Top Ten Tuesday: Books I want my future children to read

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is ten books I want my future children to read and rather than write about the various board books that I’ve read to my nephew and my friends’ children, or write about the middle grade books I loved back in the day, I thought I’d talk about ten issue-driven YA novels that would help expand their horizons without being too preachy.

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If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo: A reminder that something as simple as using the correct pronouns and treating someone like a human being can make all the difference.
What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler: A reminder to speak up – especially when it’s hard – if you see something that shouldn’t be happening.
The Tyrant’s Daughter by J.C. Carleson: A reminder that not all members of a region or a religion are the same and to keep an open mind.

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The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin: A reminder that it’s okay to fail as long as you pick yourself back up and keep going.
The List by Siobhan Vivian: A reminder that words and jokes can hurt and to be careful with what you say.

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Cherry by Lindsey Rosin: A reminder that it’s okay to do what you want with your own body as long as everything is consensual and you’re being safe.
A List of Cages by Robin Roe: A reminder to always be kind because you never know what’s going on behind closed doors.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: A reminder that racism is alive and well in this country and it’s up to us to consciously fight it.

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Made You Up by Francesca Zappia: A reminder to actively fight the mental illness stigma rather than feeding into it.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: A reminder that teenage girls are strong and powerful and can do anything that they set their minds to.

If you had to choose ten books that you’d want to pass along to your future children, what would they be?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that feature neurodivergent characters

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!  Today’s theme is ten books that feature ___ characters, and I thought I’d deviate away from my norm for once.  I know that I usually write about really great romances or my favorite tropes or upcoming debuts that I’m really looking forward to.  Instead of the fluffy stuff, I thought that today I’d go for the heavy-hitting ten books that feature neurodivergent characters.

Representation is so important in literature, and I think it’s great that authors are making a conscious effort be more inclusive.  The ten books below include characters with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders, PTSD, and more.

If you’re interested in seeing my reviews for these books, navigate over to my review organization page!

⭐ Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
⭐ Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
⭐ The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

⭐ Some Sort of Happy by Melanie Harlow
⭐ A List of Cages by Robin Roe
⭐ More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
⭐ All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

⭐ We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
⭐ The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane
⭐ Long Way Down by Krista & Becca Ritchie

If you had to make a list of ten books featuring characters with a certain characteristic, what would it be?

Best of 2016: Galleys

I read a lot of review copies in 2016.  I had 32 total galleys between Netgalley, Edelweiss, and author mailing lists. At one point during the year, I stressed myself out pretty badly by accidentally signing up for an author’s ARC team.  I’m still not even sure how it happened!  I was getting flooded with (rather rude) emails with PDFs attached, demanding that I read and review within the week.  Needless to say, I cut all ties with that author and even ended up taking a little break from reviewing.  But overall, I read a ton of really great books from really awesome authors.  Here are my top fifteen, in absolutely no order whatsoever.

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Goodreads links:

off the hook // seven ways to lose your heart // a list of cages // lured in // beyond the stars // you know me well // the summer before forever // ink and bone // the last boy and girl in the world // just a girl // something i need // arrows // addicted to you // lust is the thorn // all the feels

ARC review: A List of Cages by Robin Roe

Goodreads   Amazon

At first glance, you probably wouldn’t expect Adam and Julian to be friends. Adam is eighteen. A senior. Outgoing, handsome, well-liked. An all-around good guy. Julian is fourteen. A freshman. A frightened little boy who misses the parents that died when he was young. A boy who hides, who tries to not catch anyone’s attention, who wears outdated clothes that don’t fit.

At first glance, you wouldn’t know that Adam and Julian used to be foster brothers. They were kept apart for years by the uncle who eventually took Julian in, but now, at the same high school, they’ve found their way back to each other. Adam’s job is to get Julian to his school psychologist appointments. Julian makes it his daily mission to avoid them.

It’s clear that something’s off. I suspected child abuse in the first few chapters. I didn’t expect, though, to have my heart ripped out of my chest once everything became clear. This book was not what I expected. This book is not something I would have ever imagined would be published by Disney-Hyperion. But this book is also so, so important. I cried. I finished the book and just stared at the wall, unable to form any coherent thoughts.

The writing is stunning. I can’t believe this was a debut! The characters were so well-developed. There wasn’t a single plot thread left unfinished. I gave this book four stars only because it took me awhile to get interested. But once I did, it was so worth it.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.

Final rating: ★★★★☆