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I loved this book, about smart teenagers trying to understand their world and get by in Manhattan and Vermont in the late 1980s. The characters are flawed and troubled and sometimes dangerous, but you grow to care about them as the book moves forward. The author successfully shifts to the different points of view of the characters, including their wayward parents. You can always tell that she cares deeply for each of them.
The narration was excellent. I have not experienced this narrator before, but I thought he brought the right note of yearning and wonder to the story. His handling of the different characters' voices was strong without being distracting.
I recently read "A Visit From the Goon Squad," which has similar themes, and I can't say that I preferred one over the other. Both were absorbing and enjoyable novels. But "Goon Squad" was more of a novel composed of short stories (a lot of those these days....), while Ten Thousand Saints was a real novel, focusing on one protagonist with a lot of compelling parallel subplots.
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Well, I must say this book took some getting used to. First I thought I dove into a depressive text about teenage crises and deeply saddening dramas. I however emerged realizing this book was filled with depths about religion, social stigmas, identity, and individuals true quest to find themselves all while coming of age during a time where social stigmas where at an all time high. It was tough to get through only because of my own personal preference of having authors answer for me right away "what's this all about" but definitely took deep twists that was worth the wait. Very well written and touches the core of some of the challenges in the fabric of our country.