Without You, There is No Us by Suki Kim
Undercover in information-starved university where reality is dictated, freedom repressed.
Note: Try not to feel too superior while reading this. Consider Trump’s brand of fake news, habitual lying, stealing from the poor to give to the rich, and “alternative facts,” and realize that there is a very thin line separating Democracy from Dictatorship. It doesn’t take much more than an ego-maniacal, amoral leader, a gullible populace and truth-averse media to push a country over that particular brink.
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Dreamlike, romantic, melancholy. Less magical than historical. Passive, not powerful.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Placid, privileged teens come-of-age. Mother/daughter conflagrations bring the heat.
His Dark Materials (Trilogy) by Philip Pullman
Wildly creative, exciting adventure. Multiverse pantheism. Little girl battles church.
Pullman’s sequel to his classic trilogy is out now: The Book of Dust
Sharp socio-political insights, opinions, leadership advice from devout young woman.
A couple of related links. Yassmin’s been busy.
For what it’s worth, as a writer, I side with Lionel Shriver on the cultural appropriation issue. I want to see a diverse world in the books I read, rather than every character being a slightly altered version of the author themselves. Here’s an article that says it quite well.
Today Will be Different by Maria Semple
Gleefully nasty judgments, hilarious self-recriminations, followed by dramatic bad behavior.
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Brilliant, baroque, sensual, twisted, Rashomon marriage, but such terrible people.