Book Recommendations for May – Some of Our Newest Favorites

Book Recommendations for May - Some of Our Newest Favorites

Misha Speede, Lana Noredin, Alisa Oden, and Brooke Ehmann – Jones

June 18, 2021

 

Yolk – Mary H.K. Choi (MS) 

Trigger Warnings: Eating Disorders

Jayne (Ji-Young) and June (Ji-Hyun) Baek used to be the most tightly-knit sisters you would’ve ever seen. Some even mistaken them as twins, and even called them twins sometimes, even though June is three years older than Jayne. But now, they are both young adults struggling in their own ways, nothing alike at all, both surviving in the unknown wildlife that lies in New York City. Jayne is obsessed with how the world perceives her and how she perceives herself, emotionally stunted, lives life to the most whimsical ways, and of course, has a detestable taste in men. June, on the other hand, fits the classic, totally clique, the first-born title of two immigrant parents; works the “most boring and soulless finance job” (June’s words), has an apartment that shows every sign of a basic human being with absolutely no feelings (June’s words again), and shows little to no signs of visible empathy. 

These sisters used to be best friends, bonding over the smallest things until high school and college hit them. When they both move from San Antonio to New York City, they are suddenly pushed back into each other’s lives when June gets cancer. 

 

The Immortalists – Chloe Benjamin (MS) 

Trigger Warnings: Death

The tale of four siblings that grow up in a poverty-stricken area in 1969 of New York City’s Lower East Side takes a drastic turn of events; they begin to grow up into teenagers and young adults which leads them to escape their childhood fantasies by getting tossed into the real world. From youngest to oldest, each of the four siblings – Simon, Klara, Daniel, Varya, has their own individual journey told. The golden boy, star of the show, and the youngest child, Simon, escapes from his mother’s tightly-knit grip on him to go to San Francisco to learn from the city, immersed in the 80s culture. Klara, the child full of imagination and unattainable fantasies, becomes a magician in the center of magical wildlife for a young adult, Las Vegas. Daniel, the eldest son in the family, deals with maintaining a sense of control over work and his own happiness as an army doctor after 9/11 happens. Lastly, the oldest child and daughter, Varya, immerses herself in the world of research and animals, where she finds herself experimenting with the hypothetical idea of immortality, and one of the most real things; science. 

Neither four siblings talk about the day in 1969 where their death dates are all told to each other by a mystical woman. No sibling knows each other’s death date, and whether those dates are certain. Once being a family of siblings, they now separated into their own lives as adults. Each of their journeys is unique, but that night where their fates were told, impacts them all as a whole.

 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab (MS) 

Trigger Warnings: Fear

To escape the inevitable fear of marriage, Addie LaRue does the unthinkable; she prays to the forbidden Gods who answer only in desperate times, times after night. Trading her soul for immortality and a life of freedom, she finds herself experiencing many journeys over the course of three hundred years. But the downfall in trade for her freedom is that she will never be remembered by anyone. The cost of this bargain that she struck with the mysterious “God”, out of desperation has led her to live an invisible life. 

Three hundred years later, Addie LaRue has learned to survive, mostly in the shadows, as a never-aging invisible young woman. When she walks into a bookstore for the second time, she meets a man who will forever remember her name and her face. 

 

 

The Fixer – Jennifer Lynn Barnes (BEJ) 

Trigger Warnings: Death, Violence

Tess Kendrick lives on a farm with her grandfather, until he develops Alzheimer’s. She is then swept away by her distant sister Ivy to Washington DC. Tess’s life takes a drastic turn when she is put into a new school in the center of politics in DC. She meets the sons and daughters of important politicians and finds out that her sister’s job is more dangerous than she expected. After she saves the Vice President’s daughter from having pictures posted online against her will, she acquires a significant reputation, much like her sisters; all the while making enemies and allies at the prestigious school. Ivy and Tess both love investigating and problem-solving, but when paired with the twisted schemes of politicians, she finds herself in many threatening situations, causing rifts in her relationship with friends, and her estranged sister Ivy.

This book will put you on many unexpected twists and turns with Tess’s life, and the lives of her close friends and family too. All while exploring complex family dynamics, and characters going through tumultuous times, regret, and the loss of loved ones through mysterious deaths. The rest of the exciting events and plots unfold in the second book of this duology: Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

 

Scythe – Neal Shusterman (BEJ)

Trigger Warnings: Death, Violence

This book is set far in the future, where human’s tormentors, like death by disease, have been eliminated. The secrets to eternal life have been unlocked, death has been beaten, and humans have pain immuning nanities. All thanks to the Thunderhead, advanced artificial intelligence that carries order, protection, and knowledge of the world. The only thing not controlled by the Thunderhead is Scythes. Scythes are the only means of death in society. They glean to keep the world in balance. Some Scythes are feared, some are admired and famous, but all their jobs are to kill. 

