Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category


March 18, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton • March 13, 2018 • Candlewick Press
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When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them.

Fast-forward one hundred–some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it.

In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.


I received this book for free from Candlewick Press for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “Nor Blackburn wasn’t afraid of blood.”

When you come from a family of cursed witches, you try not to fall into the same patterns as your ancestors. Nor Blackburn tries to avoid the trappings of being a Blackburn, but it’s hard when she’s a teenager, trying to survive while having an unexceptional Burden she can’t do anything with and fearing that her mother will return to Anathema Island and wreck havoc once again on her life.

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March 16, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

Dress Like a Woman: Working Women and What They Wore by ABRAMS & Vanessa Friedman • February 27, 2018 • ABRAMS Image
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A woman can be a firefighter, surgeon, astronaut, military officer, athlete, judge, and scientist. So what does it mean to dress like a woman?

Dress Like a Woman turns that question on its head by sharing a myriad of interpretations across history. The book includes more than 240 incredible photographs that illustrate how women’s roles have changed over the last century. The women pictured in this book inhabit a fascinating intersection of gender, fashion, politics, culture, class, nationality, and race. You’ll see some familiar faces, including trailblazers Shirley Chisholm, Amelia Earhart, Angela Davis, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Michelle Obama, but the majority of photographs are of ordinary working women from many backgrounds and professions. Pioneering scientists and mathematicians, leading civil rights and feminist activists, factory workers and lumberjacks, stay-at-home moms and domestic workers, and artists and musicians; all express their individual style and dress to get the job done.

With essays by renowned fashion writer Vanessa Friedman and New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay, Dress Like a Woman offers a comprehensive look at the role of gender and clothing in the workplace—and proves that there’s no single way to dress like a woman.


I received this book for free from ABRAMS for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dress Like A Woman asks, “what does it mean to dress like a woman?”

It’s not an easy question to answer. To dress like a woman, it depends on a myriad of things like the time period, the culture, the race, nationality, and social class. Dress Like A Woman isn’t really about to answer that question; it’s a celebration of women in the work place, who kicked ass no matter what they wore.

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March 12, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

Crypt Quest/Space Battles (Midnight Arcade #1) by Gabe Soria • February 13, 2018 • Penguin
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Trapped in a 80’s era haunted video arcade, Midnight Arcade is a play-your-way adventure tale in which the reader determines the course of action, ultimately controlling whether they live . . . or die!

After climbing a fence near an abandoned mall, you discover a derelict video arcade managed by a ghostly attendant. Presented with a magical game token, you select one of two games you wish to play, the eerie Crypt Quest or the flashy Space Battles. Once you place the token in the slot, you have to make choices to advance through the games and your decisions control whether you beat the game, or die.

Both games feature unique villains and life-like game play that will delight readers, and the most important choice in either game for those now trapped inside them, is the one that will keep them alive.


I received this book for free from Penguin for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “As you stand in front of the boarded-up doors that loom before you, you can’t help but wonder: Am I nuts?

An ode to ’80s video games where you get to decide what YOU—the main character—get to do a-la-“Choose Your Own Adventure” style.

You jump over a fence and head into the creepy abandoned mall. You find yourself somehow transported into an arcade hall, where an attendant stops you from leaving by offering an arcade token. You feel compelled to take the coin, and once you do, you are set on a path of no going back until you defeat the game or get a GAME OVER (and that’s something you don’t want).

Will you play Space Battles—a space fighter game—or Crypt Quest—a medieval quest with skeletons?

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January 14, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

How New York Breaks Your Heart by Bill Hayes • February 13, 2018 • Bloomsbury USA
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Bill Hayes’s critically acclaimed memoir Insomniac City provided a first look at his unique street photography. Now he presents an exquisite collection that captures the full range of his work and the magic of chance encounters in New York City.

Hayes’s “frank, beautiful, bewitching” street photographs “unmask their subjects’ best and truest selves” (Jennifer Senior, New York Times): A policeman pauses at the end of a day. Cooks sneak in cigarette breaks. A pair of movers plays cards on the back of a truck. Friends claim the sidewalk. Lovers embrace. A flame-haired girl gazes mysteriously into the lens. And park benches provide a setting for a couple of hunks, a mom and her baby, a stylish nonagenarian . . .

How New York Breaks Your Heart reveals ordinary New Yorkers at their most peaceful, joyful, distracted, anxious, expressive, and at their most fleeting–bringing the texture of the city to vivid life. Woven through with Hayes’s lyric reflections, these photos will, like the city itself, break your heart by asking you to fall in love.

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December 20, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

Above The Timberline by Gregory Manchess • October 3, 2017 • Saga Press
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From renowned artist Gregory Manchess comes a lavishly painted novel about the son of a famed polar explorer searching for his stranded father, and a lost city buried under snow in an alternate future.

When it started to snow, it didn’t stop for 1,500 years. The Pole Shift that ancient climatologists talked about finally came, the topography was ripped apart and the weather of the world was changed—forever. Now the Earth is covered in snow, and to unknown depths in some places.

In this world, Wes Singleton leaves the academy in search of his father, the famed explorer Galen Singleton, who was searching for a lost city until Galen’s expedition was cut short after being sabotaged. But Wes believes his father is still alive somewhere above the timberline..


I received this book for free from Wunderkind PR for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “On the far edge of the Phantom Waste, the watchman at way station 727 retrieves a message.”

Let me tell you all about this unique and cinematic book by Gregory Manchess called Above the Timberline. It’s an alternate Earth set in the future that is covered entirely in ice and snow. 

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October 20, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough • October 3, 2017 • Flatiron Books
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Natasha’s sure that her friends love her. But does that mean they didn’t try to kill her?

Natasha is the most popular girl in school. So why was she pulled out of a freezing river after being dead for thirteen minutes? She doesn’t remember how she ended up in the icy water that night, but she does know this—it wasn’t an accident, and she wasn’t suicidal.

Now Natasha’s two closest friends, who are usually her loyal sidekicks, are acting strangely. Natasha turns to Becca, the best friend she dumped years before, to help her figure out the mystery.

At first Becca isn’t sure that she even wants to help Natasha. But as she is drawn back into Natasha’s orbit, Becca starts putting the pieces together. As an outsider, Becca believes she may be the only one who can uncover the truth…which is far more twisted than she ever imagined.


I received this book for free from Flatiron Books for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “It’s so cold, it’s so cold I can’t breathe and I panic hard in the water that is like shards of glass, and for the first time I think I might be in serious trouble.”

13 minutes. Tasha was dead for 13 minutes. When she wakes up, having almost drowned in the freezing river, what does she remember? Absolutely nothing. Was it an accident? Was it foul play? She can’t recollect what happened prior to being found in the river, but she does know that her two best friends are acting very weird around her. She enlists her ex-best friend Becca to help her get to the bottom of everything.

It’ll take more than 13 minutes for Tasha, Becca, and us to figure out what happened. Prepare for this mystery and these girls to mess with your head.

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