Menon, Sandhya. When Dimple Met Rishi.

MY: Simon & Schuster, 2017.

This one has made many of the “Best of” lists, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a YA rom-com, but not the usual sort. California high school seniors Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel are both Indian-American, for one thing, though how each of them deals with that sometimes onerous burden differs considerably.


Taylor, Jodi. Lies, Damned Lies, and History.

Abercynon, UK: Accent Press, 2016.

This is the seventh in the best time-travel series around and it’s still going strong. Max Maxwell, the POV character, is back now to being Chief Operations Officer at St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, and she has her hands full as usual, trying to plan investigative missions so as to cause the least possible damage to the participants.


Moriarty, Liane. What Alice Forgot.

NY: Random House, 2009.

Moriarty kind of hit the big time with the success of Big Little Lies, but I personally think this one may be the best of her eight adult novels so far. It begins with Alice Love, 29-year-old wife and soon-to-be mother, regaining consciousness after having apparently fallen and knocked herself out at the gym. Of course, when she comes to, she can’t imagine why she’s even at the gym, because she hates organized exercise.


Published in: on 25 June 2020 at 1:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Larkwood, A. K. The Unspoken Name.

NY: Tor, 2020.

I’ve managed to read quite a few really good books over the years, partly because I get through a lot of reviews beforehand, so I usually know what to expect going in. It’s not often I get really blown away unexpectedly. But this time? Wow. Just wow. I know nothing whatever about the author except that she studied at Cambridge and lives in Oxford, and that this is apparently her debut novel.


Biren, Sara. The Last Thing You Said.

NY: Abrams, 2017.

Lucy has always liked her small lakeside Minnesota town, where much of the local income is earned during the tourist season. Everybody works, and that’s okay with her because she has her best friend, the effervescent Trixie, and Trixie’s brother, Ben, whom Lucy suspects is about to become something more in her life.


Published in: on 17 June 2020 at 2:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Johnson, Lindsey Lee. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth.

NY: Random House, 2017.

The “most dangerous place”? According to the author, that’s the American high school — and in this instance, at least, she makes a good case. This isn’t a YA novel, though, but a reminiscence about the high school experience from various perspectives, both teenage and adult. The school in question is in Mill Valley, one of the wealthiest enclaves in upscale Marin County.


Published in: on 15 June 2020 at 8:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Roberts, Lisa Brown. How (Not) to Fall in Love.

Ft.Collins, CO: Entangled Publishing, 2015.

As in every literary genre, there are plenty of mediocre, slap-dash young adult novels out there — but, contrary to the generalizations made about them by some (probably elitist) readers, there are also a surprising number of good ones. This one isn’t great literature and it’s not even terribly original in its theme or plot line, but it’s still rather above the average of published fiction.


Griffiths, Elly. The Dark Angel.

NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2018.

This author’s series of mystery novels featuring forensic archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway have all been pretty good, but this time she even gets to leave Norfolk for sunny Italy for awhile. An Italian colleague with whom she had a pleasant one-night stand years before has requested her assistance with a burial site in the Liri Valley, near the ancient monastery of Monte Cassino.


Taylor, Jodi. Doing Time.

London: Headline, 2019.

Woo-hoo! Jodi Taylor is starting a new time travel series! This one is a direct spin-off of her very enjoyable “Chronicles of St. Mary’s” and it’s about the Time Police who were introduced about halfway through that first series.But I suggest you not start it until you’ve finished the ten volumes about the adve ntures of the historians of St. Mary’s Historical Institute because the new book is set after all of those. (more…)

LaZebnik, Claire. The Last Best Kiss.

NY: HarperCollins, 2014.

Among other things, LaZebnick likes to do modern spins on the themes of Jane Austen novels, and her model this time is Persuasion. It stars seventeen-year-old Anna Eliot of Los Angeles, who wonders if there’s really such a thing as second chances. Back in 9th Grade, she was one of the movers and shakers in the school, but that came at a price.


Published in: on 2 June 2020 at 6:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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