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Book Reviews

Looking to read more Indiana authors?

Every month, we’re releasing a book review highlighting a new book by a Hoosier author, reviewed by a Hoosier writer. Check back every month for a new recommendation or look for the review in your local paper.

All Book Reviews


Shelby Mahurin’s The Scarlet Veil comes on the heels of her bestselling Serpent & Dove series, and is set in the same French-inspired world of witches, hunters, and other dark and sexy supernatural creatures. Célie Tremblay, a girl haunted by the events of the recent past, has joined the ranks of the huntsmen to prove […]


“When we drove, it felt like we were traveling just for the sake of traveling. Where we were going or why didn’t matter to me. I never knew, and when I asked, it was only to hear [my mom’s] voice when she answered, ‘To hell if we don’t change our ways!’”                                     —Brittany Means, Hell […]


In the aptly named short story collection Imagine Your Life Like This, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor Sarah Layden introduces readers to an assemblage of vividly drawn characters, all striving to pin down who they are or might be. The titular story establishes the collection’s preoccupation with the tools we use to define identity. In […]


Meet the Megafauna!, a recent children’s book by Gabrielle Balkan, is described as getting to know 20 of the largest animals to ever roam the Earth. Yes, size does matter. But we’re not talking mega dinosaurs here. Her choices are of comparatively lesser-known champions, most of which postdate the extinction of those ruling reptiles. Even […]

Come Back in September

Our new neighbors were remote, hidden by trees, winding fences, ivy, and double doors. Raccoons and boogeymen shook the woods; cardinals banged into the picture windows and boomeranged from view; crows kept watch from telephone wires, disappeared beyond chimneys, and popped up with kernels of dry dog food in their beaks. Golden retrievers scampered ahead […]

My Name Is Iris

In Brando Skyhorse’s deftly crafted new novel, My Name is Iris, the title character faces a world that no longer rewards her for simply playing by the rules. Iris, an American born citizen of Mexican immigrant parents, was raised to be in every way a “model” Mexican American citizen. Her earliest memories are of her […]


This charming duo of board books by Indiana children’s author Rebecca Mullin explores the wonder of gardening in a way that is accessible to all ages. The first book of the pair, One Tomato, was released in 2021 and appeared on the 2022 Indiana Authors Awards children’s shortlist. The sun shines brightly in this lovely […]

Who Would Believe a Prisoner?: Indiana Women’s Carceral Institutions, 1848–1920

When I picked up my review copy of Who Would Believe a Prisoner?, I already knew I was holding an astonishing book in my hand. It is the culmination of ten years of research conducted by the Indiana Women’s Prison History Project: a collective of incarcerated scholars who studied the 175-year-old history of women’s carceral […]

Hoosier Latinos: A Century of Struggle, Service, and Success 

There is a classic scene in the 1997 film Selena that encapsulates so well the challenges of identity, particularly in Latino and Hispanic families. As it unfolds, we see an exasperated Abraham Quintanilla (Edward James Olmos) driving their tour bus along a dusty highway, lamenting to his daughter Selena (Jennifer Lopez), “We have to be […]


The Keeper is a book that does so many things, and does them well.     In just over 300 brisk pages, Kelcey Ervick tells nothing less than the story of her life, filtered through the impact of 1971’s Title IX Education Amendment (authored by Indiana Senator Birch Bayh), which prohibited sex-based discrimination in schools, and had […]