The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!
All the Fighting Parts is a much needed book. The verse format makes it a quick read, but it spares no punches, delving deep into the heart of one sexual assault survivor’s journey through grief, guilt, resistance, and reclamation. Healing is a journey through, not a journey’s end; and while the powers of her local church are stacked against her, her loved ones (whom she withdraws from in the aftermath) learn how to support her through every step. It’s poignant and oh-so relevant. Amina’s story is unlike anything I’ve read before, and I hope with all my might that All the Fighting Parts falls into the hands of those who need it most.
All the Fighting Parts by Hannah V. Sawyerr, (List Price: $19.99, Amulet Books, 9781419762611, September 2023)
Reviewed by Isabel Agajanian, Oxford Exchange in Tampa, Florida
Erica and Thomas love each other. It’s promising that they can look forward to a new relationship together–until Erica wakes up one morning to see her body vandalized with vulgar drawings, offensive words, and several names, including Thomas’. This debut is enhanced through Erica and Thomas’ own perspectives, in which Gustafson fleshes them out very well and provides two sides to this engrossing story. I’m positive that After the Ink Dries will inspire somebody, as it succeeds in illustrating the struggle-but also the possibility- of having courage and hope when it seems like the world is against you.
After the Ink Dries by Cassie Gustafson, (List Price: 19.99, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781534473690, July 2021)
Reviewed by Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina