As I’m sure you’re all well aware of by now, I absolutely love borrowing books from the various libraries I’m a patron of. Recently, I’ve found some really great reads that I’m going to share with you today and also encourage you to check out your local library if you haven’t been recently because libraries are great and they deserve all your love!
1. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
This one follows Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who wears hijab, the year after 9/11. She’s having a difficult time at school until she meets Ocean, the first person in a long time she wants to let down her guard with. It’s a book about fear, first love and the impact of prejudice. I absolutely adore Mafi’s writing and I think the fact that so much of this is influenced by Mafi’s own experiences will make this all the more poignant and moving read.
2. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
This one takes place in a Japanese-inspired fantasy world and follows Yumeko, who manages to escape a burning temple with a piece of the scroll that will allow her to call the great Kami Dragon and ask for a wish. Others are also hunting for the missing pieces of the scroll, including a samurai called Kage, who is under orders to kill those who stand in his way. The mythology of this fantasy is what really attracted me to it – there’s shapeshifters, samurai, kami, legends, humans and demons. I haven’t picked up any of Kagawa’s books yet, so I’m very excited to see how I feel about this one.
3. Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean
This one also takes place in a Japanese-inspired fantasy world and follows Mari, who has spent her lifetime training to become empress even though, as a yōkai, she is expressly forbidden from competing. It also follows Prince Taro, who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast. This one sounds so exciting and I’m really interested in reading about yōkai – supernatural spirits and monsters – and how they’re written into the story.
4. Fence Vol. 1 by C.S. Pacat & Johanna the Mad
This one, as you can probably tell from the title, is all about fencing. It follows Nicholas, an outsider to the competitive fencing world as he signs up for a competition that puts him head-to-head with fencing prodigy Seiji Katayama. I really like the art style for this one and I’ve never really read any kind of sporting book, so this will be a very interesting read!
5. The Backstagers, Vol. 1 by James Tynion IV & Rian Sygh
This graphic novel follows Jory as he transfers to an all-boys private school and falls into the lowly stage crew known as the Backstagers. It follows their adventures behind the curtain as they are determined to put together the best play their high school has ever seen. This sounds like a lot of fun and I really like the colour palette used here. Also, I heard it’s super gay, so that always make me at least ten times more interested in picking a book up!
Are there any books on this list you’re also interested in picking up? Have you read any of these books yet? Let me know!