I reviewed Bitch Planet Book 1 for CBR8, right before the 2016 election, and at the time, I wondered how a dystopia such as DeConnick imagines could come about — a patriarchy where submissive women are placed on a pedestal and “non-compliance” makes one a criminal. A year later it is easier to see how that might happen. On a daily basis we bear witness to the many ways women and minorities can so easily be stripped of their rights and criminalized. In Book 2, […]
…for a certain kind of reader — mostly women, mostly bookish — it is perfect. Once you read it, you fall in love with it, and from then on you’re part of a secret club, self-selecting and wildly enthusiastic. I picked up Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle based on this piece from Vox, quoted above, but I am sorry to say that, while I mostly enjoyed the novel, I am not part of the secret club. Set in the 1930s, I Capture the Castle features a […]
Here I am, and here’s another cozy. But the break made a difference. Or maybe this is just better than the last few I read.
A year ago at this time, in the wake of our devastating presidential election, I reviewed Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, two treatises on racism and oppression in America. As I read N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth Trilogy, it occurred to me that her novels present a perfect fictional account of the same topic. These Hugo-Award-winning stories take place in a world where racial difference leads to oppression, exploitation, and genocide. As a result of this […]
Code Name Verity is fantastic. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it (or crying about it) since I finished reading it. It is an unexpectedly powerful story of friendship and confronting one’s worst fears. It is also an ode to the brave and often nameless women who flew and fought alongside men in World War II as part of the Special Operations Executive, Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and Air Transport Auxiliary. The first part of the book is narrated by Julie and is […]
Red Ink is a young adult/teen novel about grieving the loss of a parent and learning the painful truth about the past. The novel is narrated by 15-year-old Melon Fourakis in a manner that takes the reader back and forth through time, jumping ahead to the days and months after her mother Maria’s unexpected death and back to the time preceding it. In doing so, author Mayhew keeps readers on the edge of their seats and thoroughly engaged in unraveling the mystery of “The Story” […]
Set in a contemporary North Carolina town that has been deteriorating for some time, No One is Coming to Save Us is a thoughtful novel about coming to terms with one’s past and building a future. It is about thwarted dreams, dreams that characters expected would “save” them had they been realized. What does one do with the shards of broken dreams? The story opens with JJ Ferguson’s return to Pinewood, NC, which once had a booming economy, but jobs are dwindling as the furniture […]
This Is How It Always Is is a sort of fairy tale about a mom who wished for a daughter, a dad who tells stories, siblings who watch out for each other, and how even if you do everything just right, life is never easy. This is the story of parents doing their best to raise their transgender child in a world that fears and rejects those who don’t fit cultural norms. It is clever, funny and heartbreaking, and enlightening. Frankel happens to be the […]