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Steeple by John Allison
Teen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia
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The Third Mushroom by Jennifer L. Holm
This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi
The Vanderbeekers Lost and Found by Karina Yan Glaser
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Wayward Witch by Zoraida Córdova
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This Is All Your Fault: 10/31/20

This Is All Your Fault

This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi is a YA set during a twenty-four hour period in a Chicago bookstore. The store, once a thriving business in a protected historic building is now slated for sale. Three employees: Rinn, Daniella, and Imogene will try their best to save it.

In terms of narrative structure, this novel has the multiple points of view of The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (2019) and We Didn't Ask For This by Adi Alsaid (2020).

By keeping to a tight schedule and a fixed location, there's no wiggle room. There's a chance for repetition, a chance for feelings of claustrophobia, and frankly boredom. There's no opportunity to get to know the characters beyond their names and what little we can glean from their time in this building. In novel form, it doesn't work — but This is All Your Fault would be perfect as a stage play. In that form it would have the same vibe as Arsenic and Old Lace or Noises Off.

The last three and a half years have been rough under the current administration. The economy has suffered. And the economic uncertainty has inspired numerous books about failing businesses, and that reality also plays against This Is All Your Fault. In my personal reading, it's competing against The Printed Letter Bookshop, Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan (2019) and This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura (2019).

Three stars

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