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LadySarah

LadySarah

Joined November 2016

review
LadySarah
Leviathan Wakes | James S.A. Corey
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Mehso-so

On one hand, this is a really intricate and plot-driven sci-fi mystery, and I love those. It's also full of lit references and nods to other genres, and I thought that was super fun.

On the other, the pacing is kind of a nightmare, the so-called romantic subplot doesn't work at all, and it takes WAY too many side-tracks to nowhere. But debuts are often messy, a trustworthy friend recc'ed it to me, and I'll still read the next book.

#sf #mystery

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LadySarah
Girls Made of Snow and Glass | Melissa Bashardoust
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Pickpick

This is a BEAUTIFUL book. The writing is gorgeous, the character voices are nuanced and distinct, and the complicated relationship between daughter and stepmother runs so deep it aches.

It essentially mixes the fairytales of Snow White and the Snow Queen, but grounds both in two intense protagonists. It's supurb.

(Also, Lynet has a subplot romance with another girl, which just makes me happy)

#fairytales #fantasy #queerlit #queerya

2 likes2 stack adds
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LadySarah
Bannerless | Carrie Vaughn
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Pickpick

Now I want like ten more dystopian cozy mysteries. Immediately.

Genre mash-ups are high risk, high reward - and this one is a joy. It's like watching Midsommer Murders after the apocalypse.

#dystopia #mystery #genrebending

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LadySarah
Spell on Wheels | Kate Leth
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I don't even know how to articulate how much it means to me to see an adult character in fiction who just casually doesn't drink. (And who isn't framed as weak for doing so). No irritating oh-but-why moment - just casual, no-big-deal sobriety.

(And only the bad guys are ever kind of jerks about it. Nobody else bats an eye).

#urbanfantasy #uf #comics #sobriety

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yes, I‘m reading it now and enjoying it too. (edited) 2y
LadySarah @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I really enjoyed it! I can't wait for there to be more issues published 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @LadySarah I hope there is 🤞 fingers crossed. It was a fun read. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I loved that about her character too, and the writing. 2y
LadySarah @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I really loved the writing, too! And I definitely hope there will be more in this series, because I would absolutely love to read more adventures of these characters (especially Claire, who is probably my favorite). 2y
5 likes5 comments
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LadySarah
Space Opera | Catherynne M. Valente
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Pickpick

Space Opera is life-or-death Eurovision, if Eurovision had a narrator that was an intergalactic pop culture nerd who spent maybe too much time on the internet, and the team you're rooting for is made up of glam-rock has-beens who used to be in love with both each other and the long-dead girl they're both mourning so hard they're not sure humanity (or Space Eurovision!) is worth it.

It's a GREAT time 💜

#sf #music #queerlit #SPACE

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LadySarah
The Seafarer's Kiss | Julia Ember
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Pickpick

Essentially the Little Mermaid - but with a bisexual protagonist! and Norse Mythology!

(Which are both choices that I think would make noted historical bisexual and frequent mythology nerd Hans Christian Andersen very, very happy)

It is true that the second half of this book is much weaker than the first. But I still really enjoyed it over all.

#fairytales #queerlit #queerya

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LadySarah
The Wedding Date | Jasmine Guillory
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Pickpick

SO. CUTE.

Also, socially conscious and full of delightful romance tropes!

(Though, fair warning, both main characters are tremendously insecure, in different ways, and it can get really grating at times. But they grow up a lot over the course of the novel, and seeing their progress is worth it).

#romance #contemporary #debut

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LadySarah
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Pickpick

Well, this ripped my beating heart right out of my chest.

If Amberlough was about losing the fight, then Armistice is about the ache of an aftermath. It's where the country you've lost and the love you've lost overlap, and everyone is trying to put the pieces of their life in some kind of order when all of the sacrifices they've made have been rendered pointless. It's every bit as good as Amberlough, but very different.

#fantasy #queerlit #fave

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LadySarah
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Look what came in the mail today!!!!! 😍

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LadySarah
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Pickpick

This was my first KJ Charles book (though it seems like everyone who reads romance loves her), and now I think I might have to go read all of her other ones. Because this was both a compelling romance (with a neurodivergent lead!) and a really cool mashup of genres. It is, all at once: 1) a Queer Historical Romance, 2) a Victorian Sensationalist Novel, and 3) a Mystery. The combination works surprisingly well.

