book is self-published and although this comment may be an affront to those who believe strongly in self-publishing, here goes: I do think this book would benefit from the kind of professionally polishing and grooming that goes on in publishing houses. However, I understand why the author wanted to get Perception out there and overall, it is a good thing that it is out there.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read During Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books to Read During Halloween

10. The first half of Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

The ending was disappointingly action-free, but the first half was pure horror: Bella's pregnant with a child who sucks her blood from the inside, breaks her spine and has to be delivered by Edward tearing her out of Bella's stomach with his teeth...gruesome stuff.

9. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

And this is where I admit that I've never read anything by the horror maestro, Stephen King *hangs head in shame*. I have, however, read his son, and Joe Hill has written some scary tales himself. This one involves a washed-up rock star buying a ghost over the internet, only to discover he's been set up to bring untold trouble and death into his life.

8. The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman

Between the artwork and the story, these graphic novels completely envelope you into a world that's imaginative and unnerving and scary as hell. I truly shudder at the fates of the humans who chose to mess with supernatural forces they did not understand.

7. Soulless by Gail Carriger

This series is really funny and will put you in a good mood for Halloween, but dealing as it does with vampires, werewolves and a protagonist without a soul, there are plenty of scary bits, too.

6. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

There are few things scarier than Jack the Ripper and this book has plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments, as London wonders where a new Ripper will strike next.

5. Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan

This is a collection of short stories of which some are so creepy, they will make you wary of turning out the lights, lest one of the nasties featured snatches you from your bed.

4. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

I found Jackson Pearce's portrayal of girl-eating wolves to be genuinely frightening and the scenes which depict the wolf attacks are horror movie-worthy, as girls are ripped apart from limb to limb.

3. Prom Nights from Hell by Various Authors

I actually read this collection last Halloween and the five stories vary from scary to fun. A special mention goes to 'The Corsage' by Lauren Myracle, which is a retelling of 'The Monkey's Paw' and creeped me the hell out.

2. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

I think the first Sookie Stackhouse book was the scariest, with vampires and a serial killer on the loose. Poor Adele Stackhouse *sniff*

1. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

One of my favourite YA books and probably my favourite zombie book, the premise of a town surrounded by a forest of zombies is terrifying and Carrie Ryan adds many moments that make you jump out of your skin.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

In My Mailbox #21

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi @ The Story Siren. All links go to the Book Depository UK.

So...what do I do when I'm overloaded with books and feel like I'll never read them all? Why, get even more books, of course! Ugh, I have a disease and I need help.


Delirium by Lauren Oliver 
I mentioned once that I feel like everyone has read Lauren Oliver but me. I hope to rectify that shortly.

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
I've been wanting to read this since the beginning of the year and it's being sold very cheaply at the moment. I couldn't resist.

The Poison Diaries: Nightshade by Maryrose Wood
I read the first book more than a year ago and I made this sequel the subject of a Waiting on Wednesday post. However, I confess to remembering very little about what was good about the first book or why I liked it, so I decided it was time to jog my memory.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
I'm a big Lois Lowry fan (although in my day, it was the Anastasia books I loved, not The Giver, which everybody else seems to rave about but I never read) and this is one of her books I haven't come across before. And it's so small, it's not going to add much weight to my TBR pile.

From NetGalley:

Yay, I got approved! I've been dying to read this and I'm starting it next, no question about it. 

It's the subtitle "A Novel of Magic Most Foul" that made me want to read this book. Magic Most Foul? Ooh, I'm in.

I've been seeing reviews for this for a long time, so I didn't realise that it was still a long way away from being officially published. A book about a teenage traveller absolutely appeals to me and all the advanced buzz makes me optimistic that this will be a great read.

This is a middle-grade/children's novel, which I don't normally read, but this just looked so darn cute.

This is the second book in the Lacey Chronicles, which means I really have to get a move on and read the first one.

So quite a big load this week for me! What did you get?

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Book Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

First published in Great Britain: 29th September 2011
By: HarperCollins Children's Books 

Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux flies to London for the start of a new life at boarding school. But her arrival is overshadowed by the sudden outbreak of brutal murders, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific work of Jack the Riper.

'Rippermania' grabs hold of London, and the police are stumped with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory has seen their prime suspect on the school grounds. But her friend Jazza didn’t see anyone.

So why could only Rory see him? And what is he planning to do next?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense and romance, Rory discovers the secrets of London and the truth about her own shocking abilities, as Jack the Ripper returns...

