5 Faves from Bookish Girl Magic ❤️
Latesha also known as Bookish Girl Magic on bookstagram and on my blog here!
2021 has been a whirlwind of a year for me like it has been for so many of us but the one thing that has grounded me through it all was reading. It’s been the thing that I could escape to when I’ve felt out of sorts and my means for connecting to others though I wasn’t actually interacting with actual people. So I wanted to share a few (does 5 count as a few? LOL) of my favorite books from this year by Black authors and a few reasons why I loved them! Most are Young Adult but one is middle grade.
Ace Of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé: I loved this book because it is 1) dual perspective, 2) had me on an emotional roller coaster, 3) had drama and 4) had my brain working the entire time to figure out who the eff Ace was & how I hope Chiamaka (one of the MCs) could get them for their shenanigans. If you are a fan of psychological thrillers with Bad Ass Black Kids at the center of the story, you will really enjoy this one!
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney: This is a book that had me in my feelings in all the ways I would want to be while reading a contemporary. I laughed a lot, talked back to the characters, had my eyes leaking at times, and tried to figure out the mystery that they were trying to solve! I also loved the growth of friendships and romance in this story! If you are into lighthearted reads with Black & Brown kids as the focus, you’ll really enjoy this book!
Simone Breaks All The Rules by Debbie Rigaud: I loved this book because I saw so much of my own experiences in this book. As a Half-Haitian with a strict Haitian father who had me on a low-key lockdown so much of high school, I felt Simone so much on how she plotted to find pockets of freedom with her newfound friends! I also laughed a ton and got hungry at points when some of my favorite foods were mentioned! If you are a child of immigrants (or strict parents, period), you’ll be able to relate to this story.
Josephine Against The Sea by Shakirah Bourne: This book is the middle grade I wish my 12-year-old self could’ve had. It’s filled with adventure and Caribbean mythology that the main character, Josephine, gets to experience. I’m a huge fan of mythology of any kind and Josephine & her best friend are extremely funny, so I didn’t want to put this story down at all. This book is also for you if you love mythology and Caribbean settings as well! There is a sequel to this book, so be on the lookout for it!
This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron: If you look up the definition of a page-turner, you will find this book there (I’m still mad about that cliffhanger called an ending)! Besides having a positively stunning cover, I felt like I was a part of the story from beginning to end! Bri is learning so much about her family history along with her “gift” and navigating a small town upstate after living downstate her entire life (my fellow New Yorkers may be able to feel this one). This book is for you if you are a fan of Black Girl Magic (literally), hysterical parents, mysteries, and love triangles! The sequel comes out next year!
There are so many more books I would love to talk about but there is but so much time in a day and you all have other things to do! I appreciate you reading to this point! If you would like to read more of my thoughts on these books, they all have their own dedicated posts on my blog which could be found at
You can also find me on Instagram under @bookishgirlmagic or Twitter under @bookishgrlmagic! Come and say hi & nerd out with me about books! I wish you all happy reading and send y’all tons of bookish love!
Latesha Dejean is an Early Special Educator by career and a bookstagrammer & book blogger as a passion. She returned to her love of reading in 2017 then started her blog in 2019 in order to amplify and uplift the work of Authors Of Color! Latesha primarily reads Young Adult and Middle Grade as is the focus of her blog & bookstagram spaces but has recently begun enjoying adult romance/rom-coms. When she's not reading or working, you can catch her watching Drag Race related shows or grabbing a bubble tea from one of her favorite tea spots!
You can find & follow her on Instagram under @bookishgirlmagic and her blog http://www.bookishgirlmagic.blog/