Crossroads (2021) is the first novel I’ve read by Jonathan Franzen, an author who made a big splash when his first novel, The Corrections, was released, just over twenty years ago now. Franzen has gone on to write other popular novels (with single word titles), including Freedom and Purity, along with multiple essay collections.
A lesser known title in Jane Austen's collection of novels, Mansfield Park is certainly a wild ride and does not disapoint in all that is ridiculous and full of drama. Heroine Fanny Price is born to a poor family with many, many siblings, and is taken in by her aunt and uncle who can afford to give her a proper, respectable upbringing. Her experience in her new home, Mansfield Park, is something to be desired as her family members constantly treat her as their servant, entertainment, and charity case, while they behave in the most selfish, unobservant way possible.
Frankly in Love was definitely one of the books of 2021 that I enjoyed the most. At first glance, the book seemed like it is nothing more than a fake-dating romance, but soon unraveled to be more of an exploration of conflicting cultural identities. Romance definitely takes a back seat to the drama being Korean American brings for Frank Li, who feels enormous pressure to be one or the other because of rising expectations.
Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.
Mara Deebly, in need of a team sport to prove she can be a team player, joins the football team and unintentionally starts a feminist movement in her highschool. Much to her and the boys' disgust, several other girls feel inspired by her decision and follow her onto the football team, where Mara get's lumped in with girls she feels are frilly, weak, and won't take the game seriously. As she tries to set herself apart from her new teammates, she and the other girls experience bullying and unfairness by even people on the team she had thought were her friends.
Pumpkin' by Julie Murphy
Book three in 'Dumplin'' series
Creating a drag-show audition tape that culminates in an unkind nomination for prom queen, an overweight and openly gay teen partners with a girl who has been nominated for prom king to embrace their true selves.
Set in a Nigerian town, this book opens with a mother finding her son’s body on her front porch. This was no natural death and who took the time to wrap him in a cloth and place him in front of her house? Through flashbacks of Vivek’s life, we learn more about this intriguing, lovable boy and his friends, who seem to know more than they admit about his demise.