#5OnMyTBR: Love

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook and you can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. It occurs every Monday when we post about 5 books on our TBR. Thank you E. for the awesome graphic for these posts as well!

Hi everyone,

This week, in classic Rachel fashion, I managed to break my glasses! And I have really terrible eyesight. So I’ve had to make do with an old prescription pair and distances have been….blurry, to say the least. And then I had to do the whole ‘trying on glasses and deciding which ones don’t make my face look shit’ but with a mask covering most of my face. So whilst I’ve chosen a pair, I have NO IDEA what my face is actually going to look like, please wish me luck for when they come in three weeks!

This week on #5OnMyTBR we’re looking at books about love! I’m not usually the biggest romance reader, but I do have a few on my TBR, alongside some books which are definitely more contemporary with a side of love!

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

Okay so this one technically isn’t on my TBR yet because it doesn’t release until the end of the month (and then I have to contend with the delays getting overseas preorders actually to Australia), but I can’t wait to read this one, so it’s on the list!! Honey Girl is all about a straight-A, rule abiding, high achiever who goes to Vegas for a girls trip and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t remember.

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Henderson

I’ve been meaning to read this romance novel since the middle of last year and still haven’t, yes, I am the actual worst. Boyfriend Material was recommended to me by so many people, and I think I’ll love it, mainly because it has one of my favourite romance tropes: fake-dating!!

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus

Another book I’ve been meaning to read for an embarassingly long time…But this is the month!! I’m planning to read it for one of the prompts for the F/F February readathon happening this month. It’s about a girl from Trinidad who’s caught kissing the pastor’s daughter and is sent to America to live with her father as punishment.

Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram

Darius the Great Deserves Better is the sequel to one of my favourite ever YAs, Darius the Great is Not Okay. It dealt so personally and honestly with depression and I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel, when Darius finds himself with a boyfriend, an internship, and a spot on the soccer team, but now isn’t sure if that’s all he wants.

The Boy From the Mish by Gary Lonesborough

The Boy From the Mish is one of the most exciting LoveOzYA books coming this year (if not the most exciting). YA literature desperately needs more Aboriginal Australian voices. And The Boy From the Mish is queer as well! It’s a funny and heartwarming book about Jackson and the friendship he begins with a troubled boy tagging along with his aunt on their annual visit.

Can’t wait to see what’s on everyone’s lists this week! I really need to read more romance books/books about love because so much of what I read is more depressing and I really do appreciate happier books now! Let me know if you’ve read any of these ones in the comments!

#5OnMyTBR: Challenging Read

Hi everyone,

This week on #5OnMyTBR, we’re talking about challenging reads. I’ve chosen five books that are challenging to me for lots of different reasons. One is challenging because of the hype and sheer reverence with which it is discussed, others have some very challenging subject matter, whilst others are more challenging due to the writing style. I think the pandemic really impacted my ability to read challenging books, so much of what I wanted to read was joyful, escapist fantasy that could help distract me from the world. But hopefully in 2021 I’ll be able to bring myself to read some more challenging reads such as these again!

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life is on my list of must read books in 2021. It’s a book I’ve been meaning to read for years and it is far past time that I actually read it. But it sits on such a high pedestal in the reading community that it has been so intimidating to actually pick it up! The blurb itself even mentions its challenging nature – “Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting, and profoundly moving book in many a season.” It is known for being a book that rips people apart inside, so I’m preparing to be challenged and destroyed, in equal measures.

The Prophets by Robert Johnson Jr

The Prophets is one of my most anticipated books of 2021, and as it was a January release, it means I get to read it very soon! The subject matter looks to be extremely challenging – it is set on a slave plantation and follows two slaves whose love for each other is turned into a sin when one of the other slaves starts preaching their master’s religion.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M Danforth

Plain Bad Heroines sounds like it could be amazing – sapphic horror set at a New England boarding school where lots of mysterious deaths took place, all things I love!! But I’ve heard it’s also quite dense and slow, so might be a bit of challenge to get through, we’ll see!

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Shuggie Bain is another book with some difficult, depressing and challenging subject matter. It’s the winner of the 2020 Booker Prize, and as it’s written by a queer Scot, I obviously have to read it in support. It’s set in 1980s Glasgow and follows a young boy being brought up in run-down public housing as his mother succumbs to addiction.

