Last year, 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 be briefly reviewing all the books I’ve read since my last post in approximately fifty words. This post also explains my concept of ‘The Chosen Ones’ to highlight my favourite books in each post!
Some of these books aren’t released yet, so I’ll just have a quick thought with the full review to come closer to publication date!
1. Heartstopper Volume 3 by Alice Oseman 🏳️🌈 🧠 ⭐️
I was so excited to return to Nick and Charlie’s story and this latest instalment put me through an emotional rollercoaster. The exploration of issues such as self harm and eating disorders really hit home with me. However, there’s still the gorgeous romantic relationships blossoming out of the brilliant friendship groups that I look forward to seeing grow in the next volume. Four and a half stars.
2. I Will Not Be Erased by gal-dem ⭐️ 🏳️🌈 🧠
This collection of 14 essay are such a declaration of self-love and claiming your own narrative in world that seems determined to squash it. They’re all empowering and thought-provoking in their own way, erasing the idea that there’s ever a monolithic story to be told by the marginalised, especially for young people of colour. Absolutely necessary reading. Four stars.
3. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell 🧠
This is no way an easy read, providing a thought provoking portrayal of one of the biggest issues of our time, but at times, I felt like I had to force myself to continue reading. I liked how nothing in this book was particularly clear-cut, showing the reality and messiness of the situation. The writing was superb, extremely compelling and immersive. It tackles how we are complicit as a society in rape culture. Full review here. Three and a half stars.
4. What Momma Left Me by Renée Watson ⭐️🧠
This is my second book with Watson’s writing and it proved to me how utterly compelling and authentic the stories she weaves are. Serenity is a brilliant protagonist, struggling to process her shattered life and learn to rebuild. The discussion around legacy and inherited trauma was excellent. Four stars.
5. The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski 🏳️🌈 🧠
I absolutely fell in love with this gorgeously written sapphic fantasy and hope to get a copy to grace my shelves soon. Full review here. Four and a half stars.
6. Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed ⭐️🧠
I really, really enjoyed this fierce yet adorable contemporary YA where the romance (though present) is moe in the wings whilst the spotlight is on friendships and political issues. I definelty need to read more Saeed’s work after adoring Maya. This was scarily realistic and fired up my political activist mind once more. Four stars.
7. The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson 🧠🏳️🌈
This was just the perfect ending to a phenomenally crafted, clever and inventive mystery trilogy that I will hold close to my heart. Full series review to come at some point. Five stars.
8. Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman ⭐️🧠
I’m going to be honest, Akemi Dawn Bowman is one of my favourite authors. Her writing is always stunning and her discussion around identity and finding your own way is brilliant. Harley surpassed my expectations entirely, reaffirming my love for Bowman’s work. Full review here. Four and a half stars.
The Chosen Ones: