New Book Spotlight: The Astonishing Color of Us

The New Book Spotlight highlights new-to-us titles in the the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) Library

The Astonishing Color of Us / written by Emily X.R. Pan / 2018

This is an intensely emotional young adult novel about Leigh who is battling
grief after the loss of her mother. She journeys to Taiwan in order to meet her
maternal grandparents for the very first time, and embarks on a path to remember her
mother, the events that led up to her death, and the deep impact on her family.

Pan uses magical realism to create an immersive and touching atmosphere to tell the
story, weaving in themes of friendship, coming-of-age, grief, hope, and ultimately
love. Mental illness plays a large part in telling the story, and we get an engaging look
into family life in Taiwan, as well as the culture that also plays a large part within the
story and Leigh’s family history. Pan’s use of color to describe emotions throughout
was a beautiful touch to the story. The Astonishing Color of After is an alluring story
woven together by various important themes, and an important look at the impact of different cultures on mental illness and familial relationships.

The Astonishing Color of After is available from CECH Library,  as well as the OhioLINK and Search Ohio lending networks.

Review by Alyssa Gruich, CECH Library Student Assistant | Political Science, A&S 2022

New Book Spotlight: Lovely War by Julie Berry

book cover lovely war by julie berryThe New Book Spotlight highlights new-to-us titles in the the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) Library

Lovely War / written by Julie Berry / 2019

A mix of historical fiction, romance, and mythology, Lovely War sees Greek Gods narrating an emotional story of two relationships, two wars, and the power of love. Accused of unfaithfulness by Hephaestus, Aphrodite has the chance to avoid trial by the Gods and tell the story of four mortals during WWI and the transcendence of love. It tells the story of James, a young British man drafted to serve in the army in France, falling for Hazel, a young and hopeful pianist. It also spans the story of Aubrey, a black soldier and ragtime pianist with Colette, a singer from Belgium who lost her family in Dinant. Showing perspectives on racism, sexism, mental health issues, and the tragic nature of war, Berry does an excellent job in incorporating the historical aspect during the time period, as well as the heart-wrenching circumstances young adults faced during the time. Topping my favorite books of 2020, Lovely War was an excellent and timeless read, showing the importance of hope, humanity, and friendship perfect for any young reader.

Lovely War is available from CECH Library,  as well as the OhioLINK and Search Ohio lending networks.

Review by Alyssa Gruich, CECH Library Student Assistant | Political Science, A&S 2022

New Book Spotlight: Bloom by Kevin Panetta

image from graphic novel bloom by kevin panettaThe New Book Spotlight highlights new-to-us titles in the the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) Library

Bloom / written by Kevin Panetta ; artwork by Savanna Ganucheau / 2019

In this contemporary graphic novel, Bloom tells the story of love, friendship, family, and baking. As Ari reaches the end of high school with dreams of moving to the city, he is eventually left working at his family’s bakery for the summer. When Hector ends up working there, the two develop a connection that spans friendship, love, and ultimately self discovery. Bloom perfectly captures that feeling of uncertainty with what the future holds along with these pivotal experiences that we have all felt and struggled with. A light yet impactful read, Bloom hits the exact mark of reality for that transitional period between leaving your teenage years and growing into adulthood. Panetta does not shy away from the real and natural road bumps of life; Bloom is an excellent coming-of-age novel with stunning illustrations.

Bloom is available from CECH Library,  as well as the OhioLINK, and Search Ohio lending networks.

Review by Alyssa Gruich, CECH Library Student Assistant | Political Science, A&S 2022