A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

And last but not least is the incredible Arkady Martine and the sequel to the most unique scifi I’ve ever read, A Memory Called Empire. I loved that book but it was definitely a challenging read. Half the book reads like a love letter to poetry, the language of the colonising power is poetry, so it is quite an intricate and challenging book to get through. And I’m sure A Desolation Called Peace is going to be just as challenging, but just as brilliant as well!

And those are some of the challenging books on my TBR right now! As I said at the start, they are all challenging for different reasons, from the writing style in Arkady Martine’s work, to the subject matter. What makes a book challenging for you? Do you have any challenging books on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

#5OnMyTBR: White cover

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook and you can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. It occurs every Monday when we post about 5 books on our TBR. Thank you E. for the awesome graphic for these posts as well!

Hi everyone,

After my first full week back at work, I think I am slowly getting back into the whole ‘you don’t get enough sleep’ rhythm. Ah, the life of an insomniac. I also had to get a blood test at the weekend, and I’m writing this post immediately after, so I’m feeling very sorry for myself right now. (I am a Dr’s nightmare when taking blood because I always pass out/almost pass out.) But I have a mountain of creme eggs to cheer me up! And for today’s #5OnMyTBR, we’re talking about white covers and the cover theme posts are always my favourite to write! I hope everyone else had a good week!

Luster by Raven Leilani

Luster was one of my most anticipated books of 2020, but because of covid/delivery issues, my copy only just arrived before the end of 2020. But I’m hoping to read this one very soon! It’s about a young Black woman in her twenties who doesn’t know what she’s doing with her life, who meets a white family and becomes embroiled in their lives and their relationship.

The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr

YAAAAAS it’s one of my most anticipated books of 2021!! And as it was an early January release, my copy has already arrived!! I will be reading in the next week or two (as soon as I finish one more ARC and my current library book). It’s a novel about two enslaved young men who fall in love on a plantation but when an older man starts preaching the religion of his master on the plantation, their relationship is now seen as sinful and the enslaved start to turn on each other.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This book has been on my radar for a little while, but I grabbed a copy at the end of last year so finally I can read it! It follows a young Black babysitter, Emira, who is accused of kidnapping the (white) child she is looking after by a local security guard. The whole thing is filmed and goes viral, leaving Emira humilated and the white mother vowing to make everything right (even if Emira doesn’t want her to).

The Burning God by R.F Kuang

Pain.

That is all.

Yes I know I need to read the finale to one of my favourite fantasy series, but I am scared because I know it will hurt me.

Cherry Beach by Laura McPhee-Browne

This book has been on almost every monthly TBR since last April. Which is really just embarassing at this stage. I am going to read it soon I promise. Cherry Beach is about two friends who move to Canada. One, the shy, wallflower back in Australia, finds herself in an intense affair with a woman she meets in an art gallery. The other, the life of the party back home, finds her whole life falling apart.

Some of these covers might be stretching it a bit to be defined as “white” but the base colour of all these is white so I counted them. Have you read any of these? What books with white covers do you have on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

#5OnMyTBR: Graphic Novels

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook and you can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. It occurs every Monday when we post about 5 books on our TBR. Thank you E. for the awesome graphic for these posts as well!

Hi everyone,

It’s my first full week back at work this week, so goodbye to my long lie-ins! I will miss them terribly. The theme for this week’s #5OnMyTBR is graphic novels. I’m rather ashamed to say I’ve never actually read a graphic novel….But I think 2021 should definitely be the year that changes! I have no idea if it’ll be a media I enjoy, but I have to at least give it a chance! So here’s five graphic novels I’m hoping to get to in 2021.

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

The Magic Fish has been all over my Twitter/Insta timelines for the past few months, and absolutely everyone is raving about it. So this is likely to be the very first graphic novel I try! It’s about a boy trying to find the words to tell his parents he’s gay, “a beautifully illustrated story by Trung Le Nguyen that follows a young boy as he tries to navigate life through fairytales, an instant classic that shows us how we are all connected”.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

All of these graphic novels come highly recommended from the online book community because I really had no idea where to start so these are all ones I’ve heard lots of people talk about! (And love). The Prince and the Dressmaker is about a genderfluid prince who dresses as a princess during the evenings and hides his secret during the day, and his best friend and, duh, dressmaker, who longs for greatness.

