RaveBooklistIn the final section, Anderson’s focused, first-person narrative becomes more of a chorus as she recounts the stories that readers, female and male, adults but especially teenagers, have shared with her about their own experiences with sexual assault and harassment. The classroom benefit of this book is undeniable—it’s a primer on writing and on living, and both Speak and Anderson’s effect on teens has never waned. But more than that, it is a captivating, powerful read about clawing your way out of trauma, reclaiming your body, and undoing lifetimes of lessons in order to use your voice as the weapon it is. Fervent and deafening.
Tehlor Kay Mejia
PositiveBooklistLike the revolution, Mejia’s world is carefully built. With its achingly slow-burn romance and incisive examination of power structures, this is a masterfully constructed novel, made all the more impressive as it’s a debut. This timely examination of how women move through the world is potent and precise, and readers will be eager for the sequel.
PositiveBooklistThe many-tiered plot occasionally stalls, but this is an immersive, glittering debut that intriguingly blends history and fantasy. A striking examination of power, privilege, and choice in a limited world, that makes Trelease a new voice to watch.
RaveBooklist\"This second in a series neatly avoids the second-book slump; readers of the planned trilogy’s first volume will be expecting plot twists, so it’s even more impressive that this manages to stay one step ahead of its readers. Black expands the reaches of her brutally beautiful world and the depths of her deadly, vulnerable characters, and the employ of yet another cliff-hanger ending will leave readers agonized. A sinister, singular thrill.\
PositiveBooklistDespite the coyly turned woman on the cover, the first poem in this incisive collection is bold, baldly declaring ... Indeed, this is a collection that finds the wounds of childhood and new adulthood and presses on them ... there are echoes of Sylvia Plath in her odes to a hard and absent father, in her reflections on family history, and in her repeated explorations of the Minotaur myth. Brutal in execution but with a bitingly humorous undercurrent, this collection lays bare an image of femininity in our society.
Hieu Minh Nguyen
RaveBooklist\"...a collection that astounds in its intensity ... there is blazing life in every ferocious line. Hard to read and harder to put down, this collection will leave the reader feeling much the way the speaker seems to: bitter and hurt and longing to be seen.\
RaveBooklistGratton’s first novel for adults is a force to be reckoned with: she expands the world of Shakespeare’s King Lear and crafts a narrative that, despite its scope, never loses control. The basic plot remains, but the true accomplishment here is the characterization: Lear and his men slip quietly into the backdrop, more catalyst than character, while the women—the difficult, complex, astoundingly realized women—claim center stage. A darkly rendered epic of old magic, hard hearts, and complicated choices.