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Book Review: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

Book Review: Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby


Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book, y’all. Razorblade Tears broke my heart and kept me on the edge of my seat in equal measures. It’s a superb piece of crime fiction with powerful messages about racism, sexuality, and accepting your loved ones for who they are, no matter how different they might be, before you run out of chances. It’s about vengeance and justice and learning that you can still grow even when you’ve been set in your ways for longer than you can remember. It’s about family, both that which you’re born into and that which you build for yourself along the way. It’s about grief and how, sometimes, you don’t even feel like you deserve to feel it. Above all, this is a story that felt honest and real and true at its core, despite being a work of fiction.

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Book Review: The People We Keep by Allison Larkin

Book Review: The People We Keep by Allison Larkin


The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those times when I’m really thankful for Book of the Month. For some reason, The People We Keep isn’t a book I’ve really heard mentioned anywhere else. If it hadn’t been one of BotM’s options, I might have never heard of it, much less picked it up. I’m so incredibly thankful that I did, though. The People We Keep is a heartbreakingly beautiful story that perfectly balances sorrow and joy. With a diverse cast of larger-than-life characters and a protagonist that I not only rooted for but wished I could pluck from the pages and adopt, this book filled my heart to the bursting point and gave me an even greater appreciation for all of the wonderful people in my own life.

“We have people we get to keep, who won’t ever let us go. And that’s the most important part. That’s what’s true.”

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Book Review: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Book Review: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Gentleman in Moscow is a book that has been on my shelf almost since its publication in 2016. I’ve heard remarkable things about Towles’s style and characterization. However, I had also heard that it was a quiet book, a slow story softly told, so I decided that I would have to be in just exactly the right mood to pick it up. I was so wrong. While I understand the quiet description, as the plot follows our protagonist after he is sentenced to a life of house arrest within the walls of Moscow’s Metropol Hotel, it was by no means slow. Yes, the story was obviously constrained in setting by our main character’s confinement, but his life was still so tremendously full that I never felt like that pace wasn’t being propelled forward quickly enough. A Gentleman in Moscow is a beautiful, moving, utterly charming story, with characters who won my heart completely and prose that I wanted to sink into and live inside forever.

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Book Review: The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, #4.5) by Stephen King

Book Review: The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower, #4.5) by Stephen King


The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The stories we hear in childhood are the ones we remember all our lives.”

The Wind Through the Keyhole is a story within a story within yet another story. It’s a Russian nesting doll of a book of the highest class. No, the highest caliber is a more fitting description, I suppose, for this gunslinger’s fairytale. I loved it in the same way I loved The Eyes of the Dragon, but perhaps even more fervently. Actually, I did something I don’t recall ever doing before; I left a bookmark right at the beginning of the fairytale portion when I re-shelved the book, so I could flip it open and read just that section whenever I choose.

“Sometimes I feel the world has come loose of its moorings.”
“It has,” I said. “But what comes loose can be tied tight again…”

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Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Book Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Exquisite. That is the first word that comes to mind as I consider The Song of Achilles. Miller is a truly gifted author. The ways in which she was able to breathe new life and depth into characters who have been part of our collective consciousness for millennia is awe-inspiring. The story of Achilles and the Trojan War is one I have consumed in a plethora of formats and reiterations, but the way Miller tells the tale is without comparison.

“I am made of memories.”

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Book Review: A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Book Review: A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4) by Sarah J. Maas


A ​Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, I am absolutely shocked by how much I adored this book. While I loved A Court of Mist and Fury fiercely, I felt that A Court of Wings and Ruin didn’t quite measure up in comparison, and that A Court of Frost and Starlight was weak and forgettable compared to the rest of the series. I had just about decided that I would end my experience with the series there, but my brother changed my mind. He just binge-read all of ACOTAR and told me that ACOMAF had been his favorite until he read this one, which he thought was by far the strongest of the series. I didn’t really see how it could measure up to ACOMAF, but we rarely disagree when we read the same books. And he was so right. A Court of Silver Flames is just badass in every way. While not quite as romantic as A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Silver Flames surpasses it in girl-power, intensity, and spice level. I read furiously and enjoyed every minute.

