liblibby's reviews
162 reviews

Such Sharp Teeth, by Rachel Harrison

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adventurous dark lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I just really wanted to read a book that felt spooky during the month of October and everything was falling flat for me. Until this!!
I mean it certainly wasn’t particularly scary but there were some incredible jumps, spooky imagery AND characters that I was rooting for. 

This was an exciting story about a woman who is coming to terms with the fact that she was turned into a werewolf. 
But I also feel like it’s an incredible metaphor for the way that we affect one another—the way we trust one another and the way we can love one another well.

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Jackal, by Erin E. Adams

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

The premise of this book is so good: Girls continue to be "lost" in the woods outside of town. Who or what is taking them? There was so much potential here.

This was not for me. Horror isn't my typical genre--let's get that out of the way right off the bat. I've found that watching horror movies makes me so nervous, scared, and jumpy! But every horror novel I've ever read has just left me feeling confused and wondering, "Wait is this supposed to be a scary part?" 
Also in this book in particular I felt frustrated about certain things. Like, in the last 25% of the book the main character mentions a skill that she has that will be profoundly useful in defeating the villain--but this was never mentioned before now. Or one character will be described as, say,  full of unyielding energy and then a few lines later they're so exhausted they can barely move. These little things just kept me feeling frustrated as a reader and unable to get sucked in like I wanted to be.

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Signal Fires, by Dani Shapiro

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slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.5

This book had all the ingredients to build a story that I would love:
Family stories, timeline jumping, a large cast of characters that all come together in the end. 
But sheesh. I just did not get into this one. Which isn't something I say very often--if I'm not getting into a book, then I'll just DNF but I kept feeling like it was *just* about to come together. And then it finally did--when there was 90 min left in the book. Eventually I began to understand and like these characters but it was far too close to the end before that happened. Also I'm not even sure this book had a climax.

It was like looking at a plate of ingredients as opposed to eating a delicious dish.
Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver

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emotional sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I finished this book not 90 seconds ago and I hurried here to write my review because I want it to be fresh in my mind.

This book touched me. I knew that I would enjoy it because it's Barbara Kingsolver and the way that she writes gives me goosebumps--but I didn't expect this. I didn't expect it to fully wreck me and teach me and light a fire inside of me. This book is dark and long but it is a fully compelling and ultimately hopeful critique of systemic poverty and pain pills. I can't believe how quickly I burned through huge swaths of this book.

We are cheering for Demon from the very first page. We get to know him so deeply, so intimately to the point where we understand every single move he makes--even when they're the wrong moves we feel like we couldn't imagine doing anything different. 
This book is sad. It's deeply sad but it also has some very funny parts. Demon is so darn witty.  It's going down as one of the greatest books I've ever read. 

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The Family Outing, by Jessi Hempel

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emotional reflective medium-paced

5.0

I loved this book. It’s exactly my favorite kind of reads. I love exploring families—especially families that facilitate transition. 
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin

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emotional hopeful reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

For some reason, I thought that because this book centers around video game developers, it would not be for me, so I put off reading it. Don't be like me! If anything about this book (even just the gorgeous cover art) appeals to you, pick it up and read it. If you missed our IG stories where I fumbled over how much I love it, read on for my review:
Sam and Sadie met when they were children in 1993 and immediately bonded over gaming. Six years later, they've teamed up to start making their own. Over the years, we celebrate their joys, mourn their tragedies, commiserate in their frustrations, and fall in and out of love over and over again in different ways. 
This is an epic, sweeping novel that spans generations. It explores all the different ways that our longest relationships evolve and morph over time. It is, at its heart, a love letter to life itself if I may be so pretentious. This will go down as one of my favorite books of all time--I already know it.

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The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks, by Shauna Robinson

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funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted relaxing fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

5.0

I loved this book! Think about the things you love about Emily Henry (complex characters, unpredictable narratives, the ability to turn a trope on its head). Shauna Robinson does all of those things 10 times better! 

Maggie shows up in a small town to help out at her best friend’s bookstore while she’s on maternity leave. When the town Scrooge makes an executive decision, affecting the store’s primary money-maker, sales start to drop. Maggie has to think fast and use all her charm and maybe some illegal means to save the bookshop (and bring the town together for a common cause!). 

I love that in this “romance” book, the relationship between the main character and her beau isn’t the primary focus of the story. Instead, we get to see her fall in love with this town, create a deeper connection with her best friend, and learn to trust herself. 
This is hands down THE BEST romance book I have read in 2022. 
Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng

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dark inspiring mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

A boy named Bird lives in our not-too-distant future (alternatively, could be present day on an adjacent timeline) where America has come out of a devastating crisis, only surviving by the skin of her teeth. The world left behind is on-edge and ready to ensure dominance again by instituting harsh and racist policies in order to keep "True Americans" safe. 
Bird doesn't care about all that--he just wants to know where his mother disappeared to and if she's really the dangerous radical activist that everyone says she is. 
Our Missing Hearts is a soul-stirring novel about what wakes us up and how hard many of us will cling to our sleep. 

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The Dead Romantics, by Ashley Poston

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emotional funny hopeful lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

5.0

I liked this a lot! No notes. 
Normal Family: On Truth, Love, and How I Met My 35 Siblings, by Chrysta Bilton

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challenging emotional reflective tense fast-paced

5.0

This story is wild. It was so different from what I had expected when I first picked it up. It dives deep into what it's like to grow up in a family with varying levels of dysfunction but also with a lot of love. The story ends in a way that makes me feel very happy for everyone despite their struggles and I liked that. 

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