Blog about it, Young Adult

Favorite YA Reads for New YA Readers

I’m going to be honest for a sec: I used to “not get” YA. When I was an actual Young Adult I didn’t want to read fluffy stories about discovering love or understanding oneself. I wanted to read books about adults who already had their shit figured out (or were closer to that realization than I was at the time). So I surprised myself when I joined a YA book club¬†a few years ago, at the suggestion of one of my wedding clients. If anything, I’d be reading more books and that’s never a bad thing, right? ūüėČ (Since then, I’ve joined an “adult fiction” book club, so I get the best of both worlds.)

It took a little while to get into YA books, but now I find them to be an invaluable part of my reading experience. YA can range from sweet and cute love stories, to burgeoning heroines in sweeping fantasy sagas, to books demanding social change and justice. (There have always been YA books that deal with these things over the years, but I had ignored them while growing up, or they’ve become more prevalent now — maybe a combination of both.)

So I’m sharing this post as a primer for those new to YA, who aren’t sure if YA is for them. Here are some books that changed my perspective of YA, and books I’ve really loved since reading more of this genre.

princess

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Goodreads | Amazon)

When you’re in the mood for…¬†something wholesome, classic, and with a happy end

This is my OG YA read that I actually read when I was a kid. (I still re-read it every year; it’s one of my favorite books ever.) Sweet, intelligent, and rich Sara Crewe is left at boarding school in England while her father enlists in the army. When he dies in service, Sara discovers she is now orphaned and penniless, and the cruel headmistress of her school keeps Sara as a maid, mistreating her horribly all the while. Yes, Sara is a bit of a Mary Sue, and yes, this book has some dated references to other races that are a touch on the “exotic” side (it was first published in 1888), but for the most part it holds up really well. Who hasn’t had to use the power of imagination to keep one’s self-care up? I thought Sara was a resilient little woman with a good heart.

jellicoe

On the Jellicoe Road (or just Jellicoe Road, depending on what region you’re in) by Melina Marchetta¬†(Goodreads | Amazon)

When you’re in the mood for…¬†something that takes you on a tumble of emotions and you finish the book wishing there was more left to read

This is the book that made me realize, as an adult, that YA could be done well. Most YA books I’d encountered up to this point had been shallow, fluffy, and/or poorly-written, and I wrote off the entire subset of books until a friend recommended that I read¬†Jellicoe. Taking place in an Australian boarding school, head girl Taylor has to figure out what happened to another boarder (and her old friend) Hannah. What struck me about this book was the complexity of the story and the characters (there are about 10 people to keep track of, and all of their relationships to one another, which was fairly confusing at first) and how tightly-woven the story is.¬†I could feel the confusion of being 17 years old again; the imagination of teenagers still playing like kids, the excitement of blossoming romance, the heaviness of rough pasts, and a myriad of other feelings.

everythingleads

Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour (Goodreads | Amazon)

When you’re in the mood for…¬†a sweet love story between two ladies

This is a book I reach for whenever the world feels really bleak. It’s instant comfort. Emi, a 17-year-old with an artistic eye, her best friend, and her on-again-off-again girlfriend intern as interior designers on film sets in Hollywood. When a prominent actor dies, Emi discovers a letter that leads her to a beautiful, mysterious girl named Ava. What I loved about this book wasn’t just the stuff about films and living in LA (one of my weaknesses), it was that Emi is gay and she knows it and she doesn’t struggle with it at all. Instead, the focus is on Emi falling in love with Ava. It’s sweet and realistic (as preposterous as the setup and background may be) and catapulted Nina LaCour onto my list of favorite authors.¬† Continue reading “Favorite YA Reads for New YA Readers”

Best Of

Favorite Reads of 2017

I read a lot. Someone asked me, “How do you keep up with all of this material?” and I had to answer truthfully: The good stuff sticks with you, and the rest fades away. I read to better understand our world; I read to forget it. I read when I’m anxious (soooo my book-count went up by 66% from 2016 to ’17 — no surprise there); I read when I’m bored.

