August 2018 Wrap-Up

Hi. I bought too many books and did not read anywhere near enough to compensate.

Monthly Wrap-Up

Book Haul

  1. Skylarks by Karen Gregory
  2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  3. Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee
  4. Bingo Love by Tee Franklin (library)
  5. Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2018
  6. Legendary Ladies: 50 Goddesses to Empower and Inspire You by Ann Shen
  7. Learning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss
  8. A Field Guide to Fantastical Beasts by Oltento Salaperäinen
  9. Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold by Stephen Fry
  10. Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions & Heretics by Jason Porath
  11. The Encyclopedia of Mythology by Arthur Cotterell

Books Read

  1. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee (review)
  2. Learning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss (review)

Other Posts

 

Review: Learning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss

40778310Elena Mendez has always been career-first; with only two semesters of law school to go, her dream of working as a family lawyer for children is finally within reach. She can’t afford distractions. She doesn’t have time for love.

And she has no idea how much her life will change, the day she lends her notes to Cora McLaughlin.

A freelance writer and MBA student, Cora is just as career-driven as Elena. But over weeks in the library together, they discover that as strong as they are apart, they’re stronger together. Through snowstorms and stolen moments, through loneliness and companionship, the two learn they can weather anything as long as they have each other–even a surprise visit from Elena’s family.

From solitude to sweetness, there’s nothing like falling in love. College may be strict…but when it comes to love, Cora and Elena are ahead of the learning curve.

I’ve been following Ceillie on Twitter for a while and was excited when I heard she was publishing a F/F book with a fat MC. Amazon was a headache, but I managed to preorder, which meant I got a nice surprise down the road when release day came.

See this review on Goodreads.

Details at a glance:

Title: Learning Curves

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Author: Ceillie Simkiss

Genre: New Adult Contemporary/Romance

First published: 2018

Format: Ebook

Pairings: F/F

Sexual content: None

Rep: Fat Puerto Rican lesbian MC with anxiety (not outwardly labelled), panromantic asexual LI with ADHD

Ownvoices: Yes – panromantic asexual, ADHD, anxiety

Content warnings: Mentions of aphobia, sharing someone else’s diagnosis without permission (addressed and resolved)


I read about 3/4 of this on the train ride home and polished off the rest while waiting for various things during the following day.

This is a cute, low-stakes romance that has a laser focus on the two women involved. The writing is easy to read, which is good for me right now since I’m having trouble motivating myself to read anything, and

The characters are awesome. Elena has a very clear idea of what she wants to do with her life, and is clearly an extremely compassionate person (sometimes to the point of letting other people walk over her). Cora doesn’t state what she wants quite as clearly, but you can feel that she’s finding her way there.

Also, Elena’s mother is a badass and I love her. It’s also great to see an accepting religious family like Elena’s, and also dealing with a family like Cora’s that is only marginally accepting of her queerness, and only if she’s not too loud about it. There’s a huge spectrum of experience between violent rejection and complete acceptance, which is a place a lot of families occupy.

There are also discussions dealing with the fact the queer community often pushes some parts of it to the margins, which is relevant to Cora since she’s panro-ace. Elena doesn’t show any tendency towards that behaviour, which was such a goddamn relief because I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been sucker-punched with biphobia, aphobia or transphobia in a book. Being that I follow Ceillie on Twitter and have for a while, it didn’t surprise me that she knew better.

The #cockygate reference also killed me.

I only had a few minor issues with the story. Aside from their first meeting, the characters’ studies don’t have a huge bearing on the plot or subplots. I would’ve liked to see more of that, and possibly a bit more development in other parts of the story as well. The writing was also a little awkward at times, but a large part of that likely comes down to the fact self-pubbed authors don’t have the budget to do the same level of editing as a publishing house. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story.

This was such a positive, sweet little story that was downright affirming at times. I loved it. Go read it.

Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

29283884Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

I’ve been meaning to get to this one for a while, and finally got my hands on a copy via my library’s consortium.

