I’m caught up in comforting series and trying to add new reads to my list without feeling overwhelmed. Slow and steady. One day at a time. All those words of wisdom seem to be welcome even when it comes to reading lists these days. Alas. Here is a fun mix for you with a mix of genres as usual and new authors to the list, including the recently released The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon!
What to Read This Month
The Boyfriend Project, Farrah Rochon
The Boyfriend Project stars Samiah Brooks – a young, Black computer engineer with an excellent job at an Austin tech company. It opens with one of the best ‘meet cutes’ I’ve ever read, only. Rather than being the meeting of our two romantic leads, it’s the formation of powerful bonds of friendship between herself and two other women.
I’ll leave the details for you to read to avoid spoiling the surprise, but the newly formed squad make a pact to focus on themselves and their goals rather than continuing to try and find that oh so elusive perfect man.
Now, this is a romance novel, so of course Samiah immediately meets our other protagonist, one Daniel Collins, a brand new Korean-African-American co-worker who catches both her eye and her heart very quickly. However, as perfect as Daniel seems (and is!), there’s a big catch – he’s an undercover federal agent trying to uncover a money laundering scheme that’s being run through Samiah’s company.
They both try to stay away from each other, and they both fail, irresistibly drawn to each other. Rochon expertly draws out the story, exploring both of their pasts, showing Samiah’s struggle to constantly have to work twice as hard in her field because of both gender and race. Daniel’s desire to climb the career ladder versus his growing feelings for Samiah simultaneously come into the story.
The Boyfriend Project is highly recommended if you need a beautiful love story with just enough tension to keep it moving along.
The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin
Jemisin’s most recent book – her first full length novel since wrapping up the incredible Broken Earth trilogy – is a love letter to her city, New York, and its five boroughs, as well as an absolute romp of a fantasy, incorporating some very Lovecraftian horror elements to boot.
In The City We Became Jemisin imagines that not only do cities have souls but they have physical avatars as well – superheroes, essentially, able to draw on the magic and properties of the place and the millions of lives lived within their confines.
New York’s avatars are freshly made manifest, one for each borough as well as the city of the whole, and they find themselves under attack by a supernatural entity bent on destruction, known only as The Woman in White.
This feels like an extremely timely novel, given the way New Yorkers have banded together to face a not-so-supernatural threat. Jemisin celebrates the messy history of the city, the mix of people from all over the world who have created something entirely new together.
And of course, she chronicles our six demi-gods of the city, finding each other and working to take down the enemy.
The Last Astronaut by David Wellington
Having trouble reading or concentrating in these ‘unprecedented times’ (and/or just sick of hearing that phrase?)? Let me recommend audio books! And thrilling, fast paced audio books at that. The Last Astronaut by David Wellington is the book for you! (And I’m sure just as fun in print.)
It’s the 2070s. After a disastrous mission to Mars that ended in the death of an astronaut, NASA has completely shut down its human space exploration program. Study of the stars continues apace, of course, but no longer will humans venture there.
However, as you might guess from the title, that all is about to change when an unidentified massive object enters the edge of the solar system, and then starts to slow down, which no natural object would be able to do.
Convinced they’re going to make first contact, NASA hastily puts together an exploration team of astronauts to head out to the ship, led by the mission commander of that fated last trip to Mars. What they find….well. You’ll just have to pick it up!
The audio production on the audio book is superb, with excellent sound effects and narration to make it a more immersive experience. And the plot is so action-packed that you will not stop turning those pages, if you’re reading.