We’re halfway through March and have been busy putting together fresh displays, diving into new releases, and planning for upcoming Teen events! Plus– it’s Women’s History Month! What feminist reads are on your TBR pile?!
New releases with strong female characters
Internment by Samira Ahmed
We’ve been waiting for this book for months and are so excited it’s finally here! We fell in love with Samira Ahmed with her debut teen fiction novel, Love, Hate, & Other Filters. In Internment, Ahmed returns with another amazing protagonist in Layla Amin. Our Kids Events & Marketing Coordinator Eugenia devoured this book! She says: “It’s two years after the election. Layla Amin lives in a new world– one with a strict curfew and regular book burnings, where she’s no longer free to hold hands in public with her white boyfriend. Now, her family is forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens, dealing with the hatred and abuse of the camp’s Director and his guards, as well as the horrifying uncertainty of whatever’s unfolding outside the camp’s walls. INTERNMENT is a riveting, ferocious read that will keep you up at night, a story about complicity and cowardice, strength, vulnerability, and hope– starring a heroine you will never forget.”
Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young
This book is being called “Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale” and we are IN! The girls at Innovations Academy are beautiful and obedient under the direction of their Guardian. Even though their lives seem to be controlled, the girls will uncover the dark secrets of the Academy– including who they are and why they’re there. A creepy and irresistible read full of twists and turns for lovers of YA thrillers and sci-fi!
Sherwood by Meagan Spooner
Fans of Marissa Meyer and Danielle Paige will LOVE this fairy tale retelling, in which Marian follows Robin Hood’s footsteps after he dies. There have been many versions of Robin Hood over the years, but we’re excited about this one– will we see Marian become her own hero?! Art Director Tomoko read it and says: “As someone who devoured every Robin Hood story I could get my hands on as a kid, I admit I was apprehensive. Would it hold up? Pressured to read by raves from other booksellers, I’m so glad I read Sherwood! Sherwood hits all the familiar beats–the rivalry with Guy of Gisborne, escapades of the Merry Men in the woods (even Alan-a-Dale!), the archery contest–but with a lot of fresh detail to flesh everything out…and, of course, all the gender-bending! While Spooner thoughtfully handles grief and trauma, and writes fantastic action, one of my favorite things she does in Sherwood is play with perspective. While it’s nearly all from Marian’s POV, her perspective is challenged in ways that I feel we all should be challenged. What makes someone a bad person? Your first impressions? Their ambition? The fervent desire to abide by law you don’t agree with? Marian is fiery, passionate, and driven and I love how capable, skilled, and powerful she is, as both herself and Robin Hood. I also love that Spooner allows her to grow as a person and challenges notions of what truly makes a difference in the world. It’s hefty, at 500 pages, but never sags, and cleverly builds on a fantastic, familiar world, giving the reader so much food for thought.”
Recent bookseller faves with great female relationships
Will B. LOVED Jeff Zentner’s new book, Rayne & Delila’s Midnite Matinee! He says: “I used to love watching horror features, and part of what was great about them was the hosts! I loved the Crypt Keeper and Elvira! I loved that this was a book about exactly that! Two girls, Delia and Josie, who host a horror feature show on public access! They are nearing graduation and have been doing rather well by the show! They are syndicated in a few other towns, they actually have fans that write in, and most of all they have each other! Josie has always wanted to be in television and her parents have been pressuring her to take an internship in another city that might help kickstart that career. Delia struggles with feelings of inadequacy and feels like everyone in her life she wants to stay ends up leaving her behind. Most importantly her father! But when they line up a meeting with an important producer who might be able to help them take their show to the next level, they decide to head to Shivercon and meet him, and maybe even track down her father. A warm and uproarious novel I really enjoyed this one. It had a very sharp wit at times but the characters, and the struggles we all face at that age, are still presented to us through a sympathetic lens. I highly recommend this to those looking for a great tale of friendship interspersed with the awesome pulpy horror aspects of our favorite creature features!”
Bookseller MK, who’s partial to YA and horror, recently read and loved Sawkill Girls and has been recommending it nonstop! She says: “I am absolutely OBSESSED with this book. It is scary and wonderful and the message of the power of female friendship is one for the ages. It is truly a modern classic in the making. It is also the first book I’ve ever read with an openly asexual character which was really fantastic for diversity in literature. I really hope there’s a sequel.”
Upcoming events with women we admire
Twenty years after the release of Speak, the groundbreaking novel that opened the door for dialogue on rape culture and consent, Laurie Halse Anderson has written a poetic memoir that dives into her childhood, her own experience as a survivor of sexual assault, her relationship with her father, traveling abroad, and much more. Anderson has always been a huge advocate for survivors of sexual assault and we are so honored to host her along with former Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, founding director of Deeds Not Words, to talk about this important book. Get your tickets and join us April 5th at Central Presbyterian Church!
We are obsessed with this book! YES SHE CAN is a collection of personal stories by young women who worked in the Obama White House. It is filled with tales of courage and gumption, and we guarantee you will feel inspired and ready to change the world by the end of the book! Some of the contributors will be at BookPeople May 6th— come listen to their stories and get your book signed!