I love screaming about my favourites on the internet, but sometimes I miss a few gems.
I mean, can you really appreciate a good book enough? There’s always something new to explore within the pages of a novel, which is why I love literature so much.
I’ve been having such wonderful luck with most of the books I’ve read in the last two or so years, so I thought, why not talk a little about some books I’ve not appreciated enough here? I’ve narrowed down my list to 5 books so that this post does not become a novel itself :’) Here are some reads to add to your TBR!
The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
As someone who considers historical fiction to be one of their favourite genres, I must admit that I don’t pick up enough books from this genre, but The Mountains Sing is one of my all-time favourites and the most heart-wrenching book I’ve ever read. It unpacks multigenerational war trauma during and after the Vietnam War through vivid and extremely poetic prose.
This is a hauntingly powerful read, and a very important one at that. I think that this book definitely deserves a spot on your TBR, even if you don’t like historical fiction very much, because it is a truly eye-opening book.
A Clash of Steel by C.B Lee
I have a raging dislike for classics because they’re very wordy, annoying, and boring, which is why I love reading retellings, especially diverse ones, of books that I otherwise won’t pick up. This is a wonderful book with Sapphic pirates that is a reimagining of the 1883 novel, Treasure Island, and is heavily influenced by the Chinese pirate queen, Cheng Shih.
This novel, at its core, combines the excitement of adventure with the tenderness of first love. It’s also about finding a family, learning to trust others, and, at the end, discovering oneself. If you enjoy books with the aforementioned characteristics, I think you should pick it up and experience the thrill of reading this novel for yourself!
Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao
To be honest, this book is something very out of my comfort zone—a middle grade, futuristic science fiction novel about gaming is not a type of book I would usually pick up, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Last Gamer Standing.
Set in 2067, this novel follows a young Chinese-American girl competing in the world’s biggest battle royal championship using a male avatar, and does not refrain from important discussions around heavy topics like misogyny, sexism, and identity whilst subsequently being an entertaining novel about gaming!
The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf
The Weight of the Sky by Hanna Alkaf is one of my all-time favourites, so I was ecstatic to pick up her middle grade novel, and I was undoubtedly not disappointed at all.
The Girl and the Ghost follows Suraya, a Muslim Malay girl who inherits a ghost whom she names Pink from her witch grandmother. Through the pages of this spooky yet warm and comforting book, we get to see the characters solve the mysteries lurking in Pink’s past whilst exploring themes like friendship, loneliness, revenge, jealousy, and toxic relationships. If you are someone who enjoys a good middle grade read, don’t forget to check out this brilliant book!
Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Kelly Loy Gilbert is one of the most beloved authors in the blogosphere, and after I put down Picture Us in the Light, I knew exactly why. There’s something about the intricately woven relatable stories that she writes that makes her books gripping page-turners.
This novel is a slow-burner, for every page is a sharp knife, waiting for you to get lost in the delicate blend of themes like complex familial and platonic relationships, self-discovery, emotions, and much more, so that it can stab you when you least expect it.