It feels a bit strange to be sitting here typing up a Weekend Reads post considering that my reading has been somewhat non-existent for the past week or so. Between all of the serious and gloomy things that have occurred and my brain going into hyperactive overdrive, the desire to pick up a book for more than fifteen or twenty minutes at a time has been rather flimsy. However, manga is a totally different story! Since it doesn’t take me that long to finish a volume or two, blowing through this medium has been a marvellous joy. But, you know what? I miss full-sized literature.
So, this weekend I’m hoping to get my bibliophilic groove back, so to speak. I have one book that I picked up because I wanted something fluffy and feel-good, while the other two books are more mood-reading choices as I’ve been eyeing them since they arrived in the mail. I’ll also be picking up more manga. Why stop now that I’m on a decent roll?
Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali: An #OwnVoices Muslim young adult romance contemporary about two Muslim teens that end up meeting by happenstance on their journey to Doha right after experiencing some frustrating events in their personal lives. For Zayneb, it’s suspension after an Islamophobic teacher retaliates against her in class. For Adam, it’s a medical diagnosis that is heartbreakingly close to home. Through their blossoming bond, they find the comfort and the strength they need to confront their tribulations.
I’m about halfway through this and I already know that it’s going to be one of the best books I’ve read in 2020. Everything about this is positively remarkable. The commentary on Islamophobia. The fear, uncertainty, and anger that comes with being diagnosed with a terrible illness. The insecurity yet fluttery warmth of falling in love for the first time. The incredibly uplifting Muslim representation. Plus, it’s got amazing Summer vibes making it perfect for this season. If this is on your list and you haven’t picked it up yet, you definitely should!
Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas: A Gothic-infused suspense thriller that takes place at an elite, reclusive university named Catherine House. The Uni is known for educating some of the most successful people around. However, there is one catch that students must abide by: they are to completely seclude themselves from the outside world for three years, including summers. As the new batch of undergrads settle in, what once felt like a sanctuary starts to reflect a gilded prison. When tragedy strikes, one student in particular begins pondering at what else the college may be hiding within its walls.
Catherine House is one of my most-anticipated thrillers for 2020 and I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy prior to my procedure. Since this was basically a bedrest reading gift, I feel I must abide and read it while the resting is still going on. I also want to take a moment and say that the velvety smooth cover with its gorgeous colourings is too damn pretty for its own good. The book is authored by a BIPOC author too!
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James: A supernatural mystery novel that alternates between two time periods in Upstate New York. In 1982, Viv wants to move to NYC and to support herself she gets a job at The Sun Down Motel. But something isn’t quite right at this place. Something haunting and chilling. Fast-forward to 2017, we meet Carly who hasn’t been able to shake the story of her Aunt Viv disappearing from a local motel years ago. Deciding to visit the location of her aunt’s disappearance, Carly quickly realises that nothing has changed in the last 35 years, and she’s about to fall down the same hole of mysteries that claimed her aunt.
I loved James’ Broken Girls and am really eager to read her latest supernatural mystery. Actually, I wouldn’t mind picking up her other spooky books as well because she does these sorts of narratives quite well. I figured since I’m in the mood for a ghostly mystery shindig, this (and Catherine House) would be an excellent way to go.
There are three manga that I’m planning on picking up, two serials are ones that I’ve been reading all week while the other one is a series I hope to start soon as it just sounds quite fantastic, and many chums have been raving about them. Respectively, they are After the Rain by Jun Mayuzuki (seinen, coming-of-age, romance), Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto (shōnen, martial arts, adventure), and The Promised Neverland by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu (shōnen, dark fantasy, sci-fi).
Aside from reading, I shall also be indulging in Hidden Object Games and working on getting movement back in my body as I can slowly start coming off of bedrest. With that, I wish you all a lovely weekend ahead.