Category: Recent Release

Review: How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

I was excited to receive an advanced review copy of Imbolo Mbue’s newest novel, because I loved her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers.  This novel is very different from that one, and unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much.  The story is slow-paced and didn’t have the depth of emotion I saw in Behold the…

Review: Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

I had mixed feelings about this book, which generated a lot of buzz when it came out, but I continue to think about it.  It’s an unusual blend of character-driven horror, something like Station Eleven. It’s a book where not much happens, but it’s still terrifying.  I would have liked it more except that sometimes…

Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

I loved this book.  I already thought Schwab was great, but this book combines so many things I love – history, travel, France – and it’s really character/relationship driven.  The story is complicated, and there were lots of times I found myself trying to poke holes in the logistics of it all.  But it’s worth…

Review: Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko

I love reading about Australia, ever since I traveled there in 2013. I was struck by the similarities in the history of Australia and the United States, though I felt Australia was much more open about its troubling treatment of Aboriginal populations. Too Much Lip tells the story of Kerry Salter, a young woman who…

Review: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

I liked everything about Harrow’s new novel, a story that blends the mythology of Grimm’s fairy tales with historical misogyny. The Eastwood sisters Beatrice, Agnes, and Juniper haven’t seen each other for seven years. The two elder sisters fled the family farm because of their abusive father, and the youngest, Juniper, has been scarred by…

Review: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

I couldn’t be happier that Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet won this year’s Women’s Prize.  I love O’Farrell but I worried that this book couldn’t live up to my expectations, after all the rave reviews.  It absolutely did. Hamnet is about William Shakespeare, though he’s never actually named in the book. It’s 1596, and 11 year old Hamnet…

Review: Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon

This was a fantastic historical novel about World War II that is even greater because it is nearly all true.  Author Lawhon gives us the story of real-life hero Nancy Wake, an Australian who serves as a British special operative in World War II, working with French resistance fighters. As with many historical novels, Lawhon…