Sci-fi is the perfect escape from reality. If that’s something you’re looking for at the moment, then I would definitely recommend Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor.
The text itself is a story focused on challenging yourself and pushing boundaries, but also one of positivity and new relationships. The reverse-colonial narrative follows the eponymous herione Binti, who sets of as the first of her people to study at the Oomza University, the best in the galaxy. Her excitement is however cut short by the dangers she faces on her journey as her sense of self and her mathematical knowledge are tested in the darkest way possible.
For me this was a very different read from my usual genres, and I was a bit nervous; however, I was not disappointed and I can’t wait to continue with the rest of the trilogy and to see how Binti herself is developed as a character across the texts. I love this character; she is a strong and highly intelligent female figure, but also very human and real in her self doubt and sense of conscience. The narrative works with this, exploring concepts of background, tradition vs modernity, and difference in both Binti’s character and in the conflict between the Meduse and those at the University.
Even if Sci-fi is not completely your cup of tea, Binti is definitely still worth a read. It is strong and empowering, and, despite being so short, it is much more than aliens and space. Trust me, you won’t be able to put it down.