A couple of Saras and so much glorious Nnedi Okafor, who, after reading Remote Control AND Binti, is now one of my FAVORITE AUTHORS OF ALL TIME.
If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha
Frances Cha’s unhappy, stunning debut is a real, engrossing look into the lives of Korea’s young women you won’t want to put down. Instantly invested, my heart broke for each of these characters as I turned the pages. If I Had Your Face will stick in the back of my mind for a long time to come.
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A Broken Blade by Melissa Blair
This was a fairly good YA fantasy. Lots of fun, all the tropes we know and love. However, its beginning is EXACTLY THE SAME as two of my favorite YA fantasy novel: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Graceling by Kristin Cashore. The plot twist at the end was not very twisty at all, so don’t look for many surprises in this one.
Binti trilogy by Nnedi Okafor
Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod ohmyGOD. I LOVE BINTI WITH MY ENTIRE HEART AND SOUL. I have never read anything like Okafor’s science fiction, which is imaginative in so many new and interesting ways. The themes of home, self, family, and change are poignant and powerful. This trilogy has stuck with me all month, and I cannot cannot CANNOT recommend it enough. All of these novellas are nice and short, but wow the investment they pack! The plot twists were twisty, the characters SO loveable…there is truly something here for everyone.
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
I was bored for the majority of this book. With all timelines/perspectives, the stakes didn’t feel very high and each problem seemed presented in a black-and-white philosophical style. It felt like these characters were explaining their problems to a first grader. While the themes of this book could have been interesting, instead they felt already-done. All around, while I enjoyed myself enough to finish and was presently surprised by an exciting ending, the whole experience was pretty meh.
Four by Sara Cate
Fine trash—is that a thing? There’s a LOT of smut in this reverse harem, and most of it’s pretty good. It’s pretty much exactly what’s advertised, and I had no issues reading. The writing was smooth enough and I even liked the central heroine. My one hangup was the flippancy with which really hardcore torture was carried out. Plus this particular reverse harem had a weird kind of incest-ey dynamic. Which, if I’m even saying the word…yikes.
King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair
What a fun ride! I love St. Clair’s writing. She’s really good at having fully fleshed-out main characters with interesting internal lives. Plus the smut in this book is fantastic. Plus the vampires are fantastic. And the fact that there’s little else in this novel but character development, relationship development, and smut, makes this book a near-slam-dunk in my eyes.