Hey everyone! Just wanted to share some quick thoughts on recent reads and releases I have been loving. I won’t be discussing every single title I’ve read, just the ones I think would be worth taking a look into! These aren’t through reviews but rather a quick taste on each title. Let me know if you’d like to hear more on these!
I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya
This has been by far my favourite read of the year. This was also my most anticipated read of the year, and I’m thrilled it didn’t disappoint. This is an essay looking into the trans experience of the author, a trans woman of colour, presented in the most genuine, unfiltered and powerful writing I have encountered. She puts into perspective how my current experiences as a light-skinned woman of colour in a patriarchal society barely touch the obstacles, fears and experiences of a trans woman of colour in the same world. Yes, I recognized myself in a lot of the book but I also saw myself as someone who at times is just as much of an aggressor. I’m Afraid of Men allows for self-reflection in a very intimate way, and the lessons and experiences are absolutely universal as a tool for reflection and growth. Vivek’s voice is clear, loud, filled with wisdom, hope, and encouragement for us to challenge ourselves and do better. I admire Vivek Shraya’s work so much and it makes me so happy to know that voices like hers are being amplified now more than ever. This is a pocket-sized book filled with beautiful and powerful content, perfect for yourself, for him, for her, for all of us. I will be listening to the audiobook soon to re-experience this title with the added power of her voice, as Vivek’s reading at her AGO Launch gave me electrifying chills. If you pick up one book from this entire post, make it this one! I will also be reading Vivek’s older titles and look forward to her new release, Death Threat, coming out in April 2019.
From The Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein
I have been recommending this one to so many people! This is a super interesting look into a stenographer’s experience working at the White House during the Obama years after she found the job posting on Craigslist! WHAT? I KNOW! Beck gives the reader a lot of insight into the daily lives of the people following a president day and night, making sure speeches, events, appearances, trips, and everything in between can fall into place seamlessly. The tone is super engaging and it does have enough drama and romance to feel like fiction (did I forget to mention? This is a memoir!). Her writing is witty, honest and so funny! I recommend this one as great read at the beach or even for more reluctant readers, because it’s a true page-turner that is easy to come back into. I’ve heard many people comparing it to a mixture of The Wild Wing and Sex and The City, and while I agree to an extend, dare I say it’s much more charged with both emotion and laughter?
Sadie by Courtney Summers
Sadie has been making headlines for its incredibly interesting approach: Alternating POV chapters between our main character, Sadie, who has disappeared a year after the murder of her younger sister, and West McCray, a podcast host investigating Sadie’s disappearance. The police still doesn’t know who killed Sadie’s little sister Maddie, and now Sadie herself has vanished into thin air. If you’re a true crime fan and have binged many episodes of Serial and My Favorite Murder, this one is for you! I highly recommend the audiobook version, as it is the best way to experience the podcast sessions, which present a variety of one-on-one interviews with witnesses, family members, friends, and strangers who have once crossed Sadie’s path. This is a full cast narrated title, so you’re in for a treat! I listened to the entire audiobook in one day, so I hope that’s a good indicator of how engaging and thrilling it is! If you’re looking for a taste, Macmillan has actually released the podcast episodes which give a glimpse into the story unraveling on the book, check it out here.
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
The super long awaited collaboration between Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera!!!! It feels like we’ve been waiting for this one for ages! I have to begin by saying that I haven’t read any of Silvera’s titles (yet!), but I’ve read all of Albertalli’s. I was expecting something sweet with a bit of sadness (as I have heard Silvera is known for) and while I did get the butterflies and heart eyes, I ultimately cried a lot. This book touched me in a very personal way. Long distance, miscommunication, self-doubt…all things I have experienced in the past in relationships, and the authors were able to put into sentences that agonizing and terrifying pit you get in your stomach when you love someone so dearly and yet feel like you are running out of time. If you’re a fan of Hamilton and other Broadway hits you will absolutely love it as well, there are tons of references to them. I felt like some of the secondary characters weren’t fully fleshed out but I can appreciate how they stirred up the plot. An easy recommendation for contemporary YA readers for sure!
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
I picked up my first Christina Lauren on a whim, after attending the Indigo Fall Preview in Toronto and hearing rave (and I mean, RAVE reviews from fellow book bloggers). I’ve been out of the loop on this author so their excitement really convinced me to give this a chance. In this one, Josh and Hazel reconnect years after college and agree to go hunting for love on double dates, with the condition that they each pick the other person’s date every time. It felt delicious! This is a sweet treat for those looking for a romance with an engaging storyline and witty characters (I am a fan of banter, and I love seeing it translated so well on the page). Hazel comes off as a potential “manic pixie dream girl” trope in the first chapter but is quick to prove me completely wrong; she is incredibly self-aware and yet showcases dilemmas and doubts we all face at one point or another. Josh and his family were a refreshing and beautiful unit, and I loved reading about this Korean family’s traditions. Josh is the softest and cutest male lead I’ve read in a while and he stole my heart! The ending was sweet but felt a bit unnecessary, it was definitely the extra mile to satisfy the readers.
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
Good ol’ Robert does not disappoint, once again. The 4th installment of the Cormoran Strike series surprised me in a few different ways. I have to admit I was expecting more from the case itself. It was intricate but felt so out of touch with reality in today’s – or should I say 2012’s – London. I say this because when all was wrapped up, it felt like an out of this world situation. But then again, after all the fame, it’s not too strange that Strike would be tangled up with the powerful, rich, and famous once again. For those wondering, the prologue picks up exactly where the 3rd book ended, so you do get a sense of closure on that specific incident at the wedding. The first chapter then moves us forward about a year, which brings with it a lot of development in the detective business, relationships, etc. What I did appreciate the most in this title was the detail to character development, for both Cormoran and Robin. It feels realistic, and while sometimes time feels like it moves so slow, Galbraith really nailed it on their dynamic and growth, both individually and as a team. I love seeing Robin grow in her career and developing her skills. I listened to the audiobook (as I have done for all the installments previously) and I can’t recommend it enough. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to wait another 3 years for the next one!
Let me know your thoughts on these titles below and as always, feel free to recommend me anything you think I might like.