Reviews

Review: The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

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SYNOPSIS:

Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.

On this Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now she has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works—and shamelessly flirts—with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.

But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.


RATING: ☆★☆★☆

              “Have you encountered any others who have truly met themselves?” This line from Camren Maria Machado’s short-story collection Her Body and Other Parties stuck in my mind like a dart the first time I read it. It wrote itself into my memory, and played across the darkness when I closed my eyes more times than I care to admit, and while I was reading The Space Between Worlds, it resurfaced again, ringing in my ears so clearly.

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Book Recommendations

2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases — YA Contemporary Edition

Hi hello, friends!

I’m back, as promised, with a new post in my 2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases series. The first two posts in this series delved deep into the world of science-fiction and fantasy which promised stunningly original debuts vying for space alongside exciting and long-awaited new works from beloved authors (in case you’ve missed those lists, you can find them here and here!). But if contemporary fiction is more your jam, well, this post is for you!

Next year’s buzziest YA contemporary releases include: a new Angie Thomas novel that takes place before the events of NYT bestseller The Hate U Give, a lesbian love story set in the afterlife, a trans boy vying for the title of Homecoming King against his ex-boyfriend, a cello prodigy falling into a whirlwind secret romance with a K-pop idol, lots of fake-dating shenanigans… and so many others that you should add to your TBR, pre-order, and shout about from the rooftops!

Below are 60-something titles that have been getting high ratings and positive reviews from readers. So, read on, and click the titles to add the books that snag your attention to your Goodreads want-to-read shelf!

N.B. There’s a little rainbow flag emoji next to books with LGBTQ+ representation. Books are in order of publication date.

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Reviews

Review: You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

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SYNOPSIS:

Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.

But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.

The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true? 


RATING: ☆★☆★☆

              I can’t hold enough of this book in my hands. 

              I listened to the audiobook, and it was excellent. Alaska Jackson’s narration called to me like a long night’s dreamless sleep after months of fitful nightmares. I listened to it everywhere until I emerged from my trance. But then it was over, and I was overwhelmed with a sweet, unconfined joy edged with melancholy as if I were already mourning its loss. I wished, then, that the story could be solid and picked up and held close, so that I could reach for it and trace the words with my fingers whenever I needed. I immediately ordered a physical copy right there and then.

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Book Recommendations

2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases — Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy Edition

Hi hello, friends!

Last week, I posted a list of the upcoming YA SFF offerings of 2021. As promised, this week, I’m back with the Adult SFF edition of that post!

Some of the most anticipated titles include: a queer Asian-American reimagining of The Great Gatsby, an epic Indian-influenced fantasy starring morally fraudulent lesbians, a sapphic North-Africa inspired fantasy about rebellion and espionage, a queer retelling of the founding of the Ming dynasty pitched as Mulan meets The Song of Achilles…. In other words, SO MUCH goodness heading our way next year!

So poke around—There are around 70 titles on this list, I hope you find a new favorite here!

N.B. Once again I have linked every book to its Goodreads page in case you want to know more, and also put a little rainbow flag emoji next to books with LGBTQ+ representation. Books are in order of publication date.

Continue reading “2021 Most Anticipated Book Releases — Adult Sci-fi/Fantasy Edition”