Every weekday, we feature a different review on Booklist Online that highlights starred reviews, high-demand titles, and/or titles especially relevant to our current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from November 28 through December 2 below, so that you can revisit the week’s best books.
Monday, November 28
One Blood Ruby, by Melissa Marr
Lilywhite Abernathy returns, though now she goes by the name LilyDark, allying herself with neither Seelie nor Unseelie courts. It is up to her to make peace with the human world, now that she’s the heir to the Hidden Lands of the fae, but with faeries regularly attacking humans in terrible and vengeful ways, the end to this centuries-old war will be hard won. There are context clues littered throughout the text, but unlike the Wicked Lovely series, it’s best to read this proposed trilogy from its beginning (Seven Black Diamonds, 2016). A must for faerie fans who are already hooked on Marr and her captivating worlds.
Tuesday, November 29
Class, by Lucinda Rosenfeld
Karen Kipple suffers mightily from liberal guilt. The white, upper-middle-class New Yorker is mom to first-grader Ruby, who attends the neighborhood public school. Karen is smugly proud of the fact that she keeps Ruby at Betts, where she is in the minority, instead of pulling strings to send her to nearby Mather, where the student body is almost all white and wealthy. Rosenfeld’s sharp and searing look at race and class in urban America will make quite an impression on readers and will become an excellent book-discussion selection. It will make readers uncomfortable, but for all the right reasons.
Wednesday, November 30
A Greyhound, A Groundhog, by Emily Jenkins
With impressive economy of language, Jenkins (Toys Meet Snow, 2015) crafts an energetic, guileless story about the camaraderie between a greyhound and a groundhog. Much as Emily Gravett did in Orange Pear Apple Bear (2007), Jenkins uses a handful of words (round, ground, hog, dog) that she combines, splices, and rearranges on each page. In moments of stillness, readers can appreciate the greyhound’s graceful lines and dappled, opaline coat, or the coconut-shaped groundhog’s cheery grin. This unusual duo will make a heartwarming addition to any read-aloud collection.
Thursday, December 1
Always Happy Hour, by Mary Miller
Floating in the swimming pools and rivers of the American South, the cash-conscious, vice-ridden, anxiety-stricken narrators of Miller’s second short story collection (following her heralded debut novel The Last Days of California, 2014), might be many women, or just a single one, followed down a hallway of fun-house mirrors. It’s the proximity to her characters that her crystalline, unfiltered prose allows that will draw readers in immediately and entirely.
Friday, December 1
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World, by Shannon and Dean Hale
The popular but perhaps lesser-known Squirrel Girl comics leap into the realm of the novel thanks to the considerable talent of wife-and-husband team Shannon and Dean Hale. Doreen Green, a peppy 14-year-old with a gorgeous tail (tactfully concealed) and secret squirrel powers, is doing her best to make friends—both human and squirrel—in her new New Jersey town, but it isn’t easy. Fun, funny, and action-packed, this first Squirrel Girl adventure will win plenty of fans.