New month, new books!
The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton
I shrieked when I opened a box of new arrivals at the library on Friday and found The Belles sitting there, just waiting to be catalogued and processed. I know I’m not remotely alone in having it at the tip-top of my list this month—the word-of-mouth around it has been powerful and sustained!
In case you’ve missed all of the buzz: it’s the first in a duology fantasy about six sisters who have the power to transform appearances—and about what happens when one of the sisters finds out that that power comes from a much darker place than they’ve been led to believe. Starred review.
The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary, by NoNieqa Ramos
I am always here for books written in dictionary format.
Cadaver & Queen, by Alisa Kwitney
And also for retellings of Frankenstein. (And, okay, yes: also for books with ‘cadaver’ in the title.)
The Serpent's Secret, by Sayantani DasGupta
AND I’m also ALSO always here for fantasies that make me laugh out loud, and the Kirkus review promises that this middle grade debut will! Also: Interdimensional! Demon! Slayer!
Speak: The Graphic Novel, by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll
The Prince and the Dressmaker, by Jen Wang
Almost twenty years later, and Speak is still as powerful as it was in 1999—and I can’t imagine someone more well-suited to adapt it to comic format than Emily Carroll. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long, long time.
The Prince and the Dressmaker, meanwhile, is an original fairy tale about a prince who loves to wear beautiful dresses and the dressmaker he hires to create them—while Kirkus felt it was “optimistic[ally] shortsighted,” to MY ears, the premise sounds utterly delightful.
All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages, by Saundra Mitchell
One of my goals this year is to read more short stories*, and Saundra Mitchell has provided! This collection of historical shorts is about—as you’ve likely gathered from the subtitle—queer teens throughout history. Starred review.
Blood of a Thousand Stars, by Rhoda Belleza
Shadowsong, by S. Jae-Jones
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, by Shaun David Hutchinson
Faith, miracles… and maybe, the apocalypse.
A Girl Like That, by Tanaz Bhathena
Assumptions and rumors and gender-based double standards!
Between the Lines, by Nikki Grimes
A companion novel to Bronx Masquerade!
Ink, Iron, and Glass, by Gwendolyn Clare
Fantasy set partially in another world, partially in an alternate version of 1800s Italy. Colonialism, politics, and people with the power to alter reality—and create entirely new worlds—with their words. Starred review.
Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card, by Sara Saedi
A memoir about growing up undocumented in 1990s California. Starred review.
There are lots more on the way—let me know if I’ve missed something vital!
*I’ve read 41 so far, so I’m slightly ahead of my one-story-a-day goal—but it’s still quite early in the year, so I’m not feeling cocky… YET.
In addition to running a library in rural Maine, Leila Roy blogs at Bookshelves of Doom, is currently serving on the Amelia Bloomer Project committee, is a contributor at Book Riot, hangs out on Twitter a lot—possibly too much—and watches a shocking amount of television. Her cat is a murderer.