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Feb 27 2017

Take the Key and Lock Her Up, by Ally Carter

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Take The Key and Lock Her Up is the final installment in Ally Carter’s Embassy Row trilogy. Sadly, this series ends the way it began: fun, frenetic, and stylish, but ultimately a little empty...

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Mar 3 2009

Tales from Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan

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It's difficult to maintain an genuinely dreamlike atmosphere over 90+ pages, but Australian graphic novelist Shaun Tan's Tales from Outer Suburbia manages it... or very nearly. One or two of his...

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Nov 6 2007

Tales From the Teachers' Lounge, by Robert Wilder

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Robert Wilder (author of the whimsical parenting book Daddy Needs a Drink) has written another book, and it’s just as funny, profanity-laden, and stomach-churning as his first. Tales From the Teachers’ Lounge is a series of humorous essays about the questionable joys of teaching...

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Jul 13 2015

Tales Too Ticklish To Tell, by Berkeley Breathed

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When it comes to 1980s comics, Berkeley Breathed's Bloom County was the odd one out. Doonesbury was political, The Far Side surreal, and Calvin and Hobbes genuinely moving—Bloom County veered wildly between all three, and the end result was 70% amazing, 25% mediocre, and (it must be said) 5% terrible...

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Nov 4 2013

Tandem, by Anna Jarzab

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Anna Jarzab's last novel, The Opposite of Hallelujah, was a thoughtful and original exploration of family, faith, and mental illness. I loved it, but it didn't exactly scream “Teen Blockbuster”. Her latest effort, Tandem, hews much closer to the tried-and-true formula of recent bestsellers: love triangles, fantasy elements, violence, and deeply stupid choices abound...

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Feb 15 2007

Tantalize, by Cynthia Leitich Smith

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I have loads of horror/fantasy novels on my shelves—everything from Carmilla to Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell—but Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Tantalize is unique: it stands alone as the only book that has ever inspired me to genuinely freak out. I’m a pretty unflappable person, but when I saw the words “chilled baby squirrels, simmered in orange brandy, bathed in honey cream sauce” on the restaurant dessert menu featured on page 174, I needed to lie down...

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Jan 6 2014

Teardrop, by Lauren Kate

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In the author's note following her novel Teardrop, Lauren Kate shares the following story: once, when she was crying, her husband reached out and swiped a tear from her cheek, blinking it into his own eye. If that's the kind of thing that strikes you as indescribably romantic, Teardrop is the book for you. If (like me) your reaction hovers somewhere between “Ew” and “...why?”, move right along...

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Aug 17 2004

Teen Idol, by Meg Cabot

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It’s not that Meg Cabot’s most recent young adult novel Teen Idol is a bad book. On the contrary, it is a clever, entertaining, and occasionally thought-provoking read. If Teen Idol had been written by an unknown author, I would have been thrilled to discover it and immediately passed it around to all of my friends...

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Mar 30 2010

Tell Me Lies and Crazy For You, by Jennifer Crusie

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Even on her warmest, fuzziest day, Jennifer Crusie doesn't go for the hearts-and-flowers approach to romance writing. Her books are funny and sharp-tongued and sexy, and even her sweetest titles—...

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Jan 5 2012

Tempest Rising, by Nicole Peeler

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The cover art for Nicole Peeler's Jane True series is a perfect fit for the books: eye-catching, cartoonish, charmingly goth-lite. Also like the books, the covers would be improved by a bit...

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Feb 25 2010

Tena on S-String (Yen Press Extravaganza Part IV), by Sesuna Mikabe

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More graphic novels! While Sesuna Mikabe's Tena on S-String is typically described as a seinen (young men's) manga, the series' second volume focuses more...

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Jul 20 2011

Texas Gothic, by Rosemary Clement-Moore

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The title of Rosemary Clement-Moore's new novel Texas Gothic is misleading: there are no gloomy mansions or dark family secrets, and Clement-Moore's heroines have never been fragile. It would ha...

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Jul 26 2007

Three Bags Full, by Leonie Swann

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The set-up is stock casual mystery: in a rural Irish town, a friendly, reclusive shepherd is found dead in his pasture with a spade in his stomach. Everyone in the town had a reason to not only want him dead, but also to fear his death. None of the locals, including the police, care to investigate. Instead, the mystery is left to be solved by a set of lovable amateurs—the shepherd’s abandoned flock...

