Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Feelings: A Story in Seasons by Manjitt Thapp

Feelings Cover Art

Feelings: A Story in Seasons by Manjitt Thapp 
Penguin Random House
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
ISBN: 9780593129753

Feelings: A Story in Seasons is an autobiographical work of graphic nonfiction by illustrator Manjitt Thapp. As she works towards an important creative deadline, Thapp takes the reader through one year of her life via the structure of six seasons (high summer, late summer, monsoon, autumn, winter, and spring). As the seasons change and progress, seasonal anxiety and depression rise and fall, impacting the artist’s creative abilities. 

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall

Book cover for Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall

Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall; narrated by Kathleen McInerney, Robbie Daymond and Rob Shapiro
Listening Library
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
ISBN: 9780593340806

Bitter Rock has a long history of disappearances. In 2003, Sophia’s mother vanished and now years later, Sophia returns to discover the truth about what happened to her. Not everything is not as it seems. There is just something a little off, not quite right about Bitter Rock. The horrifying truth will have dire consequences for Sophia and the friends she meets on the island.

This horror novel weaves the supernatural with the psychological and forces the listener to ask, how well do we know our friends, our family? Can we trust what we see with our own eyes? This was deliciously creepy and Marshall did a great job of keeping the pace and the multiple narrators provided depth that provoked fear and sympathy for the characters.

Readers who enjoyed Marshall’s Rules for Vanishing, will be pleasantly surprised to see some minor characters featured more prominently in Our Last Echoes. However, one does not have to read one to enjoy the other. And for more island monsters, try Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand.

–Lorrie Roussin

Other Nominated Titles

  • My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows; narrated by Fiona Hardingham (June 22, 2021)
  • The Witch King (The Witch King Duology) by H.E. Edgmon; narrated by Dani Martineck (June 1, 2021)
  • Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom’s Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder; narrated by Amanda Dolan (March 30, 2021)
  • Pumpkin (Dumplin’) by Julie Murphy; narrated by Chad Burris (May 25, 2021)
  • Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar; narrated by Reena Dutt and Shubhangi Karmakar (May 25, 2021)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of My Epic Spring Break (Up) by Kristin Rockaway

My Epic Spring Break (Up) Cover Art

My Epic Spring Break (Up) by Kristin Rockaway
Underlined/Random House Publishers, Inc.
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
ISBN: 978-0593180112

Ashley lives and breathes coding, is focused on college (definitely not boys), and her biggest desire is to get an internship at ZigZag, a social media platform and win the marathon hackathon competition – a giant coding event. But, all of a sudden, things fall apart when Ashley doesn’t get the internship that she had her heart set upon. So now she has to figure out a brand new path while also figuring out which boy is the unexpected guy of her dreams.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy

These Feathered Flames Cover Art

These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy
Inkyard Press / Harlequin
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
ISBN: 978-1335147967

Everyone knows that using magic comes with a price. Sometimes it’s a small lock of hair as payment for a simple spell, but the greater the magic, the more deadly the cost. No one knows this better than Aysa, the future Firebird. As a part of her training, she learns how to balance the world’s magic by exacting payment from those who try to use it freely. But before she can finish her training, she feels the call of the Firebird. Now she must return to Court to present herself to the new queen, her estranged twin sister Izaveta. Together the two must navigate their new roles as Queen and Firebird to solve the mystery behind their mother’s death and save their country from wayward magic.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Asadora! v. 1–3 by Naoki Urasawa

Asadora! v. 1–3 by Naoki Urasawa
VIZ Signature / VIZ Media
Publication Dates: January 19, 2021; April 20, 2021; July 27, 2021
ISBN: 9781974717460; 9781974720101; 9781974720118

The story starts with an apocalyptic monster attack, but the real story of Asadora! begins in the 1950s with a young girl, Asa Asada. She is sent out in a storm to look for a doctor to deliver yet another baby for her family when she is kidnapped by mistake by an unlucky former pilot, Kasuga. Everything changes quickly when a massive storm hits Asa’s hometown, and the two work together to fly a plane to search for Asa’s family and other survivors. The two see a mysterious giant tail amidst the damage but manage to escape danger and reunite Asa with a few of her younger siblings. Years later, when Asa is 17, she is performing as a stunt pilot, and she has become part of a small found family with her siblings, Kasuga, and Kinuyo, who runs a diner. Asa is recruited to find and destroy the creature she saw before the Olympics in Tokyo begin. Volume 3 ends with Asa agreeing to help, hoping to find her remaining family.

