At the beginning of the year, after I went crazy with the book buying for Christmas and my birthday, I told myself I would go on a book-buying ban until I had my physical TBR under control. For the first three months of 2018, I was reading good books I already had and the library was a great resource for checking out other books I heard about. However, I never told myself how long this book-buying ban was supposed to last….
I got a new job early on in March and I was making money for the first time in about five and a half months. To make matters even more difficult, I work in a city with an abundance of amazing bookstores. Still, I resisted somehow. Then, I make it into work one cold Friday afternoon, only to discover the entire building was closed due to a plumbing problem. I thought about going home, then I thought: go home and do what? I decided to visit a bookstore someone had recommended to me and…well, you can guess what happened from there.
I call this haul “slightly” shameful because some of these books were previously library books I read. So, my physical TBR didn’t get any bigger than it already was. Also, most of these books are anticipated releases or popular books I have wanted to read for a while, but they are always on hold at the library for somebody else, or they are by authors I am familiar with. And don’t worry—these are a mix of bookstore purchases and Amazon, bought on different days.
Of course, it sounds like I’m making excuses. Most of you probably understand the struggle. And it’s my own money I’m blowing. But still…there’s graduate school in September. Needless to say, my wallet is not too happy with me about that.
Anyway, onto my new books!
Speak: the graphic novel by Laurie Halse Anderson & Emily Carroll
After checking out the new graphic novel adaption of Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel, Speak, from the library, I realized I never had my own copy of the book. I really enjoyed the graphic novel as much as I did the original work; in fact, the artwork added a lot more to the story, in my opinion.
The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
After my mom died in February, I was in a deep mood for poetry. The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur’s newest publication following her successful debut Milk and Honey, was not a book I originally anticipated too much. While I liked Milk and Honey, I did not get much out of it personally. Then, I decided to check out The Sun and Her Flowers from the library. I read it and it hit me right in the feels. This book came to me at the right time.
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
I’ve talked about this book almost every other post since I read it in March. An anticipated January 2018 release that has gotten mixed reviews, I fall into the group that loves The Hazel Wood. I’m sure you are already familiar with the story at this point, so I won’t bore you with details. However, fun fact: books bought from bookstores (either in store or online) feel way better than books bought from Amazon or Target. Am I crazy or has anyone else noticed this?
The Princess Saves Herself in This One & The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One by Amanda Lovelace
I already talked about my love for The Princess Saves Herself in This One. Like The Sun and Her Flowers, it came to me at just the right time. A month after I checked that book out from the library, The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One was released. That was the one that inspired the whole splurge at the bookstore. I read that one as soon as I bought it and enjoyed it very much. Between the two though, The Princess Saves Herself in This One, is my favorite.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Children of Blood and Bone has taken the book world by storm. This is one I decided to take a chance on and buy it, rather than wait forever for it to be available at the library. It is based in West African mythology, following a young woman determined to restore magic to her kingdom with the help of her brother and a rogue princess. The reviews for Children of Blood and Bone have been good so far. Still, I’m waiting for the hype to die down at least a little bit before I read it (and knock some other books off my TBR first, too).
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
The moment I learned about To Kill a Kingdom, I knew I had to read it. It is a twisted retelling of The Little Mermaid, following Lira, a siren banished to the human world by her mother the Sea Queen after accidentally killing a fellow mermaid. In order to return to the sea, she must kill the prince of the world’s most powerful kingdom and steal his heart. The said prince, Elian, happens to be a siren hunter and when he meets Lira, you can guess what could possibly happen from there. But I love The Little Mermaid and I love mermaid stories in general. That’s all I needed to know to make me pick up To Kill a Kingdom.
The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
I knew I was going to buy The Price Guide to the Occult as soon as it came out. First off, because it was written by Leslye Walton, who wrote The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, one of my favorite books. Second, this new book follows generations of witches on a small island and their connection to a book that could mean the end-all for everyone. I could be totally butchering the synopsis—her stories are a little more complex than that. I just love Leslye Walton’s writing style and storytelling.
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Truly Devious was another young adult book that got some hype over the last few months. It is set in a boarding school where the founder’s family was kidnapped in 1936 and the mystery was never solved. In present day, new student Stevie Bell has decided to solve this cold case herself, just as death has visited the school again. While the plot does intrigue me, I mainly took a chance buying it because of Maureen Johnson. One of my favorite books as an adolescent was her novel Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes, which I unfortunately lost when my family moved years ago, and it was what fueled my desire to travel. Plus, she’s a good writer, so I have fairly high expectations already in place for Truly Devious.
