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Jan 20 2010

Babymouse: Dragonslayer, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

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The Babymouse series, written by author Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by her brother, freelance graphic artist Matthew Holm, are cute, silly, and unabashedly pink, making them an enjoyable alte...

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Oct 31 2007

Babymouse: Skater Girl, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

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Brother/sister creative team Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm’s Babymouse books are a series of witty, girl-friendly graphic novels starring Babymouse, a anthropomorphic young mouse obsessed with...

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Nov 7 2016

Bad Blood, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Bad Blood is the fourth and final book in Jennifer Lynn Barnes's Naturals series. Once again, Barnes has delivered a briskly-paced thriller seemingly tailor-made for a CW adaptation. (Seriously, the fact that this series isn't already on my TV is bewildering to me.)

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Jun 25 2014

Bad Luck Girl, by Sarah Zettel

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I was thrilled to receive my review copy of Sarah Zettel's Bad Luck Girl, the final book in her American Fairy Trilogy. Zettel had already produced two exceptionally creative, intelligent installments for this series (Dust Girl and Golden Girl), so I was crossing my fingers for a truly spectacular finish...

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Dec 10 2014

Bad Machinery: The Case of the Simple Soul, by John Allison

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First up: I know this cover was decided on long before I complained about the overly cutesy packaging featured on the previous two volumes in this series, but I'm taking credit for this eye-popping image anyway. Thanks, Oni Press! And don't worry: that little arsonist is adorable. I'm sure the kids will still want to read alllll about her...

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Jul 16 2014

Bad Machinery: The Case of the Team Spirit and The Case of the Good Boy, by John Allison

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I picked up the first volume of John Allison's Bad Machinery because I kept seeing it described as a spectacular title for children, and I figured: what the hell, I'm pretty childish. But now that I've read every Bad Machinery strip to date, I've decided Allison's publisher is making a mistake by pushing Bad Machinery exclusively at kids—this is a story about children, but that doesn't mean it's best appreciated by children...

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Mar 16 2015

Bad Magic, by Pseudonymous Bosch

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As I read Pseudonymous Bosch's Bad Magic, I had a bizarre feeling I was reading a junior-division version of Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation. Bad Magic is a lot less creepifying (thankfully), but it covers similar ground—a mysterious, isolated place, a half-explained plot, and a weird blend of fantasy and reality...

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Apr 19 2013

Bad Taste in Boys and Bad Hair Day, by Carrie Harris

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If someone set out to re-write Scooby Doo as a book series aimed at teenage girls, the result would probably look a lot like Carrie Harris's Kate Grable novels: Bad Taste in Boys and Bad Hair Day. Like Scooby Doo, Harris's stories are cheerful, ridiculous, and teaming with monsters—none of which, of course, turn out to be genuinely supernatural...

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Mar 27 2013

Banished and Unforsaken, by Sophie Littlefield

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I'm sure most bookstores have filed Sophie Littlefield's novels Banished and Unforsaken with the teen paranormal romances, but that's far from accurate. These books are about a girl who discovers that she has magical healing powers, and is immediately targeted by a series of evil scientists, murderous rednecks, and zombies. She does eventually acquire a boyfriend, but their relationship is never more than a minor plot thread...

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Jul 8 2013

The Beautiful and the Cursed, by Page Morgan

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Page Morgan is an ambitious woman. Her debut novel The Beautiful and the Cursed features two heroines, a massive cast, a historical setting, a menagerie of supernatural creatures, and an elaborate mythology centered around gargoyles, which (in Morgan's world, anyway) can be both hideous monsters and ridiculously handsome love interests...

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Feb 16 2012

Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

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While looking for something to read on a recent plane trip, I finally cracked open Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Beautiful Creatures, a book that has been idling on my to-be-read shelf for over two years....

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Sep 17 2012

Beautiful Disaster, by Jamie McGuire

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Now that E. L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has established itself as the new sales standard to beat, the publishing world is scrambling to fill bookshelves with titles that are as similar to the Grey series as possible, no matter how ridiculous they are. (After all, rampant ridiculousness was no barrier to the success of either Fifty Shades of Grey or its source material, Twilight.)...

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Mar 28 2009

Behold, Here's Poison, by Georgette Heyer

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Behold, Here’s Poison features one the most creative weapons in murder-mystery history, and is my favorite of the three Heyer novels we’ve reviewed in the past week. Why Shoot a Butler? and...

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Jun 24 2013

Belle Epoque, by Elizabeth Ross

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It feels weird to commend someone for an idea that they took from someone else, but that's what I'm doing here: Elizabeth Ross has openly acknowledged that the inspiration for her novel Belle Epoque was taken from an Emile Zola short story, but I give her full props for borrowing with style...

