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Aug 14 2008

Wake, by Lisa McMann


Lisa McMann’s debut novel Wake has a lot going for it: a great premise, an intriguingly dark atmosphere, and a plausibly screwed-up heroine. Unfortunately, it’s way too short, it’s currently...

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May 2 2016

The Wallflower, by Tomoko Hayakawa


Tomoko Hayakawa's The Wallflower ran from 2000 to 2015, spanning 36 volumes. That's at least twenty volumes longer than the actual storytelling could support, but there is no denying that the series' main character is one of the most memorable heroines in manga...

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Mar 26 2018

Warcross, by Marie Lu


When I first picked up Marie Lu's Warcross, my hopes were simple: I wanted a less aggressively self-indulgent version of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One. This definitely qualifies (of course, it's hard to imagine a more self-indulgent version of Ready Player One), but Lu's story has problems of its own...

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Dec 29 2015

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye, by Tania del Rio and Will Staehle


Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is a tribute to three people: Will Staehle, who created the title character, provided the illustrations, and designed the book, Tania del Rio, who wrote the story, and the unknown Quirk Books employee who agreed to publish such a detailed, gorgeous, labor-intensive work...

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Mar 5 2007

The Watchman, by Robert Crais


I thoroughly enjoyed Robert Crais’s action/suspense novel The Watchman. Crais’s book is neither deep nor plausible, but it is fast, fun, furious, and capped off with a satisfyingly noisy shoot-‘em-out ending. It doesn't have any of the intellectual ambitions of the last action/suspense novel that we reviewed, but it's much more entertaining...

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Aug 24 2015

The Water Knife, by Paolo Bacigalupi


For a book blessed with interesting characters, a compelling conflict, and an absolutely spectacular hook, Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife isn't actually fun to read. I don't mind violence, but there's a fine line between suffering that serves the plot and straight-up disaster porn, and too much of The Water Knife feels like the latter...

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Feb 19 2019

The Water Will Come, by Jeff Goodell


It has been more than six months since my last review of a gloomy nonfiction book about water, so I'm clearly way overdue. Today's pick is The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World, the latest effort from Rolling Stone contributing editor Jeff Goodell...

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Dec 22 2014

Waterfall, by Lauren Kate


After reading Stacey Jay's latest novel, I decided it was time to give Lauren Kate another shot. I've complained about Kate's writing before, but Jay's book left me feeling hopeful. Contrary to some previously-held fears, YA writers can improve over time... but, alas, Kate does not seem to be one of them. Actually, I'm worried her books may be getting worse...

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Mar 14 2016

The Watsons, by Jane Austen and John Coates


Sometime between 1803 and 1805, Jane Austen wrote the first five chapters of a novel called The Watsons. The story opens on a grim note: a young woman named Emma Watson returns to her family after spending many years in the care of a widowed and wealthy aunt. When her aunt makes a foolish second marriage, Emma is shipped off to her father's house, where she joins her three older sisters...

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Dec 4 2017

We Are Never Meeting In Real Life, by Samantha Irby


I have never understood why people buy crappy stuff to read on airplanes. I need something great to read on a plane—a book instantly absorbing enough to distract me from the many, many things that suck about flying. A People article about Chris Pratt is not going to cut it, so I was delighted to run across an A+ plane book recommendation for this upcoming holiday season: Samantha Irby's essay collection We Are Never Meeting in Real Life...

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Jun 9 2014

We Are The Goldens, by Dana Reinhardt


Reading Dana Reinhardt's We Are The Goldens is an exercise in appreciating process rather than product. It's thoughtful and well-written, but if you're hoping for a tidy, satisfying conclusion you're doomed to disappointment...

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Nov 10 2008

We Interrupt this Broadcast, by Joe Garner


Effectively combining history, commentary, and audio recordings of actual news broadcasts, Joe Garner’s recently re-released We Interrupt This Broadcast is a far cry above the typical coffee-table...

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Nov 13 2018

The Wedding Date, by Jasmine Guillory


Jasmine Guillory's The Wedding Date boasts a delightful heroine, a memorable hook, and centers around a healthy, sex-positive, power-balanced relationship. I really liked large portions of the story, but thought it fell short on one critical front.

