Murder for the Modern Girl by Kendall Kulper

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Murder for the Modern Girl

Author: Kendall Kulper

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For…: young adult readers, historical fiction, fantasy, thriller, paranormal

Publication Date: May 31, 2022

Genre: YA Historical Fiction Fantasy

Age Relevance: 15+ (murder, alcohol consumption, domestic violence, child abuse, death, gore, violence, language, child sexual assault, suicide, romance)

Explanation of Above: There is murder, death, violence, and gore shown in the book. There is some alcohol consumption shown in the book. Domestic violence, child sexual assault, and child abuse are vaguely mentioned in the read. There is a couple of curse words in the book. There are mentions of suicide. There is some romance.

Publisher: Holiday House

Pages: 464

Synopsis: A ravishing young mind reader stalks the streets at night in kitten heels, prowling for men to murder.

A soft-spoken genius toils away in the city morgue, desperate to unearth the science behind his gift for shapeshifting.

It’s a match made in 1928 Chicago, where gangsters run City Hall, jazz fills the air, and every good girl’s purse conceals a flask.

Until now, eighteen-year-old Ruby’s penchant for poison has been a secret. No one knows that she uses her mind-reading abilities to target men who prey on vulnerable women, men who escape the clutches of Chicago “justice.” When she meets a brilliant boy working at the morgue, his knack for forensic detail threatens to uncover her dark hobby. Even more unfortunately: sharp, independent Ruby has fallen in love with him.

Review: For this most part this book was ok. It had a lot of interesting moments and you could say this is a darker, more villain version of Stalking Jack the Ripper. The book had some good character development and the overall story was somewhat interesting. The book was a fun twist on the late 1920s and had some interesting fantasy moments.

However, this book was not for me. The book overall was confusing and feel really rushed and unedited. The book had a lot of interesting things happening all at once, but there was a lack of context. The pacing was fast, but also super slow in a few parts and at certain parts of the book you can completely skip whole segments of conversation and not need any of it for context as to what’s happening in the next chapter. It’s also told in multi-POV and I think the story would have been much better in a single POV narrative. The book does require you to read the synopsis before you can even attempt to read the book, which I found very disheartening and unnecessary. I actually had to reread segments of this book because I only found out the female MC is a mind reader from the synopsis. I feel like, overall, the book was trying to do too much with its story and make it more complex than it needed to be.

Verdict: It’s ok, but not for me.

I Want to be a Vase by Julio Torres and Julian Glander

Disclaimer: I received this finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: I Want To Be A Vase

Author: Julio Torres, Julian Glander

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: This book can be read as an analogy for trans rights and thus the characters can be trans!

Recommended For…: children’s readers, picture book, LGBT

Publication Date: June 7, 2022

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Age Relevance: 0+ (a little rudeness)

Explanation of Above: There is a rude vacuum who says some unkind things to other household appliances.

Publisher: Atheneum

Pages: 48

Synopsis: Shapes. You’ve heard of them. You might have even interacted with a few. But do you really know them? From plucky Plunger, who wishes to defy his shape and become a beautiful vase, to other household objects with dreams of a life beyond their predestined roles, I Want to Be a Vase takes readers on an essential and visually stunning journey through the lives and intimate dramas of often-overlooked household appliances.

Review: I really liked this picture book! The artwork looks computer animated and I loved how colorful it was. The book focuses on inanimate objects and how they don’t feel like who they were made to be, but they feel like other objects. It’s their journey to being accepted by some of the ruder members of the household and understanding themselves. The book can be read as an analogy for trans rights, which is how I’m reading it, but the most important message that you can take away from the book is to just be accepting to others as they view themselves. It’s not for you to police how others define themselves.

Verdict: It’s such a great book! I highly recommend this one!