Just in time for summer, Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute will serve as a great beach book. Although Talia Hibbert’s debut young adult novel is light reading, it does occasionally rise above the cotton-candy fluff of a romance novel with its insight about human nature. Hibbert’s protagonists are a pair of seventeen-year-olds in their final year at Rosewood Academy in England. For any readers requiring introduction to this discourse community, Hibbert provides a glossary. As the story unfolds, Celine Bagura is an excessively sarcastic conspiracy theorist with the goal of attending Cambridge to earn a law degree. Focused, serious, and prone to being pedantic, sheRead More →

Written in a fashion similar to that of a fractured fairy tale, Pride and Premeditation is a tongue-in-cheek retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Although Tirzah Price employs many of the same characters and even opens with a play on Austen’s original line, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a brilliant idea, conceived and executed by a clever young woman, must be claimed by a man” (1), she takes other liberties. While Price makes an effort to stay true to the etiquette and customs of the early nineteenth century, Lizzie Bennet’s ambitions to become a barrister—or even a solicitor—would have been out ofRead More →

Melody Bird’s favorite place is the graveyard.  It’s full of history and beauty, not sadness, and it’s always peaceful and absent of shouting. After her parents split up because of Dad’s deceit, team MC—Melody and her mom Claudia—support one another. One day while walking in the graveyard with her dachshund Frankie, Melody discovers a house overgrown by weeds and vines. After some research, she learns that this is a plague house, a quarantine facility that is hundreds of years old. Melody can’t wait to share her find with her best friend, Matthew Corbin. Matthew has a fear of germs and a tendency towards obsessive compulsiveRead More →