R E C C O M E N D A T I O N S – B O O K S
Maisha Islam Monamee
2020 was a tiring year in general. Reading and writing have been my greatest coping mechanisms during the pandemic and I came across some really good YA books this year. Who doesn’t like a good and light read, just to refresh oneself?
With the Fire on High
This book presents a wholesome recipe of life through Emoni’s experiences. In a cloud of heavy issues, this book is sunlight. The narration talks about teen pregnancy without any hushes and explores all the associated dynamics. I loved how Emoni grows throughout the book — from a confused teen mother to a confident chef; from a girl who restrained herself from the warmth of love to the girl who falls in love with a hopeless romantic. This book perfectly blended into my diverse reads of 2020. It is sugar, spice and all things nice, and deserves your love!
Love and Gelato
This is a beautiful book that leaves you with a smile on your face. It takes you on a magical tour of Italy and you get to explore the place through Lina’s mother’s journal. It addresses grief and then transforms it into a warm feeling. Lina loses her mother and follows her dying wish of meeting her father. I loved the way the author addresses familial relationships, breaking our perceptions about ideal families. Lina and Ren’s love story is a cute addition and makes the read even more adorable. The best part is witnessing Lina grow and evolve. The way she steps out of sorrow and embraces life is wonderful. The book talks about love, regret, and much more and if you haven’t read it yet, you’re clearly missing out on this gem!
The Sun is Also a Star
This book is amazing. It’s a lot unlike the ideal YA contemporary romance and provides a good amount of exposure to the protagonists’ backgrounds, experiences, and obligations. I loved how the author managed to interconnect everything into a perfect narrative. Right from the suicidal security personnel to the car accident and the old guard, everything falls into place, like they were meant to. The story isn’t that of happy immigrants and bears the dreams and aspirations of two diverse families from different socioeconomic aspects. The characters are raw and have their own imperfections and you can live through their interactions. The familial relationships provide with some strong dynamics and address things beyond YA literature. In short, it is a well written educational book that teaches you more than just love and heartbreaks.
Far From the Tree
This book is a wholesome read. It fills your heart with the warmth of love, by untangling the lives of the protagonists. Grace, Maya, and Joaquin are extremely powerful characters, fighting their personal battles. Grace is a teen mom and is still haunted by her past while being wary of her child’s future. Maya’s picture perfect family is falling apart and her mother turns out to be alcoholic. Joaquin has learnt life while exchanging homes, and his past overpowers the blessings he deserves in the future. I loved how the author provides enough exposure to each protagonist’s dynamics and manages to interweave this beautiful story. Love, support, care, and acceptance are some tiny elements discussed throughout the book, as it also discusses heavy topics like death, loss, and mental health.
All This Time
This is a lovely book. I could feel their love through words. The story is set to break your heart, only to fix it at the end. There were several teary eyed moments — when Kyle isn’t ready to accept the loss; when Marley opens up about her guilt, and finally when he gets out of coma to realise there’s no Marley. It’s a story full of twists and turns and you’d not be able to drop it midway. It talks about love, in the rawest of forms. It addresses grief, death, and the sorrow of being left out. It explores relationship dynamics and does justice to all the characters. And by the time you’re finished, you’d yearn for more. To sum up, a perfect winter afternoon read.
The writer is a part of TDA Editorial Team.