Author: Shade Lapite

The 2023 Reading List

I started a ton of books in 2022 but finished only a handful. Here’s the (very short) list of completed books: The Sweetest Remedy – Jane Igharo XOXO – Axie Oh Shine – Jessica Jung Dread Nation – Justina Ireland The Emma Project – Sonali Dev The Comeback – Lily Chu The Stand-In – Lily Chu Pachinko – Min Jin Lee My absolute favourites were Pachinko and The Comeback.

Video Review: The Comeback by Lily Chu

One of my favourite books this year has been ‘The Comeback’ by Lily Chu. It’s a sweet, romantic comedy about a workaholic, corporate lawyer – Ariadne Hui – whose life is upended when her roommate invites her gorgeous cousin to stay in their small apartment. Unknown to Ari, the quiet, artistic South Korean guy loafing on her couch is one of the biggest k-pop musicians in the world. Lily Chu has created two compelling, charming characters whose growing relationship propels them to liberate themselves from the expectations of others and discover what they really want from life. It’s a joyful, thrilling ride of a story that I whipped through in record time.

17 Black Romance Novels for 2021

The interwebs tell me August was Romance Awareness Month. Although we’ve missed that delightful bus, I offer up this sparkly selection of romance novels because (1) we should celebrate romance every day (2) we’re going to need some tingly happiness to handle the annual slide from flip flops and ice cream to hot chocolate and falling leaves. Give yourself an extra challenge and try an author you haven’t read before.  

15 Black Boy Tween and Teen Novels

It’s been three years since a I wrote a blog post lamenting the paucity of books with Black lead characters for tween boys. In that post I recounted how I’d tried and failed to find five books with a Black boy protagonist that wasn’t about police brutality, drugs, gangs, social injustice or any other trauma. This summer a friend messaged me asking for book recommendations for her tween nephew so I decided to give the experiment another try. The offerings have grown slightly but it’s still an uphill struggle to find books with Black boy leads that aren’t centered on trauma. I really hope the next time I run this experiment there is more fantasy in the mix. I’m longing for Black boy heroes wielding swords, casting spells, joining secret crime fighting organisations, travelling to space, inventing gadgets and other out-of-the-box fare. I want Black writers to write their truths, to reflect the many worlds Black boys live in, to be unapologetic. But I also want escapism and magic for all children, especially Black boys. …

Review: His Only Wife By Peace Adzo Medie

A slice of life novel about a young woman living in impoverished circumstances in the Ghanaian village of Ho, who gets the opportunity to marry into a wealthy family. Afi, the protagonist, is beautiful and smart but has done poorly in her secondary school exams and can’t Ghana’s public universities. Instead she faces a life playing seamstress to the unexciting women of Ho.

Temi Oh: Space Girl

I remember the day I walked through Foyles bookshop in Tottenham Court Road and literally stopped in my tracks. I’d spotted Do You Dream of Terra Two? on a shelf in the distance and was trying to discern whether the cover truly featured a Black girl in an astronaut helmet. I ran over. No, I wasn’t hallucinating; she was really there. It sounds ridiculous, I’d read a million books set in space, but I’d never seen a Black girl on the cover of a space adventure before. My eyes zipped down to the author’s name. Temi Oh. My heart gave a leap of excitement. I was 98% sure the author was Nigerian. I put Google straight to work and a few weeks later I was sitting in a West London coffee shop with Temi Oh, gushing over that arresting cover.  “You don’t really get a lot of control over the cover as a writer,” she’d admitted. “I told them I definitely want a Black woman. I was really happy especially as I spent a lot …