#romance #historical #queerlit

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LadySarah
My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel | Kitty Curran, Larissa Zageris
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Pickpick

This is so much fun! It's a choose-your-own-adventure romance novel in which you get to make the character's romantic decisions - between four love interests (three men and one woman!), and the regency tropes involved (secret marriages, hidden tombs, society shenanigans, illegitimate heirs, etc). It's great, and I desperately want choose-your-own-adventure novels to come back into style!

#romance #historical #queerlit #chooseyourownadventure

3 likes1 stack add
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LadySarah
Amberlough | Lara Elena Donnelly
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Pickpick

This absolutely blew my mind. It's both a well-researched portrayal of the rise of fascism in the 1930s, and a purely original application of that research onto a brand-new alternate world. The end result is something like watching the fall of progressive, pre-war Berlin in real-time without any of the comfort of being able to recognize historical events and outcomes. It keeps you on your toes. It also breaks your heart.

#fantasy #queerlit #fave

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LadySarah
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Pickpick

This was heartwarming and just generally superb. And yeah, the quality of the individual stories is uneven, because that's just a hazard of anthologies, but overall it's great. ("Every Shade of Red" by Eliot Wake, and "Three Witches" by Tessa Gratton were particular standouts, for me, though each for different reasons).

#anthology #queerlit #queerya

2 likes1 stack add
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LadySarah
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Mehso-so

I feel like I might be the only person who didn't totally love this one. There's a lot to like - space shenanigans, likable characters, cheery tone, epically creative world building. But I felt like it was trying to be too many things at once, and as a consequence never gave any of those things the focus they would have needed. (Also, the conclusion to the Ohan plot really troubled me). I think this one just wasn't for me. Sometimes that happens.

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LadySarah
Beneath the Sugar Sky | Seanan McGuire
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Pickpick

This is wonderful, and Kade is still my favorite, and also I love everything McGuire writes. This is my favorite installment in this series yet. It's just...it's so much about what it means to NOT be promised a happy ending, but want one and fight for one anyway, even if you might not get there and even if it might not be permanent. And it's just wonderful, all of it is wonderful. 💜💜💜

#fantasy #novella #fave

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LadySarah
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Pickpick

This was SO. MUCH. FUN. It's basically a meta/parody/analysis of Star Trek and similar franchises, but it so clearly LOVES the material that it's parodying that it never crosses the line into being too cynical to entertain. (It is very flawed, though. And go ahead and skip the Codas at the end, because they add nothing).

#sf #humor #SPACE

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LadySarah
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Pickpick

My current re-read! I love this series (it has the best world-building ever), but it's been a couple of years and I totally don't remember enough details to get the most out of the recent installments, so it's time to brush up on the Toby Daye universe. This one is noticeably weaker than later books, but I do remember that the quality dramatically improves around An Artificial Night, so I'm really looking forward to the rest of this re-read.

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LadySarah
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Pickpick

This isn't my usual wheelhouse as far as genre goes, but I'm taking a class on true crime lit this term and this was the first thing assigned. And it was FASCINATING. Mostly, I think, because Berendt's depiction of Savannah is so intricate and kind of bizarre. (Admittedly, it takes about six or seven chapters to start getting good, though. Chablis's intro is the saving grace of Part One, introducing much needed personality and a pacing boost).

Jillsandypants I just got to the Chablis part, and I‘ve been waiting for something to actually happen. The descriptions of the people of Savannah is rich but I need some action 😜 2y
2 likes1 comment
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LadySarah
The Backstagers #1 | James Tynion IV
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Pickpick

Absolutely everything about this comic is just delightful 💜

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LadySarah
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Pickpick

This book is a blast to read, and also basically a collection of many of my VERY FAVORITE THINGS. Road trips! Pirates! Bisexual characters! Alchemy! Mostly accurate history! Mystery! Friends-to-lovers romance plot! Really complicated protagonist! It was an absolute joy.

#historical #adventure #queerlit #queerya

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LadySarah
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Pickpick

Part dangerous portal fantasy, part deadly fairytale, and part brilliant exploration of the ways in which children grow into the people they become, through everything from circumstances to the choices they can and cannot make - this novella is every bit as impressive as Every Heart a Doorway was, while telling a very different story.

#fantasy #gothic #novella #queerlit

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LadySarah
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This is the cutest exchange about possible zombie children that ever was

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LadySarah
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I swear that Seanan McGuire's writing gets more beautiful all the time 💜

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LadySarah
The Lost Hero | Riordan, Rick
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Pickpick

Finally getting around to reading these, after having loved the Percy Jackson series (though I read them recently - I somehow missed them way back when). Just like the previous series, this one is an excellent combo of compelling characters and well-researched mythology. (And it functions really effectively as both a continuation of the previous story, and an intro to the world for new readers).

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LadySarah
Feedback | Mira Grant
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Pickpick

Though I never love this author's Mira Grant books quite as much as her Seanan McGuire ones, the whole Newsflesh series is really well done. Feedback goes back to the zombies-and-a-presidential-campaign premise of Feed, but with a cast of characters who AREN'T the chosen ones, and who are at risk of ending up collateral damage instead. (Also, it has the first non-binary character I've seen in an SF/F novel, and a lesbian protagonist!)

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LadySarah
Labyrinth Lost | Zoraida Cordova
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Pickpick

Really loved this! The mythology was cool, the family dynamics were great, and the complicated protagonist was compelling. I've heard some complaints about the love triangle, but there kind of isn't one? There are all the usual players in a triangle (best friend + mysterious new bad boy), but we know early on that Alex is in love with Rishi, and meeting Nova doesn't change that. (Also, there's the bonus of a bisexual protagonist!)

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LadySarah
Queens of Geek | Jen Wilde
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Pickpick

This book is DELIGHTFUL. It's so cute, and so much fun to read, and absolutely everything that a YA contemporary should be. (also, bonus: it's pretty damn diverse. the two POV characters are a bisexual Asian girl and an autistic girl with an anxiety disorder, and one of the love interests is a black lesbian girl).

4 likes2 stack adds
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LadySarah
Every Heart a Doorway | Seanan McGuire
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Pickpick

This was just wonderful in basically every single way. It's essentially the aftermath of a portal fantasy, with all of McGuire's signature beautiful writing, smart metatextual elements, and flair for fantasy science. Add all that to a compelling cast of diverse characters (including an asexual protagonist and a great trans character, who was my favorite of all the kids at Eleanor's), and you have an amazing, highly recommendable book! ❤️

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LadySarah
Every Heart a Doorway | Seanan McGuire
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So, I'm now reading the Kindle version because I'm giving my hard copy to my sister, who's been looking for good ace representation in fiction for a while now - Nancy is an amazing character, and I think just what she's been looking for. (Also great characters: Kade and Jack. The latter of whom is why I have to read the prequel. Besides my epic love of Seanan McGuire as an author, that is).

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LadySarah
Every Heart a Doorway | Seanan McGuire
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Finally back to pleasure reading (and Litsy!) after what seemed like an endlessly busy quarter. (I love my major, but the amount of assigned reading left little time for reading for myself). This has been the perfect way to jump back in, because this book is all kinds of AMAZING. 💜💜💜

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LadySarah
Magic for Nothing | Seanan McGuire
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I was trying to read, but then I got distracted by this face! I guess reading can wait a little while.

LauraBeth Well hello gorgeous! 😻 3y
1 like1 comment
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LadySarah
Magic for Nothing | Seanan McGuire
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This quarter and its nightmare courseload is finally over and so I finally have time to read! (Well, read things other than Greek Tragedies. And I am all Greek Tragedied out). So of course, given free reading time, it's time to catch up with Seanan McGuire and the Price family.

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LadySarah
Indexing | Seanan McGuire
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Pickpick

This was both a paranormal procedural and a metatextual analysis of fairytales and reality as a kind of story. Which is just as weird and cool and Seanan-McGuire-worthy as it sounds.

