What The Hate U Give did for opening up a conversation about police brutality and racial profiling, Not So Pure and Simple does for toxic masculinity. Giles is able to paint the normalcy of toxic masculinity in all its minute idiosyncrasies without it feeling like a beat-you-over-the-head-I’m-
trying-to-teach-you-something story. It's hilarious, honest, and more necessary than I know how to put into words. If this book is any indication of what 2020 look like, we have every reason to be excited about the future.
Cameron Bright is pretty and popular, but brutally honest. Her crappy home life is no excuse for failure so Cameron works hard and chases her goals: date crush Andrew, get an internship at her father's office, and get into the Wharton School at UPenn. But when Andrew calls her a bitch, her normal teflon-tough exterior chips. Like Katherine in Taming of the Shrew, does she need to be tamed?
A millenial teen retelling of the film 10 Things I Hate About You that draws heavily from Shakespeare, If I'm Being Honest is crafted with thoughtful, real-world stakes. Cameron's a ringer for Blair Waldorf - and yet she genuinely learns from her mistakes and works to become a better person. Her social circle is rooted in relatable struggles like making new friends, keeping old friendships alive, being supportive, and managing conflict. She's flawed and *almost* unlikeable but the more I learned about her family dynamics, the more I rooted for her to make better choices and follow a path of her own making.
The best young adult dystopian trilogy of the decade, great for anyone ready to get immersed into a fantastic series.
I absolutely lose my mind over an immersive YA fantasy and A Winter's Promise is simply the most breathtaking, cozy, sweeping fantasy novel I've ever come across. Think the Golden Compass meets Pride and Prejudice meets Harry Potter. It's an obvious yes for the whimsical, young adult reader in your life.
When I was in high school my dear friend Heather put this book in my hands, smiled mysteriously, and said, "Trust me."
I devoured it in one sitting.
It is intricate, clever, and excruciatingly satisying. Pay close attention - Megan Whalen Turner is as tricky as her theif and you don't want to miss a thing!
This book came out in 1995. The final book in the series comes out next year. Now is the time folks - trust me.
"We call it the Tox, and for the first few months, they tried to make it a lesson."
The girls at Raxter Boarding School are infected. On an island, quarentined from the rest of the world, Hetty waits it out with her classmates believing and hoping that a cure will finally come. But when her best friend Byatt goes missing, Hetty strikes out into the forbidden woods to rescue her. Wilder Girls is part horror, part sci-fi, and all femme. Hetty's voice was strong and led me through every heart break and victory. I'm still with these characters and I can't wait to see what Rory Powers does next.
A love that could spark a war. Two girls - ore made, royalty; one human, her servant. A rebellion is brewing, forbidden love is blooming, and Ayla and Crier are at the center of it all...
Crier's War is a slow burn, Queer, enemies-to-lovers YA fantasy romance, and YES it is as good as it sounds! I couldn't put it down, I loved every bit of it. ❤️
I wanted to hug these characters and never let go; live out my life on these salty shores, in the tiny shops; claim the metaphors as my own, never thinking of happy moments as anything other than pebbles on my own beach. Julia Drake expertly captures the precious and painful experiences of family, friendship, and love in a net of small town lore, diverse journeys toward mental health, and some of the most beautifully poetic lines I've ever read. Simply put, The Last True Poets of the Sea made me ache for an understanding I didn’t know I needed.
I can’t remember the last book I’ve been absolutely glued to like this one. There was a moment where I had to get up and start pacing the room as I was reading because my love for these characters quite literally affected my mind, body, & soul. It’s ultimately a story about survival; one that cuts deep while healing you at the same time. Quite simply, this book is “swoon” incarnate.
The visuals of this graphic novel are an experience in and of themselves. Before reading Skip I never had the sensation of tasting color. The only thing I can liken it to are the intense feelings that come over me when viewing the art of Vincent Van Gogh. In addition to stunning visuals, the story is absolutely beautiful, and reading through it made me feel like a leaf floating on a river: fast and slow, gentle and crushing.