PositiveThe Washington Post... a new look at Edward’s internal struggle concerning Bella, along with deep glimpses into his past and his family dynamics, that make him a more complex, and better, character ... The best thing about an Edward Cullen book turns out to be his gift of telepathy, the thoughts of others coming off like the footnotes you never knew you needed ... Yes, the writing is still Twilight writing. If you came for modern and concise, you’re opening the wrong book ... he Edward/Bella power dynamic is still ripe for criticism, as is the depiction of the Quileute characters who don’t get much time in this book, not even Jacob Black. They still come off as stereotypical B-list characters. Meyer said that in writing Midnight Sun she was locked into the original story. But leaving those aspects unchanged adds a staleness to what is in many other ways an entertaining page-turner carried by frisson after frisson, that sexual tension of youth ... So, will team Edward be happy with this book? The original team Edward from 2005 who binged the books and watched all five series-inspired movies that pulled in over $3 billion at the box office? Absolutely. Meyer wrote with her biggest fans in mind, dedicating the book to them, and plunging into the mind of Washington state’s most complicated teenage vampire as he falls for a woman who is more determined than we’ve given her credit for.
RaveThe Washington PostThe scenes during the Games are sharply plotted and move with the same super-speed readers will remember from the series. But it is the third part of the book, which takes the action to District 12, that is the most revelatory in terms of the gradual chipping away of Coryo’s humanity ... One of the delicious qualities of a prequel is that it fills in the blanks. For those who lapped up the trilogy and have been waiting 10 long years for answers, Collins has them ... It’s the pull between Coryo’s head and heart — and the realization that he actually has a beating heart, not just a rose-scented lump of coal — that makes the future President Snow very worthy of a 517-page prequel.
RaveThe Washington PostHibbert’s characters are not perfect. When Red is admiring Chloe’s gorgeous brown skin and plus-sized curves, he’s also noticing the opioid patch she’s wearing for pain. When she’s kissing his rippling muscles, she’s also trying to heal him from the kind of emotional trauma that’s seldom attached to male romantic leads. They are realistically flawed — and hilarious and sexy, their bedroom high jinks scorching enough to make readers dissolve \'like sugar in hot tea\' ... Hibbert joins important voices in contemporary romance (Helen Hoang comes to mind) who write steamy page-turners where the characters look nothing like they did a generation ago — and that’s a wonderful thing. Go ahead and push pause on your own life to get to know Chloe Brown.
RaveThe Washington PostThough she made her mark writing contemporary romance, Moyes proves just as adept at historical fiction, gracefully infusing her story with strong, memorable female characters and a sprinkling of men who can make a \'heart flutter like a clean sheet on a long line.\' The Giver of Stars is a celebration of love, but also of reading, of knowledge, of female friendship, of the beauty of our most rural corners and our enduring American grit: the kind of true grit that can be found in the hills of Kentucky and on the pages of this inspiring book.
PositiveWashington PostWith The Bride Test, Hoang has once again shown readers the importance of representation in literature, while also creating a sexy, compassionate story about the power of love and the enduring American Dream.
PositiveThe Washington Post\"A humorous exploration of family life, finding love and the difficulties of coming into one’s own as a young professional woman, Kinsella has returned to her roots with I Owe You One. Her trademark Brit wit shines through Fixie, and the entertaining cast of characters that orbit around her will certainly remind readers why 19 years after her first hit Kinsella remains one of the reigning queens of women’s fiction.\
PositiveThe Washington PostAn elegantly penned family saga that stretches for nearly a century ... It is the strength and fragility of the siblings’ bond, the evolving nature of love that is at the core of Conklin’s novel. And Fiona, with her uncommon insights, her lyricism and steady pacing, feels like the perfect narrator. Gracefully rendered, The Last Romantics focuses on the familiar theme of family with great originality.
RaveThe Washington Post\"No Picoult story is complete without characters representing both sides of a polarizing issue, something she has done for decades. Her 2011 tome Sing You Home was criticized for turning her characters on the religious right into caricatures, but she has clearly taken the comments to heart. Those in the antiabortion faction in A Spark of Light are as three-dimensional as those on the other side ... imbuing her characters — male and female, antiabortion and abortion rights advocates — with more shades of gray than a Pantone color wheel. Timely, balanced and certain to inspire debate, A Spark of Light is Picoult at her fearless best.\
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
RaveThe Washington PostBefore diving into the show’s six-season evolution (1998-2004), Armstrong takes readers back to Carrie Bradshaw’s beginnings in the pages of the New York Observer ... Armstrong goes deep into the casting, taking us through the surprisingly difficult process of getting the now-famous foursome on air ... While most of Armstrong’s book heaps praise on SATC, she does repeatedly call out its whitewashing. Not only were the four main characters white, but the world they existed in was, too ... The writers and producers of the show are stars in this story as much as the actors, particularly the two at the helm: [Darren] Star and Michael Patrick King. Armstrong details how these two gay men created a very feminine universe, eventually hiring a small army of young female screenwriters to help ... The writing is fizzy and funny, but she still manages an in-depth look at a show that’s been analyzed for decades, giving readers a retrospective as enjoyable as a $20 pink cocktail.
PositiveThe Washington PostMoran\'s novel is strongest showing an empowered young woman fighting against a society constantly trying to strip her of her value. How to Be Famous explodes with the screams of rock \'n\' roll life, but at its heart it\'s an ode to the tenacity, energy and collective power of teenage girls.\
PositiveThe Washington PostMuch of the book is devoted to Kate trying to do the universal juggle. Will she be able to support her family, save her marriage, rock her job, appear to be aging in reverse — and be happy, too? ... It is a problem many readers will identify with ... Despite a predictable plot, it is this relatable quality of Pearson’s story, along with laugh-out-loud zingers on nearly every page, that makes this sequel shine ... a witty, current and a good reminder that age can be a trump card.
RaveThe Washington PostThe story of how Allison gets that gig is a big stretch, but the hilarity that ensues between her and Carter makes it worth it. Poeppel describes the spoiled pop prince perfectly. Even her choice of curse words feel lifted off the pages of a teen’s Instagram account. This authenticity and the way Allison creatively deals with Carter’s tantrums will have readers rooting for her as she tries to get him away from the dark side and to his Broadway rehearsals ... Written with heaps of humor and just as much heart, Limelight is a testament to the transformative power of good mothering, the magic of the stage and the allure of Manhattan — even if you arrive in a Ford Explorer with Texas plates.
RaveThe Washington Post...while there are insights from A-listers, Carlson doesn’t just interview top-billed actors. We even hear from assistants to the assistants — like the guy who taught Meg Ryan 'how to actually use email.' The book’s wide net of sources, along with Ephronisms and movie dialogue, proves to be a wonderful recipe, giving readers a sense of what it was like working on an Ephron project at every level. Seamlessly woven into the narrative are bits of behind-the-scenes gossip that will surprise even the most die-hard fans ... Fast-paced, humorous, yet impressively researched, Carlson’s voice feels cut from the same cloth as Ephron’s, but her ode isn’t all warm meet-cutes at the top of the Empire State Building. She dings Ephron for the lack of diversity in 'her daffy, urban universes,' and she interviews a set designer on Sleepless who had such difficulty with the director that he begged to be fired.