Sophie's Book Reviews

The Skunks By Fiona Warnick Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: May 5, 2024

Skunks is a funny and tender coming-of-age novel about a recent college grad who finds a welcome distraction from her love life in the form of three baby skunks. Warnick masterfully captures the liminal feeling of young adulthood, exploring what it's like returning home to the place you chose to leave. Skunks is utterly charming, a truly delightful novel.  

Craft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil By Ananda Lima Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: May 5, 2024

After sleeping with a devil at a Halloween party, a writer continues to run into him over the years, entertaining him with stories during each visit. This collection is intoxicating, each story subversive and surreal. Rarely before have I found it so difficult to put down a collection of short stories. Perfect for fans of Ling Ma or Samanta Schweblin.

Women! In! Peril! By Jessie Ren Marshall Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: March 30, 2024

Women! In! Peril! is a clever, brazen, and heartfelt collection of stories covering a wide range of subject matter—a sex doll has an uncanny resemblance to an ex-girlfriend, a lesbian reckons with her wife's immaculate conception, a teen girl gets her first taste of rebellion—all tied together through the exploration of female, racial, and queer identity. Incredibly funny and thought-provoking, Jessie Ren Marshall has proven herself to be one to watch. 

The Book Censor's Library By Bothayna Al-Essa, Ranya Abdelrahman (Translator), Sawad Hussain (Translator) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: March 28, 2024

Set in a future that feels all too possible, The Book Censor’s Library is a clever and fantastical satire of book banning. Littered with literary references, The Book Censor’s Library is a love letter to books and the enduring power of imagination. A thought provoking and timely novel. 
 

Women of Good Fortune By Sophie Wan Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: March 28, 2024

This book is such a blast! Set at a Crazy Rich Asians-style wedding, Women of Good Fortune follows three best friends, each believing that money will be the key to their happiness, as they plan a heist to rob the wedding. While the book is lighthearted and fun, it doesn’t back away from exploring societal expectations of women and themes of filial piety. A great caper all around! 

Poor Deer: A Novel By Claire Oshetsky Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: February 1, 2024

Haunting in every sense of the word, Poor Deer is a quiet, mesmerizing look at the way grief shapes memories. Oshetsky’s writing is arresting and utterly devastating. A truly unforgettable read. 

Roaming By Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: October 29, 2023

Jillian and Mariko Tamaki return to form in this stunning coming-of-age graphic novel that follows Dani and Zoe, two high school best friends in their first year of college, along with new friend Fiona on a spring break trip to NYC. Heartbreakingly nostalgic in the best way, Roaming is a love letter to the complicated and messy friendships that go hand-in-hand with being at an age where you're still trying to find yourself in the world. 

Death Valley: A Novel By Melissa Broder Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: September 30, 2023

Death Valley is a darkly funny and strange novel about a grieving writer who escapes to the desert to finish her book, only to come across a giant cactus that beckons her inside. Equal parts a thrilling survival novel and a profound meditation on grief, Broder’s writing is witty and deeply insightful, and I couldn't get enough of the narrator. 

The Forest Brims Over: A Novel By Maru Ayase, Haydn Trowell (Translated by) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: September 3, 2023

No longer willing to be the subject of her husband’s novels, a woman eats a handful of seeds and begins to grow into a forest in this surrealist, beautifully written story. Far more of a page-turner than I expected, The Forest Brims Over deftly challenges gender roles and explores the boundary between art and life.

Open Throat: A Novel By Henry Hoke Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: July 2, 2023

Written from the perspective of a queer mountain lion living by the Hollywood sign, Open Throat is a delightfully strange and captivating little novel. Unlike anything I've ever read before!

Big Tree By Brian Selznick, Brian Selznick (Illustrator) Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: May 27, 2023

Cinematic in scope, Big Tree follows Louise, a sycamore seed in the prehistoric era who longs for adventure. She gets her wish when a fire sweeps through the forest, forcing Louise and her brother Merwin to journey out into the world in search of a new home to plant their roots. Along their journey, the two encounter dinosaurs, mushrooms, and volcanoes, learning how interconnected the world is. With an epic story and stunning illustrations, Big Tree is an instant classic and shows that you can make a big difference in the world, no matter how small you are. 

Yellowface: A Reese's Book Club Pick By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
Reviewed by: Sophie
Posted: May 7, 2023

Yellowface follows June Hayward, a mediocre white author who steals the manuscript of her friend—Chinese-American literary darling Athena Liu—and  passes it off as her own, suddenly finding the success she's always coveted. But as evidence comes to light, June discovers just how far she's willing to go to protect her secret. Yellowface masterfully explores questions of race, ownership, and cancel culture, with Kuang's astute insight delivered through biting satire. Unlike Kuang's previous works of historical fantasy, Yellowface is as contemporary as it gets. Meta and razor-sharp, Yellowface proves Kuang can tackle any genre.      

       

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