REVIEW: From Here to Eternity Review: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

Few life events affect us more than the death of a loved one. At times, it can seem that grief is monolithic, but not every culture deals with death and grief in the same way. The death culture of the US endeavors to paint a pleasing facade over what we consider macabre. Embalmers camouflage the…

Book Review: Gilded Cage by Vic James

Vic James’s debut dystopic fantasy, Gilded Cage, blends the magic of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen and the well-known squalor of The Hunger Games with a relatable cast of characters and vast plot that reminds me of A Song of Ice and Fire. In the world of Gilded Cage, not everyone is created Equal. Most aristocrats…

Review of Annie Hartnett’s Rabbit Cake

Elvis Babbitt, who shares a name and birthday with the King of Rock & Roll, is the precocious and obsessive protagonist of Annie Hartnett’s Rabbit Cake. Elvis’s peculiar proclivities stem in part from her mother, a failed naturalist who settled for teaching in community college in Alabama. Mom herself harbors quite a bit of quirk. For…

Review of The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

Full of turmoil, love, loss, and pain, Lindsey Lee Johnson’s The Most Dangerous Place on Earth is a complex meditation on privilege and the crucible that is adolescence. Set in Mill Valley, California, at the real life Tamalpais High School, the story centers on a fledgling teacher, Molly Nicoll, as she discovers and comes to…

Review of Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Review of Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood Margaret Atwood’s latest novel, Hag-Seed, the latest in Hogarth Shakespeare’s series of modern retellings, interprets The Tempest in a technique that layers contemplation, action, and exegesis. This is the second of the Hogarth Shakespeare series that I have read, and so far, it is the strongest. However, The Tempest…

Review of Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt has been difficult for me to review. I finished it a few days ago, and since then, I’ve been ruminating on it. In its essence, Cruel Beautiful World is a novel about family and love. But the horrible underside of humanity is afoot as well. Yes, it takes place…

Review of The Vegetarian by Han Kang

“It’s your body, you can treat it as you please. The only area where you’re free to do just as you like. And even that doesn’t turn out how you wanted,” (Kang 182). On its surface, The Vegetarian by Han Kang is a deeply disturbing story of a woman’s descent into madness. But don’t let…