Are you getting sick of book hauls on this blog yet?
Almost as soon as Thanksgiving dinner was over, I indulged even more in the Black Friday online sales. Unlike previous hauls, I went into my Black Friday shopping with a plan. I knew which books I wanted to buy. Some I had already read previously from the library and others were my most anticipated releases of the later part of 2019. The rest were on my young adult literature class’s reading list. That class had some really good selections.
It was going to stop there. With Christmas coming up, I wanted to spend more money on my friends and family than myself. Then, on my last day of work before Christmas break, I wondered if my dad bought me books. With three bookstores nearby…you can guess what happened.
Here are the books I bought as gifts to myself…but not the last books I bought in 2019…more on that later….
Thunderhead and The Toll by Neal Shusterman
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White
The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
Is anyone surprised to see Thunderhead and The Toll? After reading Scythe in 2019, I was not going to put off reading the rest of the trilogy for too long. They are currently sitting on my nightstand, in fact, so you know I’m serious. Another book currently residing on my nightstand, Girls of Storm and Shadow, the sequel to Girls of Paper and Fire. The first book was one of my most anticipated books of 2018. Naturally, I put off reading it. Now, I own both books and I can marathon the duology.
As for The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White and The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh, I had been waiting on pins and needles for both. Though I’ve heard from other reviewers that there are not as much vampires as expected, I am not disappointed in The Beautiful. I love Gothic romances and Renee Ahdieh is the master of angst, in my opinion. In regards to The Guinevere Deception, it is a King Arthur retelling with Guinevere as a changeling sent to protect Camelot. I don’t care to know anything beyond that.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzi Lee
The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky is the companion novella to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. All of these are currently on my nightstand. They are fun, lighthearted, and diverse young adult historical fiction novels that I put off far too long. Expect to see these books in a wrap-up within the first half of 2020.
The Hidden Witch and The Midwinter Witch by Molly Ostertag
The Witch Boy, the first book in this graphic novel series, was one I bought on a whim a while back. After my young adult literature class, where we talked about diverse young adult books, I remembered this one. A boy wants to be a witch in a world where only girls can be witches and only boys can be shapeshifters. We see more books focused on gender expectations for girls, not so much for boys. The Witch Boy, The Hidden Witch, and The Midwinter Witch seem like a good place to start.
I’m Just Me by M.G. Higgins
Girls Like Us by Gail Giles
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Frogkisser! By Garth Nix
The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan
If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth
The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
All of these books were on the list for recommended reads in my young adult literature class. They are a mix of different genres: realistic fiction, historical fiction, and fantasy. I had them all checked out of the library a few months ago, but school got so busy. That was one of the things that made the class fun, the professor came up with so many good options.
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
The next three books had been checked out from the library early in 2019, when I was deep into my book buying ban. I Am the Messenger was one of my favorite books of last year, with Marina and The Darkest Part of the Forest coming in as honorable mentions. Marina was an atmospheric Gothic mystery set in Spain; I Am the Messenger was an intense contemporary; and The Darkest Part of the Forest was a freaky young adult fantasy with dark fairies.
The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
American Panda by Gloria Cho
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
The Queen of Nothing, American Panda, and Pet I bought at my favorite bookstore before Christmas. I have not read The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, the books before The Queen of Nothing, but this trilogy seems like a fun one to marathon.
To go along with reading more diverse historical fiction, I want to read more diverse young adult contemporary. As the daughter of a Portuguese immigrant, I realize my experience is very different from others. My dad is what you would call “Americanized,” whereas that is not the case for Mei Lu, whose Chinese parents have a whole set of rules for her to follow: go to school to become a doctor and marry a Chinese doctor. As you can probably guess, that is not what she wants at all.
After J.K. Rowling made her unsavory comment about transgender people, several library pages I follow released lists on trans-friendly fantasy novels. Pet was one I recognized, as I had seen the cover everywhere online. I also read it already. It is a contemporary-feeling Utopian/dystopian society where “monsters” no longer exist. The main character, a selective mute transgender girl named Jam, believes this until her mother’s painting brings to life a beast named Pet, who claims he’s here to hunt a monster. At first, Jam doesn’t want anything to do with Pet. But when he reveals that the monster he is hunting lives inside Jam’s best friend’s house, the beautiful, peaceful reality Jam has grown up in completely shatters.