Recent Reads #43

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! Today’s post features some books that I read in July, as I just missed them off my last Recent Reads.

Some of these books either aren’t released yet or I want to write a full review of in the future, so I’ll just have a quick thought with the full review to come!

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender


TW: transphobia, public outing, homophobia, misgendering, online harassment

Callender drew me in straight away, with Felix’s vibrant voice and the vivid, rich descriptions of New York City. It completely immersed me in Felix’s emotional journey of self-discovery, as he questions his future and own identity. An impactful and important read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens


TW: death, physical abuse, misgendering, anxiety, panic attacks, self-harm

Disability representation is sorely lacking within YA, so I was incredibly excited to pick up this anthology. I really loved the range of genres and representation. Anthologies are always tricky beasts to review but overall I really loved this collection and will carry it close to my heart.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley


TWs: graphic self harm, attempted suicide, sexual assault, emotional abuse, infidelity, abortion, drowning, disordered eating, bullying, revenge porn, murder, drowning

This was an extremely compelling and twisty thriller that had me utterly gripped to its pages. The atmosphere was so intense, as was the isolated setting and myriad of secrets.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

All Eyes on Her by L. E. Flynn

TW: Death, drug use, drink driving, car accident, attempted sexual assault, abortion 

God I loved the concept and structure of this book. Flynn is so clever in her execution of the storyline and the use of multiple perspectives to propel the story forward.

Full review here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

F.O.X.E.S by M. A. Bennett


TW: racism, sexism, death, flashbacks to torture, animal death, abuse, arson, explosion

I just loved how Bennett wove in so many film and literary references, connecting her gilded world of weaponised privilege with ours and highlighting the uncanny parallels in our politics and society. You can easily envision the events unfolding on a big screen and this makes you reading experience so rich and vivid. Alongside that, we have constant tension and mysterious threads to unravel as the story we first got a glimpse into in S.T.A.G.S is ever depended and expanded. 

Full review here.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

⭐️🏳️‍🌈 (side character)  

TW: rape, child abuse, suicide, murder, death, police violence, sexism. gaslighting

This is such an original, incredibly lush and rich YA fantasy that feels like a breath of fresh air amongst the genre. The world-building, story-telling and magic is just second to none. If this isn’t already on your radar, correct that immediately.

Full review here.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence


TW: grief, cancer, anxiety, abusive relationship

I really loved Lawrence’s focus on family and sisterhood, alongside a compelling mystery thread. It’s a very character-driven book with a brilliant protagonist in Becks, who had such an authentic voice and I loved her popular culture references. The story has this intricate, intimate feeling that centres around our complex relationships.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh


TW: sexual assault, racism, emotional abuse

I really, really wanted to love this book and unfortunately there was just something missing for me. The verse was gorgeous and so easy to connect to, but I wanted more of Ada’s story of self-discovery and empowerment. I also felt like the ending was a bit abrupt.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Wild and Crooked by Leah Thomas


TW: murder, lynching, abortion, homophobia, ableism, poverty

I love a good small-town mystery and Thomas delivered on this part so well, as well as such a sweet portrayal of friendship. I loved our central trio and their individual perspectives allowed me to connect with & understand them. The mystery is very well-plotted and interesting but at its core, this is a very character-driven book about complex relationships and family.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow


TW: self-harm, anxiety, panic attacks, racism, sexism, bullying, public outing, past suicide attempt

I really loved how Morrow blended the fantastical elements with searing social commentary about police brutality and racial harassment. The mythology was so interesting and the central sisterly relationship was so well-written. An original and dazzling contemporary fantasy.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest


This was just such a romantic, heart-warming celebration of love and film, while also delving into the darker side of the industry and the cost of fame. The writing is so engaging and flows exceptionally well. A highly enjoyable, joyous read that should be added to your TBR straight away.

Full review here.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Chosen Ones:

I will continue to speak up about current events now and forever and to help, here are links to Carrds talking about many of the world’s current events and how you can help. Also, I’ve linked here the Black Lives Matter Carrd to support, but also here is a list of resources to aid Anti-Racism work in the UK, as well as UK specific places to donate to. I will be doing this on every post. If you have the funds to donate, please do but if not, please support and uplift Black voices and sign the petitions. 

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