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Review of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    512 pp.    g 6/17    978-0-06-238280-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-238282-5    $9.99 Eighteen-year-old Monty, spoiled heir to a wealthy estate in eighteenth-century Britain, embarks on a year-long “Tour” of Europe, after which he will settle unhappily into respectable […]

Fashion-Forward Vampires and the Power of Humor in Genre Fiction

Mostly, my social interactions start out something like this: Them: Oh hello, what is it you do? Self: I’m a writer. Them: That’s cool, what do you write? Self: Commercial genre fiction. You know, science fiction, fantasy, romance, young adult. *Pause.* Self: It’s mostly funny. So. Hello. My name is Gail Carriger. I’m an author. […]

“Will you be my reader?”

A mysterious wooden box arrived at the office. The only clue to its contents was the note initialed “SD” woven through its simple twine bow. Upon opening it, I quickly learned who was trying to win me over with this mystery box: the queen of YA romance herself, Sarah Dessen! On the inside of the […]

Review of When My Sister Started Kissing

When My Sister Started Kissing by Helen Frost Intermediate, Middle School    Ferguson/Farrar    195 pp. 3/17    978-0-374-30303-7    $16.99    g Claire and Abigail have few memories of their mother — she died when they were very young — but at their family’s lakeside cabin, the girls are surrounded by the poetry, art, […]

Reviews of the 2017 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Award Winner and Honor Books

Fiction and Poetry Winner The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    453 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-249853-3    $17.99 Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter lives a life many African American teenagers can relate to: a life of double consciousness. Caught between her rough, predominantly black neighborhood and the “proper,” predominantly white […]

Review of Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever.

Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. edited by Betsy Bird Intermediate, Middle School    Viking    205 pp.    g 5/17    978-0-451-477-316    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-698-409-446    $10.99 Fuse #8 blogger Bird’s compilation includes twenty-eight entries from “laugh-out-loud funny” female children’s book creators, whom Bird argues are underrepresented in the publishing industry, plus a […]

Big little world

Roger’s post this morning about cozy mysteries reminded me that I spent my Sunday devouring Liane Moriarty‘s Big Little Lies. I loved the recent HBO miniseries starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley, and the book is just as thoroughly enjoyable. My boyfriend asked me which I liked better, and I replied, “I like […]

Review of We Come Apart

We Come Apart by Brian Conaghan and Sarah Crossan High School    Bloomsbury    312 pp.    g 6/17    978-1-68119-275-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68119-276-5    $12.99 Two troubled UK teens forge an unlikely romance in this novel in verse. Jess, a jaded tough girl, nicked some cosmetics with friends who let her take […]

Review of Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia Intermediate, Middle School    Amistad/HarperCollins    166 pp.    g 5/17    978-0-06-221591-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-221594-9    $9.34 “Electric blues sparks jumped out into the night” when Cool Papa Byrd plays his guitar in Washington Square Park, and all grandson Clayton wants is to be waved […]

Review of This Would Make a Good Story Someday

This Would Make a Good Story Someday by Dana Alison Levy Intermediate, Middle School    Delacorte    308 pp.    g 5/17    978-1-101-93817-1    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93818-8    $19.99 e-book ed  978-1-101-93819-5    $10.99 Twelve-year-old aspiring writer Sara is less than thrilled when Mimi, one of her two mothers, wins a writing fellowship […]