Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green
My first solo John Green novel! This follows a girl with severe anxiety as she tries to work out what happened to a local billionaire and negotiate her feelings for his son(s). I really liked and related to the depiction of anxiety but wasn’t otherwise blown away. I’d love to know if you would recommend any of his other books.
Akata Witch, by Nnedi Okorafor
This was a fun and fascinating take on the girl-discovers-magical-powers-and-world genre – it’s incredibly clichéd to say this, but it’s basically Nigerian Harry Potter. It was really interesting to read a book set in Nigeria and written from a young person’s point of view – I don’t think I’ve read any books with that POV as an adult (I read a LOT of world literature as a kid but can’t remember titles).
The Nowhere Girls, by Amy Reed
A group of girls fight sexism at their high school…if you think this sounds like Moxie, you’d be right, the basic plot is the same but The Nowhere Girls has a more serious tone and a more diverse cast. I personally preferred The Nowhere Girls because it was harder-hitting and more emotionally absorbing.
Cousin Kate, by Georgette Heyer
This was bonkers! Obstensibly a Regency romance but more of a family melodrama in my opinion, Cousin Kate follows the adventures of good, kind and beautiful impoverished orphan Kate, who is saved from having to get a job by her wealthy aunt Minerva. It all seems very nice and convenient at first, but soon it becomes obvious that Minerva expects something in return… I don’t think I can recommend this because it has some pretty terrible representations of mental illness (and probably some sadly quite realistic representations of attitudes towards mental illness in this era) but I enjoyed how bizarre it all was!
The Curses, by Laure Eve
This is the sequel to The Graces. I think I preferred the first book, as although I really enjoyed Summer’s point of view, I would have liked to know what River was up to for so much of the book. But the ending was dark and satisfying, including a couple of twists.