Reviews of Better Luck Next Year
Malinenko’s witty, conversational tone keeps Better Luckfrom veering into weepy sentimentality. When her speaker describes the sonogram of her tumor, it’s “[l]ike the red spot on Jupiter / a hurricane the size of a planet / here now / inside me” — a brilliant use of simile. When she writes of this news sinking in, “I whisper. Fuck. / The smallest hurricane of a word I know,” it’s powerfully restrained…..[more]
Most important, I want you to know that amongst all the bullshit, there are people like Ally Malinenko who still look for and find and create and give beauty in poem-form like little cancerous seeds of her own—poems that latch on, grow in you, make you better, stronger, beautiful, don’t destroy but make you human and whole….[more]
Reviews of This Is Sarah
Colin’s hope and single-mindedness is infectious, it’s hard not to believe him, extremely hard not to root for him, but at the same time, we hear the people around him constantly telling him he has become dangerously obsessed and possibly delusional, which it’s also hard not to believe. A fantastically complex place to put me in as reader…[more]
Ally’s book reminds me Jodi Picoult’s work. Take that as high praise because she is one of my absolute favorite authors. Both women are capable of bringing incredibly tough and emotional material to life in the pages of their books…..[more]
Ally Malinenko’s writing is very realistic and I felt every bit of sorrow and anger and loss that Colin felt just as much as I could empathize with Claire’s confusion and rejection….Life isn’t always full of happy endings and the loss of Sarah is one particularly difficult situation…[more]
This book is a wonderfully well written book. It’s tone is perfect and it does have it’s moments where it may make you tear up or even cry. It is a good book for anyone to read that had been forced to deal with the loss of a loved one….[more]
I was moved to tears several times, and actually stayed up until nearly 2am on the day it arrived so I could finish reading it….[more]
If your reading mojo has gone, or you need a seriously brilliant read, or you just read, you NEED to get this book…[more]
Reviews of How To Be An American
Ally Malinenko is the embodiment of what E.L. Doctorow meant when he said we need writers because we need witnesses to this terrifying century. In How to Be an American, she dissects the American dream and breaks it down to its petri-dish truths. Malinenko’s America is a country that exports ignorance and consumerism, where the greatest embarrassment is to be poor, vulnerable, and in need. In a voice as direct and unstoppable as an ambulance, Malinenko paints a raw, visceral, and essential portrait of a country without pity, without compassion, and makes the need for change feel like the emergency it is.
—Lori Jakiela, author of Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe
How to Be an American is a how-to guide without instructions. This book is brave, bold, and honest—a fucking atom bomb to the political and personal poetry scenes.
—Ben John Smith, editor of Horror Sleaze and Trash
Every poem in this collection is rock-solid and jarring. If you care about the world at large, you might want to read this intelligent, captivating book by Ally Malinenko who is not afraid to speak out. Most highly recommended…[more]
Review of Paper Heart
Ally Malinenko’s short story, although simple in its metaphor, is enchanting, reminding me of a bed time story or a tale a father might tell his daughter….[more]
Reviews of Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb.
There are lots of adventures and cliffhangers throughout the novel. Secrets come out that make you get out of bed and run down the hall to tell your parents because you’re so surprised that you HAVE to tell someone…. I got in trouble a few times because I wasn’t turning off my light and going to bed but it was so good that I didn’t want to put it down. Totally worth it if you ask me… [more]
This is one FANTASTIC BOOK!!! I read this great book with my daughter Samantha, who is almost 9 years old and she loved it. We couldn’t get enough of this story….[more]
I immediately found myself swept up in the story of Lizzy as she searched for her father and family secrets. This story was fast paced and easy to read. I remember picking it up to read a couple of chapters and the next thing I knew I was half way through the book!…..Being a huge fan of 39 Clues I found myself thinking that this could be the next big adventure series! Filled with magic, mystery, humor, action and suspense the story of little Lizzy Speare will definitely leave you wanting more…[more]
Lizzy is a plucky little heroine who is easy to identify with. If I had read this as a kid, she absolutely would have been my fictional best friend because of her love of reading and writing…This book is a wonderful, imaginative blend of adventure, mythology, and even a bit of historical fiction…However, there was so much more to it than Shakespeare; there were tons of mythical creatures and cool magic. It was a perfect blend of new and old inspiration…This book has everything going for it. It has a great plot, awesome characters, a kick-arse setting, and a perfect mix of new and old ideas……[more]