2 Stars Reviews

Review: If Cats Disappeared From the World by Genki Kawamura

Within the first few pages of If Cats Disappeared From the World, the narrator learns of his imminent death. He returns to his apartment, where he lives alone with little contact with his family following his mother’s death, and seeks solace in the fur of his beloved cat, Cabbage. Before he can truly come to terms with his prognosis, he encounters the Devil, a Hawaiian-shirt-clad version of himself who informs him that he has just a day to live. But the Devil offers him a deal: in exchange for removing one thing from the world, the narrator will be granted an additional day of life. What follows is an unusual week of decisions, in which our narrator learns what really matters to him and what he’s willing to lose in order to live.

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2 Stars Reviews

Review: The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells

David Wallace-Wells expands his viral article of the same name into a terrifying full-length examination of the consequences of unchecked climate change. By examining a multiplicity of effects of global warming, such as the increase in powerful natural disasters to economic depression like nothing we’ve ever seen, Wallace-Wells paints a stark picture of our future world and implores us to act.

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2 Stars Reviews

Review: House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara

House of Impossible Beauties charts the lives of the drags queens that formed the beginning of legendary Latino drag house, the House of Xtravaganza. In 1980s New York City, Angel is seventeen and finally coming into her own. When her mother rejects her, she looks for a new family in the ball scene, where she meets Hector. They fall in love and decide to create their own all-Latino house, with Angel as the ruling mother, and Hector beside her as house father. When Hector dies from AIDs-related causes, Angel must mother her drag children alone. Venus, Juanito and Daniel all lean on each other and their mother Angel, as they learn how to navigate the ballroom scene, along with sex work, drug addiction, and society’s rejection of their true selves.

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2 Stars Reviews

Review: Bleaker House by Nell Stevens

When Nell Stevens is given a fellowship grant to spend three months where ever she wants to write, she chooses one of the most remote places she can. Wanting a sabbatical from distractions, Nell travels to Bleaker, a small island in the Falklands with only sheep, penguins, and a copy of Dickens’ Bleak House to keep her company. Bleaker House chronicles her short time on the island and the writing process of her novel.

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2 Stars Reviews

Review: Zlata’s Diary – A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo by Zlata Filipović

Zlata’s Diary begins as the daily musings of a typical 11-year-old girl, who loves music and her friends. Soon after she starts her diary, war breaks out and Sarajevo becomes a battleground that changes Zlata’s life forever. With no more school or music lessons, the highlights of Zlata’s days are birthdays celebrated with canned food rations, whilst her worst days find her saying goodbye to escaping family and grieving for lost friends.

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2 Stars Reviews

Review: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

Lavinia has everything that Louise is missing, so when the two become unlikely best friends, Louise’s life is turned upside down. The parties get wilder, the bills get bigger, and Louise begins to question how far she’ll go keep this up, to have a life like Lavinia’s, or Lavinia’s life itself.

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2 Stars Reviews

Review: The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts

The Flower Girls follows Hazel’s life as an adult, given a new identity as a child after her and her sister committed a brutal act against another child. Hazel, too young to understand, was given a new identity and went on to lead a relatively normal life, whilst her sister, Laurel, has spent her life since in prison. But when a young child goes missing at the same hotel that Hazel and her boyfriend are staying, Hazel’s past begins to rear it’s head, and threatens to ruin everything.

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2 Stars Reviews

Review: The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

A fast-moving, eerie tale set on Halloween night. Eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town encounter instead the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for their friend and the meaning of Halloween.

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