Welcome to another edition of Must Read Monday…with a preview of an upcoming blog tour I will be participating in this week! This feature is where I spotlight older, recent, or upcoming releases I am looking forward to. The lists will include all genres I like to read, everything from picture books to comics, children’s lit to adult fiction!
It’s been a few weeks since the last Must Read post, and it’s been a little quiet on the blog for a number of days…my last week was, to paraphrase from Lorelei and Rory Gilmore, more than nutty with extra nuts on top! Hardly any time for reading, let alone writing and editing. Anyhow! Back to this week’s Must Read Monday.
This week: The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork and Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard. These are two contemporary titles which I have been reading and hearing tremendous praise about, written by two authors whose work is new to me. Stork has penned critically acclaimed YA titles such as Marcelo and the Real World and others; there is just something about The Memory of Light’s description and snippets of Stork’s writing I have read that has me captivated. M-E Girard’s Girl Mans Up is a title that has slowly crept into my field of vision due to starred reviews and social media sharing, and now one that I am eager to read. Girard is not only a Canadian writer, but Girl Mans Up is also a contemporary fiction debut: two general features which immediately catch my attention as a reader.
Vicky Cruz shouldn’t be alive. That’s what she thinks, anyway—and why she tried to kill herself. But then she arrives at Lakeview Hospital, where she meets Mona, the live wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they push her to reconsider her life before Lakeview, and offer her an acceptance she’s never had. Yet Vicky’s newfound peace is as fragile as the roses that grow around the hospital. And when a crisis forces the group to split up—sending her back to the life that drove her to suicide—Vicky must find her own courage and strength. She may not have any. She doesn’t know. Inspired in part by the author’s own experience with depression, The Memory of Light is the rare young adult novel that focuses not on the events leading up to a suicide attempt, but the recovery from one—about living when life doesn’t seem worth it, and how we go on anyway.
All Pen Oliveira wants is to be the kind of girl she’s always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? They think the way she looks and acts means she’s trying to be a boy—that she should quit trying to be something she’s not. If she dresses like a girl and does what her folks want, it will show respect. If she takes orders and does what her friend Colby wants, it will show her loyalty. But respect and loyalty, Pen discovers, are empty words. Pen makes tough choices, has her friends’s backs, and is done feeling bad about who she is. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships, and strong feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth—that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she’ll have to man up.
Now a look at the blog tour coming up this week! I will participating in a tour, organized by the lovely folks at Raincoast Books, for Michaela MacColl’s newest historical YA fiction title Secrets in the Snow: A Novel of Intrigue and Romance. Secrets in the Snow is a story revolving around beloved author Jane Austen, intertwining facts of Austen’s real life with a fictionalized mystery. Take a look below at the tour schedule; the tour stops here this Wednesday, October 5th! Be sure to check out the other terrific stops on the tour as well!