Little Gods by Meng Jin

Firstly, a huge thank you to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Custom House
Publication Date:
14/01/2020
Length: 288 pages
Genre:
Historical Fiction

CW: n/a

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On the night of June Fourth, a woman gives birth in a Beijing hospital alone. Thus begins the unraveling of Su Lan, a brilliant physicist who until this moment has successfully erased her past, fighting what she calls the mind’s arrow of time.

When Su Lan dies unexpectedly seventeen years later, it is her daughter Liya who inherits the silences and contradictions of her life. Liya, who grew up in America, takes her mother’s ashes to China—to her, an unknown country. In a territory inhabited by the ghosts of the living and the dead, Liya’s memories are joined by those of two others: Zhu Wen, the woman last to know Su Lan before she left China, and Yongzong, the father Liya has never known. In this way a portrait of Su Lan emerges: an ambitious scientist, an ambivalent mother, and a woman whose relationship to her own past shapes and ultimately unmakes Liya’s own sense of displacement.

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My Brother by Karin Smirnoff

Firstly, a huge thank you to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Pushkin Press
Publication Date:
04/02/2021
Length: 320 pages
Genre:
Translated Fiction | Contemporary Fiction | Family & Relationships

CW: Domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, animal abuse, suicide, incest.

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Jana is returning to see her twin brother Bror, still living in the small family farmhouse in the rural north of Sweden. It’s decrepit and crumbling, and Bror is determinedly drinking himself to an early grave. They’re both damaged by horrific childhood experiences, buried deep in the past, but Jana cannot keep running.

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A Burning by Megha Majumdar

Firstly, a huge thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGallery for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date:
07/01/2021
Length: 304 pages
Genre:
Contemporary Fiction

CW: violence, murder, implied sexual assault, islamaphobia

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Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan’s fall. Lovely–an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor–has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.

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Fable by Adrienne Young

Firstly, huge thank you to Titan Books and NetGalley for providing me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date:
01/09/2020
Length: 361 pages
Genre:
Fantasy | Young Adult | Romance

CW: n/a

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Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

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The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji

Firstly, huge thanks to Pushkin Vertigo and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Publisher: Pushkin Vertigo
Publication Date:
03/12/2020
Length: 234 pages
Genre:
Translated Fiction | Japanese Fiction | Mystery | Thriller

CW: n/a

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The members of a university mystery club decide to visit an island which was the site of a grisly, unsolved multiple murder the year before. They’re looking forward to investigating the crime, putting their passion for solving mysteries to practical use, but before long there is a fresh murder, and soon the club-members realise they are being picked off one-by-one. The remaining amateur sleuths will have to use all of their murder-mystery expertise to find the killer before they end up dead too.

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Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

Firstly, huge thank you to Granta and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Publisher: Granta
Publication Date:
01/10/2020
Length: 247 pages
Genre:
Translated Fiction | Japanese Fiction | Contemporary Fiction

CW: underage incest, child abuse, child sexual abuse, cannibalism, violence, murder

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Natsuki isn’t like the other girls. She has a wand and a transformation mirror. She might be a witch, or an alien from another planet. Together with her cousin Yuu, Natsuki spends her summers in the wild mountains of Nagano, dreaming of other worlds. When a terrible sequence of events threatens to part the two children forever, they make a promise: survive, no matter what.

Now Natsuki is grown. She lives a quiet life with her asexual husband, surviving as best she can by pretending to be normal. But the demands of Natsuki’s family are increasing, her friends wonder why she’s still not pregnant, and dark shadows from Natsuki’s childhood are pursuing her. Fleeing the suburbs for the mountains of her childhood, Natsuki prepares herself with a reunion with Yuu. Will he still remember their promise? And will he help her keep it?

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