Publisher: Balzer & Bray

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: Review + Guest Post

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: Review + Guest Post

When you take the chance on doing a cover reveal for a book you haven’t read yet, it’s a leap of faith: not only that the artwork is going to be eye-catching, but that the book is going to be awesome. When we hosted the cover reveal for Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda last year, I had a good feeling about the synopsis, but I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy the book! It’s a funny, sweet story about a boy who falls in love with the stranger who’s writing him letters–a stranger who seems to know Simon’s heart better than he does himself. I liked that in this coming out/coming of age story, Simon is sure of his own sexuality, even though he’s painfully vulnerable because he’s not sure how everyone around him will react to his being gay. The book features… Read more »

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Bone Gap: Review

Bone Gap: Review

How do you review an unreviewable book? The entire book reads as if it is a dream. How do you describe a dream? There is an impossibility in trying to make sense of what can not be made sense of. I can try to describe to you the aspects that correlate with reality. But when they take a sudden nose dive into the magical, the inexplicable, the surreal…how do I explain that? This is a book full of contradictions. It is a fairytale and it is not. It is a love story and it is not. It is a mythical retelling and it is not. On the surface, this is a book about a young woman who has been kidnapped and about her teenage friend’s struggle to come to terms with what happened. But it is so much more than that. What it is is a compelling, tautly told story… Read more »

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My Heart and Other Black Holes: Review + Giveaway

My Heart and Other Black Holes: Review + Giveaway

This isn’t really a Kim Book.* Although, to be fair, if Kim Books usually involve incredibly heartfelt portrayals of our deepest humanity infused with humor and hope then perhaps I am about that also. Maybe. Every once in awhile a book comes along that crawls right into your heart and rends your ventricles. This is one of those. [Okay so there are moments where I’ll get a bit meta and personal. In ways that don’t really flow with the review but are important if you’d like an auxiliary/personal touch so I’m putting them behind spoiler brackets. When you see spoiler brackets it’s me being personal.] This is the story of Aysel (like uh-zell, rhymes with gazelle) who has longed to escape from the shadow of her father’s horrific crime for years. And of Roman who is living with an unimaginable grief. Both live trapped in the mire of isolation and… Read more »

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Her Dark Curiosity: Review

Her Dark Curiosity: Review

Ah, I am seriously so interested and excited by this book. For folks who are unfamiliar with The Madman’s Daughter series by Megan Shepherd, the basic premise is as follows: what if Dr. Moreau (island, animal-human hybrids, H.G. Wells) had a daughter with the same scientific bent? The first book (Wendy has a positive review of that book here; Tonya liked it less) follows Juliet Moreau from London – where she’s been living and working, cleaning university laboratories and the like after her father disappeared following a scandal that besmirched their family name – to the fabled island her father’s currently set up shop on. Juliet’s anxious and excited about reuniting with her father, but her feelings become more troubled when she discovers that the rumors are true: not only is her father a vivisectionist, but he is crafting human beings from the parts of different animals. (Whom he names after characters from Shakespeare, because… Read more »

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Exquisite Captive: Review

Exquisite Captive: Review

Finally, a paranormal romance where the focus is on the paranormal and not a human who unwittingly stumbles upon it. Exquisite Captive is a breath of fresh air. It has jinni in it. Jinni! This book is full of unique, immersive mythology, swooning romance, and the importance of free will. Although we briefly go into the heads of a few different characters, at the heart of it this story is about Nalia. Nalia is a jinni, and not just that. She is the last surviving member of the ruling class of jinni, called the Ghan Aisouri, meaning she is one of the most powerful jinni alive. After escaping the slaughter of her people by the fire-wielding Ifrit she is sold into the jinni slave trade, called the Dark Caravan, and enslaved to Malek, a man who never seems to age and refuses to use his third wish, which is the… Read more »

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The Perilous Sea: Review

The Perilous Sea: Review

The Perilous Sea is one of those rare creatures: a sequel that is better than its (already pretty great) predecessor.  Where The Burning Sky sometimes dragged in places and was a little fuzzy on the magic and the rules of this fantasy world, everything in this installment is much improved. The plot zips along with breathless tension, more action, and a larger scope to the world of the story that never becomes daunting or confusing. The elemental magic is more present in the story and there’s none of the confusion of the first book. There are zigs and zags that I never saw coming and guarantees almost certain heartbreak. I devoured this book even more eagerly than the first and I loved every minute of it. The characterization is superbly done overall. Brave and stolid Iolanthe with her quick wit and easy bravado. Sweet Titus with his seriousness and sense… Read more »

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Guy in Real Life: Review

Guy in Real Life: Review

Wow. So I went into this book thinking I was going to read this charming little story about two gamer kids overcoming their differences and falling in love. And this is that book. Sort of. But it’s mostly so much more. It’s a complex, yet sweet and often humorous, examination of identities and gender roles. This is one of the most unique and affecting coming of age stories I’ve ever read. We have Lesh, a refreshingly normal, nondescript teenage boy. Lesh likes metal and his best friend Greg and…that’s about it. Then there’s Lana who is a force so wholly herself. Lana has a rich inner world which she cultivates through drawing, embroidery and fulfilling her duties as Dungeon Master. She has something else that Lesh so sadly lacks: a supportive circle of friends. I really appreciated the duality of Lana’s assured sense of self against Lesh’s insecurity and vulnerability…. Read more »

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