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Apr 8 2009

The Lab, by Jack Heath

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In his bio on the back flap of The Lab, first-time Australian author Jack Heath mentions his love of Milla Jovovich films. Trust me, this little tidbit was unnecessary—anybody’s who has ever seen ...

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Jan 30 2013

The Lacey Chronicles, by Eve Edwards

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As long-time readers of the site know, I tend to avoid romance novels set prior to the 19th century. I'm sure that means I'm missing out on a ton of excellent books, but Kate Beaton's 15th Century Peasant Romance Comics perfectly sum up my vision of the English-speaking world before, say, 1795: lots of early death, zero dental hygiene...

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Oct 16 2006

The Ladies of Grace Adieu, by Susanna Clarke

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Fans of Susanna Clarke’s 2004 novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell will be thrilled to learn that Bloomsbury has just released a gorgeous collection of Ms. Clarke’s short stories, all of which are set in the same world as Strange and Norrell, although few feature the same characters...

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Jul 12 2008

Lady of Quality, by Georgette Heyer

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Georgette Heyer’s novels Lady of Quality and Black Sheep have a lot in common: both books are set in Bath, their plots center around similar dilemmas, and they each feature a wealthy, unconve...

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Nov 3 2014

Lark Rising, by Sandra Waugh

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After last week's horror-story marathon, I've been looking forward to exploring different genres, and Sandra Waugh's Lark Rising totally fits the bill—it's classic high fantasy, complete with glowing orbs, prophetic poetry, and a hand-drawn map featuring names like "The Myr Mountains" and "The Dark Wood"...

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Aug 14 2009

The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal, by Sean Dixon

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Sean Dixon's debut novel The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal is a sprawling, gorgeous mess of a book: a Canadian take on Latin American magical realism with a bunch of h...

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Jun 25 2007

The Last Summer (of You and Me), by Ann Brashares

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I have spent years avoiding books like Ann Brashares's novel The Last Summer (of You and Me). Everything about it--the dreary cover art, the tasteful font, even the artistically placed paren...

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Feb 29 2016

Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, by Sabrina Jeffries

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I have read and reviewed three romance novels this month. The first one was straight-up ridiculous. The second was irritatingly flimsy. I don't want to sound like Goldilocks, so I'll just say the third—Sabrina Jeffries's Let Sleeping Rogues Lie—is unquestionably the best of the bunch...

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May 26 2015

The Liar, by Nora Roberts

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After her most recent—and truly terrible—series, I was ready to give up on Nora Roberts forever, but her latest standalone novel, The Liar, is the kind of satisfying, sturdy, girl-power effort that drags me right back in. Curse you, Nora Roberts, and your ability to wrest away my hard-earned spare cash...

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Jul 24 2012

Lies Beneath, by Anne Greenwood Brown

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Before I read Anne Greenwood Brown's novel Lies Beneath, I would have assumed that any book about killer mermaids from Wisconsin had to be campy. Ms. Brown's book has proved me wrong; Lies Beneath has its faults (and plenty of 'em), but it takes itself quite seriously...

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Jan 21 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo

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My birthday was this week, and my mother gave me a copy of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. No, this was not a pointed hint—I have done some work as a professional organizer, and I am a huge, huge nerd, so my mom thought I would legitimately enjoy reading it...

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Jul 14 2008

Likely Story: Book One, by David Van Etten

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David Van Etten*’s Likely Story is the story of Mallory, the teenage daughter of a famous(ly bad) soap opera star. Mallory’s mother is the ultimate drama queen, but her daughter’s talen...

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Dec 14 2010

Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater

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Writing the middle novel in a trilogy must be tough. Authors need to sustain their momentum and provide at least a little plot resolution, but they also have to leave enough loose...

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Jul 10 2006

The List: A Love Story in 781 Chapters, by Aneva Stout

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Gimmick books—miniature books, books that come with soundtracks, books cut into weird shapes—usually leave me cold. But I really enjoyed Aneva Stout’s The List: a Love Story in 781 Chapters. Sur...

