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The Emissary, one of the strangest and most inventive stories that I’ve read, follows a day in the lives of a Japanese grandfather and grandson after an unnamed environmental catastrophe. In this dystopian world, children are born frail and sickly while the elderly remain healthy and strong. Due to the pollution, most animals and plants have gone extinct, everyone changes sex at least once in their lives, and old holidays have been replaced with new ones like “Being Alive is Enough Day”. Translated from its original Japanese, this short novel pushes the boundary of both language and visions of the future.
Justin, Writer in Residence for Adults
A gorgeously drawn comics memoir of joining a college book club in South Korea 1983, and the thoughts, choices, and trials it sparked. Fast-paced, smart, and utterly compelling, this is the activist comics memoir YA readers are looking for.
I didn't know that I needed to read a YA retelling of Thelma and Louise until I picked up this one. Winona and Lucille are tired of feeling trapped in their lives, and they're ready for freedom. They realize they can't wait until graduation to get out, so they run, taking with them a stolen convertible and plans to get the three grand that they need to truly escape. This is a story of intense female friendship and the anger of young women trapped within the patriarchy and it will both pull your heartstrings and make you cheer for these girls to tear down the patriarchy.
This fabulous(ly queer!) follow-up to Mitchell's lauded All Out anthology is sure to delight and inspire.
Ashlords is one you won't be able to put down! It has something for everyone - sci-fi horse racing, phoenixes, SCIENCE, fights to the death, ghosts?, dimension hopping, and more! - and yet it never feels crowded or overly complicated. You'll be frantically turning the pages in this total adrenaline rush!
Join Chirri & Chirra for a charming and whimsical day riding their bikes under the sea. Beautiful illustrations and a simple, gentle story.
HIV-positive teens in Brazil deal with all the challenges of young love plus a few more -- and learn that revenge is best served with the help of a group of drag queens.
A fun jaunt about a young witch who is continuously underestimated and saves the day (quite literally). Great for a smile and giving your mind a rest for a bit from…everything. Contains combustible, cat-like monsters who live under beds.
This is such a feel-good book that I want everyone to read it. Lucky is the biggest K-pop star, Jack works for the tabloids, they eat amazing food in Hong Kong, and I just don't know what else there is. I am very food motivated and there are lots of good food in this book, amongst a rom-com feel to the plot.
“Once we were part of the outside, and the outside was part of us.” Beautifully illustrated by Cindy Derby, this book is a poetic meditation on our relationship with nature.
I've been searching for a book with the same vibe as A Knight's Tale forever, and fellow readers, this one delivers. This fun modern take features a diverse cast and a gutsy protagonist who's ready to smash the patriarchy with a stick. ("It's called a lance... hello!")
In Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors, Sonali Dev creates a vibrant modern Pride and Prejudice retelling that manages to feel fresh. Trisha Raje is a prominent neurosurgeon and DJ Caine is a rising-star chef who quits his job and moves to California because his sister is sick. The two collide—explosively—throughout the novel, and the tension and slow burn will keep you reading and wondering what will happen even if you know how Pride and Prejudice ends. I flew through it, captured by the tension, the well-developed characters and families, and the many, many descriptions of DJ's cooking. Bonus: The sequel comes out at the end of May!
A short and sweet essay about the season I'm sure we're all desperately looking forward to now.
A charming and fun story of enduring friendship…perfect!