See this review on Goodreads

Details at a glance:

Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Series/Standalone: Series (book 1)

Author: Mackenzi Lee

Genre: YA Historical/Adventure

First published: 2017

Format: Hardcover (library)

Pairings: M/M, some M/F

Sexual content: Nudity and bodily functions leading up to the act (sex is never described in itself)

Rep: Bisexual male MC who is an alcoholic and a parental abuse survivor with PTSD, black biracial queer male LI with epilepsy, heavily-implied aroace character, other black supporting characters, background queer characters

Content warnings: suicide jokes (often hiding true suicidal ideation), suicidal ideation, ableist language, period ableism, period racism, period islamophobia, period homophobia, period sexism, hints of cissexism, epileptic fits, disability acquired through severe injury during the narrative, alcoholism, parental abuse


Hoo, boy. This one is hard to review. I found it extremely enjoyable and ended up getting super invested, but there are a few things that didn’t sit quite right with me, which meant picking a Goodreads rating was difficult. Before I get into those, let me just say this book is set in roughly the 1720s, because I didn’t actually know that until I was reading the author’s note at the end.

Now, I’m going to split this review into two parts: the good and the bad.

The Good

I really enjoyed this book and read most of it in one day… and practically one sitting. It’s actually broken me out of a massive reading slump that has also resulted in me neglecting my blog for about two months. It’s the kind of story you can just crawl into and live in for a while.

The characters are amazing. Monty, as much of a pain as he is, can be very witty and charming when he wants to be. A lot of his behaviour stems from unresolved trauma due to his father’s abuse, and a lot of the narrative involves coming to terms with that and moving beyond his trauma-induced behaviours that damage his relationship with the people he cares about, and also the extremely unforgiving society as a whole. Another thing I really liked about having Monty as a character was the fact he wasn’t brave. At all. He was small and privileged and had no idea how the world worked, and the narrative did not imbue with some kind of magical acquisition of skills. He spent a lot of the novel frightened and squeamish.

Percy is more reserved and responsible, and is a good foil at times. The two of them care deeply for each other, even if Monty can be a little self-absorbed. A lot self-absorbed. Percy is a very kind person, which makes it difficult for him to enforce his boundaries even with people he cares about. He has to deal with a lot of problems because of his race and epilepsy, and that has certainly informed the more reserved, logical, conscientious way he interacts with the world.

Monty and Percy have an extremely close friendship, and Monty’s romantic (and sexual) feelings towards him are complicated by the fact they live in an era where it is illegal to act on those feelings. Monty’s fears and traumas cause problems between the two of them, and at times it is difficult for them to have honest conversations with each other.

The writing is also often at its most beautiful when Monty is just… looking at Percy. It just so happens that characters staring at people they love results in some of my favourite writing ever. I’m a sap. Also Percy is wonderful and Monty has good taste.

Not to mention there were a lot of sweet, tender moments between them and also other characters. It’s amazing how much of a low-moving disaster Monty is, and how many people roll up there sleeves and try to do something about it. Some of those people are asshats trying to start drama, but many also aren’t. Some of the kindest people in the story are surprising to me.

Felicity was also an amazing character and her development was a sight to see. More accurately, Monty learned a lot more about his sister so his view of her changed as he, and the readers, began to understand what was going on with her. She’s intelligent and resourceful and I love her to pieces. It takes some serious guts to do some of the stuff she had to do, and often she would roll up her sleeves and get on with it while the guys were still freaking out. I also appreciated that, even though she had clearly absorbed a lot of society’s homophobia, she made an effort to understand her brother. After a fashion. She is harsh on him about their father’s behaviour for a while, but it doesn’t stay that way permanently.

1720s Europe was an extremely homophobic society and same-gender relations, especially between men, were illegal. That affects the way Monty has to find his way through life, and is a factor in his father’s abuse towards him. Monty has also developed a sense of who may be like him, and he uses that sense in interesting ways. Funnily enough, the one person who he can’t figure out is Percy.

