Why is the manic pixie dreamgirl such a mainstay in youth adult literature, and what does that say about our attitudes on mental health and young women?
Julie Murphy’s Ramona Blue was criticized for its handling of bisexuality—I explore complicated tropes and narratives Murphy wrestled with in her latest.
S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong is a layered, fascinating Labyrinth retelling that balances a deep aesthetic of sensuality against a naive, self-sacrificing main character.
A Million Junes is a fantastical, richly imagined novel that delves into the bitterness that can last generations and destroy lives.
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.
Frances Hardinge’s The Lie Tree is a fantastically dark, twisted, and thoughtful novel about the inevitable consequences of secrets and lies.
Still Life with Tornado aims at ambitious storytelling, and it doesn’t quite get there.
Cindy Pon’s Sacrifice integrates elements of embracing the monstrous with Chinese folklore and culture, in an excellent followup to Serpentine.
Aaron Starmer’s Spontaneous is a super fun, silly, grossout read. If you like explosive love stories, you’ll need this book in your life.
Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns would be almost perfect, if it weren’t for the painfully obvious attempt at setting up for a sequel.