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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.

Sulwe written by Lupita Nyong'o, illus. by Vashti Harrison

Sulwe, like too many real children, cannot see her own beauty, outside or in. A myth about the sisters Night and Day helps her see her true self, “Dark and beautiful, bright and strong.” Vashti Harrison’s gorgeous art brings life this all-too-real story by Lupita Nyong’o that will lift your heart. It’s perfect for any child who needs help seeing themselves, to be reminded that not all beauty is the same, or who dreams of stories the stars might tell. - Jocelyn

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Sulwe Cover Image
By Lupita Nyong'o, Vashti Harrison (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534425361
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - October 15th, 2019

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? by Caitlin Doughty

Fair warning: this book is not for the squeamish of stomach. But if you have a fascination (and sense of humor) with the science of death and/or the macabre, this will be oh-so-rewarding. Caitlin Doughty writes as if you were sitting with your snarky friend who knows so much you’d hate her a little, if you weren’t so interested and entertained, answering questions received from real, live, uncensored children. Need I even mention the cute, creepy, absolutely beautiful illustrations by Dianné Ruz? If you or anyone you know—or better yet, a child you know—thirsts for blood-knowledge, pick this up. - Jocelyn

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Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death Cover Image
By Caitlin Doughty, Dianne Ruz (Illustrator)
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393652703
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 10th, 2019

Fabulosa! The Story of Polari, Britain's Secret Gay Language

If you have any interest in linguistics or LGBT history, you will not be disappointed in picking this up. Paul Barker details a thorough, but accessible, history of the secret LGBT language Polari. Intermixed is Barker’s own story of his relationship with Polari. Highly entertaining, you’ll find yourself figuring out the proper way to read “Varda the bona palone?” off the page, and connect in some way to those whose love and lives depended on this language. - Jocelyn

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Fabulosa!: The Story of Polari, Britain’s Secret Gay Language Cover Image
$27.50
ISBN: 9781789141320
Availability: Backordered
Published: Reaktion Books - August 2019

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

This book is a modern classic of satire and what it means to be human. The apocalypse is coming, and a vivid cast of characters will do battle (well, more cause nuisance to each other) in an attempt to either stop or hinder it. The collaboration of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is seamless, and brilliant creativity and hilarity ensue. Whether you watch the miniseries or not, you won’t regret treating yourself to this book. - Jocelyn

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Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780060853976
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - August 7th, 2007

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

People calls this book a “Pride & Prejudice-like send-up”, and that’s what this is: Kevin Kwan has channeled Jane Austen to write a witty, satirical rom-com told from an American-Born Chinese traversing the rarified (and often ridiculous) air of the upper echelons of Kwan’s native Singapore. Pick this up for the love story, pick it up for the drama, the incredible side characters, or just the crazy richness – this book is guaranteed to transport and entertain. - Jocelyn

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Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780345803788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - May 20th, 2014

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

A tattoo artist and budding CEO, haunted by their shared past, are given a second change – at love, but more importantly at their own lives. I was pulled in from the start to this taut tale of redemption, betrayal, sex, and romance. With complex characters, sizzling tension, juicy drama, and intricate tattoos (and desert) I finished this book fully satisfied – but ready for Alisha Rai’s next installment. - Jocelyn

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Hate to Want You: Forbidden Hearts Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062566737
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avon - July 25th, 2017

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly

Amberlough delighted me and broke me and did it all over again. A Jazz-age alternate world of queer spy-vs-spy shenanigans and cat-and-mouse politics, featuring the rise of a conservative facist government in a diverse and throbbingly alive world. Possibly a little too real in our current real-world, but author Lara Elena Donnelly kept me hoping against reason for the characters, even as she broke me down. Fair warning: you will immediately need to pick up the sequel. - Jocelyn

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Amberlough: Book 1 in the Amberlough Dossier Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780765383822
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - February 13th, 2018

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Elaborate heist? Elaborate magical heist? Elaborate, brilliantly realized world inspired by historical Amsterdam, but filled with living, breathing people with complex histories and personalities, that will come together for the pay-off of their lives – and maybe save the world? I devoured this novel that will satisfy fantasy fans of any age, of six young criminals and misfits who refuse to accept a world that won’t accept them. Trust me – you’ll be glad there’s more. - Jocelyn

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Six of Crows Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781250076960
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - February 6th, 2018

Tomorrow Will Be Different by Sarah McBride

McBride’s story of self-discovery, determination, and love made me check my privilege, cheer, and cry. She earnestly and intelligently reflects on her life, from coming out as a trans woman, to walking to corridors of power, to falling in love and losing her husband. This compelling read highlights how far we still have to go towards actual liberty and justice for all. - Jocelyn

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Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality Cover Image
By Sarah McBride, Joe Biden (Foreword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781524761486
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Three Rivers Press - March 5th, 2019

Barbarian Days by William Finnegan

This is a perfect summer nonfiction read for anytime you want an escape. Finnegan paints with vivid strokes the places and times that shaped his identity as a surfer, from Hawaii to Santa Cruz, to parts few of us will ever hear about, much less see. The passion of a surfer will keep you turning pages that exude salt air and the feel of the ocean beneath a board under your feet. - Jocelyn

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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143109396
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - April 26th, 2016

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