Hello, readers–it’s time for Top Books of the month! Because of NaNoWriMo, I didn’t get to read as much as I usually do, but here are a few titles I particularly enjoyed!
Made You Up (Zappia): Schizophrenic Alex transfers to a new school for a fresh start after an incident involving paint and her old school’s gym floor. On her first day, she runs into head outcast, Miles Richter, and they instantly butt heads. Alex thinks he looks familiar, but, when you aren’t sure what’s real and what’s not, she isn’t sure. Anyways, she’s just trying to survive her last year. Her experience is a lot different than she expects! I loved Alex–she’s funny and determined, and that made me root for her as she battles to succeed at her goals. The story is engaging because Alex’s unreliability means I wasn’t sure whether what I was reading about is real or not. I also found the romance interesting as neither she or Miles is easy to get along with, and their own challenges affect the relationship. I recommend this one if you like unreliable narrators and unconventional romances.
Redefining Realness (Mock): In her memoir, Janet Mock describes her experience in transitioning while growing up as a poor person of color in Hawaii. She does a great job of blending her personal story with a discussion of broader issues that trans individuals face. If you are curious about trans issues, check this one out.
A Silent Voice (1 &2) (Ooima): When Shoko enters Shoya’s elementary school class, he uses her deafness as an excuse to bully her. He leads his classmates in attacks against her, and, finally, the bullying escalates so badly that Shoko is forced to leave school. Haunted by that time years later, Shoya seeks out Shoko in order to look for redemption and forgiveness. Bullying is a deeply personal topic for me, and I was intrigued by the premises. I like that nothing is straightforward, and the whole plot so far is bittersweet. Shoya is not automatically forgiven, and he has to struggle to make amends while fighting against people’s perceptions and his own self-loathing. I am annoyed that Shoko has been relatively passive so far, so I’m hoping she will play a bigger role in the later volumes. I have the next two volumes on hold at the library, and I’m looking forward to reading them.