My review:

Maureen Johnson is best known for writing contemporary YA and, although The Name of the Star is a paranormal thriller, it still felt like a contemp novel to me. Yes, there's a homicidal ghost loose in London, but everything else seemed grounded and naturalistic: When Rory arrives in London, she makes neither a BFF or a mortal enemy, rather, there are tentative new friendships and some small conflicts. Rory's romance in this book is not the epic, star-crossed love story you often find in paranormal YA, but the kind of awkward fooling around real teens do. I found it refreshing and more interesting to see realistic adolescents depicted in this kind of story.

Thinking back, all my favourite moments in the book took place in the 'normal' world. I really liked Rory's character, in fact, by the end of the book, I flat-out loved her. The parts which describe her adjusting to life at her new school, Wexford, are very funny, as are a lot of her mental asides and observations. There's also a Spice Girls joke/bit that cracked me up completely.

The book as whole is very readable - it hooks you from the start with a discovered body, and stays pretty engaging throughout. When the characters (and all of London) are waiting for the Ripper to strike, it definitely has that horror movie thing going on; it's very tense and scary and if you are reading it home alone, you will jump at every noise. 

However, the ghost-y parts of the story were where the book became just OK for me. I think this is a personal thing: I just don't believe in ghosts at all and don't find them scary, so I couldn't feel the tension and danger after that point. I don't know what it is about ghosts, because obviously I don't believe in vampires, werewolves or demons, either! But that's just how it is and I was disappointed that there wasn't a flesh-and-blood killer. I also thought the reveal of the villain and his backstory was not that original or interesting, but something I've seen many times before.

Still, I want to read the following books. Although the central Big Bad doesn't appeal to me, the characters, Rory's life at Wexford and her new team of ghost-hunters, all do. I'm intrigued as to what, after the Ripper murders, Johnson will use for inspiration next. And I'd just like to spend time with Rory again.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Friday, 21 October 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday #18

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

Q. What superhero is your alter-ego?

Well, Wonder-Woman is my favourite superhero, so I'll go with her. I'm a Greek mythology geek, so I like that she has her roots in those myths. I also agree with her peace-loving pacifist stance and on a more superficial note, it is very fun to dress up as her.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #10

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My WoW pick for this week is:

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Book 3, tentatively titled Bitterblue and currently in progress, is a companion book to both Graceling and Fire and takes place in the seven kingdoms eight years after Graceling. Bitterblue will tie all three books together in some way. Bitterblue is the sixteen-year-old protagonist, and Katsa, Po, Giddon, Helda, and other characters from Graceling will be part of the fabric of the book. Plenty of fighting still to come!

Published: 1st May 2012

WoW because: OK, so we still don't have the most detailed synopsis - the exact plot of this book still remains a mystery. But after 2 years of waiting, I am so freaking excited to finally have an official cover and release date for Bitterblue! I liked Graceling, but I really loved Fire, which gives me the impression that Kristin Cashore gets better with each book. And I adore the fantasy world she's created, with gracelings and monsters - humans with magical abilities. I'm assuming this is the UK cover, as it matches the style of the previous 2 UK covers and I am so thrilled to think it will be in my hands in less than 6 months!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Covers That Made Me Buy

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books Whose Covers or Titles Made Me Buy It

I love the topic this week! I'm totally the kind that lusts after books because of their covers, even though I know the old adage is true.

  10. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

The UK covers are what convinced me to try this series. They were just so cute and made the books look like so much fun. I especially love having their candy-coloured spines brightening up my bookshelf.

9. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

For most readers, The Handmaid's Tale is their first Atwood, but for me it was this. I love retro images and I watch Mad Men almost purely for the period fashion, so it's no surprise that I read this book for the same reasons.

8. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

There are a lot of dissenting opinions on Twilight, but I've never heard anyone disagree that it has an impressive cover. When I first started hearing about this book, the cover intrigued me more than the plot. It's so mysterious and evocative and I think it really stood out amongst all the other books on the YA shelf (not so much now that there are dozens of similar ones).

7. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingstone

For months before I bought Wondrous Strange, I often looked it up on Amazon or Goodreads, just so I could look at the cover again. Sigh. It's so very, very pretty.

6. Entangled by Cat Clarke

I must have a thing for redheads.

5. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

This list is revealing that despite the fact that I complain about the over-use of 'Sad Girls in Pretty Dresses' for YA covers, I obviously eat up all those covers with a spoon! This cover is not very representative of the actual tone of the book, but it sure is nice to look at.

4. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

I think Philippa Gregory books really set the blueprint for what all historical fiction covers would look like. While I admit to being a bit tired of these covers now, this one really attracted me at the time.

3. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

These books brought the pretty dresses to YA. I think I said "wow" the first time I saw this dress and this cover.

2. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

This was recommended to me and I first went to the library for a copy. However, the library did not have this cover and that was just not on. I bought a copy instead because I had to have the cover I wanted.