Also, the pirates were really cool and Scipio is the light of my life. I can’t say more because spoilers, but I love him and the way he interacted with our three major characters.

Also, I am going to fight Monty’s father. Join me. We ride at dawn.

The Bad, or at Least Questionable

As much as I enjoyed the story, it’s hard to get away from the fact most of it is centered around a cure-seeking narrative. Furthermore, the cure-seeking is mostly on Monty’s end for Percy’s sake, and Percy doesn’t get a word in edgewise. This is dealt with later in the story, but it was still discomforting for the duration of the novel until then.

I enjoyed Monty as a character most of the time, but I found it extremely awkward being in his head when he was spouting a lot of ignorance about sexism, racism and ableism. There were times when he’d practically walk over Percy’s wishes in particular and, while he is usually called on his bullshit, it was still extremely frustrating. If the author had been a POC, it probably wouldn’t have been as much of an issue for me.

I also really hated the part of the plot at the summer ball, since it was super early in the story for something to go that ridiculously wrong, and also to be slapped in the face with that many horrible people at once. That’s probably personal preference, and the annoyance died down after a while.

Monty also makes a lot of suicide and self-harm jokes/exaggerations during the narrative. While a lot of them are an attempt to laugh off genuine feelings, I still think it’s worth mentioning because they could easily be overwhelming for someone not in the right headspace.

Also, while I personally was cool with it in this situation, Monty does meet the depraved bisexual stereotype. He’s promiscuous and parties and drinks to excess. I went into this aware of that and decided it didn’t bother me, but I know other bi readers have strongly disliked it.

Overall

I really enjoyed The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue but have a few reservations that stopped me from being completely absorbed into the story world. It seems to me that Mackenzi Lee made an effort to explore the issues these characters had to face due to the time period, which is a good thing, but I’m not sure about the way it’s handled all the time.

The characters and the story, despite my issues, were really strong and Monty had an excellent narrative voice with a good balance of humour and pathos. I found myself extremely invested in Monty, Percy and Felicity’s stories and am interested in reading more about them.

This book got me out of a reading slump, so I’m definitely grateful for that.

 

Down the TBR Hole #27

Down the TBR hole is a weekly meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story that revolves around clearing out all the books on your TBR you’re never going to read anyway. I’ll let Lia describe how it works:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

~ Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.

~ Order on ascending date added.

~ Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.

~ Read the synopses of the books

~ Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’m trying to post something more than just monthly wrap-ups, so I have returned to complain about books some more.

Down the TBR Hole

The Rejects:

  • #1: All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield: I don’t know why this is on my TBR because it’s really not something I’d be interested in.
  • #4: Rabbit-Proof Fence “by” “Phillip Noyce”: This version wrongly attributes the director of the movie as the author of the book, rather than the Aboriginal woman called Doris Pilkington who actually wrote it and is the daughter of one of the women in the story. I’m deleting this version and replacing it with the proper one here.
  • #7: The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan: I’m… not sure about this author writing about slavery on the Ivory Coast. While she was born in a non-western country and travels a lot… she appears to be white. And TRIGGER WARNING: apparently one of the characters is sexually assaulted.

The Keepers:

#2: Calypso Summer by Jared Thomas

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This is a book about a Nukunu boy (a group of Indigenous Aboriginal people from South Australia), written by an Indigenous author. I see this in bookstores and libraries every so often.

 

#3: Becoming Kirrali Lewis by Jane Harrison

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The author is Muruwari (Indigenous Australian group from New South Wales) and the protagonist is an Aboriginal girl adopted into a white family, and the book is set in 1985. There are also flashbacks to her mother’s upbringing in the 1960’s.

 

#5: Here’s the Thing by Emily O’Beirne

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Aussie lesbianssssssssss. The MC moves to Sydney, leaving her best friend/crush behind who doesn’t keep in contact. The blurb makes it sound like there’s a love triangle involving a new girl she meets, but queer love triangles are better anyway.