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Jan 3 2011

Three Black Swans, by Caroline B. Cooney

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First cousins Missy and Claire, the heroines of Caroline B. Cooney's latest novel Three Black Swans, are so close they can finish each other's sentences. They also look uncannily similar, so when Missy is assigned a school project on scientific hoaxes, she and Claire successfully trick her classmates into thinking they are long-lost identical twins...

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Jun 30 2014

Threshold, by Caitlin R. Kiernan

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Caitlin R. Kiernan's novel Threshold is 90% atmosphere, 10% plot. That's not necessarily a complaint, but anyone setting out to read this novel better be prepared for the literary equivalent of visiting a haunted house that consists mostly of smoke machines being blown in your face, with only occasional, unsatisfying glimpses of an actual monster...

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Jan 13 2014

Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas

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Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass is the second teen-girl assassin book I've read in the past few months, and while I preferred Robin LaFevers's Grave Mercy (which sang to my very soul), Maas's offering is pretty fun, too. Between the two of them, “Ruthless killer” is fast becoming one of my favorite types of fantasy heroines...

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Aug 13 2008

Thursday Next: First Among Sequels, by Jasper Fforde

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Thursday Next: First Among Sequels is the fifth book in Jasper Fforde’s comedic fantasy series about the adventures of literary detective Thursday Next. As the story opens, Thursday is attempting...

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May 14 2012

Tiffany's Table Manners for Teenagers, by Walter Hoving

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Clearly courting the doting-grandparent market, Random House recently released a 50th Anniversary edition of Walter Hoving's Tiffany's Table Manners for Teenagers. Hoving, a former chairman of Tiffany's of New York, offers readers advice on a variety of fine-dining conundrums: how to eat asparagus; the proper way to tilt a soup bowl; what to do with an olive pit...

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May 17 2011

Tighter, by Adele Griffin

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I have always loved Henry James's 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw. When it comes to classic horror, this masterpiece of subtle, uncanny creepiness is the gold standard. Tighter, Adele Gr...

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Jul 24 2013

Timeless and Timekeeper, by Alexandra Monir

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Here's my problem with time-travel stories: even for great writers, it's tough to come up with a workable plot when you're starting from a fundamentally problematic central concept. I've read a few successful time-travel books, but most of them offered a pleasingly vague “It's magic!” explanation...

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Aug 10 2015

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, by Stephan Pastis

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While people usually compare Stephan Pastis's Timmy Failure series to Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, they're missing an even closer relation: the Timmy Failure books are basically a novel-length version of Marjorie Sharmat's Nate the Great series, albeit with racier humor and a stupider protagonist...

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Feb 4 2016

To Lure a Proper Lady, by Ashlyn MacNamara

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When I reviewed a previous Ashlyn MacNamara book, I gave her writing a lukewarm but honest endorsement. Unfortunately, her upcoming novel To Lure A Proper Lady is the kind of hot mess that undoes a lot of preexisting goodwill...

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Sep 7 2007

To Scotland, With Love, by Karen Hawkins

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Karen Hawkins has written another story in her MacLean Family series--this one's called To Scotland, With Love, and it's about a thousand times better than her previous effort...

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Oct 29 2007

The Tokyo Look Book, by Philomena Keet and Yuri Manabe

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With text by anthropologist Philomena Keet and pictures by Yuri Manabe, The Tokyo Look Book attempts to give readers a complete tour of the Tokyo fashion scene. While it doesn’t quite manage to c...

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Dec 16 2013

Tomorrow, by C.K. Kelly Martin

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I always feel weird making this criticism, but C.K. Kelly Martin's Tomorrow is Too Much Book. It crams enough action and drama for an entire series into a scant 250 pages, leaving readers more shell-shocked than anything else...

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Mar 22 2011

Torment, by Lauren Kate

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As I turned over the final page of Torment, the second book in Lauren Kate's best-selling Fallen series, my first thought was Aw, man... now I'm totally gonna need to read the third one. Not the ...

