I know, I know. Amanda, I thought you were taking 3 classes Fall semester? When do you think you’ll have time to read? Well my friends, I am taking a YA materials class this semester, so reading these books is homework 🙂
Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed
Told in alternating narratives that bridge centuries, the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Samira Ahmed traces the lives of two young women fighting to write their own stories and escape the pressure of familial burdens and cultural expectations in worlds too long defined by men. It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, Indian, Muslim—is at a crossroads. This holiday with her professor parents should be a dream trip for the budding art historian. But her maybe-ex-boyfriend is probably ghosting her, she might have just blown her chance at getting into her dream college, and now all she really wants is to be back home in Chicago figuring out her messy life instead of brooding in the City of Light. Two hundred years before Khayyam’s summer of discontent, Leila is struggling to survive and keep her true love hidden from the Pasha who has “gifted” her with favored status in his harem. In the present day—and with the company of a descendant of Alexandre Dumas—Khayyam begins to connect allusions to an enigmatic 19th-century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix, and Lord Byron. Echoing across centuries, Leila and Khayyam’s lives intertwine, and as one woman’s long-forgotten life is uncovered, another’s is transformed.
I’ve read Interment by Ahmen, which I enjoyed, so I was excited to see her name on my list of required reading for my YA materials class. I’m really intrigued by the historical timeline in this story.
Flamer by Mike Curato
Award-winning author and artist Mike Curato draws on his own experiences in Flamer, his debut graphic novel, telling a difficult story with humor, compassion, and love. I know I’m not gay. Gay boys like other boys. I hate boys. They’re mean, and scary, and they’re always destroying something or saying something dumb or both. I hate that word. Gay. It makes me feel . . . unsafe. It’s the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone’s going through changes—but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can’t stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.
I was happy to see a graphic novel on my required reading list! From a few reviews I’ve read, this book seems like it is going to be a heavy, but important read.
List of Ten by Halli Gomez
A harrowing yet hopeful account of a teen living with Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder . . . and contemplating his own mortality. Ten: three little letters, one ordinary number. No big deal, right? But for Troy Hayes, a 16-year-old suffering from Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, the number ten dictates his life, forcing him to do everything by its exacting rhythm. Finally, fed up with the daily humiliation, loneliness, and physical pain he endures, Troy writes a list of ten things to do by the tenth anniversary of his diagnosis—culminating in suicide on the actual day. But the process of working his way through the list changes Troy’s life: he becomes friends with Khory, a smart, beautiful classmate who has her own troubled history. Khory unwittingly helps Troy cross off items on his list, moving him ever closer to his grand finale, even as she shows him that life may have more possibilities than he imagined. This is a dark, intense story, but it’s also realistic, hopeful, and deeply authentic.
This is an #OwnVoices story about a boy with Tourette Syndrome in combination with OCD. I’ve never read a story with a character with TS, so I am looking forward to reading from this perspective.
One of the Good Ones by Maika & Maritza Moulite
The Hate U Give meets Get Out in this honest and powerful exploration of prejudice in the stunning novel from sister-writer duo Maika and Maritza Moulite, authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine. ISN’T BEING HUMAN ENOUGH? When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic. One of the good ones. Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.
This cover is absolutely stunning! This seems like a YA contemporary that dives into timely topics. I cannot wait to read this one!
Which books are on your TBR for August?
Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think?
Comment below & let me know 🙂