The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (Winternight Trilogy #2) / ★★★★☆
Summary: Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.
“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other; of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other, each way will have its bitter with its sweet.”
Tin Man by Sarah Winman / ★★★★★
Five years after the death of his wife, Ellis lives in a state of loneliness. His childhood best friend, Michael, is nowhere in sight, but as Ellis falls back into memories, their lives together – and apart – begin to unfold.
I wonder what the sound of a heart breaking might be. And I think it might be quiet, unperceptively so, and not dramatic at all.
The Vegetarian by Han Kang / ★★★★★
Quite suddenly, Yeong-hye decides to give up meat in an effort to purge her mind of the past that haunts her.
The pain feels like a hole swallowing her up, a source of intense fear and yet, at the same time, a strange, quiet peace.
Normal People by Sally Rooney / ★★★★★
Summary: Connell and Marianne both grow up in the same town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. But they both get places to study at university in Dublin, and a connection that has grown between them despite the social tangle of school lasts long into the following years.
How strange to feel herself so completely under the control of another person, but also how ordinary. No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not.
Human Acts by Han Kang / ★★★★★
Summary: In the midst of a violent student uprising in South Korea, a young boy named Dong-ho is shockingly killed. The story of this tragic episode unfolds in a sequence of interconnected chapters as the victims and the bereaved encounter suppression, denial, and the echoing agony of the massacre.
I grasped your hand and tugged you forward, toward the head of the column, while you muttered to yourself in blank incomprehension, our soldiers are shooting. They’re shooting at us. I pulled you toward them with all my strength, opening my throat to sing while you seemed on the point of tears. I sang along with the national anthem, my heart fit to burst. Before they sent that white-hot bullet driving into my side.
The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey (The Monstrumologist #2)/ ★★★☆☆
Summary: When young Will Henry and his mentor, the Monstrumologist, are called on to save a man from the Canadian wilderness, they must come to terms that perhaps the man that they pull out isn’t the man who went in- if he is still a man at all.
This was his universe, and no doubt, if every particle of light had been sucked from out atmosphere he could have found his way through the utter blackness left behind.
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang / ★★★★☆
Summary: Rin defies the odds and passes the Keju, a prestigious test that gets her a spot in Sinegard, the nation’s most prestigious military school in the nation. From there, she continues to work her way to the top and discovers she is capable of things beyond what she thought possible. When a terrible war against a nearby country begins, Rin is pulled into something more deadly than she ever would have expected, and goes to impossible lengths to avenge her people.
I have become something wonderful, she thought. I have become something terrible.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton / ★★★★★
Summary: Ava Lavender was born with wings. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others.
And that might just be the root of the problem: we’re all afraid of each other, wings or no wings.
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis / ★★★★1/2
Summary: Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.
Because there are others like him still. Tonight they used words they know, words that don’t bother people anymore. They said bitch. They told another girl they would put their dicks in her mouth. No one protested because this is our language now. But then I used my words, strung in phrases that cut deep, and people paid attention; people gasped. People didn’t know what to think.
My language is shocking.
Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton / ★★★★☆
Summary: Louise is a broke writer trying to survive in New York City when she meets the wealthy, vivacious, larger-than-life Lavinia. Louise wants to be Lavinia’s best friend, she wants to have what she has, and she wants to be her, and the two strike up a friendship, which evolves into something all-encompassing, intoxicating, and tragic.
It didn’t matter if you weren’t special, she’d say, or even if you weren’t pretty, not even by the standards of Devonshire, New Hampshire, as long as you wanted it badly enough. The city would swoop you up and carry you skyward to all your vaulted aspirations; every single party on every single night in that whole, glistening, glaring city would make you feel like you were the only person in the world, and also the most special, and also the most loved.