Staff Pick: The Changeling by Victore Lavalle

My most recent staff pick at the bookshop: Victor Lavalle mixes family drama, horror, folklore, and vivid realism in this absolutely gripping novel about parenthood and American culture. Appollo Kagwa is a “book man” and a father, devoted to his wife Emma and their newborn baby. But Emma’s postpartum depression soon turns into something farContinue reading “Staff Pick: The Changeling by Victore Lavalle”

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

How does everything Helen Oyeyemi touches turn to gold? Her writing follows some fairy tale logic that meanders off the road, yet never leads you astray. I was smitten with Boy, Snow, Bird and White Is For Witching. I was beyond enchanted by the stories in What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours. And IContinue reading “Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi”

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

“Tell Alice to stay the hell away from the Hazel Wood.”  That’s Ella Proserpine’s message to her daughter while she’s being kidnapped by nasty characters from a fairy tale.  Naturally, Alice heads straight for the Hazel Wood to find her mom. It’s way weirder there than even I expected. Characters: 5 stars Plot: 4 starsContinue reading “The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert”

YA Books To Buy For Your Graduation Gifts

I’m away from the Somewhat United States at the moment, ceilidh dancing in Edinburgh and haunting my old haunts in St Andrews, but high school students all over America are getting ready to graduate within the next few weeks.  Congratulations to you all, especially to the young adults who are regulars at my bookshop.  I’mContinue reading “YA Books To Buy For Your Graduation Gifts”

Book Review: The Sleeper And The Spindle

Writing: ***** (5 stars) Illustration: ***** (5 stars) Overall: ***** (5 stars) Age range recommendation: 10 and up (So long as readers are familiar with the likes of Grimm’s fairy tales and know that things can get ugly.  Previous knowledge of the original Sleeping Beauty/Snow White stories will help.) The Sleeper and The Spindle, writtenContinue reading “Book Review: The Sleeper And The Spindle”

Book Review: The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

(img source: goodreads) Star Ratings: Characters: ***** (5 stars) Character Development: **** (4 stars) Plot: *** (3 stars) Writing: **** (4 stars) Overall: **** (4 stars) Age range recommendation: 12 and up. (Dark but not scary, though there’s some troubling emotional and domestic abuse.) Be it known that I read an ARC of this book,Continue reading “Book Review: The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle”

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Star Ratings: Characters: *** (3 stars) Character Development: *** (3 stars) Plot: **** (4 stars) Writing: *** (3 stars) Overall: *** (3 stars) Age range recommendation: 15 and up.  (Definitely not for anyone who isn’t in high school yet, as there’s sex and other grossness.  I would actually recommend this to a lot of twenty-somethingsContinue reading “Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas”

Book Review: The Story of Owen, Dragonslayer of Trondheim

Star Ratings: Characters: **** (4 stars) Character Development: **** (4 stars) Plot: ** (2 stars) Writing: *** (3 stars_ Overall: *** (3/5 stars) Age range recommendation: 11 and up. I read The Story of Owen in the more restful hours of my recent trip to New York City, and while I had a fun timeContinue reading “Book Review: The Story of Owen, Dragonslayer of Trondheim”

Book Review: The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

Star Ratings: Characters: **** (4 stars) Character Development: ***** (5 stars) Plot: *** (3 stars) Writing: **** (4 stars) Overall: **** (4 out of 5 stars) I recommend The Game of Love and Death for readers age 14 and up, though there’s nothing particularly terrifying or overtly sexual, so strong younger readers could give itContinue reading “Book Review: The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough”

Book Review: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

Star Ratings: Characters: **** (4 stars) Character Development: *** (3 stars) Writing: **** (4 stars) Plot: *** (3 stars) Overall: ***1/2 (3 1/2 stars) Age recommendation: 13 and up (scary stuff, some language) The South has swamps; and mosquitoes; and yards full of decaying cars, rotting pieces of other houses. The South has church groupsContinue reading “Book Review: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff”