Girls Like Us

I have never read a book that is told from the point of view of a mentally disable person and I think that this book is a good introduction to the idea: Girls Like Us by Gail Giles about Quincy and Biddy who are both graduates of their high school’s special ed program.

They coindexuldn’t be more different: suspicious Quincy faces the world with her fists up, while gentle Biddy is frightened to step outside her front door. When they’re thrown together as roommates in their first “real world” apartment, it initially seems to be an uneasy fit. But as Biddy’s past resurfaces and Quincy faces a harrowing experience that no one should have to go through alone, the two of them realize that they might have more in common than they thought — and more important, that they might be able to help each other move forward.


A moving and thoughtful book. The perspectives of Quincy and Biddy bring to light the prejudices that exist towards those that are different and the dangers that come with being vulnerable. Just a warning – there are some intense and mature situations in this novel.

The Wrath and the Dawn Series

The Wrath and the Dawn and its sequel The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh were two very popular, and very entertaining fantasy novels that I recently read and will review. However, I must take issue with a major part in the book which I will do at the end:

The series begins in a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.



Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?


This book has romance and adventure and lots of beautiful scenery but here is what the book also has, but refuses to mention: rape. Shahrzad, at the beginning of her deception to the King, still follows through with her “wifely duties” and consummates the marriage. She does not want to do it. This is never mentioned again. I take issue with books, especially Young Adult books, which portray sexual relationships in this way and portray a skewed view of consent, love, and sex. So beware: although this book is filled with fantasy and delight, more seasoned readers may be disturbed.

Long list- National Book Awards

If you’re looking for your next book to read, referring to the National Book Awards long lists may be a good place to start. The winners will be announced in November. Categories include: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and  young people’s literature.

National Book Foundation, Presenter of the National Book Awards

The committee also has categories such as “5 Under 35” presenting honors to 5 debut authors under the age of 35.  Visit the web site to learn more about the finalists and recommendations.

National Book Award Winning  Medal


2 bookAlex Cooper, Assistant DA of NYC, is back to star in yet another thriller by Linda Fairstein. But this time she is the suspect being interrogated regarding the suspicious death of a highly placed figure in the DA’s office. The title refers to an entanglement, which Alex refers to in the early pages of the novel regarding the murder. However, it has another meaning unknown to her; deadfall is also a hunting term meaning to set up a trap to catch a large animal. Her referral to this term will set her up as a prime suspect. The usual “suspects” are back as well: Detectives Mercer and Chapman, who help Alex in her fight to clear herself in the murder case. A great read for fans of legal thrillers.

When Dimple Met Rishi

OKAY, let me start off by saying that this book (When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon) is very *cute* and overall very good and entertaining. It has romance, it has humor, it has like-able characters, and it has a great premise.

Dimple is a teenage geek-girl who loves to code and wants to become a web/app developer. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right? Sort of. They actually send her to camp to meet their ideal-husband candidate Rishi, who is a hopeless romantic and actually wants to go along with his parents’ wishes. Of course when Dimple discovers this plan she promptly throws coffee at poor Rishi and berates him. Except then….she doesn’t. She finds that she likes Rishi and decides to at least be his friend for the duration of camp.

I don’t want to give too much more of the plot away, but I will tell you the downsides to this novel:

  1. Dimple starts off as this bad-a**, independent, and free-thinking indexintelligent girl. But she pretty much gives this up right away. Why?
  2. She is so mean to Rishi….why?
  3. The book glosses over the “Coding Camp” part. Coding is Dimple’s passion and the camp is the setting for the entire book. Yet, as far as actual “code-speak” goes…there is none. The author completely skips her actually doing her supposed obsession in favor of drama with her fellow snobby camp-mates. This would have been a chance for girls who actually code to geek out and read about their hobby.

Despite these things, this book is very charming. The multicultural angle is different (although also underutilized) and refreshing. If you’re looking for something that isn’t too deep, then this is a good book for you.