Review

Image of a hand with painted fingernails holding a jar of cream. Blood is dripping from the hand. Cover blurb says: "'This novel is a blood-stained mirror. What truth will it reflect back to you?'-Rachel Harrison, national bestselling author of Black Sheep." Text says "youthjuice a novel e.k. sathue"

youthjuice

YOUTHJUICE rating: 3 stars ⭐⭐⭐. HEBE was supposed to give me the heebie-jeebies, but the novel stole its own thunder almost immediately. A slow horror buildup would have been ideal in the gothic horror novel youthjuice by E.K. Sathue (Penguin Random House, June 4, 2024). Sophia is the new Creative Director for HEBE, a cosmetics […]

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A Well-Trained Wife

A WELL-TRAINED WIFE review: four stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐. A WELL-TRAINED WIFE: MY ESCAPE FROM CHRISTIAN PATRIARCHY by Tia Levings (St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan, August 6, 2024) is a blunt and staggering account of a woman’s marriage, motherhood, escape, and recovery within the extreme (arguably now mainstream) religious right. You can call it dominionism, you can call it

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Image of a beach house deck with chairs and items such as bathing suits and clothes drying on the side of the deck. Another beach house is in the background. Text says "SANDWICH A NOVEL BY CATHERINE NEWMAN AUTHOR OF We All Want Impossible Things." Cover blurb says: "'Sandwich is joy in book form. I laughed continuously, except for the parts that made me cry. Catherine Newman does a miraculous job reminding us of all the wonder there is to be found in life.'-Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of Tom Lake"

Sandwich

SANDWICH rating: 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Don’t tug at my heartstrings, as a rule. It annoys me. I don’t like three-hanky, or even two-hanky reads. One hanky might be okay if there is also humor. SANDWICH by Catherine Newman (HarperCollins, June 18, 2024), is a dead-realistic novel about three generations of family vacationing at Cape Cod.

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The Fox Wife

THE FOX WIFE rating: 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. The term “immersive” gets thrown around a lot, but I rarely get truly immersed in books. Yangsze Choo‘s fantasy novel THE FOX WIFE (Henry Holt/Macmillan, February 13, 2024) had me in its grip from page one. I was there in 1908 Manchuria. The novel is as stunning as

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Image of black oval cameo with white feminine hands holding a poppy with dog tags for a bracelet. Text says "The Warm Hands of Ghosts New York Times Bestselling Author of The Bear and The Nightingale Katherine Arden"

The Warm Hands of Ghosts

THE WARM HANDS OF GHOSTS rating: 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. I’ve been waiting for-ev-er. Eons. Okay, five years. But that’s a long time to wait for Katherine Arden. The Winternight Trilogy is one of my favorite fantasy trilogies, hands down. THE WARM HANDS OF GHOSTS by Katherine Arden (Del Rey/Penguin Random House, February 13, 2024) ends

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Image of a rearing horse with flesh peeling off its bones. Text says "WHAT FEASTS AT NIGHT T. KINGFISHER AUTHOR OF WHAT MOVES THE DEAD

What Feasts at Night

WHAT FEASTS AT NIGHT rating: 4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐. Chilling! It wasn’t real horses as I predicted from the cover, but dream horses that were scary in WHAT FEASTS AT NIGHT, the second novella in the Sworn Solider horror series by T. Kingfisher (Tor/Macmillan, February 13, 2024). However, distinguishing dreams from reality is iffy in this

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Text says "#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR LEIGH BARDUGO THE FAMILIAR a novel". Image of a hand with a beaded red sleeve with lace at the wrist, wearing a red stone ring and holding a rosary. A black scorpion is crawling out of the sleeve.

The Familiar

THE FAMILIAR rating: 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Leigh Bardugo‘s historical fantasy novel THE FAMILIAR (Flatiron/Macmillan, April 9, 2024) is set around 1590 in Madrid, just after the defeat of the Spanish Armada by England under Elizabeth I, and a century after the first expulsion of the Jews from Spain in accordance with Ferdinand and Isabella’s Alhambra

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Image of a boy with fangs who appears to be howling inside a wolf who also appears to be howling. Both boy and wolf have red eyes. Text says "THE WEREWOLF AT DUSK AND OTHER STORIES DAVID SMALL AUTHOR OF STITCHES"

David Small, the Master

THE WEREWOLF AT DUSK: AND OTHER STORIES rating: 4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐. (Every line of every illustration: five stars). David Small is a favorite illustrator of both me and my children, and STITCHES is my favorite graphic novel of all time and one of my favorite memoirs. This graphic novel story collection, THE WEREWOLF AT DUSK

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Text says "Stella Gibbons Cold Comfort Farm Introduction by Lynne Truss." Images of the characters drawn by Truss. Text in the center says "A few of the people you'll meet." Characters are labeled with text: Aunt Ada Doom saw something nasty in the woodshed, Flora Poste (holding a book with text The Higher Common Sense), Elfine a free spirit, Seth a prime specimen of manhood, Reuben a sad sack, Judith Starkadder just leave her in her misery, Adam washes dishes with a twig, Amos Starkadder (labeled with quote text "There'll be no butter in hell!")

Cold Comfort Farm

COLD COMFORT FARM rating: 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Last night I dreamt I went to Cold Comfort again. I didn’t see anything nasty in the woodshed, but then I steered well clear of all outbuildings. COLD COMFORT FARM by Stella Gibbons (1932) is 91 years old and one of my favorites. I’ve read it many times.

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