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 July 20–24 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Monday, July 23rd
The Rest of Us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness
Mikey and his pals are about to graduate high school, right as the indie kids—“that group with the cool-geek haircuts and the thrift shop clothes”—start disappearing. It’s not the first time this has happened: over his 18 years, Mikey’s watched as the indie kids (they’re always the Chosen Ones) battled the undead, defeated vampire suitors, and engaged in other world-saving activities. It’s run-of-the-mill stuff at his high school, which has been blown up more than once.
Tuesday, July 24th
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, by Salman Rushdie
The jinn, Rushdie tells us, are “creatures made of smokeless fire,” shape-shifters infused with powers that defy our experience of gravity and time. They live in their own world, yet they can’t resist meddling in our affairs. But the Lightning Princess is different. For all her fearsome “mastery over the thunderbolt,” she falls in love with a mortal in the twelfth century, a Spanish Arab philosopher whose books, the most famous of which is The Incoherence of the Incoherence, are banned and burned because he argues for rationalism instead of religious fundamentalism.
Wednesday, July 25th
What Pet Should I Get?, by Dr. Seuss
Out of a (probably magical) box stashed in his (probably gadget-filled) office comes this posthumous offering from the mighty Mr. Geisel. Sharp-eyed readers will note the brother and sister pet hunting here are the same duo seen in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960). This story is more plot-driven, with the kids eager to choose a pet, but they must do it by noon and only pick one. At first, the choice looks simple: a dog or a cat, right? But parrots are nice, and so are rabbits.
Thursday, July 26th
X, by Sue Grafton
Just X? Yes, Grafton breaks her own rule for her titles: despite X being an initial for several characters here, no single word beginning with X encompassed the whole of her twenty-fourth Kinsey Millhone mystery, so X alone it is. And what an excellent outing it is! Kinsey is taken in by an elaborate scheme engineered by stunning Teddy Xanakis, who wants to steal a potentially priceless painting from her newly divorced husband, a plotline followed to a happy conclusion.
Friday, July 27th
The Nature of the Beast, by Louise Penny
The winds of change are freshening in Three Pines. Armand Gamache, former chief inspector of the Sûreté du Québec, now retired to the idyllic village north of Montreal, is starting to feel twitchy, pondering the next stage in his life. But even as the future signals change, the past is calling forth a nightmare.