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Cat About Town by Cate Conte and Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Common Bonds edited by Claudie Arseneault
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The Ghost and the Dead Deb by Alice Kimberly
Gideon Falls, Volume 5: Wicked Worlds by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Illustrator)
How to Lie with Maps by Mark Monmonier
I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki and Yoshi Yoshitani (Illustrator)
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A Pairing to Die for by Kate Lansing
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Robogenesis by Daniel H. Wilson
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Signspotting III: Lost and Loster in Translation by Doug Lansky
Sleight of Paw by Sofie Kelly
Smash It! by Francina Simone
State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy
Swordheart by T. Kingfisher
Tea & Treachery by Vicki Delany
The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O'Neill
This Coven Won't Break by Isabel Sterling
Toured to Death by Hy Conrad
Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel by Jennifer L. Holm and Savanna Ganucheau
Two Wicked Desserts by Lynn Cahoon
The Walled Flower by Lorraine Bartlett
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Well Played by Jen DeLuca
The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

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Smash It!: 08/13/21

Smash It! by Francina Simone

Smash It! by Francina Simone is a YA contemporary retelling of Othello (1603). Olivia "Liv" James is a wallflower who wants to expand her horizons. She has a fuck it list that has three rules:

  1. Be bold — do the thing that scares me
  2. Learn to take a compliment
  3. Stand out instead of back

One of the driving forces of Smash It! is the high school production of Othello. Like the middle grade novel, Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee (2017), the lives of the students participating in the play begin to mimic those of their roles.

I liked best the parts centered on the play. They're focused and funny. But there's a whole side plot where Liv is obsessed with the sex lives of her cast mates, especially a bi character who is very open with her sexual history. Frankly, this character's sexual exploits was one of the problematic aspects. It's not that she's sexually active — it's the sheer amount of experience she apparently has. Either she's lying or she was sexually abused as a child. More realistically, the author has compressed adult memories onto too young of a character in a similar fashion to Camp by Lev A.C. Rosen (2020).

Besides the teens having the sexual experience and knowledge of adults, there is also some racial 'humor' at Palestinians and Pacific Islanders. There are reviews on Goodreads that go into this problem in greater detail than I will here.

Two stars

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