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As Far as You'll Take Me by Phil Stamper
Belly Up by Eva Darrows
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Birds by the Shore by Jennifer Ackerman
A Deadly Chapter by Essie Lang
A Game of Cones by Abby Collette and Joell Jacob (narrator)
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
The In-Between by Rebecca Ansari
Just Because by Mac Barnett and Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator)
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Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico
Moriarty the Patriot, Volume 2 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi
Negative Image by Vicki Delany
Nothing O'Clock by Neil Gaiman
Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith
Oddity by Eli Brown and Karin Rytter (illustrator)
The Old Boat by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey
Paladin's Strength by T. Kingfisher
Plantation Shudders by Ellen Byron
The Raconteur's Commonplace Book by Kate Milford

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
Restaurant to Another World Volume 3 by Junpei Inuzuka and Katsumi Enami (Illustrations)
Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee
Stray Bullets by Robert Rotenberg
These Unlucky Stars by Gillian McDunn
Tin by Candace Robinson and Amber R. Duell
Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story by Lauren Myracle and Isaac Goodhart
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Wicked Weaves by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene
The Year Shakespeare Ruined My Life by Dani Jansen

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These Unlucky Stars: 03/27/21

These Unlucky Stars

These Unlucky Stars by Gillian McDunn is about a girl believing she's unlucky and her unlikely friendship with an elderly woman. Annie believes she was "born under an unlucky star" which explains why things so consistently go wrong for her. She also believes she's the reason her mother left all those years ago.

After a failed attempt at playing ding dong ditch leaves neighbor Gloria with a broken arm, Annie commits to helping her and taking her dog for walks. Gloria is a bit of a hoarder and she's becoming forgetful. Annie and later her brother are able to help her and she in turn helps them by sharing her life lessons.

In the background of Annie and Gloria's friendship is the town planning for their first festival dedicated to the rosy maple moth (Dryocampa rubicunda). The festival involves a parade and Annie finds ways to use her artistic skills on two different floats.

The glue that holds this novel together is its strong sense of place. I especially loved the restaurant that was a fusion of two competing barbecue styles. At it's most literal, it made me hungry for barbecue! But it also thematically serves to show Annie's growth and how she learns to compromise without being untrue to herself.

Five stars

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