Author: Bethany C. Morrow Publication date: June 2, 2020 Genre: young adult, fantasy My rating: 3.5/5 stars
First, I want to make something abundantly clear: this is a tremendously important book. It deals with lots of major issues that the Black community is currently facing, and has been facing for a long time, and it uses a highly unique premise (some very literal Black Girl Magic) to convey those ideas. I feel like I need to stress that part because this was one of those books that I loved in theory, just not in execution. I don’t want this review to be taken as, “This book isn’t important.” I think it is a book that is very, very much worth reading. However, it would be disingenuous for me to rate it higher, because it faltered in its actual writing, on technical elements like worldbuilding and pacing.
Author: Phil Stamper Publication date: March 4, 2020 Genre: young adult, contemporary, LGBTQIA+, romance My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Once again, I’m finding myself in a position where I’m a little too worn out to write full reviews, but I do have thoughts I want to share on books! To that end, I present you with this mini-review of a cute, if not remarkable, queer YA contemporary (with a splash of romance, a ton of commentary on media, and a hefty dose of outer space).
Author: Bethany C. Morrow Publication date: June 2, 2020 Genre: young adult, urban fantasy, contemporary Publisher: Tor Teen
If ever there was a good book to promote now, given the widespread Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, this is it. Written by a Black author, and dealing with topics including systemic racism, social justice, body image, and misogynoir, the relevance of this book to today’s situation cannot be overstated. The characters attend Black Lives Matter protests. They discuss everything from natural hair and gospel music to traffic stops and police brutality. And above all, this book is a celebration of literal Black Girl Magic–this is a story about sirens, and in its world’s mythos, only Black women can be sirens.
Oh boy, more audiobooks! Yaaaayyyy! In lieu of a long intro, I’ll just describe them quickly and then get straight to the mini-reviews. We have, in order, a social science book about miscommunication, a super-queer YA fantasy with genderfluid and genderqueer main characters, and a thoroughly-researched book detailing the lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.
Author: Don Zolidis Publication date: May 5, 2020 Genre: young adult, contemporary fiction, realistic fiction My rating: 4/5 stars
Speech team kids, rejoice: finally, the art of competitive public speaking has crept into mainstream consciousness enough for us to get a whole book about forensics! (For those of you who haven’t taken part in the wild experience that is high school or college speech team, “forensics” is another term for speech team. Seriously, their national organization is the NFL–the National Forensics League. I couldn’t make this up if I wanted to.)
Regardless of whether you did speech or not, you could probably guess that speech culture is…well, not the most positive. And so Don Zolidis, known in the real-world forensics community for his wide range of hilarious plays, often used in competition, has now written a book that leans into the toxic speech team culture with a team of hilarious, sarcastic, scheming social outcasts who want to change things for the better.
Author: Adalyn Grace Publication date: February 4, 2020 Genre: young adult, fantasy My rating: 4/5 stars
Magical and imaginative, All the Stars and Teeth is an excellent debut novel and gives a promising start to both a new series and Adalyn Grace’s career. Filled to the brim with curses, powers, mythical creatures, and lovable characters, this book will immerse you in a fantastical world where magic is commonplace and nothing is as it seems.
Hello, lovelies! I’m trying to get caught up on sharing all the books I’ve acquired recently, through a wide variety of sources (mostly giveaways, but a couple that just came from the publisher!). Note that this is only part of my haul for last month–you can expect more pretty pictures soon 😊
Earlier this week, the Epic Reads tour for Winter 2020 stopped at my local indie bookstore (shoutout to Anderson’s Bookshop!). Having attended a stop on their tour last spring–and loving it–I naturally had to check this one out as well.
What ensued was a lively and highly informative discussion between three YA authors: Evelyn Skye, Elana K. Arnold, and Mindy McGinnis. All three were insightful and authentic, each one brought a unique personality to the conversation, and all three ended up convincing me to purchase one of their books in the end. (My wallet is crying, but my heart is happy. Expect a book haul post sometime soon!)
I took some hasty and frantic notes throughout the entire thing; I’ve attempted to cobble them together here into a comprehensive description of the event. Here’s what went down:
Yes, yes, I’ve been gone for a while. I got stressed and stopped blogging for a few weeks, just letting the stack of reviews I still needed to write grow steadily. But I’m back now, and I’m bringing you not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR audiobook mini-reviews here! It’s been long enough since I listened to Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino that I don’t feel like I could write any sort of substantial review for it, but with the exception of that title, these books represent all the audiobooks I have listened to so far in 2020. On deck for this post we have a classic, an adult fantasy, a YA small-town fantasy, and a memoir of a journalist who worked in Silicon Valley (in a non-tech role at a tech company).