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Book Reviews

Say Yes Summer by Lindsey Roth Culli

When I first saw Lindsey Roth Culli’s young adult novel, Say Yes Summer, I figured it was going to be something akin to Shonda Rhimes’ memoir, The Year of Yes, which encourages you to say “yes” to opportunity when it comes knocking. I could tell that Say Yes Summer would be predictable, but in a good way—sometimes you just want to read a feel-good, summer-y novel. And, I’m happy to report that Say Yes Summer is a book you should say “yes” to. It’s an excellent summer read that takes you back to high school without actually having to go back to high school.

Camia Rhodes

Say Yes Summer centers around Rachel Walls, a girl who’s spent her entire life striving to achieve three goals: getting straight A’s, getting into the college of her dream, and getting an academic scholarship. In pursuit of these goals, she’s spent her whole high school existence saying “no” to everything: no dances, no parties, no boys, no anything fun. We meet Rachel on the night of her graduation and follow along as she celebrates this achievement by spending the summer before college, saying “yes” to everything that comes her way…including unexpected romance. 

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The Boyfriend Project and The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon

Farrah Rochon’s The Boyfriend Project felt like home to me. We’ve all been there. No matter how smart or how successful we women get, we somehow have all dated a two- timer. And for what? Just so we can say that we have a man? This book will definitely make you want to have a night out or in with just your girlfriends.

Camia Rhodes

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Book Review: She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

She Who Became the Sun book cover

My interest in Shelley Parker-Chan’s debut novel, She Who Became the Sun, was piqued on Twitter by Tor Books and Parker-Chan’s own tweeting. However, it was Parker-Chan reading Chapter Three of her novel on Tor Book’s Instagram that solidified my interest in the novel as a must-read—the lavish details and personal struggle of different sides in a singular conflict on the material and emotional scales.

Ghanima Emmanuelle Sol

Marketed as The Song of Achilles meets Mulan, Parker-Chan’s historical fiction novel follows the peasant girl Zhu as she takes up the name of her brother, Zhu Chongba, and his foretold great fate. The novel moves from peasant villages to grand monasteries and walled cities to the gers—or portable dwellings—of the Mongol rulers of fourteenth century China. Zhu, while disguised as her brother, survives first as an apprentice in the Wuhuang Monastery before becoming a horse thief and a leader in the Red Turban Rebellion campaigning to retake southern China from Mongol rule.

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Book Review: The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

The Sound of Stars is a beautiful love story that takes you on a journey of emotions. In most YA novels you can tell when the tables have turned and the heroes save the day. In this story, the characters come so close to death multiple times that I literally had to put the book down because I needed a minute to catch my breath.

Camia Rhodes

The Sound of Stars is set in a dystopian future ruled by the Ilori, aliens who consider themselves a superior race, one that is not ruled by their emotions. In order to subdue humanity, they have destroyed all forms of expression, such as art, music, and especially books.

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