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Serious Face Reviews

Little Fires Everywhere

“Most communities just happen; the best are planned.” The underlying philosophy of Shaker Heights, Ohio, governs everything from acceptable colors of house paint and trash pick-up, to the lifestyle of one of its proudest residents, Elena Richardson. It promotes success. It rewards thoughtful planning. It keeps things neat and clean all around – at least on the outside. Continue reading “Little Fires Everywhere”

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Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Release Date: August 29, 2017

When the DC Icons series was announced in March 2016, readers were understandably very excited to see some of their favorite YA authors deliver a new take on four of the most well-known characters in the DC comics universe. This Tuesday, the first book in the series hits shelves – Leigh Bardugo’s “Wonder Woman: Warbringer.” I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of this, and am happy to report that it will undoubtedly add to the growing mainstream popularity of the character. Fans of the wildly successful Wonder Woman movie will appreciate how “Warbringer” continues the trend of presenting Diana as a powerful, fierce woman who takes the lead and hasn’t been oversexed or underdressed. Continue reading “Wonder Woman: Warbringer”

Miles Morales: Spider-Man

Author: Jason Reynolds

If you’ve only ever watched Spider-Man on the big screen, the setup of this book may come as a surprise.* A Spider-Man that isn’t Peter Parker? What’s up with that? If you really want more information, here’s the Marvel Wikia page, but delving into those things can quickly result in information overload. I haven’t personally read any of the Miles Morales comics, and am here to vouch that all you need to know to appreciate the book is this: his name is Miles Morales. And he’s Spider-Man. Got it? Good. Continue reading “Miles Morales: Spider-Man”

A Map for Wrecked Girls

Author: Jessica Taylor

A Map for Wrecked Girls is 50% deserted island, 50% contemporary LA, but dangerous pitfalls in both worlds make for a 100% survival story. An explosion on the boat is what threw Emma, Henri and Alex together in a pitched fight for survival, but that wasn’t the start of their troubles. Alex holds his secrets close to his chest, and Emma and Henri’s family was already falling apart around them. But at least the sisters always had each other – until that fell apart, too. Continue reading “A Map for Wrecked Girls”

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Author: Gail Honeyman

If you’re looking for the humorous pragmatism of A Man Called Ove mixed with the heartfelt bumbling relationships of The Rosie Project, Eleanor Oliphant is exactly that. Eleanor requires very little from life: a job with minimal coworker interactions, a weekend indulgence of vodka and frozen pizza, and a Tesco loyalty card. Her weekly phone calls with her mother are trying, but unavoidable. She doesn’t care to understand why society at large deigns to engage in idle chit-chat, much less participate herself.

Continue reading “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”

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”

Startup

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.

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

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