A short and sweet novel about a boy named Yunjae, who was born Alexithymia, a condition that makes it hard for him to feel extreme emotions such as fear or anger. As he starts high school, he is met with tragedy that causes him to struggle with his own grief and what it looks like for him. Soon after, he meets Gon, the troublemaker of his class. Gon is everything Yunjae doesn’t like and understand, but the polar opposites soon build a bond that allows Yunjae to explore his emotions at an intimate level with a newfound friend. At times this book is heartwarming and other times difficult, but it is indeed worth the read.
Oh, Lysande, my love! If you are interested in getting to know a bisexual bookworm who is struggling with a drug addiction and can't stop thinking about choking a man who wears a living snake as jewelry, this might be the book for you. This story is full of political intrigue, scheming, examinations of class and privilege, beautiful prose, and just a touch of spiciness. Keep an eye out for Book 2 in 2023!
Some call Osamu Dazai the Japanese Thomas Bernhard—a masterful writer of estranged narrators, the relentlessly dour, and timeless cruelties. Originally published in 1948, and translated into English by Donald Keene in 1958, this extraordinary book recently found new life on TikTok, where it's introduced thousands of young readers to literature in translation.
This is a darkly funny, fantastical novel about a woman's chronic pain and her struggle to be believed. Ever since taking a career-ending fall off stage, Miranda Fitch has had debilitating aches in her back, barely kept in check by opioids and alcohol. It doesn't help that her class of mutinous theater students would rather put on Macbeth than All's Well That Ends Well, the play that Miranda believes will somehow make everything right. One fateful night, she meets three strange men who bestow powers upon her, freeing her of pain and setting her on a manic and destructive path. This book is surreal-- I highly recommend it!
Lish McBride is a sexy word wizard. A Little Too Familiar is perfect for when you just need a book so comforting that it feels like a warm weighted blanket, like your brain is being flooded with hot chocolate, but you also need the sexual tension so thick you could cut it with a beach ball.
The author of Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, gives us this lush and mysterious tale that is much more than a retelling of H. G. Wells' - and so needed! Moreno-Garcia sets the story in the Yucatan and its fraught racial-economic caste conflicts provide a real background to the intimate story she creates around Carlota, Dr. Moreau's daughter. The novel is relationship-driven, with empathy and kindness that brings incredible richness and nuance. I read Mexican Gothic and loved it, even though it's not a genre I typically read - but I loved this one even more!
"...and so I held my breath and thought about screaming and imagined the ocean coming to an end."
I can't even with this. What right has Julia Armfield to write such a soul-stirring piece of fiction? This book eddied the dark waters in my stomach and squeezed my heart until it ached and lolled limp in my chest. You are given just enough, the rest is laid vast, like the pitch black of the endless sea.
Drowning can cause hypoxia, or low levels of oxygen in your body, and the symptoms are confusion, restlessness, difficulty breathing, quickened heart rate, and bluish skin. This book is like a slow descent into the darkest parts of the ocean and ourselves, and at the center of the abyss is a drowning love story disintegrating as all those symptoms set in.
Part queer love story, part subtle horror story, both parts eerie and beautiful. Wives Leah and Miri try to manage when Leah comes back from a failed deep-sea mission that left her stuck on a submarine for five months. Armfield seamlessly creates the sensation of being underwater, that kind of silence that is quiet and loud at the same time. A slow burn until the last 50 pages or so then the quiet gets unbearably loud. If you like swimming, Florence + the Machine, Kristen Arnett, or loving someone or something, read this.