How was your September? Mine was pretty great! I hope you all had a good month and got lots of reading done! The last week in September is Banned Books Week. We have a display at the library and if you are unable to get in for that we have a whole post dedicated to it as well! And now onto the books!
The first book that I enjoyed last week is called Illegal by Eoin Colfer. Here is the blurb from Goodreads: “This is a powerful and timely story about one boy’s epic journey across Africa to Europe, a graphic novel for all children with glorious color artwork throughout.
His sister left months ago. Now his brother has disappeared too, and Ebo knows it can only be to make the hazardous journey to Europe.
Ebo’s epic journey takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally out to the merciless sea. But with every step he holds on to his hope for a new life, and a reunion with his sister.”
This book was amazing. I have never seen something so raw and emotional but also hopeful at the same time. I really enjoyed this book and the things that it talked about. There were parts of it that were hard to read but I think it will really open people’s eyes about the journeys that people take and the reasons behind them. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It is very well crafted and researched.
The next book that I liked is called This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews. This book is a fantastic adventure graphic novel that I think is perfect for middle schoolers and beyond. Every year on the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, the townspeople release lanterns into the river. This year Ben and his classmates make a pact to follow the lanterns to their end point, no turning back, no going home. Eventually, only Ben and Nathaniel remain. Ben doesn’t really like Nathaniel (no one does) and he’s not to happy to be stuck with him on this adventure. Along the way they meet a wild cast of characters and learn all about each other and what it really means to be friends.
This is a fantastic book! I loved the artwork as well as the story line. This book talks a lot about what it means to be friends with someone and to not judge to quickly or harshly. This would be a great addition to any library.
This next book is YA fiction and it is called Sometime After Midnight by L. Phillips. This book is about Nate and Cameron who meet in a club while they are watching a band called the Jacket Zippers. The two have a ~moment~ before they are interrupted and are forced to go their separate ways. And of course, no one gets anyone contact info so they don’t have any way to know if their moment could turn into something more. Because of this Cameron’s socialite/model sister Tess decides to “help” and post a picture of Nate’s shoes on her social media. This blows up in everyone’s face and forces Nate to kind of go into hiding. I really don’t want to give away any more of this story because it is so good! One thing that I really appreciated was Nate’s step-mom Tanya. Her character really grew throughout the book and I ended up appreciating her side of the story. Another thing that was really awesome was the fact that there was no coming out part of this book. The two MCs are both already out and living their lives. There’s not hiding any part of themselves and they get to life full, out lives which is so nice and refreshing to see in a book about two young gay men.
Listen, this was such a cute, slow burn, enemies to lovers story that I don’t even really want you to waste time reading this review. GO READ THE BOOK!! I loved every minute of this book and I would HIGHLY recommend it to pretty much anyone. I am going to be singing it’s praises from high on the rooftops for years to come.
Next up we have American Panda by Gloria Chao. This book is about Mei. She is a 17 year old freshman at MIT studying to be a doctor. She is on the right track according to her parents: become a doctor, marry a Taiwanese boy (approved by her parents of course), and have a bunch of kids. But Mei doesn’t want that life for herself. If she tells her parents that though, she runs the risk of being cut off from the family like her brother Xing. Is it worth it? Can she tamp herself down and be the perfect Taiwanese daughter that her parents want or will she break free and be her own person?
This book was so good! I laughed, I cried (a lot), I cheered for Mei, and I really loved every minute of it. This book had a lot of great descriptions of familial guilt. I have struggled with that myself before especially when it comes to the older generation of family members. I love how this book ended and I’m really excited to read more by this author!
Next up we have a comic book called Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba. Here is the blurb from Goodreads: “What are the most important days of your life?
Meet Brás de Oliva Domingos. The miracle child of a world-famous Brazilian writer, Brás spends his days penning other people’s obituaries and his nights dreaming of becoming a successful author himself—writing the end of other people’s stories, while his own has barely begun.
But on the day that life begins, would he even notice? Does it start at 21 when he meets the girl of his dreams? Or at 11, when he has his first kiss? Is it later in his life when his first son is born? Or earlier when he might have found his voice as a writer?
Each day in Brás’s life is like a page from a book. Each one reveals the people and things who have made him who he is: his mother and father, his child and his best friend, his first love and the love of his life. And like all great stories, each day has a twist he’ll never see coming…
In Daytripper, the Eisner Award-winning twin brothers Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá tell a magical, mysterious and moving story about life itself—a hauntingly lyrical journey that uses the quiet moments to ask the big questions.”
