Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson (★★★★★)
Beautifully illustrated by Emily Carroll, this graphic novel adaptation of Speak re-imagines the classic novel for a new generation, complete with modern technology. Perfect for fans of the original, or someone who has yet to read the prose version, Anderson’s young adult story about finding your voice is even more prevalent for those growing up in the midst of the Time’s Up and Me Too movements.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (★★★☆☆½)
Sadly, Exit West was not what I anticipated. I was super excited to read about magical doors that take their users to far away places (the main reasons I picked up this novel), but was disappointed when the doors did not go to other dimensions. But mostly, I just found the overly extended sentences to be tiresome.
Glitter by Aprilynne Pike (★★★★☆)
Despite having a somewhat unlikable heroine who makes the worst decisions imaginable, Glitter is still an exciting ride that combines the decadence and fashion of Marie Antoinette’s court with fun, futuristic technology. Does this combo make any sense? Not really. Is it still an enjoyable and fast-paced read regardless? Absolutely.
Paper Girls Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan (★★★★☆)
The fourth trade in the Paper Girls series brings our heroines to the Y2K era, where they (and we) finally get some answers. While the world building and glimpses into alternate timelines are super fun, it’s the relationships between the girls and their opinions of their future selves that prove to be the best part of the story … although the giant fighting robots certainly don’t hurt.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (★★★☆☆½)
These short stories with a decidedly feminist twist run the gamut from horror story retellings, to a re-imaginings of every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Units, to post-apocalyptic love stories. While Machado’s strengths lie in her beautiful writing and intriguing premises, I definitely struggled with some of the more abstract stories.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (★★★★★)
This super cute graphic novel is all about a dressmaker with dreams of making it big, and the prince who hires her to make him beautiful dresses. From adorable and fashionable illustrations to an even more adorable story, Wang’s story is the perfect warm and cozy pick me up 2018 needed.
Unrivaled by Alyson Noel (★★★★☆)
The first book in Alyson Noel’s Beautiful Idols series — the only one with a good cover might I add — is basically Gossip Girl, but set in Los Angeles (which is not a dig at all). While Unrivaled still has the fun and frothy backstabbing you look for in all your teen dramas, it is sadly lacking in fun fashion because almost everyone is poor.
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (★★★★☆½)
A super dark re-imagining of The Little Mermaid finds a siren turned human infamous for stealing the hearts of princes teaming up with a reluctant prince who aims to rid the seas of her entire species. Minus an ending that felt a little too rushed and action heavy, To Kill a Kingdom is a dark standalone fantasy about deliciously evil sea creatures, the duplicitous humans at war with them and the lies that keep them apart.