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Ratings and Book Reviews (5 5 star ratings
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    Short.. but fantastic story.. sweet relationship..

    (I received this title as an ARC. All opinions are mine and freely given.) 'To The Flame' is a relatively short novel written by A.E. Ross about a boy named Emerson who's heartbrokenly crushing on the neighbor next door. Having spent hours together talking alone at a party, a night which found them kissing and connecting, they begin avoiding him immediately afterward. No chatting, not even a bit of eye contact, if at all possible. ​ Still struggling with his feelings of resentment and rejection, Emerson keeps finding himself escaping near death situations, all thanks to a stranger's anonymous warnings coming across of all things.. his radio. Much of Emerson's story is spent trying to figure out who keeps saving his life, while distracted by emotions stirred up by his neighbor. Morrie, having come into a hereditary moth-person ability at a very unfortunate time, is struggling with their own demons. Memories of the moment they came to understand what wielding such an ability would bring them, paired with their own crush on the boy they found themselves drawn to and all the ways they've seen him die, make it almost impossible for them to interact with him. Yet they continue to try to keep the boy alive, those moments making it even more difficult to ignore the spark between them. This story is so good. Emerson is tied up inside about the sudden distance that comes between him and the person who lives right on the other side of his wall. Every sound, every glimpse of them.. only fueling that fire and the need to push closer.. to try again and again to connect. Each failure seeming to steer him more steadily onto a reckless path. "Your electric daisy just hit the floor." As for Morrie.. Morrie is sort of a quiet force of nature. Visually, they're edgy in all the right ways, with their long silver hair.. shaved at the sides, stormy silver-gray eyes, black eyeliner, leather, combat boots.. you get the picture. They have this bold.. fierceness at times and then withdraw completely, as if they were never there and nothing ever happened. It's no wonder Emerson can't get them out of his mind. Their connection is so warm and sweet, that you will spend the entire read wishing for them to get together. The idea of them ending up apart will fill you with angst and you'll constantly be searching for some clue as to which way it's going to go. "..half his body wanted badly to escape out the door behind him and the other half refused to be moved. He wasn't quite sure which one was more traitorous." Ross is a fantastic storyteller. It's no easy task to manage multiple points of view coherently, especially without losing the distinction between characters or alternately, overdoing the differences so that it's jarring. The narrative however, in 'To The Flame,' flows easily between Emerson and Morrie. Also, I loved that the relationships in the book all seem really healthy. With the exception of the obvious issue between the two main characters, everyone else is really open and supportive with one another. People are looking out for their friends and loved ones, not just themselves.. and though support sometimes comes in ineffective ways, it's well intentioned and serves to move the story along. I keep hearing others say that what pleases them most is the inclusivity in the book.. and that really is fantastic to see. I long for the day when we don't even have to call it out because it's become the rule, not the exception.
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    diverse and imaginative

    I've always been a little obsessed with the Moth-man mythology... finally a book that fills up my imagination!!! A.E. Ross has taken an urban legend/myth and made it their own. This novella is about two people who meet one night and are far more entangled with one another than they can predict. Emerson is a student and after a party one night, he shares a kiss with his neighbour... then that neighbour basically ignores him. At the same time as his heart is being a little bit broken, he's being saved...by a voice on the radio. Literally, he will be walking along and listening to the radio station and will hear "Emerson, don't jaywalk". I absolutely loved this. Morrie Crisp is Emerson's next door neighbour and dealing with new powers that have emerged.  The thing is that as a moth person, Morrie can see the ways in which Emerson may die. How do you even begin to get your brain wrapped around that? You like someone, and you can see all that bad things that may happen to them. There are some quick flashbacks in this novella that gives a bit of back story for Morrie. Ross has developed a tiny bit of background for the moth person mythology... but I wanted more! That's not a criticism; I really wanted to read more of the world Ross touched on in this novella. The descriptions of Morrie as a moth person were a little cryptic and teasing, and I really enjoyed them. Ross' writing allowed me the room for my imagination to contribute a bit in terms of what Morrie's existence must be like. The characters were well written and I felt as though I got a great idea of what their differing personalities were like despite the brevity of the work. Loved the diversity in this. I really love reading along and just having diverse characters there on the page... no explanations... because there's none necessary. I'm probably not putting the in a way that makes sense. But, I just love the fact that some books are starting to have diversity just as part of it without expiation. That is what I want.
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    Really intriguing

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. Thanks to NineStar Press, LLC. Emerson Oakley's first year at the West Virginia's Vance University started in a very peculiar way. Not only he was kissed and then ghosted by Morrie, the neighbour, but he is warned and saved by a mysterious creature, a Moth. Morrie is struggling to use their new powers and to understand why they fell in love with the boy they watched die in their vision. Both of them fighting against their feelings and mysteries, will Emerson and Morrie surrender themselves to their feelings or not? To the flame is a very peculiar book and I liked a lot the story, told by two POVs, swinging from past to present, from Emerson to Morrie. I liked reading about a nonbinary main character and their powers and crush. It was interesting reading about the Moth person, even though I wish it could have been better explained. But I liked a lot To the flame and they having feeling for each other. Both Morrie and Emerson are really cute and the story is simple, but very sweet. The only downside, I wish it could have been longer, because I really liked it!
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    Confusing but good

    I found this story quite confusing. It became apparent that this was a gay love story but the love scenes were a bit too explanatory for me!. Emerson is saved lots of times and finds out who it is eventually,all will be revealed!!. Morrie has psychic abilities and turns into the moth person. The ending left lots of questions so maybe there'll be more to come!
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    Short but enjoyable

    A quick read. Engaging characters and an interesting storyline made this an enjoyable read. *I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided NetGalley*
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