Welcome to What I’ve Been Reading Lately, a feature where I’ll be giving short reviews of what I’m currently reading:
Wrecked by Louisa Reid
Joe and Imogen seem like the perfect couple – they’ve been in a relationship for years and are the envy of their friends at school. But after accidentally becoming involved a tragic fatal accident, they become embroiled in a situation out of their control, and Joe and Imogen’s relationship becomes slowly unravelled until the truth is out there for all to see … Structured around a dramatic and tense court case, the reader becomes both judge and jury in a stunning and page-turning novel of uncovering secrets and lies – who can be believed? (Credit: Guppy Books)
I’m halfway through this novel in verse and I’m already hooked! Just like previous verse reads, this gut-wrenching story really shows how some romantic relationships can be destructive.
Lady Joker Vol. 1 Kaoru Takamura, translated by Allison Markin Powell and Marie Iida
Tokyo, 1995. Five men meet at the racetrack every Sunday to bet on horses. They have little in common except a deep disaffection with their lives, but together they represent the social struggles and griefs of post-War Japan: a poorly socialized genius stuck working as a welder; a demoted detective with a chip on his shoulder; a Zainichi Korean banker sick of being ostracized for his race; a struggling single dad of a teenage girl with Down syndrome. The fifth man bringing them all together is an elderly drugstore owner grieving his grandson, who has died suspiciously after the revelation of a family connection with the segregated buraku community, historically subjected to severe discrimination.
Intent on revenge against a society that values corporate behemoths more than human life, the five conspirators decide to carry out a heist: kidnap the CEO of Japan’s largest beer conglomerate and extract blood money from the company’s corrupt financiers. (Credit: Soho Crime)
This one is going to be slow read for me and not only because it will be in two volumes, but it has a lot of characters that I have to pay attention to and very intricate storytelling. Listening to the audiobook has helped, nevertheless, it is an intriguing read so far.
They told you that you need to be thin and beautiful.
They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night, and move in groups–never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels.
They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to reveal too much.
They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you’ll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it’s fine for the boys, but you should know your place.
They told you “that’s not for girls”–“take it as a compliment”–“don’t rock the boat”–“that’ll go straight to your hips.”
They told you “beauty is on the inside,” but you knew they didn’t really mean it.
Well, screw that. Laura Bates is here to tell you something else.
Hilarious, bold, and unapologetic, Girl Up exposes the truth about the pressures surrounding body image, the false representations in media, the complexities of sex and relationships, the trials of social media, and all the other lies society has told us.
Laura Bates always kicks ass with her writing and this blunt and straightforward manual really highlights to myths behind body images, uncovers false representations in media and just gives girls and women an opportunity to just be themselves, despite society telling them otherwise.
Earthlings by Sayaka Murata
As a child, Natsuki doesn’t fit in with her family. Her parents favor her sister, and her best friend is a plush toy hedgehog named Piyyut, who talks to her. He tells her that he has come from the planet Popinpobopia on a special quest to help her save the Earth. One summer, on vacation with her family and her cousin Yuu in her grandparents’ ramshackle wooden house in the mountains of Nagano, Natsuki decides that she must be an alien, which would explain why she can’t seem to fit in like everyone else. Later, as a grown woman, living a quiet life with her asexual husband, Natsuki is still pursued by dark shadows from her childhood, and decides to flee the “baby factory” of society for good, searching for answers about the vast and frightening mysteries of the universe–answers only Natsuki has the power to uncover. (Credit: Grove Press)
What I Plan to Read Next:
Only On The Weekends by Dean Atta
Expected Publication Date: May 24
Mack. Karim. Finlay. Mack never thought he’d find love, let alone with two people. Will he make the right choice? And can love last for ever? A must-read queer love story for fans of Sex Education, written in verse by Dean Atta.
Fifteen-year-old Mack is a hopeless romantic – he blames the films he’s grown up watching. He has liked Karim for as long as he can remember, and is ecstatic when Karim becomes his boyfriend – it feels like love.
But when Mack’s dad gets a job on a film in Scotland, Mack has to move, and soon hediscovers how painful love can be. It’s horrible being so far away from Karim, but the worst part is that Karim doesn’t make the effort to visit. Love shouldn’t be only on the weekends.
Then, when Mack meets actor Finlay on a film set, he experiences something powerful, a feeling like love at first sight. How long until he tells Karim – and when will his old life and new life collide? (Credit: Balzer + Bray)
Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner
Expected Publication Date: May 17
In this motivational collection, Satoru Iwata addresses diverse subjects such as locating bottlenecks, how success breeds resistance to change, and why programmers should never say no. Drawn from the Iwata Asks series of interviews with key contributors to Nintendo games and hardware, and featuring conversations with renowned Mario franchise creator Shigeru Miyamoto and creator of EarthBound Shigesato Itoi, Ask Iwata offers game fans and business leaders an insight into the leadership, development and design philosophies of one of the most beloved figures in gaming history. (Credit: Viz Media)
All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue
After Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet during her in-school suspension, she quickly becomes the most sought-after diviner at St. Bernadette’s Catholic school. But when Maeve’s ex-best friend, Lily, draws an unsettling card called The Housekeeper that Maeve has never seen before, the session devolves into a heated argument that ends with Maeve wishing aloud that Lily would disappear. When Lily isn’t at school the next Monday, Maeve learns her ex-friend has vanished without a trace.
Shunned by her classmates and struggling to preserve a fledgling romance with Lily’s gender-fluid sibling, Roe, Maeve must dig deep into her connection with the cards to search for clues the police cannot find–even if they lead to the terrifying Housekeeper herself. Set in an Irish town where the church’s tight hold has loosened and new freedoms are trying to take root, this sharply contemporary story is witty, gripping, and tinged with mysticism. (Credit: Walker Books)
Medusa by Jessie Burton and Illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill
Exiled to a far-flung island by the whims of the gods, Medusa has little company except the snakes that adorn her head instead of hair. But when a charmed, beautiful boy called Perseus arrives on the island, her lonely existence is disrupted with the force of a supernova, unleashing desire, love and betrayal… (Credit: Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
And The Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando
An emotionally rich and current story of suicide, mental health, bullying, grief and growing up around social media.
When fifteen-year-old Nathan discovers that his older brother Al has taken his own life, his whole world is torn apart.
Al was special.
Al was talented.
Al was full of passion and light…so why did he do it?
Convinced that his brother was in trouble, Nathan begins to retrace his footsteps. And along the way, he meets Megan. Al’s former classmate, who burns with the same fire and hope, who is determined to keep Al’s memory alive. But when Nathan learns the horrifying truth behind his brother’s suicide, one question remains – how do you survive, when you’re growing up in the age of social media? (Credit: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK)