Recent Reads #33

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 or I have recently reviewed, so I’ll just have a quick thought with the full review either to come or linked!

1. Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann🧠 ⭐️

From the first page, Mann’s writing had utterly hooked me into Amber’s story. The verse almost pulses with such emotion and seethes with scarcely contained anger from the first line. The way she explores family, friendships, class and identity was brilliant, particularly the discussion around abuse and the feeling of constantly walking on eggshells. Full review here. Four and a half stars.

2. Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales 🏳️‍🌈 🧠

I was so sold on the pitch of an LGBT+ retelling of Grease that I had to request it on Netgalley (and then I won a physical proof, so I can always hold this beautiful tale near). Luckily, the book more than lives up to its premise, crafting an adorable contemporary YA romance, whilst also dealing with themes of grief and terminal illness in such an amazing way. Full review here. Four and a half stars.

3. The Love Hypothesis by Laura Steven  🏳️‍🌈 🧠 ⭐️

I already knew I loved Steven from her insightful, enraging duology The Exact Opposite of Okay and A Girl Called Shameless. So the standards were high, especially when I discovered that this was going to be an LGBT+ story. Luckily, from the moment I picked up a sampler at YAlC, I knew I was going to love this story. Unsurprisingly, I did and I flew through this hilarious, heart-warming novel about sexuality, identity and self-confidence. Full review here. Five stars.

4. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon  🏳️‍🌈 🧠 ⭐️

This was a re-read, so I will link to my previous thoughts. It’s still such a sumptuous, beautifully written beast of a book that I’m sure I will return to for years to come. Five stars.

5. The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly by Meredith Tate🧠

I utterly devoured this heart-racing thriller and I loved the extended metaphor of the story as a representation of rape culture. Full review here. Four stars.

6. Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles🧠 ⭐️

I enjoyed exploring this issues of toxic masculinity, religion and female agency through this thought-provoking story. Huge thank you to Amber for sending me her ARC as well! Overall I felt like it was an enjoyable story, though the main character was often unlikable and not challenged for his problematic behaviour. Three and a half stars.

7. The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro 🧠

I loved how we got so much more of Charlotte’s story in this instalment of the series, including more of her voice and backstory. She’s such a complex, brilliant character and watching her and Jamie’s relationship dissolve is devastating to watch. I’m actually quite sad that I only have one book left in this amazing series. Four stars.

8. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Choski 🏳️‍🌈 🧠 ⭐️

Sasha has been going at me to read this book for ages and now I wish that I had listened to her sooner! The characters, the plot and the world-building were all sublime, creating such an immersive story that I was completely lost in. I loved how well developed and distinctive the characters were, as well as the rich, imaginative world and the twisty plot! Four stars.

9. Red Hood by Elana K Arnold 🧠

Speaking of Sasha, this was another buddy read where I had to force myself to hold back from reading on. I really enjoyed this twisted version of Red Riding Hood and my full review is here. Four stars.

10. If These Wings Could Fly by Kyrie McCauley 🧠

This was a hauntingly beautiful, understated look at domestic violence and its devastating effects amongst some magical realism. Full review here. Four stars.

11. All Out 🏳️‍🌈 🧠 ⭐️

This was a re-read and my original thoughts still ring true. That being said, upon a second reading I did notice the lack of bi, pan and trans main characters, which felt a bit off. Three stars.

12. Thorn by Intisar Khanani

I enjoyed the dissection of violence against women and the culture that enables it that was prevalent in this story, but I didn’t love the relationship that blossomed by the book’s end. Full review here. Four stars.

The Chosen Ones:

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