PositiveShelf Awareness... heartbreaking ... as Kaleidoscope unfolds into a novel much bigger than the sum of its parts: a story of family, grief and identity and what it means to make a life out of an \'opportunity, an aberration, scooped up through... unspeakable loss.\'
PositiveShelf Awareness... clear-sighted ... Ho showcases her proficiency at character building, as Lucie comes into her own as a woman, a mother and a partner in a novel that celebrates a woman\'s ability to forge her own path. In the evolution of Collin and Lucie\'s relationship, Lucie Yi Is Not a Romantic poses big questions about what--and who--makes a family. Ho\'s writing is as practical as Lucie herself, decoupling the concept of parenting from that of romance in ways that shed new light on both topics, independently and together.
PositiveShelf AwarenessDarkly comedic ... How to Be Eaten requires some small suspensions of disbelief, which Adelmann expertly crafts to parallel the same suspensions required to truly believe the stories of each woman in this group ... Adelmann invites readers to think about the power of stories and storytelling, and the often fine line between making space for others\' stories and making entertainment (and profit) out of the same. A sardonic, poignant novel that moves in unexpected directions across each and every page, How to Be Eaten is a whip-smart invitation to reimagine familiar fairy tales in a modern age.
PositiveShelf AwarenessEndearing ... Book Lovers uses classic romance tropes with purpose and intention, offering readers a satisfying romance unto itself, while also reflecting on why romance novels are so enticing to begin with. Henry draws in themes of family and mental health, holding and taking space for self and loved ones, and the power of books to heal, soothe and reveal ... Smart, charming, and dazzling.
Marisa Renee Lee
RaveShelf AwarenessBeautiful and thought-provoking ... She writes with candor about her grief ... As much as Lee draws on her own experiences to shape Grief Is Love, the book is not so much a memoir as a kind of personal guide, both for those grieving and those seeking to support someone through loss ... Grief Is Love is, in a way, a call to action, but more so a call to compassion: let us not grieve alone or ask others to, Lee suggests. There is power and healing in community and in standing together to acknowledge the weight of loss and what it means to go on living when someone we love does not.
PositiveShelf AwarenessA biography wrapped in a memoir ... Tasha, though, is not merely a catalogue of the great woman\'s accomplishments; Morton offers this up as context before focusing more fully on his mother\'s eventual stroke and slow decline toward death ... Tasha is a beautiful and kind, if not always nice, tribute to a mother from her son, told with a quality of self-reflective honesty that is at once heartbreaking and heartwarming ... A moving memoir.
PositiveShelf Awareness... as delightful as it is insightful, clipping along at a pace reminiscent of the mystery novels Claudia herself loves so much. As Claudia starts to make sense of the smudges of clues and details in her brain, readers are treated to the same process of figuring it all out--often delivered, it feels, with a wink and a nod from Pek, for those readers keen enough to catch the clues hidden along the way. Within this, Pek poses deep and thoughtful questions about romance, privacy, family, data, corporate greed and big tech--to name just a few. It\'s a lot for a debut novelist, but Pek delivers, and The Verifiers is sure to leave readers looking for more from this new voice in the genre.
PositiveShelf AwarenessAli moves from writing a memoir to something else, something larger than the story of one person, one family, or even one place ... transcends any one of these categorizations to become something much larger than the sum of its parts, a provocative consideration of what it means to belong to a place--and whether or not a place can ever belong to a person.
Tory Henwood Hoen
PositiveShelf AwarenessWhile this pacing feels uneven at first, it starts to feel more deliberate as the new couple\'s relationship takes off; The Arc is a romance novel, but even more so a story of self-discovery and womanhood, of Ursula coming into her own both as an individual and as one half of a perfectly happy couple ... Hoen\'s attention to the detail of Ursula\'s life provides ample opportunity for humorous and cutting insights into corporate life, modern-day dating, ridiculous venture capital investments and the absurd consumerism of the wellness world (among other topics). It\'s a lot to pack into one novel, but the frame of the Arc as \'relationship architecture\' holds it all together along the way, resulting in a delightful debut about love and dating and modern womanhood that asks as many questions about self-determination and free will as it answers.
