Thank you so much to Ally for tagging me! I’m sorry that it’s taken me this long to post this! I have had this post on my mind for months now because for a while I didn’t think I had anything to actually recommend but I actually did??? But overall this is a mix of books I have read and books I want to read.
- Tag Ally @ Ally Writes Things (Hey Ally hope you’re having a good day/night!)
- Give at least one recommendation for each of the prompts below
- If you don’t have a recommendation, talk about a book you want to read
- Tag your friends
A BOOK ABOUT FRIENDSHIP
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
This is a book I used to talk about a lot on here and I still will. I think one of the biggest themes of this book is friendship since its involves Jade, the protagonist who is a Black girl who lives in poverty and Sam, a white girl who also lives in poverty. Their friendship is tested when a few things in the story happens that shows how Sam still benefits from white privilege despite being poor. Jade also develops a friendship/mentorship with an young Black woman named Maxine who doesn’t seem as interested in being a mentor to Jade at first and there is a stark class difference between the two. I highly recommend this for those who want to read more YA contemporary novels that revolve around Black girls and women.
A TRANSLATED BOOK
Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica; translated by Sarah Moses
I don’t really want to go into detail too much with this one, its just essentially a dystopian world where cannibalism is in and one dude is having a hard time with that. That’s my vaguest description of it but wow. This book is so horrifying. Which makes it a perfect read for anytime of the year and for any horror fan. It’s also a pretty quick read so it’s not too much to digest.
A DIVERSE ROMANCE
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert // Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola
I don’t read that much romance so I can’t exactly give the best recommendation for this. And the one romance I have read recently was super white.
I have a sort of recommendation that technically does fit but I feel it’s is more of a YA contemporary with Nina LaCour vibes, Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. Suzette is a queer Black Jewish girl who is questioning her sexuality. She has a Latina love interest as well as a biracial Black & Vietnamese love interest. While there definitely is romance, it is moreso a coming of age story where the romance is sort of a secondary plot point.
I would love to read Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola, a romance anthology featuring myths and folklore retold in romantic stories. It sounds like a good starting point for me or anyone else who wants to get into more romance.
A FAST-PACED BOOK
Again I’m going to recommend Tender is the Flesh again for this one. I read it within a day. Also its probably because I am a slow reader and reading a shorter book (it was about a 200 page book) within a day counts as fast paced for me.
A NONFICTION OTHER THAN A MEMOIR
World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatahil // Cultish by Amanda Montell
Okay this is cheating because World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatahil is kind of a memoir (sorry lol). But its also a non-fiction about weird ass animals and plants that are on our planet. It’s a hybrid of a book that I think works…wonders.
I guess I’ll talk also about a non-fiction that I would like to read that isn’t a memoir. Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell. I like reading about cults in both fictional and non-fictional works. I just find them fascinating but also horrifying of course. From the Goodr*ads description this talks about the classic cults like Jonestown, Scientology, and also talks about the more recent cultish groups like Q Anon.
AN UNDERRATED MEMOIR
Face It by Debbie Harry // Horror Stories by Liz Phair
I don’t read memoirs much either despite owning a few and wanting to read them. I just have never really gotten around to many. So here’s two that I think would fit underrated in a way. It’s probably a stretch to say that Debbie Harry, lead singer of Blondie, is underrated but this book was released last year and only has about 5,589 ratings on Good/reads. Same goes for Liz Phair. I feel like both are pretty well known. But I love their music so I just think reading memoirs from these iconic female musicians would be great especially Liz Phair’s, since its compared to Patti Smith’s Just Kids.
A BOOK WITH FEWER THAN 10,000 RATINGS ON GOODREADS
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
I decided to go with sort of a throwback title, Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee. This is a book I talked about really early on my blog back in 2018 which feels so long ago yet actually isn’t. It’s a historical fiction which Stacey Lee is well known for, set in the American “Wild West” with a Chinese girl and Black girl as protagonists disguised as boys trying to head for the California Gold Rush. This is still somehow at 9,932 ratings which is close to 10,000 but in my opinion, this should have way more ratings. It’s just overall a solid historical fiction/western.
A BOOK WITH AN LGBTQ+ PROTAGONIST
How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
It’s been such a long time since I’ve talked about this one as well! Yet another throwback title. This is one my earliest reviews on my blog if you would like to read it here. But this is a YA contemporary romance featuring a bi protagonist! I think its honestly one of the first books I’ve read with a bi protagonist in it so it made quite an impression on me.
A BOOK BY A TRANS OR NON-BINARY AUTHOR
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi // Bitter by Awaeke Emezi
I am dying to read more books from Akwaeke Emezi such as Freshwater and The Death of Vivek Oji. Pet is their first YA novel with magical realism and dystopian elements but it’s such an impactful story about racism, prejudice, and injustice. There’s also a prequel coming out next year about the main character Jam’s mother called Bitter which I am looking forward to.
A BOOK WITH MORE THAN 500 PAGES
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
This book is HELLA THICC. Maybe not The Priory of the Orange Tree thicc but its 640 pages according to G*odreads, which is still super intimidating to me. I have a physical copy and its the I’m hoping to read this soon. But seeing as I find 300 pages challenging, I doubt it lol.
A SHORT STORY COLLECTION
And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories and Other Revenges by Amber Sparks
This is a new recent favorite of mine! I highly recommend it if you’re wanting to get more into short stories and also if you’re a fan of Carmen Maria Machado (who gave a blurb for this book btw). Amber Sparks writes dark, humorous feminist short stories. Some of my favorites are “Everyone’s a Winner in Meadow Park” (which honestly could have been a great novel on its own right), “A Short and Slightly Speculative History of Lavoisier’s Wife”, “Is the Future a Nice Place for Girls”, and “We Destroy the Moon” which is where the title is mentioned. There’s Greek mythology gags, futuristic cults, fucked up fairytales, and ghosts. It’s weird and great!
BOOK YOU WANT EVERYONE TO READ
Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
This was a book I had seen recommended several times by plenty of YA authors over the years. I read this in February of this year and WOW. I cannot believe how good it is. It has that classic lyrical, fairytale-like storytelling to it about a girl who makes a deal with death to find her true love before she dies in only a few days time. I listened to this as an audiobook and I cannot recommend reading it that way enough, especially because it helped me get to sleep (in a good way not in a boring sleep way).
Also this will sound maybe off-putting but I am not recommending this for everyone because its a YA fantasy novel that is short and very different from a lot of YA fantasy novels today. Its not super epic or action-packed but its one that left a huge impression on me with how a story doesn’t have have a grand number of pages to still be impactful and memorable. It’s very short (around 220 pages?) I would recommend it for those who just want a quick, comfort read with a story that is romantic and folkloric.
If you’d like be to tagged just let me know in the comments! I will tag anyone who wants to participate. Also no pressure to anyone who was tagged.
Thanks again to Ally for creating this tag and tagging me!!! 🌟