Book Review

Blackward by Lawrence Lindell


CW: Homophobia Blackward is a graphic novel that snuck up on me. I was excited to read a story about a group of Black, queer friends and was thrilled to end up with that, plus a beautiful message about how you can’t build a community without help. Eight years prior to the main story, Lika, Amor, Tony, and Lala met at a reading camp at their local community center. Today, they still hang out at … Continue reading Blackward by Lawrence Lindell

Book Review

Black Sheep by Rachel Harrison

Black Sheep

I’m generally a fan of Rachel Harrison’s horror novels. They tend to offer up commentary on things like toxic friendships, trauma, and complicated family dynamics in this darkly comedic, hyperbolic package. When I heard this blended the prodigal daughter of a cult with the catharsis of rebuilding after escaping a narcissistic mother, it jumped to the top of my TBR pile. Unfortunately, it loses some momentum at the halfway point. While I could have used … Continue reading Black Sheep by Rachel Harrison

Lightning Review

A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel by KJ Charles

A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel

Let’s start with the fact that I adore KJ Charles’ books. All of them. So I was well-positioned to love this one, especially as I had adored the first book in this series, which Carrie reviewed. Book two didn’t quite have the complexity of that first book, but I still loved this story and devoured it quickly. Rufus, a major in the army, has found out that he is in fact an earl, specifically the … Continue reading A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel by KJ Charles

Book Review

The Good Ally by Nova Reid

The Good Ally

Do not fear the page length of The Good Ally, which, in paperback form, is enormous. The book has a generous font size, it’s easy to read in terms of language, and the author, Nova Reid, is firm but empathetic in her approach to those of us who want to be actively and effectively anti-racist but may find ourselves sidelined by ignorance, fear, shame, and our own internalized White supremacy. Even if you’ve done a … Continue reading The Good Ally by Nova Reid

Book Review

Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Witch of Wild Things

The Witch of Wild Things has a romance, but it’s less of a romance novel and more a novel about familial bonds and trauma. It reminded me a lot of Practical Magic, but has its own vibe due to the personalities and histories of the characters, the setting, and the Latinx history of the family. I liked the overall atmosphere of the book and its prickly protagonist, but I thought events near the ending offered … Continue reading Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Book Review

It Came From the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror ed. by Joe Vallese

It Came from the Closet

It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror is a collection of essays by horror fans who reflect on their experiences with the cinematic horror genre through a queer lens. I enjoyed every essay in this book and gained a new understanding of the complexities of meaning that each viewer can find within a film. As the LGBTQIA+ viewers in this volume strive to see themselves reflected in a media that erases them, they … Continue reading It Came From the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror ed. by Joe Vallese

Book Review

The September House by Carissa Orlando

The September House

TW for description and discussion of violence, including domestic violence, alcoholism, fear, emotional and physical harm to children, death of children and birds. My goodness, I have a LOT to say about The September House, a haunted house story that is emphatically not a romance. This book tackles mental illness, domestic violence, alcoholism, messy parenting, and the logistical difficulties of getting gasoline fumes out of antique upholstery. I didn’t so much read it as eat … Continue reading The September House by Carissa Orlando

Book, Lightning Review

Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef

Once There Was

If you are into cryptids/imaginary beasts/monsters from mythology and folklore, then you’ll find Once There Was to be a real treat. In this story, a teenager named Marjan is left an orphan when her father, a veterinarian, is murdered. Marjan soon discovers that her father had an unusual clientele consisting of magical animals and that she has inherited a gift of sensing their feelings and needs, a discovery that upends her life in every possible … Continue reading Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef

Book Review

Our Hideous Progeny by C. E. McGill

Our Hideous Progeny

I’ve written, taught classes, and led panels about Mary Shelley and Frankenstein so often that, at a recent science fiction convention, one of my fellow panelists pointed out, “No matter what the topic is, Carrie, you always end up mentioning how much you hate Lord Byron” and I SO VERY MUCH DO! ASK ME WHY! The point is, I seized upon Our Hideous Progeny with gimmie-gimmie hands and although I will not tell you what … Continue reading Our Hideous Progeny by C. E. McGill

Book Review

Hey, Hun by Emily Lynn Paulson

Hey, Hun

Hey, Hun: Sales, Sisterhood, Supremacy, and the Other Lies Behind Multilevel Marketing felt right up my alley, despite not reading a ton of non-fiction. I watch a lot of anti-scam and anti-MLM content on YouTube and many podcasts I listen to fall into this category; it’s often the background noise while I’m gaming or reading. Hey, Hun tries to walk a fine line between gossipy memoir and cautionary tale and to me, failed on both … Continue reading Hey, Hun by Emily Lynn Paulson

Book Review

Appointment in Bath by Mimi Matthews

Appointment in Bath

This book drove me crackers but I still read the whole thing in a couple days. While it was as compelling as Matthews’ usual work, it brought me none of the joy. The reason for this is the role a character from a previous book played in this book. But first, let’s focus on this book on its own merits. Ivo Beresford is a young man with his eye on the future. He wants to … Continue reading Appointment in Bath by Mimi Matthews

Book Review

Marry Me By Midnight by Felicia Grossman

Marry Me By Midnight

I adored this book. What was supposed to be a quick 30 minutes of reading before my day carried on turned into an absolutely lost day. I could not put this book down. Isabelle Lira is a very rich Jewish woman living in Victorian London. She has inherited her father’s portion of a surety business, but her business partners are putting pressure on her to marry, preferably one of them. Isabelle is young, still grieving, … Continue reading Marry Me By Midnight by Felicia Grossman

↑ Back to Top