Bedtime Stories: August 2022
- August 17, 2022
What are book lovers reading before lights-out? We asked one of them, and here’s what she said.
What a perfect time to talk about what I’m reading! Because I’ve been reading so much lately. As an author debuting in 2022, it’s been so fun reading my peers’ stories. There are so many incredible books releasing this year!
I recently finished Finding Jupiter, a gorgeous YA debut by Kelis Rowe that tells a beautiful love story from the perspective of two Black teens. It’s about pain, healing, and the bravery it takes to love one another, and the prose is so lyrical that I can’t say enough good things about it. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a summer love story!
Another 2022 debut I read recently is Briarcliff Prep by Brianna Peppins, which is coming out in November. It centers a historically Black boarding school and creates such a lush environment that truly sucked me right in. But beyond the atmospheric nature of this story, it discusses difficult topics like dating violence and what sisterhood truly looks like. You know when you’re reading a book and you just want to be there? Well, this one left me feeling like that.
And here’s one more debut coming out in November that I have to shout out to: Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win by Susan Azim Boyer. This one is YA historical fiction and follows a Persian girl desperate to win her class election (for her college applications) right as the Iranian Hostage Crisis is erupting overseas. It tackles topics like xenophobia, self-hate, and eventually self-acceptance in a way that is so pure, readable, and — at times — funny, which was impressive to me: seeing all of that balanced so well.
Beyond these debuts, I also just finished The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley and am currently reading Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow. I’ve been craving psychological suspense lately (more like always), and The Paris Apartment gave me just the kind of page-turning energy I was looking for. And Cherish Farrah…wow. The voice is so beautiful and so haunting that I simultaneously don’t want the book to end and can’t wait to see what happens. I’m sure I’ll be screaming about it from the rooftops as soon as I let myself actually finish it.
Charlene Thomas is a marketer by day whose debut novel, Seton Girls, comes out August 30th from Dutton/Penguin Random House. Her sophomore novel, Peekaboo, is set to follow in 2024.