PositiveChicago Review of BooksAt its heart, My Last Innocent Year is a campus novel, and it hits many of the same notes as classics of the genre ... By the end of Florin’s masterful bildungsroman, our narrator is not somebody’s daughter, she is not someone’s victim, she is not someone’s lover. She is Isabel, and she defines her own story.
PositiveChicago Review of BooksThe Effort paints a bleak picture of humanity’s final days, but ultimately offers a message of hope; our survival relies on exploiting the most fundamentally human trait—connecting and trusting one another ... The novel has a broad scope, and diverse characters representing every continent, and many different cultures. Many of these people are only briefly introduced, and sideline narratives follow these tertiary characters adding to the details of the world. They have rich backstories, and though we may only glimpse at their lives, we learn enough to care about them. These side narratives are connected to the main protagonists—family and friends—but primarily exist to better shape our perception of the world. These side narratives also serve to balance the pacing of the novel, drawing out the narrative time to better represent the passage of weeks and months. The Effort is a political novel rather than an action space adventure. The real crisis is not the incoming asteroid, but humanity itself, and the reaction to the threat of imminent death.