#6: The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

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I believe the MC is bisexual. She’s chosen as a child to become the next MAGICAL QUEEN and has been shut away her whole life in preparation. But something goes wrong when the previous queen dies and the MC doesn’t inherit her magic. DRAMA.

Let me tell you the MOST ANNOYING THING: I am constantly seeing book 2 in the series in my local bookstore but I can’t buy it because I don’t have book 1. One day I’ll just get this one off book depository or something just for the sake of my SOUL.

#8: The Sum of These Things by Emily O’Beirne

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This is a sequel to a book I still have on my TBR. It gay.

#9: Want by Cindy Pon

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I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet. It’s based in an alternate Taipei that has become a polluted dystopia where the rich can wear high-tech suits that protect them while the poor get sick and die. It seems the manufacturers of these suits are also creating the problem in the first place. Also apparently there’s a F/F side couple?

Shenwei has an awesome review about it, and they are Taiwanese so it’s an ownvoices review.

#10: Love Beyond Body, Space and Time edited by Hope Nicolson

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This is a queer science fiction anthology. Judging from reviews, there also seem to be Native American authors involved.

July 2018 Wrap-Up

I swear that month went by really fast. I’ve been neglecting the blog because I don’t really have the energy to update it at the moment.

Monthly Wrap-Up

Book Haul

  1. Midnighter Vol. 1: Out by Steve Orlando (library)
  2. Midnighter Vol. 2: Hard by Steve Orlando (library)
  3. Midnighter and Apollo by Steve Orlando (library)
  4. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth (library)
  5. Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake (library)
  6. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (library)
  7. Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia edited by Anita Heiss (fun fact: I was going to borrow this from the library as well but it’s so popular that I was #33 in the queue so I just ended up buying it instead)
  8. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann (bought second-hand from Chiara)

Books Read

  1. Midnighter Vol. 1
  2. Midnighter Vol. 2
  3. Midnighter and Apollo
  4. The Werewolf Handbook An Essential Guide to Werewolves and, More Importantly, How to Avoid Them by Robert Curran (I’ve had this for years but I probably wouldn’t buy it today)

Life Stuff

  • Did my library work placement
  • Started semester 2 of the library course
  • Revised most of my F/F retelling, and reread two other novel drafts to make some notes
  • Attempted writing a nonfiction thing that I’m not sure I’ll finish
  • Finally watched Yuri on Ice
  • Hibernated

June 2018 Wrap-Up

We’re halfway through the year and it’s weird. Someone save me.

Monthly Wrap-Up

Book Haul:

This was a “grabbing lots of books” month. I’ve been making fairly liberal use of the library near my chiropractor, and June is also a time for a lot of sales so I snapped up quite a few books at a discount. And then I was left to my own devices in the same bookshop several times and saw lots of cool stuff.

  1. Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer (library)
  2. Laurinda by Alice Pung (library)
  3. Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking (library)
  4. The Boy’s Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew by Eli Glasman (library)
  5. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Bellezza
  6. You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
  7. The Reader by Traci Chee
  8. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
  9. Timekeeper by Tara Sim
  10. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
  11. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
  12. We Are Young by Cat Clarke
  13. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  14. The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders by Stuart Kells (nonfiction)

My mother and I also grabbed some ex-library stock from our local library–three cookbooks and a culinary magazine. We spent one dollar for the whole lot.

Books Read:

  1. Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (review)
  2. Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer
  3. The Boy’s Own Manual to Being a Proper Jew by Eli Glasman

Yeah, I didn’t feel like reading or reviewing very much. I keep starting books and putting them down.

