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‘One Day’ a Multifaceted View of Ordinary Things

The thing about someone having the worst day of their life is that at that very moment someone else is having the best day of their life. There are enough people and enough days and enough experiences to account for the polarity of best and worse and everything in between.  Those stories existing is one…

‘All My Rage’ Mends Heartbreak with Hope

I loved all four of Sabaa Tahir’s volumes in her Ember in the Ashes series, a YA fantasy following a pair of unlikely teens to an eventual revolution against the cruel and oppressive regime inspired by the Roman Empire. But I was also always fascinated by her bio at the back and the fact that…

‘LaserWriter II’ Probably Perfect for Someone Else

Growing up, my grandparents’ basement was a wonderland of old Macintosh computers. My grandpa taught computers at the junior high school, which meant he had to be up on the best and latest tech. In his opinion, this meant Macintoshes. He retired in the early 90s, though, so the computers stopped at the Macintosh SE.…

A Different Kind of Chosen One in ‘Grace’

The Chosen One is a staple of the fantasy genre, especially in YA, but it’s the attempts to contort or subvert it that I tend to find the most compelling. Emily Thiede stretches the trope like silly putty in her debut, This Vicious Grace. Alessa was chosen by Dea to be this generation’s bearer of…

‘Wolf and the Watchman’ Grim but Compelling

Look, I know Scandinavian literature has a reputation of being dark and brooding, but I have to admit I was not ready for just how dark and brooding eighteenth-century Sweden is in Niklas Natt och Dag’s The Wolf and the Watchman. I was also not expecting how thoroughly I would be riveted by it. Bodies…

‘Ducks’ A Heavy, Spectacular Read

Kate Beaton is known for her long-running Hark! A Vagrant webcomic series (RIP), which I, like many others, first encountered through an excellent reaction meme adapted from an excellent comic. So I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that a comic so bright wouldn’t also have a shadow, which in this case is, unfortunately, her…

‘Harvest’ Gives Bumper Crop of Chills

Rural towns and wide-open fields have proved fertile material for horror stories for decades. What moves in the corn? Nothing good, probably. But in Ann Fraistat’s What We Harvest, it’s what’s underground—what’s in the very soil—that you have to watch out for.  The farmland that 16-year-old Wren’s family has worked for the last six generations…

‘Little Eyes’ Not Looking to be Liked

Growing up, my little sisters had a Furby. It was one of the first-gen ones, not these smarter, freakier modern things, but it would still say things that seemed way too canny for being a hunk of plastic and fake fur. In Samanta Schweblin’s Little Eyes, the Furby-like creatures in question can’t speak, but they…

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