What We’re Reading This Week

incendiariesThe Incendiaries by R.O Kwon

Frustrating, chill-raising, and oh so good, The Incendiaries is just what the title implies—an explosive attack of raw emotion, psychological exploration, and examination of humanity’s darkest impulses. Written from multiple perspectives, the novel follows the disjointed love story of Will and Phoebe, two college students refusing to acknowledge their painful pasts. Kwon has you rooting for her characters at the same time that you’re cursing their actions. Faith, love, and human fragility are at the forefront of this novel, and I, for one, can not put it down!

—Savannah

poet x

Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Poet X is a beautifully written book about a young afro-latinx woman in Harlem finding her voice through poetry. Xiomara is lost. She doesn’t know if she believes in God anymore; she’s begun to develop feelings for a boy in class; she can no longer hide from jeers and unwanted attention in her neighborhood. Her only salvation is her leather notebook, a gift from her brother, Twin. In there, she pours out all of her frustrations, questions, feelings, and secrets. When Xiomara catches the attention of her English teacher who sees her talent as a poet, she decides she can no longer be quiet. But will the world want to hear her?

—Natasha

empress of all seasons

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

This debut book from Emiko Jean is a whirlwind fantasy set in a Japanese-influenced world populated by both humans and yokai. The emperor is set to host a competition to choose a bride for his son—a deadly competition in which young women race through the hazards of the magical Seasonal Rooms. But not all is well in the Imperial City . . . Layered gorgeously with Japanese folklore, Empress of All Seasons is a vibrant and rich story that turns so many tropes on their heads, while fleshing out a world of magic, wonder, and power. I’m so excited to see such thorough depictions of the rarely-tapped japanese mythology outside of manga/anime and I hope Emiko Jean has dozens more stories up her sleeves. We’re hosting an event with Emiko Jean, Robin LaFevers, Megan Shepherd, and Rebecca Schaeffer on November 14th at 7pm. Mark your calendars and don’t miss it!

—Tomoko

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