I forgot to mention one book in this video, unfortunately, and that was a shame as I really enjoyed it. I’ll include the mini-review below and then try to remember to talk about it in my July Wrap-Up.
Book not mentioned:
The House of Secrets, by Sarra Manning
I am not maternally inclined, so it’s a testament to Sarra’s ever-deepening powers as a writer that I found myself incredibly moved by this story of two women in different times united by their thwarted desire to be mothers. The longing, the disappointment, the struggle to get on with everything else and everyone else in their lives – it was all so vivid.
Trail of Lightning, by Rebecca Roanhorse
This was a reading experience that was both very new and kind of retro at the same time! Stylistically it reads like many other popular urban fantasy novels, but it’s set in a post-apocalyptic North America and follows a Native American protagonist as she deals with powers and beings from her people’s mythology. The plot is quite simple, as our heroine Maggie attempts to save her homeland from monsters and find out where they are coming from, but it’s the first in a series and it hints at an expansive world full of terrors and delights. I’m looking forward to reading more.
If I Was Your Girl, by Meredith Russo
An own-voices story about a trans girl who has moved to a new town and is struggling with her desire to fit in and her need to be honest with those around her. I really enjoyed it and it’s nice to read a positive story featuring a trans teenage protagonist.
Perfectly Preventable Deaths, by Deirdre Sullivan
Creepy, magical, and lots of fun! Sisters Madeline and Catlin move to a new town when their mum gets married, where everything is very, very weird. Features a terrible boyfriend who is an absolute joy to hate.
My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite
I loved this! Korede’s sister Ayoola has a history of killing her boyfriends and expecting Korede to help her hide the bodies, which becomes even more troubling when Ayoola catches the eye of Korede’s long-time work crush. It was dark, it was funny, it was brilliant.
Under My Skin, by Juno Dawson
Another dark one! This is about Sally, who is timid and shy until one day she makes the spur-of-the-moment decision to get a tattoo. But it’s not just any tattoo – Molly-Sue can talk and move and give life advice! Not surprisingly, Molly-Sue turns out to be evil… I think this is my favourite of Juno’s books so far, it was a fun read from start to finish.
Run, Riot, by Nikesh Shukla
I want this to be made into a TV miniseries. It’s a thriller set within a tower block and I thought it was just brilliant, with its themes of community, politics, and police corruption.
The Last Beginning, by Lauren James
After too many years I finally got around to reading this sequel to 2015’s The Next Together, and it was great. A must-read if you’ve read the first one. I don’t think it would stand alone but they’re a great pair of books.
One of Us is Lying, by Karen McManus
A boy dies in detention and foul play is suspected – but he’s no innocent victim. Which of the four other teens in the room did the crime? This was a really interesting read and I did not work out who the killer was!
There Are Things I Know, by Karen B. Golightly
This was a wonderfully well-written novella. The narrator is an eight year old boy who, we realise, has been kidnapped, but he doesn’t understand why this man is lying to him about being his uncle. He is brilliant at numbers and plans to phone his mother, but he needs the area code.
The Driveway Has Two Sides, by Sara Marchant
Another novella from the same publisher (Fairlight Books), this time telling the story of kept woman Delilah, who sees her lover at weekends but spends the week perfecting her garden on a small island, occasionally encountering another resident, fascinated by the mysterious recluse who shares her driveway. It’s charming and funny and I really enjoyed it.