If fiction doesn’t consider food an important part of the worldbuilding, and the characterisation, it will ring hollow for me.
S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong is a layered, fascinating Labyrinth retelling that balances a deep aesthetic of sensuality against a naive, self-sacrificing main character.
Stephanie Garber’s Caraval almost works…but in the end let me down.
A Million Junes is a fantastical, richly imagined novel that delves into the bitterness that can last generations and destroy lives.
N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season is set in a strange, wonderful, magical world where plate tectonics shape the future of humanity and some people are slightly more than human.
Victoria Schwab’s This Savage Song is a bit draggy at times, but is a generally pretty fun story with thoughtful worldbuilding and a few nice surprises.
A Monster Calls is a beautiful, striking, tragic book that is suitable for all fans of good literature but perhaps most particularly for those who are grieving.
Debates over ‘age appropriate’ literature tend to talk down to children, underestimate young readers, and put value judgements on creative work.
The ‘quality’ arguments surrounding diverse books are bogus red herrings designed to cover up for systematic representational problems.
Let 2017 be the year you give yourself permission to stop reading books when they bore, frustrate, or infuriate you.