We are 10 days into April and the temperature has spiked to over 70 degrees in New York. This always happens! It’s cold, spring says hi for a quick minute, it gets cold again, and suddenly we are being teased with summer. I mean, nothing is definite but the warm sun on my face, my winter jacket hanging in my closet, and the reopened froyo place in my neighborhood are certainly a nice change of pace. To get back to books, April is a monster book month and my wallet is starting to sweat. Shopping thoughtfully for books is so tough when they are so many wonderful-sounding ones hitting the shelves. The library to the rescue!
Here are 3 books I adored in March
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Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg / Goodreads | Amazon | B&N / Throwback! I first read this book back in 2013. I remember sitting in my parent’s backyard and pouring over this story. I never forgot about the main character, Rafe. Rafe leaves the comfort of his out and proud life in Denver to go to boarding school in Massachusetts — where he decides not to declare himself gay. He’s just Rafe, free of labels for the first time in a long time, except he learns that not labeling himself actually leads to a lot of wrong labels and a super intense friendship with Ben, a sensitive jock at school, makes his new life spiral out of even more control. I love this book so much. It might be one of my top 10 EVER and for someone who reads at the speed I do, that’s saying a lot. I re-read it in March to gear up for the release of the sequel, Honestly Ben. It felt so wonderful to reunite with this cast of characters, relive the raw, beautiful moments, and see how the stories of these two character grew from one book to the next. Bill is THE KING of writing about sexual identification. | Young adult book from Scholastic Books; May 28, 2013.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour / Goodreads | Amazon | B&N / Oh. My. Gosh. Hands down one of the most beautiful books I’ve read ever. Beautifully painful as the main character, Marin, finds herself deep in an ocean of grief after her grandfather passes away. She’s an orphan, away at college, and ignoring everyone in her old life — including her best friend who she sorta kinda totally had a thing with. This book is gorgeously packaged, it’s succinct and poetic, and it made me cry in my cubicle. I secretly sent it to a friend and she called me a book therapist because I had sent her a book she didn’t even know she needed. (She is not a regular YA reader and I love to send her these books. They defy age when they touch us emotionally.) This is an important book about family, finding your people, making mistakes, and forgiveness. Do not, do not miss it. | Young adult book from Dutton Books; February 14, 2017.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas / Goodreads | Amazon | B&N / With this book topping the New York Times bestseller list for a few weeks in a row now, it front row and center on the shelves at B&N, I almost hesitate to mention it because surely, this means people are hearing about it and doing the right thing: buying it. But I need to make sure. Angie Thomas has created such a detailed, honest, all too realistic story as Starr Carter sees her childhood friend shot in front of her eyes when they are pulled over for a broken taillight by police. #BlackLivesMatter, calling friends out on their own racism, being caught between two lives, discovering our strength, and finding support in our family and friends. I want to buy a copy of this book for everyone, especially after the past 100 days with our new president in office. It’s not easy to read but it’s so multi-layered that I was surprised by the moments I was smiling and laughing because Starr’s family dynamics are incredible. | Young adult book from Balzer + Bray; February 28, 2017.
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Okay, April! You better knock my socks off. 🙂 Oh, if you are looking for some podcast recommendations, I’m highly suggesting Nerdette’s interview with Roxane Gay and Kelly Jensen AND Yoga Girl’s Manifesting Abundance episode.
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Until next time…xoxo