January always brings a new wave of enthusiasm for a reader—you have a chance to leave behind last year’s goals, the disappointing reads, and the sadness of not getting a chance to pick up your most anticipated books the entire year. And while I did read quite a few books in this first month of 2022, I had bigger goals for the start of this year. Anyway, out of the ten books I read, six really won my heart with how refreshing, exciting, and emotional they were.
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Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin, Tr. Aneesa Abbas Higgins by is a poetically translated literary fiction featuring short chapters, playing out the stillness of a cold Korean city on the edge of the world, and commenting through its ruminations about food, art, bodies, and borders. For All Time by Shanna Miles is a genre-bending YA romance that hopefully traverses tragedy and fate across multiple timelines through star-crossed lovers, shifting perspectives of two Black teenagers, and the inevitability of what’s meant to be. Minor Detail by Adania Shibli, Tr. Elisabeth Jacquette is partly painful, partly disturbing but wholly honest and impacting translated fiction where a Palestinian woman, in near-present, tries to uncover the details of an Arab woman’s rape & murder in 1949—a year after the Nakba.
Jade Fire Gold by June CL Tan is a captivating adventure full of secrets where characters grapple with family legacies and find a balance in a chaotic world of magic as a YA fantasy that borrows xianxia elements and is inspired by Chinese mythology. If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich is a YA queer romance between two members of a famous boy band told through voices aligning with their identity and showcases the pop industry’s problematic chase for reputation, fame, and perfection. Only a Monster by Vanessa Len is a page-turning YA fantasy with a dark edge featuring enemy soulmates, a time travel battle, a magical underworld, mind-blowing twists, enemies-to-lovers, and an ending that leaves you heartbroken yet hopeful.
what was the best book you read in january? 💗