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LadySarah
Clockwork Angel | Cassandra Clare
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Pickpick

I really, really enjoyed Clockwork Angel, and I'm pleasantly surprised. I wasn't fond of the Mortal Instruments series (though I do think the tv show is fun), but this book worked for me. It has excellent wordbuilding, a cool plot, and likeable characters. Also, the love triangle is really compelling. I love Tessa, Jem, and Will best when they are in scenes all together, and I don't actually want the triangle solved at all.

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LadySarah
Indexing | Seanan McGuire
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I love everything that Seanan McGuire writes, and thus far this has been no exception!

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LadySarah
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Mehso-so

I probably wasn't supposed to be rooting for Clytemnestra the whole time, but I was definitely rooting for Clytemnestra the whole time.

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LadySarah
Clockwork Angel | Cassandra Clare
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Don't get me wrong, I'm really enjoying this book, but either Henry doesn't know what he's talking about or somebody in the publication process just doesn't know their biblical linguistics. Nephilim are from Genesis 6, which was originally written in HEBREW. (I spent way too long in Catholic school to just let this slide).

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LadySarah
Monstress #1 | Marjorie Liu
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Pickpick

This whole volume is just SO WELL DONE. The art is beautiful. The characters are well-crafted. The plot is engaging. It strikes the perfect balance between maintaining mystery and giving the reader satisfying answers. I loved everything about it. (Especially Kippa. She's my favorite part).

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LadySarah
Monstress #1 | Marjorie Liu
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It's official - Kippa is my favorite ❤️

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LadySarah
Monstress #1 | Marjorie Liu
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The art in this is just SO BEAUTIFUL. It's miles beyond gorgeous.

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LadySarah
The Jungle | Upton Sinclair
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Panpan

I know that there are important points made about capitalism and the exploitation of laborers in this novel - but I could not in good conscience recommend it to anyone. It reads like playing Misery Bingo with someone who hates you. And that's not even getting into all of the misogynistic rape-victim-blaming bullshit in Ona's storyline.

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LadySarah
The Jungle | Upton Sinclair
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I may not have remembered until right now how downright awful this book is to victims of rape (who the protagonist and the overarching narrative seem to think should just die) - but high school me and her annotations definitely had the appropriate response. This is unacceptable, even in a classic that is "a product of its time."

Lauredhel :O 👎 👎 👎 3y
1 comment
review
LadySarah
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Pickpick

This book is excellent. It is bold and funny and smart. It is also, at times, really emotionally difficult to read (the second half in particular). Lindy West is genius, and this whole book feels really NECESSARY in a way that is difficult to describe.

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LadySarah
Charming | Elliott James
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I usually prefer my urban fantasy with female leads, but I'm actually really enjoying this so far. A huge chunk of that enjoyment can be credited to the narrator of the audiobook, who is fantastic.

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LadySarah
Clockwork Angel | Cassandra Clare
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I was never really able to get into the Mortal Instruments books (much to my eternal disappointment, because it seems like everyone likes them and something just didn't quite work for me), but I have since been recommended to read these ones anyway and I'm going to give them a try.

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LadySarah
School for Good and Evil | Soman Chainani
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Pickpick

This was delightful! There are parts in the middle that drag on a little, and the pacing isn't perfect - but the world-building and the climax are so good they make up for any flaws. And it's just so much fun to read!

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LadySarah
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I'm trying to learn to appreciate this book. Trying really, really hard. Because it's hugely historically important. And also because that is the only way re-reading this for a class for the fourth time is going to be anything but frustrating. (I've never enjoyed it before now, but I refuse to give up. This time will be the time it works for me).

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LadySarah
The Darkest Minds | Alexandra Bracken
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The perfect re-read to start off the year! This book (and really this whole trilogy) is just so good it's hard to describe. It's a really intimate, emotionally complex dystopia that is also a distinctly American road trip novel at the same time. Also, the prose is so intricately well done that it subtly shifts depending on how detached the narrator is or isn't feeling due to her circumstances. It's masterful work.

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LadySarah
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Pickpick

Historical craziness, humor, and excellent research all wrapped up in a delightfully conversational tone.

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LadySarah
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares | David Levithan, Rachel Cohn
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This was ADORABLE. It is basically pretentious teenage weirdos falling in love around Christmas, and it is just unbearably cute.