My September TBR Stack

Alas, it’s another month, which means I make another very aspirational (and perhaps foolhardy) list of titles I hope to get to in this month! Without further ado, here’s the titles that have made their way up the long TBR list to hopefully be tackled sometime this month:

Abbott by Saladin Ahmed & Sami Kivela

I absolutely loved Saladin Ahmed’s run of Black Bolt (seriously so good!) and in anticipation for his upcoming Ms. Marvel run, I wanted to check out his most recent graphic novel Abbott. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one, so here’s more info about it:

While investigating police brutality and corruption in 1970s Detroit, journalist Elena Abbott uncovers supernatural forces being controlled by a secret society of the city’s elite.

In the uncertain social and political climate of 1972 Detroit, hard-nosed, chain-smoking tabloid reporter Elena Abbott investigates a series of grisly crimes that the police have ignored. Crimes she knows to be the work of dark occult forces. Forces that took her husband from her. Forces she has sworn to destroy.

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon

I was pulled into picking up this title by the cover (come on, HOW COULD YOU NOT BE) and I have heard so many raving reviews about it, so I’m ecstatic that my hold for it finally came in! More about Ziggy, Stardust and Me:

The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness.

In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone. To cope, Jonathan escapes to the safe haven of his imagination, where his hero David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and dead relatives, including his mother, guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In his alternate reality, Jonathan can be anything: a superhero, an astronaut, Ziggy Stardust, himself, or completely “normal” and not a boy who likes other boys. When he completes his treatments, he will be normal—at least he hopes.

But before that can happen, Web stumbles into his life. Web is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay. Jonathan doesn’t want to like brooding Web, who has secrets all his own. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be “fixed” once and for all. But he’s drawn to Web anyway. Web is the first person in the real world to see Jonathan completely and think he’s perfect. Web is a kind of escape Jonathan has never known. For the first time in his life, he may finally feel free enough to love and accept himself as he is.

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

This is going to be another bestseller like Mary H.K. Choi’s debut Emergency Contact, I can just feel it! I enjoyed Emergency Contact, so I’m really excited to read her latest offering (especially since it’s a famous romance tale!). More about Permanent Record:

After a year of college, Pablo is working at his local twenty-four-hour deli, selling overpriced snacks to brownstone yuppies. He’s dodging calls from the student loan office and he has no idea what his next move is. Leanna’s life so far has been nothing but success. Age eight: Former Disney Mouseketeer, ten #1 singles, and now life is a queasy blur of private planes, weird hotel rooms, and strangers asking for selfies on the street.

When Leanna and Pab randomly meet at 4 AM in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn, they both know they can’t be together forever. So, they keep things on the down-low and off Instagram for as long as they can. But it takes about three seconds before the world finds out…

Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

This was my BOTM YA pick for August, but unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to read it last month. I’m excited to dive into this debut in September, and here’s more about it:

Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom’s family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time. Nevaeh wants to get to know her extended family, but one of her cousins can’t stand that Nevaeh, who inadvertently passes as white, is too privileged, pampered, and selfish to relate to the injustices they face on a daily basis as African Americans. In the midst of attempting to blend their families, Nevaeh’s dad decides that she should have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, which guarantees social humiliation at her posh private school. Even with the push and pull of her two cultures, Nevaeh does what she’s always done when life gets complicated: she stays silent.

It’s only when Nevaeh stumbles upon a secret from her mom’s past, finds herself falling in love, and sees firsthand the prejudice her family faces that she begins to realize she has a voice. And she has choices. Will she continue to let circumstances dictate her path? Or will she find power in herself and decide once and for all who and where she is meant to be?

Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger

This is one of my hopeful Netgalley arc reads for the month! Once I read a review of this book that said a character uses professional wrestling as a way to deal with grief and other issues, and I was immediately sold. That’s probably only a small part of the book, but as someone who was able to get through her parents’ divorce with the help of pro wrestling, I knew this narrative was going to speak to me. Hopefully I can fit this in before it comes out on the 24th. More about Six Goodbyes We Never Said:

Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six (always six) Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her.

Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It’s causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects.

Good Talk: a Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob

Okay, Kate over at @kate_reads_ simply GUSHED over this title, and I’m always on the lookout for more graphic novels to read (and I’m very prone to peer pressure and suggestion). I hope I love this one as much as she did!

“Who taught Michael Jackson to dance?” 
“Is that how people really walk on the moon?”
“Is it bad to be brown?” 
“Are white people afraid of brown people?”

Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob’s half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she’s gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love. 

“How brown is too brown?”
“Can Indians be racist?”
“What does real love between really different people look like?”

Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation—and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

If you are new here, you may not know that my absolute favorite trope (and actual kryptonite) is enemies to lovers. So naturally, if a book including it shows up on Netgalley (as this one is), I’m going to request it AND I’m going to read it. Add to that promising reviews from some pretty cool colleagues, and this one got moved up my TBR list! More about Tweet Cute:

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Because of Miss Bridgerton was one of my books on my last month’s TBR stack and sadly I wasn’t able to get to it in August, so I’m going to try again in September! I’m always looking for ways to branch out in reading and historical romances is one of the ways I hope to do so this month! More about this book:

Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbors for centuries, and as a child Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband someday…or not. Because there is one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George; he may be the oldest and the heir, but he’s arrogant and annoying, and both can’t stand the sight of each other. Despite this, they are quite literally thrown together and soon they might discover that the one person they can’t tolerate is the one person they can’t live without…

Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry

I love retellings and seeing how authors play with myths and classic tales, so a LBGTQ+ reimagining of the Orpheus tale? YES PLEASE. This debut is getting a lot of buzz so I’m really lucky to have been approved for an e-arc on Netgalley! I hope I’m able to find time to read it soon. More about Orpheus Girl:

Abandoned by a single mother she never knew, 16-year-old Raya—obsessed with ancient myths—lives with her grandmother in a small conservative Texas town. For years Raya has been forced to hide her feelings for her best friend and true love, Sarah. When the two are outed, they are sent to Friendly Saviors: a re-education camp meant to “fix” them and make them heterosexual. Upon arrival, Raya vows to assume the mythic role of Orpheus to escape Friendly Saviors, and to return to the world of the living with her love—only becoming more determined after she, Sarah, and Friendly Saviors’ other teen residents are subjected to abusive “treatments” by the staff.

In a haunting voice reminiscent of Sylvia Plath, with the contemporary lyricism of David Levithan, Brynne Rebele-Henry weaves a powerful inversion of the Orpheus myth informed by the real-world truths of conversion therapy. Orpheus Girl is a mythic story of dysfunctional families, trauma, first love, heartbreak, and ultimately, the fierce adolescent resilience that has the power to triumph over darkness and ignorance. 

Calexit by Matt Pizzolo & Amancay Nahuelpan

It’s hard not read more political fiction in these times… I mean, it’s everywhere! I saw this book while going through the Adult Graphic Novel section at work and it certainly caught my eye- I couldn’t not check it out, so I’m excited (and probably unprepared) for what’s inside. More about Calexit:

What if a fascist, autocratic President took over the United States? And what if that President lost California, the sixth largest economy on Earth, by nearly 2-to-1…a margin of almost 3 1/2 million votes? What if the day after that President took power, the largest mass demonstration in history occurred, and the state with the largest turnout was California. And then, the following week, two of the largest international airports in the world, California’s LAX and SFO, were blockaded by protesters?

What if California refused to be ruled?

Last Seen Leaving & White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig

These two books were also on my August TBR stack, and by God I’m GOING to read them this month (please hold me to this because my actual TBR is sooooo long).

In Last Seen Leaving, Flynn’s girlfriend has disappeared. he cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something. But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

In White Rabbit, Rufus is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the reappearance of his ex-boyfriend Sebastian, right as Rufus is moving on, say—the guy who stomped his heart out like a spent cigarette. Just as Rufus is getting ready to move on, Sebastian turns up out of the blue, saying they need to “talk.” It couldn’t get worse, right? Wrong: Rufus then gets a call from his sister April begging for help, and when Rufus and Sebastian find her, she’s drenched in blood and holding a knife, beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox. She swears she didn’t kill Fox, but there’s more to the story than she’s letting on; Rufus has one night to prove his sister’s innocence…or die trying.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

I love Faith Erin Hicks’ artwork and have enjoyed Rainbow Rowell’s writing, so when I heard they were collaborating on a graphic novel, I KNEW I had to have it! From the cover to the description, if this isn’t a 5 star read I’m going to be very surprised and very disappointed! More about Pumpkinheads:

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years…

What if their last shift was an adventure?

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters

I’m a big pop culture nerd and rom com devotee, so anything that brings those two together wrapped with a meet cute romance is sure to be a winner for me! I’m so lucky to have been granted to an e-arc on Netgalley and I can’t wait to fall into this cute story! More about Would Like to Meet:

After seven years as an assistant, 29-year-old Evie is ready to finally get the promotion she deserves. But now the TV and film agency she’s been running behind the scenes is in trouble, and Evie will lose her job unless she can convince the agency’s biggest and most arrogant client, Ezra, to finish writing the script for a Hollywood romantic comedy. 

The catch? Ezra is suffering from writer’s block–and he’ll only put pen to paper if singleton Evie can prove to him that you can fall in love like they do in the movies. With the future of the agency in jeopardy, Evie embarks on a mission to meet a man the way Sally met Harry or Hugh Grant met Julia Roberts. 

But in the course of testing out the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedies IRL, not only will Evie encounter one humiliating situation after another, but she’ll have to confront the romantic past that soured her on love. Sometimes real life is better than the movies–and the best kind of meet-cutes happen when you least expect them .

Have you read any of these books on this list-if so, what did you think? And what’s on your TBR for the month? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time!

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