As I research one thing, I always come across something else. Again, I don’t read young adult fiction often and I rarely read horror, but I’ve found these titles continue to come up in relation to my Children of Blood and Bone and The Hate U Give books. Have you read any of these?
Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful. But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.
Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.
Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on. Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.
Akata Witch transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied. But once she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is plunged in to the world of the Leopard People, where your worst defect becomes your greatest asset. Together, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi and Sasha form the youngest ever Oha Coven. Their mission is to track down Black Hat Otokoto, the man responsible for kidnapping and maiming children. Will Sunny be able to overcome the killer with powers stronger than her own, or will the future she saw in the flames become reality?
What would you recommend?
Happy reading, ya’ll.
I haven’t yet read Children of Blood and Bone or The Hate U Give (though I really want to) so I can’t attest to how similar those two are to the books I’ve read.
I completed Dread Nation a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed. It’s horror but not scary. I only consider it horror because there are zombies. It was a fun, interesting read and I loved the protagonist’s spunk. I like how the author uses the presence of zombies to expose truths about society back then (shortly after the US Civil War) and now.
Shadowshaper was a quick read. Didn’t enjoy it as much as Dread Nation, but it’s decent. I just love that it’s set in Brooklyn and that it mixes in some Caribbean culture and folklore.
Akata Witch was wonderful! It’s more on the low end of YA because sometimes I consider it middle-grade, mostly because YA books have such mature content these days. I loved it for the magic system and that it shows that Black peeps are all one no matter where they’re from. Well, that’s what I got from it.
You can’t go wrong trying any of those books. I’ve heard the Belles is good, but I haven’t read it.
You really read YA books! Whoo! Of all the books listed, Akata Witch has the most appeal. I don’t know if I’ll pick up the others after these two YA reads. We will see.
Yea, I read them sometimes. Akata Witch was a delight. Hope you enjoy it.
Listened to The Hate U Give on Audible.
How’d you like it? I look forward to seeing the movie.