How To Tell Toledo By the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer ( web | twitter )
Publication Date: 7/1/2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: fate, family, mothers/children, LGBT, science
Format read: Borrowed from the library. (Yay!)
Summary: Two mothers plan the births of their children, in hopes they grow up to be incredibly in love.
Let me jump right into this and say: beautiful cover and two very strong recommendations from Jess at Gone with the Words and Jen at Pop! Goes the Reader. I’m so glad I decided to take this book out of the library; it is by far one of the most unique books I’ve read in a long, long time.
Now on to the 5 reasons:
1. Do not be scared of the science. I was scared of the science. Both George and Irene use words that made my head want to explode, and I was scared it would have so much to do with the story that I would never get into it. Not the case at all. As you dig into the story, the science falls away and the humanity of the story takes centerstage. Made everything really click for me.
2. Love is complicated. George has been searching for his soulmate for a long, long time. He has no idea this person is Irene until Irene is suddenly stealing his lab at the Toledo Institute of Astronomy. You would think that her having a boyfriend would be the biggest complication for these two, but nope. As Netzer begins to weave in the story of George and Irene’s mothers, wow. It’s like a brand new dimension to the story appears and creates even more tension and complication.
3. This was surprisingly sexy. I’m sorry to scientists everywhere but I was just not expecting this book to be so sensual. Like very ohh-hot. Let me put it this way… chemistry is not only happening in the lab. Even though I didn’t predict it, Netzer beautifully folded all of these moments in and granted readers to the darkest desires of her characters. I appreciated that a lot.
4. Do you believe in fate? This would be a great candidate for a book club because wow — it’s kind of crazy what these two moms do to ensure their kids meet and fall and love. I loved this mystical element of the book; it made me wonder if it could work. (Don’t worry; I’m not going to try this out. haha) But how far can you push two humans who grow up so differently to get together? In what part of the equation do you let go of the reigns and see what happens? (It’s also a major shock to know someone had such control over your life. Just think about it.)
5. The writing is beautiful. In a book where you are balancing so much science, backstory, current story, the prose does not suffer at all. I can’t even tell you how much I loved George’s voice. He sounded so different than other male characters I’ve read. Sort of childlike but also very grownup at the same time, if that makes sense. I really enjoyed that combination.
A tip: How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky starts off slow, but once you get into the swing (took me to almost page 60) you won’t be able to think of anything else.