This may come as a shock to you, but Miranda loves books. She will read pretty much anything but her favorite genres include fantasy, contemporary fiction, and humor. When not reading, she might be found hiking or sitting on some mountain somewhere, trying both to catch her breath and enjoy the beautiful views. If you happen to run into her, please tell her about all of your favorite books, remind her to water her plants, and show her all of your adorable puppy photos!
This autobiography by Billie Jean King is nothing short of inspirational. Becoming a tennis star at a young age, King recounts her experiences being a woman in the world of sports and all of the trials that came with it. Coming of age in the 60's, there were many injustices happening in the world and she not only overcame the ones in her life but took it upon herself to try and change things for the benefit of everyone who would come after her. She became an activist in the world of women's sports, fighting for racial, sexual, and gender equality. To this day she remains a champion of women and LGBTQ+ rights, using her incredible tennis career as a bolster to creating change in a world that needs it. This is a great read for anyone wanting to learn and be inspired by one of the greatest athletes of all time.
The Dark lulls you in. The Dark makes you feel powerful. The Dark wants you to believe it is your friend. The choice to let the Dark in is entirely your own but I hope you are prepared to deal with the consequences. This queer YA supernatural thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat and wide awake at night. My recommendation is that you read it while the sun is up because the Dark can be very unforgiving.
Lauren Groff has such a talent for words and storytelling! She explores the depth of human experience in this novel about Marie de France, a young woman who has been banished from her courtly life and sent to live among nuns at an English convent. Marie transforms as a character as she seeks to transform the abbey she now calls home. The nuns she lives with are eccentric and completely unexpected as their lives play out behind the quiet abbey doors. Marie is the last in a line of fierce, woman warriors, and as she embraces this side of herself, she becomes a force of strength and leadership at the abbey. This is a mesmerizing read and one that you will be thinking about long after you close the final page.
The Haunting of Hill House meets Rebecca in this terrifyingly twisted gothic horror by Caitlin Starling. This book goes from a seemingly straightforward Victorian tale of a woman in need of a husband to an otherworldly nightmare where nothing is as it seems and the living are indistinguishable from the dead. Curses, dark magic, and bloodshed abound and I strongly suggest you only read this during the daytime. As Jane quickly discovers, the horrors come out at night and they are inescapable.
Okay, this is CUTE. I want to be like Turtle when I grow up. She is clever, kind, and has to deal with a whole lot when her mom suddenly has to send her to live with relatives she has never met in Florida. And if that weren't bad enough, those relatives don't even know she is coming and don't want her there once she arrives. This is a sweet story about resilience and overcoming hard things in life. Join Turtle as she fends off mean cousins, stands up for the people she loves, and brings her whole family together in this charming story.
This amazing graphic novel shattered my heart and put the pieces back together multiple times as I was reading. Tien, a first generation teen of Vietnamese parents, is helping his mother learn English by reading fairy tales with her each night. The parallels between the stories they read together and the hardships they face in day-to-day life were touching to read and beautiful to see translated through art. Jumping from Tien trying to find the right words to say to tell his parents he is gay to a story about a princess who forges a marriage contract with an old man that requires he provide three dresses made of the sky, The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen is a perfect mix of classic fairytales and unique real-world themes magically intertwined through gorgeous imagery.
If you are in the mood to laugh, which honestly we could all use a good laugh these days, this is a book that you should grab and start immediately. The protagonist of this story, Skye, has one of the funniest and most genuine voices that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. When she is ambushed at an art gallery by a child that came to be because of her decision to become an egg donor 12 years prior, the ensuing story is one that had me crying both from laughing too hard and from getting hit with some serious feels. Turns out, attempting to escape via the bathroom window of said art gallery is maybe not the best start to a relationship of any kind. With timely themes such as dealing with racial injustices and learning how to navigate unconventional familial bonds, this book is one that I will be recommending to everyone I know this summer.
Brandi Carlile is first and foremost a storyteller and that really shines through in this memoir. Her music tells beautiful stories and this book adds to that by giving us a deeply personal look at her life. She experienced many hardships growing up and she doesn't sugarcoat any of that in these accounts, all while simultaneously granting grace and love to every single person who had an affect on her in any way. Reading this book is almost like having a conversation with Brandi and if you love her music or just want to read about an inspiring musician, this is the perfect book for you.
This collection of poetry is honest, raw, and hard-hitting in so many ways. I will preface this review by saying that many of these poems can be triggering and recommend that you familiarize yourself with its main themes before diving in. However, they are beautiful in a way that only truth and vulnerability can be. Mary Lambert doesn't shy away from sharing her truths. She has embraced them and written this moving and often heartbreaking collection. These poems are about things that are real and things that are messy. If you are looking for connection in your own experiences or even just looking to experience something human and real, this is a great book to pick up and read. (TW: childhood sexual abuse, rape, attempted suicide)
Site Fidelity is a collection of stories that don't hold back on confronting some of the harsh realities for women and their families living in the rural American West from the 1970s to present day. Mainly centered on environmental injustices and economic inequity in their small towns, the women in these stories face challenges head on and with a perseverance that I found inspiring. These are accounts of women working to save the homes that they love, and protect those that are unable to protect themselves. If you are a reader of short stories or interested in the land around you as a citizen of the West, this collection is not one to be missed.
If you’ve ever wondered how an anxious, atheist lesbian would fare pretending to be a straight, catholic receptionist, this is the perfect book for you. If you haven’t ever wondered that, you should first take a look at yourself and your priorities and then you should pick up this book and read it. Gilda is the protagonist of this hilariously dark novel and the situations she manages to put herself in are both absurd and heartwarming. I laughed. I cried. I questioned my place in the universe. While Gilda may regret almost everything she does, I can tell you that you won’t regret picking up this book.
What do you do when the boy of your dreams finally starts to reciprocate your feelings right at the same time that your summer crush shows up as the new student at your school? I have no clue what I would do in that situation but following Larissa's story as she tries to decide between dream boy Chase and stylishly sweet Jasmine makes for quite the enjoyable read. Inclusive, adorable, and laugh-out-loud funny, COOL FOR THE SUMMER is the romance novel I never knew I needed but will now be recommending to all my fellow romance lovers!
I have never attempted to do a rolling handstand and likely never will, but the story of Patti McGee becoming the first Women's National Skateboard Champion is one I will gladly read over and over again. She carves, she kickflips, and she gets up every time she falls down in this epic story of proving not only that skateboarding can be enjoyed by everyone but also that we can accomplish amazing things through our own hard work and determination.
There is a cat named Lasagna in this book and I think that is all you really need to know! But just in case that isn’t enough, this first installment in the Katie the Catsitter series is full of heroes, villains, 217 cats to be exact, and a cat sitter who may or may not have bitten off more than she can chew with this new job for her mysterious neighbor. Will Katie save up the money she needs to go to summer camp? Will she be able to fight off the forces of evil with the help of 217 mischievous felines?? I guess you are really just going to have to read to find out!
"Dear Visitor from Outer Space, if you come to Earth, here's what you need to know." If I were an alien looking for some insight to the goings on down there on planet Earth, this would be the book I would want. Gorgeously illustrated and a beautiful representation of all the diversity here on our home planet, IF YOU COME TO EARTH is a book you will want to read over and over and over again.
Incredible plot, gorgeous artwork, and completely relevant to our world, this graphic novel has it all. Nubia is a superhero and character I would've loved when I was younger and I love her now. This story tackles heavy subjects such as racism and gun violence, and does so in such a brutally honest and clear way that I was so utterly captivated reading it and felt as though I was not only learning but also recognizing ways that our world needs to continue to change and how I can be a part of that change. Fans of Wonder Woman or just a fantastic superhero story, Nubia: Real One is the graphic novel for you.
As soon as I closed the last page of this book, I wanted to open it back up and start all over again. Jedidiah Jenkins has a way with words that made it feel as if he was writing directly to me. The humor and heart he injected into every part of this book had me both laughing out loud and shedding a tear or two at his experiences and the genuine connections I felt with them. He moves between the subjects of home, friendships, and love to name a few and I found insights in each section that I wanted to highlight and dog-ear so that I would be able to come back and study later. This is a collection of deeply personal thoughts that make up who the author is and reading it might just help you come to better understand what makes you you.
If you enjoyed Circe by Madeline Miller, this is a book for you. Genevieve Gornichec introduces us here to a little known figure in Norse mythology. Angrboda, giantess witch and bearer of the god Loki's three most infamous children, sits at the center of this tale filled with magic, mischief, and monsters. Angrboda is both a character we can sympathize with and a force to be reckoned with. So much more than a simple retelling of myth, this book is one not to be missed!
