What starts off as a the usual morning paper route soon becomes an intergalactic, cataclysmic battle that traverses the space-time continuum. Mackenzie, KJ, Tiffany and Erin, a group of smart, determined, spunky young girls, will have to rely on each other as they as they unravel one of the greatest mysteries of their lifetimes. In this tale of girl power, Brian Vaughan weaves nostalgia for the ‘80s, incredible wit and page-turning suspense to remind all of us of our collective courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable circumstances.
Imbolo Mbue’s debut novel Behold the Dreamers is quintessential African immigrant literature because of its main concern: leaving and finding home. Imbolo Mbue, a Cameroonian immigrant, beautifully captures the unbridled optimism, uncertainty and challenges that comes with creating a new life in a new land. The novel’s central characters, the Jongas, are Cameroonian immigrants during the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Juxtaposing them with the wealthy Edwards family they work for, the novel succeeds in a clear depiction of two different families experiencing two different types of economic realities. The novel reaches far and wide when painting this picture, and demonstrates the obvious and not-so-obvious panic from different rungs of the social ladder. Behold the Dreamers hits the mark in raising an important question: can America deliver on its promise for those who dare to dream?
Luvvie Ajayi, popular blogger at Awesomelyluvvie.com, brings her wit, irreverent views, and fierce humor to her collection, I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual. In her collection of insightful essays, Ajayi ridicules the spectacle of pop culture, from the never-ending iterations of The Real Housewives series to click-bait headlines driving fake news. This is Ajayi’s guidebook for navigating our super-connected digital world. However, it’s not all jokes in this poignant debut. Ajayi shines brightest when she takes on racial justice. In a moving essay about the story of Sandra Bland and policing in America, Ajayi gets at the core of what is so jarring about the current state of the country. It’s a brilliant strategy; by discussing the ludicrous, Ajayi creates a bond with the reader, allowing space for more difficult and transformative conversations. In a world full of judgment, Luvvie is here to remind us of our flaws, our mistakes, and how we are in need of deep reflection. More than anything, she’s here to remind us there is still a space, and hope, for meaningful connection, and we can still laugh while doing it.