1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I was lucky enough to win this from Liza @ Reading with ABC, but if I hadn't, I would have had to get my hands on this book somehow. I love this cover. I scuba-dive; I wonder if that has something to do with it? Anyway, underwater imagery is just the pinnacle of beauty for me.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Gallagher Girls #5 - Out of Sight, Out of Time UK Cover Reveal

This isn't on the author's blog yet, but when I was procrastinating employing my time usefully by browsing Amazon, I spotted that the UK edition of Out of Sight, Out of Time now has a cover.

I've spoken before about how much I love the UK covers for this series. They are adorable and this one is no exception. I like the focus of the watch on this one, to go with the title. And of course, these covers have always consistently portrayed a) the Gallagher Girl uniform b) the shining silver skull-and-crossbones ring and c) a heart in place of a letter somewhere in the title font. It all perfectly captures the feel of the series: sassy and fun. A cute thing (another one) that you can't see by the covers alone, is that the colour on the girl's nails always matches the colour of the book's spine, so we can presume that the spine of book 5 will be baby blue. 

You like?

Have you been hit by the blogging burn-out?

It seems like every so often, someone in the blogging world posts that they are burned out and feeling overwhelmed and need a break. Because of this, I did kind of wonder when this would happen to me. Well, I think it was last week. Here were my symptoms:

  • Not being able to get into anything I was reading and having to put down books after a few pages and start a new one.
  • Because of this, not being able to write reviews and having zero other ideas on what else to post.
  • Being unenthusiastic about new books and seeing them not as great stories, but as more to load onto my overwhelming TBR pile.
  • Waking up in a cold sweat and then being unable to get back to sleep because of the worry about said TBR pile and how I was ever going to get through it.

I was trapped in a horrible cycle. My TBR pile had me so stressed that I couldn't stop worrying and get focused on reading. And because I wasn't reading, my TBR pile wasn't getting any smaller. Does this sound familiar at all?

The not-sleeping thing is what spurred me to do something about this. If there's one thing I can't sacrifice for reading and blogging, it's my regular 40 winks because I seriously can't function on little sleep. However, trying to cut down my TBR pile has been only marginally less painful that cutting off one of my limbs. One thing I decided to do was return the 17 library books I had out on loan. I want to keep using my library, libraries need all the support they can get, but it got to the point where I was just holding these books hostage and preventing other library-users from picking them up. I have more than enough bought books on my bookshelf and on my Kindle to last me for months.

To get myself back into reading, I reread a book I love (The Book Thief) and although it took me longer than usual, I think it got me out of my funk. I'm also hosting a giveaway and it always feels good to make other people happy. Sigh. I'm feeling better now. 

But I can't help but wonder why we bloggers put so much pressure on ourselves. Our blogs don't have deadlines and aren't being graded, yet I think my dissertation was the last thing to get me as worked up as this! On the one hand, it's a good thing that our blogs are so important to us but on the other, we need to chill out sometimes.

I'd like to ask how many of you have felt this way and what you did do to overcome it? Maybe a self-help and relaxation guide for bloggers is in need!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

150 Followers Giveaway!

I've reached another milestone and I want to celebrate that with a giveaway. There are a lot of great books being published this October and I want to treat my followers to one of the ones I'm most looking forward to reading.

I am giving ONE lucky winner the opportunity to choose ONE of the following books from The Book Depository:

These are all books I want badly and for some crazy reason (well, my mammoth TBR pile!), instead of buying them for myself, I'm buying one for one of you.

This giveaway is open internationally, as long as The Book Depository ships to you. The only requirement is that you leave a comment, stating which book you want, but you can get more entries by following and tweeting. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

In My Mailbox #20

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by Kristi @ The Story Siren. All links go to the Book Depository UK.

I got my lost my NetGalley cherry this week and received my first book for review:

Crave by Melissa Darnell
I know it's vampires (again) but making the protagonist a female vamp is still quite rare in YA. I'm interested in what the author does with this premise.

I also received a book in a swap with ReadItSwapIt:

The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin
I first saw a review for this about a year ago and remembered the title. I didn't realise until I received this copy that it's written by the same authors of Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance (which I haven't read but have heard a lot about, whereas I've heard very little about this one). I'm intrigued that this book has a teenage boy with Asperger's, who's a fan of Kirsty Maccoll - I hope it'll be good enough to recommend to my students with Asperger's and, well, I like Kirsty Maccoll, too.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

On My Wishlist #4

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where we list all the books we desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. 


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.

Achilles, ‘best of all the Greeks’, is everything Patroclus is not – strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess – and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

I'm such a Classics geek and this has been garnering great reviews. It tells the story of the m/m romance between Achilles and Patroclus and has been marked as a must-read for me.