November Book Recommendations

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

First, you should know that I will read everything Jason Reynolds writes. I'm unapologetically biased. Just read his dedication: For all the young brothers and sisters in detention centers around the country, the ones I've seen and the ones I haven't. You are loved. That's why he is at the top of my list of authors to lovingly (and non threateningly) stalk. 
And I really loved the premise of this book. Will is grieving and understandably angry by his brother's death, and he is dealing with his feelings the only way he knows how: An eye for an eye. I also love that this is a novel written in verse. And that there are some fantastical elements to the plot. However, I wanted to know Will a little more. There were details that were missing from my interpretation of his character, and perhaps that was planned, but I think I wanted the picture more clearly painted. Because I do have such a fondness for Reynolds, I may just read this again - just to catch what I may have missed.

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They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

They both really do die at the end. I wanted to spare you the anguish I felt, hoping that Silvera was just messing with us and then finding out that he was actually telling the truth. So there you have it. The premise of the book is so unique - that's what makes this book absolutely worth reading. Additionally, it's a life story, a love story, and a goodbye story.

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Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

You can't trust anyone in this book - not the narrator, her momma, the justice system... This is the story of Mary, a 15 year old black girl who is "rehabilitated" in a group home for killing a white baby six years earlier. Mary reminds us repeatedly that she ALLEGEDLY murdered this baby, despite being convicted and spending most of her jail time in solitary confinement. Her time spent in baby jail is followed by disappointment after injustice after abuse. And then it all repeats until the end when you will be left with a smidgen of hope for Mary and a bunch of grief. Even still, readitreaditreadit. 

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Laila SangurasComment