Review: Half World by Hiromi Goto

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Long ago, the three realms—the Realm of Flesh, the Realm of Spirit, and Half World—lived together in harmony.

Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked.

Somehow, the realms were severed, leaving Half Life—the realm in which those departed from the Realm of Flesh were condemned to relive their greatest trauma over and over and over until they resolved their mortal tribulations and entered the Realm of Spirit—to devolve into despair, chaos, and perpetual pain. Only when a child is born in Half Life—an impossible thing in this realm of repetition and patterns—can the Realms be brought back into harmony. Or so the prophecy says.

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Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

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One of my favorite narrative conceits is stories within stories. I love books that wrestle with the idea that the story I’m reading is a story, and that it’s subject to change depending on who tells it and how. Even better, I love it when the characters themselves confront those same ideas, because what are we if not the protagonists of our own story? Don’t we all attempt to reconceptualize our own lives so that they make slightly more narrative sense than the tangled mess that is reality?

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