A review by kyleofbooks
Charm & Strange, by Stephanie Kuehn


EDIT, January 21st, 2016: This review has haunted me just as much as the book. Over time, the back-and-forth volleying in my mind between a 4 star rating and a 5 star one, has left me with mental whiplash (is that redundant?? Because "whiplash" is a mental sta-- fuck it!). I digress. After nearly a year since reading 'Charm & Strange', I've come to the decision to change my rating to 5 STARS! Much deserved. Fade out. My mind rests easy tonight.

This book was strange, indeed. But, that's not a bad thing. It approaches its difficult subject matter in such a unique, and frankly refreshing way, that it is simply un-put-downable.

Although I breezed through this novel (topping off at a clean, crisp 210 pages), and was enthralled throughout, I struggled with my final rating- Is it worthy of a full 5 stars? No. Yes! It didn't exactly blow me away. It made me feel deeply. I was intrigued by the initial approach, but felt somewhat wanting- wanting more! I nearly gave it 3 stars, but then I took a few moments once I put the book down, to remember the emotions this particular novel evoked whilst reading it, and there's some truly powerful/profound stuff nestled between the covers. I found the central topics were handled with care, sensitivity, and genuine honesty. So, I settled for a well-deserved 4 stars (maybe even 4.5 stars in a truly perfect world where there's a Goodreads that allows that sort of thing). Also, as a post-edit: I've made the extremely rare decision to add this four-star book to my 'Favorites' shelf.*

In the end, readers will be drawn into Charm & Strange; unable to stop until the very last page, letting the mystery beautifully unravel. There's no other way around it.