It’s about the time of year where I panic about what to get my loved ones for Christmas. This year, though, I’m almost done! This must be the first time ever finding gifts for everyone before the 20th of December. Or even the 24th.
Since I’m so on top of my game, I figured I’d help everyone out if they were so inclined to buy me a book for Christmas. I made this list for me, but if you know anyone else who likes YA or fantasy they would probably love these too!
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Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth
I want, with the kind of desperation that comes from seeing a glimmer of my own life in a online synopsis, to read Animals so badly. Two friends have shared their twenties as well as a fair amount of hedonism and bad decisions, but now one friend is “growing up”. What happens when Laura settles down and marries a very responsible, stable man, but Tyler shows no signs of changing pace?
Everyone who has ever grown up with, or perhaps at a different pace, than their friends can surely relate.
Vaka Moana, Voyages of the Ancestors: The Discovery and Settlement of the Pacific by K. R. Howe (Editor)
Why do I want Vaka Moana, Voyages of the Ancestors: The Discovery and Settlement of the Pacific? I think learning about the histories of different people is fascinating and help broaden my worldview. Also, unless you live in obscurity where even Disney cannot reach you, you’ve heard about the movie Moana coming out.
There are some mixed reviews (including this one by someone who is Polynesian) about the movie, but it all seems to come out on the positive side. The main character in Moana is Moana, an adventurous teen girl who is the daughter of her father, a Polynesian chief. The movie looks super cute, and this book will help me fill in some historical background for the Polynesian folks it’s based on.
Feral Series by Cynthia Leitich Smith
The Feral series is a YA fantasy about shape-shifters living among us. You can buy all three on Amazon, which is what I would probably do because I hate starting a series and having to wait to find the rest of them! Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek), delves into relevant and deep themes through the three books with her sexy shapeshifting characters.
The first volume, Feral Nights (2013), which has characters from her “Tantalize” series (Candlewick), follows Yoshi, a werecat, while he looks for his sister Ruby.. In the second installment, Feral Curse (2014), Kayla must navigate the human world as a werecat in hiding. She also introduces us to an Osage character named Jess who, in the third entry, Feral Pride (2015), shows the painful ostracization of the were-people from humans who see them as a frightening “other”.
I’ve been wanting to read this series since I heard about it on the post “Teen Books by Native Writers to Trumpet Year-Round” by Debbie Reese.
Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel by Helen Oyeyemi
I am extraordinarily intrigued by Helen Oyeyemi and works, though I haven’t read any of it yet. Most of her words whip through dreamscapes and fairy tales, turning the familiar into something uncanny and fascinating.
Boy, Snow, Bird follows Boy, a black woman who escapes her abusive father and moves to Massachusetts and marries a widower, Snow, her step-daughter, and Bird, her son who is unexpectedly born with dark skin. The novel plays with the childhood story Snow White to explore beauty, race, family, and appearances.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
I’ll be honest, I creep on authors on Twitter. That’s how I found out about If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (@Mer_Squared if you want to be creepy on social media like me). This book is a teen love story, but I promise you that this teen love story has not been told very often.
It would take hours to list all of the books I want to read, but this is a pretty good start. Obviously, this doesn’t even include graphic novels or zines or poetry books or any of the other wonderful readable things in this world.