“Yes, Teens still read” with tiya, episode 2- Books that throw you in a loop

By Tiya Birru

This Theme is about Books That Throw You In A Loop! These books held suspense, mystery, and surprise in a fun little package.  I hope you enjoy the books I’ve come up with. 

Hey Listener! Welcome back to Yes, Teens Still Read with Tiya, that’s me. The date is Sept, 21,2020 and let’s get right into the episode. So quarantine has gotten fully bummed out and has me questioning what will happen next here in 2020. But these books gave so many tips and turns and plot twists that they helped me to distract me from all that. They were detailed and full of lovable characters that I just wish I could read them for the first time again.  And with that, I want to get right into this list. 

Book #1 

Killing November- Adriana Mather

The last thing November remembers is when her ex-CIA now financial manager dad took her on a plane to go to a school that would help her get out of trouble while he helped his sister in another state. She ends up drugged and in some weird dungeon parlor where a woman who calls herself Headmistress Blackwood of the school welcomes her. This school is Academy Absconditi, a school that teaches the children of secret elites to become assassins, spies, counselors, and master impressionists. After a murder that shakes the school, November needs to separate her allies from her enemies in a place where they are entangled and almost inseparable before she gets framed for the murder or be the murderer’s next victim. This book kept me on edge the entire time! I felt a connection to November and her troubles along the way and how she handled them. From the murder to having November learn why she was even there in the first place and her parents’ secret background. This book will have you asking so many questions throughout it and be surprised when you find out the truth to them. A top tier YA Murder Mystery book for those wanting to escape the questions they have for this world and have their questions answered in this one. 

Book #2 

The Downstairs Girl- Stacy Lee

Jo Kuan is a lady’s maid in the 1800’s Atlanta. She works for a cruel daughter of a wealthy family. But at night she writes under the pseudonym of Miss Sweetie on an advice column that breaks storm and becomes amazingly popular. Now that Jo has a voice she finds herself writing more about the discrimination happening in the city and calling out people for their wrongdoings.I wanted to either BE Jo or be WITH Jo, this entire book was so fun to read and it kept me on edge with their many plot twists. Jo had such a depth of characters and he was so mature and honest throughout the whole time you could wish you were friends with her and could help her through her troubles, at least I wished I could. Now if I had to put this in a made-up genre it would be “Iconic, slight historical POC point of view book” Jo was a Chinese woman living with constant discrimination: getting fired for her job even though she was better at it than another girl, having pushed out of the meeting with “Votes for women” because she was an Asian woman with her African American friends. But throughout the book, she finds solutions to these problems like when she lost her job she got a new one that led her to a lot of different possibilities. I know I’ve been talking about Jo lot but it would take longer to talk about the many beautiful characters that brought life to this book like her calm and caring caregiver Old Gin or her loyal and spunky best friend Noemi. All in all, this will always be one of my favorite books and I highly recommend it.

Book #3

What To Say Next- Julie Buxbaum

Kit decided to sit with David. She doesn’t know why, her friends sat in another table watching her walk right by them. Maybe it was because she wanted a different perspective, maybe she wanted to break the status quo, but nothing felt right ever since her dad recently died so who can say for sure. David thinks about how in the 622 days he’s been in Mapleview High no one has ever sat at his table. Not before Kit,  he says “so your dad just died” because that’s a fact he recently learned about her. The relationship between these two are unlikely but they go through a journey of finding the how and why of her dad’s car accident. No one can predict what ould happen next. This book focuses on the theme of death and the afterthought of it. How the stages of grief can affect a person and the secrets that they might uncover throughout it. This book takes you on a journey having you try to find out how and why Kit’s dad died and boy will the answer throw you off. But it’s not just Kit, David is such an important and interesting perspective from a boy who isn’t the best and following social cues and the way he learns along the way makes you root for him the entire time. 

Book #4

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine- by Maika and Maritza Moulite

In this book, Haiti comes alive as its own character. Alaine is a teen who’s mom is known as the host of a political roundtable tv show. This book starts off with Alaine’s mom slapping the Florida senator during an episode which sparks an outrage throughout the country. With this, her mom leaves for her home country Haiti but when another incident happens that affects Alaine herself her school decided to also send her to Haiti to do a personal project. She is aided by her Aunt who is the Minister of Tourism in Haiti as she discovers the history of her and her family’s country. And the dark secrets that come along with them. This book is definitely in my Top 10 with its vivid imagery and its rich history that the authors describe you can tell they know their country well. The novel is told through Alaine’s diary and multiple emails, texts, and internet articles but you can definitely follow along the entire time. With this the genres this book has is such a long list it could make you dizzy, they have drama, superstition, fantasy, romance, comedy and that’s not the half of it. These two sisters in their debut novel bring Haiti to life and now I kinda wish to go there. 

These four books each had some things in common. The plots were suspenseful, the characters are charming, and the themes are relatable and interesting. These books, as the title say threw me in a whole loop with its plot twists, suspense, and mysteries needed to be solved. If you want a book to dive deep into and never come out of that world, these are the YA books for you. Especially in quarantine, these will be the best to read, I know they felt that way for me. This was Tiya for “Yes, Teens Still Read”. Come back for episodes on great books to read.