What We’re Reading: January 20

What We’re Reading: January 20

Do you wonder what the Bookish team is reading? Do you want to take a peek at our bookshelves? You’ve come to the right place. Here are the Bookish staff’s personal weekend reading recommendations. Tell us what you think in the comments!

If you’re still looking for some inspiration, check out our Winter Previews for a look at the best books of the season.


This is a complex and gripping YA debut about a young girl convicted of killing a three-month-old child. Author Tiffany D. Jackson exposes the faults in our justice system through the eyes of her character, Mary B. Addison, who is placed in a group home after serving time in baby jail. Mary has been let down by every single person who swore to protect her. She’s utterly on her own and at a loss about how to break free from the system she’s trapped in. For me, the most compelling aspect of the story is Mary’s complicated relationship with her abusive mother, a woman Mary still hopes and prays will one day care for her like a mom should. —Kelly

The Vegetarian

I just finished this book, and I’m still processing my feelings about it. The Vegetarian is divided into three sections, and I have to admit that I liked the first third much better than the last two. This story is sad and creepy and just plain weird, and I’m going to pester some friends to read it so we can discuss. (Hi, Kelly!) —Elizabeth

Under the Never Sky

Dystopian novels are huge on the market for YA readers. I have read multiple dystopian novels that all have their own unique stories and characters. However, Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky series stood out to me because of the character development. Rossi masterfully created characters that were interesting, complex, and real. The journey that the main character embarked on was incredible because she was not your typical heroine saving the day. She struggled and fought through everything that was thrown at her while feeling all the emotions of her successes and failures. Overall, this series was very enjoyable to read! —Jillian


I just finished up Testimony by Robbie Robertson. Enthusiasts of The Band (and its tempestuous history) may find it a one-sided account, but I found it a fascinating look into one of the most intriguing bands in rock and roll history. It also earned bonus points for having a companion album of songs from The Band, Bob Dylan, and Robbie’s own solo career, highlighting key moments in the book. —Andrew

Fate of Flames

Although I am far from being the youth that this was intended for, this book is very entertaining. Maia is a fan of the four Effigies (girls with power of air, fire, water, and earth). She is shocked when she finds that she has become one of these four; she feels she’s not worthy of  the honor. This is a great book to bring up a young girl’s self-esteem. These girls are the saviors of the world. This novel isn’t just for kids, and it will delight the fantasy lover in everyone. I can’t wait to finish it. —Barb

The Bean Trees

I just finished reading The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. It’s about a woman named Marietta who decides to leave her small town and old name behind and travel across the country. The newly named Taylor is stopped at a gas station when a mother leaves her baby for Taylor to look after. This somewhat ruins Taylor’s travel plans, but she lovingly adopts the child and names her Turtle. The two settle in Arizona where they meet Mattie and Lou Ann, two women who help Taylor raise Turtle. Taylor quickly finds out that Mattie also helps illegal immigrants find homes in America. The novel goes on to explore about how Taylor grows to take care of herself and others when she is tasked with the job of taking two immigrants across the country and becoming a legal guardian of Turtle. This heartwarming novel will remind you of the strong bonds in friendships and how they can change your life. If you’re looking for a quick read, I highly recommend it. —Anne Marie







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