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Dec 3 2007

Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull

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I spent Sunday morning reading Brandon Mull’s debut children’s fantasy novel Fablehaven, and found it to be something of an emotional rollercoaster: this imaginative, fast-moving story had a lot g...

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Nov 13 2006

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, by Bill Willingham

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I always encourage comic book-wary female readers to try Bill Willingham’s Fables. Not only is it unquestionably a story for grown-ups, it’s one of the few American comics I've encountered that boasts a truly involving romantic storyline. I love almost everything about this series—except for the internal artwork, which has consistently been competent but pedestrian...

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Jul 11 2008

Fact of Life #31, by Denise Vega

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High-school junior Kat Flynn loves her after-school job, even if it is a little unconventional. She works at her mother's midwife birthing center, intermixing secretarial work with helping prospec...

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Apr 27 2015

Fairest, by Marissa Meyer

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Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles are a sci-fi blend of classic fairytales, Sailor Moon, and modern fantasy/adventure. Meyer has a gift for mashing all of her various inspirations into a seamless whole, but her constant borrowing makes it difficult to judge her books on their own merits...

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Jun 1 2011

Faking It and Fast Women, by Jennifer Crusie

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The fine people at St. Martin's Griffin continue to trot out reprints of Jennifer Crusie's earlier work. Their latest offerings are freshly re-covered editions of 2001's Fast Women and...

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Jan 19 2010

Fallen, by Lauren Kate

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As a merry band of book critics who spend a lot of time pondering young adult literature, we found it impossible to read Lauren Kate's novel Fallen without thinking about Stephenie Meyer's...

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Oct 27 2014

Famous Last Words, by Katie Alender

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According to her author bio, Katie Alender went to film school, and her love of movies permeates every page of Famous Last Words. I expect there's already a film-adaptation deal in the works, but if not, Hollywood is missing out, because Famous Last Words has everything: ghosts, romance, murders... even a makeover scene. Seriously, it's practically a shopping list for a great teen movie...

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Apr 22 2008

Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living, by Doug Fine

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Hoping to reduce his carbon footprint, journalist Doug Fine purchased a sprawling ranch in New Mexico, along with a couple of goats, some solar panels and a truck that runs on vegetable oil. He th...

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Jul 24 2017

Faro's Daughter, by Georgette Heyer

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After slogging through last week's highly irritating historical romance, I picked up Georgette Heyer's Faro's Daughter as a literary palate cleanser. It might be one of her weaker efforts, but even C-grade Georgette Heyer still stands head and shoulders above most historical romances...

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Jul 20 2009

Fate, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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YA author Jennifer Lynn Barnes has quite the talent for creating unlikely heroes. Her The Squad series features cheerleader secret agents, while 2007’s Tattoo and its recently released...

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Jan 24 2013

Fateful, by Claudia Gray

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Claudia Gray's Fateful must have had one hell of an elevator pitch: “It's a Downton Abbey romance! But with werewolves! And set on the Titanic!” Some of those elements are executed more successfully than others, but we always approve of an author thinking big...

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Feb 10 2014

Fates, by Lanie Bross

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Lanie Bross's debut novel Fates aims to be an operatic YA paranormal romance, a wild fantasy adventure, and a compelling coming-of-age story, all at the same time and in less than 350 pages. None of it quite succeeds, but props to the author for making the attempt...

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Jan 11 2008

The Fattening of America, by Eric A. Finkelstein and Laurie Zuckerman

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Health economist Eric A. Finkelstein and business writer Laurie Zuckerman are the co-authors of The Fattening of America: How the Economy Makes Us Fat, If It Matters, and What to Do About It, a...

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Jul 29 2013

Fever Crumb, by Philip Reeve

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In Philip Reeve's colorful, violent steampunk novel Fever Crumb, post-apocalyptic engineers work alongside archaeologists to study ancient technologies like “electronic keypads”. Fever Crumb, a fourteen-year-old foundling raised by the all-male Order of Engineers, has just received her first work assignment. The Engineers have trained Fever to value logic and reason above all, but they haven't prepared her for London—a loosely-controlled city full of superstitious people...

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Jul 23 2012

Fever Moon, by Karen Marie Moning

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First, a word of warning: Fever Moon is the only Karen Marie Moning book that I have ever read, so while I'm finally capable of evaluating a graphic novel without a boatload of preconceived notions about how everyone should look and behave, I'm flying blind when it comes to the series' larger story arc...

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May 4 2009

Fire Me, by Libby Malin

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Libby Malin’s new novel Fire Me takes a series of girl-book clichés (a self-effacing heroine, an overbearing family, a vaguely defined job) and combines them with the workplace hijinks of...

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Jul 21 2014

The Fire Wish, by Amber Lough

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My hopes were high when I picked up Amber Lough's debut novel The Fire Wish. I'm officially over books about mermaids, witches, and/or dystopian contests, and it seemed to me that a YA take on the material covered in Arabian Nights might be just the ticket to get me excited about the huge pile of teen books looming on my to-be-read shelf again. Things didn't work out quite like I'd hoped, but sincere props to Ms. Lough for originality...

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Nov 9 2012

The FitzOsbornes in Exile and The FitzOsbornes at War, by Michelle Cooper

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I opened the second and third books in Michelle Cooper's Montmaray Journals trilogy in exactly the right mood to appreciate them. I had just finished the final book in Nora Roberts' most recent series, and I seriously cannot recall a lazier piece of writing: Roberts's Inn BoonsBoro trilogy combines recycled characters with done-to-death plots, turns the whole series into a 1000-page-long brochure for her new hotel, and has the gall to charge sixteen dollars per book...

