Genre: Literary Fiction

Book Review: The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Posted January 14, 2017 // 0 Comments
Book Review: The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Young adult fiction is an audience category that encompasses many genres. However, one thing that’s somewhat rare to find is literary fiction for young adults, which is undoubtedly what The Miseducation of Cameron Post is. And considering the years the author has spent in academia—both an MFA and PhD in creative writing—it isn’t surprising that Danforth’s novel fits into this designator. This is a slow-moving, character-driven coming of age story, […]

Book Review: Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith

Posted September 10, 2016 // 0 Comments
Book Review: Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith

From Alexis M. Smith, author of Glaciers, comes Marrow Island, an exciting, much-anticipated sophomore novel that falls into the growing climate-themed post-apocalyptic subgenre. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to expectations in any way, really. Smith’s prose, characters, and storyline were all lackluster, and upon reading the final chapter I was left with no lasting impression. Another reviewer used the word “anemic”, and I think that’s a very fitting […]

Book Review: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Posted May 20, 2016 // 3 Comments
Book Review: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng begins by telling us that Lydia is dead, and then Everything I Never Told You goes on to explain why. This book is a layered, nuanced look at a family and the different personalities that comprise it, an examination of how each individual influences and affects the others. I found the end product to be fascinating, complex, and starkly revealing—with just a hint of that feeling in your […]

Book Review: Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet

Posted February 15, 2016 // 4 Comments
Book Review: Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet

I think any work of fiction has the potential to touch someone, to impact them, regardless of content. However, those books where you see your own experience mirrored in characters’ lives tend to mean more. They validate you, make you feel less alone. For me, Make Your Home Among Strangers was one such book. The story of its protagonist, Lizet, was one I could easily identify with, one that made […]

Book Review: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

Posted October 30, 2015 // 3 Comments
Book Review: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

To consider this book out of context is only to get fractions of the whole picture. Without context, Angle of Repose, which won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, is an interesting, well-written, and thought-provoking—if rather problematic—novel. But this is only if you read the book as an isolated object and know nothing about the author and his source material. Because to put it quite bluntly, Wallace Stegner lifted the majority […]

Book Review: The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen

Posted September 11, 2015 // 3 Comments
Book Review: The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen

It begins with a baby in a dumpster. What follows is a spellbinding exploration of the patriarchy at work and how a town can turn against itself, tearing down the children it’s supposed to protect in its search for “justice”. The Unraveling of Mercy Louis is a suspenseful, brutal coming of age story, one that author Keija Parssinen executes with sharp skill. This is the kind of book that creeps […]

Book Review: The First Bad Man by Miranda July

Posted September 7, 2015 // 0 Comments
Book Review: The First Bad Man by Miranda July

This book is weird. There’s no other way to put it. The First Bad Man is weird and nonsensical and a little disquieting. It’s quirkiness at its quirkiest. Honestly, I didn’t think I could finish it because the characters and situations were just too out there most of the time. But the important thing is that in spite of all the strangeness, Miranda July does a good job with it […]

Book Review: The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

Posted August 31, 2015 // 0 Comments
Book Review: The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

Angela Flournoy’s debut, a multigenerational saga set in Detroit, is a solid, if slightly mundane, literary novel. The Turner House does very well in detailing the daily complexities and dramas that arise between the 13 Turner siblings, which are focused mainly on the fate of the family home. The larger portion of the text takes place over a brief period of only a few weeks, though it’s supplemented by flashbacks and […]

Book Review: The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

Posted August 19, 2015 // 0 Comments
Book Review: The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob

I love long books (where the length feels justified) and I love books that focus on a family. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, a literary debut by Mira Jacob, is both. It’s about Amina Eapen, a first-generation American and the large, makeshift family she’s formed among other Indian immigrants in Albuquerque. The book alternates between different crises in Amina’s life, one involving her older brother, Akhil, and one involving her […]

Book Review: The Opposite House by Helen Oyeyemi

Posted August 14, 2015 // 0 Comments
Book Review: The Opposite House by Helen Oyeyemi

In this novel, Helen Oyeyemi presents a disquieting, dreamlike story, told from two perspectives: Maja, a Black cubana dealing with pregnancy and her heritage and her mother’s Santería; and Yemaya Saramagua, an Orisha (a minor god in both Santería and Nigeria) living in a “somewherehouse” between Cuba and Lagos. Both characters’ stories seem to have things in common, but I didn’t quite get how or why the author chose to […]

Book Review: Disgruntled by Asali Solomon

Posted August 7, 2015 // 2 Comments
Book Review: Disgruntled by Asali Solomon

Disgruntled is a smart, fresh coming of age novel full of “the shame of being alive”—a particular embarrassment that Kenya Curtis becomes intimately acquainted with over the course of her adolescence. In this brief book, author Asali Solomon tracks not only Kenya’s awkward growing up years but also her parents’ shifting lives, as well as the cultural climate of the United States at the end of the twentieth century. Beginning […]

Book Review: The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour

Posted August 5, 2015 // 0 Comments
Book Review: The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour

This is the sort of book that sounds better conceptually than it works out in execution. A slightly mythical story of a boy who spent his first ten years in a birdcage and grew up to become a man just trying to be a “normal human” sound good, and that was the book I was ready to read. Yet, oddly enough, the event in Porochista Khakpour’s The Last Illusion that […]