Sunflowers in February is at its core a morbid book. Lily was in a car accident and woke up dead. Death is never an easy topic to face. What comes after death though, is a question I’m sure many of us do wonder about. Sunflowers in February grappled with exactly that, as Lily was in limbo, unable to move on.
THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas
No contest, The Hate U Give is the best young adult novel that was published in 2017. It’s filled with heart and soul, takes an honest look at racial discrimination, and doesn’t hold back any punches. It’s so honest and raw that it hurts to read and it’s precisely because of that that everyone and anyone, young or old, needs to read The Hate U Give.
THE INEXPLICABLE LOGIC OF MY LIFE by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
After reading and enjoying Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe last year, I couldn’t wait for The Inexplicable Logic of My Life to be released. On several counts, Sáenz’s book lived up to my expectations. The prose, though simple, once again was stellar! I love introspective characters, and after reading two books from Sáenz, I’m convinced that he’s a master at writing them. And while single parents are ubiquitous in YA fiction, Sal had an adoptive father who was gay, thereby expanding representation for non-traditional families.
THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
It’s amazing how much perspectives can shift upon a re-read. When I first picked up The Raven Boys nearly two years ago, I listened to the audiobook. I loved Will Patton’s narration but had a few reservations about the book itself. Recently, I sat down with the hardcover edition, post-its and pencil in hand, determined to annotate as I revisited The Raven Boys. There were so many things I newly discovered, I grew to love it a whole lot more.
A THOUSAND NIGHTS by E.K. Johnston
A Thousand Nights is a magical book. The prose is exceedingly beautiful. If literary fiction were to bridge over to the young adult segment, this book would be a stellar example of the genre. In some ways, I think that if readers were to expect a slow story, magnificent in words over a fast-paced one, then the reviews wouldn’t have come to be as mixed as they are now.