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Amanda and Jenn discuss character-driven sci-fi, non-Western fantasy, escapist reads, and more in this week’s episode of Get Booked.

This episode is sponsored by The Storybound Podcast, Saga Press, publishers of speculative fiction like Stephen Graham Jones’ THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS, Rebecca Roanhorse’s BLACK SUN, and more, and Care/of.

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.


Stepping Stone by Karin Kallmaker
Strawberry Summer by Melissa Brayden
Too Close to Touch by Georgia Beers
Just Jorie by Robin Alexander
(rec’d by Wynnde)

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Baron (rec’d by Lauren)


1. So I’m a major fan of character-driven, realistic fiction and have lived in this bubble for years, but recently I read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and absolutely loved! It made me want to step more into the world of sci-fi/dystopian/adventure novels. But I do say that hesitantly. I think I loved Never Let Me Go because it was still very character-driven, the character development and relationships between characters definitely weren’t lost amid the plot. Character evolvement is my favorite part of reading, and I sometimes feel more plot heavy novels lack this quality. So I’m looking for a novel that is either in the futuristic, sci-fi, dystopian or adventure realm but still has rich characters. I enjoy coming-of-age stories (late teens to mid-twenties) but am trying to step away from YA and more into literary coming-of-age. I also usually love when books have a little dabble of romance. Good luck!


2. Hello!
I’ve been really enjoying fantasy/magicy books set in non western Europe settings like the Daevabad trilogy, Spinning Silver, The Bone Witch series and the Six of Crows duology. I have a good tbr list for Black fantasy but I would love some recommendations for that type of thing from Indigenous American and/or Latinx writers and worlds. I’ve already read Nocturna by Maya Motayne.
I like YA as long as the characters are complex and mature (please no unnecessary internal drama). I really don’t like books where the dialogue or humor feel really cliche. I particularly like when the character’s friendships are fleshed out and there are lots of cute fluffy moments in between the action. Other fantasy I like include, The Night Circus, Graceling, A Court of Thorns and Roses and The Priory of the Orange Tree. If it is on Libro.FM that is a plus!

3. Hello! My local Children’s book store, Woozles, runs a YA for Adults book club. We have decided that at least half of the books we read each year will be by BIPOC authors. We have always made a point of reading diversely but after we realized we had read a string of books by white authors we decided we needed to do better. One of the recent books we read and really enjoyed was Slay by Brittney Morris. There are many lists available that feature black authors but I would love a few suggestions for books that are by indigenous authors. We are a Canadian group so bonus points if the books are Canadian. (The group already read The Marrow Thieves back in 2018 so that one is out)
Thanks for your help!

4. Hello Jenn and Amanda! I am in a reading rut and need your help. The stress of 2020 has made me so anxious that I can’t focus on anything new and have just been re-reading old favorites. I would like to find a new book to read that will be NON-STRESSFUL and will be a fun escapist read. I am a huge fan of romance, YA, and fantasy. I would really really like to try some sci-fi but I worry that I will not be able to keep up with too much techy stuff or complex world-building will be too hard for me to keep up since I only really read when I’m awake at night nursing my baby. I did read Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet and enjoyed it and that was easy enough to read and keep up with. So, what non-stressful romance/ YA/ fantasy/sci-fi books can you suggest?


5. I have discovered this year a love of romance novels, mostly historical. However, I’d like to dip my toes in a little further into the genre and read more, especially contemporary romance. I’ve read a lot of Julia Quinn and Tessa Dare. I’m okay with some sexy times but not too much.


6. Last year you recommended to me “Into the Drowning Deep” by Mira Grant and I was OBSESSED with it. I realized that I don’t read much fantasy anymore, but given the current times, I am desperately in need of a different world to dive into. I’m looking for adult fantasy where the setting is a strong character in the book. In addition to Mira Grant’s book, I’ve also enjoyed Circe by Madeline Miller and The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

Besides other books by those authors, do you have any recommendations?


7. Hello lovely ladies! Is it too much to ask for a double recommendation?? My younger sister just finished reading the Anna and the French Kiss series and won’t stop complaining about how there is no more to read! She has a little hole in her heart after this series but can’t seem to find another swoon worthy YA romance to fill that hole. She has read all the John Green romances as well as her favorite author, Nicola Yoon. She wants a cute romance that will make you squeal, extra points for a book with heartwarming side characters and an interesting setting.
Ok here we go with the second question, if you can only do one then please recommend a book for my sister, maybe she’ll stop nagging me about it. I’ve recently found myself watching… No binge watching Jane the Virgin on Netflix. My love for this show is beyond words, because I connect so much with the main character and love the dramatic, romantic plots. Since its summer and im not in school, Im looking for a book of this manner to fill my heart. Like Jane, I’m a Catholic Latina girl who loves to write and adores romance. I would like to read a book that touches on abstinence and Catholicism, along with it’s struggles, while also encapsulating me in a swoonworthy romance. Hope that’s not too much to ask!
Much love,

Books Discussed

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh (tw: rape, murder, child abuse)

Famous Men Who Never Lived by K. Chess (tw: assault, bigotry, separation from a child)

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (tw: violence against children, sexual assault, eugenics)

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

The Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp, as rec’d by Waubgeshig Rice (Recommended) (tw: child abuse)

Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

The Chilling Effect and Prime Deceptions by Valerie Valdes

Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai (tw: abusive parent, panic attacks)

Shades of Magic series by VE Schwab

The Books of Ambha (Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash) by Tasha Suri

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik (tw: racism, fatphobia)