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Pub Day Shout-Outs! for August 4, 2020, featuring Emezi, Garber, and Leong

by Jen Moyers (@jen.loves.books)

book cover of Akwaeke Emeji's The Death of Vivek Oji

Akwaeke Emezi's The Death of Viveh Oji

Description from Publisher:

"One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom. 

"Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader."

Why I want to read it:

After Pet, I will read anything that Emezi writes. Pet is a brilliant YA novel, and this book is aimed at adults, but I trust Emezi's writing and storytelling, and the initial buzz looks great! (I have Freshwater on my TBR for one of my reading challenges, too.)

book cover of Romina Garber's Lobizona

Romina Garber's Lobizona

Description from Publisher:

"Some people ARE illegal.

"Lobizonas do NOT exist.

"Both of these statements are false.

"Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who's on the run from her father's Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

"Until Manu's protective bubble is shattered.

"Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past―a mysterious 'Z' emblem―which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

"As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it's not just her U.S. residency that's illegal. . . . it’s her entire existence."

Why I want to read it:

I think this one seems like the perfect blend of fantasy and relevant, important reality. It's also the beginning of a series, which is promising!

book cover of Sloane Leong's A Map to the Sun

Sloane Leong's A Map to the Sun

Description from Publisher:

"A Map to the Sun is a gripping YA graphic novel about five principle players in a struggling girls' basketball team.

"One summer day, Ren meets Luna at a beachside basketball court and a friendship is born. But when Luna moves to back to Oahu, Ren’s messages to her friend go unanswered.

"Years go by. Then Luna returns, hoping to rekindle their friendship. Ren is hesitant. She's dealing with a lot, including family troubles, dropping grades, and the newly formed women's basketball team at their high school.

"With Ren’s new friends and Luna all on the basketball team, the lines between their lives on and off the court begin to blur. During their first season, this diverse and endearing group of teens are challenged in ways that make them reevaluate just who and how they trust.

"Sloane Leong’s evocative storytelling about the lives of these young women is an ode to the dynamic nature of friendship."

Why I want to read it:

I've talked on the podcast before about how I am not athletic or sporty at all, but I LOVE books about sports. And this is a YA graphic novel about sports! Featuring women! And found family! It sounds just perfect.


A few others I'm excited to read:

Alexis Daria's You Had Me at Hola

Tamsyn Muir's Harrow the Ninth

Christina Hammonds Reed's The Black Kids

(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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