The First Reading Challenge of the 2020s

Welcome to the new year!

Every year since 2012, I’ve done a reading challenge to push myself to read as much and as widely as possible. This is my ninth year participating in a reading challenge, and I’ve come pretty far from the first few years: this year, my goal is to read 200 books.

With some changes in my life happening this year, I hope to get back to doing the things I love—reading more, writing reviews, and writing more overall.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your reading goals for 2020. What do you plan to read this year? What books or comic/manga series do you recommend?

You can follow along with my 2020 reading challenge here.

Books & anime for your solitary, locked-in-alone binging pleasure

I knew when I started writing about books and anime for Tor.com that I wanted to work on this article:

With horror fiction and horror anime both being such incredibly in-depth areas, we’ve narrowed it down to pairings of stories that focus on people and the relationships between them. While many of the stories possess paranormal elements, the real terror lies not in the monster you’ve barricaded out, but the person you’re locked inside with.

Find my four perfect pairings over at Tor.com. Fun fact: the first anime on the list terrified me so much I had to be removed from a Youmacon screening room in 2009, one of my favorite series of all time is the second, and the last involves something I’ve loved for quite some time — but you can read more online.

Find my contributions to Unbound World’s 100 Best Horror Books of All Time

October isn’t one of my favorite times of year, but who doesn’t love a good horror read? I helped pick out some of the best horror books of all time over at Unbound Worlds, and I got to slide in one of my favorite authors of all time.

Just about every Octavia Butler work is a horror story on some level, but Fledgling’s tale of Shori, by appearance a young Black girl with severe amnesia and in reality a vampire genetically modified to survive in sunlight, explores ignorance, bigotry, and the horror wrought by humans themselves with a timelessness that remains relevant today.

Find the full list of titles at Unbound Worlds — and see if you can find all of mine!

Don’t miss these 25 YA fantasy titles!

I know as well as anyone that publishing can be… overwhelming. (You can ask my boyfriend about the walls of books in our office.) So I’ve put together 25 YA fantasy titles that shouldn’t be missed.

Speculative fiction has exploded in the young adult category, and the past decade alone has seen some really incredible works. But with so many excellent stories to check out, there’s a chance you might have missed some of the best.

You can find out what 25 books made the cut over at Unbound Worlds.

WILDCARD is more of a mixed bag

As a big fan of Marie Lu’s Legend and The Young Elites series, I was underwhelmed by Warcross, and I’m really not happy with Wildcard.

For readers who truly believe that love can overcome all, the issues of Hideo’s lack of ethical compass and Emika’s conclusions about the consequences he deserves will likely cause no problems, though readers who have more trouble suspending disbelief may also struggle with the consequences—or lack thereof—in Wildcard.

My full review is available at Tor.com.

I can put Murder Schoolgirls everywhere

Okay, so this isn’t TECHNICALLY about murder schoolgirls. Over at Tor.com, I’ve got a list of book & anime pairings for anyone looking for a great school story.

As a long-time fan of both speculative fiction and anime, one common thread I’ve noticed in both media is the enduring presence of The School Story. Plenty of fantasy readers make their grand entrance to the genre via a school fantasy story; for teens, who spend more time at school than at home, what other setting could tie the fantastic world to mundane reality?

You can find out what murder schoolgirls go best together what anime go best with your favorite school books over at Tor.com!

13 Young Adult Horror Novels for next month

This young adult horror list went up at Unbound Worlds over the summer, but it’s a perfect list to get you started on your Halloween reads.

Who doesn’t love a good scary story? Young adult fiction is full of horror, and not just of the embarrassing-nightmare variety. From ghosts and demons in possession of homes to serial killers making their rounds through schools and parties, here are thirteen terrifying books to introduce you to young adult horror – and maybe even keep you awake at night.

Check it out now over at Unbound Worlds.