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NPR Reviews: Nnedi Okorafor's THE NIGHT MASQUERADE and Kim Purcell's THIS IS NOT A LOVE LETTER

A couple of reviews I wrote went up on NPR these last couple of weeks! Here are samplings of them:

Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

9780765393135_custom-c05e841327d3ad168eb2474a1a7bc93d8d5c71fe-s400-c85The Night Masquerade picks up where Home left off, with Binti learning, through her newly enhanced senses, that her home — and her dear friend Okwu, a jellyfish-like alien from a race called the Meduse — is under attack from the Khoush, Earth’s dominant ethnicity and the Meduse’s ancestral enemies. With the help of her new friend Mwinyi — a member of her father’s people, the Enyi Zinariya — she navigates the desert while plagued with nightmares of violence, knowing she must find a way to broker a peace once and for all. But Binti’s story is nothing quite so straightforward.

This is Not a Love Letter
by Kim Purcell

9781484798348_custom-437cf096e51455d722918e87d0c62cf151bd1d44-s400-c85Every now and then I read an article or essay musing about whether or not young adult literature is “too dark” — whether there’s too much sex, too much violence, too much sadness. The premise of these essays is usually that teenagers exist in some pristine unspoiled state until they pick up a book about drug use or self-harm that makes them unhappy.

This is of course not the case — and I’m glad that Kim Purcell’s This is Not a Love Letter exists for teenagers who have to look after their parents, navigate hostile social environments, and cope with trauma.

That’s that for now — towards the end of this month I’ll be covering Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman, and around the same time my first Otherworldly column for the New York Times should appear. Things! Stuff! So much things, so many stuff!