In the wake of beloved outcast Vivek's death, their friends and family, as well as those only tenuously connected to their life, spill forth details both intimate and insignificant to build a complete character taken from the world before they could truly bloom. Emezi's talents shine brightest when they delicately dance around genres, from crime noir to multigenerational tale to supernatural, and some of the most heart-squeezing moments occur when Vivek speaks briefly from beyond the grave, letting their voice be heard above the din.
I always come back to one word when it comes to Daisy Johnson's writing: feral. It's coated in muck and nettles, and moves like wounded animal still hungry for a hunt - desperate and disjointed as it builds up momentum until the frenetic moment when the words bite down with bloody fangs and send everything reeling. I texted my friend immediately after closing Johnson's newest sibling psychological horror with a single excited phrase - Sisters just punched me in the gut.
What's most striking about this story is how much you care. From the first page, I was entranced and had no real interest in doing anything else with my life until I got to the last page. The story follows three sisters who are being haunted by their late sister's ghost. And yet, it's also not really about that at all. It's about grief, sisterhood, survival and taking back power. Not to mention that the writing is such that it constantly leaves you in an aftermath of wonder. I'm positive I'll be thinking of the Torres sisters for years to come.
This sweet, spooky tale of two best friends who accidentally release a curse on their town and then team up with a witchy grandma and a slightly magical cat named Chunk to fix it, is a pure delight! With nods to Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, and the Goonies, it's an adventurous tale of unbreakable friendship and the power of found family. Quite simply, it's enchanting.
I don't do 'cute' and I don't let my books get water damaged. Needless to say my copy of this affecting story about kinship and acceptance is thoroughly dampened with tears. Read it. Now.
I stayed up until 6 am reading this book. This story—about a seventeen year old girl who will age out of the foster care system next year—is hopeful and heartfelt without disregarding the harsh realities of what growing up in foster care can look like. Longo's daughter was born into foster care and lived in three different placements before Longo adopted her. It was Longo's daughter who asked her to write this book, and we should all be oh so grateful that she did.
Hot with violet urgency, and shrouded in the moss and fog of the rural Northwest, Vera Violet opens with the eponymous Vera on the run someplace deep in Montana, and does not let up until the final page. In between is something like the root system of a tall cedar, or the wiring Harness on an old pickup: tangled at first glance, but intricate as soon as you start to trace it. This is an unforgettable novel.
Be prepared to glide across time, distance, and families in Regina Porter’s debut novel. Her writing has rightly been described as “effortless” and is a joy to read. You come to know well two families, one black and one white, and how related they (and we all) are. As I marveled at her ability to portray each family member so deftly, I wondered– what would happen if she spent a week with my extended family?!
Exchange student Ilya has just arrived in the balmy heat of Louisiana from the frozen tundra of Russia. Smart, hardworking, and thoughtful his journey was to be the opportunity of a lifetime. But he can’t seem leave his home behind, or the brother he would do anything to save. In Lights all Night Long, Lydia Fitzpatrick juggles a coming of age tale; a murder mystery; and social commentary on addiction, drug use, and corruption. And it works. Beautifully. She somehow manages to avoid all the predictable tropes of each to create this sparkling world full of hope, friendship, and the power of family in all its forms.
You don't have to be a metalhead to fall in love with this adorably dark family of loons. Sweetly subversive a la The Adams Family, this book make me cackle aloud approximately 666 times.