Hello, I’m back with my top books of the past month! This time around, I have a short story collection, a couple of graphic novels, and a young adult novel. If any of those sound interesting, read on!
The Paper Menagerie (Liu): Ken Liu combines history, science fiction, and fantasy in this engaging short story collection. My favorite stories include a mother who creates magical origami animals for her son and a story about a man who is able to pull memories from history in order to bear witness to a horrific crime. Liu’s writing is engaging, and I really enjoyed how he blended history, mythology, and science fiction concepts in his stories. If you like thoughtful,engaging, and/or genre-bending stories, you will definitely want to read this collection.
And I Darken (Conqueror’s Saga #1) (White): Ladislav Dracul is the daughter of the leader of Wallachia. Ladislav–or Lada–and her brother Radu learn harsh lessons at the hands of their ruthless father, whom neither can seem to please . When her father sends them as hostages to the Ottoman Empire, they meet Mehemed, the heir to the throne. The trio form a close-knit relationship as they struggle to secure their power in a harsh world. This alternative history is a fast-paced story that explores decisions and the way they shape individuals. Lada is a compelling and terrifying heroine, so if you tend to like darker protagonists, this one is for you.
Faith: Hollywood and Vine #1 (Houser): Faith is a nerdy young woman is also the psionist Zephyr, who is able to use telekinesis and fly. After tragedy strikes her superhero team, Faith decides to strike out on her own in Los Angeles. She takes a job as a content writer for an online publication and looks out for those in need. When potential psionists start disappearing, Faith is on the case! This is a fun superhero comic: although the plot is fairly brief, it proves a solid introduction to Faith and her world. Faith’s warm personality will endear you to her, and her struggles have nothing to do with her appearance (Faith is “plus-sized”). I’m looking forward to reading more stories about Faith!
Ghosts (Telgemeier): Cat and Maya’s family move to Northern California’s coast so that Maya, who has cystic fibrosis, will be able to breathe more easily. Cat is uncomfortable and uncertain, while Maya explores their new home with her usual enthusiasm. One of the locals informs them that the dead come to visit for the annual Day of the Dead festival. As the Day of the Dead festival, Maya’s condition worsens. Will Cat be able to adjust to her new home? Telgemeier’s colorful illustrations are eye-catching, and her characters’ struggles are realistic and relatable. The mix of real life problems and supernatural element make for an engaging, bittersweet story that will have you reading it over and over again (I certainly did!).
That’s all for this month. Catch you next time!