The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune was unlike any story I’ve ever read before. Though there is a lot of Magical Realism sweeping through bookstores, this does something the others don’t. For one thing, the magic isn’t heavily focused. And two, the magic they are referring to is the youth who are beings or have powers we the reader are familiar with. Thus it isn’t such a stretch to imagine these magical beings in our world.

But what really works for this book is Linus Baker, a caseworker for the magical youth from the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, or DICOMY for short. DICOMY is a government agency that requires all magical beings to be registered, and any youth cast aside without a home were sent to orphanages. That’s where Linus comes in.

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Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan

Let’s just admit it—high school was hell. And if it wasn’t, I’m so happy for you. But for most of us, high school was a confusing time because we were trying to figure out who we were. And this novel definitely takes you back to that time. 

Yet it isn’t some blast from the past. Despite how advanced the human race has become, we still face intolerance, bigotry, and suppression of self. And this book absolutely tackles that. However, it digs deeper into the complexities of being part of the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you’re out or not, everything isn’t so black and white and things get even more complicated when you’re falling in love.

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She Who Became the Sun book cover

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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