52 Book Club (Part 2)
3) Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
Prompt: A coming of age story
What Is It About?: A prequel to The Hate U Give, focusing on Maverick Carter at age 17, when he first learns that he is a father and is determined to change his life for his young son. Maverick soon learns that the world he had been part of is not so easy to leave, and is forced to figure out what it really means to be a man.
Why I Chose It: I knew this was one of my most anticipated books to read this year, but I had trouble settling on a prompt for it, for some reason. I’ve loved both of Angie Thomas’s other books so far, so I was immediately interested in reading this one too.
Why 5 Stars?: Angie Thomas’s writing is always so impactful, and I’ve loved all the Garden Heights characters so far. Although I’m not usually the most interested in prequels, but these are characters that I’d love to see again and I’m especially interested because it is from a perspective that I don’t read very often. I’d be very surprised if this one didn’t end up being 5 stars.
Flourish & Blotts: Magic in the Books
1) The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
Prompt: A book that includes a haunting
What Is It About?: Two women, Viv and her niece Carly, both work the night shift at a creepy and possibly haunted motel, 30 years apart. Viv disappeared while working there in the 1980s, and Carly is determined to find out what happened to her aunt all those years ago.
Why I Chose It: I’ve only read one book by Simone St. James so far, and it very quickly became one of my favourites of the year that I read it, so I’ve been looking forward to trying more of her books. It took me a surprisingly long time to decide I wanted to read this one given how much I loved The Broken Girls, but once I finally looked at the synopsis, I knew it was something I really wanted to try.
Why 5 Stars?: One of the things I loved best about The Broken Girls was the writing style, which drew me in immediately. I also loved how that one utilized its dual timeline and incorporated the paranormal elements to build such a creepy atmosphere. This book contains many of the same elements that I loved in that one. I’m always hesitant to pick up ghost stories because I worry they will scare me too much, but I often end up loving them.
2) The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Prompt: A book that features an uprising
What Is It About?: A young woman named Nami wakes up in an afterlife called Infinity after being murdered, only to learn that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used on Earth has taken over and installed herself as queen, with the intent of enslaving and eventually eradicating all humans. Nami teams up with a group of rebels to overthrow her and save humans from Ophelia’s control.
Why I Chose It: I was definitely drawn in by the amazing cover art, but also because Akemi Dawn Bowman is easily one of my favourite YA authors. Her books have consistently been my favourites each year. I struggled quite a bit with this prompt, even though uprisings are fairly common in dystopians because I had trouble finding one whose synopsis specifically mentioned one, but this one seemed to fit best.
Why 5 Stars?: I usually love Akemi Dawn Bowman’s books because they are so beautifully written and have very compelling and realistic characters. This one is a bit of a departure from her usual style since it is her first sci-fi/fantasy and also the start of a series, so I’m a little nervous that I won’t love it quite as much. On the other hand, the premise sounds incredible and I’m very interested to see how she tackles such a different genre.
3) Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell
Prompt: A book with a flower on the cover
What Is It About?: A 30-year-old man named Owen is inadvertently drawn into the incel community online after losing his job as a teacher over accusations of sexual misconduct. He lives across the street from a therapist named Roan and his family, who are suspicious of him, especially after he is the last person to see a young woman, a former patient of Roan’s, alive before she disappears.
Why I Chose It: Lisa Jewell was one of my top priority authors to try last year, and I absolutely loved the two books of hers that I read. I was very excited to see a new release from he due late in 2020. I chose it for this prompt because I specifically wanted to find a book that fit the prompt very literally — with only one flower on the cover.
Why 5 Stars?: I’m basing this prediction on the fact that I loved both of the Lisa Jewell books that I read last year, especially The Family Upstairs. I was immediately drawn in by her writing and especially her compelling characters. This book intrigued me because of the very timely focus on the incel community and the impact of allegations of misconduct, and it sounds like a very interesting and complex mystery/thriller.
Booklist Queen 2021
1) Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
Prompt: A book about a pressing social issue
What Is It About?: A teenage aspiring singer named Enchanted is finally noticed by legendary R&B artist Korey Fields, and believes she’s finally getting her chance to live her dreams but soon learns that Korey is not who she thinks. When she wakes up one day with Korey’s blood on her hands and no memory of what happened, she finds herself a main suspect in his death.
Why I Chose It: This was literally my most anticipated book in 2020, and I purposely held off reading it until this year instead so I didn’t rush it at the end of the year. Tiffany D. Jackson is one of my favourite YA authors and I’ve loved absolutely everything she has written so far.
Why 5 Stars?: If her previous books are any indication, this will be a very powerful book with memorable characters. I love how Tiffany D. Jackson chooses such interesting topics for all of her books, and they have consistently been my favourite books each year that I read them. She has a real talent for writing hard-hitting contemporaries.
2) The Project by Courtney Summers
Prompt: A highly anticipated book
What Is It About?: A teenage girl named Lo sets out to prove that the Unity Project, a seemingly charitable organization, is not what it seems, and takes the opportunity to expose them to also find her sister, Bea, who joined it after their parents’ death several years ago.
Why I Chose It: Cults are a huge buzzword for me when it comes to mystery-thrillers, so that immediately drew me to this one when I saw it mentioned in the synopsis. I find it such a fascinating topic, and I’d already been looking forward to reading more by Courtney Summers, so this jumped very quickly to the top of my most anticipated list for 2021.
Why 5 Stars?: I was absolutely blown away by Sadie, which I read back in 2019. This book seems to have some of the same elements that I loved, given the focus on a girl searching for the truth about what happened to her sister. It sounds like such an intriguing topic and if Sadie is any indication, which I hope it is, this will be a very impactful book.
3) People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Prompt: A summer read
What Is It About?: After two years of not speaking to each other, a young woman named Poppy decides to invite her former best friend Alex on one last summer vacation together, which had been their annual tradition, and she wants to take this opportunity to finally make things right between them.
Why I Chose It: I completely bought into the hype around Beach Read last year and it very quickly ended up becoming a favourite of the entire year, so I was looking forward to trying more by this author. I’ve also been branching out into a bit more adult romance in general, and this seemed like something I’d enjoy.
Why 5 Stars?: I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved Beach Read and especially how quickly I connected with both of the main characters in that one, so I’m expecting more of the same here. This sounds like exactly the kind of rom-com mixed with the potential for some more serious topics that I tend to enjoy.
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