The prompt for this week was actually childhood favourites, but I already did one back in March and I don’t feel like repeating myself so here is a list of recent favourites instead. And “recent” can be a stretch because one of these books I read back in October. And another in November. But I still consider that to be recent.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – Angie Thomas is probably one of my favourite authors now because I have absolutely loved both of her books that have been published so far. I’m not too knowledgable about hip-hop or rap music because I don’t really listen to it, but I do know about certain names in the genre and the history of it, so I didn’t struggle too much with all of the references. My heart ached so much for Bri and seeing all of the hardships that she goes through, from living in almost poverty to the racism and sexism that she faces. These aren’t all things that I have experienced, but it is important to know that they do happen and it’s not okay.
Wildcard by Marie Lu – Warcross was one of my favourite books that I read last year, and I came out of that book wanting the sequel straight away, but because I’m forgetful, I ended up not reading it until this year. But I guess it’s better that I took so long to read it because I really enjoyed Wildcard. One thing that I wasn’t a fan of was the lack of Hideo for quite a lot of the book. Because Hideo is the best.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Guess how long it took me to read this book? I got my copy back when it came out, and met Leigh Bardugo who signed and personalised my copy. I finally read it this year. I’m that bad at keeping up with things. And while it did take me a while to read this book because this year has been a horrific reading slump, I did still really enjoy it. I loved the dynamics that the characters have, and how they found a family with each other despite the hardships they’ve faced. Now if only I could bring myself to read Crooked Kingdom.
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku by Fujita – Manga is great but the waiting times for a book that takes a day to read is not great. I have been waiting for the fourth volume of Wotakoi for a while because I binge-read the first three in a matter of days and I can feel myself going stir-crazy. I usually find things that make references to fandoms and “geek-dom” to be kind of cringe, but it works here because the focus is more on the characters and their relationships, rather than being like “you get a reference! and you get a reference!” Also, Hirotaka is the best because he’s relatable and he’s cute.
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco – I studied Gothic literature for quite a few years when I was in sixth-form and university, so I tend to be a little overcritical of modern books that go for a “Gothic” feel. Thankfully, Stalking Jack the Ripper gets it exactly right. It’s dark, there’s blood, mystery, family secrets, and romantic tension. A lot of romantic tension. It’s just a shame that I didn’t enjoy the second book anywhere near as much as this one. But I did enjoy the third book, so that gives me hope.
Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo – I read this entire series back in November of last year and it very quickly became a favourite of mine. I’ve read and watched a few post-apocalyptic works, but I don’t think I’d ever experienced cyberpunk before (wikipedia is trying to tell me that cowboy bebop is cyberpunk but i’m not having it) and after having read this series and watched the movie I really do want to explore the genre more. I read this before watching the movie because I knew that the original manga was much bigger than the movie, and I can’t really decide which version I like more. I love the movie from a technical standpoint because it is a stunningly horrifying movie, but I also love the manga because of the story and how many different branching paths it takes. Just go experience both versions, they’re great. And yes, I’m aware of the live-action American version that is in the works and I already hate it. Taika Waititi is probably the worst person to direct it. Yes, he’ll guarantee a Japanese cast but chances are he’ll turn it into a goofy comedy, which this is not at all.
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – I have been hunting and searching for diverse vampire books for such a long time, and when I came across this book, it was like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I’ve felt like vampire media has been too white for too long, and books like this that show that there are vampires who aren’t white are so important to me because diversity shouldn’t be limited to contemporary books. Spec-fic needs to be diverse too.
From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon – Yay for more diversity! I adored When Dimple Met Rishi when I read it a while ago, and even though I did have an ebook copy of this book for a while, I didn’t read it until a couple of months ago. And although I was surprised at the high school setting, it didn’t really bother me too much and I enjoyed this book so much. I did guess who Twinkle’s secret admirer was pretty much as soon as she got the email, so go me, I guess.