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Highlight Worthy Novels I Haven’t Reviewed

As someone who reads a lot, it is impossible to review each and every book I tackle. There is not enough time in my day – or place on the blog, for that matter – to put out 100+ reviews per year. Not to mention that a lot of the times I simply have nothing to say about a book, or a book was so darn good that I don’t know how to make a coherent review out of my gushy, fangirly thoughts.

In the case of the following four novels, it was a combination of lack of time and a struggle to phrase my thoughts in a way that gives justice to these novels. As you’ll see, I ended up opting for writing short summaries, giving content warnings and, finally, giving you my short thoughts on these novels.

Sadie

Short summary: A YA Mystery-Thriller like no other, Sadie simultaneously follows 19-year-old Sadie’s quest for revenge and podcast-host West’s attempts to uncover what happened to the now missing girl.

Content warning: sexual assault, rape, pedophilia, mention of drug use/addiction

Thoughts: Courtney Summers proves her ability as a master story-teller in Sadie, there’s no question about that. She expertly tackles Sadie’s voice alongside West’s podcast and all his interviewees, and creates a captivating story in the process that effortlessly mixes the past and present together. Emotional, raw and engrossing, Sadie is a novel you should put on your radar asap.

Add to Goodreads.

Saints and Misfits

Short summary: A spellbinding YA contemporary that tells the story of Janna, a hijabi Muslim girl, whose life is turned upside down when she is sexually assaulted by a “perfect” guy from her community.

Content warning: sexual assault

Thoughts: Ruzi has been nagging me – in the best possible sense of the word – to read Saints and Misfits for a while now, so I went into S.K. Ali’s debut with high hopes. Even so, it fully lived up to my expectations, and I want everyone to give this fantastic novel a chance. Ali tackles the topic of sexual assault in a raw but respectful way, while simultaneously giving us a well-rounded heroine who, besides struggling with the aftermath of the assault, has to face normal teenage-girl problems, like her first big crush, arguments with her friends or the weirdness of having divorced parents.

Long Way Down

Short summary: Told in prose, Long Way Down is a quick, but brutally raw read about 15-year-old Will who has to decide whether or not he should murder the supposed killer of his older brother.

Thoughts: Damn, Long Way Down punched me in the feels so hard I’m still reeling. Will is a fantastic narrator; his pain over losing his brother is palpable all through the novel and his confusion and frustration over the six ghosts who appear for him in the elevator is so well-written. Really, everything is fantastically done here; it genuinely feels as though I was in the elevator alongside Will and the ghosts. Reynolds’ effortless way of mixing these paranormal elements into a realistic fiction made for a captivating, heartfelt novel. Also, quick note: I don’t much care for audio books, but in this case I highly recommend you get that, because Reynolds’ narration made this novel all the more powerful.

Forbidden

Short summary: A historical romance that’s on the realistic side, Forbidden tells the story of Eddie, a young Black woman with dreams of opening her own restaurant, and Rhine, a Black businessman who’s been passing as white for years.

Content warning: racism

Thoughts: Learning that Jenkins’ historical romances are on the realistic side, – which, let’s be honest, is not that common within the genre – I was hooked, and soon after, I purchased my first Jenkins novel, Forbidden. And y’all, it’s a fantastic novel. It’s certainly a romance novel, but a romance like I’ve never seen before, as the historical backdrop is vivid and colorful, filled with historical facts and information. I loved it, no lie. 

Let’s chat!

Have you read any of these novels? Or something else by these authors? Do you write reviews for each book you read? What books have you loved, but didn’t have the chance, or the words to write a full review for?

18 thoughts on “Highlight Worthy Novels I Haven’t Reviewed

  1. Long Way Down has been on my radar for a while. It sounds like such a powerful read. And it sounds like if I do pick it up, the audio version is the way to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So happy you loved Saints and Misfits! Before this novel I had honestly never read a YA novel with a Muslim protagonist. I was so happy that Muslim girls were getting the representation they deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read the first 3, and they were all fantastic reads for me. Oddly, two were quite sad, but I still really enjoyed them. They were quite powerful and thought provoking, which Ali accomplished with a slightly lighter approach.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve heard good things about Sadie, I actually have the audiobook since I heard it was a good listen and worked for the podcast part of the book, you know? I’ve heard it’s tough but you totally get absorbed in the whole story. And Beverley Jenkins is high on my ‘must try’ author list but when you look she’s written quite a few and I’m lost as to where to start. Maybe I’ll check out Forbidden. I was tempted to try her latest release though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I 1000% want to reread Sadie with the audiobook, because I heard fantastic things about it – I believe it has a full cast, and it’s a great experience. I feel you – I picked up Forbidden randomly, but I definitely want to continue her books, it’s so hard to know where to start! Also, after reading Forbidden I realized that the hero’s sister actually has her own book, so I definitely didn’t start at the right place.😂

      Like

  5. I know this is an old post, but I’m slowly catching up with the bloggers I follow. Although I haven’t read any of these books you mentioned, I just wanted to say that I like these type of reviews. Short and to the point. Its great especially when you don’t have a lot to say about the book, but would like to share your thoughts in some way.

    Happy reading to you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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