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The Cartographers

January 31

The cover is in bold colors and stylized artwork. The background is blue. It's dominated with red and orange. There is a young Asian American woman sitting on an escalator. She's wearing an orange button down, black pants and green shoes. Her hands are hanging between her knees and she is leaning back on the escalator wall. There are reflections of her on the walls. The Cartographers by Amy Zhang
*HarperCollins

Ocean Wu has always felt enormous pressure to succeed. After struggling with depression during her senior year in high school, Ocean moves to New York City, where she has been accepted at a prestigious university. But Ocean feels so emotionally raw and unmoored (and uncertain about what is real and what is not), that she decides to defer and live off her savings until she can get herself together. She also decides not to tell her mother (whom she loves very much but doesn’t want to disappoint) that she is deferring—at least until she absolutely must.

In New York, Ocean moves into an apartment with Georgie and Tashya, two strangers who soon become friends, and gets a job tutoring. She also meets a boy—Constantine Brave (a name that makes her laugh)—late one night on the subway. Constant is a fellow student and a graffiti artist, and Constant and Ocean soon start corresponding via Google Docs—they discuss physics, philosophy, art, literature, and love. But everything falls apart when Ocean goes home for Thanksgiving, Constant reveals his true character, Georgie and Tashya break up, and the police get involved.

Ocean, Constant, Georgie, and Tashya are all cartographers—mapping out their futures, their dreams, and their paths toward adulthood in this stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding the strength to control your own destiny. — Cover image and summary via Goodreads

*The HarperCollins Union has been striking since 10 November 2022. Please consider supporting the strike by purchasing books through the union’s Bookshop account or by donating to the strike fund.

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January 31
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