Disclaimer: I did write this at the end of winter but didn’t upload it. I thought about just scrapping this post, but I’ve loved some of the books I talk about here, and am still excited about the ones I haven’t gotten to, so we’re keeping it.
Winter is over? When? How?
Okay, I’ll believe you just this once, because the world is crazy enough right now for that to be true. To think when I was unwrapping most of these books on Christmas morning that just three months later I would be trapped in my house with them. Not that I’m begrudging their company, though, because there are some pretty cool books on this list.
Usually my family roll their eyes when I exclusively ask for books for birthdays/Christmas, but when I came downstairs on December 25th this year, there was a stack of wrapped books waiting for me on the couch, with my mam beside it looking a combination of smug and exasperated. With every book I unwrapped, she gave me a commentary on how she managed to acquire it, having gotten most of them secondhand and gone to a lot of effort to get them for me on a budget. In fact, she was very excited about it, which was cute.
My grandparents and aunty also contributed to this haul, with their own kind and generous gifts for Christmas. I wish more than anything that I could give them a hug right now.
I’m feeling a lot of gratitude for my family at the moment.
Okay! Enough of the sentimentality – on with the books!
The Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate
I don’t know a great deal about this book, only that most people who have read it have enjoyed it. It’s a YA contemporary, set in a high school with the usual cliques and characters. There is a scandal, rumours of a student-teacher affair, and a search for someone to blame it on. There’s a seven deadly sins theme, and a secret that binds the seven main characters together, from what I can gather.
I’m excited! And I really loved Final Draft by Riley Redgate so I know I enjoy her writing.
“”All right,” I say. “Either the furnace is on overdrive, or we’ve descended into the actual, literal fiery pits of hell.””
And check out Riley Redgate’s website!
The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown
This contemporary mystery follows Sydney as her father, the only therapist in their town, is killed in a car crash. Grieving, Sydney is determined that there is more to his death than what everyone is telling her, and is drawn to classmate June, homecoming queen and an unexpected guest at Sydney’s father’s funeral. The girls grow close, but not everyone is happy about this fact, and secrets hang over the two unlikely friends.
I’m hoping for some juicy female friendship from this book, but I have a feeling that it’s going to take a very dark turn. I’m there for that, too, though. I’m multifaceted.
“Seeing the body was supposed to be cathartic, but the man in the lipstick wasn’t my dad.”
Edit: I just saw this on an LGBTQ+ list on Goodreads? Is it…? Are they…? *bumps up my TBR*
And check out Savannah Brown’s website!
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
I got halfway through The Poet X by the incredible Elizabeth Acevedo last year but had to return it to the library early. The person who had it after me didn’t seem to be too worried about library waiting lists, as they still haven’t brought it back.
So while I never got to finish that book, I loved the writing style and the characters, and I’m so excited to read her new book.
Emoni is a seventeen-year-old single mother with a two-year-old daughter, which combined with still having to attend school, makes her ambition of being a chef that bit more difficult. I think the story is about her juggling the different aspects of her life and making it through the obstacles in her way to achieve her dreams.
It sounds very feel-good and like it’ll make me hungry in every chapter. Also, that cover? Exquisite.
“Babygirl doesn’t even cry when I suck my teeth and undo her braid for the fourth time.”
And check out Elizabeth Acevedo’s website!
The Diviners by Libba Bray
I first tried to listen to this as an audiobook years ago, before I had really gotten into audiobooks as much as I am now. I just don’t think it was the right format for me for this particular book, though these audiobooks get absolute rave reviews. It just wasn’t for me.
The story itself however, sounds exactly like my thing.
We’ve got New York in the ’20s, we’ve got murders, supernatural powers, secrets, mayhem – we LOVE it.
“In a town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, every lamp blazes.”
And check out Libba Bray’s website!
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson
I already love Tiffany D. Jackson’s books to death, so I squealed when I opened this one on Christmas morning. If you haven’t read Allegedly or Monday’s Not Coming, you’re missing out. Seriously. They’re just… incredible.
And this one sounds just as incredible.
When aspiring rapper, Steph, is murdered, his best friends and little sister aren’t content for the world to lose out on his talent. They release his music under a different name and it gets popular fast, and the trio suddenly find themselves in the terrifying and bizarre situation of trying to keep their friend’s music career going from beyond the grave, while keeping the truth buried.
It’s just such an incredible premise for a story, and I’m so ready to meet these characters. I have no doubt it’ll have its fun and crazy moments, but I know it’ll deal with grief and loss, and those are two emotions very close to the surface for all of us right now. This might be a reason I don’t read this right away and wait for a time when I can deal with it a little more.
I have such faith in Tiffany D. Jackson and will continue to support her forever.
“You’ve probably seen this scene before: Ladies in black church dresses, old men in gray suits, and hood kids in white tees with some blurry picture printed on the front under the spray-painted letters RIP.”
And check out Tiffany D. Jackson’s website!
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
The hype is the only reason this book is on my TBR, if I’m honest. The book community has done such a stellar job of promoting this book so that it just had to find its way onto my Christmas list.
This fantasy follows two protagonists, Zafira the Hunter, a girl forced to disguise herself as a man to enter the cursed forest to feed her people, and Nasir, an assassin for his sultan father. Circumstances lead the two legends to team up to bring magic back to their kingdom.
I’m hoping for some fierce, morally grey characters from this one if the synopsis is anything to go by.
“People lived because she killed.”
And check out Hafsah Faizal’s website!
Final Draft by Riley Redgate
I listened to this book on audio last summer, but it was as I was sweating under a burning midday sun, trying desperately to paint my neighbour’s fence. I think I must have blacked out because I genuinely have no recollection of the story, except for short snippets. I remember enjoying those snippets, though!
I put a physical copy on my Christmas list and my mam managed to find an old library copy for extremely cheap!
The story follows Laila, an aspiring writer with a decidedly safe life. When her creative writing teacher fails her for the first time, Laila’s desperate bid for her teacher’s approval leads her through a series of unexpected adventures.
I’m looking forward to being actually present while reading this the second time around!
“Every day after school, she left earth for another galaxy.”
And check out Riley Redgate’s website!
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
This book, man. I loved my time reading these books. I read them one after the other, which is something I typically don’t do with series, and didn’t feel even a little burnout. The books only get stronger as they go on, cranking up to a high-paced, high-stakes adventure by the conclusion.
The Bone Witch follows a girl named Tea, who accidentally raises her brother from the dead. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracised by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha – one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles and make a powerful choice.
I can’t recommend this trilogy enough.
“Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise.”
And that’s all the books for this haul! Have you read any among this stack, or are any on your TBR? Let me know and we can chat!