Every weekday we feature a different review on Booklist Online. These reviews are notable for different reasons—they may be starred, or high-demand, or especially relevant to the current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from June 1–5 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
More Happy Than Not, by Adam Silvera
A smiling scar marks the inside of 16-year-old Aaron Soto’s wrist, both a souvenir of the time he tried to follow in his father’s footsteps by checking out of life early and a reminder “not to be such a dumbass again.” Though his mom has become overprotective and the suicide attempt shambles beside him like an elephant into every room, Aaron is making a comeback, in no small part due to his group of friends and awesome girlfriend, Genevieve.
The Marriage of Opposites, by Alice Hoffman
It may seem as though Hoffman, best-selling author of more than 30 books for adults and teens, magics spellbinding fiction out of thin air, but in fact, she often improvises on historical events and figures. In The Museum of Extraordinary Things (2014), she fictionalizes New York City’s catastrophic 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and its ripple effect on an Orthodox Jewish family.
Shadowshaper, by Daniel Jose Older
When Sierra’s grandfather warns her to finish her mural because “the paintings are fading,” she is puzzled, but the only person willing to help her find answers is talented artist Robbie, and even he is reticent. Determined, Sierra finally learns the truth: her grandfather was a powerful shadowshaper, able to animate art with the spirit of a departed soul, and now an interloper, anthropologist Dr. Wick, is trying to steal these powers for himself.
The Library at Mount Char, by Scott Hawkins
Carolyn is a librarian whose father has gone missing; could he be dead? Well, maybe, but that would be strange, since he is nearly omniscient and, by all evidence, almost omnipotent. And Carolyn herself is no ordinary librarian: for one thing, she is the self-taught master of all languages, even that of storms! And she has the power to replace the sun (don’t ask).
Court of Fives, by Kate Elliott
Jessamy’s family is in a difficult place. Her father, born poor but with noble blood, has risen to prominence as a skillful soldier. However, love for his commoner wife, and affection for his four daughters (who, according to society’s dictates, should have been abandoned), leaves him vulnerable when his patron dies.