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Jun 30 2008

Nana (film review), by Ai Yazawa


Ai Yazawa's enormously popular shojo manga follows the adventures of two young women, both named Nana. Nana Osaki is a punk singer who dreams of making it big in the music industry (and surpassing the success of her ex-boyfriend, Ren), and Nana Komatsu is a simple-minded, sweet-tempered girl with bad luck in love...

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Jun 4 2008

Naomi and Ely's No-Kiss List, by David Leviathan and Rachel Cohn


David Levithan writes about teenagers so well that I originally thought he must not be too far divorced from his own teen years. As it turns out, he’s thirty-eight—but his writing does an excellen...

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Oct 25 2009

The Natural Beauty Book, by Anne Akers Johnson


We here at Wordcandy love Klutz books. This line of easy-to-follow, intelligently packaged how-to books has been breaking down a variety of kid-friendly subjects—everything from simple embro...

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Jan 24 2014

The Naturals, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


We have been enjoying Jennifer Lynn Barnes's books for years—all the way back to 2008's The Squad: Perfect Cover. Her early stories were fun, if shaky, but it's been a pleasure to follow the steady improvement of her work. So many authors have one good (or good-ish) idea and go downhill from there; Barnes is among the few who have sharpened their style with every book...

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Oct 29 2018

Never Dare a Wicked Earl, by Renee Ann Miller


I am always on the lookout for promising new historical romance novelists, so I was delighted to encounter Renee Ann Miller's Never Dare a Wicked Earl. Sure, I've read more compelling romance and more ambitious historical fiction, but this was a thoroughly respectable, entertaining combination of the two—and that's harder to find than you'd think...

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Nov 5 2007

Never Surrender, by Michael Dobbs


While we here at Wordcandy usually prefer our books to be straight-up flufftastic fiction, we periodically feel the need to broaden our horizons. Sometimes this leads to misery and regret...

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Apr 8 2010

Never Tell Our Business to Strangers: A Memoir, by Jennifer Mascia


When Jennifer Mascia was five years old, her father was taken away by the FBI. It was the first sign that there was something different about her family—a difference that Mascia only dimly unders...

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May 1 2017

Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman


I am not a fan of re-editing published books. (This is mostly due to being traumatized by T.H. White's The Sword and the Stone, which has gone through several remodels. My childhood edition of White's book featured a bizarre scene involving singing minstrels in an evil ice cream parlor, but I've never found that sequence in any edition since. I'm 99% certain I didn't make this scene up, but... what if I did?) However...

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Jun 12 2007

New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer


New Moon, the sequel to Stephenie Meyer’s hugely successful YA novel Twilight, tries to take this ongoing vampire romance saga in a new direction... but hardcore fans of the first book shouldn’t worry: New Moon is just as silly as its predecessor...

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Jul 17 2007

The Night of the Solstice, by L.J. Smith


If L. J. Smith’s reputation rested solely upon her first novel, 1987’s The Night of the Solstice, and its sequel, 1990’s Heart of Valor, she might have been ranked among the classic children’s aut...

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Apr 25 2016

Night Shift, by Charlaine Harris


Night Shift, the third book in Charlaine Harris's highly entertaining Midnight, Texas series, has the same strengths and weaknesses as its predecessors. With each installment, I grow more invested in the personal lives of Harris's characters... and with each installment, I grow more pained by her idea of what serves as romantic chemistry...

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May 17 2012

The Nightmare Garden, by Caitlin Kittredge


Caitlin Kittredge's The Nightmare Garden is the sequel to The Iron Thorn, which I reviewed last year. Like its predecessor, The Nightmare Garden is a steampunk-infused fantasy set in an alternate-universe version of 1950s New England. It's the continuing (mis)adventures of Aoife Grayson, the half-Fae, half-human girl who was manipulated into destroying the Lovecraft Engine....

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May 12 2010

Nightschool: The Weirn Books (Yen Press Extravaganza Part VII), by Svetlana Chmakova


The Nightschool is a magical place that allows vampires, werewolves, and weirns (a special type of witch) to learn everything from scrying...

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Jun 29 2015

Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson


I had good feelings about Noelle Stevenson's Nimona from the first page. I liked the warm colors and distinctive character design, I always enjoy stories about unconventional families, and I instantly fell in love with the title character, who reminded me strongly of an evil-doing Yotsuba. As the book progressed, however, the initial offbeat silliness began to feel like a bait-and-switch...

