May 21, 2014
Bitter Orange by Marshall Moore
After having his life turned upside down by 9/11, Seth leaves his lavish lifestyle behind to move all of the way across the country to start his life all over again. He has a roommate named Sang-Hee who is the only person who knows about his secret. Seth can become invisible, and if he is not invisible, he can deceive people into believing whatever he says. He is able to pay for an iPod with only a few dollars, and he is able to steal chips from a casino in Vegas. Seth can do basically anything he wants, but is that enough for him?
Seth was an interesting guy. He touches on the topic of having a good job in New York City that he left after 9/11. He doesn’t go into detail about it at first, so the reader isn’t completely sure what he had done in his past. Once I learned more about Seth, he became an even more unique and interesting character that was fun to read about.
Sang-Hee was a great supporting character. I liked their conversations. They flowed well, had good chemistry, and were mostly funny. Sang-Hee could have had a bigger role, but he was also good as he was presented.
I liked how Marshall Moore incorporated gay characters into the book. The main characters are gay, but that isn’t the storyline. I feel that a lot of the books I have read in the past with LGBT protagonists, the writer relies on this to form the story. They are usually love stories. But, in Bitter Orange, it was almost like it was a side note, “Oh, by the way, Seth is gay. Now lets move on with the story.”
With the push for more diverse characters in books, I feel this book should be mentioned more just for that reason alone.
The storyline really kept me hanging on until the end. I had to figure out if the reason for Seth’s sudden powers were ever explained, and they were. It was nothing like I was imagining, but I didn’t really have any theories in mind to begin with. It was a nice surprise, and the twist at the end was a little crazy.
It definitely leaves it open to a sequel.
3.5/5 stars. A little slow at times, but it is ultimately worth the read.