Cross over, Historical Fiction, Magic, middle grade, Mystery, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Uncategorized, YA

Three Quick & Dirty Reviews

I have been feeling neglectful of the blog these days, but here are three books I’ve read and loved this fall.


julie berry

Julie Berry you totally got me. Is this book historical fiction? A poetic literary offering? Mystery? Psychological thriller? The correct answer would be all of these things plus more. When Judith returns to her small Puritan village after being away for two years her community is suspicious. Her tongue has been cut out and she has no way to share her story. Told entirely in second person to her beloved, this gripping confessional novel was unexpected and harrowing. A fantastic example of genre-blending.



Remember how I loved The Apothecary? Maile Meloy ups the ante a few more notches in this follow-up while sticking with her formula of Cold War drama, science, magic, and classic adventure. As the book opens, our heroes are widely spread across the world. Benjamin and his father are healing the wounded in Vietnam, Jin La is dealing with her own ghosts in her hometown of Nanking, Pip is being a perfect rapscallion by using his new-found TV fame to woo silly American girls, and Janie is kicked out of her fancy private school moments away from a life-altering scientific discovery. Through means both magical and mundane, this motley crew finds themselves on a remote Malay island with the singular purpose of rescuing Janie.



I read this book ages ago and couldn’t be happier to see it out in the world, getting rave reviews. When I first started the novel I thought there was nothing particularly original about the premise: another teen pregnancy tale, I thought. Yet the heat of the Florida setting, the tension of the family dynamics, and the sizzling connection between Reena and Sawyer are still fresh in my mind, many months later. Lovers of contemporary fiction will appreciate the clear, breezy prose style and the well-drawn characters in Katie Cotugno‘s debut YA.

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