Showing posts from October, 2023

Check & Mate / Ali Hazelwood / Book Review

CHECK & MATE Mallory Greenleaf gave up chess years ago. But when her best friend begs her to join an amateur chess team for an upcoming charity event, she can't really say no. Not for a one-off, one-day even that she can immediately forget about. But when Mal's first match turns out to be against reigning Chess World Champion, "Kingkiller" Nolan Sawyer, everything changes. Because Mal actually wins. Suddenly, everybody wants to know who Mallory Greenleaf is, but Mal doesn't want anybody to know about her. She especially doesn't want her family to know she's back in the chess world, not after what happened with her dad. But when she loses her job (and her means of supporting her mom and sisters), she has to take the chess fellowship an elite chess club in NYC has offered. Even if that means competing. It's not like she'll ever reach a rank that anybody will care about. Except somebody does care. Someb

By Any Other Name / Erin Cotter / Book Review

BY ANY OTHER NAME London, 1593: Will Hughes has a problem. Well, he's got a few. For one, he earns his keep on the stage as a boy actor, and London's playhouses have been shut down due to the plague. And two, he's not just used to playing a part on the stage. "Will" isn't even his real. Son of traitors, he can't let his true identity get out, or he risks losing more than just his head. But he needs a job, and when his former mentor and famous playwright Christopher Marlowe reaches out, Will jumps on the opportunity. But a pub dinner with Marlowe goes awry when Marlowe is stabbed and killed right in front of Will. This is no accident. Marlowe was a spy for the queen, and his murderers knew exactly what they were doing. Suddenly in more danger than he's ever been in before, Will finds himself at the mercy of a young lord who knows what Will's tangled up in. One who might be willing to help... for a price.

The Forest Demands Its Due / Kosoko Jackson / Book Review

THE FOREST DEMANDS ITS DUE Douglas Jones isn't the usual Regent Academy student. He isn't superstitious. He isn't rich. He isn't straight and white. And unlike the other students, Douglas doesn't want any of the perks and privileges that come with graduating from such an elite establishment. He's just keeping his head down to survive. Until a student is killed, and Douglas is one of the witnesses. Until he tries to bring it up the next day, and nobody knows what--or who--he is talking about. Nobody remembers such a student existing, except for the groundkeeper's son Everett. But Douglas knows what he saw. In an effort to uncover the truth, Douglas steps out of line. He steps off the path, both figuratively and literally. Because the forest behind Regent Academy is calling to him, and he knows the truth lies in there. And he's right. Because deep in the forest slumbers a vengeful creature that wants blood.

At the End of the World / Nadia Mikail / Book Review

AT THE END OF THE WORLD Seventeen-year-old Aisha had her whole life planned out. She would go to university, get her degree, have a wildly successful career (or successful enough to support a family, at least). Then she'd marry her boyfriend. They'd travel the world. They'd have a family together near their parents. They'd watch their kids grow up as they grew old.  Except now the world is ending. Imminently. Everything's different when there are only nine months left on this planet. Priorities shift. Instead of heading off to university, Aisha heads out on the road instead, looking for someone. Looking for her sister, June, whom she hasn't seen in two years. She doesn't know where June is, but she hasn't been able to stop thinking about her. No one should face the end of the world alone.  THOUGHTS This book was so different than I expected, and while I