Book Freak-Out


Serious Face Reviews

A Darker Shade of Magic

Author: V.E. Schwab*

I thought about trying to come up with a clever intro statement for this review, but I kept coming back to “it’s really really really good,” so that’s what y’all get. Eloquence has always been one of my defining traits. At any rate, it’s true – A Darker Shade of Magic brings together multiple magical Londons, an infinite coat, a weapon-laden thief girl and some psycho villains to create a tantalizingly complex story full of adventure and escapades.

Continue reading “A Darker Shade of Magic”


Author: Doree Shafrir
Releasing tomorrow! (Tuesday, April 25)

I got my hands on an ARC of this as a prize from January’s 24 in 48 Readathon, but it’s also been gaining quite a bit of pre-publication hype as an April Book of the Month selection.

The tech industry has us all convinced that having the latest gadget or hottest app is paramount to survival. Nobody is more prepared to deliver that spiel than Mack McAllister, whose TakeOff app is on the cusp of breaking through into the billion dollar range. So far he’s managed to successfully navigate the instantaneous nature of the social media world, but a single misguided moment in the never-ending stream of data might be enough to derail him with a PR disaster to rival those that have recently played out in real life. What ensues is a scathing look at the “techbro” industry, with razor humor and pacing that had me finishing the book within 24 hours. And the guy in the unicorn onesie on the cover? That’s actually in the book.

Continue reading “Startup”

A Crown of Wishes

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Literary siblings often have a way of stealing the spotlight – the Weasley twins, the Baudelaire baby, Aedion Ashryver (well, cousin), Jem Finch LOL JK Scout is way better. In The Star-Touched Queen, Maya’s younger sister Gauri was an unexpected standout, shining with fiery personality and indomitable strength despite appearing in a pretty small fraction of the story. Well, hold on to your hats because SHE HAS HER OWN BOOK NOW. Continue reading “A Crown of Wishes”

Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi

Author: John Scalzi

Despite the fact that this book is indeed very very short (144 pages, 5.2 x 8.2 inches), it took the maximum allotted library checkout time (9 weeks, 3 weeks initial and 2 renewals) to eke its way to the top of my TBR. But once it got there, I was glad it did! This story collection is perfect for fans of humor, sci-fi and especially both taken together. The best comparison I can make is that if you like Mystery Science Theater 3000 or Galaxy Quest, you’ll probably like this. And if you don’t like Galaxy Quest, then I suggest re-evaluating your priorities.


Continue reading “Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi”

Labyrinth Lost

Author: Zoraida Córdova

Depending on your culture, a prominent coming of age event might be a Sweet 16, quinceañera, or bat mitzvah. For Alejandra (Alex) Mortiz, it means summoning her dead relatives to deliver a family blessing that will help control her magic, should it ever decide to develop. After all, nothing says “I’m a normal teenage girl” like, “Want to come to my Deathday celebration?” Alex is a bruja – a Latinx witch – but she’d really rather not be.

Continue reading “Labyrinth Lost”

All the Light We Cannot See

Author: Anthony Doerr

To give you some perspective, understand that I do not read a lot of historical fiction. So when I say this book is amazingly good, that should tell you something.

Don’t let the Pulitzer Prize win make you think this is a stuffy read – All the Light We Cannot See is an astoundingly accessible WWII story that grants humanity to all parties involved. It’s not a Holocaust novel, instead focusing on the invasion of France and Russia coupled with the indoctrination of German youth. It acknowledges the horrors of war without presenting anything that would be inappropriate for a young adult audience; if you’re introducing kids to Elie Wiesel’s Night then they can absolutely handle this. The hefty 544 page count may seem daunting, but chapters are rarely longer than four or five pages, which I imagine would lend itself well to an ebook or audio format in addition to traditional print. Continue reading “All the Light We Cannot See”

Given to the Sea

Author: Mindy McGinnis
Release Date: April 11

Fair warning, I did not like this book. But since I got an eARC from Penguin’s First to Read program and it’s also been included in the Epic Reads April Most Anticipated Reads list, I felt I should give it (and you all) due diligence and finish/review it.

Khosa has been raised knowing she will be Given to the Sea. To keep her homeland from being flooded by a cataclysmic wave, she must be sacrificed to the waves via a strange seizure/dance that will overtake her body and send her to her death. But before she can take the plunge, she must give birth to the next Given. Herein lies the issue: Khosa cannot stand to be touched by anyone.  Continue reading “Given to the Sea”

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

Author, Artist: Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks

This graphic novel is straight up HILARIOUS.

Public high school. Limited activities funding. Science team wants to go to a robotics tournament. Cheerleaders want new uniforms. The budget will only fund one of them. Whichever side can get their candidate elected as Student Council president will control the budget.

Nothing could possibly go wrong. Continue reading “Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong”

Wires and Nerve

Let’s get this out of the way – Marissa Meyer is killing it. We already knew she was a rock star novelist, but graphic novels are a bit of a different beast. In a departure from the norm, Wires and Nerve is not merely a graphicalized* version of an existing book (which we’ve seen for series like Marie Lu’s Legend) but a continuation of her wildly popular Lunar Chronicles. Brand new stories, brand new medium, brand new awesome. Continue reading “Wires and Nerve”

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