Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
Contemporary Fiction / First Novels / New to Me Author / Recent Release / Review Requests and ARCs

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

I picked up this book from NetGalley because I loved Ritter in Jessica Jones.  I know that acting and writing are completely different, but I feel like she must have brought a lot of herself to the role, so I was curious about her first novel. I should say first off that the modern-day mystery-thriller … Continue reading

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
Contemporary Fiction / Diverse Reads / First Novels / Highly Recommended / New to Me Author / Recent Release / Review Requests and ARCs

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

I recommend this short but moving first novel by Rachel Khong about a woman caring for her father with Alzheimer’s.  This is a prospect I find absolutely terrifying, whether for my parents and for myself.  It seems to me that almost any physical ailment would be less scary than gradually losing one’s mind, knowing that … Continue reading

Girl at War by Sara Novic
Contemporary Fiction / First Novels / Historical Fiction / Recent Release

Girl at War by Sara Novic

Like The Unquiet Dead, it’s hard to adequately review a book about a really serious historical subject like the massacres in Croatia. But I’ll do my best. What I appreciated most about this book was its readability, and how real it felt. I imagine that author Sara Novic experienced many of the things she wrote … Continue reading

Contemporary Fiction / First Novels / Highly Recommended / New to Me Author / Review Requests and ARCs

Tomorrow there will be Apricots by Jessica Soffer

I don’t remember what made me pick up this book.  For whatever reason, I requested a free copy on NetGalley and once I had one, I felt obligated to read it.  And I’m glad I did. If you don’t know this about me, I don’t do “heartwarming” any more than I do “chick lit”.  This … Continue reading

Contemporary Fiction / First Novels / New to Me Author / Review Requests and ARCs

Review of Monsoon Season by Katie O’Rourke

Monsoon Season is O’Rourke’s first novel, and at times it feels that way.  But she’s also done something pretty impressive in this portrayal of a young relationship with some serious problems.  It’s a simple story, but thankfully this book is anything but simple. Monsoon Season tells the story of Riley and Ben, a couple in … Continue reading

Dystopian / Fantasy / First Novels / Fluffy Summer Travel Reads / New to Me Author / Paranormal / Part of a Series / Review Requests and ARCs / Science Fiction

Review of The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

There’s been a lot of hype around this book, considering it’s not even out until August 20.  I’ve heard Shannon referred to as “the next J.K. Rowling” and the book as “the next Hunger Games.”  I can’t say that either of those are even close.  But I will say this: for a 21-year-old literature student’s … Continue reading

Award winners / Challenges / Contemporary Fiction / First Novels / New to Me Author

Review: The People of Forever are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu

I read this book for Giraffe Days’ Around the World Challenge.  For July, the challenge was to read a book set in Israel, a country I really should know more about, because my father grew up there.  He has a passion for Israel that’s hard for me to understand, having never been there. I thought … Continue reading

Contemporary Fiction / First Novels / New to Me Author / Review Requests and ARCs

Review: Zaremba, or Love and the Rule of Law by Michelle Granas

I was interested in this book for two reasons.  First, it’s sort of a historical/political novel about modern-day Poland.  I’m a quarter Polish, and visited Poland for the first time two years ago, and loved it.  We were fascinated by the country’s rich history and modern-day politics. But secondly, as I started reading the book, … Continue reading

Contemporary Fiction / First Novels / Highly Recommended / New to Me Author / Review Requests and ARCs

Review of Descent by C.H. Zhu

C.H. Zhu’s first novel, Descent, is a story about a young man from China who struggles with his sexual identity and the weight of his parents’ expectations.  While Dr. Wu Rong has built a successful career as a scientist, he cannot come to terms with the fact that he’s gay, and what that will mean … Continue reading

First Novels / Historical Fiction / Review Requests and ARCs

Review: Redemption on the River by Loren DeShon

Redemption on the River is a first novel by author Loren DeShon.  It’s got some weaknesses but overall I enjoyed it.  It takes place along the Mississippi River from Missouri to New Orleans in 1848. This is one of those historical novels that really tries to expose you to details you might not have known … Continue reading