Book Review: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

“Everyone has heard stories of women like us—cautionary tales, morality plays, warnings of what will befall you if you are a girl too wild for the world, a girl who asks too many questions or wants too much. If you set off into the world alone. Everyone has heard stories of women like us, and now we will make more of them.”

In this highly anticipated sequel in the Montague Sibling series, Mackenzi Lee’s  The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy provides thorough entertainment and grand adventures for a wide range of readers to enjoy. Trying to make a name for herself in a male dominated period, Felicity Montague begins her own story with unimaginable mysteries and despicable villains. But with her two wonderful companions, nothing will stand in her way of truth and triumph!

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Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

“And it seemed to me that Dante’s face was a map of the world. A world without any darkness.

Wow, a world without darkness. How beautiful was that?”

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is an elegantly written coming of age story, one that’s truly unique in the realm of YA literature. During one profound summer day, Ari and Dante meet and quickly become the closest friend they each have in the world. But when tragedy strikes and subsequent events occur, Ari and Dante’s friendship is put to the test. Set in the 1980’s, Sáenz’s emotional roller-coaster of a novel opens readers’ eyes to a world where openly discussed topics were once tabooed and what happens when you don’t fit into the “norm” that society has dictated for us. An addictive story with tremendously brilliant characters, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is nearly impossible to put down!

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Book Review: Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

“‘It just feels like…’ her voice small. ‘Sometimes it just feels like I’m faking.’
‘Maybe everyone feels that way.'”

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Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

“Nick and I look at each other.
‘I’m not holding your hand,’ I tell him, smiling a little.
‘All right’–he nods–‘but know that I would.'”

An absolutely hilarious and adorable read, Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is an insightful story that will bring readers to tears, both from laughter and woe. After a student beings to blackmail Simon after discovering his secret, Simon must follow all his requests or his (and his anonymous friends) secret will be vocalized to the world. Juggling family oddness, quarrels in friendships, accepting himself and hopelessly falling for his mysterious pen-pal, Simon’s adventures will make it nearly impossible to put this book down.

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Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

“We are not broken things, neither of us. We are cracked pottery mended with laquer and flakes of gold, whole as we are, complete unto each other. Complete and worthy and so very loved.”

Remarkably witty and wildly adventurous, Mackenzie Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a beautiful edition to the realm of historical fiction and LGBTQ+ romance novels. Henry “Monty” Montague is a gentleman by blood, yet acts completely the opposite; rambunctious and a sweet-talker, Monty finds himself as a constant disapproval from his father. As a last chance to prove himself a gentleman, he is sent on a Grand Tour of Europe with his sister Felicity and long time friend Percy…who just happens to be his crush. But when danger strikes during their travels, the trio find themselves on a dangerous yet thrilling adventure across Europe. Intense and breathtakingly romantic, readers will find themselves unable to put this book down!

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Book Review: A Tale of Two Daddies by Vanita Oelschlager

“Who is your dad when you’re sad and need some love?”

Both, of course.”

Demonstrating the importance of acceptance and understanding, Oelschlager’s A Tale of Two Daddies inspires us to look beyond ourselves and societal norms in order to see how beautiful family is even if it’s different from our own. Through the curiosity of one child trying to comprehend the family dynamic of another, Oelschlager’s children’s book goes through the day-to-day activities that the young girl and her two fathers experience together. Aesthetically pleasing with an extremely adorable story, A Tale of Two Daddies brilliantly conveys that no two families are alike yet that doesn’t make it wrong. Can Oelschlager spread this beautiful message to the world simply through the written word and gorgeous illustrations?

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Book Review: And Tango Makes Three by Richardson & Parnell

“They didn’t spend much time with the girl penguins, and the girl penguins didn’t spend much time with them. Instead, Roy and Silo wound their necks around each other. Their keeper Mr. Gramzay noticed the two penguins and thought to himself, ‘They must be in love.’”

Beautifully written and eloquently illustrated, Richardson and Parnell’s And Tango Makes Three is a truly magnificent children’s picture book that positively portrays the importance of family and love. Following the story of two male penguins who love one another dearly, Richardson and Parnell demonstrate in a fun and profoundly unique way that both the concept of family and the different forms of love appear in a variety of ways; through literature, these two authors are able to draw upon the importance of understanding we are different and accepting these diversities. Will Roy and Silo make their dream come true in growing their own family?

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Let’s Talk Banned Books: And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell

“At night the three penguins returned to their nest. There they snuggled together and, like all the other penguins in the penguin house, and all the other animals in the zoo, and all the families in the big city around them, they went to sleep.”

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