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Jan 20 2010

Babymouse: Dragonslayer, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm


The Babymouse series, written by author Jennifer L. Holm and illustrated by her brother, freelance graphic artist Matthew Holm, are cute, silly, and unabashedly pink, making them an enjoyable alte...

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Oct 31 2007

Babymouse: Skater Girl, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm


Brother/sister creative team Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm’s Babymouse books are a series of witty, girl-friendly graphic novels starring Babymouse, a anthropomorphic young mouse obsessed with...

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Nov 7 2016

Bad Blood, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Bad Blood is the fourth and final book in Jennifer Lynn Barnes's Naturals series. Once again, Barnes has delivered a briskly-paced thriller seemingly tailor-made for a CW adaptation. (Seriously, the fact that this series isn't already on my TV is bewildering to me.)

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Jun 25 2014

Bad Luck Girl, by Sarah Zettel


I was thrilled to receive my review copy of Sarah Zettel's Bad Luck Girl, the final book in her American Fairy Trilogy. Zettel had already produced two exceptionally creative, intelligent installments for this series (Dust Girl and Golden Girl), so I was crossing my fingers for a truly spectacular finish...

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Dec 10 2014

Bad Machinery: The Case of the Simple Soul, by John Allison


First up: I know this cover was decided on long before I complained about the overly cutesy packaging featured on the previous two volumes in this series, but I'm taking credit for this eye-popping image anyway. Thanks, Oni Press! And don't worry: that little arsonist is adorable. I'm sure the kids will still want to read alllll about her...

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Jul 16 2014

Bad Machinery: The Case of the Team Spirit and The Case of the Good Boy, by John Allison


I picked up the first volume of John Allison's Bad Machinery because I kept seeing it described as a spectacular title for children, and I figured: what the hell, I'm pretty childish. But now that I've read every Bad Machinery strip to date, I've decided Allison's publisher is making a mistake by pushing Bad Machinery exclusively at kids—this is a story about children, but that doesn't mean it's best appreciated by children...

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Mar 16 2015

Bad Magic, by Pseudonymous Bosch


As I read Pseudonymous Bosch's Bad Magic, I had a bizarre feeling I was reading a junior-division version of Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation. Bad Magic is a lot less creepifying (thankfully), but it covers similar ground—a mysterious, isolated place, a half-explained plot, and a weird blend of fantasy and reality...

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Apr 19 2013

Bad Taste in Boys and Bad Hair Day, by Carrie Harris


If someone set out to re-write Scooby Doo as a book series aimed at teenage girls, the result would probably look a lot like Carrie Harris's Kate Grable novels: Bad Taste in Boys and Bad Hair Day. Like Scooby Doo, Harris's stories are cheerful, ridiculous, and teaming with monsters—none of which, of course, turn out to be genuinely supernatural...

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Mar 27 2013

Banished and Unforsaken, by Sophie Littlefield


I'm sure most bookstores have filed Sophie Littlefield's novels Banished and Unforsaken with the teen paranormal romances, but that's far from accurate. These books are about a girl who discovers that she has magical healing powers, and is immediately targeted by a series of evil scientists, murderous rednecks, and zombies. She does eventually acquire a boyfriend, but their relationship is never more than a minor plot thread...

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Mar 18 2019

The Beast's Heart, by Leife Shallcross


There are some classic stories that just don't lend themselves to PC updates, and “Beauty and the Beast” is one of them. In her book The Beast's Heart, author Leife Shallcross does her best to minimize the fairytale's inherent problems, but there are too many to fully overcome...

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Jul 8 2013

The Beautiful and the Cursed, by Page Morgan


Page Morgan is an ambitious woman. Her debut novel The Beautiful and the Cursed features two heroines, a massive cast, a historical setting, a menagerie of supernatural creatures, and an elaborate mythology centered around gargoyles, which (in Morgan's world, anyway) can be both hideous monsters and ridiculously handsome love interests...

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Feb 16 2012

Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl


While looking for something to read on a recent plane trip, I finally cracked open Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Beautiful Creatures, a book that has been idling on my to-be-read shelf for over two years....

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Sep 17 2012

Beautiful Disaster, by Jamie McGuire


Now that E. L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has established itself as the new sales standard to beat, the publishing world is scrambling to fill bookshelves with titles that are as similar to the Grey series as possible, no matter how ridiculous they are. (After all, rampant ridiculousness was no barrier to the success of either Fifty Shades of Grey or its source material, Twilight.)...

