Hunger by Roxane Gay

Hunger is made up of a series of steps taken towards self-care, self-love and acceptance. It is self-affirmation through brutal honesty, a reclaiming of one's own identity that most people never figure out how to do.

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Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

The book was a little on the long side, but so eventful that the pages turn swiftly. The plot doesn't as much twist as delays gratification, making the resolutions all the more sweeter because we feel they've been hard won.

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Princess Diaries #2 – Princess in the Spotlight

For all her flaky exaggerated hyperbole, Mia was a great character to relate to for teens in my time, and I hope that kids today continue to get great books like this to look up to.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility is a journey worth taking, filled with twists and turns. And Austen continues to prove herself a keen observer of human nature (even if her judgments and morals tend toward the uglier side.) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Book of Dust #1 – La Belle Sauvage

An extremely well written adventure with solid child characters who shine with an inner fire. TW for gratuitous sexual assault as a plot device though.

Discworld #13 – Small Gods

What draws me back to this book time and again is the in-depth and thought provoking exploration of divinity. And the amusing sight of a discomfited god throwing temper tantrums as a tortoise. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Earthsea Cycle #2 – The Tombs of Atuan

Not weighed down by the need to explain the universe the book exists in, the words practically fly off the page as the reader is sucked completely into the story. Five stars!!!

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War is, in turns gritty and harsh, cute and heartwarming, unexpectedly hilarious and filled with gratuitous violence. Kuang utilizes humour to great effect to break a lot of the tension, but this is still not the kind of light hearted read I can squee over.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles is a book that appeals to the imagination and thrills the blood. It is a tale of tragedy that finds it in itself to bloom bright with love and beauty even as it races towards the inevitably disastrous conclusion like a trainwreck that may not be stopped.

The Lunar Chronicles #3.5 – Fairest

Fairest is excellently paced, a swift and heart wrenching read that gives the readers a front row seat to some of the cruellest atrocities committed in the Lunar Chronicles universe. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bree Taggert #3 – Drown Her Sorrows

Drown Her Sorrows is bland at best and annoying at worst, but through it all threads the potential for what could have been a decent mystery story.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is interesting, thought-provoking and has great dry humour. Unfortunately, it's also kind of boring. 😴⭐⭐

Bree Taggert #2 – See Her Die

The mystery is interesting enough to carry the reader through to the end, but there's nothing gripping or engrossing about the tale. ⭐⭐✨

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

These Violent Delights fulfils the promise of what Romeo and Juliet could have been. It goes far beyond a doomed romance to weave a complex and full bodied tale of the contrasts and conflicts of 1920s Shanghai, of the impact of colonization and of being torn between cultures and languages.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Good Girl's Guide pulls no emotional punches and delivers a thoughtful examination of systemic racism, prejudice, bullying, and sexual assault; all the while keeping the readers on their toes in anticipation.

Homecoming by John Bradshaw

Homecoming is an exhaustive psychological study - and immensely insightful as a result. It can be helpful as a textbook for mental health professionals, or as a guide for individuals looking to improve their own mental health outside of - or in tandem with - other methods of mental health treatment.

Hellfire by Leesa Gazi

Gazi has plumbed the darker side of human nature and written something that rings undeniably true. Hellfire is engrossing and awe inspiring, and impossible to put down until it's over.

Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

Suicide Notes was a fast, lightweight read with heavy undercurrents that threatened to drag me down into a triggered spiral if I wasn't careful enough. Ultimately, the story doesn't feel worth the anxiety it causes.

Mage Errant #2 – Jewel of the Endless Erg

Even though the plot is describing fantastic events, they are written in such a lackluster manner that the reader is constantly pulled out of the book's universe by annoyance. ⭐⭐

Raven, Fisher, and Simpson #1 – The Way of All Flesh

As a historical, medical mystery, the book keeps the reader's interest until the very end. Misdirects and clues masterfully coded into the book keep the reader guessing. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Trials of Apollo #1 – The Hidden Oracle

This book is off the charts in terms of character development, Leo-ness, Solangelo, and the cool and novel villain(s). But none of that makes up for using a slur. 2.5 stars/ 5.

Crier’s War by Nina Varela

This book was beautiful - a subtle slow burn romance between two deeply complex and layered characters. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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