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To All The Books I've Loved Before

I’m on vacation, which should means Blume is on vacation. However, as I realized that my "post twice a week every week" resolution was about to come to a sad and ignoble end, I found myself compelled to complete two posts in one day. I can’t promise that either post will be brilliant or even regular old okay, but I do promise they’ll be quick and dirty. Dirty in the just finished jumping in mud puddles kind of way and not in the zesty kind of way. Zesty will have to wait for a post-vacation Blume.

You may not know this, but I’ve been looking for a book to love. Not one that I just like, but one that I love. One I love like Eleanor & Park. One I love like Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue. One I love like The Hate U Give. One I love like The Poet X, which to be fair to this year of reading horrors was released in 2018. I think I’ve been looking for a book to love because I’ve been so focused on all the books I’ve read this year that I haven’t loved. And between us, there have been plenty of those-the reading apocalypse is strong in 2018. But once I approached my problem from the other direction, I realized there were books that I didn’t just like in 2018, but ones I loved.

I don’t love any of them the way I love the four books I mentioned, but I love them like I love Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and Holding Smoke, which is quite a bit. Without further ado, because I have to save something for the second post of the day, here are the books I’ve loved in 2018.

  • Children of Blood and Bone

  • Dread Nation

  • Emergency Contact

Here’s a short list of what’s great about this short list:

  • Each of these books features a protagonist of color, which tells me that the YA landscape is changing, albeit slowly, but it is changing.

  • They prove wrong all those academics who claim there is no literary merit in YA.

  • The genres are diverse. A fantasy steeped in West African mythology, an alt-history dystopian with zombies, and an awkwardly wonderful contemporary YA.

  • Each of these books kicks you in the heart - unapologetically.

  • They would all make for outstanding series or film adaptations, and we need more YA adaptations.

The books are few, but the impact on me was great. I’m looking forward to 2018 delivering more gems for my reading pleasure, and there are some great ones just over the horizon.

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