This was a very interesting comic. I really loved the concept. I’ve never read anything like it before and I don’t think I will for a long time. I really, really enjoyed this and I would highly recommend it.
Next we have a cute little children’s book called When I Found Grandma by Saumiya Balasubramaniam, illustrated by Qin Leng. This sweet book is about Maya and her grandma. Maya wants her grandma to come visit her but when she does, she’s not exactly what Maya had hoped for in a grandma. Maya doesn’t like her grandma’s clothes, her food, or her noisy prayer bells. Can Maya come to understand her grandma?
I really liked this little book. It showed a lot of great moments between Maya and her grandma and it was just a super sweet book. The art style was very pleasing too. There also weren’t a lot of big words and everything was very easy to understand. I think all in all this is a great book all about learning to love your family members even when you don’t understand everything about them.
Next up we have a graphic novel that is new to the library called Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir of The Martian fame. This graphic novel is about Alice, Wendy, and Dorothy who have ended up at Cheshire Crossing, a place to help them deal with their supernatural powers. For once, they are at a place where people believe them and don’t think that they’re insane. Of course the girls, who are now older, quickly get into trouble and go off to Neverland, Oz, and Wonderland and have some really lively adventures.
I really liked getting to revisit these characters now that they are in their teens. Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz are some of my favorite stories so I was very excited to get to hang out with them again. I was never really a fan of Peter Pan, BUT, I really loved Wendy in this book. She was so adventurous and self sufficient throughout the story so I really came to like her much more than before. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the original works that the girls are from OR really likes a graphic novel about some kick ass girls.
Next up was one of the manga that I read this week called Delicious Dungeon, vol. 2 by Ryoko Kui. This is (obviously by the title) the second volume in this series. This manga is about a group of adventurers that are going through a dungeon to try and save a captured member of their party. But they have run out of food and don’t have much money to get more. Because of that they are eating their way through the dungeon, literally.
I’ve read and really liked volume one so I was really excited to read this next volume. I love manga that are about food or cooking so I absolutely adore this series. I love the characters but I’m really just here for them fighting and then eating the monsters. Sometimes they come across a monster and I’m just like how are they going to eat this???? But they somehow find a way to do just that. If you are a fan of cooking manga such as Sweetness and Lightning or adventure manga such as That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime then I think this one would be right up your alley!
One of my favorite books from September is called The Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem. From Goodreads: “In Zara Raheem’s fresh, funny, smart debut, a young, Muslim-American woman is given three months to find the right husband or else her traditional Indian parents will find one for her–a novel with a universal story that everyone can relate to about the challenges of falling in love.”
I really, really adored this book. As someone who is approaching 30 I understand the urge to get married and settle down. I don’t get the same pressures that Leila does though. I really felt like this book did a fantastic job of balancing her parents wishes and Leila’s as well. It was very well written (I only found one typo throughout the entire book) and the story just flowed so beautifully. I most definitely cried a few times while reading this but I also cheered too. I would highly recommend this book to pretty much anyone. It is a fantastic read.
Lastly I read a YA book this month that has been on my TBR list for a very long time. I’m talking about When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I have no idea why I waited so long to read this book because it was fantastic! I loved Dimple. She is a fantastic heroine. I am very aware of all of the negative reviews of this book over on Goodreads which I find strange so I’ll just say my piece about this real quick. I remember being a 17 year old girl, do you? Because if a stranger came up to me and knew my name and was like what up future wife?? I would have been immediately like you’re a stalker, byeeeeeeeee and noped out of there real quick. Have your parents not taught you basic stranger danger?!?! It would be a whole different story if Dimple knew she was meeting Rishi and still threw her coffee at him. That is rude. But that’s not what happened at all. I’m also a little confused by people saying that just because Dimple didn’t like makeup and wearing traditionally “girly” clothes that she was hating on other girls?? Like where did you read that in the book? Celia, who is her best friend, is super girly and wears makeup and has a huge wardrobe to boot and Dimple never says oh I’m better than you because I don’t wear makeup. Of course this book wasn’t perfect and neither were the characters but that’s the point! People aren’t perfect. There was plenty of give and take, mistake making, and misunderstandings in this book. That’s what makes the ending and the lead up to it so good!
And I’m super excited to read the other book in the series! Have you read this one? What did you think about it? I’m interested to hear if anyone else has thoughts on this book since it is so polarizing.
That is it for this month! I hope you all had a great September! I don’t know about you guys but I am seriously looking forward to October! Halloween is my favorite holiday and I cannot wait for it to get here! Do you guys know what you’re going to be for Halloween yet?? I think I’m going to wear one of my inflatable dinosaur costumes for one of the events that we’re having at the library.