I love fantasy stories. I love when there’s someone risking everything they have and love for the better of a group or nation of people. I love people who fight against adversity and maybe they don’t always win, but they don’t quit. And while stories like this one aren’t fantasy, it’s the heroism and strength of its characters that make you wonder if fantasy is based on real life.
Summer seems to be a slower time for books. There’s still many coming out, but less so than the winter months. Perhaps it’s because book people are more winter people? Who knows.
But as the season gets warmer, here’s some fun books publishing in July that I’m excited about! Mark your calendars because even though there aren’t as many books I’m excited about, the ones on this list are going to be amazing.
As a reminder, this is just a list of all the books publishing in July that I’m excited about. I know I’m probably missing a lot here, but I wanted to highlight the ones I would read myself. Hope you enjoy!
This is a little bit different from what I normally do, but I was perusing Twitter when I saw this:
In my head, I was hyperventilating. I had heard Tahereh Mafi was going to move away from her high fantasy books to write something that felt much more autobiographical.
I knew that it would be about being Muslim American and the months and years after 9/11.
However, I didn’t think I would get to read an excerpt from the book. I didn’t think I would read it today, a few days after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the travel ban from Muslim-oriented countries.
Here’s what the book is about
It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.
Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.
But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.
So I read the excerpt while slurping spicy noodles for lunch and right off the bat, I knew that this will be another amazing story about Muslim Americans that needs to be boosted on all social media platforms. Since this exclusive excerpt was shared on Entertainment Weekly, I’ll share the link to that article below:
Now, even though I’ve only read this excerpt and highly anticipating reading the rest of this novel, I do want to share some quotes and reflections that resonated with me. You can find these after the jump!
I approach this novel like it was another diverse read with a distinct voice from an Asian American author. What I got was a heck of a lot more. I’ve also got a cute trailer for the book I want to share. Check it out below!
I haven’t read a book that made me mad in a really long time. I’m glad that this book was the break from that. When I get mad at a book that’s really good, it’s because of how it all played out and what the outcome of everyone’s actions led to. It’s been a really long time since I felt this way and honestly, I appreciate the anger.
It took me a quick second to get into this book, but once I got into it I was hooked. I’ve read a lot of fantasy and this has to be one of the best fantasies I’ve read in a while.
I didn’t think this was an easy read. I didn’t think this was one of those grip you and take you on an adventure kind of books either. It was a thinker. It was a delicious meal and I wanted to savor every bite.
I’ll admit, this is one of those books I picked up because the cover was gorgeous. I’d never heard of Mary HK Choi or the work she’s done, but I knew she wrote a YA for the current generation of kids and that it was epic. The cover seemed like a bonus.