Featured Books for June 2021
On May 5, we're so excited to share our Book Club episode focusing on Laura Taylor Namey's A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, which will also be our Buddy Read pick. On June 14th and 28th, we'll have IG chats about the novel. DM us @unabridgedpod to join!
Here's the synopsis from the publisher:
A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow
"For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.
"Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila. Until she meets Orion Maxwell.
"A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind."
On July 7, we'll release our Book Club episode focusing on Jacqueline Woodson's Red at the Bone, and we'll have an IG chat mid-month. We'll also have two IG chats about our Buddy Read pick, Laekan Zea Kemp's YA novel Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet. Stay tuned @unabridgedpod for announcements and updates.
Here are the synopses from the publisher:
Red at the Bone
"Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson's taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.
"As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony—a celebration that ultimately never took place.
"Unfurling the history of Melody's family—reaching back to the Tulsa race massacre in 1921—to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they've paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives—even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be."
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
"Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father's restaurant, Nacho's Tacos. But her mom and dad have different plans—leaving Pen to choose between not disappointing her traditional Mexican American parents or following her own path. When she confesses a secret she's been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho's who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she's been too afraid to ask herself.
"Xander Amaro has been searching for home since he was a little boy. For him, a job at Nacho's is an opportunity for just that—a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo's, and to find the father who left him behind. But when both the restaurant and Xander's immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his newfound family and himself.
Together, Pen and Xander must navigate first love and discovering where they belong in order to save the place they all call home.
"This stunning and poignant novel from debut author Laekan Zea Kemp explores identity, found families and the power of food, all nestled within a courageous and intensely loyal Chicanx community."
If you missed our May picks, be sure to check out episode 176, in which we discuss Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. We had some amazing chats about Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite’s Dear Haiti, Love Alaine, an amazing YA novel for our buddy read, as well!
(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)
Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.
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