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Teenaged Bloodsucking Fiends?

Christopher Moore’s novel was everything I needed it to be: lighthearted, goofy, and heavily entertaining. It was a wonderful break from the more serious fare I’ve been reading lately. The vampires were young and immature, but not so immature as the lusty crowd in the…

Anyone want to go to the circus?

After reading this book, you won’t just want to go to the circus, you’ll want to join it! I’m not trying to be sarcastic here — Sara Gruen’s novel just creates such an interesting portrait of the behind-the-scenes aspects of circus life that it leaves…

let the uprising begin!

Collins’ final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy is a little different than The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. For one thing, Katniss is losing her mental stability after all the emotional and physical trauma she and her loved ones have endured, and Collins explores…

all it takes is one spark…

Strong female protagonist Katniss Everdeen is back for an unprecedented second trip into the Hunger Games in Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games. Like its predecessor, this novel explores themes of oppression, power/control, and love. However, it is even more aggressive in that…

hungry?

I’ve been hearing about Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy for a while now, and I finally got the time to pick up the books and read them. I’ll start with book one, The Hunger Games. From the very first chapter, I was hooked (I read…

Sweet Valley Redux

When I was a kid, I used to read the Sweet Valley High books by Francine Pascal. Lo and behold, they’re back! Okay, so I’m not actually confident that Pascal is writing the series again since Sweet Valley Confidential reads like a standalone novel. Either…

to WANT is to be human

I picked up Daniel A. Olivas’ novel The Book of Want on a whim. The slim volume caught my eye and when I flipped through it and saw what appeared to be a variety of different genres rolled into one novel, I was intrigued. Turns…

Meta-Mystery

I heard about Heads You Lose on NPR’s Weekend Edition in a bit entitled “No Love Lost in Crime Authors’ New Story” when the authors, Lisa Lutz and David Hayward, were being interviewed. The interview was funny, and the conversation between the authors — who…

An Amazing Performance

I recently had the privilege of attending the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) annual conference in New Orleans where Karen Yamashita read from her latest novel I, Hotel. To my surprise, she delivered her reading with the help of fellow Coffee House Press author…

Steam and Vapors

Josh Russell’s first novel, Yellow Jack, is a historical novel about the fictional assistant to the man who invented the daguerrotype — a fictional man whose name we never get, since he takes on a pseudonym early on in the story. I’m not usually a…