Fighting Racism and Fighting in Space

It’s September which means the last book I reviewed, A Room Away from Wolves, is out! This month also brings us two other books I read and loved.

Here to Stay by Sara Farizan

First of all, I love basketball so here for a book about a kid going from j.v. to varsity and excelling. High school also sucks though and the world is full of racists, so an anonymous email gets sent out to the whole school of Bijan Majidi, the main character, photoshopped as a terrorist. Bijan just wants to move past it, but as a star player, that doesn’t exactly go his way.

This book, like a lot of YA, is successful in navigating a difficult topic that is timely. On top of talking about racism and bullying, classic crushes and difficult friendships are explored as well. This story, however, isn’t a dark and sad one. Instead, Farizan wrote in a lot of humor. There were plenty of parts made me laugh without detracting from the seriousness of the main plot.

Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan

I am a sucker for vicious female leads. Ia is a criminal mastermind who no one knew was actually a 17-year-old girl, until she is captured by the imperialist space nation she spent her life fighting against. They send her to one of their academies instead of prison to force her to fight on their side.

She of course is plotting her escape the whole time, but maybe possibly has also made some friends. There might even be my favorite trope: two people who hate each other start to develop feelings for each other.

I had so much fun reading this and sped through the last part of the book because A LOT was happening. And don’t think just because this is way in the future in space it doesn’t have a lot of modern day issues incorporated into it. One of the main characters, Brinn, has to hide her true race because refugees from her mother’s home are hated. And then there are relationship struggles left and right: friendships, father/son, sister/brother etc. etc.

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