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Apr 16 2012

Bellfield Hall, by Anna Dean

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After reading a glowing review on AustenBlog, my hopes for Anna Dean's 2008 novel Bellfield Hall were high. Sadly, I was underwhelmed. There was nothing hideously wrong with the book, but Dean's various elements never gelled into a compelling whole...

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Sep 19 2016

Betrayals, by Kelley Armstrong

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Betrayals is the fourth book in Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville series. It is also her publishers' third attempt at finding the right cover art style for these books. (The first two installments were American Gothic; the third was modern and geometric.) I really like both the look and the contents of Betrayals, so I'm hoping the ever-changing cover design...

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Dec 20 2010

Big Clay Pot, by Scott Mills

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Scott Mills's delicately illustrated graphic novel Big Clay Pot is the story of Sun Kim, a preadolescent Korean orphan who ends up in a small fishing community in ancient Japan. Sun Kim's klutziness gets her kicked out of camp after camp, until she meets Kokoro...

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Jul 24 2012

Black Gold: The Story of Oil in Our Lives, by Albert Marrin

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The vast majority of the books we receive here at Wordcandy are fiction, but every few weeks the odd nonfiction title turns up. I usually choose to review the ones on subjects I enjoy reading about (read: food preparation and money management, both of which I love... in theory, anyway, if not in practice), but Albert Marrin's informative-yet-totally-readable Black Gold: The Story of Oil In Our Lives is the kind of thing everyone should read...

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Feb 12 2008

Black Hole, by Charles Burns

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Charles Burns’s graphic novel Black Hole is lyrical, meticulously illustrated, and thought-provoking. It’s also creepy, stomach-churning, and unnecessarily grim. Delicate flowers might want to s...

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Jan 11 2009

Black Jack: Vol. 1, by Osamu Tezuka

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An English translation of Osamu Tezuka’s award-winning manga Black Jack is available again, thanks to the fine people at VIZ Media. The first two volumes of this enjoyably bizarre medical dr...

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Mar 20 2009

Black Lagoon: Vol. 1, by Rei Hiroe

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As frequent readers of the site know, I have been sick with the Cold from Hell for days, and I spent most of that time reading. I read well-written books, thoughtful books, uplifting books... and ...

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Jan 13 2008

Black Magic Woman, by Justin Gustainis

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I love monster movies, which is why I’ve always been surprised that the 2004 film Van Helsing was so bad. It had vampires, werewolves, witches, and Hugh Jackman—how could such abundant awesomenes...

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Dec 29 2014

Blandings Castle, by P.G. Wodehouse

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P.G. Wodehouse's short story collection Blandings Castle is divided between six stories set at Blandings, the country estate of the ninth Earl of Elmsworth, one story about Bertie Wooster inamorata Bobbie Wickham, and five stories about the Mulliners of Hollywood. The Mulliner and Wickham stories have a little bite to them, but the Blandings section represents Wodehouse at his most shamelessly soothing...

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Dec 3 2007

Blood Brothers, by Nora Roberts

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As someone who has never learned to appreciate delayed gratification, I was pretty excited about the one-book-release-per-month schedule Nora Roberts adhered to for her last trilogy, 2006’s...

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Oct 22 2012

Blood Crime, by Kim Harrison

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I have never read one of Kim Harrison's books, so when I received a copy of her upcoming graphic novel Blood Crime I had some background research to do. Thanks to Wikipedia, I now fully intend to hunt down the earlier installments in Harrison's "Hollows" urban fantasy series...

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Sep 16 2013

The Blood Keeper, by Tessa Gratton

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While Tessa Gratton's The Blood Keeper is billed as a “companion novel” to her book Blood Magic, rather than a sequel, you need to have read the earlier book for this one to make sense. (Actually, this one isn't guaranteed to make sense even if you have read Blood Magic, but the light bulb might glow a little brighter...

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Jan 28 2013

Blood Magic, by Tessa Gratton

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I winced when I read the promotional materials for Tessa Gratton's Blood Magic, which describe the book as “A natural next-read for fans of Stephenie Meyer”. I am not one of said fans, so this news was not enticing. Having now read the book, let me reassure my fellow Twilight anti-fans that Blood Magic is a gore-splattered, intense YA novel without so much as a hint of love triangles, magical imprinting, or sparkly vampire action...

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May 8 2015

Blood Magick, by Nora Roberts

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It's official: Nora Roberts's writing has reached peak laziness. Not only has she used these characters and situations before, she's used them before in this exact same combination. Seriously, if you want to read Blood Magick, just pick up a copy of her 2002 novel Face the Fire—it's the same story, but half the price...

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Sep 12 2013

Blood Sun, by David Gilman

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David Gilman's supercharged Max Gordon series is aimed squarely at action/adventure purists. These books are not even remotely plausible, but they're ridiculously fun—even for someone like me, who would ordinarily be grousing about strained credulity and far-fetched MacGuffins...

