Category Archives: Book Reviews

Last Dance by Hanna Schroy

Last Dance is a very accessible middle grade read that explores the themes of life balance, friendships, goals and dreams. The idea of enchanted slippers certainly isn’t new but Schroy gives a modern spin on the story through very stylized … Continue reading

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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Taking place 64 years before the events in the first Hunger Games novel (and featuring the 10th Hunger Game), this book only includes two people from the original trilogy: Coriolanus Snow and his cousin Tigris (the genetically altered woman who … Continue reading

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Shine by Jessica Jung

Although promising a lot of inside info about the K-Pop industry, Shine skirts any kind of heavy-hitting commentary in favor of a few thoughts on gender inequality, the pressure of big business on the young hopefuls, and examples of how … Continue reading

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The Friend Scheme by Cale Dietrich

While this was better than Dietrich’s debut effort, I had a hard time with the amount of suspension of disbelief needed to justify the plot as well as yet again, more weak characterization and world building. Most of the book … Continue reading

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Unravel the Desk by Elizabeth Lim

It’s rare: but sometimes a sequel really outdoes the first volume. With Unravel the Dusk, Elizabeth Lim took a good book and made it even better. Main character Maya’s voice stays strong and resolute, never falters in her conviction, and … Continue reading

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Deadly Curious by Cindy Anstey

This was a hard one to really get into. The characters were all superficially drawn, each very naive and rather boring. Our main character, Sophia, seems to think that she can be a detective after reading one book. The male … Continue reading

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Bento for Beginners by Chika Ravitch

This book lives up to the title: the recipes are easy to create, using very ordinary and easily-obtainable ingredients, but also have good flavor and interest. The cover photo gives an accurate image of what you’re likely to be making … Continue reading

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Blue Flag Volume 1 by Kaito

Since I had never heard of this title, I had very little expectations going in. At first, it felt like a light-hearted slice of life with a bit of angsty romance thrown in. But after finishing the first volume, I … Continue reading

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Not Your Idol by Aoi Makino

Coinciding neatly with the #metoo movement, this is a surprisingly hard hitting look at masculinity and femininity, objectification, and the price of being an idol/famous/fandom. While some topics covered are universal across cultures (dressing sexy does not mean rape is … Continue reading

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Secret XXX by Meguru Hinohara

There is an amusing contrast here of a manga with a lot of innocent looking fluffy bunnies interspersed with scenes of very graphic (more than usual in this genre) sex. But this slice of life is more melodrama than drama … Continue reading

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Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura

Every Reason We Shouldn’t is a nicely written YA story that feels very much like the outline for a teen movie. I appreciated that as much attention was given to the pro skating/training as to the romance and that the … Continue reading

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The Orville Season 1.5: New Beginnings by David a Goodman, David Cabeza, Michael Atiyeh

The irony that this Orville TV series is more Star Trek than the actual Star Trek currently airing is not lost on readers. Or, at least a lot more Star Trek: The Next Generation. Originally in Season 1 it was … Continue reading

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The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne

I’ve tried to write this review several times now and somehow it keeps coming off as just mean spirited. So in a nutshell, this is Jane Austen’s Persuasion dumbed down for the YA audience. I’m not one who believes we … Continue reading

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Chosen Ones By Veronica Roth

This is a hard one to review simply because I both liked and disliked aspects of it. On one hand, the read is compelling in that there are many mysteries and Roth knows how to dole out information sparingly and … Continue reading

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Highfire by Eoin Colfer

I primarily know Colfer’s work through his famous Artemis Fowl series (which I love), including his recently released ‘Fowl Twins’ which continues the series with a new set of characters. Thus I was a bit surprised to find this new … Continue reading

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Persona 5 The Manga, Volume 1 by Hisato Murasaki

Persona 5 the manga was an adequate retelling of the plot from the Persona 5 game. The book did its job of covering all the main plot points while ensuring that the essential dialogue remained. What was lackluster was the … Continue reading

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The Lost Scroll Of The Physician by Alisha Sevigny

This is a nice whodunit with your typical mustache-twirling-evil-guy-in-power and the plucky kids who foil his/her plans. There is just enough of the plot given throughout that kids can begin to decipher for themselves, though adults will likely find the … Continue reading

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Penric’s Progress by Lois McMaster Bujold

Penric’s Progress collects the first three (in chronological order) novellas in Bujold’s delightful Penric series, set in the World of Five Gods (the series starting with the Curse of Chalion). It’s not necessary to have read the earlier books in … Continue reading

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Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku, Vol. 1 by Yuji Kaku

Hell’s Paradise is an interesting mix of horror and absurdity, comedy and gore. It does somehow work; likely due to the polarized leads who play so effectively off each other. In some ways, this feels very much like a more … Continue reading

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The “I Love My Air Fryer” Low-Carb Recipe Book Michelle Fagone

This is a nicely presented cookbook with plenty of fairly easy dishes to cook. The recipes are broken down by type: breakfast, appetizers, sides, chicken, beef and pork, seafood, vegetarian and deserts. Many of the dishes will require extra parts … Continue reading

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