Book Reviews ft. A Fairytale Retelling, A YA Romance, and A New Nonfiction Favorite

I’m the lead editor for my school’s student led newspaper this year, and this month, I wrote three book reviews for the newspaper! It’s exciting because my reviews were part of our first issue this school year. I hope you all are inspired to read these books, as they’re some of my favorites I’ve read this year.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron – Cinderella is Dead is an adventurous fairy tale with a f/f relationship at the center by Kalynn Bayron, who takes the original elements of Cindrella and turns them into a new world where the story of Cinderella is a part of history. The main character, Sophia, wants to marry her best friend, Erin, but has to attend a ball where she’ll be forced into marriage. This ball is meant to pay homage to the tale of Cindrella, but is instead a lie meant to conceal the true story of Cindrella. While escaping the ball, and her seemingly inevitable unwanted marriage, Sophia meets Constance, Cinderella’s last living descendant. Sophia finds herself embroiled in a mission to upend the patriarchal structure of her world. Overall, I loved this feminist take on the Cinderella story. 

The Jasmine Project by Meredith Ireland – As an adoptee, The Jasmine Project stands out to me because it’s by an Asian adoptee and is about an Asian adoptee living her everyday life. Jasmine, the main character, finds her carefully planned summer upended when she finds out that her boyfriend, Paul, is cheating on her. Jasmine has no idea what she’s going to do for the rest of her summer before she starts college – until she meets three guys. Unbeknownst to Jasmine, her meddlesome family is trying to help her by setting her up with three guys to show Jasmine that she should be with someone who truly appreciates her. Throughout the book, Jasmine’s journey to love proves that love cannot be planned. The Jasmine Project is for fans of YA rom-coms and stories about self love, familial love, and all types of love.

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists by Mikki Kendall, illustrated by A. D’Amico – Everyone should read this book because the movement for women’s rights impacts everyone. Women’s advocacy has existed for as long as human civilization, so I appreciate the fact that Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists is about the intersectionality of the women’s rights movement. For example, Fatima bint Muhammad Al-Fihriya Al-Qurashiya “a Muslim woman, founded a mosque and library that become the University of Al Quaraouiyine. . .the world’s oldest continually operating educational institution” (Kendall and A. D’Amico 22). Kendall’s motivating writing and D’Amico’s captivating illustrations bring the stories of women to life and illuminate the fact that the women’s rights movement is ongoing.

If you’ve read these books, what did you think of them?