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Aug 26 2005

Nine Coaches Waiting, by Mary Stewart


As you all know, we here at Wordcandy are strong believers in the power of cover art. If you want someone to take your book seriously--i.e., shell out big bucks for the hardback version--then you...

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Aug 15 2016

Ninth City Burning, by J. Patrick Black


J. Patrick Black's novel Ninth City Burning features half a dozen point-of-view characters, ambitious world-building, and a sprawling intergalactic-warfare-meets-dystopian-future plot premise. I applaud the author's sheer guts, but the end result is more than a little overwhelming...

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Apr 9 2018

Nisekoi Vol. 1, by Naoshi Komi


Naoshi Komi's Nisekoi is the manga equivalent of vanilla frozen yogurt: a sub-par take on an already boring flavor. It's not wholly unreadable, but it would be so easy to find something better...

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May 30 2007

No Humans Involved, by Kelley Armstrong


Kelley Armstong’s most recent book, No Humans Involved, is the first installment of her Women of the Otherworld series to feature a character without name-taking and ass-kicking magical powers. In fact, necromancer Jaime Vegas has decidedly mixed feelings about her “gift”—on one hand, it allows her to work as a successful celebrity medium; on the other, ghosts are constantly hanging around...

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Sep 30 2019

No Judgments, by Meg Cabot


Like nearly all of Meg Cabot's books, No Judgments is funny, charming, smart—and way messier and lazier than it has any right to be.

Bree Beckham has left behind a serious relationship, an overbearing mother, and her law studies to start life anew in Little Bridge, a tiny island in the Florida Keys. She loves living on Little Bridge, particularly after adopting a sweet, elderly cat named Gary...

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Sep 4 2007

Nodame Cantabile Vol. 1, by Tomoko Ninomiya


Smart, weird, and irresistibly funny, Tomoko Ninomiya’s Nodame Cantabile is one of our all-time favorite mangas. This coming-of-age story about a group of budding classical musicians will have particular charm for readers who’ve had some musical instruction, but Nodame Cantabile is worth reading even if you’ve never so much as plonked out Chopsticks on your neighbor’s piano...

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Jun 12 2017

Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman


Earlier this year, acclaimed storyteller Neil Gaiman published a $26, 281-page-long work of fanfiction: Norse Mythology, his “novelistic” retelling of several famous Norse myths. The book covers the stars of the Norse pantheon (Odin, Thor, Loki, Freya), and includes several of the best-known myths, including Thor's cross-dressing wedding, the death of Balder, and the many, many exploits of Loki the trickster...

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Apr 18 2016

Northanger Abbey, by Val McDermid


Val McDermid's Northanger Abbey is the second installment in the Austen Project, HarperCollins's much-maligned attempt to produce modern re-workings of Jane Austen's six novels, each written by a popular current author. As I mentioned in my review of Alexander McCall Smith's take on Emma, this is an exceptionally tall order: while many aspects of Austen's books are timeless, not...

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Mar 21 2007

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping, by Judith Levine


After hearing Judith Levine on NPR the other day, I decided to pick up a copy of her book Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping*. My hackles rose at the recommendation from Barbara Ehrenreich on the back cover--I applaud Ehrenreich's purpose and conviction, but her books are so profoundly flawed that I think they actually do her causes a disservice. However, Ms. Levine's book doesn't pretend to be an Ehrenreich-style call-to-arms...

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May 7 2018

Not If I Save You First, by Ally Carter


Ally Carter's Not If I Save You First sounded like a PG-13 version of Meg Cabot's 2002 romance novel She Went All the Way, and since that's one of my favorite contemporary romances, I was pretty stoked to read it. Carter's take isn't quite as funny as Cabot's, but there's more than enough charm and action to satisfy her many fans...

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Dec 1 2014

Now That You're Here, by Amy K. Nichols


Now That You're Here, the debut novel from Amy K. Nichols, has an absolutely gorgeous cover and an intriguing premise. Sadly, the story never quite lives up to the promise of either cover or premise, but it's only the first installment of a two-book series, and I think things might improve...

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Mar 3 2009

Nutcase, by Charlotte Hughes


We were pleasantly surprised by What Looks Like Crazy, the first book in Charlotte Hughes’s Dr. Kate Holly series. Our previous experience with Hughes was limited to the mediocre Full House...

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