It is finally April, and so, snow on the ground or not, my winter coat and boots have been packed away for the season and I shall make do with lots of layers until it is actually warm out. (Apologies and sympathy to friends in the New York area today—Twitter tells me that it’s snowing?) But enough about that.
Let’s look at some of the books that I’ll be reading—preferably outside in the sun—over the course of the next month!
Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland
This is the one we’re all waiting for, right? Jane McKeene and her sickle, slaying zombies and uncovering conspiracies in an alternate version of Civil War-era Maryland, AND shining a light on the racism wielded against and violence done to Black people in the current day? I mean. I’m so excited about this one that I had to take breaks from hyperventilating into a paper bag to even type this.
Picture Us In The Light, by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Sometimes you have to go back to go forward. On paper, it looks like high school senior Danny Cheng has everything together—but a full-ride scholarship to art school won’t lessen his unrequited love for his best friend, and it won’t erase the knowledge that his parents are hiding something big from him, something that will change his understanding of his own family’s history forever.
The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles), by Amy Spalding
A body-positive romance about girls falling in love? AND ALSO A SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT BURGER? By Amy Spalding, who always makes me laugh and laugh? I am here for this forever.
Stay Sweet, by Siobhan Vivian
This book is set in an ice cream shop, and that’s all I need to know.
Leah on the Offbeat, by Becky Albertalli
This is the sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, but in all honesty, I didn’t even need that draw—I would have picked this up anyway due to the fantastic cover art.
For Every One, by Jason Reynolds
I am endlessly delighted that we’re seeing more and more poetry—straight-up poetry, not only verse novels—being published for the children’s and teen markets. And of course, Jason Reynolds’ books are auto-reads for me.
White Rabbit, by Caleb Roehrig
I’m always looking for twisty mysteries, and this one should fit the bill: On any given day, the fact that Rufus’ ex-boyfriend wants to “talk” would be too much to deal with…but on top of that, his sister has just become the prime suspect in a murder and his ex is suddenly the only person in his life that he can trust. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a romantic thriller to me!
Hiding, by Henry Turner
Speaking of thrillers—but minus the romance, given the gross stalker vibes I’m getting from the Kirkus review—this one sounds both fascinating and bananas?
In Her Skin, by Kim Savage
Why can’t I quit stories about grifters impersonating missing teenagers? Does it track back to my love of Brat Farrar? Actually, that’s probably exactly it. Huh. I wish more questions had easy answers like that.
Isle of Blood and Stone, by Makiia Lucier
Kirkus’ tagline on this one is: “A romantic maritime epic and a charming tribute to mapmakers, calligraphers, and explorers.” Which, YES PLEASE.
You Go First, by Erin Entrada Kelly
Ghost Boys, by Jewell Parker Rhodes
And let’s wind this out with a couple of middle grade books! You Go First is about online friendship and internet lifelines via Scrabble and I honestly don’t know how I have lived this long without this exact book in my life until now. Ghost Boys is about the ghost of a 12-year-old Black boy who, with the help of the ghost of Emmett Till, works to understand his recent death at the hands of a White police officer.
Starred review on the Kelly.
There are lots more; let me know what you’re most looking forward to this month!
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.