Which books have you read this year that you think deserves more attention? Here are some that we loved, but haven’t gotten as much attention as we THINK they should get.
Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon
3.97 ★ | 16,900+ Goodreads Ratings – Blackout does seem to be getting love – the Obama’s production company is making this into a TV series and film adaptation for Netflix (source), but there’s less than 20,000 ratings on Goodreads for this amazing short story collection. The writing is just so good – the characters are distinct and memorable, and although this book is very heavy on all things New York, where the characters live, it was integrated seamlessly into the story, and frankly made me want to go there are check out all the places mentioned.
A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks … A first meeting … Long-time friends … Bitter exes … And maybe the beginning of something new. When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.
A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher
4.18 ★ | 17,900+ Goodreads Ratings – This book y’all! Such a cute story and imaginative -I never would have thought I’d be telling you to read a book about magic … bread magic! Or more accurately “dough” … bakery (?) magic! But if you want a quick, entertaining read – pick this up.
Fourteen-year-old Mona isn’t like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can’t control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt’s bakery making gingerbread men dance. But Mona’s life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona’s city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target.
BadAsstronauts, Grady Hendrix
3.87 ★ | 770+ Goodreads Ratings – It seems novellas don’t get read as much as bigger length novels, and that’s the only reason I can think that this book is not more popular. I loved it! You’ll still get a fully developed story with a character that’s completely unforgettable and stubborn – a deeply flawed man named Walter Reedie who you can’t help but admire. I love a good character driven novel that’s not light on the plot and substance.
Melville, South Carolina was out of money, it was out of jobs, it was out of hope, and today it was out of astronauts. There were only two to begin with, and now one is stuck on the abandoned International Space Station after his mission went south. With NASA’s budget cut to the bone, there’s no one to bring him back home. But his cousin, Walter Reddie, isn’t going to let that happen. Tanked on vodka, living on a “farm” whose only crop is cars on cinderblocks, Walter’s a wash-out from the Shuttle Program and he’ll be damned if he’s going to let his cousin die in the sky like a dog.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club, Malinda Lo
4.26 ★ | 47,000+ Goodreads Ratings – So a ton of people have read this book and loved it but I have seen next to nothing about it on social media. I don’t know, maybe I’m not checking the right circles. I figure it can’t hurt to tell a few more of you to run out and read this gem!
America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.
Spells for Forgetting, Adrienne Young
4.02 ★ | 12,000 Goodreads Ratings – I read this as an ARC from Netgalley and having never read anything by Adrienne Young, I was unprepared for how fantastic this was going to be. It’s painfully haunting, mysterious, and dark. I’m not usually a fan of ‘town secrets’ type of books but this hooked me.
Emery Blackwood’s life changed forever the night her best friend was found dead and the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her. Years later, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence on the misty, remote shores of Saoirse Island. But when the island, rooted in folklore and magic, begins to show signs of strange happenings, August returns for the first time in fourteen years and unearths the past that the town has tried desperately to forget.