Book Reviews

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I started trying to organize this list by genre, but I don’t read many books that fit neatly into a single genre, so instead, I used these abbreviations to indicate the genres and/or types of themes in each book. They are organized alphabetically by title within general types, with a * to indicate my favorites and links to my reviews (where there are no links, those were reviews I wrote for a publication that wants their reviewers to remain anonymous).

C = Classic
COA = Coming-of-Age
D = Disabilities & Mental Illness
F = Family
Fa = Fantasy
Fr = Friendship
H = Historical
Hu = Humor
I = International
L – Love/romantic
M = Mystery
Me = Memoir/autobiography
NF = Nonfiction
S/T = Suspense/Thriller
SF = Science Fiction
SH/I = Self-help/Inspirational
SS = Short stories


* And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (F, H, I)

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker (F, I, L)
The Art Thief by Noah Charney (I, M, S/T)
* The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez (COA, F, I)
The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood (F, L)
Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian (COA, D, F, Fr)

* Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (F, Fr, H, I, M, SF)
* A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (F, H)
The Dogs of Littlefield by Suzanne Berne (F, Fr)
* Dracula by Bram Stoker (Fa, M, S/T)
Ellis Island  by Kate Kerrigan (F, I, L)
* Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave (Fr, H, L)
Fram by Steve Himmer (Fa, I)
Get in Trouble by Kelly Link (SF, SS)
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (I, M, S/T)

Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman (COA, Fr, S/T)
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (F, H)

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick (D, F, Fr, Hu)
* A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (F, H, I, L)

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (C, I)
Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt (F, Fr, M)

Isra Isle by Nava Semel (H, L, M)
* LaRose by Louise Erdrich (COA, F, Fr, H)
* The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley (D, F)
* Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult (F, Fr, M)
* Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (F, Fa, H)

* Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz (F, Hu, M, S/T)
* The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens (M, S/T)
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce (Fr, I, L)
* Marriage on the Street Corners of Tehran by Nadia Shahram (COA, F, Fr, I, L)
The Martian  by Andy Weir (SF, S/T)

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (C, F, Fa, I)
* The News At the End of the World by Emily Jeanne Miller (COA, F)

* The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (F, H, I)
* One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus (Fr, H, L)
* Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (COA, F, H)
* A Paper Son by Jason Buchholz (F, Fr, I, L, M)
Picture Perfect  by Jodi Picoult (F)
 * The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (COA, F, H, I)
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver (F, Fr, L)
Rainey Royal  by Dylan Landis (COA, F, Fr, SS)
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (C, L, M, S/T)

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (H. L, S/T)
* The River of Kings by Taylor Brown (COA, F, H)
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (D, F, Hu, L)
* The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (D, Fr, Hu, L)

The Secret History by Donna Tartt (COA, Fr, M)
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (COA, F, Fr)
* Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (COA, F, I, M)

* Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Fr, L, SF, S/T)
* Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (F, L, H, M)
* The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls (F)
* Song Yet Sung by James McBride (F, Fr, H)

* Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (F, Fr, L, SF)
* The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (F, Fr, L)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (C, SF)

* The Summer Guest by Alison Anderson (F, Fr, H, L)
* A Tale for the Time Being  by Ruth Ozeki (COA, D, F, I)
Tales of Mystery by Edgar Allen Poe (C, M, S/T)
They Are Trying to Break Your Heart by David Savill (COA, F, Fr, H, I, M)
The Three  by Sarah Lotz (M, SF, S/T)

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (H, Hu, SF)
The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman (F)
* The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (F, Fr, I)

* The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell (COA, F, H, I, L)
* Wool by Hugh Howey (F, Fr, L, SF)
Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves (F, H)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (C, F)

Nonfiction (see also Graphic Novels/Memoirs)

* Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (COA, D, F, H, I)
Blog, Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho (SH/I)
* How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide  by Toni Bernhard (SH/I)
How To Wake Up by Toni Bernhard (SH/I)

If the Oceans Were Ink by Carla Power (Me, SH/I)
Nathaniel's Nutmeg by Giles Milton (H, I)
* Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman (Hu, Me)
Personal History by Katharine Graham (Me)

* When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (Me)

Graphic Novels/Memoirs– Adult

Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli (F, L)
Black Hole by Charles Burns (COA, SF)
French Milk by Lucy Knisley (I, Me, NF)
* Fun Home by Allison Bechtel (Hu, Me, NF)
Here by Richard McGuire (F, H)
* Relish by Lucy Knisley (Me, NF)
* Persepolis  by Marjane Satrapi (Me, H, I, NF)

* Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi (Me, H, I, NF)
Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley (Hu, Me, NF)

Teen/YA (16)

All Fall Down by Ally Carter (F, Fr, M, S/T)
* Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (COA, F, Fr)
Ask the Dark by Henry Turner (F, M, S/T)
* Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Fa, L)

* Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx by Sonia Manzano (Me, Fa, NF, Fr, Hu)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (Fr, L, SF)
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (Fa, Fr, L, M)

* The Cage by Megan Shepherd (Fr, L, SF, S/T)
The Cemetery Boys by Heather (Zac) Brewer (COA, F, Fr, S/T)
* Challenger Deep by Neal Schusterman (D, F)

Code of Honor by Alan Gratz (Fa, S/T)
The Conspiracy of Us  by Maggie Hall (L, S/T)
The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman (COA, F, Fa, Fr)
Drag Teen by Jeffrey Self (COA, Fr, Hu)
Dreamology by Lucy Keating (Fa, Fr, L)
The Drowning by Rachel Ward (Fa, Fr, L, S/T)
The Hunt by Megan Shepherd (Fr, L, SF, S/T)
I Was Here by Gayle Forman (D, Fr, L, M)
The Law of Loving Others by Kate Axelrod (D, F, Fr, L)
* Looking for Alaska by John Green (COA, D, Fr, Hu)

The Many Lives of John Stone by Linda Buckley-Archer (F, Fa, H, I)
* The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork (COA, D, Fr)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (F, Fa, Fr, S/T)
* Mosquitoland by David Arnold (D, F, Fr)

The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos (COA, F, Fr, M)
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight (F, Fr, SF, S/T)
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (Fa, Fr, S/T)
* Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (F, Fr, H, I, L)
* Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern (D, L)

The Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne Rice (D, F, Fr)
* Solitaire by Alice Oseman (COA, D, Fa, Fr, L)
* Unbecoming by Jenny Downham (COA, F)
* UnDivided by Neal Schusterman (SF)

* Vivian Apple At the End of the World by Katie Coyle (COA, F, Fr, L)
What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott (S/T)


Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (F, Fr, I)
The Baby-Sitter's Club: Kristy's Great Idea  by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgmeier (Fr, graphic novel)

Bera the One-Headed Troll by Eric Orchard (graphic novel) (Fa)
* The Big Dark by Rodman Philbrick (F, Fr, SF, S/T)
Crows and Cards by Joseph Helgerson (H)
* The Danger Box by Blue Balliett (D, F, Fr, M)
* Doll Bones by Holly Black (Fr, M, S/T)
* Echo by Pamela Munoz Ryan (F, Fr, H)
* Finding the Worm by Mark Goldblatt (D, Fr)
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (D, Fr)
George by Alex Gino (F, Fr)
Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper (F, Fr, H)

* The Lightning Queen by Laura Renau (F, Fr, H, I, L)
* Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai (F, Fr, I, M)
Magnificent Mya Tibbs by Crystal Allen (F, Fr)
* The Marvels by Brian Selznick (F, Fr, H, L)
* Masterminds by Gordon Korman (Fr, SF, S/T)

Masterminds: Criminal Destiny by Gordon Korman (Fr, SF, S/T)
* My Name Is Not Friday by Jon Walter (COA, F, H)
* Nest by Esther Ehrlich (D, Fa, Fr)

* A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen (F, Fr, H, I, S/T)
* Pax by Sara Pennypacker (F, Fr)
* Revolution by Deborah Wiles (F, Fr, H)
Smile by Raina Telgemeier (F, graphic novel, Hu)

Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart (F, Fr, H)
Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm (F, Fr, graphic novel, Hu)

* Swing Sideways by Nanci Turner Steveson (F, Fr)
* This Side Of Wild by Gary Paulsen (Hu, NF)
The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann (Fa, Fr)
When Marnie Was Here  by Joan G. Robinson (Fr)


  1. Valerie S.5:58 PM

    Hi! I just found your blog through the blog tour for "The Reluctant Duchess." I look forward to reading your reviews. :o)

    1. I'm glad you found me, Valerie! Though that's very odd because I have never joined a blog tour nor have I heard of the book you mentioned! Wonder how my link got there?

      Hope you will enjoy my other reviews anyway!

  2. Hi would would love it if you could review my book The Adventures of Kid Humpty Dumpty. please let me know how I would go about doing that Thank You Benjamin Boyd

    1. Hi, Ben -

      Sorry but I don't accept books for review, other than my paid reviewing job. Good luck with your book!