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May 7 2014

The Blue Castle, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

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Originally published in 1926, L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle is one of the most unabashedly sweet books I have ever read—an old-fashioned, utterly straightforward romance. It's the story of 29-year-old Valancy Stirling, a downtrodden spinster who has spent her life trying (and failing) to please her judgmental relatives. When she discovers she has a heart ailment that will almost certainly kill her within a year, Valancy decides to enjoy whatever time she has left...

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Nov 16 2004

Blue Dahlia, by Nora Roberts

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Nora Roberts’s Blue Dahlia reads like a mix’n’match of about fifty of her previous books. As such, it’s a perfect introduction to her work--like most of Roberts’s books, Blue Dahlia is an enterta...

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Apr 3 2008

Blue-Eyed Devil, by Lisa Kleypas

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Lisa Kleypas has just released Blue-Eyed Devil, the highly anticipated sequel to her first contemporary romance release, 2007’s Sugar Daddy. As with Sugar Daddy, Blue Eyed-Devil features a few eyebrow-raising plot and characterization decisions, but the final product is romantic drama at its best...

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Oct 13 2014

The Bodies We Wear, by Jeyn Roberts

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Jeyn Roberts's The Bodies We Wear is the kind of book I normally avoid. I'm not a big fan of gothic melodramas, so I was surprised to discover that this novel spoke to the same part of me that enjoys the Underworld films. The Bodies We Wear might lack vampires and shiny pleather catsuits, but, like Underworld, it takes its goofy gothic premise 100% seriously, and I find that endearing...

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Apr 26 2007

Book Crush, by Nancy Pearl

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Naturally, we here at Wordcandy have trouble understanding why you might look to anyone else for your book recommendation needs, but we can—reluctantly—accept that occasionally you’re going to str...

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Dec 14 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow, by Robin Wasserman

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Robin Wasserman's novel The Book of Blood and Shadow is ambitious in a way that few YA novels attempt. Everything from the somber cover art to the sheer heft of the book (a solid 432 pages) clearly indicates that this is a novel that wants to be taken seriously, despite its melodramatic tag line: "One Girl. One Night. Centuries of Secrets."...

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Jul 10 2017

The Boy is Back, by Meg Cabot

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The Boy is Back is the fourth book in Meg Cabot's loosely-connected The Boy series, all of which are narrated via unconventional methods: texts, e-mail, diary entries, online reviews. This installment is set in Bloomville, Indiana, hometown of professional golfer Reed Stewart. Reed assumed he'd left Bloomville behind, but when his increasingly eccentric parents end up causing a scandal, his family calls him home...

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Jul 1 2007

The Boys Next Door, by Jennifer Echols

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It’s clear that Simon and Schuster hasn't exactly pulled out all the PR stops for YA novelist Jennifer Echols. Both of her books (2006’s Major Crush and the just-released The Boys Next Door) are ...

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Feb 7 2008

Brave Story, by Miyuki Miyabe

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The world is full of fantasy novels featuring eleven-year-old boys with crappy home lives, but Miyuki Miyabe’s Brave Story stands out from the crowd. This award-winning novel combines conventiona...

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Nov 27 2017

Bubbly on Your Budget, by Marjorie Hillis

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For a book written in 1937, Marjorie Hillis's Bubbly on Your Budget has some surprisingly timely advice. Sure, the details might need to be adjusted for a 21st century lifestyle, but her basic message—that you should spend your money on what you actually value—is just as valid today as it was 80 years ago...

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Mar 21 2006

Buffalo Brenda, by Jill Pinkwater

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No Logo author Naomi Wolf recently published an essay in The New York Times bemoaning the current state of YA literature for girls, specifically mentioning the popular...

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May 17 2007

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home, by Joss Whedon

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When we first heard that Joss Whedon was going to write a comic book series that would serve as the eighth season of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show, we weren’t sold on the idea. The first f...

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Jan 30 2017

The Burning Page, by Genevieve Cogman

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I recently reviewed the first two books in Genevieve Cogman's Invisible Library series, and was delighted when the third installment, The Burning Page, showed up on my doorstep. It's a fun read, but I don't see any evidence of a fourth book, and I much prefer The Burning Page as a series installment than a series conclusion...

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Aug 11 2009

By Invitation Only, by Jodi Della Femina and Sheri McInnis

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By Invitation Only is a breezy romantic comedy co-written by Jodi Della Femina and Sheri McInnis, two authors with solid beach-reading street cred: Femina is the autho...

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Jan 25 2016

By Possession, by Madeline Hunter

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On a recent trip to the beach, I picked up a battered copy of Madeline Hunter's 2000 novel By Possession from a Little Free Library. As longtime readers of the site know, I rarely read pre-Regency romance novels (I can't get fully invested in any sex scene when I'm wondering when the participants last bathed), but hey: I'd already finished the books I brought with me, and the price was right...

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