I finished out the year by reading two award-winning books!
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Horror is not my usual genre but I decided to give this one a go sinc it was fairly buzzy last year.
The Only Good Indians is a chilling, grisly (and I mean GRISLY) revenge story following a reincarnated elk spirit going after the Blackfeet men who wronged her. It’s a compelling and intriguing story but certainly not for the faint of heart. I was a little concerned in the beginning because there is a lot of Fridging of Women but Jones brings it around exceptionally well in the end. I’m further intrigued by the horror genre and want to explore it more in 2022. Shaun Taylor Corbett gives a captivating performance on the audiobook. His soft spoken narration is versatile and instantly engaging.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
Set in 1950s San Francisco, Last Night at The Telegraph Club tells the story of Chinese American teen Lily Hu, as she explores her attraction to girls through clandestine nights at a lesbian nightclub with a classmate.
This is a very quiet slice-of-life book. There isn’t a whole lot of plot in here. Lo did an extensive amount of research for this–the author’s note is 8% of the books–and at times, it feels like the story elements took a backseat to the research.
A theme of this book is Lily’s struggles existing at the intersection of being Chinese and a lesbian. The Telegraph Club is a majority white nightclub and I will never understand YA publishings obsession with books about people of color in predominately white spaces. Lo even mentions she was inspired by a historian’s offhand mention of The Forbidden City, a club for lesbians of color, but we never see it.
Emily Woo Zeller does a solid job on the audiobook navigating a mix of accents and ethnicities.
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.