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Mar 25 2019

Beauty, by Robin McKinley


After last week's review of Leife Shallcross's The Beast's Heart, I decided to re-read Robin McKinley's thematically similar 1978 novel Beauty to see how it held up to my fond childhood memories. Like The Beast's Heart, Beauty does its best to transform the Beauty and the Beast fairytale into something romantic, rather than creepy...

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Mar 28 2009

Behold, Here's Poison, by Georgette Heyer


Behold, Here’s Poison features one the most creative weapons in murder-mystery history, and is my favorite of the three Heyer novels we’ve reviewed in the past week. Why Shoot a Butler? and...

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Jun 24 2013

Belle Epoque, by Elizabeth Ross


It feels weird to commend someone for an idea that they took from someone else, but that's what I'm doing here: Elizabeth Ross has openly acknowledged that the inspiration for her novel Belle Epoque was taken from an Emile Zola short story, but I give her full props for borrowing with style...

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Apr 16 2012

Bellfield Hall, by Anna Dean


After reading a glowing review on AustenBlog, my hopes for Anna Dean's 2008 novel Bellfield Hall were high. Sadly, I was underwhelmed. There was nothing hideously wrong with the book, but Dean's various elements never gelled into a compelling whole...

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Sep 19 2016

Betrayals, by Kelley Armstrong


Betrayals is the fourth book in Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville series. It is also her publishers' third attempt at finding the right cover art style for these books. (The first two installments were American Gothic; the third was modern and geometric.) I really like both the look and the contents of Betrayals, so I'm hoping the ever-changing cover design...

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Dec 20 2010

Big Clay Pot, by Scott Mills


Scott Mills's delicately illustrated graphic novel Big Clay Pot is the story of Sun Kim, a preadolescent Korean orphan who ends up in a small fishing community in ancient Japan. Sun Kim's klutziness gets her kicked out of camp after camp, until she meets Kokoro...

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Mar 12 2019

Binti: The Complete Trilogy, by Nnedi Okorafor


If the plot of Nnedi Okorafor's Binti was as impressive as her world-building and character design, her book would be an instant sci-fi classic. Sadly, the plot is by far the weakest element of this story—although Okorafor has clearly established herself as an author to watch...

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Jul 24 2012

Black Gold: The Story of Oil in Our Lives, by Albert Marrin


The vast majority of the books we receive here at Wordcandy are fiction, but every few weeks the odd nonfiction title turns up. I usually choose to review the ones on subjects I enjoy reading about (read: food preparation and money management, both of which I love... in theory, anyway, if not in practice), but Albert Marrin's informative-yet-totally-readable Black Gold: The Story of Oil In Our Lives is the kind of thing everyone should read...

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Feb 12 2008

Black Hole, by Charles Burns


Charles Burns’s graphic novel Black Hole is lyrical, meticulously illustrated, and thought-provoking. It’s also creepy, stomach-churning, and unnecessarily grim. Delicate flowers might want to s...

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Jan 11 2009

Black Jack: Vol. 1, by Osamu Tezuka


An English translation of Osamu Tezuka’s award-winning manga Black Jack is available again, thanks to the fine people at VIZ Media. The first two volumes of this enjoyably bizarre medical dr...

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Mar 20 2009

Black Lagoon: Vol. 1, by Rei Hiroe


As frequent readers of the site know, I have been sick with the Cold from Hell for days, and I spent most of that time reading. I read well-written books, thoughtful books, uplifting books... and ...

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Jan 13 2008

Black Magic Woman, by Justin Gustainis


I love monster movies, which is why I’ve always been surprised that the 2004 film Van Helsing was so bad. It had vampires, werewolves, witches, and Hugh Jackman—how could such abundant awesomenes...

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Dec 29 2014

Blandings Castle, by P.G. Wodehouse


P.G. Wodehouse's short story collection Blandings Castle is divided between six stories set at Blandings, the country estate of the ninth Earl of Elmsworth, one story about Bertie Wooster inamorata Bobbie Wickham, and five stories about the Mulliners of Hollywood. The Mulliner and Wickham stories have a little bite to them, but the Blandings section represents Wodehouse at his most shamelessly soothing...

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Dec 3 2007

Blood Brothers, by Nora Roberts


As someone who has never learned to appreciate delayed gratification, I was pretty excited about the one-book-release-per-month schedule Nora Roberts adhered to for her last trilogy, 2006’s...

