The Lady Rogue is a clever, exciting bit of historical fun. I worry that it will fly under the radar, but pick it up if you’re in the mood for a treat.
Permanent Record uses the success of Mary H. K. Choi’s bestselling debut as a springboard to reach an even more ambitious story, this time about self-ownership, direction, and love in the time of social media.
The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart tries way, way too hard. But then again, what better encapsulates the spirit of Oscar Wilde and teenagerdom than this messy, passionate exploration of the power of literature?
Swipe Right For Murder shoots high, aiming for satire, action, comedy, and drama all at once. Unfortunately, it falls short of all, ending up as an incoherent, unpleasant read.
I read the sequel to last year’s Grace and Fury mostly out of morbid curiosity and got exactly what I figured I was in for. Queen of Ruin makes a few improvements on the first installment but still doesn’t have the depth its subject matter demands.
All of Us With Wings is a gorgeous, inventive work of magical realism. Unfortunately, the beauty and empowerment are marred by a romanticized relationship between a teen and her employer, 10 years her senior.
A tense, creepy descent into the dark underbelly of a glittering princess theme park.
Five stars for this coming-of-age sci-fi mystery.
An intriguing idea dragged down by flat characters and an unpleasant protagnist: a case of autobiographical fiction gone wrong. Two stars.
Swoon. Emergency Contact was just what I needed this week. Smart, compassionate, and messy–everything a college romance should be.
Decades in the making, this unassuming book represents the central thesis of one of the greatest television critics, Emily Nussbaum. I Like to Watch isn’t just a collection of TV criticism; it’s a defense of TV criticism and television itself, celebrating the medium’s unique power and charting its evolution throughout the post-Sopranos golden age. Five stars.
Evvie Drake Starts Over tells a story of second chances with wit, compassion, and kinetic dialogue. Romantic and moving: an absolute joy to read. Five Stars.
Surprisingly extensive, Broken Throne reminded me why I loved Red Queen in the first place (while skillfully avoiding the series’ weak spots). Four stars.
Penned in loving, sharp verse, The Poet X is a beautiful, excruciating love letter to teenagedom, slam poetry, and Afro-Latina girls.
Inventive, heartfelt, and surprisingly quiet, Opposite of Always uses the time-loop plot to zoom in on personal relationships and character journeys.
Despite the haunting setting and skillful world-building, Wicked Saints fails to deliver on its essential promises. Three stars for a clumsy, frustrating fantasy. A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself. A prince in danger must decide who to trust. A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the…
I had high hopes for The Hazel Wood but ended up confused, frustrated, and worst of all, bored. Two stars for incoherent execution on a wonderful urban fantasy concept.
Swoon. Delivering sweet, seaside romance, Don’t Date Rosa Santos is a moving coming-of-age about family, heritage, and what lies beyond the ocean.
Thoughtful, compassionate, and quietly moving. Four stars for a celebration of faith, love, and other marvels.
Girls of Paper and Fire is a tender portrait of love amidst violence. Striking and spirited, but with some uncomfortable messages.
This book is going to be beloved by some readers–just not me. Two stars for an erratic, half-baked sci-fi adventure.
Sharp, sweet, and gloriously fun. Five stars for the laugh-out-loud, must-listen audiobook version.