RaveShelf Awareness... sparse and unconventional ... This pace is somewhat disquieting at first, though it eventually settles into a rhythm that feels like time itself ... The beauty of Freeman\'s prose lies as much in this unexpected cadence as in the contrast between beauty and harshness tucked into every page ... In its poetic unfolding, Tides reveals itself to be a stunning and revelatory tale of the dissolution of one woman\'s life, her unexpected ties to the sea, and the many ways present selves are tied to their pasts ... In this stunning debut novel, a woman\'s life unravels, builds and unravels again across a series of sparse and staggering vignettes.
RaveShelf Awareness... a timely and important revelation of \'a national crisis\' ... Like any good journalist, Messenger grounds relevant data and theory of a broken system in the experiences of those who interact with ... With each case...Messenger drives home the point: this is the criminalization of poverty in action, creating modern-day debtors\' prisons that run counter to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and repeatedly lock up individuals for their inability to pay the self-perpetuating debts that courts place upon them. It\'s \'an American epidemic... [a] tragic cycle of profit and abuse\' that should enrage anyone who comes to understand it.
PositiveShelf AwarenessTurner\'s vivid recollections of her girlhood in Bronzeville ground Three Girls from Bronzeville in the experiences of those in the Chicago neighborhood, as Turner expertly combines memoir and social history in her analysis of the many systems that made Bronzeville into the place it is today--and how those same oppressive systems shape the lives of even society\'s youngest neighbors.
Ae-Ran Kim, Trans. by Chi-Young Kim
RaveShelf AwarenessMy Brilliant Life, translated from the Korean by Chi-Young Kim, is an achingly beautiful story of a boy forced to come to terms with aging and death far earlier than any child should. More than that, though, it is that boy\'s attempts to share all that he has learned, all that he wants the world to know ... Kim\'s novel so perfectly captures the voice and sense of longing in young Areum that it is easy to forget that My Brilliant Life is a work of fiction. As Areum and his thoughts and feelings and family come to life on its pages, the novel delivers an important reminder that life is truly what one makes of it--even if, and sometimes especially when, that life is cut too short.
PositiveShelf Awareness... a comprehensive history of the United States Constitution\'s First Amendment and the many ways that the ideal of free speech has evolved over the course of the country\'s relatively short history ... Cose...proceeds to untangle that complex history in a way that is accessible to a layperson without a law degree. In doing so, Cose provides readers with tools to understand better the concept of free speech in the United States...and how various limits to free speech have played out in well-known (and some less well-known) court cases.
Ausma Zehanat Khan
PositiveShelf Awareness... does not offer a glancing look at hate, used solely as a vehicle by which to move the plot of a novel forward; instead, like Khan\'s past books, the subject is the starting point for a deeper dive into animosity in its many forms. In a fast-paced and expertly plotted mystery, Khan explores the depths of human complexity and the very human costs of hate.
RaveShelf AwarenessComplex, ambitious ... In less capable hands, this could feel gimmicky. But Choo pulls it off brilliantly, never once slipping into territory that feels silly or coincidental ... The magic of The Night Tiger, then, is not in where or what or even who. It is in the why ... Choo builds characters that are rich and nuanced, with fully imagined backstories that are revealed slowly as the story builds ... a fine example of historical fiction, a work of magical realism, a ghost story, a mystery, a romance, a coming-of-age tale. Each of these is impressive, but most impressive is Choo\'s ability to weave them all together in a way that feels authentic, and to use that intricate process to tell a story of colonialism and self-determination, love and death, family and tradition.
RaveShelf AwarenessSteeped in historical detail, surprisingly timely statements on gender norms and mental health, and suspenseful moments of choice and deliberation, Never Anyone But You is a captivating and heartfelt tale of love and the many shapes it can take.