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Gender Queer gets the award for graphic novel that has been on my radar the longest – since it came out in fact in 2019. So I really need to get a move on and actually read it. This is an autobiographical graphic novel about Maia and eir journey of self-identity that started as a way to explain to eir family about what it means to be nonbinary and asexual.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

This witchy graphic novel follows a young witch who works in her grandmother’s bookshop and helps investigate any supernatural occurences in their small town. When she’s investigating a wolf, she runs into her childhood crush (A NONBINARY WEREWOLF!!!!!) fighting a demon.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

This beauty is all about a supervillain & their shapeshifting sidekick who vow to prove the people at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. But the sidekick’s powers are mysterious and she’s growing more unpredictable every day…. Yes please, a tale of superheroes and supervillains that subverts the usual media portrayal of the heroic law enforcement and shows them as the monsters they are!

And those are five graphic novels on my TBR! As I said at the start, I really have no idea where to start with graphic novels as I’ve never read any before so I would love some more recommendations. Let me know if you have any in the comments!

#5OnMyTBR: 2021 Releases

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook and you can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. It occurs every Monday when we post about 5 books on our TBR. Thank you E. for the awesome graphic for these posts as well!

Hi everyone,

Happy New Year!! Here’s to having a better year than the last one… We’re starting off 2021 with a #5OnMyTBR all about the 2021 releases coming. I’m so excited for so many, but I decided to choose this week’s titles based on what ones I’ll be reading the soonest – aka, which ones I currently have ARCs for and need to read in January!

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

This book has been on my TBR for ages as it was a book pushed back because of the pandemic last year, but it’s finally releasing in February so it is time to read the ARC! This is a West African inspired YA fantasy about a girl who discovers she is near-immortal when her blood runs gold rather than red during a blood ceremony, and goes to fight for the emperor rather than facing a fate worse than death in the village she grew up in.

Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales

Sophie Gonzales’ Only Mostly Devastated was one of my favourite books of 2020 so when her 2021 release, Perfect on Paper, was on Read Now on NetGalley, I absolutely flew to grab a copy! I can’t wait to read her newest book that celebrates bisexuality! This biconic read is about a girl who runs an annoymous sex/relationship advice clinic at school and gets blackmailed to help someone get their ex back.

The Library of the Dead by T.L Huchu

I don’t know huge amounts about this one because I was pretty much sold on only “Zimbabwean magic”, “adult fantasy” and “set in Edinburgh” (which is very close to where I grew up in Scotland!) So of course I wanted to read the fantasy novel set there?! Especially when it’s all about ghosts because Edinburgh is one of the best settings for ghost stories. But it seems to be about a woman who can talk to the dead and carries messages from them the living and a new creature that is bewitching children and taking all their joy.

Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

As much as I dislike this cover (seriously, what on earth is that?! It’s so bad?? It looks like one of the fake ones you do before the real cover release??), I have heard nothing but incredible things about this book. It has a bisexual mc and, I’ve been told, so much yearning we might all die. Also it’s a gothic novel set in a creepy mansion with a lord with a mysterious illness…

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Yes so this one doesn’t release until July and I have so many other ARCs I need to read before it, but there is NO WAY I can let this go unread until I’ve finished them all. I’m trying to be responsible and read the ones due in February/March first but really, I give me a week before I’ve caved and read this baby, my most anticipated book the year! It’s an adult fantasy reimagining of the rise to power of the founder of the Ming Dynasty. It’s tragic and queer and has a genderqueer lead and I literally will die the moment my eyes read the first words of this book.

And there’s a very short snippet of some of the 2021 releases I’m planning to read this month! They all sound absolutely exceptional and I think we’re going to have a really stand out year of books! What 2021 release are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!

#5OnMyTBR: Small Town

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook and you can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. It occurs every Monday when we post about 5 books on our TBR. Thank you E. for the awesome graphic for these posts as well!

