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book reviews

The Starless Sea

Bee, key, sword.

Erin Morgenstern’s second novel cannot specifically be defined as one genre. The Starless Sea is many things: a mystery, an adventure, a multi-faceted love story, and above all, a world within a world. Each vignette from various books brings you closer to the characters, who are less random and more real than you originally think.

When Zachary Ezra Rawlins finds a book with a piece of his childhood written exactly as he remembers it in the campus library, he’s stunned. He re-reads the collection of short stories over and over, but nothing of his own story comes up. Sweet Sorrows enthralls Zachary, compelling him to take the book with him everywhere, including a gathering with fellow students.

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Symptoms of Being Human

Riley Cavanaugh is your typical rebellious teen: Riley likes to wear Doc Martins, Dad’s old Ramones shirt, and has an ambiguous haircut. Trying to fit into a box isn’t Riley’s thing, especially when it comes to gender. Because Riley is gender-fluid. 

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By Chance Alone

Max grew up during the ’30s and ’40s. As a child, he loved spending time with his grandparents, his aunt and uncle, and his immediate family all under one large roof. When Hitler came to power, Max’s life rapidly changed. As a Hungarian Jew, he and his family members were targeted and witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust.

Now, as a Holocaust survivor, Max’s testimony to the atrocities at Auschwitz reminds fellow survivors and listeners alike that it’s important to never forget such a terrible time in history.

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book reviews

The Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World, Book 1

Leaving Emond’s Field

The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.

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book reviews

Knit Two

In the sequel to The Friday Night Knitting Club, which focuses on an eclectic group of women who knit in their spare time, Knit Two is about the events after Georgia Walker’s untimely death. Dakota, her now college-aged daughter, runs the Walker and Daughter yarn store with Perri, a woman who makes unique pocketbooks. While the group is struggling to move on five years after her mother’s death, life finds a way for these women to meet and knit together once a week.

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Crossover (Cassandra Kresnov # 1)

In a futuristic setting, Cassandra Kresnov must stake her claim on her autonomy and rights as an android, an artificial person, while struggling to live life as a civilian. Created by the League for wartime purposes against the conservative Federation, someone who is like the Daft Punk song: Harder, better, faster, stronger. She’s also more dangerous and more intelligent than ordinary humans. Having fled the League, she tries to find a new life among the Federation, her previous enemy.

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book reviews

Pansies

Alfie Bell has a lot going for him: he’s making good money, he’s got his own place, and he’s looking for love.

When he accidentally comes out as gay at his mate’s wedding, his world is turned upside-down. Shocked at his reveal, Alfie leaves the wedding in a rush, leaving the place of reception as quickly as possible. In a pub, he meets a handsome man around his age, and sleeps with him.

To his horror, Alfie learns that the guy he just slept with is his old classmate, James O’Donaghue. He used to torment James for being different, without realizing that he himself was just as different from everyone else, just like James–who now goes by his real name Fen, short for Fenimore.

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book reviews

Wayward Son (Simon Snow #2)

Simon Snow defeated the big baddie. Now he’s sitting on the couch.

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book reviews

Ravensong (Green Creek # 2)

Gordo Livingstone may be the witch for the Bennett pack, but he never forgot the lessons that were carved into his skin.

Hardened by the betrayal of the wolves, he finds solace working in the body shop that he owns, working alongside his best friends. It should’ve been enough. When the wolves return, with Mark Bennett among them, they take down a monster together as a pack and win. A year later, Gordo finds himself once again the witch of the Bennett pack. He’s also struggling to ignore Mark and the wolfsong howling between them.


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book reviews

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Dear Ma,

I am writing to reach you–even if each word I put down is one word further from where you are.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong, pg. 3.

Little Dog is writing letters to his mother who is illiterate. He writes to go back to places that he remembers through memory, which “is a choice” (pg. 75). Memories he writes about include his birthplace in Vietnam, how his grandmother and mother survived death in such a war-torn country. Little Dog writes about experiencing homophobia, his first love–a boy named Trevor–his past, and his family.

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book reviews

Glitterland

Ash Winters is a novelist; Ash Winters struggles with bipolar 1 disorder, and has severe anxiety.

After a one night stand with a gorgeous glitter pirate by the name of Darian Taylor, Ash think that this is it. Yet, he keeps coming back to Darian, a man who talks with a heavy Essex accent, who thinks that he talks like the Queen. He and Darian are nothing alike.

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book reviews

The Heart’s Invisible Furies

As a child born out of wedlock, Cyril Avery has a strike against him. Growing up in Ireland, he learns that being an illegitimate son is a bad thing, and is considered “not a real Avery” by his adoptive father Charles. His adoptive parents, Maud and Charles, are more aloof parents, their standard being providing food and clothes for their adoptive son Cyril, but don’t provide any of the love or affection that most parents tend to give their children. They aren’t neglectful parents, they just aren’t interested in spending time with Cyril. Cyril wonders who he really is, if he isn’t a real Avery.

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book reviews

American Gods

This is the second Neil Gaiman book I’ve read; this is classic Gaiman with some of his best writing.

Shadow, who does about three years in prison, cannot wait to get back out into the real world. He has boiled his plans to life outside prison to three things, two of which include taking a bubble bath, making love to his wife whom he loves very much, and staying out of trouble for the rest of his days.

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book reviews

Wolfsong

For Ox, learning that there’s a pack of werewolves living at the end of the road is just the beginning.

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book reviews

Supermarket

Bobby Hall–someone I honestly didn’t know before I picked up this novel–wrote a book.