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The incendiaries by R. O. Kwon
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The incendiaries (2018)

by R. O. Kwon

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199886,087 (3.45)17

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Something about this book didn't quite work for me. It was oddly paced and the John Leal sections stuck out for me. That being said, Kwon does a good job of writing Will as a flawed narrator that by the end I really hated. I know that sounds like a backhanded compliment but it's not. His journey from nice guy to despicable is subtle at first then all at once; really unexpected. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
An interesting novel about a young woman who becomes involved in a cult and ends up committing a terrorist act. Told from different perspectives, including the cult leader and the boyfriend who tries to keep her out of trouble, this book attempts to trace the journey of how one gets pulled into an extremist group. It's interesting, but others have tackled this subject matter and written books I enjoyed more. I felt really bad for Will by the end of the book, wondering if he would continue to cling to his idealized vision of who his girlfriend had been. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Jan 6, 2019 |
The Short of It:

Misplaced faith can blind anyone.

The Rest of It:

Phoebe and Will meet during their first year at Edwards University. Phoebe comes from money. Will, the opposite, doing his best to keep his scholarship while working part-time. In whatever spare time he has, Will finds himself completely obsessed with Phoebe. When Phoebe is lured into a religious cult by its enigmatic leader, John Leal, Will, puts his judgement aside and joins Phoebe and this cult just to be close to her, which ultimately leads them down a path of no return.

The Incendiaries is short but powerful. Beautiful but destructive. As a reader, you can’t help but sense the underlying unease that is interwoven between each page. Phoebe’s increasing passion alarms Will. Her dedication to a group she knows so little about is at once admirable and terrifying. Their love is fleeting and there is a definite sense that something horrible is about to happen.

This is a dark subject but Kwon delicately dances between the dark and the light. The Incendiaries is very well-balanced and simply told. No fluffy language or extra anything but the story will stay with you after turning that last page.

For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter. ( )
  tibobi | Dec 20, 2018 |
I really thought this was over rated. I thought her style was really pretentious and never cared much about any of the characters. Very disappointing.

Why does every novel set at a swanky east coast college and told by a fish out of water narrator seem the same? ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 6, 2018 |
I wanted to love this so much more since I saw RO Kwon and have heard so many rave reviews. Alas, I found it somewhat forgettable, especially the characters. I didn’t understand a lot of their motivations. There are some really good sentences that stand out, but almost too much that they distract from the story. The characters and plot remind me a lot of A Secret History. It’s a short read so I wouldn’t deter anyone from it, but definitely not one of my faves of the year. ( )
1 vote strandbooks | Oct 17, 2018 |
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At the bottom of everything there is the hallelujah.

-Clarice Lispector, 'Agua Viva'
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A young Korean-American woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea and then disappears, leading a fellow student into an obsessive search for her.

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