How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones
Saeed Jones brings forth a daunting recollection of his journey towards individuality and self-acceptance. These, at times poignant, vignettes had me wanting to reach through the pages and give Saeed the embrace that I knew we both needed.
I will admit I was not aware of his existence until stumbling into, or really being blessed with, a kind lend from another book friend, but only a few pages had me looking deep into his poetry collection. His voice is sensual, daring, and electric in its confessionals– not to mention one of a kind. I could relate to his pain, his desires, his Blackness, his humanity…but it’s the uniqueness of Saeed’s own voice that kept me engaged. Time and time again he pushed forward in his re-accounts to trauma’s and discoveries in a tone that requires reflection. We fight for our lives by choosing to live in the beauty, destruction, and love of our own truths
The Ash Family by Molly Dektar
Under the guise of an idyllic rural community, a luring and seductive cult in the grasslands of North Carolina snake-charms our main character, Harmony, into ecocentrism-based machinations. Unbeknownst to us, a violent anger waits patiently behind charming barn doors. Author Molly Dektar unsettles us right out of our reading nook as she builds the tensions to explosive proportions.
So, my book friend, please tread lightly and enjoy Dektar’s lush scenery—before you know it, the blood-soaked soil our cultists tilled will soon seep into our visage, and we will be horrified when it does.
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
I adored this book. So many stories about queer kids are about discovering sexualities and learning how to be proud and open about them, but Juliet Takes a Breath instead focuses on another hugely crucial experience for queer teens. Much like elements of my own experiences, Juliet struggles with finding queer mentors, adults that understand what she’s going through and that she can learn how to be healthily queer and healthily a woman of color. So much of queer history has been erased, either deliberately or due to the AIDS crisis, and so learning about your queer history isn’t necessarily easy, doubly so when you’re also a brown woman. I loved watching Juliet learn more about the cultures she knows she’s a part of and figuring out exactly where she fits in.
Join us here next week when we round-up more blurbs and recommendations from your favorite BookFriends over at BookPeople!