In 2017 I read 126 books (that I counted; some re-reads or sequels were not tallied). Here are some of my favorites and why they counted. They’re not in any order, but I have separated them by adult and YA.

Adult fiction

exitwest

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Goodreads | Amazon)

My first thought when finishing this book was a simple “damn,” because Mohsin Hamid is absolutely amazing with words. His precise use of language, his ear for sounds that sound beautiful together, made every sentence gorgeous. The story, too, was beautifully done: two young lovers living in an unnamed country try to survive a war. Refugees can disappear into other countries via magical doors, and while I wasn’t expecting that bit of fantasy in an otherwise gritty story, I thought it was the perfect touch to add an extra dimension to Nadia and Saeed’s story.

evelyn

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Goodreads | Amazon)

A beautiful, aged movie star who is now a recluse. A story of a young Cuban woman’s move from NYC to LA, her transformation into a white-washed actress. The men she used to get to her goal of becoming a household name during the decline of big studio cinema era and the rise of the New Hollywood and its elites. Evelyn Hugo, born Evelyn Herrera, aka Evelyn Adler, Evelyn Cameron, Evelyn Girard, et al, describes to a surprised and somewhat reluctant reporter from Vivant magazine, Monique Grant, the last sixty years of her life. This book read as kind of a Hollywood version of The Thirteenth Tale crossed with Elizabeth Taylor.

While it’s a bit “fluffy” (interspersed with newspaper clippings of gossip stories), it does touch on some heavier topics without making it into an “issue” book. It’s a fairly quick read. Continue reading “Favorite Reads of 2017”

Read Harder 2018

Book Riot’s 2018 Read Harder Challenge | Part 2

I’m super excited to continue talking about my picks and recommendations for Book Riot’s 2018 Read Harder Challenge. Let’s keep going…

(Here’s Part 1)

#13. An Oprah book club selection.

I’m reading:¬†Love in the Time of Cholera¬†by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I’d also recommend:¬†The Underground Railroad¬†by Colson Whitehead | Imagine if the path for runaway slaves had been an actual underground railroad line. The story follows Cora, a slave who escapes a Georgia plantation with a fellow slave. Her path to the north is fraught with obstacles and terror. It’s beautifully written, though the subject matter gives your heart a walloping.

Middlesex¬†by Jeffrey Eugenides | The interesting story of Calliope, who knows she is not like other girls, and the three generations of her family that came before her. It’s been a few years since I’ve read it, but I still recall passages of this book and loved the writing.

#14. A book of social science.

I’m reading: Modern Romance¬†by Aziz Ansari

I’d also recommend:¬†White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide¬†by Carol Anderson | The unpleasant history of our nation’s institutionalized racism, as well as its continued presence in our everyday lives.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell | What makes a person a success? I really liked the straightforward writing by Gladwell.

#15. A one-sitting book.

I’m reading:¬†anything on my shelf that looks to be around 300 pages.

I’d probably recommend:¬†Ms. Marvel¬†the graphic novel by G. Willow Wilson | A teenaged girl discovers she has superhuman powers — but it’s not done cheesily, and has the added bonus of diversity: Kamala is a Muslim-practicing Pakistani-American living in Jersey.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | A quick read that will either shape your world view (or reaffirm it).

msmarvel
Ms. Marvel is a teenage Pakistani-American in New Jersey

#16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series.

I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE.¬†

I’m reading:¬†A Court of Thorns and Roses¬†by Sarah J. Maas

I’d DEFINITELY recommend:¬†Cinder¬†by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles series) | One of my favorite ever reads of 2015, this series reimagines classic fairy tales in a futuristic world where Cinderella is a cyborg and the evil stepmother is the queen of the moon. There are 4 books altogether, the series is complete (you will not wait around for years for any loose ends to get tied up), and you can also read 2 optional novellas if you can’t let go of Cinder’s world too quickly.

