BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN – Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain’s Big Lies in a Small Town (St. Martin’s 2020) is fantastic, page-turning thriller of a candy book. Chamberlain is a North Carolina author, and the novel is set in sleepy Edenton, which is not far from where I grew up.  One of the characters is even from Cary, which is where I currentlyContinue reading “BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN – Diane Chamberlain”

WOMAN OF LIGHT – Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s Woman of Light (One World, Penguin Random House 2022) was a highly anticipated read and yet another example of where my expectations for a book are unrealized.  One could argue that it was over-hyped and that’s why it fell short, but I’d argue that its failings are due to not providing enough fleshContinue reading “WOMAN OF LIGHT – Kali Fajardo-Anstine”

AKATA WITCH – Nnedi Okorafor

I’m steadily reading my way through my TBR cart.  (Though it would appear I am adding more than removing.  My cart needs its own cart!)  I picked up Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch (Viking 2011) because I wanted a bit of middle grade fantasy.  Akata Witch is the first in The Nsibidi Scripts series.  Akata WarriorContinue reading “AKATA WITCH – Nnedi Okorafor”

TAKE MY HAND – Dolen Perkins-Valdez

In 1973 Montgomery, Alabama, Minnie Lee and Mary Alice Relf, sisters both under the age of fifteen, were sterilized without their consent. The procedure was ordered and performed by a federally funded agency. Their social worker reported it to a local attorney, who filed a lawsuit.  Relf v. Weinberger brought to light the thousands ofContinue reading “TAKE MY HAND – Dolen Perkins-Valdez”

THE CHERRY ROBBERS – Sarai Walker

Sarai Walker’s The Cherry Robbers (Harper 2022) is a slow burn of a classic Gothic ghost story that just misses the mark.  I wanted to love it, and there are some fantastically crafted sections, but the overall feeling I was left with was “meh.”  That is due in large part to the lackluster and unsatisfactoryContinue reading “THE CHERRY ROBBERS – Sarai Walker”

AN ISLAND – Karen Jennings

A little more than a month before the Booker Prize 2022 longlist is announced, I finished the 2021 longlist.  As several of the selections weren’t published in the States until this year, it took some time, but I did it.  I ended with Karen Jennings’s An Island (Holland House Books 2020, Hogarth in the USContinue reading “AN ISLAND – Karen Jennings”

DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS – Sue Lynn Tan

Sue Lynn Tan’s Daughter of the Moon Goddess (HARPER Voyager 2022), with its gorgeous cover and intriguing premise, was a book I wanted to love more than I actually did.  It’s far more juvenile and tropey than I expected, and I had issues with the pacing, world building, and character development.  Xingyin is poorly developedContinue reading “DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS – Sue Lynn Tan”

UNLIKELY ANIMALS – Annie Hartnett

“You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince Annie Hartnett’s Unlikely Animals (Ballantine Books, 2022) is a tenderly crafted work full of heart and quirkiness.  We’re only in June, but I’m close to ready to call it as my favorite for 2022; it’s near perfect. The novel, set inContinue reading “UNLIKELY ANIMALS – Annie Hartnett”

THE COUNTRY OF ICE CREAM STAR – Sandra Newman

Sandra Newman’s The Country of Ice Cream Star (Chatto & Windus, 2014; HarperCollins, 2015) has been on my TBR for years, and I finally picked it up.  This post-apocalyptic novel is about a destroyed America, set 80 some years after a “killing fever” called WAKS decimated the country.  The white people died or fled toContinue reading “THE COUNTRY OF ICE CREAM STAR – Sandra Newman”

WHAT THE FIREFLIES KNEW – Kai Harris

“Her smile is like a gigantic, dripping ice cream cone, after I stuff my belly full with dinner. Even with a stomachache, I want that smile.” (7) Kai Harris’s debut novel What the Fireflies Knew (Tiny Reparations Books) is a classic Bildungsroman, with a loss, journey, conflict, and growth.  What makes this novel unique isContinue reading “WHAT THE FIREFLIES KNEW – Kai Harris”