How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer

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Womp womp.

I was really looking forward to How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky. Fellow bloggers seemed to enjoy it, and it got good buzz over at BookRiot. But…. it didn’t work for me.

Irene is a reserved scientist who creates mini black holes in a lab, and George is an daydreamy (a word I just made up) astrophysicist trying to find proof of religion in the stars. When they meet, sparks fly, but it turns out their mothers gave birth to them and raised them separately to be each other’s soul mate – so that they would meet as strangers and fall in love. So is that love real, if it was planned before they were even born?

I was expecting this book to be a little offbeat, because well – just read that description again. I think that things got a little too weird for me. There were some very unusual secondary characters – the kind of characters that have weird quirks just for the sake of it. Irene and George seemed inconsistent, at best. For example, Irene is a pretty reserved scientist type, but somewhere near the middle of the book she startedย spouting off phrases like “penis sex” to near strangers. It was odd. And George had apparently been searching in vain for “the one”, which of course meant he had to cycle through sleeping with girls – because of course he couldn’t tell if a woman was the one or not until he slept with her. Agh.

Overall, I’d had to recommend skipping this. I’m sure Netzer is a good writer because some sentences were just really well done, but the storyline and plot devices here drove me nuts. I ended up skimming the last 50 pages or so because I just wanted to be done with it.

 

Sarah Says: 2 stars

 

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14 comments

  1. I’ve been waiting to see what you thought of this because I felt very similar! I wanted to love it, but I didn’t care about either of the characters. I cared more about the moms, and even then, it was lukewarm.
    Like you said, I knew going in that it would be weird, but it was just.. too .. odd. I hated the boyfriend.. can’t even remember his name now. Bellion? Sigh.
    Oddly enough, I would still pick up Shine Shine Shine.. someday.. in the future.

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  2. Oh man, I hate when this happens. I have a low tolerance for magical realism. Be fully magical or fully real- the in between makes me a little nuts. I thought this one sounded good, but I’m not sure how I’d take it. Hmmm… Food for thought.

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  3. Noooooo!! I spotted this at the bookstore and made a mental note to read it later, but then I saw that your review began with “womp womp” and thought to myself, “drats, this does not bode well”. I’ll just leave it sitting in my goodreads list for now. :-/

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