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Book Review | White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

From the publisher: The Haunting of Hill House meets Get Out in this chilling YA psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story from New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson!

White Smoke is about a blended family who moves from California to the Midwest to get a fresh start after main character Marigold’s drug problem messes up their lives. Unfortunately, their new house seems to be haunted, and something – or someone – wants them gone.

Former track star Marigold has a serious phobia of bedbugs, which drives her to obsessively clean every surface of her home, regard all specks of dust or…

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Book Review | Deathless Divide by Justina Ford

From the publisher: After the fall of Summerland, Jane McKeene hoped her life would get simpler: Get out of town, stay alive, and head west to California to find her mother. But nothing is easy when you’re a girl trained in putting down the restless dead, and a devastating loss on the road to a protected village called Nicodermus has Jane questioning everything she thought she knew about surviving in 1880’s America. What’s more, this safe haven is not what it appears – as Jane discovers when she sees familiar faces from Summerland amid this new society. Caught between mysteries and lies, the undead, and her own inner demons, Jane soon finds herself on a dark path of blood and violence that threatens to consume her. But she won’t be in it alone. Katherine Deveraux never expected to be allied with Jane McKeene. But after the hell she has endured, Read more »

Book Review | Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

From the publisher: At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland’s stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar—a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.

Dread Nation is a book I’ve been meaning to read for several years. Alternate history Civil War with zombies? Sounds awesome!

The Civil War was interrupted when the dead rose during the Battle of Gettysburg and hungrily attacked both armies. The Union and Confederacy soon realized they had to stop fighting each other and team up to defeat the shamblers, as they’re called in this book. The…

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Book Review | Heaven’s Design Team, Vol. 1 by Hebi-Zou & Tsuta Suzuki, illustrated by Tarako

From the publisher: God created the heavens and the Earth — but, little-known fact, he outsourced the animals to the office of Heaven’s Design Team! This hilarious and educational manga features weird real-life animals and puts even some humdrum critters in a strange new light.

THIS ISN’T YOUR AVERAGE DESIGN AGENCY!

Heaven’s Design Team has kind of a wacky premise – what if instead of creating all the various animals on Earth, God hired a design firm to come up with creatures based on his guidelines and then submit them for approval? The result is a humorous, educational, enjoyable, but ultimately not very deep reading experience…

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Book Review | Magus of the Library, Vol. 1 by Mitsu Izumi

From the publisher: A story about a poor boy swept away by a kind library mage and the (literal) magic of reading, Magus of the Library is a beautifully-drawn, spirited fantasy adventure, like a Fullmetal Alchemist for all ages! Ages 13 and up.

Magus of the Library is a manga series in which a young, poor, outcast boy named Theo strives to satisfy his love of reading, and find a way to give back to the books that have given him so much. He dreams of one day visiting the great library of Aftzaak, the City of Books… but for now he’d settle for at least being allowed to use the library in his hometown.

Theo’s shaggy blond hair can’t disguise his pointy ears, which identify him as mixed race in…

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Book Review | Rainbow in the Dark by Ronnie James Dio

From the publisher: The long-awaited autobiography by one of heavy metal’s most revered icons, treasured vocalists, and front man for three legendary bands —Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Dio.

Rainbow in the Dark is the autobiography of the late, great metal singer Ronnie James Dio, and covers his early life from his childhood through his long journey to rock & roll success, reaching the top of the music business mountain first with Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, again with Black Sabbath, and finally with his own band Dio.

It might seem strange that Dio’s autobiography came out in 2021 when he died of stomach cancer way back in 2010. In the book’s preface, his widow Wendy Dio explains that Ronnie…

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Book Review | Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds, artwork by Danica Novgorodoff

From the publisher: Jason Reynolds’s Newbery Honor, Printz Honor, and Coretta Scott King Honor–winning, #1 New York Times bestselling novel Long Way Down is now a gripping, galvanizing graphic novel, with haunting artwork by Danica Novgorodoff.

Long Way Down is a graphic novel adaptation of Jason Reynolds’s 2017 Young Adult novel of the same name. The original is a novel in verse, meaning it’s a single story told as a series of poems. This graphic novel adaptation keeps the poetic form intact, though it’s not just the original novel with pictures. While many of the original poems are interspersed with the art, this adaptation also has additional dialogue and scenes that set it apart from the original.

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Book Review | Flamer by Mike Curato

From the publisher: Award-winning author and artist Mike Curato draws on his own experiences in Flamer, his debut graphic novel, telling a difficult story with humor, compassion, and love.

Aiden is away at summer camp, which is a blessed relief from his parents’ constant fighting and his fears about starting high school in the fall. Camp has some challenges of its own though: Aiden deals with bullies, as well as for his changing and confusing feelings for his close friend Elias. Set in the mid-1990s when being gay was used as an insult rather than being widely accepted, Flamer draws from the author’s own experiences to craft a powerful coming-of-age story that perfectly captures the struggles with self-acceptance and fear of…

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Book Review | Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

From the publisher: Fans of Sabaa Tahir and Tomi Adeyemi won’t want to miss this instant New York Times bestselling fantasy from breakout YA sensation Jordan Ifueko! Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Raybearer is the story of Tarisai, a girl raised in an invisible home with no one but private tutors and a mysterious mother known as the Lady, who she sees only once or twice a year. One day, the Lady tells Tarisai that she being sent to the capital of the empire to meet Crown Prince Ekundayo, where she’ll have a chance to join his Council of Eleven, the children who will make up his future ruling council and whose magical bond protects the…

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Book Review | No Guns Life #1 by Tasuku Karasuma

From the publisher: Ex-soldier Juzo Inui has one question—who turned him into a cyborg and erased his memories?

After the war, cyborg soldiers known as the Extended were discharged. Juzo Inui is one of them, a man whose body was transformed, his head replaced with a giant gun. With no memory of his previous life—or who replaced his head and why—Inui now scratches out a living in the dark streets of the city as a Resolver, taking on cases involving the Extended.

Want a story about a faceless loner warrior who helps a child with mysterious powers…

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