An Ember in the Ashes

Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember of Ashes is one of the books that intricately builds its fictional universe without making the plot movements slow down to a standstill. It took me a moment to recalibrate myself as I have never in earnest sat down to read a YA fantasy novel for academic research until now. Also,…

Exilée

Sometimes, book covers will tempt readers with a promise to take them along on a journey to “exotic” and “faraway” places. I recently found an entire section in Barnes & Nobles dedicated to “Escapist Fiction.” But if your body is already in motion, is the process of being transported from one place to another that simple…

Spirit Hunters

I picked up Ellen Oh’s Spirit Hunters when the oppressing heat of the summer was becoming unbearable for me. This was a perfect reading choice as I did not expect to be so chilled by a middle grade horror novel. Every time a ghost appeared on the page, the line read, “the temperature inside the…

The Interpreter

Suki Kim’s debut novel, The Interpreter (2003), revolves around a murder mystery, but offers much more than that. The novel provides a gripping portrayal of interior lives of 1.5 generation immigrant children, who are prematurely brought into the morally ambiguous adult world as interpreters for their non-English speaking parents. Though narrated in the third person,…

Edinburgh

The cover of the reissue edition of Edinburgh by Mariner Books feature blue and red waves painted in rough brush strokes. It is simple, yet mesmerizing. And, when I finally read the lines below, I caught my breath: “Not blood spilled, but the essence of blood, the red heat, the transaction of all life. A gas passing…