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 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.
Amelia Westlake Was Never Here by Erin Gough
TW: sexual harassment, fat shaming, homophobia, racism, classism
This is a smart, funny YA contemporary that delves into activism and trying to change the system from within. It tackles the injustices of sexism, homophobia and elitism through a brilliant premise. The central characters are relatable and have great dialogue. My only issue was that the feminism included could’ve been more intersectional, with a brief discussion around race feeling shoe-horned in, rather than fully incorporated.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne. A Brown
TW: death of loved one, assassination, fire, on-page murder, anxiety/panic attack, refugee and war themes, animal death
I absolutely loved this West African inspired fantasy. It was so rich in its world-building and mythology, while also balancing political themes and complex, carefully constructed characters. The twists and turns are excellent, leaving me shocked and surprised. I enjoyed both Malik and Karina’s narration and am really excited to see where Brown takes this tale next.
Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia
TW: bullying, homophobia, fatphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, racial slurs, parental abandonment
I really liked our central characters: Lita and Chicky. I loved how their friendship and the build back up to it was central to the story and the way the magical realism was woven into the novel. However, I feel like my expectations were just a bit too high, coming from a collaboration of two of my favourite authors and it just felt like something was missing for me.
The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
TW: antisemitism, child abuse, body mutilation, self-harm, gore, violence, talk to suicide, grief, stillbirth/miscarriage, colonialism
Just as I was recovering from The Gilded Wolves, Chokshi came and ripped my heart from my chest again.
A stunningly gorgeous book packed full of heart, darkness and it’s just the perfect sequel. Bring on whatever lies ahead.
Full review to come.
One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite
TW: racism, police brutality, homophobia (religious context), forced drugging, descriptions of lynching, death, grief, fire
This is easily making it into my top books of 2020.
An emotional, impactful and brilliant story that weaves the horrific realities of systematic and structural racism in both past and present with a compelling mystery. In particular, it interrogates the idea of legacy and family. You simply must read this.
Full review here.
Most Likely by Sarah Watson
TW: depression, ableism, racism, sexism, mentions of drug addiction
I really liked the premise of this book and enjoyed trying to work out who had become President, while also exploring the coming of age tale of four friends. I liked how none of them had everything together, they weren’t completely perfect, instead they were relatable as they all grappled with their own issues. It’s rather character focused, which I enjoyed and has a strong focus on female friendship.
Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
TW: murder, teen pregnancy, discussion of abortion, emotional abuse, parental abuse, fire, gaslighting, gore and body horror
Power has created an insidious reading experience, tinged with horror and mystery in a suffocating atmosphere of a small town packed with secrets. A brilliant exploration of the cycle of familial abuse and trauma with excellent twists and turns.
Full review here.
You’re Next by Kylie Schachte
TW: death, domestic violence, murder, stalking, fire, violence, gore
Schachte has come out swinging, with a fierce and driven debut. This mystery is packed with cutting social commentary and packs one hell of a punch. I really liked Flora in all her messy complexity and actually how she was unlikable to an extent, though you could see how she was a product of everything that’s happened to her. A tense and tightly plotted YA mystery.
All I’m saying is that there better be a sequel.
The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige
⭐️ 🏳️🌈 (side characters)
TW: violence, death, blood, gaslighting, cancer
A thrilling, dark and complex mystery about the dangers of power and an empowering ode to sisterhood. I liked the magic system and generally this modern, fresh, Coven-like take on witches.
Full review here.
The Chosen Ones: