It is conveniently divided into 6 parts, so I approached it like a novel I would have had to read for college -- "Here, just read up to page 163 and then take a break; you don't even have to do an assignment, just make sure you read carefully enough that you could follow a class discussion and have an idea or two to contribute." This is the kind of book that I could absolutely zone out of and gloss over at regular intervals, but I made myself be patient and read every sentence, and it's intriguing.
It is very possibly because these characters are Seth and Ryan, and I am still ridiculously pleased that for once, I didn't have to do a lick of research legwork -- someone literally came along and said "here, you can picture your faves in this one." It is also a definite bit because there is more than one layer of fictional-character application. In the back of my mind as I'm reading, I'm also calculating what makes this one of Seth's favorites -- incidentally, I've got a lot of questions for him and possibly some good news for slash shippers -- and what Ryan might be thinking upon approaching it with the same directive I have. (fyi it is one of my fave background things that while trying to pass time during his suspension, one bit of montage has him reading this book and eventually doing a fan through the like 400+ pages he has left. BUDDY, I FEEL YA)
But if I needed that to get my foot in the door -- and I really do not think I would be accomplishing it without that -- then I still have to say that Joesef Kavalier and the brotherhood forged between cousins here is really doing quite a number on my heart, and I haven't even finished clapping Michael Chabon on the back for the bed-sharing (they're poor and low on beds, okay!), or the fact that 19-year-old Joe is exactly Ryan-levels of stoic and anger-fueled determination, except in his case the stakes are bigger and the efforts more futile so he has more than once finally been overwhelmed with tears over his family left behind in Hitler's Europe, or Sammy's distinct inability to qualify exactly just how it is that he loves Josef, or that time they worked to exhaustion all weekend and ultimately fell asleep "half in and half out of each other's arms" because HAHA IDK, WHY NOT. All of this is the best.