The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
A complete impulse buy from the used bookstore not far from where I work, The Dante Club is written by Matthew Pearl, who wrote another thriller on my TBR, The Poe Shadow. As the title suggests, The Dante Club is focused on Dante’s The Divine Comedy, as a group of respected literary figures attempt to bring a controversial European work to the New World. The novel is set in 1865 Boston and the city has been terrorized by gruesome murders mirroring Dante’s Circles of Hell. One member of the Dante Club teams up with the first black cop on Boston’s police force to solve the murders before Dante’s journey to America ends before it begins and more innocent people are killed. OK…maybe this wasn’t that much an impulse buy.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
A book that swept the world of books off its feet, The Hate U Give follows a young black woman finding her voice after witnessing her unarmed childhood best friend be shot by a police officer. This is one of the books that is always on hold at the library. With all the rave reviews surrounding it and my desire to be more educated on the Black Lives Matter movement, I decided it is time I read The Hate U Give.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Manon
Another hyped book on social media, When Dimple Met Rishi is a young adult contemporary about two Indian teens with different views of their shared culture that are in an arranged marriage by their parents. Dimple is driven by her desire to go to college and pursue STEM while Rishi is a hopeless romantic. After their initial meeting doesn’t go as planned, the two are suddenly thrown together for a project and shenanigans ensue. When Dimple Met Rishi is a book I’ve had my eye on for a while. I definitely plan on reading it this summer.
Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Almed
After reading All We Have Left by Wendy Mills last year, I want to read more young adult books featuring Muslim main characters. Love, Hate & Other Filters is just what I’m looking for. American-born Muslim Maya is torn between pleasing her parents and pursuing her dreams of studying film in New York City. When she starts her senior year of high school, a terrorist attack strikes Chicago and the perpetrator shares her last name. Suddenly, Maya and her family are faced with hatred and bigotry from people they have known for years.
Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller
Daughter of the Siren Queen is the sequel to Daughter of the Pirate King, one of my favorite books of 2017. It is the last book in the duology and I really want to finish the series. (I haven’t finished any so far this year). Despite all the books sitting on my nightstand currently waiting to be read, I am seriously considering picking up Daughter of the Siren Queen this weekend….
The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes
I don’t know why it took me so long to buy this book, honestly. Stephanie Oakes wrote one of my favorite books of all-time, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly. The Arsonist is her second novel. It is a historical thriller, following two teens with serious problems (the girl’s father is about to be executed and the boy is an immigrant with an embarrassing seizure dog) that are tasked with catching the murderer of an East German resistance fighter whose death brought on the destruction of the Berlin Wall.
This one is going to be so fun….
Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare
Ink, Iron, and Glass is probably one of the most original books I own. It is set in a world where certain people are gifted with the ability, called scriptology, to alter their realities as they see fit with the written word. The protagonist, Elsa, finds herself in an alternative Victorian Italy when her mother is kidnapped and she turns to an elite society for help. That’s all I need to know and want to know. Plus, the cover is beautiful.
Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga
Finding out your long-last dad is an indie rock star should be awesome, but for sixteen-year-old Tal, reality is about to hit her hard in the face. After so many years of no contact and her mother dodging questions, Tal’s father shows up for an unexpected family reunion. He takes her across country to meet the rest of her extended family, including the dying grandfather her dad wants her to meet. But in doing so, the fantasy she has built around him slowly crumbles as family secrets come to light. And if Here We Are Now is anything like Jasmine Warga’s debut, My Heart and Other Black Holes, I am anticipating getting hit with the feels.
In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira
Much like with Leslye Walton, I nearly fell out of my seat when I found out Ava Dellaira was coming out with another book. I read and loved her debut, Love Letters to the Dead. Her newest release, In Search of Us, is an intergenerational story about Angie, a biracial teenager, and her mother, Marilyn. Raised by a white mother and looking more like her brown-skinned father, Angie wants to know about her dad, but Marilyn tells her daughter very little. When Angie discovers she has an uncle in LA, she convinces a friend to tag along with her on a road trip to meet him, hoping to learn more about the dad she never knew. But in doing so forces Marilyn to reveal some secrets she would rather bury.
I think I’m good for a while…what was your favorite book you bought recently?