Select book by title

Dec 6 2012

Uglies: Cutters, by Scott Westerfeld and Devin Grayson


When I reviewed Scott Westerfeld's Uglies: Shay's Story last spring, I wondered if Westerfeld's original series (which had already expanded from a trilogy to a quartet) really merited a graphic novel tie-in. I still have my doubts, frankly, but Shay's Story obviously sold well enough to justify a sequel, because Westerfeld has just released Uglies: Cutters...

More »

May 21 2012

Uglies: Shay's Story, by Scott Westerfeld and Devon Grayson


Uglies: Shay's Story is a graphic novel tie-in to Scott Westerfeld's popular Uglies books. It provides a backstory for Shay, one of the series' more interesting characters, and another trip into Westerfeld's dystopian world. Bored and rebellious, 15-year-old Shay is eagerly awaiting her next birthday and the socially mandated surgery that will transform her into a Pretty—a physically idealized version of herself...

More »

Feb 25 2009

The Ugly Guide to Being Alive and Staying That Way, by David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim


Despite being a glorified advertisement for Ugly Dolls, David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim's The Ugly Guide to Being Alive and Staying That Way actually boasts some pretty sound advice. Th...

More »

Feb 21 2007

Un Lun Dun, by China Miéville


I confess: I didn’t expect to like China Miéville’s Un Lun Dun. Preconceived dislike is a terrible thing for a book reviewer to admit, but there’s no denying it. I opened Miéville's book hoping to give it a fair shake, but A) I’m still recovering from reading certain scenes in Perdito Street Station...

More »

Mar 25 2013

Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, edited by Jonathan Strahan


Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron is a collection of eighteen all-new short stories about witches and witchcraft, edited by Jonathan Strahan. Most of the featured authors—a who's who of well-known fantasy writers, including Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, Charles de Lint, Jim Butcher, and Holly Black—brought their A-game, and the resulting stories are memorable, imaginative, and utterly absorbing...

More »

May 1 2015

Undertow, by Michael Buckley


Michael Buckley's Sisters Grimm is one of my all-time favorite kids' series. The books have their problems—actually, some really big problems—but they are so funny, romantic, and action-packed that it's easy to overlook their flaws. Buckley's new YA novel Undertow is much darker than his previous books, but...

More »

Jun 28 2013

Underworld and Awaken, by Meg Cabot


I've been waiting a whole year to review Meg Cabot's novel Underworld, the middle book in her Abandon trilogy. I read it as the minute we received it (because Cabot's books are always fun), but if I had any self-control I would have followed my own advice and waited until the final book in the trilogy was released.

More »

Apr 8 2019

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, by Dorothy Gilman


While browsing through a stack of battered paperbacks at a used book sale, I was delighted to run across a very old copy of Dorothy Gilman's The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. I had read it—and loved it—as a kid, but I had concerns about how well it would hold up, and felt that a $1 copy in readable condition was the perfect way for me to revisit the story...

More »

Nov 28 2012

The Unfailing Light, by Robin Bridges


The Unfailing Light is the second book in Robin Bridges's Katerina trilogy, following rapidly on the heels of last winter's The Gathering Storm. This installment is less ambitious than its predecessor, but the series as a whole has a lot to offer fans of historical YA fantasy, including an appealingly intelligent heroine and an unusual late-19th century Russian setting...

More »

Feb 6 2017

Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell


Reading Sarah Vowell's 2011 book Unfamiliar Fishes is like skimming through a 230-page-long magazine article. It's a witty, easily digestible take on a fascinating element of American history—but I would have preferred less wit and more dry facts...

More »

Mar 23 2009

The Unfinished Clue, by Georgette Heyer


While Georgette Heyer is best remembered for her Regency romances, she also wrote a handful of superb detective stories. These mid-twentieth century British mysteries amply display Heyer’s g...

More »

Aug 5 2009

The Unit, by Ninni Holmqvist


The Unit, the debut novel by Swedish author Ninni Holmqvist, is neither fish nor fowl nor good Swedish surströmming. It's half dystopian horror story and half mid-life...

More »

Sep 25 2006

The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation, by David Kamp


David Kamp’s The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation is a sprawling, gossipy account of some of America’s most influential post-World War II culinary icons. It doesn’t fully deliver the explanation promised by its subtitle (although I doubt that any single book could), but it works beautifully as a human-interest story, dipping into the careers of everyone from Alice Waters to Emeril Lagasse...

More »

Jun 11 2018

The Unknown Ajax, by Georgette Heyer


First published in 1959, Georgette Heyer's The Unknown Ajax is one of my all-time favorite books. It has a lot in common with The Grand Sophy—both are stories about a previously unknown relative showing up and taking charge of a troubled family—but The Unknown Ajax, happily, doesn't feature a scene with an offensive Jewish stereotype...

More »

Jul 17 2012

Unleashed, by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie


First of all, I'd like to congratulate whoever designed the cover art for Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie's Wolf Springs Chronicles: Unleashed for finding a model who so closely resembles Buffy Summers. Well played, cover designer, well played indeed. Nothing says “smart paranormal fiction” like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so this book was off to an excellent start before I'd even opened it...

More »

Sep 24 2014

Unmade: The Lynburn Legacy, by Sarah Rees Brennan


Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken was one of the most promising teen romances I've read in the past decade, with an absolutely phenomenal premise. The sequel, alas, took several steps down in quality, and I'm sad to report that the final book in the trilogy is dumber still...

More »

Dec 4 2012

Unspoken: The Lynburn Legacy, Book One, by Sarah Rees Brennan


I can already see a problem with my review-a-day plan: my feelings about one book are going to bleed into another. I'm certain I would have enjoyed Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken regardless, but a little additional love may have been generated by the sharp contrast it presented to the story I read yesterday...

More »

Sep 25 2013

Untold: The Lynburn Legacy, Book Two, by Sarah Rees Brennan


Sarah Rees Brennan's novel Unspoken was one of my favorite YA books of 2012. I objected to the twee cover art, the overly-mannered dialogue, and the underdeveloped antagonist, but I was utterly in love with the protagonists' romantic conflict: an example of teen angst done absolutely right...

More »

Mar 6 2017

Utterly Uncle Fred, by P.G. Wodehouse


Utterly Uncle Fred is an omnibus edition of P.G. Wodehouse's stories about the irrepressible Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, 5th Earl of Ickenham. This collection includes the novels Cocktail Time, Uncle Dynamite, and Service With a Smile, and well as the short story that introduced us to the character, "Uncle Fred Flits By"...

More »