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Aug 25 2014

Welcome to Bordertown, edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner


Inspired by Robert Lynn Asprin's long-running Thieves' World series, editor and author Terri Windling created the shared-world Borderland series in 1985. Borderland was followed by 1986's Bordertown and 1991's Life on the Border, and in 2011, twelve years after the publication of The Essential Bordertown, the series was revived by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner, with Windling's blessing and participation...

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Dec 16 2010

Welcome to Temptation, by Jennifer Crusie


St. Martin's Press has recently re-released Jennifer Crusie's Welcome To Temptation, giving Crusie fans a second chance to enjoy this ridiculously fun, sexy blend of small-town pol...

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Jan 28 2015

What A Lady Requires, by Ashlyn MacNamara


Ashlyn McNamara's What The Lady Requires is the kind of fun-yet-forgettable historical romance that neither challenges one's intelligence nor insults it. I won't remember it a month from now, but it slid down perfectly pleasantly...

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Nov 1 2008

What Looks Like Crazy, by Charlotte Hughes


Before reading What Looks Like Crazy, our exposure to Charlotte Hughes’s work was limited to the utterly forgettable Full House series she co-wrote with Janet Evanovich. As longtime fans of ...

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Jul 5 2006

What To Eat, by Marion Nestle


Wordcandy doesn’t review much nonfiction. It’s not that we have anything against nonfiction. It's just that the nonfiction books we tend to read (and then pass along to each other, because, hey, misery loves company) are frequently depressing, and none of us want to linger over the subjects in question—global warming, voter fraud, the contents of a McDonalds hamburger—long enough to write a halfway decent review...

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Dec 19 2012

What You See in the Dark, by Manuel Munoz


It's been several days of teen-oriented books, so today was time for a literary palate cleanser. After poking through some of the older titles on our “To Be Read” shelves, I pulled out Manuel Munoz's 2011 book What You See in the Dark, equally attracted by the novel's absolutely stunning black-and-white cover art and its official description, which sounds about as far from most YA novels as you can get...

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May 6 2019

When a Duchess Says I Do, by Grace Burrowes


It's been several months since my last attempt at finding a new-to-me historical romance novelist whose work I actually like, so once again I'm choosing an author at random off a bookstore shelf. Sure, Grace Burrowes's When a Duchess Says I Do is covered in glowing testimonials from her fellow writers, but I've been misled before...

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Mar 6 2008

Where Does the Money Go? Your Guided Tour to the Federal Budget Crisis, by Scott Bittle and Jean Johnson


Wordcandy doesn’t review much nonfiction, but we were pleasantly surprised by Jean Johnson and Scott Bittle’s Where Does the Money Go? Your Guided Tour to the Federal Budget Crisis. Miraculously, Johnson and Bittle have managed to write a politically unbiased book on an important-but-drier-than-dust subject that is both informative and entertaining...

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Aug 14 2017

Where The Water Goes, by David Owen


A note to new readers: while Wordcandy mostly reviews fiction, we do make space for the occasional post on nonfiction books we consider to be of general interest. Previous nonfiction picks have focused on food, money, or (as in this case) the environment. Hopefully you find these featured books as interesting as we do...

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Sep 22 2014

The Whispering Skull, by Jonathan Stroud


The Whispering Skull, the second book in Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co. series, is just as complex, entertaining, and ghost-stuffed as its predecessor. It has the same faults, too, but they remain happily minor...

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Jul 10 2010

White Cat, by Holly Black


Bookstores are currently overflowing with YA novels about vampires and werewolves, but the majority of the “monsters” in these books seem like fundamentally nice guys. They care about their ...

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May 11 2006

The White Mountains, by John Christopher


As post-apocalyptic visions of the future go, the world in John Christopher’s Tripod series isn’t so bad. In some ways, it’s almost idyllic—a world without war or famine, where people are comfortably assured of their own destiny. But there is one major downside: as soon as you turn fourteen, you’re sucked up into the belly of a three-legged, alien-controlled machine called a Tripod, and you’re not returned until a mind-controlling metal cap has been fused onto your skull...

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Mar 24 2009

Why Shoot a Butler?, by Georgette Heyer


Why Shoot a Butler? is perhaps Georgette Heyer’s most conventional detective story. Her murder weapons are unremarkable, her plot centers around a missing will, and her sleuth displays a lev...

