Imagine a country after the gaslighting tyrant has been removed. Are citizens healed overnight? How does the new head of state work toward building a healthy country? How does a young girl find her balance when her father was the tyrant, and killed her mother. These are the questions Lady Queen Bitterblue must face as the new Queen of Monsea, with help from her extraordinary group of friends. (And here I was thinking I was taking a break from serious content by picking up a young adult novel...) Enjoy!
My new go-to graduation gift recommendation! With sincerity and honesty, Reynolds tells readers that the journey to personal achievement and success is not easy, fixed, or clear and that even passion and perseverance can't cure insecurity. But his refrain, his offering his encouragement is: JUMP ANYWAY.
Just the right amount of corny and wise, Reynolds' message resonates with those moving on to a new chapter in their lives.
A comprehensive starter about consent - which should always be an enthusiastic YES. This graphic novel features a group of teens discussing what they think consent means after learning a classmate was a victim of sexual assault. They ultimately affirm that all relationships should make both participants feel confident, healthy, and fulfilled. A must-read. For everyone. Full stop.
An incredible collection of words, art, photos, and expressions of Indigenous women by Indigenous women. This volume celebrates and amplifies the voices of these women and girls, who are so often silenced by white folks, by governments, by institutions, by men.
Open this book and listen with open ears and open hearts.
The alternate-history zombie novel you never thought you'd need; think Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets the Walking Dead set in an America where the Civil War only ended because Confederate and Union soldiers rose from the battlefield. In zombie-hunter protagonist Jane, readers will find a modern hero: scrappy, snarky, clever, motivated, and oh-so skilled with a sickle. You'll want to follow her into battle--and don't worry you will. Dynamic, exhilarating, and inventive!
After her mother's suicide, Leigh and her father struggle through their now-greyscale world. When a great red bird deposits a box of family mementos on her porch, Leigh knows undoubtedly that this bird is her mother. She journeys to Taiwan and dives headfirst into the trauma of her family's past, but the weight of old grief and of new memories compounds. A moving portrait of finding oneself again after tremendous loss.
In a world where people pay to receive body mod services from the Belles-artisans of Beauty who use this arcana in their blood to transform the naturally greyscale populace into beatific glamazons in full color - everything is a mask, and polite society the most so. Come for the decadent descriptions of food and luxury fashion, stay for the diabolical players in this high-stakes game of political intrigue. Deceptively dark, this novel is a reminder that beauty most often wears a face of lies.
This verse novel will slice you up. Visceral, raw, and unique, this is the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the first professional woman painters (active in the 16th century) and one of the first women in documented history to bring her sexual assailant to court and WIN. A book about the process of art, healing from trauma, and growing up in a world that unrelentingly asserts that you're not good enough, even as it uses you up.
A bright, shining lighthouse of a book. At turns tender and ferocious, this is a book that you hand to those struggling to find and express their voice. Acevedo's debut verse novel powerfully asserts the humming, electric, life-altering potential of poetry and literature.
The best fantasy I have read in ages. Achingly masterful and brimming with complexly rendered main and secondary characters, Adeyemi's Orisha world will sweep you up in its embrace with one arm and brandish a knife at you with the other. Paced perfectly at un-put-downable, this is your 2018 must-read.