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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.

Murder on the Red River by Marcie R. Rendon

The dust of 1970s Minnesota is palpable, lingering like the taste of beer and tobacco, with the echo of pool cues in the bar. Then there’s the body. Cash Blackbear, a 19-year-old Ojibwe farm laborer and unlikely detective, uses wit and uncanny ability to uncover truths. An incredible beginning to a kick-ass heroine’s series that faces the ugliness of history and murder. Immerse yourself in this mystery from White Earth Nation member Marcie R. Rendon.   —Jocelyn

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Murder on the Red River (A Cash Blackbear Mystery #1) Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781641293761
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Crime - April 5th, 2022

The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh

Starting a new series, The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes has everything you’ve been missing from the regency. A deal between a rake (for respectability) and the reputable, nearly-engaged sister of his friend (for a taste of freedom) forces each to confront both desire and their own hidden self. Balls, promenades, gaming hells, theatre, secret parties, blackmail and reputation, stalwart friends, moments of stolen passion—Eva Leigh will delight and satisfy with yet another London season of irrepressible lovers.  —Jocelyn

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The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes (Last Chance Scoundrels #1) Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780063086272
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avon - February 22nd, 2022

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

The cover made me think I was getting a bittersweet story about Black love. The first page made me think I was getting a hilariously smart, slightly raunchy rom–com with a romance author and a literary darling. By the third chapter I gave up expectations and just kept reading. Tia Williams is a brilliant, vibrant writer who dances seemingly effortlessly betwixt genres—a modern romantic comedy of adults doing their best in the real world and a euphoric tragedy of the teenagers whose sudden love burned almost brightly enough to defy self-destruction. Funny and addictive in its turns, powerful in its contradictions, and utterly, beautifully satisfying. —Jocelyn

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Seven Days in June Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781538719091
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 7th, 2022

Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez

Rainbow Milk is the kind of novel that feels transcendent—a specific story gesturing toward bigger truths. Beginning in 1959, it follows a young 21st–century Englishman navigating sex, faith, and identity as a Black and queer man. Paul Mendez’s characters are viscerally alive, traversing the darker corners of sex work, drugs, and depression, with revelations of love, connection, and self-validation against White supremacy. A mercilessly beautiful book, seeing those who should be loved, who survive and thrive in spite of abusive neglect.   —Jocelyn

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Rainbow Milk: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593313077
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - May 31st, 2022

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin

Ming Tsu was raised by a white man to kill, training that serves him well as he hunts down the men who tore him from his young wife and consigned him to the Railroad. From Utah’s plains to California’s mountains, traveling with a prophet and a sideshow of miracles, Ming’s steps are dogged by blood and love and brutality, but he refuses to falter. A cinematic, gritty Western of memory and revenge, this hits like a gunshot and lingers like smoke.  —Jocelyn

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The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu: A Novel Cover Image
By Tom Lin
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316542142
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - June 21st, 2022

Anna Hibiscus, Book 1 Written by Atinuke

Anna Hibiscus is a loving, adventurous little girl living in Africa, amazing Africa, whose stories by Nigeria-born Atinuke are brought to life by Lauren Tobia's playful illustrations. Anna's escapades are funny and relatable to any small child (and any older friends reading along). Finally back in print, this fun, heart-warming series about Anna, her big, boisterous family, and her boundless curiosity is great for kids excited for all the experiences offered by this bright big world. —Jocelyn
 

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Anna Hibiscus Cover Image
By Atinuke, Lauren Tobia (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9781536225235
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - April 12th, 2022

Troublemaker by John Cho

John Cho’s middle grade debut is heartfelt and important. It’s a story of family, friendship, and trying to understand right and wrong amidst fear, racism, and violence. Twelve-year old Korean-American Jordan and his challenges are immediately recognizable to kids (and adults) of any background. His harrowing quest through the streets of LA during the 1992 Rodney King riots is an immersive and ultimately inspiring, compassionate read for any fan of historical fiction and seeker of justice. —Jocelyn
 

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Troublemaker Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780759554474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 22nd, 2022

White Magic by Elissa Washuta

 

This book is part of our Spring Reading Challenge. Read more here.

You’ve never read anything quite like this, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Elissa Washuta, Cowlitz Indian Tribe member, witch, and millennial, has used her considerable literary talents to channel a sampling of her haunted thoughts and soul into essays that are funny, poignant, at times painfully familiar—from childhood memories and heritage, to heartbreak, magic, Stevie Nicks, and Twin Peaks—ultimately connecting to a greater, powerful whole. Whoever you are you’ll find something to entertain and resonate in these pages.—Jocelyn

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White Magic Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781953534019
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - March 15th, 2022

Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Almost a decade ago, Aristotle and Dante’s story ended with a declaration of love and a kiss in the desert. Now turn the page and you’re back in 1988 under the stars with two boys in each other’s arms. Benjamin Alire Sáenz draws a world wider than just Ari and Dante, full of danger and sorrow—the AIDS pandemic, prejudice, personal tragedy—but also populated with fantastic characters, new and old, with connection and hope in a better tomorrow.—Jocelyn

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Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534496194
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - October 12th, 2021

Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy

Huda Fahmy's sense of humor is undeniable, and her story is undeniably relatable. Fahmy as Huda F carefully explores not just the prejudice she faced in high school as a Muslim, but her pride and joy in her faith. At the same time, with friendly illustration and introspective narration, she explores a universal story of a teen looking for friends, connection, identity, and belief in oneself. I smiled through this story, feeling I met a new friend myself.—Jocelyn

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Huda F Are You? Cover Image
By Huda Fahmy, Huda Fahmy (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780593324318
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - November 23rd, 2021

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