I wanted to share what I’ve been reading, since I’ve read a lot of great books so far this year. I’ll post another reading wrap-up at the end of the year (I had orginally intended to just make one post at the end of the year, but I’ve read so much already that I thought I’d go ahead and post this now to avoid an extremely long post in December). These books are in the order I read them.
The Start Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi This book has rich writing and imagery; it was enjoyable to read, but I think I’ll need to re-read it to fully take everything in. A companion book comes out at the end of March, and I am very excited.
Not Otherwise Specified by Hanna Moskowitz I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this book, because I was so entranced by the story and characters.
Pointe by Brady Colbert I picked up this book because the main character takes ballet classes, and that’s enough to pique my interest in any book. This book is about so much more than ballet, so don’t let that deter you if dance isn’t your thing. I really enjoyed this book. By the end of it, I was so proud of the main character that I may or may not have cried. (I did, I totally cried, but because I was just so gosh darn proud of the character.)
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria I don’t know if I would have picked up this book if I hadn’t heard so much about it, and I am so glad that I did pick it up. I love the strong friendship between the two main characters, and the world pulled me in.
The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter I picked up this book because it deals with mental health issues, and the ocean plays a pretty prominent role; both also play heavily in the novella length fairy tale retelling I’m working on. The word “queer” was used to mean strange, which didn’t sit right with me. I did enjoy some parts of the book though.
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore I read half of this in one afternoon while snuggling my cat, and it was a wonderful experience. The world is so rich and beautiful and the characters are relatable and great.
The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace This is a beautiful collection of poetry that I read in its entirety in one afternoon. While some of the poems are quite heavy and sad, I came out of the book with a sense of hope and motivation to love myself more.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas I was very excited about this book from the first moment I heard about it, and it did not disappoint. There is quite a lot of emotional heaviness in this book, but that’s to be expected from a book about a teen who sees her friend get shot by a cop. The writing is wonderful, and the topic is very important, so I highly suggest this book.
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst The summary drew me in, but sadly I wasn’t as drawn into the story as I anticipated. I did enjoy aspects of the story though.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson This was a re-read for me; I first read it in high school, and I’ve returned to it quite a few times since then. The story and the main character’s growth never fail to move me.
Merrow by Ananda Braton-Smith I picked this book up without knowing much about it, and I am so glad I did. The voice is strong, and the story is both whimsical and serious.
The Gauntlet by Karuna Raizi I don’t tend to read a lot of middle grade books, but I am so glad I read this one. The characters are great, the story is engaging, and the book was a very enjoyable read.
The Library by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small This picture book is an adorable story, written in rhyme, about a woman who collects so many books that she decides to open a public library. I very much enjoyed this book, and could relate to the main character quite a lot.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden I started this book in February or March, read most of it, but then set it down when I got distracted by other books I was more interested in reading. I wasn’t totally sure I was going to finish this book, but on a weekend at the beginning of May I picked it up again to see if it grabbed my attention more than it had earlier in the year. And it did! I am extremely glad I finished this book; the last fourth of the book was enchanting.
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan Another middle grade book! I enjoyed this book a lot; so much that I read the entire book in a day. The main character, Amina, is relatable. The plot and characters are wonderful, and it’s great to see such a diverse cast.
The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember Any retelling of The Little Mermaid is going to catch my attention. This was an enjoyable read, and I very much like some of the ways it twists the original story. There is a nonbinary character, which would have been wonderful representation for nonbinary readers; except the character is a trickster villain, which upset nonbinary readers, understandably.
Children of the Sea (volumes 1-5) by Daisuke Igarashi I haven’t read a lot of manga, but this one caught my attention when I was browsing at the library one day because there are children of the sea in one of my stories. The story was much heavier than I expected, but I enjoyed it.
Adulthood is a Myth and Big Mushy Lump by Sarah Andersen These two books by Sarah Anderson are collections of short comics about various aspects of the author’s life. Both are enjoyable reads, and I found quite a few of the comics to be very relatable.
The Secrets I Keep by Alex Casso Beautiful and heartbreaking, this short poetry collection is one I know I’ll return to many times in the future.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton I enjoyed this book, for the most part. There’s a lot of beautiful magical realism and imagery that made reading the book feel dreamlike at times. The story is set in Seattle, my hometown, and it was fun to get the references to different parts of the city. I should warn that there is a rape scene that was quite hard to read, so if reading about that is something you’d prefer to avoid, this book isn’t for you.
Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci I was drawn to this book because the summary promised a friendship between two ballet dancers; the book didn’t disappoint in that area, and I could relate to the main character’s anxious nature.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell This was another re-read. Something about this story is so cozy to me, which is why I keep returning to it.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon This was a fun and enjoyable read. I could relate to both of the main characters in one way or another.
EDIT: This post has been updated; when writing up this post I forgot to include one book I read in the first half of the year (The Secrets I Keep by Alex Casso).