Starred Reviews for Shari Lapena, Renato Poliafito, Annabel Monaghan, Lev Grossman, and more!

By Kate McManus | April 24 2024 | Starred Reviews

With starred reviews from publications including Booklist, Publishers Weekly, AudioFile, and Library Journal—your patrons will want to read these much-anticipated books that reviewers are raving about.


Love Letters to a Serial Killer

“Witty, shocking, and wild, this is a must-have mystery.” —Library Journal, starred review

The Ex Vows

“Touching, full of complicated emotions, and expertly written, romance fans will thoroughly enjoy this latest from Joyce.” —Library Journal, starred review

The Bright Sword
A Novel of King Arthur

“Highly recommended for readers who can’t resist a story featuring brave knights, stalwart queens, and magic.” —Library Journal, starred review

“Satisfyingly epic but also fast-paced, this novel captures everything that’s grand and magnificent about the age of King Arthur while picking at its edges and delving into its darker depths. All fantasy and mythology fans will want to make time for this moving, entertaining epic.” —Booklist, starred review

Toxic Prey

“A believable, timely, edge-of-one’s-seat thriller involving climate change and a virus. Whenever Letty Davenport is involved (as in previous outing Dark Angel), it’s disaster on a grand scale.” —Library Journal, starred review

The Sweet Blue Distance

“These 800 pages are gone in a surprising flash. Highly recommended; don’t miss the invaluable author’s note.” —Library Journal, starred review

A Shore Thing

“Richly imbued with a bracing wit and enriched with an abundance
of bold sensuality, Lowell’s exquisitely composed Victorian-set historical featuring a trans character is a work of beauty and a joy forever.” —Booklist, starred review

How to Age Disgracefully
A Novel

“Readers seek out best-selling and wily comedic novelist Pooley for just the sort of cheeky break from stress they crave.” —Booklist, starred review

Trust Her
A Novel

“By so delicately humanizing the
complex scope of Ireland’s troubled history, Berry masterfully balances the lightning pace of a sweat-inducing thriller with the contemplative satisfaction of a cerebral analysis of uncertain family dynamics. With empathetic characters seen believably navigating unforeseen circumstances, the Edgar Award-winning Berry solidifies her burgeoning reputation as a stellar suspense writer.” —Booklist, starred review

A Novel

“Delightful through and through, from Bette’s awkward attempts at lesbian cool to the supportive friends who pick her up when the going gets rough, Experienced brings together a winning cast and a series of romcom-worthy setups for a love story as heartfelt as it is fun. It’s a no-holds-barred celebration that shows following your heart, despite the risks, offers great reward.” —Booklist, starred review

Summer Romance

“Monaghan (Same Time Next Summer, 2023) again presents a compellingly relatable main character in Ali, and the romance strikes the perfect balance of stomach-butterflies and the realities of dating with kids. Sweetly satisfying, with themes of found family and the real love story of a woman coming back into her own.” —Booklist, starred review

The God of the Woods
A Novel

The God of the Woods is an exploration of the
differences between the haves and the have-nots and the stifling roles for women of all ages mixed with a police procedural and a family drama. Moore manages it all smoothly, resulting in a compulsively readable novel that will appeal to fans of mysteries and historical fiction alike.” —Booklist, starred review


“Moore’s novel is wild yet delicate, with complex characters and an immersive reading experience that will draw audiences. Its explorations of class, crime, and family dynamics, in addition to Moore’s incredible storytelling, will appeal to readers of Lisa Jewell, Tana French, and Lucy Foley.” —Library Journal, starred review


A Novel

“Fuentes incorporates mucha Chicana-TexMex historia and música (Freddy Fender, Selena), weaving Spanish words and phrases throughout with the ease of border-crossing during the times she depicts. Both strong women prevail through the power of comadrazgo (sisterhood) in this triumphant novel that lyrically portrays the costumbres (customs) of a border culture starkly different from the one seen on today’s news.” —Booklist, starred review

Not in Love

“The politics of scientific and engineering development along with the rewards and piracy of intellectual property provide a fascinating backdrop for Hazelwood’s (Bride, 2024) latest smart and sexy page-turner. The queen of STEMinist rom-coms is at the top of her game.” —Booklist, starred review