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Apr 7 2014

Little Lulu: Vol. 1, by John Stanley and Irving Tripp

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The character of Little Lulu was created in 1935 by Marjorie Henderson Buell, beginning life as the subject of a series of gag panels in The Saturday Evening Post and eventually becoming the star of an ongoing comic strip. In 1945, she graduated to her own comic book series, written by John Stanley and illustrated by Irving Tripp. In 2004, Dark Horse Books picked up the rights to reprint the Little Lulu stories, making Lulu's adventures available to a new generation of readers...

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Sep 25 2012

The Little Woods, by McCormick Templeman

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I was drawn to McCormick Templeman's debut novel The Little Woods as soon as I pulled it out of the publishers' box. The cover art and title managed to be simultaneously elegant, menacing, and teen-girl-friendly, and it appeared to be a murder mystery without a paranormal element—a rare beast, at least as far as YA books are concerned...

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Apr 27 2010

Living Hell, by Catherine Jinks

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Great horror novels usually feature two things: a terrifying antagonist and a plot capable of lending weight to what would otherwise just be a lot of running and screaming. Catherine Jinks' novel...

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Dec 2 2013

The Living, by Matt de la Pena

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Matt de la Peña's The Living has gotten a lot of praise for its supercharged premise, its sympathetic male protagonist, and the way it touches on class, wealth, and social injustice. Most of that praise is well deserved, and only one thing prevented me from wholeheartedly enjoying it: the discovery that this is actually the first book in a series, and (of course) nothing ever gets resolved in a first installment...

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Nov 20 2013

Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud

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Jonathan Stroud's novel Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase has a surprising amount in common with the Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures. Sure, The Screaming Staircase is the product of an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author, while Ghost Adventures is a ridiculous show about a bunch of shrieking dudebros racing around and swearing at (allegedly) mysterious noises, but both center around...

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May 27 2010

Lord Sunday, by Garth Nix

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Lord Sunday is the final book in Garth Nix's ambitious fantasy/adventure series The Keys to the Kingdom. Over the course of the six previous novels Nix's protagonist—an asthmatic 12-year-old na...

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May 11 2012

Lords and Ladies, by Elizabeth Mansfield

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As I read Lords and Ladies, a recently-released omnibus edition of three of Elizabeth Mansfield's Regency-era romance novels, one thought remained paramount throughout: I have got to learn more about copyright law. Because while I found the first two stories featured in the collection silly and far-fetched, the third was a shameless rip-off of Georgette Heyer's A Civil Contract*, minus all of the plot elements that made A Civil Contract so intriguing.

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Nov 12 2013

Loud Awake and Lost, by Adele Griffin

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While I had plenty of complaints about Adele Griffin's previous two books, I felt unaccountably hopeful about her latest effort, Loud Awake and Lost. It look me a while to figure out where my sunny optimism was coming from, but...

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Feb 20 2014

Love Me, by Rachel Shukert

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Rachel Shukert's YA novel Starstruck was one of my favorite books of 2013. Smart and compulsively readable, it managed to transform the basic plot of Jacqueline Susann's deadly dull Valley of the Dolls into a deliciously juicy soap opera about three girls struggling to make it big during the Golden Age of Hollywood...

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Jun 23 2008

Lovehampton, by Sherri Rifkin

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Sherri Rifkin’s debut novel Lovehampton is a rare beast: a non-irritating book about a thirtysomething professional woman in New York*. As the story opens, TV producer Tori Miller has just signed...

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Jun 17 2014

The Lovely and the Lost, by Page Morgan

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Page Morgan's The Lovely and the Lost is the second novel in her Dispossessed series. I found her first installment, The Beautiful and the Cursed, a little over-ambitious, but fans of Morgan's elaborate mythology and huge cast will be pleased to hear that her second book is just as jam-packed as the first...

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