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve

Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve | Audiobook | Audible.com

Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve; narrated by MW Cartozian Wilson
Recorded Books
Release date: April 27, 2021
ISBN: 9781705028339

High school senior Dean has things planned out. In a year, Dean will be majoring in theatre at NYU and living in New York with his girlfriend, Zoe, and his best friend, Ronnie. Plus, Dean just landed the lead role in the school play, Shakespeare’s Romeo. As Dean settles into the role, something is made clear, being a male feels right. Dean is transgender. The story follows Dean as he navigates what being trans means for him and comes out to his friends, family, and community. 

In this honest story of self-acceptance, coming out, and navigating new relationships, listeners are granted an inside look into the coming-out process that is both engaging and validating. The story is made even more validating because of the narration. The narrator has a male voice – a voice that probably sounds closer to what Dean hears in his head rather than the high-pitched voice Dean complains of throughout the story.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of The Power of Style: How Fashion and Beauty are Being Used to Reclaim Cultures by Christian Allaire

The Power of Style Cover Art

The Power of Style: How Fashion and Beauty Are Being Used to Reclaim Cultures by Christian Allaire
Annick Press
Publication Date: April 27, 2021
ISBN: 9781773214900 

Authored by a fashion and style writer for Vogue, this look at current elements of style focuses on social justice, culture, and politics, and their connection to how under-represented communities use fashion to proudly claim their identities. Included are ribbon shirts, hijabs, high heels, hair, and cosplay.

This quick overview of specific fashion elements uses a variety of eye-catching photos and brief, interesting commentary to keep readers flipping pages. The striking cover, 100-page length, and diverse collection of topics make this an easy book to pick up and browse. Fashion provides an inroad to larger ideas in history and pop culture without being didactic or overwhelming.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert

When We Were Infinite Cover Art

When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
ISBN: 9781534468214

This is it. Senior year. And all Beth wants is to be with her friends as much as possible. Bonded long ago through their shared orchestra experience, Sunny, Jason, Brandon, and Grace are all the family Beth needs. She’s determined to keep them all together and connected, this year and beyond, even if it means losing herself. And she’s also secretly harboring a major crush on Jason. 

When Beth and Brandon accidentally witness Jason’s father assault him, Beth is heartbroken that none of them had any idea what he was going through. As Jason spirals into anger and depression, she anxiously tries to both fix him and hold the whole group together. As often happens in senior year though, each friend must choose their own adventure and find a way to hold on to each other as they go forward.     

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Nominations Round-Up, Summer

Due to the large number of nominees, not all titles are shown here. See full list below.

Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These are titles that have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple members of the team, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, the final list of nominations and each Selected List’s Top Ten will be chosen from these titles.


Across the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race Massacre. By Alverne Ball. Art by Stacey Robinson. Abrams Books / Abrams ComicArts – Megascope, $15.99 (9781419755170). 

Greenwood is a prosperous city for Black Americans, until a deadly confrontation begun by a white mob ensues, leading to the massacre of 300 Black Americans in Tulsa. Greenwood’s development and recovery are explored in this graphic novel.

After the Rain. By Nnedi Okorafor and John Jennings (adapter). Art by David Brame. Abrams Books / Abrams ComicArts – Megascope, $22.99 (9781419743559).

Chioma is visiting relatives in Nigeria, when, on a stormy night, she opens the door to a strange boy missing half of his head. After this strange encounter, Chioma starts noticing odd smells and creatures around her, and as things escalate, she begins to question her reality.

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Nominations Round-Up, Summer

Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults 2022 nominees cover art
Due to the large number of nominees, not all titles are shown here. See full list below.

Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These are titles that have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple members of the team, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, the final list of nominations and each Selected List’s Top Ten will be chosen from these titles.

*Prices shown are for Library Digital Download.


Between Perfect and Real. By Ray Stoeve. Read by MW Cartozian Wilson. Recorded Books, LLC/Recorded Books, Inc., $70 (9781705028339).

Dean is a trans guy struggling with coming out to his friends and family.  Exploring the internet and joining community groups allows him to more clearly define himself while acting as Romeo in a play helps his self discovery. Wilson’s voice is well matched and he skillfully narrates this emotional story. 

Black Girl, Call Home. By Jasmine Mans. Read by Jasmine Mans. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Penguin Audio, $22.80 (9780593346884).

Mans calls herself and other Black girls home in this love letter and essential companion to girls and women on a journey to find truth, belonging, and healing. Mans narrates this powerful and painful collection with many poems read and produced in unique ways.

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Nominations Round-Up, Summer