RaveBookPageAn immersive, fast-paced story ... Milan’s writing is tight, with fresh and vivid descriptions that illuminate the contrasts in Bucky’s background and cultural makeup. The novel raises questions about who and what exactly determines your identity.
Balli Kaur Jaswal
RaveBookPageWell-crafted characters add to the heartfelt drama in Now You See Us, Balli Kaur Jaswal’s alluring literary mystery ... Jaswal’s scathing indictment of the exploitation of immigrant labor unfolds against a tantalizing backdrop, revealing the rich culture of Singapore while shedding light on systems of oppression and entitlement ... While the sleuthing maids make for an engaging plot, the nuances of Jaswal’s characters and their relationships are even more complex and intriguing. In simple yet evocative ways, she peels back the layers of each woman, revealing how their choices are restricted by their past predicaments and current circumstances.
RaveBookPage... mesmerizing ... The narrative\'s uneasy edginess is supplemented by flashbacks to Todd and Jack\'s adolescence, including a transformative field trip to Hawk Mountain in their senior year of high school. Additional perspectives from other characters build backstory and ramp up the precariousness of Todd\'s relationships and sense of reality. Tension spirals as Habib leads the reader to wonder what the truth really is, who is telling it and who is believing it ... Habib\'s unique examination of his flawed and fascinating characters as the victims and sources of violence is both disturbing and insightful. His exploration of the tangled web of human desire, emotions and abuse, and how it becomes a legacy passed down through generations, is gritty and chilling. With haunting prose and deeply atmospheric descriptions, Hawk Mountain is a disturbing descent into the convulsions of the human mind and heart.
RaveBookPageAnother spellbinding tale of memory\'s power to bind us together. At once heartbreaking and uplifting, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy connects women who are generations and worlds apart ... Ford\'s writing is seductive as he intertwines the lives of Dorothy, Annabel and their ancestors within a rich swirl of history and imagination ... As Ford unravels the intriguing stories behind Dorothy\'s recollections, he leads readers through her process of reconciling inherited memory with her present reality. The unfurling of ancestry and the passage of time are masterfully controlled and poetic, sumptuous and stark. Each time period is as expansive as the next, and within these eras, Ford plumbs the different sociocultural views and the changing roles and expectations of women, all while highlighting his strong characterization ... Exploring the bonds that transcend physical space, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy is an enthralling, centuries-spanning tale.
Anthony Veasna So
RaveBookPage... bold and incisive ... There’s a mesmerizing quality to these nine beautifully brash, interconnected stories filled with feisty, flawed characters ... Respecting the challenges of history while simultaneously giving voice to generations, these refreshingly unsterilized stories transcend race, culture and time ... Insightful and energetic, Afterparties’ tales about the complex communion of history and identity will intrigue fans of Chang-rae Lee’s My Year Abroad and Souvankham Thammavongsa’s How to Pronounce Knife.
Lyn Liao Butler
PositiveBookPageUnembellished and forthright, The Tiger Mom’s Tale is a touching story that illuminates intricacies of race, ethnicity, traditions and stereotypes ... a literary melting pot brimming with blended families and cultures. The straightforward, exposition-heavy narrative is sprinkled with Mandarin and broad references to different Asian foods and cultural elements, although the lack of development of these aspects may distract the reader from fully immersing themselves in Lexa’s journey to connect with her heritage. Scenes that reveal backstory and the surprising events that turned Lexa away from her Taiwanese relatives slowly tease out the novel’s climax ... Lexa’s gentle humility and quiet confidence will garner the support of readers looking for a likable protagonist. A heartwarming romantic subplot is a sweet result of Lexa’s transformation and self-acceptance and provides another union of ethnic backgrounds ... Filled with potential book club discussion topics and perfect for fans of YA novels by Jenny Han, The Tiger Mom’s Tale will unleash timely dialogue about identity, family secrets and cultural divides.
RaveBookPageLangan weaves interviews and news clips into her tightly written, fast-paced narrative, conveying the infectious spread and mutation of stories goaded by media sensationalism and attention-seeking neighbors. As gossip and rumors swell and proliferate, the stakes grow exponentially as well. The richly complex main characters reveal flawed pasts and duplicitous natures as the story transforms into a witch hunt, trying to discern which of the suspects may be responsible for the child’s erratic behavior before she fell. Horrific claims pit the children against their parents and the adults against one another. Langan skillfully casts this suburban neighborhood in sinister light, building a sense of discord and apprehension from the first page. Intricate and edgy, Good Neighbors is a descent into depraved suburban drama, perfect for fans of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and Stephen King-style thrills.
Natalie Zina Walschots
RaveBookPageFresh and funny, Hench exposes the inner lives of superheroes, villains and sidekicks with all their mundane vulnerabilities ... Familiar tropes are turned upside down in this fast-paced caper, and no one is perfect ... Toronto writer and journalist Natalie Zina Walschots deftly choreographs the dynamic skirmishes between superheroes and villains ... Rousing and irreverent, Hench is an entertaining adventure that challenges the stereotypes of heroes, villains and the humble temp.
RaveBookPageIt’s poetic that internationally bestselling author Wade Rouse uses his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, as the pen name for his books centered on family and heirlooms. His portrayal of strong, emotionally engaging protagonists is fresh and free of excessive sentimentality, while his unrushed pace and elegant language capture an old-world charm that makes for an enchanting reading experience. His latest novel...is a beautifully understated story about the loss and discovery of family and ourselves ... At once heart-rending and hopeful, this story is a bouquet of sorrow and joy, perseverance and patience.