Category: Book Reviews

Book Reviews

A review of Million Dollar Red By Gleah Powers

Million Dollar Red provides great insight into the point of view of a child who survives childhood traumas to finally make a sustainable life for herself. It would be a great book to be read in community work-focused classrooms for those who seek to be trauma-informed as they make a difference with today’s youth.

A review of The Wondrous Apothecary by Mary E Martin

In addition to writing a solid storyline for her Trilogy of Remembrance, she also demonstrates a rather thorough background in the visual arts and gracefully weaves that important historical stance into her story in a most mature and sophisticated manner. These are novels that will please a broad audience – those who love romance novels and those who want to explore the universal discussion of what is art at this particular time in history.

A review of Girls Like Us by Elizabeth Hazen

So many of these poems are littered with broken hearts and relationships gone sour, feelings of foreboding and loneliness and vulnerability. The second reference to “girls like us” comes in “Diagnosis III,” which highlights the incipient violence lurking everywhere. It begins: “Girls like you, he spat, / his breath laden with smoke / and Svedka….” It ends: “Girls like / you, he repeated, leaving me / a blank to fill.”

A review of Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare

I would highly, highly encourage you to read the previous books in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. Ghosts of Shadow Market had me in hysterics, tears and laughter all at once. I found it to be absolute perfection. For this book, and for all of the other Shadowhunter novels, I think the best suited age group would be 14+. I believe the time you read certain books or series influences your opinion and I delved into the fantasy world of Shadowhunters, demons and Downworlders at perhaps the perfect time.

A review of Unlike the Heart by Nicola Redhouse

Redhouse is an exceptional science writer, and her research is extensive, making connections, incorporating anecdotes both personal and as part of her research, so that the overall effect is engaging, open-minded, informative and powerful. The hybrid effect allows for multiple perspectives that remain open-ended rather than didactic.

A review of Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare

Themes I found particularly engaging were the harsh and committed life of the Silent Brothers – mysterious, powerful archivists and medics of the Nephilim and how Brother Zachariah’s past life had influenced his experience as a Silent Brother. Frequently, messages of love are communicated beautifully throughout all of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles, I found that this particular perspective brought a meaningful layer of depth to these concepts and notions.

A review of Scorched Earth by Tammy Pemper

Pemper has an impressive command of language, a necessary skill for creating a sense of place in what could easily be a generic theatre of war. In a perfect analogy for the social upheaval, the wheels of Peter’s truck are seen brushing the edge of the abyss at a cliffs edge during the journey. The remnants of a destructive landslide hinder the way forward on the road they travel. Woven into the background details is this lingering sense of danger and disturbance. It feels precarious.

A review of Not What You Think by Clark Gormley

For anyone who thinks poetry needs to be experimental, difficult, overly-complex, or high-blown, Not What You Think is the antidote. Gormley’s poetry book is a pleasure to read and even more of a pleasure to read aloud.  If you’re able to catch Gormley performing his work, that’s the ideal, as these are poems that are not only able to be sung, but work perfectly accompanied by acoustic guitar and a wry vernacular, but they also work beautifully on the page.  

A review of Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

The relationship, particularly those between our main characters – Will, Tessa and Jem – strengthens and grows even more through the course of Clockwork Princess, with the conclusion of this book to be one of the best I’ve read. The final scenes and chapters of this book were truly astonishing and absolutely wonderful.