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Book Review: A Narrow Door (Malbry, #3) by Joanne Harris

Book Review: A Narrow Door (Malbry, #3) by Joanne Harris


A Narrow Door by Joanne Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a digital copy of this novel from the publisher, OrangeSky Audio, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Narrow Door is one of the smartest, most interesting and sympathetically voiced pieces of crime fiction I’ve read in a very long time. The only other modern book in the genre I’ve enjoyed this much was We Begin at the End, but this book had more in common with The Maidens and The Divines, both of which disappointed me last year. It was a perfectly paced, pitch perfect blend of mystery and academia that captivated me from the prologue through to the epilogue. I hung on every word. This is a story that felt so incredibly real, which such a delicious building tension, that I thought about it almost constantly when I wasn’t reading it. It found its way into my dreams, which has become a rare thing as I’ve gotten older. And the ending was something that, in hindsight, I might should have been able to see. Especially considering the opening. But I didn’t.

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Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik


Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I could not have started the year off with a more pleasant surprise. I read another of Novik’s high fantasy novels, Uprooted, in 2016 and…I was not a fan. While I didn’t loathe it with every fiber of my being like Petrik did, it took me a couple of months to trudge through 435 pages. That’s not my general reading experience. There were a lot of things I really didn’t like about that book and, because of that dislike, I was skittish about picking up Spinning Silver . But, as I own both a physical and digital copy, I knew I was going to have to pick it up eventually. So when Petrik suggested we do a buddy-read as soon as the new year started, I jumped at it. He, Eon, TS, Haifa and myself all started it together, and the consensus has been overwhelmingly positive. Spinning Silver is a thoughtful, intricate, powerful novel that is one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read. I’m incredibly glad that we gave Novik another try.

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Book Review: Krampus: The Yule Lord, by Brom

Book Review: Krampus: The Yule Lord, by Brom


Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Picking up Krampus: The Yule Lord started out as a bit of a joke. I was reading A Christmas Carol, which has been my Christmas tradition for about a decade now, and decided to balance it out with something completely different. I went into Krampus fully expecting a horror novel that ripped Christmas apart. What I got was wildly different and infinitely more powerful. This book was profound and though-provoking and so much more emotional than I anticipated. Strangely enough, Krampus ended up being one of my favorite books of the year, providing a depth and nuance to famous and infamous figures that surprised me, as well as giving me a cast of new characters to root for. I have never been more pleasantly surprised by a book with such a disturbing cover. Which was also done by Brom. The man is an incredible artist.

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Book Review: Where the Drowned Girls Go (Wayward Children, #7) by Seanan McGuire

Book Review: Where the Drowned Girls Go (Wayward Children, #7) by Seanan McGuire


Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an advance copy of this novella from the publisher, Tordotcom, in exchange for an honest review.

“There are worlds where death itself is malleable, where anything can be rewritten, be undone, if the right approach is taken. Worlds where the air bleeds words and lightning can rewrite the past.”

Reading McGuire’s newest Wayward Children novella has become something of a Christmas tradition for me over the past few years. While my reading experience has varied book to book, it’s always cozy and enjoyable and transportive. I request very few ARCs, but this series is top among them and I’m always elated to receive the next installment. I was cautiously excited about Where the Drowned Girls Go, as it’s a pretty direct followup to my least favorite novella in the series, Beneath the Sugar Sky. However, this newest novella was absolutely fantastic; so much so, in fact, that it made me want to go back and reread Beneath the Sugar Sky to see if my opinion of it had changed. Where the Drowned Girls Go was a thoughtful, different addition to the series, and builds on and links every single one of its predecessors.

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