After her mother's suicide, Leigh and her father struggle through their now-greyscale world. When a great red bird deposits a box of family mementos on her porch, Leigh knows undoubtedly that this bird is her mother. She journeys to Taiwan and dives headfirst into the trauma of her family's past, but the weight of old grief and of new memories compounds. A moving portrait of finding oneself again after tremendous loss.
In a world where people pay to receive body mod services from the Belles-artisans of Beauty who use this arcana in their blood to transform the naturally greyscale populace into beatific glamazons in full color - everything is a mask, and polite society the most so. Come for the decadent descriptions of food and luxury fashion, stay for the diabolical players in this high-stakes game of political intrigue. Deceptively dark, this novel is a reminder that beauty most often wears a face of lies.
This verse novel will slice you up. Visceral, raw, and unique, this is the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the first professional woman painters (active in the 16th century) and one of the first women in documented history to bring her sexual assailant to court and WIN. A book about the process of art, healing from trauma, and growing up in a world that unrelentingly asserts that you're not good enough, even as it uses you up.
A bright, shining lighthouse of a book. At turns tender and ferocious, this is a book that you hand to those struggling to find and express their voice. Acevedo's debut verse novel powerfully asserts the humming, electric, life-altering potential of poetry and literature.
The best fantasy I have read in ages. Achingly masterful and brimming with complexly rendered main and secondary characters, Adeyemi's Orisha world will sweep you up in its embrace with one arm and brandish a knife at you with the other. Paced perfectly at un-put-downable, this is your 2018 must-read.
This is one of my favorite "I-WANT-TO-CRY-FOREVER" books, and has some of the most finely wrought star-crossed lovers in YA. That is still the true today - 20 YEARS after it came out. An instant classic that still feels fresh - and certainly feels timely.
Before the Me Too movement, there was Laurie Halse Anderson's award-winning novel Speak. Emily Carroll has illustrated beautifully Melinda's story as a high school freshman suffering from aimless depression that is rooted in an unspeakable trauma, and how a voice taken away can be reclaimed. Content warning: this story contains references to sexual assault and self-harm.
To inherit her father's massively successful culinary empire, Brianna must compete against her 15 brothers to run the best, most profitable restaurant. She sets up shop in the affordable and idiosyncratic Monster City, and, despite their strict dietary guidelines and Brianna's bouts of self-doubt and anxiety, her business booms. A competitor dislikes this newcomer, however, and Brianna must find a way to earn the respect of her community and her family without boiling over. Recipes included!!!
This volume tracks a kickbutt girl squad as they hunt down treasure Goonies-style in a hazy, gray seaport town in Oregon.
C'mon - what more do you really need to crack this sucker open?
(vol 2 comes out in late May 2018!!!)
In Ketterdam, there's a saying: No mourners, no funerals.
I read Six of Crows back in 2015 and I'm still in love with it. Six teens all with their own unique skills come together to perform the most impossible heist of their criminal careers. Led and hand-picked by the ruthless Kaz Brekker (known as Dirtyhands), this unlikely outcast group must break a dangerous criminal out of a high security prison and collect the substantial reward all without turning on each other. This is not a fluffy read. Each member of Kaz's team is self-motivated. Their moral compasses don't always point north which makes their group dynamic complex and fun.