Karena's Reviews

Karena is in a non-monogamous relationship with Speculative Fiction, Romance, Feminist manifestos and any other little ARC that catches her eye. Snarky heroines are her weakness. She spends her nonreading time playing video games, traveling, and hanging out with her family (but really still thinking about what she could be reading).

I was already a fan of Hearne’s urban fantasy series, so when I heard he was writing a new epic fantasy, I was immediately intrigued. The premise of kingdoms being based around the elements is a trope that could be cheesy but is given a clever spin by Hearne, who manages to weave cheekiness with heartbreak and adventure into a terrific story. - Karena

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A Plague of Giants Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345548603
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey Books - October 17th, 2017

I have to confess that I have not seen anything Gabourey has been in. However, her story intrigued me. She is a hilarious writer who speaks from her heart. This isn’t just a celebrity memoir, it’s about body image, race, feminism, and being famous in America when you don’t fit the widely accepted norm. I highly recommend! - Karena

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This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544786769
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin - May 1st, 2017

This book broke my heart, put it back together, then repeated the process, in the best way possible. Homegoing follows two sisters and their descendants for 200 years, from Ghana to the United States, with some of the most powerful writing in the last few years. - Karena

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Homegoing Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101971062
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 2nd, 2017

As a fan of both books about the 1920s and books about magic, this novel is firmly in my literary wheelhouse. I really enjoyed how the story swapped between the main characters who were on either side of the law. Joan as a magic bootlegger trying to provide for her family and Alex, an undercover cop, trying to gain redemption for his father's crimes. - Karena

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A Criminal Magic Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481410342
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Saga Press - January 31st, 2017

There is nothing I don't love about this book. The dialogue is smart, the sex scenes are sizzling, and the cover is gorgeous. The heroine is a tattoo artist with a complicated history with her first love who she keeps encountering when she moves back home. Bonus: this is Rai's first novel with a major publisher and it's well deserved. - Karena

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Hate to Want You Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062566737
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avon Books - July 25th, 2017

There was nothing I didn’t love about this book. It follows five generations of witches, from mother to daughter, experiencing all the dangers of paranoia of the era regarding witchcraft and really female empowerment. I appreciated the way Morgan portrayed the mother/daughter relationships in all their complexities. This is Morgan’s debut novel and I’m impressed with how fantastic her writing is. This is a book that will draw both literary and fantasy fans alike. - Karena

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A Secret History of Witches Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316508551
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Redhook - September 5th, 2017

It's been awhile since I've laughed as hard as I did reading this. Irby's conversations with her cat are what did it for me as well as her essay on money management or rather lack there of. She is hilarious while being incredibly real about what it's like to be black and fat in this country. - Karena

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We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101912195
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 30th, 2017

I'm such a huge fan of Eddie Izzard's that when I found out he had an autobiography coming out, I'm pretty sure everyone in the store heard me squee. It lives up to the hype! Eddie tells his story in typical Eddie fashion, with humor, but also intelligence and heart. His footnotes are amazing. - Karena

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Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399175831
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Blue Rider Press - June 13th, 2017

This debut novel blends Jewish mythology with Arabic folklore so masterfully and magically that you'll be engrossed instantly. A golem who loses the husband who created her and a jinni who finds himself freed from the prison that bound him meet and form a bond in not only the immigrant experience but against a threat in their turn-of-the-century New York City neighborhood. - Karena

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The Golem and the Jinni Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062110848
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - December 31st, 2013

A lady pirate kidnaps a chef off a ship she plunders then forces him to make dishes from the stolen cargo. Do you actually need any more than that? I adored this book. The best part is the inclusion of the recipes that our stalwart chef creates. - Karena

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Cinnamon and Gunpowder Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250050182
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - June 3rd, 2014



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