Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Book Review: "How To Tell Toledo From the Night Sky" by Lydia Netzer

How To Tell Toledo From the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer
Published: July 1, 2014
ISBN: 9781250047021
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Library
Recommended for readers who enjoy quirky fiction

Like a jewel shimmering in a Midwest skyline, the Toledo Institute of Astronomy is the nation's premier center of astronomical discovery and a beacon of scientific learning for astronomers far and wide. Here, dreamy cosmologist George Dermont mines the stars to prove the existence of God. Here, Irene Sparks, an unsentimental scientist, creates black holes in captivity.

George and Irene are on a collision course with love, destiny and fate. They have everything in common: both are ambitious, both passionate about science, both lonely and yearning for connection. The air seems to hum when they’re together. But George and Irene’s attraction was not written in the stars. In fact their mothers, friends since childhood, raised them separately to become each other's soulmates. 

When that long-secret plan triggers unintended consequences, the two astronomers must discover the truth about their destinies, and unravel the mystery of what Toledo holds for them—together or, perhaps, apart.

My Thoughts:
I picked up this book because I had heard a number of good things about it on a few book podcasts I enjoy.  It sounded quirky and fun and a good choice to break up a string of heavier books I'd been working through.

This book was both completely and not at all what I expected.  It is original and quirky with a touch of magic realism, which I appreciated.  Sometimes the quirks were a bit too much for me, but I loved the "not of the world" aspects of the story.  Netzer is also fun to read with a keen sense of humor.

I will say the premise of the book intrigued me more than the actual book.  At the end of the day, this is a romantic novel (I wouldn't call it a "romance," as it doesn't fit that genre).  There are two story lines happening--the budding romance between Irene and George and the secret plan concocted by their mothers  Unfortunately, I think the presence of two plots sort of short changed both.  Neither story really went as deep as I would have liked and I never really felt like I got close to any of the characters.

I will readily admit that this might be a case of a book just not being a very good fit for the reader.  I have reader friends who I think would really enjoy this book, even though I can't say that I did.

I was not solicited for this review and I received no compensation for this post.

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