January 2, 2018

Six Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2018

YAY! Happy new year, everyone! And the best part of a new year? All the new books to look forward to! Obviously, I’m excited for continuations of series I love (Wires and Nerve vol. 2, Spill Zone vol. 2, and a brand-new book by Warcross author Marie Lu), but I have a stack of books pre-ordered that I can’t wait to read and review for all of you. Let’s take a look…

Nikki Grimes has written some amazing poetry in the past. Her book Bronx Masquerade is one of my favorites. I love how she deals with tough themes in a way that makes them accessible to students, particularly those who dislike poetry, with her use of swinging rhythms and crisp rhymes. They’re more like songs, to be honest. Fluid. Between the Lines is supposed to be a companion to Bronx Masquerade, and I almost wish it were February already so I could read it.

So, it’s really, insanely hard to find genre fiction with non-white characters. I mean, it’s much easier than it used to be, but we still have plenty of instances today where people of color are represented by aliens, non-humans, and anything “other.” It’s getting easier with graphic novels and comic books, but it’s still difficult to find them in prose. This book, I’m hoping, might help. It’s the debut novel of a Nigerian-American author, and apparently it’s been optioned to become a movie. Next YA phenom? We’ll see. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to reading this book.

Yes. I like poetry. What of it? This one sounds like it’ll tackle some really interesting issues, including race relations, religious freedom, and standing up for oneself in the face of domineering parents with overwhelming expectations. I’m expecting it to be in turns heartbreaking and uplifting with all the soul of the Harlem greats.

I love books with quirky, unusual characters, and this one sounds like it’ll fit the bill. The main character appears in a book of Albertalli’s I haven’t read, and sometimes that means I need to go back if I’m going to really understand what’s going on (like I wish I’d done with Brave, to be honest). That being said, there aren’t very many bisexual characters in middle grade and YA fiction, so it’ll be interesting to see how the author handles that.

This one sounds interesting just because it’s told in a non-traditional format. The premise reminds me vaguely of Walter Dean Myers’ Monster in that it’s multi-genre and about a kid in prison. The story sounds like it’ll peel back like an onion, working slowly towards the truth as more and more is revealed. I’m not sure about the author, since I’ve never read anything by him, but it should be an engaging read, regardless.

The wait for this one is going to be awful, but I’ll just have to grit my teeth and bear it. The premise sounds familiar in an 80s teen-movie way (atheist teenager forced to attend Catholic school befriends outcasts; shenanigans ensue), but given that I’m sort of a sucker for those kinds of things…plus, I’m curious to see if it’s half as funny as the dust jacket makes it sound. Hopefully, I won’t be disappointed.

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