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The first month of 2016 has passed, leaving a new calendar (mine is decorated with images of lighthouses, two of which are in my favorite place in the world, Long Island), and mostly-on-track resolutions (at least in my case) in its wake. And the turn of the month brings exciting news to Forever Literary—I've decided to try monthly wrap-up posts this year! I'll be featuring the books I read, the books I added to my to-read list, and a few events from my life; let me know what you think in the comments.
Books I Read
- Don't Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche // A smart and sensitive look at the way race and class shape our lives, combined with a fun yet emotionally-charged road trip
- The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes // A political thriller with highly intelligent yet relatable characters (but beware the cliffhanger)
- Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin // A gripping, emotional, and cleverly imagined alternate post-World War II history with plenty of plot twists
- A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood // A diverse feminist historical anthology with some stories that I enjoyed less than others but that overall impressed me
- All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes // Another thrilling addition to the Naturals series, featuring a math-themed series of murders as well as the usual team of brilliant-minded characters
- A Separate Peace by John Knowles // A subtle story about identity, both personal and interpersonal
Books I Added to My TBR
- Bone Gap by Laura Ruby // I've heard wonderful things about this one, but I put off reading it because—I'll be completely honest—as someone with a phobia of bugs, that bee on the cover freaks me out. But when it won the Printz award, the hype (and my newfound love of magical realism) won out, and I added it to my TBR.
- The Possibility of Now by Kim Culbertson // This book is about an overachieving perfectionist; in other words, I relate already. I can't wait to cheer for Mara as she learns to balance her stress after having a meltdown during a calculus exam.
- The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter // I first heard about this book when Becky Albertalli sung its praises on Twitter. After reading Simon, I'm inclined to automatically take all of her recommendations, but this novel about mental illness sounds literary and emotional in its own right.
- The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry // This book sounds deep, thought-provoking, and mystical, and according to the blurb, it "perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school." Post-graduation read this summer? I think yes.
- The Gallery by Laura Marx Fitzgerald // Middle grade historical mysteries constitute one of my favorite genres, so this story about a twelve-year-old uncovering the secrets of the mansion where she works as a maid in 1929 New York sounds right up my alley. And besides, that cover would convince me all on its own.
- Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher // I loved Ketchup Clouds, Annabel Pitcher's quirky, uniquely-voiced previous novel. So when I discovered the author's upcoming novel via The Novl newsletter (if you're not on the mailing list, you should be; you're missing out on animal GIFs, bookish news, and ARC giveaways), I wasted no time in adding it to my TBR list, as it sounds equally charming.
- The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos // This psychological mystery promises to explore the bonds between family and the secrets we keep from ourselves.
- We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson // I've never before seen a YA novel that tackles the truth of our incomprehensible insignificance as humans. This book, complete with issues ranging from real-world grief to alien abductions, is sure to be groundbreaking.
- We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach // This pre-apocalyptic novel about a mismatched crew of teenagers bonding over an impending asteroid collision sounds thought-provoking and well-characterized.
In My Life
- I rang in the new year in Long Island, New York. My grandparents live there, and my family always visits over winter break. This year's trip was as glorious and relaxing as usual, and it left me feeling refreshed and ready to make 2016 a productive year.
- I started my last semester of high school! I'm in five AP classes, so I'm already incrementally reviewing for the exams. And of course, I'm waiting for final acceptances and financial aid decisions to come in, applying and interviewing for scholarships, and trying to decide what school to attend next year.
- I finished reading The Mysterious Benedict Society to my seven-year-old sister. A re-read of my favorite middle-grade series is exactly what I need right now, and I can't wait to continue to share the brilliant story of Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance.
- I've been planning a project that I'm really excited about with my friends Aneeqah and Willa. Nothing is solidified yet, but stay tuned for a big announcement.
How was your January? Is your 2016 off to a good start? And what do you think about monthly wrap-up posts—should I add, get rid of, or change anything on mine?