Crissy's Book Reviews

Happiness Falls: A Novel By Angie Kim Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: June 20, 2024

I can't stop recommending this book to all my friends and family. It reads like a page-turning mystery, but it also includes plenty of philosophical food for thought. It's perfect to take along on vacation and the story will stick with you long after you finish.

Fire Exit: A Novel By Morgan Talty Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: May 22, 2024

This is one of the best books I've read so far this year. Talty's characters are so fleshed out they seem like real people. Fire Exit is an achingly emotional examination of the circumstances that can divide us, as well as bind us together. 

The Golden Spoon: A Novel By Jessa Maxwell Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: February 21, 2024

If you've ever watched The Great British Bake Off and thought the only thing missing was a little murder, then this is the book for you! So many suspects! So many motives! And baking!

This Is Paradise: Stories By Kristiana Kahakauwila Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: January 19, 2024

This short story collection offers a glimpse of Hawaiian culture that tourist don't often see. Kahakauwila's narratives are sometimes dark and uncomfortable, but they all resonate with love and hope. 

Let Us Descend: A Novel By Jesmyn Ward Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: November 25, 2023

I marvel at how a book can be so brutal and so beautiful at the same time.

What You Are Looking for Is in the Library By Michiko Aoyama Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: October 26, 2023

This heartwarming collection of short stories was just what I needed right now. In each story, the main character feels stuck in their circumstances. But a wise librarian has unexpected suggestions for finding joy and meaning. 

The Wishing Pool and Other Stories By Tananarive Due Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: September 21, 2023

I loved the Twilight Zone-like vibe of this collection of horror and sci-fi stories. Due masterfully builds a creeping sense that something isn't quite right here, as she coaxes your imagination into get the best of you. It's perfect for enjoying as the days grow shorter and darker. 

Light From Uncommon Stars By Ryka Aoki Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: July 16, 2023

There's never a dull moment in this deliciously weird novel with a big heart. I recommend reading it while enjoying your favorite donut(s).

The Road to Dalton By Shannon Bowring Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: May 18, 2023

I didn't want this thoughtful, perceptive rendering of life in a tiny town in northern Maine to end. While navigating their own (and each other's) struggles and secrets, the residents of Dalton are bound together by a heartbreaking tragedy. Whether you grew up in a small town and are craving a taste of home, or you're a curious city-dweller, the lives of these characters will leave a lasting impression.

Sleepwalk: A Novel By Dan Chaon Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: April 13, 2023

Climb aboard an old RV for a ride-along with an affable, nature-loving mercenary and his rescued pit bull, Flip. Your ride will take you back and forth across the country. You’ll recognize some problems you encounter, like flu outbreaks, civil unrest, and armed militias, but other things will be just a few clicks further on the dystopia dial. Chaon will keep you on the edge of your RV seat all the way until the satisfying ending.

One Italian Summer: A Novel By Rebecca Serle Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: February 2, 2023

As Katy, the main character, takes a break from her life in L.A. to heal after a loss, she experiences the magic of Positano, and you get to experience it too!  This book, for me, was all about the location. Rebecca Serle’s descriptions of the scenery will have you walking the steep streets of this cliffside town, hopping on a vintage motorboat to Capri for lunch, and gorging on fresh pasta. If you can’t go on vacation right now, this is the next best thing.

The Faraway World: Stories By Patricia Engel Cover Image
Reviewed by: Crissy
Posted: January 26, 2023

Engel writes about her characters with such tenderness that it is impossible not to become emotionally invested in each story. With roots in Columbia or Cuba, these characters navigate the boundaries and bonds of their closest relationships. Each story has a weight and a depth that resonates long after the book ends.