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Book Review: Having a One Star and Five Star Reading Month

This was pretty much me all month this month. I've been working pretty long hours, so every time I sat down to read, it was lights out. This over-worked exhaustion was not helped by my first book of the month, which sent me into a HUGE reading slump.


This Month's One Star Read

My social media bread-and-butter (though I'm not making bread or butter from it) is actually my BookTube channel also called Literati Medium where I primarily focus on watching movie/TV adaptations of books and then reading the book to see which I like better.

Seeing as Infinite is new to Paramount+, and hearing that it was actually an adaptation, I chose to start my month by reading The Reincarnationist Papers by D. Eric Maikranz. If you want to know why I rated this one star, you can click the picture above to hear me rant.

That being said, I wanted to clarify something that I didn't cover in any of my videos about this book. I want to state that: I didn't hate it because the prose were bad. The prose could actually be quite beautiful at times. The concept of the story itself is also really interesting and why I was so ready to read the book after watching the movie. I ended up hating it for two main reasons:

  1. The characters were unlikeable.

  2. The plot was a hot mess.

I am a naturally empathetic person, so if you want me to get into your book, the first thing you have to do is make me care about your character(s). The movie Infinite successfully did this for me...The Reincarnationist Papers did not. There is no real redemption to Evan's criminal activities in the book. So he's asshole.

The book could be forgiven if he had been given a redemption arc...but he wasn't. In fact, not a single person in the book had a character arc at all. They were just...stagnant. Which maybe makes sense given the context of their existence, but sure was boring to read. Especially when all the people are unlikeable.


In terms of plot, I probably would have given the book two stars if it had ended when he gets accepted into the Reincarnationists: but it doesn't. Instead it ends with the most pointless and unrealistic art museum heist in history and then it just...ends. There was absolutely no satisfying conclusion to this book.

And let's not talk about the depiction of the Romani in this book.

This is a book that could have been good: but it wasn't.


This Month's Five Star Read

Thank you, Book of the Month Club for putting this book on my radar. Razorblade Tears by S. A. Cosby is a book that I felt pretty mediocre about when I first ordered it off of BotM, but that was the whole reason I decided to join the book subscription service: to read more books that were out of my comfort zone.

This book is not something I would pick out myself from a bookstore as I tend to live in the fantasy and Sci-Fi sections when I go to a store in person. I have read a few thrillers in my life and always enjoyed them, but they were never something I actively sought out.

Razorblade Tears may have changed that for me. I don't know if I liked it so much because it was actually good after reading the dumpster fire that was The Reincarnationist Papers, but I read this book in a total of maybe four days: which is really fast for me. Once I got to the last third of the book, I kept coming back to it to read more even though I knew I had other things I should be doing.

The antithesis of The Reincarnationist Papers in almost every way, Razorblade Tears had me liking Ike and Buddy Lee almost from the start...albeit begrudgingly given their ignorant homophobia at the beginning of the book.

This is not a book that has flat character arcs. Seeing the character development of these two grieving fathers throughout the pages was a thoroughly rewarding reading experience. This book tackles relevant current topics such as homophobia, racism, and privilege in a way that only real people who make mistakes and learn from them can. All while having an incredibly well thought out and fast-paced plot.

Go and read it. Seriously. Right now.

Please note: Some of the links included in this article are affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commission should you utilize the link to purchase that product. Know that I will never recommend anything that I have not tried (and like) or use myself. If any of these products interest you, please use these links to help support Literati Medium so I can continue making and improving my content for you.

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