Book Review: “Demon Freaks” by J.R.R.R Hardison

Book Review: Demon Freaks—J.R.R.R Hardison by Zachary Sanfilippo There are good books, bad books, and then there’s Demon Freaks by J.R.R.R Hardison. Bing, Ron, Kaitlyn, and Meat are supposed to be studying for the SAT—if they don’t want to spend the rest of their days flipping burgers at McDonald’s, that is. But after their history teacher tries to kill them ...
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Book Review: “What We Build Upon the Ruins” by Giano Cromley

Book Review: What We Build Upon the Ruins—Giano Cromley by Amanda Farbanish We all have fought to survive love, loss, and the melancholy pit in the heart that makes each step drag. Similarly, the characters in Giano Cromley’s short story collection What We Build Upon the Ruins struggle to move through life. These eleven stories wade through the heavier haze ...
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Book Review: “The Last Namsara” by Kristen Ciccarelli

Book Review: The Last Namsara—Kristen Ciccarelli by Zoe Nepolello In The Last Namsara, the first title in an epic debut YA high-fantasy series, Kristen Ciccarelli introduces readers to Firgaard, a kingdom now dedicated to shutting down the old stories its people once shared with the dragons. It’s believed that these stories so weaken those who tell them that death is ...

Book Review: “Red Light Run” by Baird Harper

Book Review: Red Light Run—Baird Harper by Dylan Louis The eleven linked stories of Baird Harper’s Red Light Run stitch themselves together by the common thread of tragedy—a death by vehicular manslaughter. When Hartley Nolan, a do-good stock broker from Chicago, is found inebriated at the scene of a car wreck that leaves one woman dead, the people of the ...
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Book Review: “Catapult” by Emily Fridlund

Book Review: Catapult—Emily Fridlund by Rebecca Hannigan It’s not often you find a collection of stories that’s sharp and surprising and familiar all at once—it’s like entering a room full of family members with whom you are close but have not seen in years. Emily Fridlund takes the time to step inside the minds of these familial-yet-foreign characters, and it ...
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Book Review: “Infinite Stars”

Book Review: Infinite Stars by Johnny Caputo “Stinking.” “Outworn.” “Grinding.” “Hacky.” These are the words science fiction novelist Wilson Tucker used in 1941 to describe the sci-fi subgenre known as space opera, which, since its glory days in the mid-twentieth century, has been characterized by its penchant for galaxy-spanning civilizations, melodramatic plots, and one-dimensional characters.   Harsh.  With such a ...

Book Review: “Amberlough” by Lara Elena Donnelly

Book Review: Amberlough—Lara Elena Donnelly by Alyssa Jordan When I originally saw the cover of Amberlough, I had no idea what to expect. It certainly drew my attention, with its warm, gorgeous colors and 50’s songbird vibe. Even now, I still can’t pinpoint what I like best about it: is it the knowing, sultry look on Cordelia Lehane’s face, or ...

Book Review: “When the English Fall” by David Williams

Book Review: When the English Fall—David Williams by Alyssa Jordan Before I peered into the depths of When the English Fall, I read a short essay titled The Root of Apocalypse, in which author David Williams explains why he wrote the novel. To my surprise, I learned the word apocalypse isn’t synonymous with destruction. The word has Greek origins and, ...
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Book Review: “The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert

Book Review: The Hazel Wood—Melissa Albert by Amanda Farbanish For lovers of Grimm’s fairytales and of things that go bump in the night, Melissa Albert’s debut YA novel The Hazel Wood picks apart the classic fairytale narrative, distorting it and questioning what it means to be a character within these stories. Alice has spent most of her life on the ...
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Book Review: “Unravelings” by Sarah Cheshire

Book Review: Unravelings—Sarah Cheshire by Alyssa Jordan Unravelings, a lyrical memoir chronicling author Sarah Cheshire’s experience filing a Title IX procedure, is a slim volume of disturbing relevance to today’s sexual harassment-callout culture. Through fragmentation, flashbacks, and lyrical verse, Ms. Cheshire explores the nature of her relationship with her creative writing professor, a trusted mentor. The memoir does not shy ...