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Oct 22 2012

Blood Crime, by Kim Harrison


I have never read one of Kim Harrison's books, so when I received a copy of her upcoming graphic novel Blood Crime I had some background research to do. Thanks to Wikipedia, I now fully intend to hunt down the earlier installments in Harrison's "Hollows" urban fantasy series...

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Sep 16 2013

The Blood Keeper, by Tessa Gratton


While Tessa Gratton's The Blood Keeper is billed as a “companion novel” to her book Blood Magic, rather than a sequel, you need to have read the earlier book for this one to make sense. (Actually, this one isn't guaranteed to make sense even if you have read Blood Magic, but the light bulb might glow a little brighter...

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Jan 28 2013

Blood Magic, by Tessa Gratton


I winced when I read the promotional materials for Tessa Gratton's Blood Magic, which describe the book as “A natural next-read for fans of Stephenie Meyer”. I am not one of said fans, so this news was not enticing. Having now read the book, let me reassure my fellow Twilight anti-fans that Blood Magic is a gore-splattered, intense YA novel without so much as a hint of love triangles, magical imprinting, or sparkly vampire action...

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May 8 2015

Blood Magick, by Nora Roberts


It's official: Nora Roberts's writing has reached peak laziness. Not only has she used these characters and situations before, she's used them before in this exact same combination. Seriously, if you want to read Blood Magick, just pick up a copy of her 2002 novel Face the Fire—it's the same story, but half the price...

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Sep 12 2013

Blood Sun, by David Gilman


David Gilman's supercharged Max Gordon series is aimed squarely at action/adventure purists. These books are not even remotely plausible, but they're ridiculously fun—even for someone like me, who would ordinarily be grousing about strained credulity and far-fetched MacGuffins...

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Oct 21 2019

Bloody Business, by H.P. Jeffers


I purchased my copy of H. Paul Jeffers's Bloody Business: An Anecdotal History of Scotland Yard solely because of its Edward Gorey-illustrated cover art. True Crime is not my preferred style of nonfiction, but I started flipping through the book one evening and found myself unexpectedly absorbed—for a small island, Britain has seen a lot of famous evildoing...

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Nov 12 2019

Blowout, by Rachel Maddow


Reading Rachel Maddow's Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth is like listening to an exceptionally long monologue for her MSNBC show. Her voice is genial, her subject important, and her arguments carefully researched and informative—but her laid-back, rangy, coolest-professor-on-campus style undermines the urgency of her subject...

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May 7 2014

The Blue Castle, by Lucy Maud Montgomery


Originally published in 1926, L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle is one of the most unabashedly sweet books I have ever read—an old-fashioned, utterly straightforward romance. It's the story of 29-year-old Valancy Stirling, a downtrodden spinster who has spent her life trying (and failing) to please her judgmental relatives. When she discovers she has a heart ailment that will almost certainly kill her within a year, Valancy decides to enjoy whatever time she has left...

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Nov 16 2004

Blue Dahlia, by Nora Roberts


Nora Roberts’s Blue Dahlia reads like a mix’n’match of about fifty of her previous books. As such, it’s a perfect introduction to her work--like most of Roberts’s books, Blue Dahlia is an enterta...

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Apr 3 2008

Blue-Eyed Devil, by Lisa Kleypas


Lisa Kleypas has just released Blue-Eyed Devil, the highly anticipated sequel to her first contemporary romance release, 2007’s Sugar Daddy. As with Sugar Daddy, Blue Eyed-Devil features a few eyebrow-raising plot and characterization decisions, but the final product is romantic drama at its best...

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Oct 13 2014

The Bodies We Wear, by Jeyn Roberts


Jeyn Roberts's The Bodies We Wear is the kind of book I normally avoid. I'm not a big fan of gothic melodramas, so I was surprised to discover that this novel spoke to the same part of me that enjoys the Underworld films. The Bodies We Wear might lack vampires and shiny pleather catsuits, but, like Underworld, it takes its goofy gothic premise 100% seriously, and I find that endearing...

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Apr 26 2007

Book Crush, by Nancy Pearl


Naturally, we here at Wordcandy have trouble understanding why you might look to anyone else for your book recommendation needs, but we can—reluctantly—accept that occasionally you’re going to str...

