• book reviews, Book Reviews

Book Reviews

book reviews, Book ReviewsBeing a writer means being a reader, so why not share some book reviews? I have always enjoyed getting lost in fictional worlds and delight in beautiful and evocative language. It is this love of novels that has prodded me to write. As I began my writing journey, I remember asking myself, “Can I really do this?” Like all artists, I am inspired to emulate art I admire. And so I read—all the time. This is a page where you can keep track of what I’m reading for pleasure as well as for inspiration / research for my next novel. 

As I realized my dream of becoming a novelist, I began to appreciate even more how important it is to spread the word about great books. Writing book reviews helps me engage critically with the work I’m reading and join fellow readers worldwide in conversation. I will post book reviews here but make sure to follow me on Goodreads and BookBub to see my most recent reads! I am also a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books. You’ll find those (more extensive) commentaries below, but you can check them all out on my NYJB page.

If you’d like to learn more about how my reading is influencing my current writing process, or delve deeper into the inspirations behind my first two novels, Eden and The Nine, just click on Writing Inspiration to the right. I am also excited to share the works of fellow authors whose books I’ve been asked to blurb in the far right column.

Want to chat about a book I’ve reviewed? Have a recommendation for me? Drop me a line to start the conversation!

Recent Reads

book reviews, Book Reviews

The Antidote For Everything by Kimmery Martin

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Kimmery Martin has done it again in "The Antidote For Everything." Her use of language and turns of phrase were plenty to keep me reading, but then there were the characters she developed in Georgia and Jonah. Their friendship is the type we all strive for. As a doctor, Martin knows…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

The Darlings by Cristina Alger

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The Darlings by Cristina Alger I enjoyed the audio version of this book very much. I was drawn to its portrait of a privileged family with its descriptions of the Manhattan elite and all their trappings. I am a fan of family drama and any book that is set in an environment…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Small Fry: A Memoir by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

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Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs Loved this memoir. If you’ve read Steve Jobs’ biography... it adds the perspective of a girl with such incredible emotional intelligence. Lisa Brennan-Jobs has the ability to honestly reflect on her adolescent and young adult self without being…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Severance by Ling Ma

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Severance by Ling Ma Not sure it was a good idea to read Severance while on lockdown during the COVID-19 Pandemic, but boy did it make it prescient and a bit surreal. I would wake up in the morning, having read before falling asleep, not sure which apocalyptic situation I was…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Writers & Lovers by Lily King

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Writers & Lovers by Lily King Maybe it's because I'm a Bostonian and could relate so strongly to the setting, and being a writer myself, to that certain brand of neurosis, but King imparts so much in Writers and Lovers about being a creative soul and the insecurities and idealism…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father by Alysia Abbott

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Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father by Alysia Abbott I loved this memoir. This was an illuminating Father / Daughter story, unique in its setting, and the fact that Alysia was raised by her single, gay father in San Francisco in the '70's and '80's. Maybe it's my current orientation,…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

These Women by Ivy Pochoda

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In THESE WOMEN, Ivy Pochoda paints a gritty portrait of South Central LA. A serial killer is on the loose but 'these women' aren't heard, aren't listened to, are dismissed as not mattering. I loved this novel for its voices. Pochoda is a master at elevating what is base and primal,…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Devotion: A Memoir by Dani Shapiro

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Devotion: A Memoir by Dani Shapiro This is a very honest and poignant memoir about Dani Shapiro’s search for a spiritual anchor. It combines so many facets of life, however, weaving a tapestry of experience and rumination that I found extremely relatable. I devoured this book…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

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Trust Exercise by Susan Choi Wow. This was really an interesting book. It is intellectually rigorous as well as original, thoughtful, observant and timely. The points of view (3 I believe) tell stories that overlap, repeat and advance and retreat in time. The story of Sarah and…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

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The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg This was a great look into a troubled family, told from the point of view of multiple characters and across a broad spectrum of time. I was drawn to reading it as it was Attenberg's break-out novel and I just recently discovered her work when…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

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Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid I'm always eager to read debut fiction that is getting lots of hype. I heard a podcast interview with the author which left me even more intrigued. On the plus side, Such a Fun Age left me wanting to discuss it with somebody. It is provocative…By jbadmin|
book reviews, Book Reviews

Motherland by Elissa Altman

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Motherland: A Memoir of Love, Loathing, and Longing by Elissa Altman Motherland is the type of memoir I absolutely love, not constrained by chronology, it works the way memory works when we try to make meaning of the past and the to understand the most fundamental relationships.…By jbadmin|

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase through one of these links, I may make a small commission (at no additional cost to you), which I will donate to literary organizations in Boston. Thanks!

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Books I’ve

Blurbed

book reviews, Book ReviewsZero O’Clock is a beautiful and timely YA novel that is both heartbreaking and whip smart, a glimpse into the world of virtual friendship… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsMt Moriah’s Wake unfolds masterfully, alternating timelines in a way that had me eagerly reading on to the final, most satisfying plot twist… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsWith incredible elegance and insight, Leaving Coy’s Hill strikes a perfect balance between historical setting and a rendering of the inner woman… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsAlthough set in the nineteen sixties, David Hirshberg’s Jacobo’s Rainbow is infused with prescient relevance today… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsElise Schiller’s Watermark is a poignant novel that gripped me from beginning to end. Masterfully structured and told… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsIn her literary debut, Deborah Goodrich Royce has given us the sort of thriller that wants to be devoured in one sitting. Written from… Read More

book reviews, Book Reviews

Hard Cider is a fabulous novel about starting a business, taking on challenges, and building a family. The real treat was… Read More

book reviews, Book ReviewsReading My Mother’s Son is like opening up a time capsule and sifting among the treasures. 1952 Boston comes alive as… Read More