Reviews by Marian Perera

A-
The Desperate Duke

Theo Radney is not having a good day. For one, his father died. For another, his father was the Duke of Reddington, meaning Theo must now take on responsibilities that his father never bothered to prepare him for. Finally, Theo is twenty-three going on seventeen (at most), so he promptly gets himsel ...

D
The Recipe Box

Reading The Recipe Box was like drinking a large, thick milkshake that tasted of nothing but sugar. This book might charitably be described as sweet, perhaps even wholesome, but I found it a cloying one-note read. Maybe it’s an acquired taste, but if so, it’s not one I wish to acquire any time s ...

D+
Pretty Woman

I like rags-to-riches stories, so when I read that the heroine of Fern Michaels’ Pretty Woman is an unhappily married woman who wins the lottery, it sounded worth a look.  While I wouldn’t recommend this book, it does deserves props for what it does well. Rosie Bliss is fat. No two ways arou ...

B
Jamaica Inn

I first picked up Jamaica Inn when I was fifteen, and it’s remained on my favorites shelf ever since. Certain parts of it haven’t aged well, but I read it again recently and still felt a claustrophobia and growing dread even though I knew what would happen next. In 1820, Mary Yellan’s dying ...

B
The Slave and the Free

Did you read The Handmaid’s Tale and think it just wasn’t bleak enough? If so, have I got a recommendation for you. The Slave and the Free, by Suzy McKee Charnas, is set in a world where women aren’t just considered men’s property. Here, women aren’t even seen as human. The Slave and th ...

D
A Gift from Tiffany's

Melissa Hill’s A Gift from Tiffany’s begins when Ethan Greene buys a beautiful diamond ring at Tiffany’s for Vanessa, his girlfriend. At the same time, Gary Knowles, picking up a pair of cufflinks for himself, realizes he’s forgotten to get his girlfriend Rachel a Christmas present. So he bu ...

A
Wintergirls

Lia Overbrook and Cassie Parrish were once best friends. They had each other’s backs, they shared secrets, and they made a promise sealed in blood. They were going to do whatever it took to be completely in control of their bodies, to be thin, to be thinner, to be perfect. Laurie Halse Anderson ...

B+
The Scar

Do you like pirates? Not sophisticated swashbucklers or gorgeous heroes on the high seas, but people who are both murderers and visionaries, daring and repulsive, fiercely individual outlaws banding together in a complex patchwork society? That’s China Miéville for you. The Scar, the second novel ...

D
Funny Boy

When I heard of Shyam Selvadurai’s novel Funny Boy, it went to the top of my TBR pile. A boy who grows up during the ethnic unrest of the ‘80s in Sri Lanka, and gradually realizes he’s gay? Plus, he migrates to Canada? I’m straight and female, but otherwise, I could relate. Warning : spoiler ...

B
The Nightingale

The Nightingale is a book I’ll hold on to because I enjoyed quite a lot of it. On the other hand, I don’t plan on rereading it very often, because a certain major aspect of the story was fingernails-on-a-chalkboard grating. Too bad I couldn’t have the one without the other. The novel starts ...