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Features | November Reads


For some reason it feels like such a long time since I was writing my October roundup, but here we are again at the end of another month. Throughout November I read several awesome YA titles so I wanted to start off this month’s roundup by mentioning those.

The first two books in the A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder series by Holly Jackson follow teenager Pippa Fitz-Amobi as she uses her detective skills to solve local crimes. In the first book Pippa is on track to attend a top university and decides to focus her EPQ on a local murder case that she believes was incorrectly resolved. In the sequel Good Girl, Bad Blood we rejoin Pippa, now also a true crime podcast host, when her friend’s brother goes missing and she is once again drawn into helping solve the mystery. I sped through reading both of these as I really enjoyed the unusual format, the fact that they were set in the UK and the interesting characters. I was particularly impressed to learn that A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder was a debut novel and can’t wait to read the further two books planned for this series.

Another great sequel I read this month was Dear Justyce*, the highly anticipated follow up to Dear Martin. In this book instead of writing them himself Justyce becomes the recipient of letters from his childhood friend Quan who is in a Youth Detention Centre. In the book’s introduction author Nic Stone explains her reasons for writing the sequel she had never planned to write and how she was influenced by two boys who felt Justyce's experience wasn't reflective of their own. I’m really glad that Nic Stone decided to tell Quan’s story as it's so important to show this different perspective alongside Justyce's story. I thought the way the letters and flashbacks were incorporated worked perfectly for this well-paced novel and the characters felt very realistic. Whilst both Dear Martin and Dear Justyce can be read as standalone novels, I would highly recommend reading them together if you can.

My book club pick for November was Elizabeth Acevedo’s With The Fire On High, which although I didn’t quite have enough space to include in this month’s graphic, was also one of my favourite reads of the month. The book’s protagonist Emoni is a 17-year-old student, aspiring chef and mother to young daughter Emma who is struggling with all of her responsibilities and following her dreams. I loved reading about Emoni’s journey, balancing her school work, part-time job, and parenting, all whilst trying to raise money for a cookery class trip to Spain. I adored the characters in With The Fire On High as well as the different dynamics of Emoni’s relationships and particularly enjoy the way Acevedo writes young women’s stories.

Outside of the YA genre I finally got around to picking up a copy of The One by John Marrs which had been on my TBR list for a very long time. This was the second Marrs book I’ve read (the first was The Passengers) and I’m happy to say I really enjoyed it! In this thriller the chapters alternate between several different characters points of view, all connected by the central theme of a dating app which promises to find your perfect match based on your DNA. I really liked this format and thought it worked well for this story, sharing a wide variety of different outcomes of using the app and how it changed each character’s life. I also hear that there is going to be a Netflix series based on this book, so am looking forward to seeing how it translates onto the small screen.

The final book I wanted to include this month is I’m Thinking Of Ending Things which many people have been talking about recently thanks to another Netflix adaptation. Initially following a couple as they head to visit his parents for the first time out in the middle of nowhere but soon taking some sinister twists, the book has a small page count designed to be read in one sitting. Overall I thought the pacing was good and I remember being drawn in by the first chapter, however it didn’t really turn out to be quite what I was expecting and sadly I didn't love the ending as much as many readers seem to have. I can understand why the book has divided opinions but I have heard good things about the audiobook version and can see how this may enhance the reading experience - this would probably be a good choice if you’re thinking about picking up a copy.

*Review copy of Dear Justyce ℅ Netgalley

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