Tomorrow, When the War Began¬†by John Marsden | Maybe less well-known than¬†Cinder, this series follows a group of Australian teenagers who went camping (or, “into the bush”) and returned to find that their country had been invaded.¬†The teens become guerilla fighters and each book deals with their scrapes with the enemy. The plot was good but the Aussie slang made it better. This series is also completed.

#17. Task #17: A sci-fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author.

I’m reading:¬†Parable of the Sower¬†by Octavia E. Butler

I’d also recommend:¬†Kindred¬†by Octavia E. Butler

The Handmaid’s Tale¬†by Margaret Atwood | In Gilead, the nation that replaced the United States, women who can still bear children are used as walking wombs for the ruling elite. We follow Offred, who remembered when the old government fell. (You should also check out the Hulu series.)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer also applies to this! (Really, I just want you to read The Lunar Chronicles!)

handmaids-tale
The Handmaid’s Tale has been made into a well-made show, if you’d like to watch it after you’ve read it!

#18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image.

I’m reading:¬†My Favorite Thing is Monsters¬†by Emil Pharris

I’d recommend again:¬†March¬†by John Lewis

(I’m sorry, graphic novels and comics aren’t my wheelhouse)

#19. A book of genre fiction in translation.

I’m reading:¬†The Vegetarian¬†by Han Kang

I’d also recommend:¬†anything by Haruki Murakami, if you’re into dreamy lit, quirky female characters, and jazz.¬†1Q84¬†is my favorite of his, but it’s dense.¬†Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage¬†is a good second pick.¬†

#20. A book with a cover you hate.

I’m reading:¬†American Wife¬†by Curtis Sittenfeld

This is obviously a subjective prompt, so it’s all up to you. But I wanted to share my pick’s hideous cover. Why is the book cover about¬†a fictional president’s wife¬†showing a cropped-in shot of a bride? It’s lazy. And I¬†love¬†weddings! I’m a¬†wedding photographer.¬†But I don’t see the point of this cover at all, especially since the blurb describes the story of a woman whose struggles are when she is already married to the president…

cover-americanwife

#21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author.

I’m reading:¬†Pointe¬†by Brandy Colbert -or- A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo

Sadly, I don’t read enough mystery (except Sue Grafton novels) so this is a completely blank prompt for me. If you have recommendations, I’d love to hear them!

#22. An essay anthology.

I’m reading:¬†The Fire This Time edited¬†by Jesmyn Ward¬†

I’d also recommend:¬†Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living edited by¬†Manjula Martin | It’s a pretty niche book, but if you’re interested in the business end of book publishing, this book is great. Did you know that Cheryl Strayed qualified for food stamps even after getting her book deal for¬†Torch? Or that Jennifer Weiner sometimes doubts her success because her books are critically panned, but her books (“fluff” novels) sell enough for her to make a comfortable living? Money talk is usually so taboo that I appreciated people lifting the veil off this stuff and talking about it frankly.

#23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60.

I’m reading:¬†M Train¬†by Patti Smith

I’d also recommend:¬†The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo¬†by¬†Taylor Jenkins Reid | This book read as cross between¬†The Thirteenth Tale¬†and Elizabeth Taylor — the now reclused ex-movie star Evelyn Hugo tells her life story (including all the men she stepped on her way to becoming a household name) to a reluctant and surprised journalist.

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk¬†by Kathleen Rooney | Elderly Lillian Boxfish wanders around Manhattan, reminiscing about her life and of her past life as a mastermind of advertising. She’s a sharp-witted old lady and describes the changes New York has gone through as well. A quiet book that is just nice.

1200px-Patti_Smith_performing_in_Finland,_2007
Patti Smith has written some beautiful books. I read Just Kids and will read M Train for one of my prompts. Recommend!

#24. An assigned book you hated or never finished.

I’m reading:¬†Things Fall Apart¬†by Chinua Achebe

This is another one of those subjective prompts. I personally could not get through this book when it was assigned in high school, yet it’s rated so highly that I know I should try again. (I’m also double-dipping with prompt #9.) I admit I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to quit books before they’re finished, so seeing that yellow cover on my bookshelf tormented me for years. I hope I like it more this time around.


