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Ys been than enough for Ken Z but when he meets Ran at the mall food court everything changes Beautiful mysterious Ran opens the door to a number of firsts for Ken first kiss first love But as uickly as he enters Ken's life Ran disappears and Ken Z is left wondering Why This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a Book GirlI m not entirely sure what I just read The synopsis for The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart makes the bold claim that this novel is for fans of Adam Silvera and Elizabeth Acevedo but that couldn t be further from the truth I saw no similarities and was uite disappointed If you re going to compare a title to other books please make sure you are choosing similar thingsMaybe it s because I m not familiar with Oscar Wilde but this was an incredibly confusing story I m not entirely sure what the point of all it was The author did include some important narratives on subjects such as gender identity peer acceptance and the class system but it was all jam packed into only a few parts instead of being themes carried throughout the book as a wholeIt also felt like Linmark was attempting to cram too much into this novel There were almost too many themes spread out At one point the Oscar Wilde book club is talking about homosexuality and what it was like for ueer people in the 1800s then suddenly their biggest concerned is the banning of books Nothing felt constant enough to matterThe reader is also never able to get to know the characters well enough We re given hardly any background information and don t find anything out about them except for that they all love Oscar Wilde Maybe I m a different type of reader but I need to go on I can t just know characters for a brief moment I need to understand what brought them to this point and feel like I know them well enough to have an idea of where they d go from hereR Zamora Linmark was originally a poet and playwright and unfortunately his writing style just doesn t translate well to YA His flowery writing is too confusing There are a lot of extra words for the reader to sift through to figure out the simple point that is trying to be made There s no clear or concise reason for why this particular story is being told It just kind of is Honestly if this hadn t been a review copy that I felt obligated to read I probably would have DNFed it A digital ARC was provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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These Books Belong to Ken Z

Love at all if this is where it leadsLetting it end there would be tragic So with the help of his best friends the comfort of his haikus and lists and even strange surreal appearances by his hero Oscar Wilde Ken will find that love is worth than the price of heartbreak i genuinely love linmark s writing i was deeply impressed by his incredible use of language as well as attack on language in rolling the r s and went into this book eager to see how linmark would continue to play with language especially when the title is a clear wordplay on oscar wilde like woo i was anticipating wit and sarcasm and just a whole lot of social commentary on language that would hit me right in the gut well it didn t really live up to my expectations the social commentary is there and i appreciate that the book tries to bring in issues of gender sexuality education politics of language and geopolitics however the execution is a bit clumsy in my opinion i prefer how rolling the r s does this through the subtlety in the characters very overt emotions here the characters are young emotionally intense super socially aware and just in general very precocious while i m not saying the portrayal of complex teenagers who are both na ve and sharp in the book is unrealistic it makes the book s overall vibe a bit too juvenile for my personal liking i think my main issue is that ken z s extremely melodramatic personality undermines whatever discourse that the book is trying to provoke perhaps some will say that despite their heightened social awareness teenagers are at the end of the day emotional messes and i agree however the characters also deliver astonishingly keen and sober social observations at the same time they re experiencing emotional distress the dissonance is a bit too much for me and makes the book seem a bit wishy washy like linmark wants to go all out on the YA genre but also wants to incorporate discourse into the book and i think the product is a bit clumsythat being said i love the characters the play with language the melodramatic angst and of course how beautifully it s written if this is a purely YA piece without such overt political commentary i think i would ve enjoyed it infinitely like this writing reminds me of fanfiction the Great type the could be published type and i d read the heck out of that the poems are also stunning and perhaps the highlights for me in this book i d definitely check out some of his poetry after this

