I hope that the first month of the new year was one that signaled the start of something fresh and beautiful. The past few years, have been particularly challenging globally, personally and that is something that’s continuing with no end in sight.
So it’s a privilege to be able to get a bit of an escape through books.
Now, to the point!
For the first #BlackHistoryMonth on my blog, I’d love to read some of the backlist novels that are on my physical TBR and talk about some of my favourite books, from various genres written by Black Authors, where the main characters are black.
I’m not exactly the best with follow through on my TBRs, #MoodReadersUnite, but I think if I make a list, that is varied enough, it should be able to work! Y’all keep your fingers crossed for me, lol.
Without ado, here are the
The Kindred by Alechia Dow
Genre: YA, Sci-if, Romance
To save a galactic kingdom from revolution, Kindred mind-pairings were created to ensure each and every person would be seen and heard, no matter how rich or poor…
Joy Abara knows her place. A commoner from the lowly planet Hali, she lives a simple life—apart from the notoriety that being Kindred to the nobility’s most infamous playboy brings.
Duke Felix Hamdi has a plan. He will exasperate his noble family to the point that they agree to let him choose his own future and finally meet his Kindred face-to-face.
Then the royal family is assassinated, putting Felix next in line for the throne…and accused of the murders. Someone will stop at nothing until he’s dead, which means they’ll target Joy, too. Meeting in person for the first time as they steal a spacecraft and flee amid chaos might not be ideal…and neither is crash-landing on the strange backward planet called Earth. But hiding might just be the perfect way to discover the true strength of the Kindred bond and expose a scandal—and a love—that may decide the future of a galaxy.
I’ve seen the author on those twitter streets and she seems like the sweetest person, that plus, this being about mind-pairings??? And it’s sci-fi? And there’s a duke??? Like, those are all things that I absolutely adore. So I certainly have high hopes for this one!
Parable of The Sower by Octavia Butler
Genre: Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopia
In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future.
Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.
When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.
2025 is so close! And we do seem to very much be on the verge of a global upheaval to be perfectly honest, so I’m a bit nervous about re-reading this novel that strikes far too close to home. Buttttt, this year I promised myself that I would read more Octavia Butler books, and what would be a better time than now?
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Genre: YA, Thriller, Mystery
An incendiary and utterly compelling thriller with a shocking twist that delves deep into the heart of institutionalized racism, from an exceptional new YA voice.
Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light.
Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power.
Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…
This was one of the buzziest releases of 2021! Winning award after award, so of course I’m curious about this get out x gossip girl mash up!
Legendborn by Tracy
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, King Arthur Retelling
After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.
A flying demon feeding on human energies.
A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.
And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.
The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.
She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.
Can you even believe that I haven’t read this yet? Like a King Arthur retelling is something one can even resist???
One of my earliest bookish memories is reading a big, fancy illustrated King Arthur book at the library!
So how was I able to?
It’s a trilogy.
Book 2 isn’t even out yet.
But I did take a peek at it when i first came out, and Bree’s grief over her mother’s passing and recklessness and secluding herself from her friends and family, was just so raw, and sad, that I just closed the book, never to be opened again until Karla (@anotherbookworm__) convinced me to join her Feb 14th readalong!
So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix by Bethany Morrow
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Little Women Retelling
Four young Black sisters come of age during the American Civil War in So Many Beginnings, a warm and powerful YA remix of the classic novel Little Women by national bestselling author Bethany C. Morrow.
North Carolina, 1863. As the American Civil War rages on, the Freedmen’s Colony of Roanoke Island is blossoming, a haven for the recently emancipated. Black people have begun building a community of their own, a refuge from the shadow of the old life. It is where the March family has finally been able to safely put down roots with four young daughters:
Meg, a teacher who longs to find love and start a family of her own.
Jo, a writer whose words are too powerful to be contained.
Beth, a talented seamstress searching for a higher purpose.
Amy, a dancer eager to explore life outside her family’s home.
As the four March sisters come into their own as independent young women, they will face first love, health struggles, heartbreak, and new horizons. But they will face it all together.
After the first remixed classics books I read was such a poignant story that sticks to me, even to this day!!! Of course I’d have to read the next in the series! And you might remember that this was on my most anticipated reads list for September!
So I’m happy to finally be able to put aside time to read it this month!