Enjoy one of these through the Broader Bookshelf Challenge
Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade
She’s a plus sized geologist whose passion is cosplaying a character from the biggest show on television. (Think A Game of Thrones but Roman gods and heroes.) He’s the ridiculously attractive star of the show – but when he asks her out on a date to spite her fat-shaming internet critics, he finds out that he’s known her for years… as his fanfiction writing partner. But he can’t tell her that. This romance is equal parts steamy, funny, angsty and heartwarming – whether you’re an avid romance reader or looking to fulfill this Broader Bookshelf prompt with your first romance ever, there’s a lot to love here.
– Sara McBride
Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha, 1) by Tomi Adeyemi
Children of Blood and Bone is a must-read monumental tale of the fierce Zélie Adebola who fights against oppression to avenge the death of her mother and free her people in Orisha. Helped by her brother Tzain and a rogue princess named Amari, Zélie harnesses magical powers and uses the vast potential of her brilliant mind over matter as the trio wage many battles. The book is an allegory for racism against African Americans in America. When Zélie wonders why the king and his men hate her, Mama Agba wisely says, “They don't hate you, my child. They hate what you were meant to become.” It is heartening to see Zelie’s journey as she rises and reclaims her magic and herself. This majestic fantasy novel is geared toward young adults, but it is a marvelous read for adults as well.
– Mona Verma
I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad by Souad Mekhennet
In this fast-paced memoir, journalist Souad Mekhennet recalls her interviews behind the lines of jihad. As a Muslim who was born and educated in Germany, Mekhennet knows firsthand the misunderstandings between Muslims and the West. She maintains a neutral – and sometimes mediating – position as she attempts to present all sides, as well as internal rifts in Islam. Her tenacity in getting interviews and maintaining sources is astounding. During the course of her interviews, Mekhennet ends up in some harrowing situations, including being arrested by Egyptian security forces during the Arab Spring. She manages to maintain a sense of humor and even project a sense of calm while reporting in daunting and dangerous situations.
– Megan Mathis
Creatures by Crissy Van Meter
Creatures is, on the surface, the story of Evangeline/Evie and the days leading up to her wedding, but the tale covers so much more than that. We travel through her memories of childhood on Winter Island, her coming of age when she leaves for the Mainland, how she returns to Winter Island for good, and her relationship with her husband after the wedding. Every moment of the tale works to keep you grounded in reality while struggling with themes of love and loss in this story about the ways our families and friends can hurt us and heal us.
– Mahogany Skillings