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Readers of Adam Silvera They Both Die at the End and Elizabeth Acevedo The Poet X will pull out the tissues for this tender uirky story of one seventeen year old boy's journey through first love and first heartbreak guided by his personal hero Oscar WildeWords have alwa What I thought might be a wrong side of the tracks story actually had nothing to do with their classism keeping them apart Ran just ran I thought that was a little disappointing What would become a theme through this book is how it never really unpacks its many themes The aforementioned classism homophobia banned books government control over access to information just to name a few only really get passing mentions and rarely have much to do with the core of the story which is Ran and Ken Z It feels like this book tries to do too much in a not inconsiderable 352 pagesIn its essence this book is about how much it sucks to be ghosted especially at a young age and especially at a point in your life where you re just figuring out who you are Ken Z never shares if he is bi or gay or any other orientation but he finds himself attracted to Ran something he truly never expected And maybe that s why Ran s disappearance hits him so hard Ran takes all of Ken Z s options to talk about how he s feeling with him when he never returns from North Kristol Sure Ken Z could talk to his friends but this is something he wanted to do with Ran to explore with Ran and to have that taken away and to be left behind without a word at the same time is a crushing experience Other reviews are not exaggerating when they say that this book is very cutesy The first third or so of this book rides the line of being too sugary sweet for my taste and borders on the ridiculous It s fun to see a young boy being infatuated for the first time especially in a or less forbidden love situation but I also remember being a teenager and just being happy that the guy I liked put on deodorant after gym class Also what teenager lives a live with so incredibly little adult supervision Outside of Mr Oku and the occasional short appearance by Ken Z s mom I kept wondering where all the adults wereI don t understand the comparison to Adam Silvera It doesn t work I can t speak to the comparison to Elizabeth Acevedo as I have not read The Poet X yet That s a bold claim and one this book fails to earnOverall this book is like a 25 for me It was readable but could have used a little consistency in following through with discussion of its many many themes I would have liked to have seen Ran and Ken Z s relationship through a lens that isn t super flowery I wish the author had dug further into Ken Z because even by the story s end I just sort of felt meh about it all I didn t feel for Ken Z the way I wanted to I wanted to ache with him to feel his anger and confusion and to heal with him Instead I m left underwhelmed by this work overall I do hope it finds its fanbase but I wanted so much what the story had the potential to be what it practically begged to be than what I got


10 thoughts on “These Books Belong to Ken Z

  1. says:

    What I thought might be a wrong side of the tracks story actually had nothing to do with their classism keeping them apart Ran just ran I thoug

  2. says:

    355 Rounded up to 4I adored this book It was so uirky and wonderful and at the heart so very very Wilde esue Ken is a young man who loves Oscar Wilde lists Haikus his mom and his friends But is there to life His world expanded the day he meets Ran a young man with a Dorian Gray vibe from North KristolThis book is made up of Ken's thoughts whether he's speculating with Oscar Wilde himself writing a haiku poem or list or

  3. says:

    Well it certainly was different Stocked with poetry and dystopian prophecy The first half had meet cute romance intrigue The second had despai

  4. says:

    355For the bio that compare this to Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X How could one write such a lieThis book definitely had m

  5. says:

    This novel was a harrowing account of first love; something that changes your life and opens your eyes to the world around you We go through lif

  6. says:

    This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a Book GirlI’m not entirely sure what I just read The synopsis for The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart makes the bold claim that this novel is for fans of Adam Silvera and Elizabeth Acevedo but that couldn’t be further from the truth I saw no similarities and was uite disappointed If you’re going to compare a title to other books please make sure you

  7. says:

    I loved this book for several reasons SPOILERS1 Representation matters I wish I had a book like this available to me in high school or perhaps I just wasn't aware at the time It was a realistic first love story going through the range of emot

  8. says:

    About to waste the better part of an hour Googling the connection between Oscar Wilde and haiku I changed my mind in favor of contemplating Ken Z's potential for becoming Wilde at Heart The prose story parts of this novel are pretty good; there is a lot of valid discussion of gender identity class differences and acceptan

  9. says:

    i genuinely love linmark's writing i was deeply impressed by his incredible use of language as well as attack on language in rolling the r's and went into this book eager to see how linmark would continue to play with language especially when the title is a clear wordplay on oscar wilde like woo i was anticipating wit and sarcasm and just a whole lot of social commentary on language that would hit me right in the gut well it di

  10. says:

    This one is a 35 for me and I'm still thinking about it two weeks after I finished reading it I even had to look up Kristol the name of the island country where the story takes place to see if it is real It turns out that it isn't and it's imaginary although at times I felt that the setting had much in common with North and South Korea Ken Z adores words and the works of Oscar Wilde hence the book's title and he is fortunate enoug