Hi everyone,

This week we’re talking about Small Town books. And as someone who grew up in a small town, I have spent half my life trying to escape them, and so I really struggled with this prompt! Because the small town environment is just not a fun environment for me to read about, hello memories. But I’ve managed to find a few, although I’m not really sure how well some (most) of them fit the prompt…

Please note, next paragraph has a content warning for mention of Harry Potter and TERFs, please skip to the books if needed.

I hope everyone had a good week. Main event for me was that I got a Harry Potter tattoo burned off me with a laser. As the laser specialist said, it’s “shitter but quicker” than getting the actual tattoo in the first place and I would definitely agree with that assessment. But now that I don’t have to think about TERFs everytime I look at my body, I’m looking forward to getting a new cover up over the top! I’m thinking a mushrooms/flowery/foresty scene.

Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson

First up is a book by Yuwaalaraay author, Nardi Simpson about a gateway town, Dartmoor, a place where race relations are fraught and three generations of one family are visited by ancenstral spirits and spirits of the recently deceased to help keep their descendants on the right path. But an act of violence will rip the town apart.

Vanishing Monuments by John Elizabeth Stintzi

So this one I really don’t actually know if it features a small town, but it kind of sounds like it might? So I counted it. It’s about a nonbinary teacher who hasn’t seen their mother since they ran away from home at 18. But 30 years later, their mother’s dementia has worsened and they are pulled back to their mother’s hometown to wrap up the loose ends of their mother’s life.

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

This is another that I don’t actually know if it features a small town, but it’s set in the mountains of Nagano so I figured there’s gotta be a small town somewhere there? Earthlings is a weird and wonderful novel about a girl who might be a witch or an alien and the summers she spends with her cousin in the wild mountains of Nagano, and the promise they make there to survive, no matter the cost.

Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour

I wasn’t the biggest fan of my first LaCour book (We Are Not Okay) which I think might make me the only sapphic who didn’t like it. But I’m going to give her another go with Watch Over Me, because I am a sucker for a pretty cover. Watch Over Me is about a girl called Mila who ages out of the foster care system and is offered a job on an isolated farm where Mila hopes to finally find a family.

The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels

Okay this might be the only one that actually, definitely fits the prompt because it has the words “small town Appalachia” in the blurb! Set in the 80s during the AIDS crisis, The Prettiest Star follows follows Brian after he loses his friends, lover and future to the disease. So he goes back to his hometown to die, the place he was once desperate to escape.

I hope everyone managed to do better than I did with actually finding books to fit this prompt! Have a lovely week!

#5OnMyTBR: Shorties

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook and you can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. It occurs every Monday when we post about 5 books on our TBR. Thank you E. for the awesome graphic for these posts as well!

Hi everyone,

This week we’re talking about short books and as a reader of mostly very large fantasy books, I did think I might struggle. BUT! Luckily, queer novellas have been having an absolute amazing run (thank you Tor.com) and thus I managed to actually find five shorties I want to read!

The Red Threads of Fortune by Neon Yang

I’m slowly working my way through Neon Yang’s Tensorate novella series. I’ve read the first one (The Black Tides of Heaven) and the last one (The Ascent to Godhood), but need to read number two and three. Number two is The Red Threads of Fortune and follows the twin of the main character from the first.

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

This novella has languished on my Kindle for several months now but I promise I will get to it eventually. This has “the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama” and so obviously will be amazing. It sounds kind of similar to The Ascent to Godhood in the way it’s told, from the point of view of a handmaiden to the empress and since I loved that one, I’m equally excited to start this!

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

As well as having one of the most beautiful titles of all books released this year, The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water also has one of my favourite tropes: found family! It’s described as a found family wuxia about a bandit who joins up with a group of thieves to protect a sacred object, and explores spirituality and identity.

In the Vanisher’s Palace by Aliette de Bodard

This is another novella that has been languishing on my kindle for months because I am the actual worst, and I’m so mad at me because this sounds so good! I just haven’t had time to read it yet. It’s a dark, sapphic, Beauty and the Beast retelling but the beast is a DRAGON!!!

Drowned Country by Emily Tesh

I read and loved Silver in the Wood earlier this year so of course I did my usual thing by immediately buying the sequel and then….just not reading it. The first one was such a beautiful and relaxing foresty fairytale, and I’m hopeful the second will be just as wonderful!

