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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).







Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

I think I raved to everyone who would listen about how much I loved this book. Lockwood is hilarious, yet her words are thoughtful and heartfelt as she describes her ‘walking warning label’ of a mother and her priest father who has a habit of dropping his collar (and pants) at the door. Families aren’t perfect and Lockwood’s is no different. - Karena

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Priestdaddy: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399573262
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 1st, 2018

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner

I’m pretty sure I read this with my jaw clenched. Wariner tells a difficult story about being raised in a polygamist colony by her mother along with several siblings. Wariner’s stepfather is particularly hard to read. It is a survival tale that you makes you rage at times and sob in others, but in the end will make you all the more better for reading it. - Karena

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The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250077707
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - April 25th, 2017

Hot Mess by Emily Belden

I love a good hot mess and this was one in the best way possible. It feels so realistic you might think it’s actually a biography. I know people like Belden’s main character Allie (but I’m not naming names). The adulting that she has to do to cover for her trash fire of a boyfriend is astounding and exhausting. This would make an excellent movie. - Karena

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Hot Mess Cover Image
ISBN: 9781525811418
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Graydon House - March 20th, 2018

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

I have really liked the romances written by this duo of writers (who write under the single pseudonym Christina Lauren), so when I saw they were trying contemporary fiction I was willing to try it out. I usually side-eye books with constant flashbacks, but this was done so effortlessly (and charmingly) I actually looked forward to the flashbacks. - Karena

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Love and Other Words Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501128011
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - April 10th, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

This book reminds me of Jackie Collins back in the day, only in Singapore. Kwan describes the paradox of a culture where people with more money than they know what to do with save the tiniest amount of leftovers but then drop millions on a diamond necklace. Once you get passed their designer clothes, the characters are just as naked as the rest of us. - Karena

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Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345803788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - May 20th, 2014

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

Right away I knew I was going to love this book. This is one instance where you should judge the book by its cover because of how lovely it is. Naledi is a capable, intelligent woman who really had zero time for Thasibo's privileged nonsense. Cole layers her sexy smooches with real world issues, smart dialogue, and just a fun plot. Life hack: Read this after you watch Black Panther, because then you’ll picture T’Challa as Thasibo and it’ll be that much better. - Karena

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A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062685544
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avon - February 27th, 2018

Torn by Rowenna Miller

Reminiscent of the French Revolution with a thread of magic (sorry not sorry), Torn is a fantastic tale of a woman who can stitch charms into her creations and is caught in the middle of her brother and his dreams for revolution and her own connections to the nobles who buy her services. I went in expecting a light fantasy and ended up in something that was complex and inspired conversation about how romance, politics, friendship, and loyalty can make us question who we are. - Karena

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Torn (The Unraveled Kingdom #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316478625
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Orbit - March 20th, 2018

All the Women in My Family Sing edited by Deborah Santana

There is a world of experiences out there and we tend to hear only a very specific set of stories in our usual media. This collection of essays shares some of those little-told experiences. These women talk about race, gender, body image, sexuality, and being incarcerated with prose that doesn’t allow you to be impervious. They are flesh and blood and their voices are there for us to take heed of. - Karena

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All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World: Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom Cover Image
By Deborah Santana (Editor), America Ferrera (Contribution by), Natalie Baszile (Contribution by)
ISBN: 9780997296211
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nothing But the Truth Publishing - January 30th, 2018

The Supergirls by Mike Madrid

This is a fantastic read. As a relative newcomer to superhero comics, it was really fascinating to read about the backgrounds of iconic female superheroes and the non-super characters like Lois Lane. I highly recommend this book if you want to understand what we’re talking about when we ask for better female representation in comics. - Karena

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The Supergirls: Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines Cover Image
ISBN: 9781935259336
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Exterminating Angel Press - October 11th, 2016

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski

This is the book ladies have been waiting for, all the things we should have learned in sex education, but didn’t. Nagoski is a font of information and delivers it with expertise as well as understanding. I learned so much from this book; you need to read it! - Karena

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Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476762098
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 3rd, 2015


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