Recent Reads #18

In my last post, I renamed ‘Weekly’ Wrap-Ups to Recent Reads, as I feel like that reflects the timescale between posts more accurately!

As ever, today I will briefly reviewing all the books I’ve read since my last wrap-up in approximately fifty words.

1. The Boxer by Nikesh Shukla 🏳️‍🌈 ⭐️🧠

Shukla has a gift for writing fiercely powerful YA books, with an undercurrent of rage against injustice bubbling underneath. Sunny is a complex, realistic and sympathetic character that you can’t help but root for. It is such an important book, discussing racist attacks, radicalisation, and nationalism. Four stars.

2. Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer 🧠

Kemmerer writes such good YA contemporaries with excellent character development and adorable romance. Call It What You Want is no exception to this rule, as Rob and Maegan are allowed to make mistakes and grow, instead of being typical cliches. Four stars.

3. All The Things We Never Said by Yasmin Rahman 💙⭐️🧠🏳️‍🌈

Full review here. Four and a half stars.

4. Find The Girl: All That Glitters by Lucy and Lydia Connell 🧠

I reviewed this series as part of a blog tour! Four stars.

5. On The Frontline With The Women Who Fight Back by Stacey Dooley 🧠

As this was a reread, I will link to my previous thoughts.

6. Heartstopper Vol. 2 by Alice Oseman 🧠🏳️‍🌈 ⭐️

My heart just can’t take the cuteness in this series. The second instalment in the graphic novel collection just me so, so happy as I followed Nick and Charlie’s story once more. In particular, I loved how this volume entered around Nick’s coming out and his struggle with finding a label that suited him, as I think that’s such a necessary experience to depict. Four and a half stars.

7. Heartstream by Tom Pollock 🧠

This had me on tenterhooks the entire way through and, as I was buddy reading it with the wonderful , I kept having to force myself to put it down. Tense, gripping and utterly thrilling, Pollock is making sure he’s one to watch. Four stars.

8. Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson ⭐️🧠🏳️‍🌈

A zombie murder mystery with witches and great diversity? Sign me up! The characters in this were so engaging and well developed, with great representation and discussion around being plus sized and BAME. My only problem was that the ending was slightly predictable, but overall, I really enjoyed this diverse, gripping mystery/contemporary. Four stars.

9. The Radical Element ⭐️🧠🏳️‍🌈 💙

As always, anthologies are tricky to review. Generally, I liked this collection, but was a bit annoyed at the lack of Native American, disabled and LGBT+ protagonists. Having said that, Anna-Marie McLemore, Megan Shepherd and Stacey Lee wrote absolutely stand-out stories. Three stars.

10 and 11. The Princess Saves Herself In This One and The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace 🧠🏳️‍🌈

I really love these empowering, heartbreaking and beautifully written poetry collections, which is why I reread them every year. Lovelace just has such a unique, entrancing style that takes you through a different slant on the world we live in. Be prepared to be enraged, empowered and emotional. Four stars.

12. Dear Martin by Nic Stone ⭐️🧠

This was a reread, so I will link to my previous thoughts. Four stars.

13. If We Were Villains by M.L.Rio 🧠

I am a sucker for academic, dark, twisty thrillers, a la The Secret History, so If We Were Villains was always going to work for me. The plot is slower, but adds just enough to the mystery to keep you hooked, while primarily being a character-driven story about found families, obsession and perfectionism. Four stars.



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