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Mar 6 2013

The Flappers: Ingenue and Diva, by Jillian Larkin

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I wasn't overly impressed by Vixen, the first book in Jillian Larkin's Flappers series. It wasn't terrible, but it was the kind of book I read and immediately forgot, so I attributed most of its success to a one two-punch of trendy subject matter and gorgeous cover art. Happily, Larkin's trilogy improved steadily over the course of its run, and by the end of the series I was genuinely sorry to say goodbye to the characters...

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Dec 10 2010

The Flappers: Vixen, by Jillian Larkin

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Vixen, the first book in Jillian Larkin's new Gossip Girl-meets-Thoroughly Modern Millie young adult series, has a lot going for it. The cover looks great, Larkin has a wonderful time with period slang, music, and clothing, and flappers are totally hot right now...

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May 11 2011

Flight: Vol. 7, edited by Kazu Kibuishi

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The seventh volume of Flight is another solid installment in Villard Books' series of lavishly illustrated graphic novel anthologies. These sixteen short stories—edited by contributor and art dir...

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Jun 15 2015

Flirting in Italian, by Lauren Henderson

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Lauren Henderson's 2012 novel Flirting in Italian is jam-packed with things I enjoy: girl bonding, travel, mystery, romance, and telenovela-worthy birth secrets. It's close to the perfect summer beach read—apart from one jarring flaw...

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Feb 5 2013

Floors, by Patrick Carman

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When it comes to Patrick Carman, I usually end up damning with faint praise: his books are, y'know, fine. His 2011 novel Floors maintains his record of being totally inoffensive—I've read better, and I've read worse...

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Jan 7 2007

Flora Segunda, by Ysabeau S. Wilce

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Ysabeau S. Wilce’s Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Adventures of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), A House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog is...

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Sep 28 2008

Flora's Dare, by Ysabeau S. Wilce

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Middle series installments frequently feel like stopgaps, but Ysabeau S. Wilce’s Flora’s Dare, the sequel to 2007’s Flora Segunda, is in all ways exceptional. As the story opens, fourteen-year-old Flora has discovered that her formerly crazy father was actually a lot easier to live with back when he was nuts...

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Jul 25 2012

Flora's Fury, by Ysabeau S. Wilce

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I have been waiting for Flora's Fury, the third book in Ysabeau S. Wilce's Flora Segunda series, for what feels like forever. Happily, the book has finally been released, and I am delighted to report that it is totally worth the (damn near interminable) wait...

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Aug 12 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan

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A word of warning before we begin: on the Depression Scale, Carrie Ryan's debut novel The Forest of Hands and Teeth ranks somewhere between Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games and Schopenhauer...

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Jan 21 2014

Foretold: 14 Stories of Prophecy and Prediction: edited by Carrie Ryan

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Foretold: 14 Stories of Prophecy and Prediction is a collection of short stories written by a bunch of well-known YA authors and edited by The Forest of Hands and Teeth author Carrie Ryan. Don't let the supernatural-horror cover art fool you: the "predictions" in these stories range from Greek mythology-style prophecies of doom to hopeful signs in lovely teen romances...

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Jun 4 2008

The Foundling: Monster Blood Tattoo, by D. M. Cornish

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Poor Rosamund Bookchild. Orphaned and odd, he just can’t catch a break. He's scrawny and curious in a world where neither is desirable. Kids pick on him, potential employers pass him over, and al...

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Jul 3 2008

The Fourth Watcher, by Timothy Hallinan

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Timothy Hallinan’s The Fourth Watcher is his second book to feature American travel writer Poke Rafferty. After abandoning his Looking For Trouble series of travel books, Rafferty has settled...

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Mar 4 2013

Freaks, by Kieran Larwood

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Kieran Larwood's debut novel Freaks was the 2011 winner of the annual Children's Fiction Competition co-sponsored by the London Times and Chicken House Publishing. I've been following this contest since it started in 2008, and while all of the books they've chosen have been solid, Larwood's novel is my new favorite...

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May 3 2010

Free For All: Fixing School Food in America, by Janet Poppendieck

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Janet Poppendieck writes like a lawyer, and we mean that in the best possible way. She's careful and she covers her bases—both highly desirable traits in a nonfiction writer, particularly wh...

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Feb 5 2010

Freefall, by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

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All of the books in Brian Williams and Roderick Gordon's Tunnels series have featured elements from Jules Verne's novel Journey to the Center of the Earth, but Freefall—the third entry in the seri...

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Jul 9 2008

Friday's Child, by Georgette Heyer

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When Lord Sheringham, the hero of Georgette Heyer’s Friday’s Child, proposes marriage to the beautiful Miss Milbourne, she turns him down flat. Furious (partially because she spurned him, bu...

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Jul 5 2016

From a High Tower, by Mercedes Lackey

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There are things I admired about Mercedes Lackey's From a High Tower, but none of its virtues are enough to elevate it above B-grade pulp fiction. Everything about it, from its slapdash editing to its hokey cover art, smacks of a rush job by a competent genre writer...

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Aug 11 2014

Frostborn, by Lou Anders

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While I doubt Lou Anders's Thrones & Bones: Frostborn will attract much of an adult audience, it's the kind of novel parents will love to read out loud to their kids. Anders divides his story between Karn, a human boy destined to inherit his father's farm (and the countless mind-numbing responsibilities that come with it), and Thianna, a half-giant, half-human girl who feels like she'll never fit in anywhere...

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Mar 31 2014

Furies of Calderon, by Jim Butcher

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I admit I'm a little behind the times when it comes to Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, seeing as, uh, the final book was released in 2009. But you know what that means? No waiting, not even for public library editions! And if you want to buy your own copies, everything's in paperback now! You can probably even find used versions. Why, it's almost like I put off reading these stories for almost a decade... for you.

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