Almost Adults by Ali Pantony

Title: Almost Adults

Author: Ali Pantony

Pub Date: June 2019

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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The struggle is real…

Ever managed to kill a succulent after just a few days?
Got seven reminder letters on the kitchen table because you forgot to pay your council tax?
Become a hot mess who’s falling apart because they’ve been broken up with?

Nobody told Mackie, Edele, Alex and Nat (aka the MEAN Girls) that life was going to be this way. They’re busy navigating the joys of adulthood – getting their shit together, breaking up and making up, moving out and moving on. This grown up stuff is hard but at least they’ve got each other.

Welcome to the world of adulting.

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Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Title: Ayesha At Last

Author: Uzma Jalaluddin

Pub Date: June 2019

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.

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Gross Anatomy by Mara Altman

Title: Gross Anatomy

Author: Mara Altman

Pub Date: 2018

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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The timely, funny and deeply relatable essay collection that celebrates the wonder of the human body and introduces Mara Altman as the love child of Mindy Kaling and Mary Roach.

Mara Altman’s volatile and apprehensive relationship with her body has led her to wonder about a lot of stuff over the years. Like, who decided that women shouldn’t have body hair? And how sweaty is too sweaty? Also, why is breast cleavage sexy but camel toe revolting? Isn’t it all just cleavage? These questions and others like them have led to the comforting and sometimes smelly revelations that constitute Gross Anatomy, an essay collection about what it’s like to operate the bags of meat we call our bodies.

Divided into two sections, “The Top Half” and “The Bottom Half,” with cartoons scattered throughout, Altman’s book takes the reader on a wild and relatable journey from head to toe—as she attempts to strike up a peace accord with our grody bits.

With a combination of personal anecdotes and fascinating research, Gross Anatomy holds up a magnifying glass to our beliefs, practices, biases, and body parts and shows us the naked truth: that there is greatness in our grossness.

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Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas

Title: Then She Vanishes

Author: Claire Douglas

Pub Date: June 2019

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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THE ONLY THING MORE SHOCKING THAN THE FIRST CHAPTER . . . IS THE LAST.

Everything changed the night Flora disappeared.

Heather and Jess were best friends – until the night Heather’s sister vanished.

Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.

But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.

And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she’s avoided for so long:

What really happened the night Flora disappeared?

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Free to fall

When we first meet North, I was a bit put off by his attitude. He was against the mainstream usage of Lux seemingly without any reason. The usage of Lux was normalized and took over the world, so sarcastic attitude towards it seemed off, and I didn’t like it. He had his chosen lifestyle and Rory had her, and I felt like he was feeling superior to other people who use Lux to make decisions. His overall attitude is condescending, but Rory likes him anyway and a romance quickly flourishes. Too quickly for my liking. Everything is way too intense way to quickly, and the words of love and sacrifice for others cause are declared after only few meetings.

The author also falls into common tropes of wealth girl, who gets into prestigious school because of her wealth, uses makeup, flirts and is a total opposite of our main character, who is not rich and slightly self conscious about her body. However, all this was quickly overshadowed by and amazing intrigue. Rory bit by bit finds out more about her mother’s history and is on her way to find out a disturbing truth behind the app Lux. The story is fascinating and fast paced. I was hooked on the story and it was hard to put down.

The story of society addicted to their devices and being dependent on an app to make any decision in their life is a scary vision and not something that is absolutely unimaginable. We are more and more dependent on the contact access to internet with its unending supply of information and entertainment. It’s only a matter of time before some company attempts to ‘ease’ our life from the burden of making decisions. Hopefully it will not turn out like in the book.

The Beholder by Anna Bright

Title: The Beholder

Author: Anna Bright

Pub Date: June 4th 2019 

My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

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A lush, sweepingly romantic YA debut perfect for fans of The Selection or Caraval

Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.Lush landscapes, dazzling romance, and captivating intrigue mark the first leg of this stunning alternate historical duology with richly drawn characters and unexpected twists at every port.

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Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri

Title: Don’t Touch My Hair

Author: Emma Dabiri

Pub Date: May 2nd 2019

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Straightened. Stigmatised. ‘Tamed’. Celebrated. Erased. Managed. Appropriated. Forever misunderstood. Black hair is never ‘just hair’.

This book is about why black hair matters.

Emma Dabiri takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and on to today’s Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond. We look at everything from hair capitalists like Madam C.J. Walker in the early 1900s to the rise of Shea Moisture today, from women’s solidarity and friendship to ‘black people time’, forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian’s braids.

The scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic. Uncovering sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems in black hairstyles, alongside styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom, Don’t Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation.

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