Tag Archives: Advanced Reader Copy (ARC)

Into the Valley by Ruth Galm (review by Jacqueline H. ’18)

Into the ValleyInto the Valley by Ruth Galm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Into the Valley is a debut novel by Ruth Galm that chronicles the adventure of B., a thirty year old woman who wanders through 1970s California, trying to assuage a “carsickness” that plagues her thoughts. B. is unable to cope with the coarseness of the present world, yet rejects the traditional binds of the past. This tension is an interesting dichotomy throughout the novel, although it is never resolved at the end. The ending was surprising, but it left me hanging. Into the Valley reminds me more of a collection of individual narratives than a cohesive plot. Nevertheless, the novel was beautifully written and I found it hard to put down. The characterization of B. is excellent – the author represents her as an eccentric and neuroatypical itinerant. Written in raw, haunting prose, Galm’s exceptional use of unreliable narration and stunning portrayal of California in the 1970s leaves an indelible mark in the reader’s mind. I would recommend this book to anyone craving a dreamy, existential read.

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Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan (review by Jenny B. ’16)

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should FeelTell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel is a fantastic book, one of the only good books I’ve found that includes a lesbian romance. Aside from the love story, however, the book lacks interest. Its somewhat clichéd series of events could happen in any YA book and some of the character development was not believable. Despite its shortcomings, I loved the romance and the way the book portrayed real feelings that teenagers experience, awkwardness included. The book follows Leila, a young Iranian girl, on her journey of self-discovery. She makes new friends and participates in ever fun high school romances, and finds her ‘love nugget’. It will appeal to anyone looking for a cheerful LGBT YA romance, or anyone bored on a long bus ride.

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Oh the Moon: Stories from the Tortured Mind by Charlyne Yi (review by Shannon H. ’16)

Oh the MoonOh the Moon by Charlyne Yi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh the moon made me laugh and made me cry with hundreds of pages that flew by (literally, some pages didn’t have words on them). The book is relatable, fun, and of course, mindblowing. The frankness of the stories gave me pause, waking me up from the banality of college applications. In one story, a woman who is ALL LEGS (literally) takes control of her destiny and runs away from her repetitive life. In another, two people who are in love are stuck in separate snowglobes — whatever shall they do? I appreciated Charlyne Yi’s randomness (like when an old lady gives birth to a giant on the second page), and her writing made me feel like she actually understood me and my optimistic cynicism (people say teenagers are the cross section of idealistic and intelligent/aware). Reading these short stories was an adventure in grasping odd metaphors, suspending disbelief, and finding the beauty of life.

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