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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, and now wears multiple hats including IT, Magazines, Marketing, and more. 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.

Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda

I love this book. Maggie Gonzales’s challenge to herself to figure out her feelings between her best friend, old love, and new romance is so real, as is her uncertainty about the future. Awesome friends and family are vibrant on the page; their modern-day Texas is vividly alive with the music, fashion, photography, and food of the Rio Grande Valley. Filled with the best parts of high school, while not flinching from real problems and consequences, this is the perfect teen dating novel to fall into .—Jocelyn

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Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster By Andrea Mosqueda Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250822055
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - May 24th, 2022

The Witch King (Witch King Duology, Book 1) by H. E. Edgmon

A punk fight for selfhood and a throne, this story is a defiant celebration of queerness and survival. Wyatt Croft, our trans gay witch protagonist, refuses to be anything but himself in spite of oppression, prejudice, intrigue, violence, and even those he loves. Edgmon delights in their fae, witch, and human cast of characters, while dreaming of a better way. A lightly drawn fantasy for fans of Holly Black, TJ Klune, and Charlie Jane Anders.  —Jocelyn

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The Witch King By H. E. Edgmon Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335425843
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Inkyard Press - April 19th, 2022

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon’s latest is so much more than a romance, channeling the uncertainty of the pandemic era into a modern fairy tale. High school senior Evie Thomas finds herself adrift, questioning the value of any relationship if everything always ends. A touch of magic and a lot of dancing will challenge her—and those around her—to trust that joy is worth the risk. This story is for anyone looking for hope and a reason to take a chance.  —Jocelyn

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Instructions for Dancing By Nicola Yoon Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524718992
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ember - May 3rd, 2022

Lizzy and the Cloud by Terry & Eric Fan

Lizzy and the Cloud is a lovely and whimsical new picture book that captures the simple beauty of loving something enough to set it free. Lizzy’s care for her beloved cloud is an apt metaphor for a child’s relationship with pets, friends, and wild things—as well as for a parent’s experience loving a child and letting them grow up and out. This new book from the always wonderful Fan Brothers will make your smile linger long after you’ve turned the last page.  —Jocelyn

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Lizzy and the Cloud By Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Terry Fan (Illustrator), Eric Fan (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Terry Fan (Illustrator), Eric Fan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534483170
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - May 3rd, 2022

Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods by Catherynne M. Valente

Valente has built an incredible fantasy world in this stand-alone fairy tale bursting with magic, mushrooms, humor, and indelible characters. Osmo's journey is as filled with wonder as it is with questions of right and wrong, friendship and self, and how to realize a better world. Great read episodically or all in one sitting, and perfect for readers of Baum's Oz series and Andersen's fairy tales, or fans of modern cinematic classics such as Labryinth, The Dragon Prince, and the work of Hayao Miyazaki.  —Jocelyn

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Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods By Catherynne M. Valente Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481476997
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - April 26th, 2022

Broken Horses A Memoir by Brandi Carlile

A queer girl believing in and dreaming of music from the start, Brandi Carlile has written a memoir that easily moves through years and miles, vibrant memories intertwined with songs and lyrics. Carlile’s own words palpably bring the people and moments who shaped her to life, documenting her search for success, love, and health; the tension with her lifelong Christian faith, and her hope in music and good people. Broken Horses made me cry more than once, albums on repeat, smiling all the while.  —Jocelyn

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Broken Horses: A Memoir By Brandi Carlile Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593237267
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - April 12th, 2022

The God Equation by Michio Kaku

A perfect book to start with for any aspiring armchair physicist, or a great review for those more versed in physics. Human nature is widely accepted as constantly seeking understanding, and physics is the ultimate scientific quest for understanding how the universe works. Celebrated scientist and writer Michio Kaku presents an eminently accessible history, detailing how different scientists have found and put together more and more pieces of the puzzle, helping us comprehend more about the universe and giving us a glimpse of what is to come next.  —Jocelyn 

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The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything By Michio Kaku Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525434566
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - March 29th, 2022

Let the Record Show by Sarah Schulman

I picked up Let the Record Show for my interest in LGBTQIA history. I devoured Let the Record Show for the absolutely compelling narrative and the voices and stories of real, complex, human people. I’m recommending Let the Record Show because this political/oral history of how ACT UP fought AIDS has so much relevance to our now—from the COVID-19 pandemic to practical lessons on organization and activism. Trust me, you won’t be able to stop reading.  —Jocelyn

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Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 By Sarah Schulman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250849120
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Published: Picador - May 17th, 2022

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

A young woman determined to better her circumstances and a priest hiding witchcraft from the remnants of the Inquisition lead a striking cast in a bloody landscape recovering from war and colonization. Evoking the gothic and horror literature of Daphne du Maurier and Shirley Jackson, Isabel Cañas has created a decadent ghost story with romance and true danger, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, that is suitably haunting and utterly satisfying.   —Jocelyn

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The Hacienda By Isabel Cañas Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593436691
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - May 3rd, 2022

One-Shot Harry by Gary Phillips

Hardboiled but with hope, Black Korean War veteran–turned-photojournalist Harry Ingram gets the job done in this tangibly immersive historical noir. Jazz rhythms set the pace as the diverse communities of 1960s Los Angeles come to vibrant life, tensions rising ahead of a visit from Martin Luther King Jr, and Harry searches for the truth, maybe even justice, following the death of an old friend. An eminently satisfying start to a new, wholly original historical mystery series.  —Jocelyn

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One-Shot Harry By Gary Phillips Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641292917
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Crime - April 12th, 2022


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