Non-Review Blog Posts

  1. May 2018 Wrap-Up
  2. T5W: “Summer” Reads
  3. Down the TBR Hole #25
  4. Down the TBR Hole #26
  5. T5W: LGBTQIAP+ Books That Don’t Feature Cis M/M Relationships
  6. Down the TBR Hole #27
  7. T5W: Books I Want to Read Before the End of the Year

Personal

  • Finished semester 1 of my Library Technician course… and didn’t fail anything 🙂
  • Sorted out my work placement (this took fricking MONTHS)
  • Acquired my sixth library card. Because of reasons.
  • Went to an event about writing queer characters at the Emerging Writer’s Festival
  • Took the new puppy to puppy pre-school. She hated it the first week but the second week she was pretty calm, even if she wouldn’t listen to new commands until we got home 🙂

Top Five Wednesday: Books I Want to Read Before the End of the Year

Top 5 Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ ThoughtsOnTomes, formerly by Lainey @ GingerReadsLainey, on a Goodreads group here.

The theme for June 27th is: Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year:

–Halfway through the year, and it’s time to evaluate our reading goals and take a look at our TBRs for the second half of the year!

I can’t stop at five. Come on.

Top Five Wednesday

#1: The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

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I loved Jen Wilde’s first book. This one has a bisexual drummer!!!!!!

#2: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

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It’s probably a crime that I haven’t gotten my hands on this yet. A black biromantic ace girl sounds right up my alley.

#3: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

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I bought this before I heard about the issues concerning the questioning rep, but now I guess I should read it myself.

#4: Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

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Bisexual necromancers. That is all.

#5: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

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A F/F retelling of Snow White that I managed to find in the local bookshop, to my surprise.

A few bonus books:

  1. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza – I found this in a bookshop during a sale.
  2. Life Within Parole by RoAnna Sylver – I need more Chameleon Moon in my life.
  3. American Street by Ibi Zoboi – I ran across this while wasting time in the bookshop.
  4. Timekeeper by Tara Sim – I formally apologise for not having read this yet.
  5. A Girl Like That by Tazan Bhathena – Got this for an amazing price (cheaper than lots of paperbacks).
  6. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – I started this ages ago but then started other books as well and this kind of fell on the backburner.
  7. Laurinda by Alice Pung – I keep seeing this in libraries and bookshops so I guess the time has come.
  8. Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking – Apparently this has a bisexual MC and NO ONE EVER TOLD ME.
  9. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan – F/F in a Malaysia-based world. It’ll be out later in the year.
  10. The Reader by Traci Chee – Pretty much all my friends loved this.

This is not an exhaustive list because that is impossible.

Down the TBR Hole #27

Down the TBR hole is a weekly meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story that revolves around clearing out all the books on your TBR you’re never going to read anyway. I’ll let Lia describe how it works:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

~ Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.

~ Order on ascending date added.

~ Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.

~ Read the synopses of the books

~ Decide: keep it or should it go?

I rejected a lot of books, which is probably a good thing since I KEEP ADDING MORE.

Down the TBR Hole

The Rejects:

The Keepers:

#3: Blood Bound by Idella Breen

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I’m not sure it particularly grabs me, but the ebook is free for the moment so I may as well give it a shot. F/F paranormal romance.

#6: Points of Departure by Emily O’Beirne

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I was iffy about this one, but I saw a reviewer complaining that there was no girl drama so I’m keeping it on my TBR out of spite.

Also, it’s queer and Aussie.

#8: Superior by Jessica Lack

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M/M superhero interns. One of my Goodreads friends has shelved it under bisexual.

#9: Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

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Duh.

More queer superheroes with a Chinese-Vietnamese bi girl MC.

#19: Grace Beside Me by Sue McPherson

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Aboriginal MC with an Aboriginal author.

That said, the MC does seem overly defensive that she’s a tomboy and not gay, and there’s also ableist language. We’ll have to see. I can probably find it in a library somewhere.

TW: racism and sexual assault

Top Five Wednesday: LGBTQIAP+ Books That Don’t Feature Cis M/M Relationships

Top 5 Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ ThoughtsOnTomes, formerly by Lainey @ GingerReadsLainey, on a Goodreads group here.

The theme for June 20th: Favorite LGBTQ+ Books That Don’t Feature Cis M/M Relationships

— This may seem oddly specific, but in honor of Pride being this month, I wanted to have a topic to celebrate LGBTQ+ books. But, the book community tends to, when given the chance, lift up cis m/m pairings the most. And while those books are still important and valued (we’ve even had topics covering m/m relationships earlier this year, which featured many cis m/m pairings), I wanted to shine the spotlight on some of those lesser known, recognized, and celebrated books.