Do you have any recommendations? What are you planning to read? I’d love to hear about it!¬†Disclaimer: Amazon links are affiliate links.

Read Harder 2018

Book Riot’s 2018 Read Harder Challenge | Part 1

2017 isn’t even over yet, but I’m so excited about the 2018 Read Harder Challenge by Book Riot. [Here’s a link to their post with a downloadable, editable pdf file.] So here I am, before Christmas Eve, making plans for what I’ll read next year like a big ol’ nerd. I’m going to share what I’m planning to read for the Challenge, as well as recommendations of books I’ve read in years past that could fit the criteria as well.

For 2017’s challenge, I tried to pick books written by more marginalized authors — women, non-white, or LGBTQ+ (which wasn’t too difficult, as a lot of the prompts specified more books by women, non-white, or LGBTQ+ authors!). This year, I’m trying to do the same — while also picking from books that have already been on my to-read list, so I’m not adding more to it.

Here we go!

#1. A book published posthumously.

I’m reading:¬†The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs

I’d also recommend:¬†When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi | Paul, 36, married, and close to finishing his education to become a neurosurgeon, learns that he has stage IV lung cancer. I cried and then bought a copy of the book for my dad, who works in the medical field and I thought would appreciate it. It’s beautifully devastating.

Persuasion by Jane Austen | One of several books published after Austen’s death, Persuasion¬†also¬†comes with an amazing love letter at the end that¬†will bring the swoon. Anne Elliot is considered a spinster at 27. She despairs that the man she rejected 9 years ago thinks nothing of her anymore, though she is still in love with him. Be sure to watch the Amanda Root + Ciaran Hinds version of the movie because it’s perfect.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank | We all know about Anne Frank, the Jewish girl who hid in an attic to escape Nazi detection during World War II. But have you actually read her diary? This is a must-read for anyone.

persuasion-1995
Don’t be swayed by the 2007’s flashy cast. The 1995 Persuasion with Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root is *the* only version to watch after you’ve finished the book.

#2. A book of true crime.

I’m reading:¬†Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City by Kate Winkler Dawson

I’d also recommend:¬†After the Eclipse: A Mother’s Murder, A Daughter’s Search by Sarah Perry | When she was 12, Sarah Perry was in the next room when her mother was murdered. No one knew who had killed Crystal Perry, and Sarah, as an adult, works on her own investigation to try to figure out who was culpable. Part memoir and part investigative journalism, this book is a beautifully-written story about a terrible crime. It also emphasizes how toxic masculinity is a reason for her mother’s murder, and why women are targeted and killed every day.

The Midnight Assassin by Skip Hollandsworth | In the late 1800s, when Austin was still a tiny speck of a town, the corner stone of the Texas Capitol was just being put in, and Hyde Park was considered “north” Austin, there was a serial killer who started targeting servant women. Dubbed the Servant Girl Annihilator, the man killed both black women and wealthy white women in a number of ways and was never caught. Folks thought he moved on to London to become Jack the Ripper, but it was never verified. This is an interesting story about the mystery, and a must for Austinites.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann | In the early 1900s, the Osage community was pushed off of their original land onto a expanse of rocky soil that no one else wanted — but the land yielded oil. The tribe became wealthy, and with wealth came targets on their backs: members of the Osage were murdered. The FBI was formed to help solve the murders, since local law enforcement was too corrupted to make decent headway. It’s a horrifying look at our nation’s history (and yet, so believable).

smog of london
The episode of Netflix’s The Crown about the Great London Smog intrigued me so much that I had to pick a book about a serial killer in the smog!

#3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance).

I’m reading:¬†Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

I’d also recommend:¬†Kindred by Octavia Butler |¬†(originally published 1979 – genre: sci-fi)¬†Dana, a black woman married to a white man in 1970s California,¬†endures unexpected time travel to antebellum Maryland every time her white, slave-owning ancestor Rufus’s life is in danger. Though only a month passes in the 1970s, Dana is brought back to Rufus for hours, days, and sometimes months every time he is in mortal danger, and Dana knows she has to protect him long enough for her great-grandmother to be conceived.

