Category: Review Requests and ARCs

Review: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

July was a pretty heavy reading month, but this book was pure fun and I enjoyed every bit of it.  Moreno-Garcia’s novel is set in 1920’s Mexico, where Casiopea, a young woman in Yucatan, is struggling in her oppressive grandfather’s home.  It begins as a Cinderella story — Casiopea and her mother are poor relations,…

Review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos

I really liked this slow-burner of a novel about a program for the wealthy who want surrogate parents.  Ramos creates what I found to be a very believable scenario and raises a lot of really interesting issues regarding parenthood, wealth, immigration, race and class.  A corporation creates a home for young women to bear the children…

Review: Normal People by Sally Rooney

I loved the way this book begins, because I identified very much with Marianne, one of its two narrators.  Marianne and Connell are two teens in a small town in Ireland.  Marianne is smart, independent, and proud, but has no friends at school.  Connell is popular and outgoing, and like many teens he worries a…

Review: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

I had to force myself to finish this book, and that’s never a good thing. At times this book was nicely written and I found myself see-sawing between frustrated and absorbed. I knew from reviews that there were major changes in the plot and I wanted to see what happened. Trust Exercise is about Sarah…

Review: The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

I requested this book on NetGalley, mainly because it had an endorsement from the author of Station Eleven, and because the premise of a virus that causes people to fall into an indefinite sleep sounded interesting.  I was a bit disappointed.  I liked many of the characters, including Ben, a new father, young Sara, and…

Review: The Breeding Tree by J. Andersen

Author Andersen has just released the third book in this series, and when she asked me to read it, I asked if I could start with the first instead.  This was an interesting, well-written YA dystopian novel.  It builds on concepts you’ve already seen frequently in dystopian novels, but with a nice amount of detail…

Review: All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy

I liked this book though it didn’t resonate emotionally as much as I expected it to.  It’s a story of man in India who is recalling when his mother abandoned him as a child.  Gayatri was a free-spirited artist who clearly felt constrained by her marriage and societal expectations.  She leaves her family for a…

Review: Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

I loved this debut fantasy novel by Tasha Suri.  It’s well-written and creates a fascinating world with a terrifying villain.  It’s inspired by the Mughal Empire of India, something I knew absolutely nothing about before reading this book — which is why fiction by diverse writers is so important.  Suri brings cultural references and perspectives to…

Review: Those Who Knew by Idra Novey

Those Who Knew is a novel about a senator with a violent past in a small unnamed island country.  It’s about about the intersections of politics, money and influence.  I appreciated the writing style of this author and much of the book worked for me, although I didn’t care for the generic location.  In her…