MY TIME HAS COME.

Top Five Wednesday

1: Coffee Boy by Austin Chant (trans M/cis M)

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This is a great short read with a gay trans man MC and bi cis man love interest. There’s an age gap which is handled respectfully. It’s set in a campaign office and there’s a sex scene at the end. The dynamic between Kieran and Seth is amazing.

Review

2: Come to the Rocks by Christin Haws (F/F)

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This is another great novella that has a bisexual woman fall in love with a mermaid while grappling with her stalker ex-boyfriend.

Review

3: Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake (F/enby, M/F)

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This YA novel has a bisexual MC with two love interests and deals with the effects of sexual assault.

Review

Bonus rec: How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake–F/F, bi MC, biracial lesbian LI, pianist/dancer, dealing with a neglectful mother and grief. Review.

4: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova (F/F, M/F)

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The bisexual Latina MC in this YA fantasy novel accidentally wishes away her whole family while trying to get rid of her super bruja powers. She has to travel to the spirit world to get them back, and has two love interests: a Latino boy and a sapphic Indian girl. This is ownvoices for being Latinx, but not for bisexuality. The bi MC isn’t labelled in-text, but she’s only just realised she’s queer so I’m not concerned at the moment.

I saw this in my local bookshop today, which was great.

Review

5: Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver (M/enby/M, F/F/F

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A hopeful dystopian NA novel with a super queer, disabled ensemble cast who have developed superpowers due to a drug and have to fight against the military who seek to keep them trapped in a burning city. Too many queer characters to count, including: asexual polyamorous anxious lizard-man, transgender polyamorous sapphic woman with a superpowered voice, amputee polyamorous sapphic woman with plant powers, a nonbinary “build-a-friend” made up of body parts from different sources. Most characters are mentally ill, with PTSD being super common.

AND THAT’S NOWHERE NEAR EVERYONE. And the F/F/F relationship is a marriage and they have a son!

Review


I LOVED MAKING THIS LIST SO MUCH. I can’t wait to read the metric fuckton of books I bought recently that also fit this brief.

Down the TBR Hole #26

Down the TBR hole is a weekly meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story that revolves around clearing out all the books on your TBR you’re never going to read anyway. I’ll let Lia describe how it works:

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when youre scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well thats going to change!

It works like this:

~ Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.

~ Order on ascending date added.

~ Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.

~ Read the synopses of the books

~ Decide: keep it or should it go?

I managed half-and-half this time.

Down the TBR Hole

The Rejects

The Keepers

#1: Trust Me, I’m Trouble by Mary Elizabeth Summer

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This is the sequel to Trust Me, I’m Lying, which I’m reading at the moment. This book is F/F, which was my main motivation for reading book 1, which is not. There are a few things that bother me in book 1, but not enough that it’s ruined my appetite for book 2.

I wonder if the same library that lent me book 1 will get this one for me?

#2: Collide by J.R. Lenk

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Bi boy rep! The first line of the blurb is annoying me because being bisexual is often only considered “cool” when it’s time to invalidate someone’s queerness, but that line may not be the author’s fault.

(Also, I’m going to read this out of spite for the reviewer who, for some reason, even knowing the rep is explicitly bi, is still just calling it “gay” as if that’s the same goddamn thing. Screw you, reviewer.)

#3: Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall

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Short and cute M/M romance that apparently has on-the-page bi boy rep.

#9: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

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Is this even up for debate? Here’s a portion of the blurb:

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

#10: How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

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Published in 2014, this seems to be the precursor to books like the one above, but more focused on a white civilian shooter than a police officer. Both are huge issues.

This one is told through four(?) different perspectives and what little I looked at on Amazon looked deliberately chaotic and disjointed. Given the subject matter, it seems likely to work well here.