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper | (originally published 1965 Рgenre: YA/sci-fi) I actually had no idea that The Dark Is Rising series is such a classic; I read it when I was a kid and just assumed that it had been written in the 80s, because it felt so timeless. The three Drew siblings discover an old map that leads to a search for a holy grail. There is a lot of backstory about the knights of the round table, and wizards, and an evil known as the Dark.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith | (originally published 1943 – genre: historical fiction) One of my absolute favorites, about a young girl named Francie growing up poor in 1930s Brooklyn with her alcoholic but dazzling father, beautiful and hard-working scrubwoman of a mother, and golden child brother. It’s been so long since I read it, but I remember pieces of the book so well: pickles and penny candy, Francie’s hat pin to deter groping on the subway, Francie’s father walking down stairs with his feet sideways for a surer step. It’s a beautiful and detailed slice-of-life story that follows Francie from about 4 years old to adulthood.

#4. A comic written and illustrated by the same person.

I’m reading:¬†Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh (yes, I still haven’t read this!)

I’d also recommend:¬†Maus by Art Spiegelman | I read this series when I was a child and it stuck with me (I still own my copies from the 90s). Art Spiegelman interviewed his father about his Holocaust experience and depicted it in graphic novel form. It’s heart-wrenching and a must-read, especially in this renewed antisemitic climate.

#5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa).

I’m reading:¬†The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden¬†(takes place in: Russia)

I’d also recommend:¬†The God of Small Things¬†by Arundhati Roy¬†(takes place in: India) | I read this in the past year for Read Harder 2017, yet I still can’t find the words to describe it. It’s a story about a family, but I read it (and it stuck with me) more for the language.

The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan (takes place in: China) | Probably one of her lesser-known works (everyone knows about The Joy Luck Club, which could possibly also fit this prompt), about two half-sisters. Olivia is half-Chinese and resents her strange sibling Kwan Li, who claims she can speak to ghosts. So she describes many past lives, which even though I read this book over a decade ago, still reside in my mind.

#6. A book about nature.

I’m reading:¬†Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

I’d also recommend:¬†The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit¬†by Michael Finkel |¬†In 1986, a 20-year-old man got out of his car and disappeared into a Maine forest. For 27 years, he lived in a blind spot of the forest 3 minutes away from civilization, by stealing food and provisions from unoccupied cabins in the area. Partly about hermits and partly about the brutal nature of Maine, this book was interesting, though the resolution a little open-ended.

Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History¬†by Erik Larson | I love Erik Larson (read¬†Devil in the White City if you haven’t yet), mostly because he can make history come alive. If you want to be even more terrified about natural disasters, read this book about the 1900 hurricane that devastated Galveston.

#7. A western.

I’m reading:¬†Something by Louis L’Amour.

I’d also recommend:¬†Under a Painted Sky¬†by Stacey Lee (YA)

I’ll be honest, westerns are not my genre of choice, so I don’t have a lot of experience to pick through. I’m reading a Louis L’Amour because my dad likes him. It’s difficult to find a western with female protagonists and female authors, but¬†Under a Painted Sky¬†has both! Samantha, a Chinese-American teenager who commits an unforgivable crime, is joined by Annamae, a runaway slave, as they escape their respective bad situations.

#8. A comic written or illustrated by a person of color.

I’m reading:¬†Black Panther #1¬†by Ta-Nehisi Coates (illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze)

I’d also recommend:¬†March¬†by Congressman John Lewis | On the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, John Lewis (in graphic novel form) meets a young constituent, who asks how he became a member of Congress. The congressman describes his life growing up on a Georgia chicken farm, and moves into how he became involved in the civil rights movement with sit-ins at department store counters. There are three books in the series and each one gets more intense, culminating with the Voting Rights Act. It is a striking way to read history.

#9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature.

I’m reading:¬†Things Fall Apart¬†by Chinua Achebe

I’d also recommend:¬†Americanah¬†by¬†Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie |¬†Ifemelu moves from Nigeria to the US to study, leaving behind her high-school love Obinze. Later, she revisits newly democratic Nigeria and her old beau and all the baggage between them.

