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Jocelyn's Reviews

Jocelyn began working at Bookshop Santa Cruz in 2010 after graduating from UCSC with degrees in Literature, History, and Theatre. She left in 2012 to attend graduate school in New York, but was happy to be able to return to work part-time during breaks. She has been working full time again at Bookshop after graduating with an MFA in 2015. You're most likely to find her reviews on nerd-things, including Science Fiction, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, as well as theatre, history, technology, and social justice.

Hellaween by Moss Lawton

Magic lights up the night as both skateboards and broomsticks race toward movies and malls. In this graphic novel, monsters and friendship go hand-in-hand, leaving us to question what’s scarier—nearly being killed or just being ignored? Moss Lawton’s sharp work on shows like Invader Zim and Monster High is wonderfully evident in both story and art in this fun/ny entry into the spooky teen genre, proving (as so many of us know) that Halloween is the best season. —Jocelyn

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Hellaween By Moss Lawton Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593524282
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Razorbill - August 8th, 2023

The Story of Gumluck the Wizard, Book 1 by Adam Rex

Adam Rex brings us a funny and lovely illustrated fantasy chapter book about the adventures of Gumluck, a little, bumbling wizard whose greatest wish is to help everyone. With a fairy-tale setting recognizable at any age, and a skeptical, sarcastic narrator who tells it like it is, you will laugh and learn about truth and lies, trying your best and being yourself, and really believing in someone else.—Jocelyn

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The Story of Gumluck the Wizard: Book One By Adam Rex Cover Image
ISBN: 9781797213231
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - August 15th, 2023

Daughter of the Dragon: Anna May Wong’s Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang

Even if you never learned her name, you will recognize Anna May Wong, the first Asian-American international movie star. Yunte Huang approaches her life and complex legacy with care and nuance, simultaneously traversing 20th century history to draw a full picture of the world in which she was born and became a star. A multilingual polymath, world traveler, discreet lover, activist, and a dedicated, singularly talented performer, you will love—and be fascinated by—the time you spend with Anna May Wong and her world.


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Daughter of the Dragon: Anna May Wong's Rendezvous with American History By Yunte Huang Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631495809
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - August 22nd, 2023

With Love, from Cold World by Alicia Thompson

An enemies-to-lovers workplace millennial romance that feels like a timeless romcom, complete with hijinks in the only winter wonderland in the heart of Florida. Oh, and it's Christmas. From the play-it-by-the-rules ice queen afraid to melt enough to let anyone in, to the blue-haired, bisexual prankster who can’t let it get too serious, and a cast of friends, coworkers, kids and customers—Alicia Thompson’s characters, their hopes and heartbreak, all feel real, and will keep you turning pages, hoping for magic at Cold World.


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With Love, from Cold World By Alicia Thompson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593438671
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - August 1st, 2023

Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon by Wole Talabi

This was so much fun! Wole Talabi has created a rich and vibrant world just on the other side of ours. Drawing from the Yoruba spiritual traditions, this fast-paced adventure bounces back and forth across time and place, drawing the path that brought gods of nightmare and sky, ancient demons, and hapless magicians to an epic love story and an elaborate, magical heist to determine the fate of the orisha. A perfect escape for any fantasy reader.


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Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon By Wole Talabi Cover Image
ISBN: 9780756418267
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DAW - August 8th, 2023

I’m Not Done with You Yet by Jesse Q. Sutanto

It would be easy enough to simply write a dangerous game of pure obsession rooted in the literary world. But Jesse Q. Sutanto is more devious than that, and her writing is twistier and more addictive—this ain’t your auntie’s thriller. From suburban techbro banality, to sniping in the literary world’s upper echelons, and the lingering echo of a friendship’s secret, bloody end in the dark halls of academia… Everything is crafty, a little snarky, certainly awkward, and you won’t be able to stop reading.


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I'm Not Done with You Yet By Jesse Q. Sutanto Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593546918
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - August 22nd, 2023

Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose

A small Irish village. A woman murdered. A story that travels back on the twisting road that led to her death, alone in her house. Three women are at the heart of Dirty Laundry—orbited in turn by husbands, children, friends, family—wrestling with choices made and the lies they have told to others and themselves. A sinfully delicious tale reminding us that nothing is ever what it seems—not a family, not a relationship, not a person, not a life.  —Jocelyn

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Dirty Laundry: A Novel By Disha Bose Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593497388
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - April 4th, 2023

The City Inside by Samit Basu

The City Inside is now available in English! Privacy is a thing of the past in Basu’s dystopian India. The biggest industry is of celebrities livestreaming themselves. Basu’s bright characters and their journey through this all-too-familiar near-future takes the reader across class and caste, violence and meme, rebellion and selling out, boiling down all doubts, ambitions, fears, and moral ambiguity.  —JOCELYN

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The City Inside By Samit Basu Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250827500
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Published: Tordotcom - May 23rd, 2023

Quietly Hostile: Essays by Samantha Irby

Samantha Irby, modern classic pop culture humorist, holds nothing back in her latest essay collection, whose topics range from how to stay relentlessly positive in the face of the incurably judgmental to ways to ruin Sex and the City (she wrote for the reboot) to too-real family (mis)connections to the time she almost died. Irby’s life and observations are witty, painful, gross, absolutely funny, and true. If you’re already familiar with Irby, don’t worry—she’s back. If not, buckle up—it’s a wild ride.  —JOCELYN

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Quietly Hostile: Essays By Samantha Irby Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593315699
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 16th, 2023

The Rediscovery of America by Ned Blackhawk

Ned Blackhawk joins the growing (and overdue) pantheon of historians looking to restore Indigenous history to the story of “America.” Ambitiously tackling the arc commonly taught (and normalized) in US schools, Blackhawk swiftly but comprehensively charts a course from Spanish colonization to the 20th century, covering 500 years in fewer than 500 pages, examining factors of personality, religion, economics, politics, conflict, and culture, illustrating how the disparate peoples known as “Native Americans” have always shaped the identity, direction, and history of this country.  —JOCELYN

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The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History By Ned Blackhawk Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300244052
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Published: Yale University Press - April 25th, 2023


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