Publisher: Delacorte Press

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Places No One Knows: Review

Places No One Knows: Review

What a strange impossible dream of a story this book is. For the first ¾ of it I had no idea entirely what to make of it. Here is a girl who doesn’t sleep, but basically sleepwalks through her life. The (probably intentional) sense of numbness did nothing to make this an enjoyable reading experience.  It was like reading through a haze of drear and gray. And then, in the final act, it was as if a flower had suddenly turned to bloom. My heart was aching, and I was gripping the pages turning them furiously while shouting at the heroine in my head. I went from feeling sort of meh to full on adoration. This is one of the hardest times I’ve ever had rating a book. I’ll tell you right off the bat that a part of the reason I had trouble connecting is that I found the… Read more »

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These Shallow Graves: Review

These Shallow Graves: Review

If you enjoy historical fiction with a spunky female lead, some romance, and a murder mystery thrown in for good measure, you might want to pick up Jennifer Donnelly’s latest book, These Shallow Graves. I admit, I was lured in by the promise of a spunky female lead in this case – a girl who secretly dreams of being a writer and defying societal expectations! – ’cause that’s my jam all the time. In turn-of-the-century America, no less! (An aside: my love for American history has been totally revitalized by the release of the soundtrack for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: An American Musical, by the way. And this is … a century later! Where’s my Revolutionary War YA when I need it?) Anyway. Ahem. Back to business! Despite the spunky female lead, while I liked many aspects of These Shallow Graves, I didn’t connect with it emotionally in the way that I wanted… Read more »

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We Were Liars: Review

We Were Liars: Review

We Were Liars was not for me. Some folks will undoubtedly like it – and I picked it up because I started seeing recommendations for it everywhere – but it was almost a DNF for me (a rare feat for a book). I had to force myself to finish it.Here’s the premise: four teenagers whose respective families call them “The Liars.” They spend their summers together on a private island and are mostly white and upper-crusty (with the exception of Gat, and we will get to him later). They have lots of money and lots of problems (mostly caused by too much money and crazy awful parenting). Our narrator, Cadence Sinclair Eastman, says of her family: “We are Sinclairs. No one is needy. No one is wrong.” This gives you a decent idea of the family’s prevailing philosophy: Sinclairs are beautiful and perfect and wealthy and super invested in being beautiful and perfect and… Read more »

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Retelling Fairy Tales: guest post + The Glass Casket giveaway

Retelling Fairy Tales: guest post + The Glass Casket giveaway

I am always drawn to reimaginings of classic fairy tales, but I’ve found that the ones I’ve enjoyed best seem to be very dark or sad, and more closely aligned to the Grimm or Andersen versions of the stories than the happy cartoon versions. In The Glass Casket, McCormick Templeman serves up an atmospheric fantasy full of mystery, romance, and bloodshed, and it’s a great stormy night read if you like your fairy tales with a little bit of bite. We’re very pleased to be part of the official blog tour for this book, and invite you to read about the author’s process for researching and shaping her story. ~ Wendy On Retelling Fairy Tales by McCormick Templeman I have memories of my grandmother reading me fairy tales when I was pre-literate. The book we had was beautiful, but the versions were too sanitized for my grandmother’s taste, so she… Read more »

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