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Jocelyn's Reviews

Jocelyn began working at Bookshop Santa Cruz in 2010 after graduating from UCSC with degrees in Literature, History, and Theatre. She left in 2012 to attend graduate school in New York, but was happy to be able to return to work part-time during breaks. She has been working full time again at Bookshop after graduating with an MFA in 2015, and now wears multiple hats including IT, Magazines, Marketing, and more. You're most likely to find her reviews on nerd-things, including Science Fiction, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, as well as theatre, history, technology, and social justice.

How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other by Naomi Klein, with Rebecca Stefoff

Naomi Klein and Rebecca Stefoff’s new book is absolutely engrossing and informative. Inspired by stories of activists around the globe (especially from the Southern hemisphere and Indigenous communities), and galvanized by tales of corporate greed and historical analysis, I closed How to Change Everything and started immediately brainstorming what to do next. For any human (young or otherwise) who cares about climate change, the environment, and social justice, and wants to know more, this is a great place to start. —Jocelyn

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How to Change Everything: The Young Human's Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other Cover Image
By Naomi Klein, Rebecca Stefoff (Adapted by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534474529
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - February 23rd, 2021

Out of Nowhere by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

I raced through this, so anxious to know the fate of Chris Naylor-Ballesteros’s beetle narrator and their red friend—and then had to go back to linger over the art and moments making up their story. A deceptively simple book with a huge emotional impact, its brief pages navigate friendship, courage, change, and the joy that finds you when you let it. This is one of those books you will read again and again, and it only gets better with age. —Jocelyn

 

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Out of Nowhere Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534481008
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - March 9th, 2021

Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York By Elon Green

Piano music and dark corners, the looming spectre of AIDS and the anti-queer violence it flamed high, the struggle for safety and recognition, and simple human connection. Elon Green charts an incredible, underreported decades-long true crime story that lasted into the 21st century, bringing to life not just the hunt for a serial killer, but the lives of his four known victims and the world of piano bars and hustlers amongst queer male New York that he prowled. — Jocelyn

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Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781250224354
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Celadon Books - March 9th, 2021

Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds

Justin A. Reynolds has created a lovely modern- day fairy tale of friendship and family and finding the most perfect moments in life in the midst of grief. With the same real-world heart as those of Nicola Yoon, Reynolds’ characters are real and likeable, as are their connections, which evoke the friendships of John Green’s books. The brilliant days they create for each other in the face of loss filled me with the same fun and joy the characters themselves embrace.  — Jocelyn

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Early Departures Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062748409
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - September 22nd, 2020

Serena Says by Tanita S. Davis

This wonderful middle-grade novel perfectly captures what it means and feels like to watch the friends you grew up with start to change and drift away. Serena is a vibrant and engaging protagonist, and I loved watching her grow past jealousy and shyness into herself both at school and in her videos. Great for any kid who might be facing a tough transition time or is just looking for a story about relatable, creative kids and their friends.
— Jocelyn
 

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Serena Says Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062936974
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - November 3rd, 2020

Willa the Wisp: The Fabled Stables, Book 1 Written by Jonathan Auxier Illustrated by Olga Demidova

This delightful, highly illustrated chapter book is perfect for early readers who love animals and dream of adventures where they get to save the day. Auxier introduces readers to a cast of fascinating characters and creatures, chief among them Auggie, the young caretaker of the Fabled Stables. Demidova’s colorful illustrations move you through the story, and are playful when things are light-hearted and exciting during action sequences. A great start to a wonderful new series. — Jocelyn

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Willa the Wisp (The Fabled Stables Book #1) Cover Image
By Jonathan Auxier, Olga Demidova (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781419742699
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amulet Books - October 20th, 2020

My Rainbow Written by Trinity & Deshanna Neal Illustrated by Art Twink

This #OwnVoices story immediately made me smile, with its depiction of a lovely family finding a solution for their trans daughter’s need to feel like herself. Twink’s vibrant illustrations partner perfectly with the Neals’s prose, welcoming us into the household’s warm embrace by giving us an immediate sense of connection to the family’s kids and their adorable pet pig. Perfect for anyone looking for a feel-good family story and a reminder to kids about how good it can feel to be themselves. — Jocelyn

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My Rainbow Cover Image
By DeShanna Neal, Trinity Neal, Art Twink (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781984814609
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kokila - October 20th, 2020

Spirits of San Francisco: Voyages Through the Unknown City Written by Gary Kamiya, Illustrated by Paul Madonna

San Francisco is one of the US cities most alive in the collective public imagination, and Gary Kamiya (Cool Gray City of Love) and Paul Madonna (All Over Coffee) know it well. Now they have come together to illustrate (figuratively and literally) some of the lesser-known true stories from the city’s bones. Taking cues from architecture, locations, and ruins, they guide the reader through a pantheon of characters, economics, and culture from the 18th century on. For aficionados of small bites of history and of the City itself. — Jocelyn

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Spirits of San Francisco: Voyages through the Unknown City Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781635575880
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - October 20th, 2020

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Naomi Novik is a literary chameleon and here she slides effortlessly into the magic school genre, making it brilliantly her own. If you like characters defying their tropes, intriguing magic systems, deadly libraries, stories of friendship and staying true to yourself—amidst magical monsters and backstabbing high school cliques—but with just a little more snark and murder, pick this up. I loved this book, and can’t wait to find everyone else who will love it too. 
— Jocelyn
 

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A Deadly Education: A Novel (The Scholomance #1) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593128480
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - September 29th, 2020

Mad and Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency by Bea Koch

Bea Koch, coproprietor of LA’s The Ripped Bodice, uses the lens of romance to focus on the entertaining microhistory of the under-known royalty, artists, mistresses, and scientists, who, white and black, straight and queer—and more—shaped the culture and history of the British Regency. Koch gives delicious tastes of these women’s complex lives and historical context, and includes lists of further (factual and fictional) reading and viewing. A great read for any armchair historian, especially those also denizens of Romancelandia. — Jocelyn

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Mad and Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781538701010
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - September 1st, 2020

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