Hello and welcome to #Project14Lists! I’m so happy to be participating in it! This is an incredible project created by a fellow blogger Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea.
The essence of it is to create bookish lists from December 18th to 31st. If you can’t do all days, that’s totally fine. You can do any number of days that you like! Also, each post you write is an entry for an amazing giveaway hosted by Shealea!
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Now, YA (young adult) is my favourite genre. Nearly all the books I’ve read are in this genre and I love recommending YA books too! So, my first list for #Project14Lists is about some of my favourite YA novels ever! I hope you like it and if you’ve read any of these books, do tell me what you think about them!
1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This book doesn’t need much of an introduction. It’s very popular (with good reason) and its movie adaptation made it even more popular!
The Hate You Give popularly known as THUG is a book that I encourage everyone to read. It’s about racism, hate and police brutality. The main character, Starr is a high schooler who witnesses the shooting of her unarmed black friend, Khalil by a police officer. The story follows the events after that horrifying murder; the attempted police cover-up, the smearing of Khalil’s name, the protests and lots more. Starr’s life is changed forever by the incident.
The Hate you Give is one of a kind. It’s a book that shines so much light on the problems that black people in America face; from the unwarranted hate to gang violence. And it’s all written from the perspective of a black woman.
This book was one of the first that really provided representation for black people and it has changed the mentalities of black and non-black people all over the world. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to.
2. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Simon vs is more widely known by its movie adaptation Love, Simon but as a true bookworm, I prefer the book 😄
This book follows the life of Simon, a senior in high school whose life is irrevocably changed when he’s outed as being gay by a fellow student, Martin. The first time I read this book was months ago but I can never forget how happy I was reading this book. In fact, my Goodreads review is the gushiest I have ever written!
Simon vs depicts the homophobia in the world in all its ugliness but it also shows that true love and friendship can trump all that hate (yep, the pun is intentional).
3. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
**Trigger warning for sexual assault, rape, violence, bullying, slut-shaming, self-harm, suicide.
The Nowhere Girls is not as popular as the first two but it’s just as important. It is about rape culture; the entitlement that men feel towards the bodies of women and the misogyny that runs deep in today’s society. It’s also very diverse featuring characters of different races and sexualities.
The Nowhere Girls follows 3 girls in high school (Grace, Rosina and Erin) who come together to get justice for a former classmate (Lucy) who was gang raped and then, slut-shamed and bullied for calling out the rapists. This story will make you feel everything; from heartbreak to anger to hate for the oppressors and horrible people who gain power by humiliating and degrading innocent girls and women.
If you have a sexist relative or acquaintance or a “not all men-er” in your life, this would make a perfect Christmas gift for them.
4. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Achilles is a renowned figure in Greek mythology; the hero whose only weakness was his heel. Madeline Miller spins a gay retelling of his story through the eyes of Patroclus, his friend and lover. But the book isn’t just about Achilles. It’s also about Patroclus himself; his kindness, love and unwavering loyalty and his ability to make Achilles humane by simply existing.
So many of the heroes in stories are usually white-washed in an attempt to make them more palatable. Madeline Miller exposes their faults and flaws but also, much of what makes them heroes and leaves the decision (to love or not to love) to the readers.
This story is beautifully written, the characters are delightfully complex and it’s one of my best LGBTQ+ novels to date.
Related: 30 Most Anticipated Books of 2020!
5. The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
**Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicide, rape
This is an incredible book that’s so underrated! It deals with slut shaming, feminism and the sickening double standards that exist in the society.
Izzy is a senior in high school whose life is torn apart when details of her sex life and her nude picture are leaked in her school. Of course, the boys involved get off but Izzy faces constant harassment and abuse with some people even hoping she kills herself. Just for having a sex life!
Izzy deals with the negativity really well (apart from a terrible mistake she made) and in the end, friendship, family and girl power silences all the haters.
6. Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
This list would be incomplete without this amazing own-voices book about Islamophobia!
Maya is an Indian-American Muslim teen who dreams of going into photography, a career path that is totally different from what her parents want for her. Her life is changed totally after a horrible crime by someone who apparently shares her last name. Friends turn to enemies and she faces a lot of hate for being who she is.
When people are blatantly Islamophobic, they tend to forget the innocent lives and souls they condemn in their hate. Samira Ahmed writes this book from the POV of such an innocent person. It encourages people to open their hearts and minds and to accept all people regardless of differences.
Have you read any of these books? What do you think of them? What books would you add to this list?
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