Leora's Book Reviews

The Swimmers: A novel (CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE WINNER) By Julie Otsuka Cover Image
Reviewed by: Leora
Posted: May 15, 2024

The story of many parallel lives converging briefly for their daily swims suddenly zooms in on the life of one when a crack emerges in the bottom of the pool and in Alice's mind. At once personal and universal, this story of a mother's progressive dementia explores cultural and personal memory, family, and aging. If you love swimming, hard introspective prose, and/or literary fiction that feels eerily real, this book is for you. 

Parable of the Sower By Octavia E. Butler Cover Image
Reviewed by: Leora
Posted: April 16, 2024

Set in the near future in a believably crumbling version of the US, this book follows a teenager looking for her place in the world for herself and her unique ideology. The protagonist's poise, thought, and candor makes this action filled book particularly thought provoking. This has been my favorite book since I first read it, and it got me hooked on Octavia Butler, speculative fiction, and Afrofuturism. 

Never Been Better By Leanne Toshiko Simpson Cover Image
Reviewed by: Leora
Posted: March 13, 2024

I don't typically go for romance books, but I was drawn in by the promise of candid depiction of mental illness. Leanne Toshiko Simpson's debut novel depicts life with bipolar without stigma and with lots of bold and relatable humor. A light and heartfelt read, this book took me very little time to complete.

The Golem of Brooklyn: A Novel By Adam Mansbach Cover Image
Reviewed by: Leora
Posted: March 1, 2024

This book is so funny in a way that kept me wanting to pick it up and yet depressing in a way that made it hard to put down. Mansbach poses big questions through absurd yet nearly believable situations. Who knew building one giant clay monster could be so... complicated?!