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About our reviewer, Maria

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Maria Chance
  • Freelance Developmental Editor
  • Book Reviewer & Editor

A self-proclaimed hermit and potential cat hoarder, Maria lives in Virginia where she writes, proofreads and copy edits as a freelancer. Her longstanding love affair with books began when her mother would fall asleep reading bedtime stories to her. (Don't worry; she was sure to wake her up so she could finish.) Now, as an adult, Maria struggles with a reading vice that has often threatened the hygiene of her home. On the few occasions that her nose isn't buried in a book, she enjoys exploring new cities, having margaritas with her sister, and curling up with a book--wait, what?

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Past Reviews

Available from our own readers/reviewers.

Helen Hoang Brings Us a Gender-Bent ‘Pretty Woman’ in Her Novel, ‘The Kiss Quotient’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Oct 6th, 2021 8:58 pm

What do you do when your mother keeps nagging you about grandchildren, but your social skills are not the best and you struggle to get involved in a serious relationship? You hire a male escort, of course. At least, that’s how Stella Lang understands it in Helen Hoang’s...

Ali Hazelwood Goes Meta with Fake-Dating Trope in Her Debut, ‘The Love Hypothesis’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Sep 23rd, 2021 4:38 pm

Over and over, and in ways that she could never have anticipated, he had made her feel unjudged. Less alone. — Ali Hazelwood, The Love Hypothesis In Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis, all Olive is after, when she abruptly asks Dr. Adam Carlsen in the hallways of Sta...

Jojo Moyes Employs the Art of Misdirection in Heart Wrenching ‘Me Before You’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Mar 12th, 2020 12:41 am

The first time I heard about Jojo Moyes‘ Me Before You was when I saw the trailer for the movie online. It was no more than a thumbnail pic of Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin that called my attention, but all my fangirl alarms went off. I instantly knew that I was going t...

J.K. Rowling Reveals a Darker Side to her Imagination in ‘The Casual Vacancy’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Mar 13th, 2020 10:02 pm

When J.K. Rowling announced the release of her first adult novel, I told myself to not have any expectations (obviously, there was no doubt in my mind that I would read it). I told myself to keep an open mind, not to expect any wizards or magic. I was certain that I was...

Amy Schumer Bares it All in Hilarious ‘The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Mar 13th, 2020 10:33 pm

What can be said about Amy Schumer that hasn’t already been said? After the release of her first book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, not much. She really doesn’t leave much to the imagination, and anything there is to say feels like she’s already said it herself....

Rebecca Serle Tests the Bonds of Friendship in ‘In Five Years’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Jun 9th, 2020 4:17 pm

Right off the bat, I’m going to go ahead and say that Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years is written with a very particular type of reader in mind. That reader, unfortunately, is not me. Victim of my own circumstance for thinking any book with the New York skyline on its cove...

Markus Zusak Highlights the Importance of Rhetoric in ‘The Book Thief’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Jun 19th, 2020 10:52 pm

It didn’t take very much for Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief to take permanent residence at the top of my favorite books. Though the Harry Potter series has been the crowning monarch on that list, after many years, it has opened the door to its palace and allowed The Book...

Elton John Candidly Dazzles with One and Only Autobiography, ‘Me’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Jun 30th, 2020 7:33 pm

Few artists can boast a repertoire quite like Sir Elton John’s, one that fills his prolific autobiography from cover to cover, one that would leave hardly any room for breath if it were verbally narrated. Me is replete with anecdotes spanning a career that started with...

Margarita Montimore’s ‘Oona Out of Order’ Brilliantly Reflects on What It Means to Let Life Unfold
Reviewed By Maria Chance Sep 29th, 2020 4:11 am

But there was a freedom in making mistakes, feeling broken, falling into the void, and then climbing out. A freedom in letting go, setting aside, moving on.” — Margarita Montimore, Oona Out of Order Margarita Montimore’s Oona Out of Order is not your typical time trav...

Jedidiah Jenkins Bikes from Oregon to Patagonia in Search for Answers in ‘To Shake the Sleeping Self’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Oct 4th, 2020 7:22 pm

If discontent is your disease, travel is medicine. -- Jedidiah Jenkins Struck by the proverbial quarter-life crisis, Jedidiah Jenkins sets off on a journey from Oregon to Patagonia to find … something – he’s not quite sure what, he just knows he needs to go find it. A...

Lori Gottlieb Documents Her Experience as Both Therapist and Patient
Reviewed By Maria Chance Oct 28th, 2020 10:35 pm

It’s impossible to get to know people deeply and not come to like them. -- Lori Gottlieb Not since reading Harry Potter, in my younger years, has a book made me simultaneously want to keep reading while also not wanting it to end. Still, in about three days, I managed...

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ is a Model of Literary Inclusivity
Reviewed By Maria Chance Dec 19th, 2020 2:00 am

People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy. — Taylor Jenki...

Sally Rooney Nuances Human Connection and Relationships in ‘Normal People’
Reviewed By Maria Chance Dec 20th, 2020 6:52 pm

Most people go through their whole lives, without ever really feeling that close with anyone. — Sally Rooney In Sally Rooney’s Normal People we enter a plane in which the two main characters nor anything that happens to them is extraordinary, and yet they experience t...

Kate Elizabeth Russell’s ‘My Dark Vanessa’ Delves Into the Deeper Truth of Abuse Victims
Reviewed By Maria Chance Apr 28th, 2021 9:52 pm

Kate Elizabeth Russell does away with taboo in her debut, My Dark Vanessa. Many will likely label it “controversial.” But there are many reasons why everyone should read Russell’s novel depicting child abuse and pedophilia. When My Dark Vanessa begins, the year is 2017...

Laura Zigman’s Separation Anxiety Explores Unconventional Coping Mechanisms
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 13th, 2021 7:54 pm

Some children grow stronger in the broken places, like bones; others grow sadder. I did both. — Laura Zigman, Separation Anxiety When we begin Laura Zigman’s latest novel, Judy’s life is falling apart. She’s is 50 years old and living with her husband, Gary, even thou...

Andie J. Christopher’s ‘Hot Under His Collar’ Will Have You Eagerly Booking a One-way Trip to Hell in First Class
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 31st, 2021 8:57 pm

He hated himself for how she pulled his intention. For years, everything had been tugged in the direction of God and duty and church. Now, it was only Sasha. He worshipped at the altar of the dimple in her left cheek, prayed novenas to the curve of her mouth. Her angel...

Review of Songs in Ursa Major
Reviewed By Maria Chance Jul 21st, 2021 12:39 am

Jane was no longer aware of what her hands were doing, but somehow they kept playing. The song filled the room like water, suspending them, weightless, as they watched each other. Jane knew the moment the music ended, gravity would return.” — Emma Brodie, Songs in Ursa...