Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event currently hosted by Broke and Bookish, but will be moving to That Artsy Reader Girl from the 16th of January onwards. I have a longer list on my Twitter of books I want to read this year here.
This week is all about books we meant to read in 2017 and didn’t get to, but totally plan to read this year. So, in no particular order:
Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke
So, I’m going to read this for Mental Health Book Bingo (one character has dysthymia) as soon as my copy comes in the mail. I also requested the sequel from Netgalley, but I got approved super fast so now I’m just kind of twiddling my thumbs.
But, anyway, it seems like this is a world where pansexuality is the assumed norm and infants are implanted with chips that count down to when they’ll meet their soulmate. I’m not sure how this factors in for aromantic people at this point, and I hope that’s dealt with at some point in the series.
After scientists stumbled across an anomalous human hormone present during moments of emotional intimacy, further research created the ability to harness the direction of living energy and pinpoint when two lines will merge. Personalized chips are now implanted beneath the thumbnails of every infant, where glowing numbers count down to the moment they will meet their soul mate.
Fate is now a calculation.
But loving someone isn’t.
When Shannon Wurther, the youngest detective in Southern California, finds himself face-to-face with Aiden Maar, the reckless art thief Shannon’s precinct has been chasing for months, they are both stunned. Their Camellia Clocks have timed out, and the men are left with a choice—love one another or defy fate.
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake (e-ARC)
Goodreads page. TW: Rape
So, I requested this late last year but then between getting a corrupted copy (fixed now) and drowning in other books to read, I had to put it off. But there’s still plenty of time until publication so I should still read it well before the book actually comes out.
I’m having trouble explaining this, so I’m just gonna paste the blurb in:
“I need Owen to explain this. Because yes, I do know that Owen would never do that, but I also know Hannah would never lie about something like that.”
Mara and Owen are about as close as twins can get. So when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can the brother she loves really be guilty of such a violent crime? Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost, and it doesn’t help that things have been strained with her ex-girlfriend, Charlie.
As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie navigate this new terrain, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits in her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault.
Charlie, Mara’s ex, is genderqueer.
Another Word for Happy by Agay Llanera
I was actually going to read this for Diversity Bingo last year, but I was running out of time so I swapped some books around and put this one off.
Caleb is a Filipino gay boy who’s just started college. The blurb is short so here it is:
What does it take to come out of the closet?
Since he was thirteen, Caleb has always known he’s gay. Now a college freshman, he falls in love for the first time. If it’s true that love conquers all, then will Caleb finally find the courage to reveal his secret?
In this tale about family, friendship and self-discovery, find out how Caleb discovers the path to the freedom he’s always longed for. Here’s a hint: it involves doing things outside his comfort zone, such as joining a spoken word group!
The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
Goodreads page. TW: Rape
I meant to read this one during SapphicAThon but fell behind and swapped it out for something super short instead. It’s sitting on my shelf now. Mocking me.
Basically, a bunch of girls avenge the rape of a girl they don’t know. I’ve heard it’s a bit like Moxie, minus the white feminism that has put me off reading Moxie when there are so many other things I want to read.
There’s a queer Mexican-American girl and an autistic girl, and I’m pretty sure the rep is more extensive than that but it’s a good jumping off point.
The blurb is pretty fucking long so I’m just gonna paste the plotty half. The other half is more character-based.
When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.
Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.
Huntress by Malinda Lo
This is another one I meant to read for SapphicAThon, but my library was a piece of shit so I had to find something else. It’s available at my library now so I’m gonna borrow it out of spite.
And also because I wanna fucking READ IT.
This is set a few hundred years before Ash, I believe, so it’s a very loose prequel. Fuck it, here’s the blurb. IT’S QUEER.
Nature is out of balance in the human world. The sun hasn’t shone in years, and crops are failing. Worse yet, strange and hostile creatures have begun to appear. The people’s survival hangs in the balance.
To solve the crisis, the oracle stones are cast, and Kaede and Taisin, two seventeen-year-old girls, are picked to go on a dangerous and unheard-of journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen. Taisin is a sage, thrumming with magic, and Kaede is of the earth, without a speck of the otherworldly. And yet the two girls’ destinies are drawn together during the mission. As members of their party succumb to unearthly attacks and fairy tricks, the two come to rely on each other and even begin to fall in love. But the Kingdom needs only one huntress to save it, and what it takes could tear Kaede and Taisin apart forever.
The exciting adventure prequel to Malinda Lo’s highly acclaimed novel Ash is overflowing with lush Chinese influences and details inspired by the I Ching, and is filled with action and romance.
Illegal Contact by Santino Hassel
Everyone screams about this so I guess I should get around to it soon.
The rules of the game don’t apply off the field in this first Barons novel.
New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.
Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…
The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz
This has a Puerto Rican bisexual MC who’s ability to create art has been hampered by family tragedy. And it’s got a gorgeous cover. I mean, come on.
Apparently the story is more about her coming of age than the romantic element, though that is there.
Mercedes Moreno is an artist. At least, she thinks she could be, even though she hasn’t been able to paint anything worthwhile in the past year.
Her lack of inspiration might be because her abuela is in a coma. Or the fact that Mercedes is in love with her best friend, Victoria, but is too afraid to admit her true feelings.
Despite Mercedes’s creative block, art starts to show up in unexpected ways. A piano appears on her front lawn one morning, and a mysterious new neighbor invites Mercedes to paint with her at the Red Mangrove Estate.
At the Estate, Mercedes can create in ways she hasn’t ever before. But Mercedes can’t take anything out of the Estate, including her new-found clarity. Mercedes can’t live both lives forever, and ultimately she must choose between this perfect world of art and truth and a much messier reality.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
This is another book about young African Americans grappling with police brutality. A huge part of this one seems to be dismantling the bullshittery of respectability politics.
Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
With every day that passes without me reading this, my friends edge closer to physically fighting me for putting it off.
This is a slightly cut-down version of the blurb.
Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.
But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.
Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
The city library system has a copy of this and I have a shiny new library card. Bi MC, gay biracial epileptic love interest.
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.