Book Reviews by Genre




Contemporary Fiction

The Measure

A debut novel in which the world awakes to a box at the doorstep of every adult that contains a string that correlates to the length of your life.

What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez

A Puerto Rican family in Staten Island who discovers their long‑missing sister is potentially alive and cast on a reality TV show, and they set out to bring her home.

American Mermaid

A funny debut novel that follows a writer lured to Los Angeles to adapt her feminist mermaid novel into a big-budget action film, who believes her heroine has come to life to take revenge for Hollywood’s violations.

Small Game

A survival reality show gone wrong that leaves a group of strangers stranded in the northern wilds.

Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion

For fans of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, an unforgettable story about female friendship and queer love in a Muslim-American community.

Locust Lane

A story about the search for justice and the fault lines of power and influence in a seemingly idyllic town. Can anyone be trusted?

Portrait of a Thief

Five Chinese American college students try to steal priceless works of art from major museums in order to return them to the homeland from which they were pillaged.

The Sign for Home

When Arlo Dilly, a sheltered young DeafBlind man, decides to take a writing course at the local community college, he hires a new tactile ASL interpreter who exposes him to much more than English.

When I Ran Away

An unforgettable first novel about love – for our partners, our children, our mothers, and ourselves – pushed to its outer limits.

The Santa Suit

Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen after her divorce. Upon arriving at her new home, she discovers that the last family left all of their things, including a Santa suit complete with a Dear Santa letter in the pocket. Ivy takes it upon herself to figure out the mystery behind the letter as…

At the Edge of the Haight

Maddy Donaldo, homeless at twenty, has made a family of sorts in the dangerous spaces of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It’s the only home she has. When she unwittingly witnesses the murder of a young homeless boy and is seen by the perpetrator, her relatively stable life is upended. Suddenly, everyone from the police…

After Perfect

Gabby is getting a divorce after 20 years of being a housewife and having the perfect life with her childhood best friend. Single at 36 and without a plan, Gabby enrolls in a MFA program where she meets her hunky, mysterious professor Colt. Is Gabby destined for another heartbreak or will her connection with Colt…

Once There Were Wolves

Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but Aggie, too, unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska. Inti is not the woman…

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Gilda, a 20-something, atheist, lesbian, cannot stop ruminating about death. Gilda stumbles into an interview for a receptionist job at a Catholic church and becomes obsessed with her predecessor’s mysterious death.

We Are the Brennans

Explores the staying power of shame―and the redemptive power of love―in an Irish Catholic family torn apart by secrets.

Infinite Country

Rich with Bogotá urban life, steeped in Andean myth, and tense with the daily reality for the undocumented in America, Infinite Country is the story of two countries and one mixed-status family—for whom every triumph is stitched with regret and every dream pursued bears the weight of a dream deferred.

Girls with Bright Futures

Three moms. Three daughters. Each with a dream to attend Stanford. With one spot left at Stanford from their elusive private school, these moms do whatever it takes for their daughters to be the chosen ones. But how far will they go to ensure their daughter is admitted?


Barren women are cast out of society or hanged as witches. Ada is one of those women. After being cast out from her home and all she has ever known, she ends up joining a group of outlaws.

Fantasy & Science Fiction


Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. 

Please Report Your Bug Here

A debut novel by Instagram’s first employee about a dating app employee who discovers a glitch that transports him to other worlds.

Treacle Walker

A fusion of myth and folklore and an exploration of the fluidity time, vivid storytelling that illuminates an introspective young mind trying to make sense of everything around him.

Tread of Angels

In a Western mining town, half-blood sisters fight against the ruling class when one of them is accused of a grisly murder.


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Graphic Novels

Green River Killer

A graphic novel detailing the hunt, capture, and interviews with the Green River Killer.

Gender Queer

A graphic memoir depicting one person’s journey of self-identifying as gender queer.


The story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father’s story. 

Montress: Awakening

The story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection…


The Drift

Three ordinary people risk everything for a chance at redemption in this audacious, utterly gripping novel of catastrophe and survival at the end of the world.

Hidden Pictures

Mallory is fresh out of rehab when she takes a job as a babysitter for five-year-old, Teddy. Teddy loves to draw but soon his pictures grow sinister, and Mallory fears…

Old Country

Harry and Sasha move into their dream house in Teton Valley having bought it sight unseen. The couple could not be happier until their neighbors bring warnings of a malevolent…


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How I Rate Books

I provide an overall star rating at the end of reviews. I also conclude reviews with my thoughts on the book in totality.

All star ratings are broken down into the components I consider. These components are different for fiction and nonfiction.
– For fiction: writing, plot, and character development.
– For nonfiction: writing, cohesiveness, and storyline (for narrative nonfiction and memoirs) or organization (for more subject-matter focused nonfiction).