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Sep 16 2007

Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr


Wicked Lovely, Melissa Marr’s debut novel, is a YA gothic fantasy that falls somewhere between Holly Black’s gritty, atmospheric fairy tales and Stephenie Meyer’s angst-filled Twilight series. Marr’s book has its weak spots, but this modern Tam Lin adaptation is more than entertaining enough to overcome them...

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Sep 18 2023

Wild Hunger, by Chloe Neill


Chloe Neill's Wild Hunger is very clearly a spin-off. It's a fun, easy-to-follow spin-off that works reasonably well as a standalone novel, but there are plenty of areas where I felt like the author was skimming over huge chunks of characterization or background, lest she bore her preexisting fans with stuff they already knew. I definitely wish I'd started with the earlier books—not that...

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Mar 16 2010

Wild Ride, by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer


Wild Ride is the most successful of the Jennifer Crusie/Bob Mayer collaborations to date: fast, fun, and deliciously weird. Admittedly, we still prefer Crusie's solo work, but how could anyone ha...

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Mar 8 2010

Wildfire at Midnight, by Mary Stewart


Mary Stewart is one of those authors whose best work (the truly awesome 1958 novel Nine Coaches Waiting) was so good that everything else she produced pales in comparison...

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Jul 30 2007

Will the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby?, by Allyson Beatrice


Will the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby?: True Adventures in Cult Fandom, Allyson Beatrice’s collection of essays about her experiences as a hardcore Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, is a...

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Jun 3 2019

The Wind Off The Small Isles, by Mary Stewart


If you, like me, consider yourself to be a Mary Stewart fan, you might be concerned that you have never heard of her book The Wind Off The Small Isles, which her publisher describes as a “beloved modern classic”. But take heart, dear readers, because it turns out this description is utter garbage—Stewart produced several beloved modern classics, but this isn't one of them...

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Dec 21 2015

Winter, by Marissa Meyer


I love Sailor Moon fanfiction and I love retold fairytales. You'd think combining the two would be an automatic win for me, but Marissa Meyer's best-selling Lunar Chronicles series proves that there's no such thing as a surefire bet...

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Oct 1 2006

Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett


Terry Pratchett’s third Tiffany Aching book, Wintersmith, has problems. It’s not as uproariously funny as the previous two installments, and both the main plot and the villain are emotionally underwhelming. The book’s dreamlike atmosphere works in a few places, but Pratchett’s constant shifting from humor to pathos to action makes the story’s climax fall a little flat...

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Jul 9 2018

Wodehouse on Crime: A Dozen Tales of Fiendish Cunning, by P.G. Wodehouse


During a recent trip to Powell's Books in Portland, OR, I picked up Wodehouse on Crime: A Dozen Tales of Fiendish Cunning, an oddly packaged collection of P.G. Wodehouse stories edited by D.R. Bensen. Wodehouse on Crime features stories from all over the Wodehouse universe: Jeeves and Wooster, Mulliner, Lord Emsworth, Ukridge. Wodehouse was perhaps the furthest thing on Earth from a hardboiled crime writer, but a surprising number of his plots hinge...

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Jul 10 2009

Wolverine: Prodigal Son, by Antony Johnston


In the grand tradition of alternate-universe fanfiction, writer Antony Johnston and artist Wilson Tortosa have created a shonen manga take on the popular X-Men character Wolverine. Their new series...

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Jan 26 2005

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan Aiken


From fairy tales to Edward Gorey, we here at Wordcandy have long enjoyed stories about bad things happening to good children. British author Joan Aiken has been a steady contributor to this fine literary subgenre, from the 1962 publication of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase to the recent (posthumous) publication of the last book in her Wolves Chronicles, The Witch of Clatteringshaws...

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Mar 2 2005

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, by Eleanor Cameron


I enjoy books about home restoration. I once wrote a term paper passionately defending Martha Stewart's status as an American icon. I have a serious crush on Alton Brown and an even more serious one on Red Green. And while I am rarely tempted to actually attempt any of the projects that I read about or see on television, I always find the sight of other people creating stuff to be tremendously satisfying...

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Aug 21 2017

The World of Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse


I firmly believe that P.G. Wodehouse is best experienced in the short-story format. Sure, I've laughed myself sick over individual scenes in his full-length novels, but let's face it: every Jeeves and Wooster novel is really just a short story on steroids, so why bother with the needlessly hulked-out version when...

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