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Dec 14 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow, by Robin Wasserman


Robin Wasserman's novel The Book of Blood and Shadow is ambitious in a way that few YA novels attempt. Everything from the somber cover art to the sheer heft of the book (a solid 432 pages) clearly indicates that this is a novel that wants to be taken seriously, despite its melodramatic tag line: "One Girl. One Night. Centuries of Secrets."...

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Jul 10 2017

The Boy is Back, by Meg Cabot


The Boy is Back is the fourth book in Meg Cabot's loosely-connected The Boy series, all of which are narrated via unconventional methods: texts, e-mail, diary entries, online reviews. This installment is set in Bloomville, Indiana, hometown of professional golfer Reed Stewart. Reed assumed he'd left Bloomville behind, but when his increasingly eccentric parents end up causing a scandal, his family calls him home...

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Jul 1 2007

The Boys Next Door, by Jennifer Echols


It’s clear that Simon and Schuster hasn't exactly pulled out all the PR stops for YA novelist Jennifer Echols. Both of her books (2006’s Major Crush and the just-released The Boys Next Door) are ...

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Feb 7 2008

Brave Story, by Miyuki Miyabe


The world is full of fantasy novels featuring eleven-year-old boys with crappy home lives, but Miyuki Miyabe’s Brave Story stands out from the crowd. This award-winning novel combines conventiona...

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Jul 1 2019

The Bride Test, by Helen Hoang


I have spent the past few weekends hate-watching two “romantic” Chinese dramas*, switching between them whenever a particular plot development became unbearably stupid. In the midst of this cinematic garbage fire I paused to read Helen Hoang's The Bride Test, and—at least in contrast—it felt like one of the great love stories of all time...

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Nov 27 2017

Bubbly on Your Budget, by Marjorie Hillis


For a book written in 1937, Marjorie Hillis's Bubbly on Your Budget has some surprisingly timely advice. Sure, the details might need to be adjusted for a 21st century lifestyle, but her basic message—that you should spend your money on what you actually value—is just as valid today as it was 80 years ago...

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Mar 21 2006

Buffalo Brenda, by Jill Pinkwater


No Logo author Naomi Wolf recently published an essay in The New York Times bemoaning the current state of YA literature for girls, specifically mentioning the popular...

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Jan 14 2019

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BOOM! Comics), Issue #1, by Jordie Bellaire


More than twenty years after the TV series' debut (and twenty-seven after the original movie), and despite a plethora of spin-offs, continuations, and a potential reboot, BOOM! comics decided that what the world needed was yet another take on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This time it's a modern-day retelling of the original series, and while a few aspects of it work, thus far the storytelling well is looking pretty dry...

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May 17 2007

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home, by Joss Whedon


When we first heard that Joss Whedon was going to write a comic book series that would serve as the eighth season of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show, we weren’t sold on the idea. The first f...

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May 14 2018

Burn Bright, by Patricia Briggs


Burn Bright is the fifth entry in Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega series, a spin-off from her popular Mercy Thompson books. The series centers around Charles and Anna, a mated werewolf pair. Anna is an Omega wolf, blessed (or cursed) with the ability to calm other werewolves. Charles, the son of the world's most famous werewolf, has spent countless years as his father's in-house assassin...

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Jan 30 2017

The Burning Page, by Genevieve Cogman


I recently reviewed the first two books in Genevieve Cogman's Invisible Library series, and was delighted when the third installment, The Burning Page, showed up on my doorstep. It's a fun read, but I don't see any evidence of a fourth book, and I much prefer The Burning Page as a series installment than a series conclusion...

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Aug 11 2009

By Invitation Only, by Jodi Della Femina and Sheri McInnis


By Invitation Only is a breezy romantic comedy co-written by Jodi Della Femina and Sheri McInnis, two authors with solid beach-reading street cred: Femina is the autho...

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Jan 22 2019

By Night, Issues 1-4, by John Allison


My affection for John Allison's comic Bad Machinery is the kind of love that makes all of Alison's other titles (of which there are quite a few) feel like a letdown. They're fine, but they're mostly spin-offs or prequels or also-ran adventures—pale imitations of the story I'd prefer to be reading...

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Jan 25 2016

By Possession, by Madeline Hunter


On a recent trip to the beach, I picked up a battered copy of Madeline Hunter's 2000 novel By Possession from a Little Free Library. As longtime readers of the site know, I rarely read pre-Regency romance novels (I can't get fully invested in any sex scene when I'm wondering when the participants last bathed), but hey: I'd already finished the books I brought with me, and the price was right...

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