Citra and Rowan are taken on as apprentice Scythes by Scythe Faraday. They must learn the ways of a Scythe, and the importance of their job; but understand that their job should not be fun and should not be abused like some Scythes use their status in the Scythedom. When events take a turn for the worse, Citra and Rowan must battle each other for the position of Junior Scythe. Dividing the Scythedom between new order and old guard scythes. This book explores complicated relationships and the intricacies of positions and power, life and death, and society in a world where little has meaning. This book is the first in a trilogy called the Arc of a Scythe, the second and third books are: Thunderhead and The Toll.

 

The Looking Glass Wars – Frank Beddor (BEJ)

Trigger Warnings: Death, violence

Alyss Heart’s world is turned upside down when her evil Aunt Redd invades Wonderland and kills her parents, the king, and queen of Wonderland. But there is hope, for Hatter Madigan, the queen’s most trusted guard saves Alyss by taking her through the pool of tears. However, something goes wrong with her journey through the pool of tears, and now she is faced with the hard truth that she is all alone in a strange unknown world. Alyss goes through a tumultuous journey living in London, and after many years, she finds her place in the society that cast her out when she was younger, because of her wild imagination. She thought she forgot the fantasies of her past life… but has to relive the painful memories when another wrench is thrown into her life. The murderer of her parents finds her in London, and she is forced to return to Wonderland. 

What she finds in the magnificent city she used to call home is heartbreaking, but she must persevere if she has any hopes of restoring it to its original splendor. Alyss must find herself, and fill the impossible shoes of her deceased mother, the queen when she returns to Wonderland. This book puts you on a voyage of gut-wrenching to heartwarming twists and turns, all set in a mythical world with anarchy, power struggles, and wars of its own. Find out what happens to Alyss and her magical kingdom in the next two books of the Looking Glass Wars trilogy: Seeing Redd, and Arch Enemy. 

 

The Fault In Our Stars – John Green (LN)

Trigger Warnings: Death, Language

This book is great for readers who are into romance-drama genres. 16-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster was diagnosed with stage IV Thyroid cancer which has spread to her lungs. Her mother convinced her to join a support group held in “the literal heart of Jesus.” During one of the meetings, Hazel meets Augustus Waters, who has Osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that affects the bones, and has caused him to lose his right leg. Agustus is meeting to support Issac, a friend with eye cancer. After the meeting, Hazel and Agustus quickly become close and recommend each other their favorite novels. Hazel recommends An Imperial Affliction while Gus recommends The Prince of Dawn. 

With many genres being included, this book will make you smile, cry, and smile again. Make sure to read this heartbreaking and beautifully written novel written by John Green.

 

 

Coraline – Neil Gaimen (LN)

Trigger Warnings: Injury, slight language, button eyes, needles, mice/rats, Dolls, spiders/spider webs, cats, nighttime, insects, thunder/lightning, ghosts, circus music, circus-themes, creepy-like tall figures, eerie. 

Bored and lonely Coraline, a young girl living with both of her parents, moves into their new home far away from where they originally lived. The house is big and old and has been divided into apartments. Her neighbors being two women who used to be actresses and a strange old man who claims he trains mice for a circus. One day, Coraline explores the house. She is soon greeted by a big wooden carved door in the drawing-room of the house. When she opens it, there are only bricks behind it. However, when she comes to open it again, the door isn’t only a door anymore- it’s a portal leading to an alternate universe! Coraline soon meets her other mother, a woman who looks a lot like her mom from home, but she has black, shiny buttons for her eyes. 

Read this terrifying and amazing story of courage written by Neil Gaimen. 

 

The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid – Colin Meloy (AO)

Trigger Warnings: None

Bored, lonely Charlie Fisher suddenly finds himself entangled in the lives of a group of master pickpockets after witnessing a robbery. However, instead of being alarmed, Charlie finds himself intrigued- and determined to learn the tricks of the trade. As Charlie dives deeper into the world of these misfit pickpockets, he finds himself with an invitation to the mysterious whiz mob, an international organization of young thieves. But what started as an exciting pass time quickly turns into a high-stakes adventure, and one wrong move can send the world into chaos.

If you enjoyed the Wildwood series, also by Colin Meloy, this book is for you! Filled with quirky characters and wild escapades, The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid is sure to keep you on your toes.

 

Fruits Basket – Natsuki Takaya (AO)

Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Abuse, Violence, Language, Death, Gore

After her mother’s death, high schooler Tohru Honda moves out of her apartment and makes a home in a tent. Unfortunately, she quickly discovers that she’s set up camp on the private estate of the mysterious Sohma family, and it’s not long before she’s found. But when they offer to take her in, Tohru realizes that her life is about to get even wilder- because the Sohmas have a secret.

Fruits Basket is a story that will make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. With lovable characters, a sweet romance, and a sprinkle of Chinese mythology, it’s sure to touch your heart! Just make sure to keep a box of tissues nearby.