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We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(2) Sea Level

Even though there are a bajillion different narrators in this book, they're all old-timey, small-town folk who use a pretty simple language. And yes, their storylines are constantly weaving through each other, but the author keeps each one really distinct—she even uses different fonts for each one. Now wasn't that nice of her? You should call her up and thank her sometime.

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