'Children Of Blood And Bone' By Tomi Adeyemi & 16 Other New Books Out This Week
It's quite the week for new book releases. These 17 books bring readers a bit of everything this week: magic, love, anger, redemption, survival.
If you're a nonfiction lover, you have plenty of options this week: Bachelor Nation is a brutal, thorough examination of the reality TV franchise you hate-to-love and love-to-hate; Broad Band is the untold history of the forgotten women who built the internet; How Luck Happens is a guide to creating your own good luck, on your own terms; I Have A Right To is a "love letter" to sexual assault survivors, written by one of the most recognizable survivors of our day: Chessy Prout; and Ask Me About My Uterus is a searing examination of how the medical world systemically dismisses female pain.
On the fiction side, there's much to love for both young adult and adult fiction fans. On the YA side, you have books that span centuries and kingdoms: Children of Blood and Bone is an African-inspired fantasy that hums with magic and dives deep into modern issues; Blood Water Paint is the true story of the 17th century Baroque painter who decided to raise her voice after being raped by her instructor; The Midnights and The Beauty That Remains are both haunting tales about somehow, miraculously finding your path amidst the fog of grief; and The Poet X is a soulful tale about discovering a voice and a future that conflicts with the wishes and beliefs of your family.
On the adult fiction side, there's much to get excited about: House of Broken Angels is about one Mexican-American family's final celebration before the death of their patriarch; Girls Burn Brighter is an incendiary examination of the violence perpetuated against women across the world and the redeeming power of female friendship through it all; The Hunger and If I Die Tonight, are two thrillers that implore readers to examine the true meaning of evil; Awayland is magical story collection about love and the intricacies of the human heart; and the witch doesn't burn in this one is a poetry collection about female anger and pain that will hit close to home for many women.
Before you head into the weekend, add at least one of these 17 books to your shopping cart:
'Children Of Blood & Bone' by Tomi Adeyemi
This 500-page novel is the YA fantasy everyone in publishing has been talking about for months. Already optioned for the big screen, Children of Blood and Bone circles Zélie Adebola, a young girl with the power to bring back magic — and hope — to the people of Orïsha, a kingdom drained of magic and under tyrannical rule. Debut author Tomi Adeyemi uses fantasy as a tool to express the intricacies and challenges of the modern black experience.
"The black story is a specific story," she told Bustle in an interview. "Your ancestors were taken from your homeland and taken to a completely new homeland, forced to labor, treated like cattle, systematically oppressed, and then, when you were freed from slavery, they found a new way to oppress you. [But] it’s the Maya Angelou poem, 'Still I Rise.' That’s the black story."
'Girls Burn Brighter' by Shobha Rao
This luminous story of two friends begin in a small Indian village: Poornima has left school for an arranged marriage, and Savitha has been hired by Poornima's father to work at the family's loom. A fast friendship forms — one that informs the rest of their lives, especially as they experience acts of profound and shocking acts of violence. The novel, author Shobha Rao, told Bustle in an interview, that though she focused on the plight of these two women, the book is really the story of women everywhere. "I wrote about two Indian girls, but in my mind I truly wanted to convey to the reader that this is not some sort of unique, Indian cultural situation, at all," she said. "The novel is very focused on what is, undeniably, a chronically violent environment all over the world for women."
'Bachelor Nation' by Amy Kaufman
Still reeling from Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s season of The Bachelor? Amy Kaufman gets it. A self-professed member of Bachelor Nation and a seasoned reporter, Kaufman is the perfect person to dissect the ins-and-outs of the most hated and most beloved reality television show in history. There's more than a few shocking revelations about the show to be found in this definitive history of the show, but there's also a fair bit of analysis on why people love it so damn much.
'Broad Band' by Claire L. Evans
In, Broad Band, reporter Claire L. Evans brings you the untold history of the women who built the internet who you (probably) haven't heard much about. Designed to both shed light on their achievements and inspire the next generation of female innovators, Broad Band is a must-read for Women's History Month.
'The Woman's House' by Elaine Weiss
The Woman's Hour tells the history of one of the most pivotal moments in women's — and American — history: the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Over the course of one stifling summer, the proponents of the 19th amendment and the "Antis" converge in Tennessee for a dirty face-off with the future of the country at stake.
'The Hunger' by Alma Katsu
The Hunger is being described as "the Donner Party with a supernatural twist," and it sure delivers on the spooky premise. In its retelling of one of America's darkest pioneer moments, The Hunger examines both the evil that exists within humanity and the evil that exists within forces humans cannot even begin to comprehend.
'The Poet X' by Elizabeth Acevedo
In The Poet X, Afro-Latina teenager Xiomara turns to slam poetry as an outlet for her struggles with body image, her mother's religion, her relationship with her twin brother, and her experience with first love.
