RaveBooklistCandid and uplifting ... This book is a clarion call to families and communities to provide crucial support to young people, particularly young Black men.
Chantal V. Johnson
MixedBooklistThe reader discovers that Vivian embodies the titular \'post-traumatic\' to the fullest, setting the tone for this somewhat depressing novel with a wounded, difficult protagonist. Vivian ruminates endlessly about her interactions with others, from strangers to men she dates, and she is always hyperaware of her surroundings ... Readers get a glimpse of the root cause of her deep trauma when she goes to the extreme to avoid her immediate family. Vivian is high-strung, funny, and cynical, musing about social and racial injustices, the objectification of women, and the complexities of relationships. Johnson’s prose hurries along, embodying Vivian’s anxiety, intelligence, and vigilance, resulting in an uneven novel that veers between edgy entertainment and resonant drama.
RaveBooklistThis is an arresting and dazzling tale with a surprising elixir of lyricism and pidgin that leaves readers guessing whether or not Osunde’s metaphors convey the itinerant existence of those who are contemplating their next move in this life or in the next. A mixture of folklore and spiritual fervor plays narrative tricks on the reader while also providing searing social commentary ... Osunde’s inventive and unique story releases its message like a confetti of percipience, teasing out meaning and veering onto thought-provoking tangents and snippets of intrigue that initially feel familiar but which morph into something unsettling yet wondrous.
Marcial Gala, tr. Anne Kushner
RaveBooklistThe appearance of mythical beings during opportune times, Raúl’s pitiless predictions, and the unfolding events of a fraught time in Cuban history contribute to the power of Gala’s creative spin on an indelible myth and imaginative, memorable, and heartbreaking tale of identity and fatalism.
Daphne Palasi Andreades
PositiveBooklistThere is a musicality in the prose that evokes a kind of Greek chorus as Andreades uses the collective pronoun \'we\' to portray ardent girls whose skin color is not white ... an immersive exercise steeped in 1990s references and awash in the characters’ yearnings and preoccupations ... These brown girls teeter between awe and contempt of their heritage in experiences that illuminate a central aspect of American life.
RaveBooklistTurner vividly recounts the neighborhood’s atmosphere and history, framing the ongoing struggles of Black women ... Turner’s candid memoir of entwined yet divergent lives is a probing inquiry into fate, frailty, tenacity, and ultimately, redemption.
Betina González, tr. Heather Cleary
RaveBooklist... unsettling yet erudite ... Behind this baffling turn of events runs veiled social commentary on capitalism and the progressive mentality replete with astute observations on aging, death, and human nature that becomes most poignant when seen through Beryl’s eyes. The mystery of the hallucinogen and the lives impacted by it coalesce into a profound and much-needed tale full of hope and kindness.
RaveBooklist... a reconceived and extended fairy tale that will delight domestic-fiction readers with its depiction of Cinderella ... Grushin achieves a fairy-talk style ... The mystery of how a woman who has everything would resort to drastic measures is at the core of the book and pivots the fairy tale back to its moral roots. An element of suspense is worked into a tapestry of new and modern backstories, while nostalgic story lines add a bit of fun; there is even a side story about Cinderella’s mice that deserves its own separate book. Surprising revelations and some snark provide the finishing touch in this richly imagined, genre-bending retelling of, at its heart, a tale-as-old-as-time.
Agustina Bazterrica trans. by Sarah Moses
RaveBooklist... exquisitely dishes up an intricate tale of a systematized dystopian society ... The unsavory depiction is not for the faint of heart, as Bazterrica’s unflinching dissection of every detail is explicit and stomach-churning ... This is a sagacious and calculated exploration of the limits of moral ambiguity; it sears and devastates.
Yun Ko-Eun, Trans. by Lizzie Buehler
PositiveBooklistKo-Eun’s ecothriller skillfully explores the intertwined themes of tourism, livelihood, greed, and the value of human life.
Laura van den Berg
RaveBooklist... a richly imaginative collection that skillfully exposes vulnerable women to grief, messy relationships, misogyny, and prejudices, while equipping them with a fiery tenacity ... In these 11 perceptive stories, Van den Berg displays her literary talents with acerbic acumen as she portrays indelible characters brimming with verve that is hungry and wild.
PositiveBooklistPorter’s gripping, subtly hopeful work of literary speculative fiction is shaped by remarkable world-building elements and acute observation of human frailties and impetus.
PositiveBooklistIn her smart and timely debut, Reid has her finger solidly on the pulse of the pressures and ironies inherent in social media, privilege, modern parenting, racial tension, and political correctness.
RaveBooklist... raw ... Mazzei presents a candid book that reveals a lot about sex workers and the consumers who indulge in these exchanges, exposing the complex emotions experienced on both sides of a scene.
Jennine Capó Crucet
PositiveBooklist... lucid and unfeigned ... Crucet’s essays are hopeful, though grounded in the recognition that the social systems in place will not shift anytime soon. Sympathetic and encouraging, Crucet’s observations and experiences offer a path toward learning how we can become less foreign to each other.