Review: Pashmina

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Genres: Graphic Novel, Young Adult, Fantasy
Maturity Level: 2
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Rating:
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Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions–the topic of India is permanently closed.

For Pri, her mother’s homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she’s ever dared and find the family she never knew.


I love everything about this book. I love the art style, I love the magical realism, I love the coming of age story, I loved the nuances of cultural identity, and I loved the mother-daughter relationship. Everything about this book was just so brilliant!

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Review: One for the Money

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Series: Stephanie Plum
Genre: Mystery
Maturity Level: 5 (Trigger warning, sexual assault)
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆


You’ve lost your job as a department store lingerie buyer, your car’s been repossessed, and most of your furniture and small appliances have been sold off to pay last month’s rent. Now the rent is due again. And you live in New Jersey. What do you do?

If you’re Stephanie Plum, you become a bounty hunter. But not just a nickel-and-dime bounty hunter; you go after the big money. That means a cop gone bad. And not just any cop. She goes after Joe Morelli, a disgraced former vice cop who is also the man who took Stephanie’s virginity at age 16 and then wrote details on a bathroom wall. With pride and rent money on the line, Plum plunges headlong into her first case, one that pits her against ruthless adversaries – people who’d rather kill than lose.


One for the Money  was written in 1994, and it did NOT age well. Aside from Stephanie Plum’s abhorrent fashion sense (biker shorts + hairspray) and the dated technology, the casual sexism, even from the female protagonist, is sure to offend any 21st century feminist.

But if you can get past all of that, this book is a lot of fun.

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Review: Scythe

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Series: Arc of a Scythe
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Maturity Level: 4
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Rating:
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A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.


Scythe was the quintessential YA dystopia. So much so that I was surprised at how recently it came out. It falls along the same lines as The Hunger Games, The Giver, and Divergent, seamlessly blending everything readers have come to expect from the YA genre.

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Review: Wayward Son

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Series: Simon Snow
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Maturity Level: 5-
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Rating:
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The story is supposed to be over.

Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…

So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?

What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…

That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.

They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place…


I bought this book mainly because I figured as long as I own every book Rainbow Rowell has ever written, I may as well round out the set. I was fully prepared to not enjoy it. So I was pleasantly surprised by how much better it was than Carry On!

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Review: One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Series: Gaither Sisters
Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle-Grade Fiction
Maturity Level: 2
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Rating:
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In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.


I wanted to love this book. Truly, I did. But it just didn’t click for me.

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Review: The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

Series: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes
Genres: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Maturity Level: 2
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆

Long retired, Sherlock Holmes quietly pursues his study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. He never imagines he would encounter anyone whose intellect matched his own, much less an audacious teenage girl with a penchant for detection. Miss Mary Russell becomes Holmes’ pupil and quickly hones her talent for deduction, disguises and danger. But when an elusive villain enters the picture, their partnership is put to a real test.


This is one of those books that is going to be hard to write a review about because it was just so fine. Like, it was good, but there was nothing to really glow about. But there wasn’t anything bad to whine about either. So I guess I don’t have much to say.

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