The Bird Has Flown by Susanna Hoffs
It’s been a rough few years for Jane Start, a 30-something one-hit wonder now at an all-time low. A holiday in England is exactly what she needs and before she even lands she’s started a fling with a tempting Cambridge professor. It took a while for me to understand what this book was going for because it starts off with Jane having a fling with a much younger superstar so I thought this would be a ‘reverse’ age-gap romance, but it slowly becomes a silly comedy-of-manners as Jane attempts to fit into her boyfriend’s posh world. This book is broken up into short chapters that feature a big “hijinks moment” giving the book an episodic feel.
Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance
This is a thoughtful collection of stories that feature teenagers in moments where they can choose to back down or stand up. The stories I liked the most were Bethany C. Morrow’s ‘As You Were’ about a young Black teen’s crossroads during a traffic stop and Ray Stoeve’s ‘Parker Outside the Box’ about a non-binary teen who becomes a mentee to a trans child and learns about solidarity. Anthologies are my favorite way to ‘meet’ new authors or sample authors I haven’t tried. This book has certainly inspired me to pick up Morrow and Stoeve’s work in the future.
Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling by Elise Bryant
This book is undoubtedly a testament to the Black kids who have “white people” hobbies.
Reggie is a Dungeons and Dragons aficionado but isn’t confident enough to embrace his rising fame in the D&D community– especially around his family. Delilah, a diehard Swiftie and one of the few Black girls in the punk rock scene can relate to feeling like an outsider. The teens meet on New Year’s Eve and every holiday that follows. They bond over their outcast status and not feeling ‘Black enough’. This book is peppered with fun upbeat side characters. Bryant seems to occasionally poke fun at adult YA readers by remarking about how ‘old’ 30 is and treating things from the 2000s like they are ancient. That said I’m PRETTY SURE one of the characters makes a Key and Peele reference which the audiobook narrator seemed to pick up on. This is a wonderful twist on a holiday romance. An easy recommendation for any teen or YA reader.
1/2 of the blogging duo at Books and Sensibility, I have been blogging about and reviewing books since 2011. I read any and every genre, here on the blog I mostly review Fantasy, Adult Fiction, and Young Adult with a focus on audiobooks.