A Novel

“This meticulously researched and lyrically written portrait of Jackie will appeal not only to baby boomers who experienced the historic events of her life but also to anyone who appreciates intimate novels about into women’s hearts, minds, and souls. A must-purchase.” —Library Journal, starred review

The God and the Gumiho

“YA author Kim’s (Last of the Talons) adult debut is an action-filled contemporary fantasy based in Korean mythology, featuring morally gray characters and a little heat.” —Library Journal, starred review

Cross the Line

“Soltani’s debut is perfect for fans of Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive To Survive docuseries and brings a unique subcategory and delightful addition to the sports romance genre.” —Library Journal, starred review

What Have You Done?
A Novel

“Lapena is a master of suspense, and she doesn’t disappoint here. Her many fans and those who enjoy domestic suspense, small-town crimes, and twisty thrillers will flock to this one. Very highly recommended.” —Library Journal, starred review


The American Legacy of Land Theft and the Modern Movement for Black Land Ownership

“Baker keeps tightly focused on the topic and writes in a conversational prose that casually draws on a wide range of thinkers.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Total Garbage
How We Can Fix Our Waste and Heal Our World

“This timely, highly recommended book makes a strong case for taking practical steps to reduce nonrenewable consumption and waste.” —Library Journal, starred review

How to ADHD
An Insider's Guide to Working with Your Brain (Not Against It)

“The inclusive language and accessible tone, along with McCabe’s knowledge and exhaustive research, make this smart and timely take on ADHD a necessity.” —Life+Style Starred Review

The Unfiltered Enneagram
A Witty and Wise Guide to Self-Compassion

“This is a singular and honest view of the Enneagram that plays the necessary devil’s advocate for readers wanting to better themselves. A great companion to other titles so libraries can provide a well-rounded approach to the Enneagram.” —Life+Style Starred Review

A-Gong's Table
Vegan Recipes from a Taiwanese Home (A Chez Jorge Cookbook)

“A rich achievement that should be a part of all library collections. It might not be a book everyone cooks from, but it will be one everyone learns from.” —Life+Style Starred Review

I Can Fix This
And Other Lies I Told Myself While Parenting My Struggling Child

Parents will find the need for tissues, several laugh-out-loud sections, and honest reflections in this highly relatable book.” —Library Journal Starred Review

American Baking with an Italian Accent: A Cookbook

“This inventive, inspiring, and sweetly indulgent cookbook will earn its own well-deserved spot in bakers’ kitchens, alongside Nick Malgieri’s Great Italian Desserts, Silver Spoon Kitchen’s The Italian Bakery, and Gina DePalma’s Dolce Italiano.” —Library Journal Starred Review


There's Always This Year
On Basketball and Ascension

“[Abdurraqib’s] narration is like music: rough and loud one moment, low and soft the next. A masterpiece from one of America’s most creative, generous, and rigorous living writers.” —AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Fifty Beasts to Break Your Heart
And Other Stories

“An alluring exploration of relationships through a fantastical lens that may appeal to those who enjoyed Cassandra Khaw’s The Salt Grows Heavy or Kelly Barnhill’s The Crane Husband.” —Library Journal Starred Review

MeatEater's American History: The Long Hunters (1761-1775)

“Compelling storytelling, animated narration, and well-researched information combine to create a superb listening experience for anyone interested in early American history.” —Library Journal Starred Review

Bitter Crop
The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday's Last Year

“Performing this revealing look at the complexities of the revered jazz pioneer Billie Holiday, actress Maya Days connects with every ounce of the brilliance and tragedy of the singer’s life.” —AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

The Warm Hands of Ghosts
A Novel

“LaVoy’s and Crouch’s deeply moving and captivating performances work together to create one of the must-listen audiobooks of the season.” —AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

A Novel

“This first-person novel about his rise and fall is compelling, and Anthony Rey Perez’s excellent narration makes it a memorable audiobook.” —AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

A History of Women in 101 Objects

“Annabelle Hirsch’s feminist look at history through 101 idiosyncratic objects is given a captivating performance by the author and 100 narrators. The choice of performers, including actors, authors, and commentators, is as clever as the short essays about the objects” —AudioFile Earphones Award Winner