Finna (2020) by Nino Cipri is a jewel of a speculative fiction/ horror novella that can be listened to in just three hours! Nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Lambda Awards, Cipri gives us Jules and Ava, recent exes who work in the same big-box Swedish furniture store and are accidentally working the sameContinue reading “Finna”

The Elephants in My Backyard

The idea of The Elephants in My Backyard (2016) by Rajiv Surendra was interesting–a young actor is so enthralled with a character in a book and the similarities he shares with the character that he starts an email correspondence with the author and goes on a years-long quest to prepare himself for the role byContinue reading “The Elephants in My Backyard”

Red, White, And Royal Blue

Red, White, and Royal Blue (2019) by Casey McQuiston is a queer enemies-to-lovers new adult romance that imagines a relationship between the son of the first woman president and the prince who is the younger brother to the heir to the throne of England. Alex Claremont-Diaz is in his last year at Georgetown, living inContinue reading “Red, White, And Royal Blue”

Olga Dies Dreaming

Olga Dies Dreaming (2022) by Xochitl Gonzalez is an engaging and darkly funny novel that deals with gentrification in Brooklyn, the aftermath of colonialism and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, living up to parental expectations, whether they are unreasonable or not, all with the background of a sweet romance. Olga and her brother Prieto areContinue reading “Olga Dies Dreaming”

The Summer Place

The Summer Place (2022) is Jennifer Weiner’s latest, following on her practice of taking minor characters from previous books and giving them their time in the spotlight. I have mixed feelings about Weiner’s work as far as how she portrays fatness, which I delineated in my review of her 2021 novel That Summer, which IContinue reading “The Summer Place”

Forever This Summer

Forever This Summer (2021) by Leslie C. Youngblood is a bittersweet and heartwarming middle-grade novel set in Bogalusa, Louisiana, and starring 11-year old Georgie, who is visiting with her Mama and baby sister Peaches to help take care of Mama’s Aunt Vie, who has Alzheimer’s. Georgie misses her best friend back in Atlanta, Nikki, andContinue reading “Forever This Summer”

All My Rage

In All My Rage (2022), Sabaa Tahir has created a compulsively readable book that draws you in to Salahudin’s and Noor’s lives, and you can’t help but watch the slowly unfolding disastrous train wreck. She tells the stories of Sal, Noor, and Sal’s mother, Misbah, going back and forth in time. It’s contemporary YA, unlikeContinue reading “All My Rage”

That Woman Next Door / The Woman Next Door

I listened to That Woman Next Door by Harper Bliss (2021) and The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso (2017) consecutively and was amused by the similarity in the titles. Although both stories involve two women who live next door to each other, they couldn’t be more different. That Woman Next Door is a slow-burnContinue reading “That Woman Next Door / The Woman Next Door”

The Tenant

The Tenant by Katrine Engberg (2016/2020) was my library book club’s June selection and a murder mystery set in Copenhagen, Denmark with detectives Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner on the case. The story is mostly told from Kørner’s perspective–he is newly divorced, with a bad back and something of a painkiller dependence. The banter betweenContinue reading “The Tenant”

Four Treasures of the Sky

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang (2022) is a beautifully written and heartbreaking novel set in the 1880’s in China, San Francisco, and Idaho. Daiyu is a young girl living with her parents, who are tapestry-weavers, and her grandmother, in a small village near the ocean. Both her mother and grandmother tellContinue reading “Four Treasures of the Sky”