My Star Ratings

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I loved this book. It made me think AND feel. I will highly recommend this book to everyone and urge them to read it pronto.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book. It made me think OR feel, not both. I would highly recommend this book to nearly everyone.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is your average book, which I enjoyed. I would recommend it, possible with some caveats.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I thought this book was okay. My overall thoughts can be summed up as meh. I may recommend this book to certain people.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I actively disliked this book or it was highly problematic. I am unlikely to recommend it.

Historical Fiction

Night Wherever We Go

A debut novel about a group of enslaved women staging a covert rebellion against their owners.

The Diamond Eye

Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is an unforgettable World War II tale of a quiet bookworm who becomes history’s deadliest female sniper.

The Younger Wife

Someone is hurt at a wedding between a 60-something heart surgeon and his new 30-something bride. Was it an accident or purposeful?

Atomic Anna

An epic adventure as three generations of women work together and travel through time to prevent the Chernobyl disaster and right the wrongs of their past.


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Literary Fiction

Notes on an Execution

A gripping and atmospheric work of literary suspense that deconstructs the story of a serial killer on death row, told primarily through the eyes of the women in his life.

My Name is Lucy Barton

A simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the tender relationship between mother and daughter, despite their complicated past.

Factory Girls

A young woman, awaiting her exam scores, works a summer job in a shirt factory in Northern Ireland, while tensions rise both inside and outside the factory walls.

Good Neighbors

Celeste Ng’s enthralling dissection of suburbia meets Shirley Jackson’s creeping dread in this propulsive literary noir, when a sudden tragedy exposes the depths of deception and damage in a Long…


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Resting Scrooge Face

A sweet second chance romance between two high school sweethearts turned Scrooges.

All I Want for Christmas

A holiday romance about two oil-and-water reality-star country singers who must fake a relationship in order to win the opportunity of a lifetime.

Two Wrongs Make a Right

Opposites become allies to fool their matchmaking friends in this swoony reimagining of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, Much Ado About Nothing.


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Young Adult


A vulnerable coming-of-age story about the thrilling new experiences––and missteps––of a girl’s freshman year of college.


In a near-future society that claims to have gotten ride of all monstrous people, a creature emerges from a painting seventeen-year old Jam’s mother created, a hunter from another world…

It All Comes Back to You

After Kiran Noorani’s mom died, Kiran vowed to keep her dad and sister, Amira, close—to keep her family together. But when Amira announces that she’s dating someone, Kiran’s world is turned…

Firekeeper’s Daughter

Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy…


Biography & History

Memoir & Autobiography

Newsroom Confidential

Margaret Sullivan discusses her life as a journalist and the struggle of the press to save itself and American democracy in this memoir and manifesto.

Hello, Molly!

The memoir of actress and comedian Molly Shannon detailing her childhood through her career.

Bad Fat Black Girl

From funny and fearless entertainment journalist Sesali Bowen, Bad Fat Black Girl combines rule-breaking feminist theory, witty and insightful personal memoir, and cutting cultural analysis for an unforgettable, genre-defining debut.


A nonfiction story collection about adulthood from former The Daily Show With Jon Stewart correspondent John Hodgman.


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Narrative Nonfiction

We Were Once a Family

The shocking, deeply reported story of a murder-suicide that claimed the lives of six children―and a searing indictment of the American foster care system.

Dirty Work

A paradigm-shifting report of the moral landscape of contemporary America through the stories of people who perform society’s most ethically troubling jobs.

American Kingpin

The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom—and almost got away with it.

The Other Dr. Gilmer

A rural physician learns that a former doctor at his clinic committed a shocking crime, leading him to uncover an undiagnosed mental health crisis in our broken prison system–a powerful…


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A Very Punchable Face

From growing up in a family of firefighters on Staten Island to commuting three hours a day to high school, to attending Harvard while Facebook was created, to hosting Weekend…


Cost of Living

Emily Maloney examines her experiences with our the trouble U.S. health care system from both the perspective of a patient and a caregiver. In doing so, she examines what the…

A Thousand Naked Strangers

A former paramedic’s account of his decade spent mostly working in a public hospital ambulance in Atlanta. While Hazzard does discuss some of the cases he encountered, this book is…

Science & Psychology

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism

The author of the widely praised Wordslut analyzes the social science of cult influence: how cultish groups from Jonestown and Scientology to SoulCycle and social media gurus use language as…

Social Issues

Black Women Will Save the World

In this celebration of Black women’s resilience and unheralded strength, White House correspondent April Ryan reflects on Black women’s unprecedent role in American history and upholding democracy.

I’m Glad My Mom Died

A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how…

Corrections in Ink

A memoir about a young woman’s journey – from the ice rink to addiction and prison to the newsroom – and how she emerged with determination to expose the broken…

Taking Down Backpage

Veteran California prosecutor Maggy Krell tells the story of the battle against Backpage.


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