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8 Books You Totally Need To Read Before Spring

There’s still a month left before winter officially ends, which means there’s plenty of time to curl up by the fire with a new book. Even though you may be busy with school, escaping into another world may just be the best thing you can do for your mental health. Here are eight amazing books you won’t be able to put down.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

There’s some serious buzz around Angie Thomas’ debut novel, The Hate U Give. Last year, John Green, the author of The Fault In Our Stars, predicted that it was destined to become a classic of young adult literature. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, it tells the story of a 16-year old girl named Starr, who finds herself torn as she attends an upper middle-class high school, but lives in a poor neighborhood. Her entire world is shaken when she witnesses a police officer tragically shoot her unarmed best friend, Khalil. The book has been optioned by Fox, and Amandla Stenberg is set to play Starr!

You can read the first three chapters online now.


2. American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Set in Detroit, American Street is a coming-of-age story that follows a young Haitian immigrant named Fabiola Toussaint, who struggles to adjust to her new life in the United States. After her mother is detained by American immigration, Fabiola is left to navigate living with her American cousins, Donna, Chantal, and Princess and adjust to a new school, all on her own. Quickly, she comes to see that her new world and the American dream comes with a price.

It’s a far cry from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and she soon realizes that, in her new world, freedom comes at a cost. Author Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti herself and immigrated to the U.S. when she was 4 years old. Her award-winning writing work has been published in Haiti Noir, The New York Times Book Review, and the Horn Book Magazine, among many others.


3. Post-Grad: Five Women and Their First Year Out of College by Caroline Kitchener

What really happens in the first year out of college? Find out in Caroline Kitchener’s debut non-fiction collection about five women and the challenges they face within the first year of graduating from the Ivy League institution, Princeton University. Kitchener intertwines her own personal experience alongside the journeys of these five women as they attempt to build their own careers while coping with life’s many difficult circumstances: including estrangement from a parent, relationship drama, financial problems, finding jobs, and mental illness. Kitchener doesn’t shy away from the realities of post-college living, so if you’re anxious about life after college, pick this one up on Aprill 11th.


4. Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen

Feminism is about recognizing power and fighting to distribute it equally, regardless of race or class or ability or gender. Feminism is not static, and it never has been. In fact, feminism demands change. – Malinda Lo, in Here We Are: Feminism For the Real World

While you’re waiting for the release of Post-Grad, you can pick up Here We Are to hold you over. Published on January 24, Here We Are explores what being a feminist means in today’s world. It’s a great read for teenagers or young adults interested in feminism and the many different nuances of feminism as it pertains to intersectionality, mental and physical disabilities, religious minorities, and many other topics. It has a combination of essays, poems, comics and artwork created by diverse group of people, including ballet dancer Michaela DePrince, well-known YA author Courtney Summers, and pop-culture celebrities, like Mindy Kaling (!!!).


5. The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen called this book “a book to break your heart and heal it”, so get ready for the tears when you read Thi Bui’s memoir! The beautiful, vivid images in this graphic novel tell the heartbreaking story of her family’s journey from the tumultuous environment of South Vietnam in the 1970s and their immigration to the United States. As a first time mother in America, Thi Bui grapples with what it truly means to be a mother, and observes the importance of family, identity and home. It’s a quick read, so it will be a great choice to pick up and read during down time in between homework, or in between classes.


6. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

“I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.”

In this autobiography, Roxane Gay gives a cutting and honest account of her emotional and psychological struggles with weight and self-image. She examines a tragic act of violence that occurred in her young life, which changed her life and spurred on her lifelong struggle between self-care and self-comfort.


7. One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul

With a sharp sense of wit, Scaachi Koul shares what it was like growing up as a daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada. As a woman of color, she notes how her appearance leaves her subject to judgment and criticism, even in Canada, which she calls, “a land of ice and casual racism”. In her debut collection of essays, Koul humorously investigates the constricting gender rules in both North America and India, and with unflinching honesty, she gives blunt opinions on gender roles, ethnic stereotypes and racism. Whether you’re a fan of Roxane Gay or Mindy Kaling, this book is for you. It comes out March 7 in Canada. 


8. Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Soojung Kim Pang

If you’re spending a zillion hours studying every day and feeling too burned out to find time for any hobbies or social activities, you may be going about studying the wrong way. The key to productivity isn’t about working more. According to Alex Soojung Kim Pang, it’s about resting more and working less. Pang says “deliberate rest” is the best way to harness creativity and work towards a rewarding and meaningful life. He talks about the scientific and psychological benefits of taking time to rest, and delves into well-known geniuses and respected political leaders, such as Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin and Bill Gates, who frequently made deliberate choices to relax, unwind and recharge

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Grace Dada

U Toronto

Amateur at life, expert at worrying over tiny things that don’t really matter. Can be found with her nose in a good book, gulping down a caramel macchiato or (occasionally) attending lectures.
These articles were only edited by me. To read articles written by me, click here.
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