A Review Category · A Reviews · Book Reviews · Books · Graphic Novels · Historical Fiction · Young Adult

Book Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

tpatdTitle: The Prince and the Dressmaker
Author: Jen Wang
Published: 2018
Genre: GN, HF, YA
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Source: Library
Grade: A
Synopsis: Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

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A Review Category · A- Reviews · Book Reviews · Books · Nonfiction

Essay Review: Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

patelTitle: Politics and the English Language
Author: George Orwell
Published: 1945
Genre: NF
Format: Paperback
Pages: 24
Source: Own
Date Read: April 20, 2018
Grade: A-
Synopsis: ‘Politics and the English Language’ is widely considered Orwell’s most important essay on style. Style, for Orwell, was never simply a question of aesthetics; it was always inextricably linked to politics and to truth.’All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.’Language is a political issue, and slovenly use of language and clichés make it easier for those in power to deliberately use misleading language to hide unpleasant political facts. Bad English, he believed, was a vehicle for oppressive ideology, and it is no accident that ‘Politics and the English Language’ was written after the close of World War II. (Goodreads)

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B Review Category · B- Reviews · Book Reviews · Books · Historical Romance

Book Review: Ten Ways to Be Adored when Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean

10waysTitle: Ten Ways to Be Adored when Landing a Lord (Love by Numbers #2)
Author: Sarah MacLean
Published: 2010
Genre: HR
Format: Kindle
Pages: 389
Source: Own
Dates Read: April 5-20, 2018
Grade: B-
Synopsis: Since being named on of London’s “Lords to Land” by a popular ladies’ magazine, Nicholas St. John has been relentlessly pursued by every matrimony-minded female in the ton. So when an opportunity to escape fashionable society presents itself, he eagerly jumps—only to land in the path of the most determined, damnably delicious woman he’s ever met!

The daughter of a titled wastrel, Lady Isabel Townsend has too many secrets and too little money. Though used to taking care of herself quite handily, her father’s recent passing has left Isabel at sea and in need of outside help to protect her young brother’s birthright. The sinfully handsome, eminently eligible Lord Nicholas could be the very salvation she seeks.

But the lady must be wary and not do anything reckless…like falling madly, passionately in love. (Goodreads)

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Book Reviews · Books · C Review Category · C+ Reviews · Poetry

Book Review: Virgin by Analicia Sotelo

vTitle: Virgin
Author: Analicia Sotelo
Published: 2018
Genre: P
Format: Paperback
Pages: 95
Source: Library
Date Read: April 11, 2018
Grade: C+
Synopsis: Selected by Ross Gay as winner of the inaugural Jake Adam York Prize, Analicia Sotelo’s debut collection of poems is a vivid portrait of the artist as a young woman.

In Virgin, Sotelo walks the line between autobiography and myth-making, offering up identities like dishes at a feast. These poems devour and complicate tropes of femininity–of naiveté, of careless abandon–before sharply exploring the intelligence and fortitude of women, how “far & wide, / how dark & deep / this frigid female mind can go.” At every step, Sotelo’s poems seduce with history, folklore, and sensory detail–grilled meat, golden habaneros, and burnt sugar–before delivering clear-eyed and eviscerating insights into power, deceit, relationships, and ourselves.

Blistering and gorgeous, Virgin is an audacious act of imaginative self-mythology from one of our most promising young poets.

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B Review Category · B Reviews · Book Reviews · Books · Graphic Novels · Historical Fiction

Book Review: Sally Heathcote: Suffragette by Mary M. and Bryan Talbot

shsTitle: Sally Heathcote: Suffragette
Authors: Mary M. and Bryan Talbot, Kate Charlesworth (Illustrator)
Published: 2014
Genre: GNHF
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 192
Source: Library
Dates Read: March 22 – April 9, 2018
Grade: B
Synopsis: Sally Heathcote: Suffragette is a gripping inside story of the campaign for votes for women. A tale of loyalty, love, and courage, set against a vividly realized backdrop of Edwardian Britain, it follows the fortunes of a maid-of-all-work swept up in the feminist militancy of the era. Sally Heathcote: Suffragette is a  stunning collaboration from Costa Award winners, Mary and Bryan Talbot. Teamed up with acclaimed illustrator Kate Charlesworth, Sally Heathcote‘s lavish pages bring history to life.

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Book Reviews · Books · C Review Category · C Reviews · Nonfiction

Book Review: Feminism Is for Everybody by bell hooks

fifeTitle: Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
Author: bell hooks
Published: 2000
Genre: NF
Format: Kindle
Pages: 138
Source: Own
Dates Read: March 29 – April 7, 2018
Grade: C
Synopsis: hooks applies her critical analysis to the most contentious and challenging issues facing feminists today, including reproductive rights, violence, race, class, and work. With her customary insight and unsparing honesty, hooks calls for a feminism free from divisive barriers but rich with rigorous debate. In language both eye-opening and optimistic, hooks encourages us to demand alternatives to patriarchal, racist, and homophobic culture, and to imagine a different future. (x)

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A Review Category · A- Reviews · Book Reviews · Books · Nonfiction

Book Review: Dangerous Books for Girls by Maya Rodale

dbfgTitle: Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained
Author: Maya Rodale
Published: 2011
Genre: NF, R
Format: Kindle
Pages: 184
Source: Own
Dates Read: January 30 – April 3, 2018
Grade: A-
Synopsis: Long before clinch covers and bodice rippers, romance novels have had a bad reputation as the lowbrow lit of desperate housewives and hopeless spinsters. But in fact, romance novels—the escape and entertainment of choice for millions of women—might prove to be the most revolutionary writing ever produced.

Dangerous Books for Girls examines the origins of the genre’s bad reputation—from the “damned mob of scribbling women” in the nineteenth century to the sexy mass-market paperbacks of the twentieth century—and shows how these books have inspired and empowered generations of women to dream big, refuse to settle, and believe they’re worth it.

For every woman who has ever hidden the cover of a romance—and for every woman who has been curious about those “Fabio books”—Dangerous Books For Girls shows why there’s no room for guilt when reading for pleasure.

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