Reviews of the Week, with Meg Wolitzer, Katherine Applegate, Julie Murphy, and More!

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 March 5–9 below, so you can revisit the week’s best.


Monday, March 5

 Endling #1: The Last, by Katherine Applegate

In the land of Nedarra, six governing species reign supreme, but the dairnes—a cross between dog and sugar glider—are critically endangered. Hunted by humans to obscurity, the remaining dairnes have left their treetop nests for more concealed abodes on the ground. Applegate (Wishtree, 2017) effortlessly constructs her fantasy world, briskly moving readers through its imaginative details while creating winning, unique characters.




Tuesday, March 6

 The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer

Sexually harassed at a frat party her freshman year, wallflower Greer Kadetsky is motivated to speak up about the outrage when feminist icon Faith Frank gives a lecture at her college. She catches Faith’s attention in the Q&A; Faith recognizes something in this quietly assertive young woman, something she rewards when Greer approaches her for a job upon graduation. Wolitzer’s timely saga places her characters at the heart of a new wave of feminism.


Wednesday, March 7

Puddin’, by Julie Murphy

This companion to the popular Dumplin’ (2015) brings two supporting characters center stage. Good girl Millicent is determined to spend her summer at journalism camp—not the fat camp where, over the years, she lost more self-esteem than weight. Brash and bitchy Callie is thrilled with her rich boyfriend and coveted place on the Shamrock dance team.  Told in alternating chapters, the when-worlds-collide story goes deep as the girls form an unlikely friendship that reveals their strengths and weaknesses and shows the possibilities that open when stepping outside one’s comfort zone.




Thursday, March 8

 The Trauma Cleaner, by Sarah Krasnostein

As journalist Krasnostein trails the titular trauma cleaner while she tidies the houses of all manner of hoarders and the places where people have died in all manner of terrible ways (and frequently been left to rot afterward), the pair encounters a moldering cornucopia of awful, often-frightening smells. Had this uniquely gifted and nuanced chronicler of offensive odors stuck with describing the fragrance of ancient dried blood, antediluvian dust, and unspeakable effluents, Krasnostein’s debut would be memorable enough, but her subject’s life story is more remarkable and often just as harrowing as the scent of the derelict apartments she excavates for a living.


Friday, March 9

 What I Leave Behind, by Alison McGhee

Sixteen-year-old Will is a walker. Things have to be walked out through the soles of your feet, he believes. And Will has things that need to be walked out: his best friend since grade school, Playa, has been raped at a party that he had left too early to save her. His father is dead—a suicide. Will was 13 when that happened, and that’s when he began to walk. Will is a classic wounded teenager who is nevertheless his own person. Everybody loved his father—and every reader will love openhearted Will.




About the Author:

Post a Comment