Lynnanne Pearson

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The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry

Waggoner (Unnatural Magic) crafts an excellent historical fantasy that also manages to have a sweet and hot love story at the center. At turns laugh-out-loud funny and heartwarming, this fast-paced book is for fans of romance, historical fantasy, and Theodora Goss’s “Athena Club” series.

The Happiest Girl in the World

As she did with the Catholic Church in Mercy House, Dillon lays bare the sins of the U.S. gymnastic world and all those who enable this sport that forces young girls to give up their childhoods and subject their bodies to harsh physical routines and drugs. Dillon sticks the landing with this layered book about abuse, drive, family expectations, and trauma.

Best Pop Fiction of 2020

PREMIUM

Loveoid

While the story’s premise is interesting, the disjointed writing and plotting distracts from the work as a whole. More troubling is the author’s use of racist stereotypes, the emotionally abusive relationship of Khalid and Olivia, and the derogatory language toward overweight characters. Not recommended.
PREMIUM

The Bladebone

Recommended for fans of quality worldbuilding, and for libraries where Khan’s other books are popular.
PREMIUM

The Spell

Readers will also be desperate to escape this poorly written, shoddily imagined fantasy novel. While set in 16th-century England, anachronisms abound. Moreover, the story lacks any world building, an essential piece for any fantasy story. Not recommended.
PREMIUM

Afterlife Crisis

Law professor Graham (Beforelife) may have been aiming for a story combining elements of Douglas Adams and P.G. Wodehouse, but the corny and juvenile jokes, confusing worldbuilding, and meandering, fourth-wall-breaking narrative only proves to frustrate readers looking for a more cogent tale. However, fans of the author’s first book may enjoy this latest fantasy adventure.
PREMIUM

Passing Fancies

As in the first book in this series (Relative Fortunes), Benn has clearly done her research into the time period. Unfortunately, in both books, the research is clumsily inserted into the story, which slows down the narrative’s pace. Still, readers who liked the first book and enjoy mysteries set in the 1920s will enjoy the return of the spirited and independent Julia and hope for her appearance in a third book.

Best Pop Fiction 2019

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