And that’s it for another #5OnMyTBR. I can’t believe it’s going to be December in one day. We’re down to the very last books we can read this year! I have so many still on my “want to read before the end of the year” list and there’s just so. little. time. See everyone next week!

#5OnyTBR: Nonfiction

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook and you can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. It occurs every Monday when we post about 5 books on our TBR. Thank you E. for the awesome graphic for these posts as well!

Hi everyone,

I can’t quite believe the end of the year is now just around the corner. I spent the weekend buying Christmas gifts and reading The Empire of Gold, which I will now have to spent the whole week recovering from (DARA!!!! 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭). This week for #5OnMyTBR, we’re talking all about nonfiction! Until this year, I really hadn’t read many nonfiction books or memoirs, and one of my goals for the year was to read more in this genre. I’m very glad I did because I’ve really loved the nonfic books I’ve read, so hopefully I’ll read even more next year! But for now, here’s five on my TBR!

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M Johnson

This has one of the most gorgeous book covers of the year and is one of my must read books before the year ends. All Boys Aren’t Blue is an essay collection from LGBTQIA+ activist George M Johnson that covers topics from gender identity to toxic masculinity, consent to Black joy.

White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Colour by Ruby Hamad

This nonfiction book just released last month and looks like it will be a challenging, confronting and fucking necessary read for white people, particularly white women, as Hamad tackles how white women’s tears are weaponised against people of colour to uphold white supremacy and the patriarchy.

Show Me Where It Hurts by Kylie Maslen

Another must read book, this time about disability, this essay collection from Maslen examines invisible disabilities in particular. Show Me Where it Hurts draws on topics such as online culture, art and pop music to reveal the reality of living with an invisbile illness in a world very much not build for disbality.

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang 

This essay collections explores Wang’s personal journey towards her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and how it manifests in her life. She also confronts the issues and dangers of opinions about mental illness within the medical community, combining both research and her personal narrative in the collection.

The Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir by Wayétu Moore

Finally, the last book on my list this week is a memoir from Wayétu Moore about her life spent escaping the Liberian Civil War and then growing up in the US. When Moore was 5 years old, the civil war broke out in Liberia, and so her family had to flee the country. But when Moore reached the US, she had to adjust to life as an immigrant and Black woman in America as she continued to search for somewhere to call home.

Have you got any favourite nonfiction books? I think my favourite I’ve read this year is How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones. It was such a powerful book, one that created such a vivid and brutal reading experience – you can really tell Jones has a background as a poet because the way this book is written is just brilliant. I’m pretty sure it’ll end up on my favourite books of the year list!

#5OnMyTBR: Friendship

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook and you can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. It occurs every Monday when we post about 5 books on our TBR. Thank you E. for the awesome graphic for these posts as well!

Hi everyone,

After spending most of this year struggling to reach my goal of 10 books a month, I’m somehow on my 8th book already and it’s only DAY 9 of November. I don’t know what has happened to my brain but I would like it to continue please. I’ve also almost got all my judging entries read for the British Fantasy Awards and hoping to get stuck into my entries for the Aurealis awards this week! This week’s #5OnMyTBR theme is all about friendship, so I’ve got a mix of books about fun friendship groups/found family, as well some books looking at smaller, best friend relationships!

The Archive of the Forgotten by A.J Hackwith

The Archive of the Forgotten is the sequel to one of my favourite fantasy novels, The Library of the Unwritten. It’s a series set in Hell’s library, and in the first book follows a librarian who is hunting down a character who escaped from one of the books. In this sequel, the team of Claire (former librarian and new Archivist), Hero (formerly escaped character), Brevity (muse and new librarian), and Rami (fallen angel) must work together to find out why the books have started leaking a strange ink. The first one was so much fun and had such a great group of charcacters and as my copy arrived last week, I’ll be picking this one up asap!

Architects of Memory by Karen Osbourne

I think science fiction books do friendship groups really well. My re-introduction to scifi in recent years was Becky Chambers and her books have excellent friendship groups/space crew which is probably partly accounting for why I think this, but when I also think of my more recent reads like Unconquerable Sun, the statement holds true too! So I’m hopeful that Architects of Memory will also have a great crew on board a ship with a terminally ill pilot looking for a cure, but instead finds the remains of a genocidal weapon.

