The fall deluge of anticipated new releases continues this week with five titles I’ve read and reviewed, plus five more I have my eye on.

What I’ve Read

Random House asked that early readers not run reviews of The Water Dancer until the on-sale date, so I’ll be publishing my review today. It was everything we’ve come to expect of famed nonfiction writer Ta-Nehisi Coates: incisive commentary on race with personal, captivating prose. The star of his first novel is his inventive, skillful use of language.

The (Other) F Word was an inspiring (but uneven) nonfiction anthology of personal essays on fatness. My review highlights some of my favorites, which bring fierce, resilient energy to thoughtful discussion of the way fat bodies and identities are shaped by other experiences and identities. 

Rules For Vanishing is not my usual fare, but I ended up enjoying the old-school paranormal horror: suspense, gore, and sinister threats from unexpected directions. The MVP in this book is the ensemble cast. In my review, I talk about the amazing work Marshall does orchestrating a huge cast of characters in some of the most creative and captivating group scenes I’ve ever read. (Which is so funny considering Marshall’s debut was a solo survival story!) I also spend some time digging into the style (pitched as a Blair Witch Project-style documentary) and the way it deepens the mystery in mind-bending ways.

As part of the blog tour for Six Goodbyes We Never Said, a tender, heartrending dual-POV story of trauma and recovery, I got to ask author Candace Ganger a few questions about the process of writing this OwnVoices story. You can find my mini-review here.

Who Put This Song On? was vivid, honest, and heartrending, but I’m not sure novelization was the right form for this story. Morgan Parker’s autobiographical tale succeeds at deeply immersing the reader in the headspace of a teenager (circa 2008) struggling to reconcile her depression with her coming-of-age journey and exploration of her Black identity. I hope the book finds its way into the hands of teens that need it.


What I’m Looking Forward To

I’m getting more and more nervous about SLAY, Brittney Morris’ YA debut pitched as Black Panther x Ready Player One x The Hate U Give. It’s getting massive push from Simon, which seems to be counting on it to be a tentpole release this year. That means it has unique potential to flop, so I hope this one isn’t a disappointment, because it could be spectacular.

I also have my eye on The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring, which looks deliciously dark and is getting some great early reviews.

Other Releases On My Radar

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