King of Scars

Rating: 4/5 | It's hard to write a review about this book without spoilers, because all I want to do is talk about my ~feelings.~ For those unfamiliar, King of Scars is book 1 of a new duology set in the Grishaverse, following the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. I love these characters so much, and getting so many of them back into my life was a true delight. (Click the post to read more.)

From the Corner of the Oval

Rating: 3/5 | From the Corner of the Oval was fast-paced, well written, and suuuuper juicy. It's clear that Beck Dorey-Stein is a great writer, and her ability to observe, recall, and retell a story is what all creative nonfiction writers are striving for. Her personal story was not really my favorite, but I absolutely can't deny that she wrote this book really, really well. (Click the post to read more.)

The Flatshare

Rating: 4/5 | The Flatshare surprised me, in a good way. I don't usually read books in the contemporary romance genre, because while they're fun and light and enjoyable, they don't usually say much. But that was not the case here! (Click the post to read more.)

There There

Rating: 5/5 | With some books, all you can say is, "Wow." There There absolutely blew me away, which for some reason surprised me. I knew it had gotten a lot of acclaim, and I myself waited patiently for my library copy for months. So of course it was going to be really good. But it wasn't — it was great. (Click the post to read more.)

Floyd Harbor: Stories

Rating: 4/5 | Floyd Harbor was a subtly moving look into the human experience of those who live in the depressed small towns of America. The writing seemed to zoom in on the most telling details without sacrificing pace or perspective, which really sucks the reader in and makes it all feel so true to life. (Click the post to read more.)

Naamah

Rating: 5/5 | It's common for me to hear about books I want to read. I add them to my list. I see if the library has them. If not, maybe I'll pick them up in a bookstore next time I'm there. But very rarely do I hear about a book and then immediately open Amazon and order that book. Very rarely to I set aside the shortlist of books I'd planned to read next so that I can read that one right away. I did those things for Naamah ... and I was not disappointed. (Click the post to read more.)

Ask Again, Yes

Rating: 5/5 | There are stories, and then there are stories. This is a rich, delicious novel that makes you forget there's an outside world. There's only this handful of characters and the love and heartbreak between them. (Click the post to read more.)

The Silent Patient

Rating: 4.5/5 | I don't usually choose to read thrillers. I like them okay once I'm in the middle of them, but it takes a lot of my emotional energy to commit to a roller coaster like that. (It's why I had to stop watching Scandal, and why I don't like it when sports go into overtime, lol.) But I picked up The Silent Patient because it had great reviews that claimed it really did something different and surprising. And I did really like it! (Click the post to read more.)

Turbulence

Rating: 4.5/5 | This book was creative, and gripping, and just plain great writing. It's not long; I read it in one evening. I hadn't planned to, and it kept me up about two hours past my bedtime to do it. But I couldn't resist. I felt like I got pulled into something that would break if I stopped in the middle. (Click the post to read more.)

Stay and Fight

Rating: 4/5 | I requested and read this book on the recommendation of a good friend who really knows books, and she did not let me down. I'm still mulling this one over. It was an introspective, deep novel about family, independence, identity, and love. (Click the post to read more.)

Trust Exercise

Rating: 5/5 | Trust Exercise is going to be a hard book to review without spoilers (but I shall attempt). So much of what makes it great is in the surprises you get along the way as a reader. So you're just going to have to trust me when I tell you that this book was really, really good. (Click the post to read more.)

A Woman Is No Man

Rating: 5/5 | This book blew me away. I usually like (but don't love) generational family stories, but this was really something special. I was so drawn into the stories and lives of these characters, and my review is not going to do it justice. (Click the post to read more.)

The Summer of Dead Birds

Rating: 5/5 | I impulse-purchased this book after seeing it on Feminist Press' Instagram channel. I've never disliked anything they published, and it looked beautiful, so I bought it. A+ DECISION, DEEDI. The Summer of Dead Birds was a heartbreakingly beautiful story told in poems that I will surely lend to many people and read several times over. (Click the post to read more.)

Queenie

Rating: 4/5 | Alright, y'all. I have complicated feelings about this book. It was well written, and super important, and said a lot of things very much worth hearing about race and mental health. But I — a type-A who compulsively tries to fix problems everywhere I see them — was not built to enjoy reading it. (Click the post to read more.)

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Rating: 4.5/5 | OK, so A Court of Thorns and Roses was meh. It was fine. Feyre drove me nuts, but I dealt with it for the world-building. Well, I am SO glad that I stuck with this trilogy, because A Court of Mist and Fury was A GAZILLION TIMES BETTER. Such a good read. Engrossing, heart-wrenching, surprising, and exciting. (Click the post to read more.)

Miracle Creek

Rating: 4/5 | Miracle Creek was a great read. An intriguing whodunnit with so many layers to the crime and to the entire cast of characters, it kept me guessing — suspecting, but not knowing — all the way up until the end. And it also broke my heart and showed real humanity throughout. (Click the post to read more.)

Florida

Rating: 5/5 | This. Collection. Is. Masterful. I cannot overstate. Lauren Groff is unbelievable, and she does so much with so little in each of these stories. (Click the post to read more.)

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

Rating: 3/5 | The Culture Code was one of the Next Big Idea Club's selections. It's one of those nonfiction business books that could be summed up much more succinctly, but the addition of a lot of colorful and interesting examples expanded it out. I enjoyed it, but I have read a lot of leadership books and didn't really learn anything new here. (Click the post to read more.)