I read We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal sometime back. I joined the discord chat which was so much fun. This book really surprised me. This book is a good example of what I would love to see from Young Adult Fantasy in the future. It uses prose to say something about what is going on in the story so brilliantly. That and I feel the prose is at a higher standard than what I have ever seen in YA fantasy. It doesn’t simplify things for a young audience. It has depth that would appeal to adult fantasy readers.
This tag was originally created by Rameela from Star Is All Booked Up. Check out her post here. I was tagged by Fanna from Fanna For Books. You can read her post here. I did not know who to tag so whoever wants to do it really.
angsty boy A character that’s conflicted/at war with themselves
Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse deals with kids having to address a world that makes safety an uphill battle. Nizhoni and her brother must save their father from an evil oil tycoon. A monster is disguised as an evil billionaire. Nizhoni’s mother left them when she very little. She’s quite angsty (yes for more justifably angsty girls) and deals with a lot of trials and tribulations that Native kids are forced to deal with. The environment is being destroyed. The American government doesn’t give them the rights they should. White men are infiltrating their land. Her mother is torn from her and her family. Her father can only do so much. Nizhoni reacts the way kids realistically do, not how we want them to appear in our fiction. She is angry. She is emotional. She wants her mother but doesn’t want to admit the pain she feels.
Kifah Darwish: A book with lots of food in it (or another foodie character
Obviously I’m gonna choose my favorite. The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso is so food full. The author writes so deliciously about Filipino food. It makes me cry, honestly. I would love to taste things the way Villoso describes food. It is so lush and brutal, the way the characters gorge and rip into their food similanteous with the slashing and gore of the politics of the world.
Benyamin Haadi: A book with a “Mom” character (or a book with wisdom you didn’t seek)
Nynaeve from Robert Jordan’s the Eye of the World was such a mom. I really love her but the girl is too cute. She’s in her 20s and not that much older than the gaggling band of teenagers but she acts like she’s their mom. Nynaeve is a very complicated character. Her building relationship with Lan though. I SHIP IT. Very on board with guardian/magical scholar relationships.
Altair Al-Badawi: A Secretive character (or a book that kept you guessing)
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh was one of the most lush and exciting books I read when it came out. It revitalized a lot of the love I had lost for YA fantasy. It’s just fluffy fun. I enjoyed the slow burn and the chemistry between the two characters. I honestly did not know where this was going to end up given the story that it’s based on. I feel that Ahdieh’s prose is so engaging that it’s addicitve. She has honestly one of the most addictive writing styles that I’ve read. I don’t really like SJM but I feel that SJM has got nothing on Ahieh when it comes to addictive fantasy novels. Try Ahdieh.
A simp A pure cinnamon roll
This was my first ownvoices plus size romance and I was not disappointed. It’s a beauty and the beast retelling but Maclean refuses to buy into the more toxic tropes that other authors write into their retellings. She doesn’t use scars or ableism to pin her story upon. Whit is a total cinnamon roll. He keeps knifes on him (because it’s the seven dials) but also sweet lemon drops. Books scatter his appartment. He is very fluffy and loves Hattie so very much it makes my heart break. So literally a cinnamon roll.
Yasmine Ra’ad: A Character you wouldn’t want on your bad side
Cold Iron Heart is an adult historical fantasy set in New Orleans during the turn of the 20th century. It’s incredibly atmospheric and prose heavy. Also faeries! Irial is the Dark King. He’s one of those unpredictable characters where he can be very soft and sweet one moment and utterly sinister, knifes out, i will burn it to the ground until i have tortured you type of creature. In that sense, he’s one of the more scary characters I’ve read. He’s beautiful yet cruel. Funny thing is though that he’s the love interest in this book. Heh. Definitely my kind of book. Obviously.
Lana bint Iskandar: A character that has to grow up too quickly : (
Lobizona has to be one of the most fun books I’ve read all year. Yes, it’s impactful and full of politics but it’s also just a ride into a world I never would have guessed could be cemented on page. Manu’s mother is taken by ICE and she is suddenly thrown into this magical world inspired by Argentine lore but eerily alike Argentine’s own violent history with nationalism, dictatorship, and rebellion. No young girl should have to live what she lives through but this is the world she is in. She is admirable to me. I would never want to live and experience what she does but I am absolutely there for Manu and other kids that know the life she knows all too well.