Seven Devils by Elizabeth May and Laura Lam

Yep, it’s the title that appeared on mt #5OnMyTBR lists like three times in a row earlier in the year and which I STILL have not read. Someone please shame me into reading this. This is another scifi space crew book, with a whopping seven different POVs and follows a group of resistance fighters as they try to free the galaxy aka it’s queer Star Wars.

The Adversary by Ronnie Scott

The Adversary is a local queer Aussie literary fiction title and because I always struggle to explain what literary fiction books are about, I’m stealing the blurb for this one: “The Adversary is a sticky summer novel about young people exploring their sexuality and their sociability, where everything smells like sunscreen and tastes like beer, but affections and alliances have consequences. It asks what kinds of stories are possible – or desirable – for which kinds of friendships, and what happens when you follow those stories to their natural conclusions.” It was very amusing to me that as I wrote this post my flat does smell like sunscreen because it’s finally starting to get hot again here.

Let’s Call it a Doomsday by Katie Henry

Let’s Call it a Doomsday is about two girls who meet in their therapist’s waiting room and become best friends. One spends her life in constant anxiety about how the world is going to end; the other knows exactly when it will. I’ve heard this has really excellent anxiety and faith representation, as well as a questioning bi girl. I’ve had a copy since earlier this year but given the state of the world and thus the state of my mental health, I’ve put off reading this book until I’m in a slightly less anxious frame of mind!

And that’s another week! As I mentioned last week, this will be my only post for the week since I’m busy with judging duties. But I’ll be back next week to talk about more books on my TBR in the hopes it will shame me into actually reading some.

#5OnMyTBR: Death

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook and you can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. It occurs every Monday when we post about 5 books on our TBR. Thank you E. for the awesome graphic for these posts as well!

Hi everyone,

I can’t believe it’s November. What a year. I’m not going to be appearing on my blog much this month, as I’m busy judging for the British Fantasy Awards and Aurealis Awards! But I will be popping in for #5OnMyTBR every Monday. This week’s theme is ‘death’ and I thought I’d struggle with finding books to match. But turns out I actually have rather a lot of books on my physical TBR about death, apparently I like books about pain.

And just a content warning for this post, several of these books explore the aftermath of suicide and so this is mentioned throughout the sections on The Perfect World of Miwako Sumido and And the Stars Are Burning Brightly, if you would like to skip past those sections.

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Let’s start with a book that even has death in the title!! This book, obviously, is all about the death of Vivek Oji, whose mother finds his body on her front step. The book explores those affected by Vivek’s death, both before and after he dies. I loved Emezi’s YA book, Pet, so I can’t wait to read this one (and their other book on my TBR, Freshwater).

The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida by Clarissa Goenawan

In this book, the titular character Miwako Sumida, has hanged herself, after hiding away in a small mountain town in the months before she killed herself. The book follows two friends of Miwako as they try to discover why she was in hiding and pick up the pieces after she’s gone.

Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall

I really want to read this book asap because I think it will end up being one of my favourite books of the year. It’s about a closeted bi girl whose secret girlfriend dies unexpectedly in a car crash. The only one she can talk to about her grief is her dead girlfriend’s ex; and that’s also the person she should definitely not be getting feelings for.

After Elias by Eddy Boudel Tan

Another book I want to read asap because I think it’ll be a new favourite because I love PAIN. In After Elias, we follow Coen after his soon-to-be-husband’s plane crashes the day before their wedding. But the cryptic last words from Elias on the plane’s recording confuse Coen and Coen is soon forced to question everything he knew about Elias and their relationship.

And the Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando

Finally, this UKYA book has been on my TBR since my preorder arrived earlier this year and seriously, much like every other book on this list, I need to read it asap. It follows 15-year-old Nathan after his brother commits suicide as he tries to retrace his brother’s steps to figure out why he did it, along with the help of Meg, one of his brother’s classmates.

So yeah, a heavy topic this week and pretty sure if I had to put money on what books on my TBR will make me cry, it’ll be these five. I really like reading books that are as hugely emotional as these books will likely be: I like being made to feel something, even if that something isn’t necessarily a happy emotion. Do you like to read books like this? Do you have any favourites that deal with death? Let me know in the comments!