Recent Reads #35

Before I start this post, I want to thank each and every person that nominated me for a UKYABA award. To be considered Best Newcomer and Most Inspirational to people honestly means the world to me and coming back from a long day of work to seeing my name on those long lists was just incredible.

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!

1. Destination Anywhere by Sara Barnard 🧠🏳️‍🌈

Yet again Sara Barnard has proved why she is a powerhouse of UKYA. She’s crafted another beautiful book about friendship and the struggles of growing up & finding yourself. Full review here. Four stars.

2. We Are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia 🧠⭐️🏳️‍🌈

This just wasn’t the book for me. While I could appreciate the brilliant discussion around internalised homophobia and the confusing journey of navigating sexuality, I did not click with this book. One and a half stars.

3. Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth 🧠 💙 ⭐️

This was an excellent fantasy novel that completely upended my expectations and Roth interrogates the Chosen One trope in such an interesting way. Full review here. Four stars.

4. The Pieces of Ourselves by Maggie Harcourt 🧠🏳️‍🌈

This was the perfect contemporary read for me to escape into, with a gorgeous mix of romance, history and frank discussion around mental heath. Bipolar representation means a lot to me personally and it’s rare for me to see it on the page in such a nuanced, careful portrayal as Harcourt crafts. Four and a half stars.

5. The June Boys by Court Stevens 🧠

God, this was captivating. The writing is so taut and tense, you feel as though youre walking a tightrope throughout. A brilliant mystery with a genuinely shocking twist. Full review here. Four stars.

6. Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova 🧠⭐️🏳️‍🌈

This was a genuinely excellent, original  and well-crafted fantasy novel that kept me hooked, with an amazingly creative magic system and fleshed out characters. Full review here! Four and a half stars.

7. Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson 🧠⭐️🏳️‍🌈

Jackson has such a skill for creating intensely tense, intricately plotted YA mysteries that are simply impossible to put down. This time, I was reading well into the early hours of the morning because I could not leave Pip in another precarious situation. Yet again, full review and Q & A here. Five stars.

8. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona 🧠⭐️

I loved the representation of a Muslim superhero and really enjoyed Kamala as a character, particularly how she really felt like a typical teenage girl trying to find her place in the world, just with the extra complication of having superpowers. However, I was a bit underwhelmed by the storyline. Three and a half stars.

9. Viper by Bex Hogan 🧠⭐️🏳️‍🌈

Now we enter the phase of re-read, which (as always) I will link to my previous thoughts. For Viper, I previously reviewed it in my twelfth Weekly Wrap Up. Four stars.

10. Camp Spirit by Axelle Lenoir 🧠🏳️‍🌈

A brilliant graphic novel with astonishing art that perfectly captures the feelings of teenage love, summer and navigating sexuality. Of course there is the added bonus of some supernatural shenanigans that offer interesting twists and turns. Eloide and her lovable band of redhead warrior children took me into the world of the 90s perfectly, immersing me in the music and fashion of the era. The standout is obvious the brilliant artwork that fleshes out the story and brings the characters to life. An engaging, fun read! Four stars.

11. Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman 🧠🏳️‍🌈

You can read my previous thoughts here. Four and a half stars.

12. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo 🧠⭐️🏳️‍🌈

I actually have a full review of this here. Four stars.

13. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo 🧠⭐️🏳️‍🌈

This is just a phenomenal book. I’ve spoken before about the innate emotional intensity verse has, but Acevedo proved it once more with absolute mastery over the form. Full review here. Five stars.

14. Blood Countess by Lana Popović 🧠⭐️🏳️‍🌈

I knew nothing of Elizabeth Bathory before this, but now I really want to learn more about this dark, twisted figure. On paper, this was perfect for me, but unfortunately I just felt disappointed by the story. I felt very detached from the whole book for some reason, but I would give it another go in the future. However, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the rest of the Lady Slayers series. Two stars.

15. Animal Farm by George Orwell

This is one of my favourite classic books that I own. At a surface level, it’s an enjoyable story with vivid characters but once you peel back the layers to explore its satirical nature and its biting political commentary, suddenly there is so much more to explore. Four stars.

The Chosen Ones:

12 thoughts on “Recent Reads #35

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s