RaveThe Star Tribune... [an] engaging and moving new book ... Sandler deftly includes context, history and clearheaded explanations of the public welfare system and its dysfunctions in her detailed account of Camila’s life ... The \'system,\' ostensibly there to help Camila, who became a ward of the state at age 15, almost becomes a character in the book ... Ultimately, the story of her first year of motherhood is heartbreaking, inspiring and infuriating, all at once.
PositiveThe Star TribuneThe book makes a powerful argument to Gen X women ... Calhoun speaks directly to her own generation, peppering the book with so many specific cultural touchstones, from the Challenger explosion to Koosh balls to the slime-filled TV show \'Double Dare,\' that I found reading Why We Can’t Sleep to be a singular experience — driving home her point that Gen X is so often overlooked.
PositiveThe Philadelphia InquirerThe book makes a powerful argument to Gen X women ... Calhoun speaks directly to her own generation, peppering the book with so many specific cultural touchstones, from the Challenger explosion to Koosh balls to the slime-filled TV show Double Dare, that I found reading Why We Can’t Sleep to be a singular experience—driving home her point that Gen X is so often overlooked.
MixedThe Star TribuneJournalist Azadeh Moaveni uses years of powerful, intimate reporting, including interviews with women who joined the Islamic State, their families and their communities, to show how smart young girls, girls who watched The Princess Diaries and went to Zumba classes, became radicalized. She brings the reader inside kitchen table talks between families and to places inside the caliphate ... All of the detail and history allows Moaveni to describe these girls in a way that’s both relatable and admirably anchored in context. Still, because the book is structured chronologically and metes out just 20 pages on one girl’s story before going on to the next, moving from Tunisia to Germany, to England to Syria, it was hard to hold onto the thread of each account until it came around again many pages later ... I found myself wishing Moaveni had focused more deeply on fewer characters[.]
PositiveThe Star TribuneThey\'re an entertaining trio, firing snide wisecracks at each other when they’re not shooting at bad guys. And that humor is vital in a book that is more gruesome than Sandford’s typical offering ... the collaboration that really makes the story work is that of Lucas with Rae and Bob. Let’s hope that Sandford keeps them as an ensemble cast.
Rachel Louise Snyder
RaveThe Star TribuneRachel Louise Snyder’s latest book should be required reading for lawmakers across the country ... She makes a powerful case for a national call to action as she shows the ways cops and advocates can make a difference if they see a domestic violence incident for what it so often is — the warning sign of a future homicide or familicide ... The book is far from a collection of grim statistics, even though it’s packed with upsetting information. Snyder is a talented storyteller, and is largely a series of moving and fascinating in-depth profiles ... One of Snyder’s greatest accomplishments in No Visible Bruises is also what kept me reading — she carefully reveals the ways that the deaths of women...affected their communities and beyond, leading to very real, concrete changes in how advocates and cops work together, saving lives. There’s hope here, amid all the heartbreak.
Megan K. Stack
RaveThe Star TribuneStack writes, unflinchingly, about what it was like for her world to shrink and her life to entwine with the lives of her hired help—who left their own kids behind in order to work in her home. The result is messy, self-critical, probing and fascinating ... She also works to turn her own daily \'postmodern feminist breakdown\' into an exploration of the ways that domestic work has and continues to shape women’s realities ... Stack’s writing is sharp and lovely, especially in the first section of the book as she deftly describes her plunge into new motherhood and yearlong journey to find herself again ... the one way the book didn’t fully succeed was in sharing these women’s full perspectives ... In this book, the tough questions Stack asks are of herself.
PositiveThe Minneapolis Star Tribune... compelling ... Books with this kind of pacing often invite reading in one fell swoop...Still, I was surprised by just how much Stay Up With Hugo Best sucked me in for the ride as it chronicled a complicated #MeToo situation between a young comic and the older, David Letterman-like former boss she once idolized ... a story of sex, celebrity and power that feels fresh and unpredictable ... I found the whole book to be funny and relevant but also sad — and over too soon.
Jamil Jan Kochai
PositiveMinneapolis Star Tribune\"... [a] sparkling debut ... 99 Nights in Logar is funny, immersive and crackling with a tween boy’s sensibilities ... Kochai’s writing throughout is lovely and evocative while still hewing to his young narrator’s perspective ... Kochai’s storytelling has the power to make 99 Nights in Logar readers feel.. absorbed and captivated.\
PositiveMinneapolis Star Tribune\"Like Fforde’s earlier novels, Early Riser plunges the reader into a wacky reality that takes awhile to figure out, pulled along by charismatic characters, a humming plot and plenty of funny lines. It gets a little grim, with zombielike \'nightwalkers\' that never quite wake up from the annual monthslong sleep, but becomes hard to put down once our hero, newbie Winter Consul Charlie Worthing, one of the few trying to stay awake and “overwinter,” starts dreaming the viral dream that’s going around in Sector Twelve.\
PositiveMinneapolis Star Tribune\"... Rose succeeds in bringing this cultural moment in time to life ... One of the book’s narrators is an all-seeing, artistic guardian angel, and there are moments in The Museum of Modern Love that felt a little too much like that sappy holiday favorite \'It’s a Wonderful Life\' for me. Still, the way that Rose’s lonely characters are transformed when sitting with Abramovic ends up being magical and wholly absorbing.\
PositiveMinneapolis Star Tribune\"... a page-turner ... Moriarty manages to poke clever fun without being mean, and she times each reveal well. The way her characters’ back stories reel in the reader made me think of binge-watching ABC’s \'Lost.\' The ending of Nine Perfect Strangers, however, is much more satisfying.\
RaveMinneapolis Star Tribune\"As All the Lives We Never Lived describes a mother’s efforts to create her own unconventional life in a restrictive society, the book’s content and tone reminded me of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. It also has a similar success weaving history into the lives of deeply rendered characters ... Gayatri’s freedom comes at a very steep personal price, but even as her life ends in illness and isolation, Roy’s novel doesn’t condemn her or her choices. This makes for a smart, powerful and ultimately illuminating book.\
PositiveMinneapolis Star TribuneRachel Kushner’s writing has been called \'propulsive,\' and this was definitely on show ... This heartbreaking, frustrating and beautiful book gave me a pit in my stomach that didn’t go away once I finished reading.