Here’s what I’ve recently added to my TBR.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erica L. Sanchéz
What it’s about (from Amazon): The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home.
Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandontheir family.
But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.
Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.
But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?
Why I added it: I teach in a border town, and I’m always looking for #OwnVoices stories for my students. So much of what they read does not reflect their culture. Or if it does, there’s the danger of stereotypes. So I’m always down for a book that potentially reflects their lived experiences authentically.
Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
What it’s about (from Amazon): Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.
Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.
Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.
Why I added it: I loved Graceling. It took me forever to actually pick up Fire (I’m not a fan of changing narrators in a series), but when I did, I thought it was amazing. I’m excited to see another book from Cashore. It comes out on September 19, and I already have it on hold at the library.
Dust of 100 Dogs by A. S. King
What it’s about (from Amazon): In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with “the dust of one hundred dogs,” dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.
Now she’s a contemporary American teenager and all she needs to escape her no-good family and establish a luxurious life of her own is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica…
Why I added it: As of right now, Dust of 100 Dogs is the only book by A. S. King that I don’t own and haven’t read. She’s a great friend to English teachers, and because she takes the time to interact with my students, which is amazing (I think sometimes my students forget that PEOPLE write books), and her writing is fabulous, I read everything she writes. The paperback is being rereleased on October 3, so I think I’ll pick it up then.