New month, new books! This month, there are so very many that I want to read that I’m going to list my five MOST EAGERLY ANTICIPATED titles at the top, and then quick notes on Everything Else. (And there is a Quite A Lot of Everything Else.)
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L. Sánchez
I’ve been looking forward to this one for months! A fifteen-year-old girl struggles in the aftermath of her older sister’s death—because of grief, because her sister had always been the “perfect” one, and because she’s started to suspect that her older sister might not have been as “perfect” as their family had always assumed.
Kirkus had issues with this one, largely because of Julia’s prickliness—the review complains that she is “contemptuous, judgmental, and unpleasant”—but not only do I love books that star “unlikable” female narrators, I think they’re important. Over the years, we’ve seen a clear pattern of difficult literary girls being seen as a flaw or a liability and difficult literary boys being seen as a “brave choice” on the part of the author. Adolescent girls have just as much right to their anger, their pain, their snark, and their questionable choices.
A Line in the Dark, by Malinda Lo
Speaking of books I’ve been looking forward to for months—I’m a big fan of Lo’s work, and I’m so excited that this one is finally almost here! Jess has been in love with her best friend Angie for ages, but Angie is happily dating a girl from another school… and then there’s a MURDER. Romance, friendship, MURDER, and JUST LOOK AT THAT CREEPY COVER. Starred review.
Long Way Down, by Jason Reynolds
Fifteen-year-old Will’s older brother is shot and killed, so he heads out with Will’s gun, intent on revenge. As he takes the elevator down to street-level, he is approached by ghosts from his past, all of whom died due to gun violence. I loved The Boy in the Black Suit and When I Was the Greatest, and I’ve heard from Trusted Sources that this one is even stronger. Starred review.
A Skinful of Shadows, by Frances Hardinge
While spoilers don’t generally bother me, I do like to go into Hardinge’s books knowing absolutely nothing about them—so I haven’t even read a description! But, if she writes it, I am here to read it. Starred review.
Wild Beauty, by Anna-Marie McLemore
Another beautiful cover on this one. Five young women—cousins—are the latest generation in a long line of women who tend the gardens of La Pradera. They can’t leave the grounds, or they will die; if they ever fall in love, their beloved will disappear. They have grown up knowing this, but that doesn’t stop all five of them for falling for the same young woman—who happens to be the heiress to their garden. Starred review.
And now, the Quick Notes!
Beasts Made of Night, by Tochi Onyebuchi
Stellar world-building and sin-eaters? I’m in. Starred review.
Girl in a Bad Place, by Kaitlin Ward
Kirkus called this one a good fit for “young fans of Lois Duncan”—as I’m always looking for Lois Duncan readalikes, onto the list it goes.
All the Wind in the World, by Samantha Mabry
I’ve adored Mabry’s previous work, so there’s no way I’ll miss this one.
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, by Julie C. Dao
A poor village girl overcomes obstacle after obstacle on her way to her ultimate destiny—becoming the Empress of Feng Lu. I am a huge sucker for court politics, and it sounds like this book is alllll about the court politics. Hooray!
The Nowhere Girls, by Amy Reed
Three girls take on rape culture at their high school. That’s all I need to hear. Starred review.
Dear Martin, by Nic Stone
Letters to Dr. King from a boy trying to make sense of the violence done to black boys and men in America, as well as his position as one of the few students of color at his prep school. Kirkus says that it asks more questions than it answers, and for me, books like that are often the best, most thought-provoking reads.
The Hollow Girl, by Hillary Monahan
An #ownvoices revenge story starring a Romani girl that works to subvert tropes that we so often see around Romani characters? Yes, please.
The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman
Do I want to read a new book set in the world of His Dark Materials? In all honesty, I’m still not sure! But I certainly can’t say that I’m not curious.
There are, as always, a zillion more to look at and discuss—so, also as always, now I want to hear about what YOU are watching for!
In addition to running a library in rural Maine, Leila Roy blogs at Bookshelves of Doom and The Backlist, 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.