""For me, it was particularly important to focus on a girl of color who has had to learn her womanhood through a complicated upbringing; Xiomara is strong, ambitious, and smart, but she has not always had room to be vocal about her pain," Elizabeth Acevedo told Bustle in an interview. "The community she is a part of creates an environment where she is harmed often, both psychologically and physically, but it is through the resources offered and found in that same community that she is able to advocate for herself and raise her voice."
'The Beauty That Remains' by Ashley Woodfolk
Autumn, Shay, and Logan are bonded in their love of music. But when a tragedy strikes that affects all three of them, they realize that will need more than music to heal — they'll need each other. This stunning young adult novel is a gutting dissection of young grief and how it can profoundly and indelibly change a person forever.
'I Have The Right To' by Chessy Prout
Chessy Prout tells her side of the story in I Have A Right To, a biting examination of rape culture at her former high school, St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, and a "love letter" to other survivors of sexual assault.
"I know that I have no control over what people say about me, but I have control over how I live my life and how I choose to interact with other people," Prout told Bustle in an interview. "And so I’m choosing right now to share my truth and hoping that it empowers people young and old around the world to speak up and use their voice and claim their rights."
'How Luck Happens' by Janice Kaplan and Dr. Barnaby Marsh
Is luck a matter of chance — or can you create it on your own terms? In How Luck Happens, Janice Kaplan and Dr. Barnaby Marsh explore the phenomenon of "good luck" and unpack the science behind the seemingly random coincidences that influence everyone's lives.
'House Of Broken Angels' by Luis Alberto Urrea
Magnificent and sprawling in its scope, House of Broken Angels is the story of one Mexican-American family as they a mourn a recent loss — and prepare for another — in true Latino fashion: with plenty of food and drinks, song and dance, tears of joy and tears of sadness.
'If I Die Tonight' by Alison Gaylin
The perfect thriller for a weekend spent indoors, If I Die Tonight will challenge your own belief in your intuition. When Aimee En, a former '80s pop star, stumbles into a police station in the Hudson Valley to report that a teenage boy has stolen her car and run over another young man, she sparks an investigation that takes over social media and asks everyone in the town to reconsider who's the golden boy — and who's not.
'The Midnights' by Sarah N Smetana
Susannah Hayes has always dreamt of following in her rock star father's footsteps and having a career on the stage. Mostly, she hopes that if she can just write the perfect song, her father will pay attention to her — instead of dwelling on his past. But when her father dies unexpectedly, Susannah's mother decides to relocate them to a new city where she knows no one. There, Susannah decides that she can be whoever she wants to be — even a successful, cool, and confident rock star.
'Blood Water Paint' by Joy McCullough
Blood Water Paint tells the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, a 17th century painter who was raped by her instructor and chose, against all social customs of the time, to take him to court for his crimes. Now regarded as one of the most talented Italian Baroque painters of her generation, Artemisia was better known for raising her voice than creating her art in her lifetime. In Blood Water Paint, author Joy McCullough tells the full, messy, redeeming story in all its complexities.
“For me [the novel] is ultimately about how important and powerful it is to tell one’s story, and be heard,” McCullough told Bustle in an interview. “Which is what the #MeToo movement is also about. The more survivors share their stories, the more others feel the support to tell their own stories, or even face and name stories they’d maybe never even recognized as assault.”
'Awayland' by Ramona Ausubel
A whimsical and magical story collection that spans the globe from America to the Caribbean to the Arctic Ocean, Awayland is a dazzling examination of humanity and the heart that you won't be able to put down.
'the witch doesn't burn in this one' by Amanda Loveelace
The follow-up to Amanda Lovelace's immensely popular the princess saves herself in this one poetry collection, the witch doesn't burn in this one is a wrenching examination of female pain and anger, especially in the wake of sexual violence.
"If I learned anything from princess, it’s that it’s not conducive to keep your emotions and experiences locked inside yourself, and with the slow build of the #MeToo movement, I knew what book I had to write,” Amanda Lovelace told Bustle in an interview. “It was going to be angry. It was going to be blunt. It was going to make most people uncomfortable. But that’s where conversations start — in this discomfort. Witch isn’t even fully out into the world yet, and it’s already starting some much-needed discussions. This permission we’re giving to ourselves as survivors to not only be privately angry, but also publicly angry, has been liberating for us all.”
'Ask Me About My Uterus' by Abby Norman
When Abby Norman dropped forty pounds and reported excruciating pain to her doctor, she was met with nothing but dismissal. They diagnosed her with a UTI, and mostly refused to consider the possibility that a more serious medical condition could be the culprit of her pain. After years of personal research, she determined that the cause of her maladies was actually endometriosis. In Ask Me About My Uterus, Norman recounts her personal quest to find doctors to properly diagnose her — and examines the societal, cultural, and political structures that make it so damn difficult to be taken seriously as a woman in pain.