It’s that time of year. Yes, your inbox gets clogged full of favorites lists and you wonder do we really need another one. Yes. We do. Some bloggers babble about the books that became their favorites this year. Enjoy.
The Deep by Rivers Solomon (with Clipping.)
There are nonbinary characters. There are mermaids with fangs. It takes the trauma of enslaved black people and provides a story of survival and hope. Solomon weaves memories of the past and present and seemlessly built that into their narrative on the trauma survivors carry from their ancestors. I reviewed it here.
The indigenous feminisms going on in this book is gorgeous. There’s PTSD rep, indigenous rep, and black rep. The characters can’t be put into stereotypes. There’s soft love and a narrative on toxic love vs healthy love. It is honestly one of the books I cannot stop thinking about. I frequently find myself just babbling to random people I meet about this book. If hardened girls breaking your heart is your thing? Please do me a favor and read this.
Whenever someone asks what books should I read? This. What books should I read by indigenous authors? This. By trans and/or 2 spirit authors? THIS. I cannot even talk rationally about how gorgeous her writing is. She has edgy feminist prose that stabs you until you are gasping. She takes all of her experiences as a Nêhiyaw, Two-Spirit, Trans Woman and shows you her beauty, her pain, her relationships. Her words fight for her transness, her femininity, her indigeneity to welcome other people with similiar experiences. I am not elegant or articulate with some books. This is one of them.
The feminist revenge against the GOT writers you need in your life. If that doesn’t interest you….what the fuck then? I reviewed it here.
This did not come out this year. I know that. You probably should know that. But….let’s just ignore this. It’s a feminist book where a black girl gets to be the princess. It’s STEM. It’s anti-colonialism. I don’t often like contemporary romance but Alyssa Cole is a WHOLE genius.
A plus size heroine gets to be the star of the romance novel. It’s written by a plus size woman. I felt very happy after reading this. It’s one of those books that actually changed how I view myself. I don’t think many authors think about the imporantance of showing diverse body types but I can honestly say I felt very seen after reading this. I will happily support Maclean trying to chip at misogynistic tropes in historial romance. She is doing good work. I reviewed this book here.
Real quick: all of my favorite books this year start with the letter “T” and it kind of freaks me out for some reason…
I honestly just can’t praise this series enough. Sherry Thomas is one of the brightest authors I’ve ever read, and I don’t mean that strictly in a “she’s a talented writer” kind of way, though she is. What I mean is that she believably writes a genius character in this series, and that takes another level of intelligence to pull off. See my review for the first in the series here.
This book gave me serious chills. In the best way. Part mystery, part romance, and part revenge-thriller, Aguirre is a writer at the peak of her game. I learned a lot about myself while reading this: chiefly, where I fall on the sociopath spectrum. Because I was HERE for the bloody finale. You can read my full review here or watch it on YouTube.
This book prompted me to create a YouTube channel. Need I say more?
This book reads like a really good season of The Vikings, only with way more magic and much more likable main characters. I absolutely loved the lore, and the world building, while extensive, was so seamlessly integrated into the story that it never once felt like I was reading an info dump. There are a few romantic subplots, but this reads more like a character driven fantasy. I went so far as to cosplay as Lagertha for my video review of this one.
There’s nothing I love more than brainy erotica. Because, at heart, I am a romance reader. Sure, I dabble in fantasy and history and contemporary literature, but if there isn’t at least a hint of a romantic subplot, you bet your ass I’ll probably knock a half star off the rating. Sure, I’ll chalk it up to some other “reason”, but that’s bullshit. Don’t judge me. This is brainy erotica at its best. Find out what I mean by that here.
This is one of those books that I only gave four stars to, but has stuck with me throughout the year, winning a spot on this list above other books that I rated higher. Which means I need to go back and up my rating. It’s a haunting mystery that reminds me a little of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, only with a much more likable and intriguing cast of characters. Read my full review here.