Reviews of the Week, with John Connolly, Melissa Broder, Kelly Yang, 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 April 16–20 below.

 

Monday, April 16

 Girl Made of Stars, by Ashley Herring Blake

As the #MeToo movement continues to ignite the sharing of women’s stories on- and off-line around consent, assault, and sexual agency, so too will the growing number of young adult novels that center around these formative topics. Blake’s timely and gripping contribution is a nuanced he-said, she-said story with a fierce feminist bent.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, April 17

 The Pisces, by Melissa Broder

Lucy just broke up with her longtime boyfriend, and her PhD thesis on Sappho is still far from done. And then there was the doughnut incident, as she refers to a near-death Ambien overdose. At her worried sister’s urging, Lucy escapes her depressing situation in Phoenix to spend the summer in Venice Beach.

 

Wednesday, April 18

 Front Desk, by Kelly Yang

Set in the early 1990s in Anaheim, California, this earnest debut is partially inspired by the author’s childhood. When Mia Tang’s parents find a new job managing the Calivista motel, it seems like the answer to their prayers. Fifth-grader Mia takes pride in working the front desk.

 

 

 

 

Thursday, April 19

 He, by John Connolly

The stars of the silent film era were among the most beloved celebrities of their time, including Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and, of course, Charlie Chaplin, the diminutive giant in whose shadow the others lived. Connolly, author of the Charlie Parker mystery series, tells the story of Chaplin’s one-time understudy, Arthur Stanley Jefferson, better known as Stan Laurel.

 

Friday, April 20

 Heartbeat, by Evan Turk

Turk’s compelling picture book begins with a blue whale cow that soon gives birth to a calf, drawn in red. The whale and her calf live in a colorful blue ocean, and their song is depicted in swirls of red, yellow, and blue threads. Mother and baby swim and sing together until sharp, white harpoons put an end to the older whale’s song.

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