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Aug 13 2013

Touched and Dead River, by Cyn Balog

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Cyn Balog's standalone novels Dead River and Touched are the kind of stories that allow YA readers to dip their toes into the horror genre. They're disturbing enough to send the odd shiver up one's spine, but still guaranteed to come with a safely happy ending, making them an ideal choice for kids who aren't quite ready for, say, Stephen King...

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Apr 3 2013

Trackers and Trackers: Shantorian, by Patrick Carman

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Patrick Carman's Trackers series is simultaneously one step forward and several steps back: it features even more digital bells and whistles than his Skeleton Creek quartet, but it's markedly less readable than his recent novel Floors or his earlier Land of Elyon series...

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Apr 6 2015

Trade Me, by Courtney Milan

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I have complaints about Courtney Milan's novel Trade Me, but I want to give the author props for getting one thing totally right: unlike the vast majority of “New Adult” books (and in spite of her far-fetched premise), this book actually deals with real, compelling, and young adult-specific issues...

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Feb 21 2008

Tramps Like Us Vol. 14, by Yayoi Ogawa

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TOKYOPOP has just released the final volume of Yayoi Ogawa’s sublimely romantic manga Tramps Like Us, and while we are definitely going to miss seeing new installments of this story every few months, we are thrilled that Ogawa ended her fourteen-volume series on such a satisfying note...

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Jun 26 2014

Trapped at the Altar, by Jane Feather

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Before I begin, a word of warning: Jane Feather's Trapped at the Altar ends on such an inexplicably abrupt note that I found myself wondering if the e-reader advance copy I was sent was somehow missing several final chapters. But after poking around a bit online, I'm assuming my copy is fine—it seems that's just the way the story ends. However, if I find out later there's secretly another 100 pages out there, I promise to go back and update this with a more fair assessment...

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May 9 2016

The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle, by Rick Riordan

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While I thoroughly enjoyed Rick Riordan's 'Heroes of Olympus' series, I was dismayed by the way the author handled Nico di Angelo, his first major gay character. I applauded Riordan's efforts to be more inclusive, but Nico seemed downright tortured by his sexuality, which—considering both modern attitudes towards sex and other, far more pressing problems in the poor kid's life—felt unnecessarily overwrought. I'm assuming I wasn't the only person to complain, because...

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Apr 13 2009

Tribute, by Nora Roberts

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When I channel-flipped past Lifetime’s made-for-television adaptation of Nora Roberts’ novel Tribute a few days ago, I thought it looked ridiculous—the TV equivalent of spray-can cheese, with...

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Mar 30 2015

The Truth Commission, by Susan Juby

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Susan Juby's The Truth Commission is 60% snappy young adult novel; 40% unexpectedly effective horror story. I really enjoyed the teen stuff, but I'm a little sorry Ms. Juby didn't go full-out on the horror, because this book is proof positive that she can create characters that would leave Stephen King weeping with envy...

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Feb 4 2010

Tunnels and Deeper, by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

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Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams's Tunnels series has a great back story. Their first book (originally titled The Highfield Mole) was allegedly inspired by a real—and very strange—place: the Wil...

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Oct 29 2014

The Turning: What Curiosity Kills, by Helen Ellis

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This might be a stretch, but I'm including a novel about shape-shifting cats in my Halloween read-a-thon. I realize were-kittens aren't quite as threatening as zombies or whatever, but they fall somewhere along the monster spectrum, right? (On, like, the cuter end...

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Dec 15 2016

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

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Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily is the sequel to 2010's Dash and Lily's Book of Dares. Once again, the authors flip between the two title characters' points of view, as Dash and Lily drift around New York at the holidays. A year into their relationship, the once-devoted couple is struggling on several fronts, but don't worry—in Cohn and Levithan's books, there are few problems that can't be fixed with an impossibly twee grand gesture...

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Jan 24 2006

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

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Stephenie Meyer’s novel Twilight appealed to me for two reasons—I liked the cover, and my mom mentioned that it was a vampire story set in the town of Forks, Washington. If you’ve ever been to...

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May 5 2009

The Two-Income Trap, by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi

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I first heard Elizabeth Warren speak in 2003 during an interview with Michele Norris on NPR’s All Things Considered. Warren appeared on the show to discuss The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class...

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