“It’s not always the truth that survives, but the stories we wish to believe. The legends lie.” Oh, this book is a dream for lovers of Greek mythology and urban fantasy. I happen to love both and I was not disappointed in this great new novel by Alexandra Bracken. Every 7 years, Greek gods of legend lose their immortality for one week. If killed, the human who accomplished the feat will gain their power and their immortality until 7 years later when they become vulnerable to the same fate. Fast paced and action packed, this is one to add to the top of your TBR pile!
Oh my goodness, this book!! Set primarily in the 80's, Malibu Rising is a story of a family living in the Hollywood spotlight and all the highs and lows that go along with it. And they surf!? The 80's and surfing really sold it for me and the incredible storytelling reeled me right in. Taylor Jenkins Reid is so knowledgeable about the time periods in which her stories take place, and she brings so much life to her characters. Whether it be someone we only read about on half a page or someone at the center of the story, I found myself completely engrossed in their lives. Surfing and the 80's?! I mean, come on. I was going to put a terrible surfing pun in this review but I will spare you all and just say this: please read this book!
Sinister, haunting and horrifying, this graphic novel absolutely blew my mind. Carmen Maria Machado's writing is incredible and Dani's illustrations suited this story perfectly. The diversity of the characters is what originally caught my eye, and the creepy atmosphere and originality kept me on the edge of my seat. I don't know how to describe it without risking spoilers so I will just say, read this! Read this and share it and discuss it with your friends. You will be thinking about it long after you've turned the last page.
This book is utterly captivating. I want to read everything that Sayaka Murata ever writes. Our main character, Keiko, is endearingly quirky and it was a joy to follow her through her experiences as a convenience store worker and all the highs and lows that she goes through. Her job title becomes her sole identity and the ensuing dilemmas she faces are both peculiar and poignant. This is a quick read that I can't recommend highly enough.
I will read anything having to do with Wonder Woman but this great little graphic novel exceeded all of my expectations. It's the story of Diana, a girl who doesn't feel like she fits in with her sisters on Themyscira. However, she believes her 16th birthday is going to change everything. She will come into her powers and finally become the person she is meant to be. When refugees are in trouble off the coast of her little island, she is drawn into their lives by a desire to help and save those in need. She discovers that her life isn't going to be the way she imagined it, but that she is already exactly who she is meant to be. This is a story of a girl who feels lost in the world and finds her true purpose helping others and I absolutely loved it.
Marie Rutkoski, you have absolutely done it again with this first installment of your newest YA series! The writing is beautiful and the descriptions of this world are so vivid. Nirrim is comfortable in her seemingly small and unimportant role at the bottom of society. When she meets roguish traveler, Sid, her eyes are opened to the realities of the world in which she lives. Nothing is as it appears to be and she discovers that there are lies being told to her, and a magic that is being concealed by the people she thought she could trust. This story drew me in from the very beginning and kept me up reading through the night. The only disappointment now is that I have to wait for book two!
This is historical fiction at its very best. Knowing that this novel was based on true events and records made it all the more heartbreaking and eye-opening. Through the experiences of two resilient and determined women, Wingate explores not only the terrible tragedies that occurred because of slavery but also the way that these tragedies echo through time, effecting generations of families and communities. The Book of Lost Friends is a novel of sorrows but also of triumphs. If you loved Wingate's Before We Were Yours or are an enthusiast of historical fiction, this is the book for you.
Moving, vulnerable, hilarious, and inspiring, Glennon Doyle brings all the feels in this engrossing memoir. She doesn't pull any punches or hold anything back and it was refreshing to read something so entirely real. She asked a question of us as readers that I've never asked myself before but it really changed the way I view my actions and decisions."What Would You Do If You Trusted Yourself?" Untamed will leave you with a desire to live your life to the fullest and to be the most authentic version of yourself that you can be.
I have to admit, I was sad when this book ended. Emma Straub has written the most wonderfully compelling cast of characters in this great family drama and I grew to love and become invested in each one of their lives. Every character was so different from the next yet she wove their stories and experiences together so seamlessly. It was fascinating to read how they handled and reacted to unexpected situations, and to see the impact that their choices had on the lives of their loved ones both for better and for worse. This novel is so full of heart, and had me laughing and crying along with each member of this endearingly dysfunctional family.
Run Me To Earth is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. The novel spans across generations, focusing on the lives of three teenagers living in war torn Laos beginning in the late 1960’s. Unexploded bombs litter the landscape of their home and the fear and desperation the characters feel comes across very powerfully through Yoon's descriptive and elegant writing. Alisak, Prany, and Noi are bound together by these experiences, and the choices they make echo throughout the years and lives of countless others. This is an excellent book that will be on your mind long after you close the final page.