PositivePopsugarMatrix is no history textbook. Wreathed in dreamy prose, the action is focused on the absorbing movements of the abbey and on Marie\'s own visions, which have prescience far beyond their time. Yes, there\'s a day-to-day tranquility to the novel, but it\'s woven alongside fierce, primal feminism and a sly, budding blasphemy that produces a starkly modern sub-religion focused on the women and their physicality ... History swallows up her brief time in power, but Marie\'s accomplishments feel anything but trivial. At its heart, the book\'s message is simple: joy can exist in darkness. Greatness can bloom in small places ... Give this book to anyone who loves off-the-beaten-path historical fiction and ambitious, unapologetic women protagonists.
Anthony Veasna So
PositivePopSugarThe stories in this book simmer ... This collection is studded with...quiet revelations, which come out of the minds of characters who are snarky, apathetic, and so wildly imperfect, you can\'t help but love them. Afterparties explores these characters and their tight-knit community with empathy, heart, and wicked wit.
RavePopSugar... striking ... makes it official: it\'s a very, very good time to be a fantasy fan. A genre in which anything is possible should be a genre in which every story is told, and fantasy is finally starting to live up to that billin ... that\'s just the barest outline of a plot that includes ruthless political maneuvering, heart-rending betrayals, and brushes with a ghost-ridden spirit world that haunts Zhu throughout her travels ... The contrast between fierce, gritty Zhu and cold, self-hating Ouyang couldn\'t be more stark, but Parker-Chan flits between their two perspectives (and a few others) in a way that propels the jam-packed plot forward ... There\'s so much to like about She Who Became the Sun: the exploration of gender and sexuality, the sensuous romance, the vivid world-building, the flashes of tongue-in-cheek humor and human emotion set up against the epic plot. There are close, intimate scenes and climactic battle sequences that made me feel like I was watching a movie. For Zhu, failure to achieve her stolen fate of \'greatness\' equals death, and her utter refusal to accept defeat makes the book flare with power. Original and absorbingly detailed, She Who Became the Sun explores the strength that we find within ourselves, and inspire in others, when we rebel against expectations and take fate into our own hands.
PositivePopsugar\"... a heart-pounding debut ... the novel runs at breakneck speed, smoothly switching perspectives ... Newman is sure-handed in the scenes on-board the plane, seamlessly weaving her insider knowledge into the plot. Her handling of character psychology...is also well done as themes of privilege and ignorance begin to emerge. Things get a little shakier in scenes led by peripheral characters, and while the first half of the novel runs on pure adrenaline, that energy fades into an anticlimactic and sentimental conclusion ... Despite this, Falling passes the ultimate test of a thriller: fueled by a brilliant premise and relentless pacing, you really can\'t put it down, and if you do, good luck concentrating on anything else.
Ashley C. Ford
RavePopSugar... stunning ... For as much hurt as Ford lives through, her book glows with compassion...There are no neat solutions, only honest ones. In showing that, this empathetic and sharply written memoir shines.
Geling Yan tr. Jeremy Tiang
RavePopSugar... deliciously dark and twisty ... What makes Hongmei, Glen, the secret talker, and the rest of Yan\'s small cast of characters so fascinating is that you believe they might be capable of anything. This is especially true as we dive deeper into Hongmei\'s past and get tantalizing glimpses into the truth of her relationship with Glen ... The final twist is satisfying and well-executed, and late enough that I wondered if it would come at all. Immediately, I wanted to reread the whole book and dig up the clues I might have missed — always a good sign after you finish a mystery, and The Secret Talker is an excellent one. Searing and delicately brutal, it strikes at the heart of what makes a relationship implode.
Andrew J. Graff
PositivePop Sugar... a dark, heart-pounding adventure ... Told in shifting viewpoints, some of the novel\'s dialogue landed awkwardly; similarly, the subtle supernatural elements felt forced and the conclusion overly convenient as the book wrapped up too quickly. The climax, though, was perfect. I audibly gasped at least four different times as the final cogs of the plot slid into place ... Graff captures the pure connection between friends on the cusp of adulthood, struggling to love parents with sometimes-unforgivable imperfections, and the world created by his powerful, thrumming style is not so much a setting as it is a star-shot forest dreamscape of cedar trees, prowling coyotes, and sun-bleached scarecrows made of bone.