Young adult books set in college, or even about the summer before college, aren’t all too common. That’s why I was surprised when I first learnt that American Panda is set at MIT. Well, Mei is 17 years old as she enters a year early but it works out well for this book. Mei had a sheltered upbringing, which is very evident as she tries to find her place at university.
Spellslinger is a rather quirky book, which I enjoyed very much. A young mage who’s struggling with magic, a traveller passing through who can’t keep her hilarious social commentary to herself, and a snarky talking squirrel cat? This combination was most peculiar, making me laugh and smirk throughout.
The House of New Beginnings to me, was a comforting book to read. Following the lives of three women at crossroads, this is a book that speaks about hope amidst uncertainty. Naturally, what first caught my eye in the synopsis was Rosa, the sous chef. Now, I found out she’s more of a line cook but ultimately, that deviating detail doesn’t matter all too much. She lives and breathes food and that’s where she finds solace.
I can’t think of another fantasy book I’ve read that was as much fun as The Alloy of Law. It made me chuckle a lot, particularly because of Wayne. He’s hilarious and makes the most inappropriate yet fitting comments. Some part nearly had me in stitches. At the same time, The Alloy of Law reads like a crime fantasy novel.
Fangirl was funny and sweet and wonderful. What I liked best was the college setting without an intense focus on romance. This book was about Cath who tried to find herself, even though she felt she was losing everything. She so desperately tried to hold on to familiarity through her high school boyfriend, her father and most importantly to her, her twin sister Wren. For the first time, she had to be truly independent. I believe that for many, college is the time to find oneself and Rowell presented this transition very well in Fangirl.