Homegoing¬†by Yaa Gyasi | One of my favorites of 2017,¬†Homegoing¬†is about two half-sisters in Ghana: one is sold into slavery, while the other is married to a white officer. The book follows generations of their respective descendants through 200 years of American history, as well as during Ghana’s years of warring tribalism and colonialism.

The Kite Runner¬†by Khaled Hosseini | About the story between two boys in 1970s Kabul — one the son of a wealthy merchant, the other the son of a servant in a lower caste.

#10. A romance novel by or about a person of color.

I’m reading:¬†The Wedding Date¬†by Jasmine Guillory

I’d also recommend:¬†When Dimple Met Rishi¬†by Sandhya Menon (YA) |¬†Dimple is an independent young lady who loves to code and goes to Insomnia Con, a 6-week summer app coding course on a San Francisco college campus, before her freshman year at Stanford. Her parents, unbeknownst to her, have conspired with their friends to have their son Rishi meet Dimple at the same summer course. Rishi is a romantic traditionalist who is excited about the idea of an arranged marriage. Hijinks ensue.

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon (YA) | Natasha is about to get deported to Jamaica with her family and is on her way to talk to a lawyer. Daniel is on his way to an interview for Stanford, pushed by his Korean immigrant parents, but really wants to be an artist. The two meet in New York by chance and spend the day together.

I don’t read a lot of romance so my picks are from YA (not too steamy; PG-13 rated).

#11. A children’s classic published before 1980.

I’m reading:¬†A Wrinkle in Time¬†by Madeleine L’Engle (I actually have never read this, either!)

I’d also recommend:¬†A Little Princess¬†by Frances Hodgson Burnett | This is a dear favorite of mine that I re-read at least once a year. Rich Sara Crewe moves from India to England to attend an all-girls boarding school. When her father dies of jungle fever while in the army, she finds out she is penniless and friendless, and the cruel headmistress keeps on her as a servant. But Sara’s imagination keeps her strength up; kindness is its own special kind of magic.

#12. A celebrity memoir.

I’m reading:¬†Born a Crime¬†by Trevor Noah

I’d also recommend:¬†Just Kids¬†by Patti Smith | I was captivated by Patti Smith’s beautiful writing, as well as her very interesting time making art with all the greats in 1970s New York (she name-drops so nonchalantly), that I would definitely recommend her memoir. I liked her voice so much I’m picking up¬†M Train¬†for another Read Harder task.

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick | I liked Anna enough to follow her hilarious Twitter, but it wasn’t until she did a Q&A for this book in town that I realized just how sharp-witted she is. Her book, which details how she kick-started her career singing and acting every night on Broadway at age 12 (nominated for a Tony award, no less), on to her role in¬†Twilight, and a lot of everything else including feminist messages and sex empowerment, made me like her even more.

Where Am I Now?¬†by Mara Wilson, and¬†You Look Like That Girl¬†by Lisa Jakub | What happens when you are a celebrity as a kid, but pretty normal now? Mara and Lisa, who played sisters in¬†Mrs. Doubtfire, have both written memoirs about their childhood stardom and their switch to “normalcy.”

mara wilson memoir
Mara Wilson’s memoir is quite interesting, especially since she devotes an entire chapter to her feelings of being associated with Matilda

This is getting a bit long so I’m going to split it into more parts! Here is Part 2.

Disclaimer: links to Amazon are affiliate links

 

 

Read Harder 2018

Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder Challenge – Wrap Up

For my first post of this new book blog, let’s talk about the 2017 Read Harder Challenge put on by Book Riot.¬†Many of the prompts for 2017 asked us to look past the status quo of books — white, male, heterosexual — and focus on books written by and about more diverse perspectives. This challenge definitely helped me get out of my typical reading zone.

Here are the books I read for the 2017 challenge (and the alternates that could have fit as well).

Continue reading “Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder Challenge – Wrap Up”