Dreams Beyond the Shore // Help I Can’t Come Up With A Title For This Review

Author: Tamika Gibson
Genre: Contemporary | YA
Goodreads rating: 3.71
My rating:  ⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Chelsea Marchand was pretty satisfied with her life. Until recently. Willing to play the dutiful daughter as her father’s bid to become Prime Minister of their island home brings her family into intense public scrutiny, Chelsea is swept along by the strong tidal wave of politics and becomes increasingly disturbed by her father’s duplicity. She finds a reprieve when she meets Kyron, a kindred spirit encased in low riding blue jeans. The two share a bond as he too struggles to get beyond his father’s shadow.

But when Chelsea discovers an even darker more sinister side to her father’s world, a discovery that makes her question the man he is and the woman she wants to be, she must decide how much of her own dreams she is willing to compromise to make her father’s come true. But can she find the strength to stand up to her father and chart her own journey?Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Dreams Beyond the Shore had a lot of potential, but unfortunately it left a lot of plot points unexplored. The second part of the above summary promises political intrigue and a horrible discovery to be a big part of the plot. Yet when this reveal finally comes into play, it’s more like an afterthought.

The problem with Dreams Beyond the Shore is that it focused a lot on the romance between Chelsea and Kyron, instead of everything both of them are going through and the political intrigue that is promised. While a bit insta-lovey to me, it wasn’t rushed and it was handled realistically. When Kyron makes a pretty big mistake, it isn’t glossed over and he realises himself how wrong it was. So it’s not that it was a bad romance, I just wish all the other topics like politics, having demanding parents, parents using you for your own gain, standing up for yourself and finding your own path – had been explored more.

Once I got to the ending, the story didn’t feel over because of this. I was left with a lot of questions. It felt like the plot points were introduced only to be forgotten.

That said, it was really interesting to see a YA book set in Trinidad and Tobago, read about their culture and a bit about their politics. It’s not badly written at all either. There is a lot of slang, which was a bit hard to get through in the beginning, but soon I got used to it and I flew through the book.

In the end, it was an interesting read but just a bit underdeveloped. A lot of plot points felt barely touched upon to me, the characters themselves needed more development and we needed to see them more (like Chelsea’s grandmother who was an absolute gem) – I didn’t feel attached to these characters at all and didn’t really care what happened to them.

Have you read Dreams Beyond the Shore? What did you think? Have you read a YA book set in Trinidad and Tobago, or another place that’s rarely used as a setting in YA? Let me know in the comments!

Take Me With You // Beautiful LGBT+ Poetry That Broke Me Hi I’m A Mess

Author: Andrea Gibson
Genre: Poetry | LGBT+
Goodreads rating: 3.38
My rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

 

Andrea Gibson explores themes of love, gender, politics, sexuality, family, and forgiveness with stunning imagery and a fierce willingness to delve into the exploration of what it means to heal and to be different in this strange age. Take Me With You, illustrated throughout with evocative line drawings by Sarah J. Coleman, is small enough to fit in your bag, with messages that are big enough to wake even the sleepiest heart. Divided into three sections (love, the world, and becoming) of one liners, couplets, greatest hits phrases, and longer form poems, it has something for everyone, and will be placed in stockings, lockers, and the hands of anyone who could use its wisdom.Disclaimer: I received arc of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, this means that the author may have made changes in the final print and some of the quotes used in this review may have been changed

Me during and after this book

This book was absolutely beautiful and it’s so hard to put my thoughts and feelings into words. First, let’s talk about the formatting though, because that confused me a bit at first and looking at some Goodreads reviews, I wasn’t the only one.

This book, as I understood it, consists of three poems. Not multiple short ones, but three long poems. You can distinguish them because they’re numbered and by their names: On Love, On The World and On Becoming, but I can see why some people on Goodreads are confused and thought there are multiple short poems, because I did at first too.

Another important thing to know going in this book, is that Andrea Gibson is at the forefront of the spoken word movement. Before I knew that, I thought the poems read like spoken word poetry. Knowing that Gibson is a spoken word poet, I think this was deliberate. Some reviewers on Goodreads criticised the use of all caps, but I read that as Gibson raising their voice, like they do in spoken word poetry.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the book in more detail. I absolutely love spoken word poetry. I’m not an expert on poetry, but it’s probably my favourite form. Thus, Take Me With You was right up my alley, especially since it’s LGBTQ+ poetry.

I found Take Me With You absolutely beautiful, heartbreaking, powerful… I’m starting to feel like Lady Gaga here

But seriously, I am in awe and in love with this book. I have no words. Once I finished it, I immediately reread it again and cried my eyes out a little bit more. I’ve marked pretty much the entire book on my kindle app and I need a physical copy to hold close and take with me* asap.

* Ha see what I did there

There were so many powerful quotes, but I also loved how easily Gibson switched between serious or beautiful and funny

I find great comfort in believing anyone who has ever broken up with me has probably never gotten over my dog.

I cannot for the life of my choose one favourite quote, as there are so many. I laughed, smiled and cried (hard) at this amazing book. Some of the sentences in her poems are pure and wholesome, and like I said funny, others? Broke my heart completely and left me a mess.

When the first responders entered the Pulse nightclub after the massacre in Orlando,
they walked through the horrible scene of bodies and called out, ”If you’re alive, raise your hand.” I was sleeping in a hotel in the midwest at the time but I imagine in that exact moment my hand twitched in my sleep – some unconscious part of me aware that I had a pulse,
that I was alive

Again, I have no words to describe how I feel about this book, what it meant reading it and how much I love it. I highly recommend picking this one up when it comes out 23 January.Have you read Take Me With You, or are you planning to? What’s your favourite poetry book, or who’s your favourite poet? Do you like spoken word poetry? Let me know in the comments!

Snow White and the Seven Angels // A Cute Queer Retelling

Author: Rhys Christopher Ethan
Genre: Fairytale retelling // Short story // LGBTQIAP+ // Suitable for all ages
Series: Queerky Tales #1
Goodreads rating: 3.11
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

White has a secret. One he has shared with his family to no avail. When he meets the Prince of his dreams, he decides he can no longer live a lie, but in order to do so, he will have to face his worst nightmares (Goodreads).

Snow White and the Seven Angels is the first queer retelling in this series, and I really like the idea of Snow White being a trans girl. The Evil Queen (who is Snow’s biological mom, like in one of the original versions of the tale but not the one most of us are familiar with) doesn’t fear that Snow White (at this point in the story called White) is/will become more beautiful than her. While the Queen at some point does (sort of) accept that White wants her Fairy Godmother to turn her into a girl, she keeps referring to her as a him (which is italicised every time to emphasize that while the Queen says things like ‘I don’t want him to be miserable’ that she isn’t being a good parent at all) and as soon as the Mirror tells her that White is going to be more beautiful than her, she changes her mind completely. The Evil Queen in this tale isn’t just a vain woman who wants to be the fairest of them all, she’s a transphobic parent who refuses to let her daughter be who she is.

The romance is very insta-love-y and not that deep, but since the entire story was written like a fairytale, it might have been on purpose. And while the romance is important to the plot, it’s not what’s most important, so it’s okay that it didn’t take up that many pages. I do wish it had been a bit more developed instead of them talking once and the prince then showing up at her castle and being like ‘I love you’. That said it was cute and when White tells the prince she’s not a boy but a girl, the prince says ‘I’m in love with you no matter what’ which I really loved. 

While I get that the story was written in a fairytale style (at least it felt that way to me and I assumed it was on purpose, but maybe this is the author’s writing style?), it was a bit too simple for me. This also means that it’s perfect to read to young children though, who would learn some great messages from this book. It’s clear that The Evil Queen’s views are not okay and it’s never excused. Snow White (the name White takes towards the end of the book when she has a girl’s body) being a girl and the prince loving Snow White no matter her gender are normalised. Not to mention Snow White gets her happy ending.

Definitely an important (and cute!) book, but the writing style made me give it three stars. Though it makes it perfect for a younger audience, it just kept me from really enjoying this one.

Have you read this one, or any others in the series? Or other queer fairytale retellings? If the latter, give me recommendations please! Let me know in the comments

It’s Not Like It’s A Secret… That I Have Very Mixed Feelings About This Book

Genre: YA // Contemporary // LGBTQIAP+
Goodreads rating: 3.69
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to California she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy… what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated (Goodreads).

Oh boy. Okay, so I have a LOT of mixed feelings when it comes to this book, so I decided to make some lists of things I liked and didn’t like. Because 1) I like lists 2) It will hopefully help me gather my thoughts. So let’s go

What I liked

💛 Sana is Japanese, and so is the author, so in that aspect we get own voices (what I could tell from the author’s note at the end she isn’t a part of the LGBT+ community herself)
💛 Sana’s parents speak Japanese a lot in the book and Jamies mom speaks Spanish (though we don’t see her much) It made the book feel authentic and no worries if you don’t speak one or both of these languages! It’s clear from the context what’s being said
💛 Speaking of Sana’s parents, while her dad isn’t around a lot, it’s clear he loves her. While Sana and her mom don’t always see eye to eye (actually, most of the time), towards the end of the book they have a beautiful heartfelt moment which is one of my favourite scenes.
💛 Sana’s new friends. I do wish they had been developed a bit more and had a bit of their own arc outside of Sana (and besides getting a boyfriend), but their interactions with each other and Sana were really fun to read and it was great to read about Sana finding friends that understood her
💛 It’s a pretty quick read
💛 There’s quite a bit of racism in this book that gets adressed, whether it’s aimed at Sana or comes out of her own mouth (or other characters). While I wish some more time had been spent on Sana’s own racism towards Mexicans, it’s made clear that what she said and thought wasn’t okay and it wasn’t resolved that easily
💛 Sana gets the assignment to keep a poetry diary, and the poems she collects and analyses are a part of the novel. Before she got the assignment, she already loved poetry and bonded with Jamie over this. They start to exchange (romantic) poems which is really cute
💛 While I have mixed feelings about the obstacle between the two girls, the way Sana asks for another chance is really romantic and super cute. I’m a sucker for stuff like that.

What I disliked

💛 At some point some boys are clearly interested in Jaimie’s ex-girlfriend, and Sana wants to yell at them to give it up, because she’s a lesbian. Um. Sana. Is she sapphic? Yes. Does that mean she’s a lesbian? No. Bisexuality does exist. There were a few other times that I felt like there was some bi-erasure, but I don’t know if I was overreacting? At some point Sana says to a boy that she would like him if she were straight, and at first I screamed ‘BI-ERASURE’ in my head, because why not say ‘if I were into boys’? She knows bisexuality exists, because at some point she does wonder if she may be bi (though briefly). But I don’t know if I’m overreacting here? It definitely stung though and  put a bad taste in my mouth
💛 Insta-love. Honestly, I have NO IDEA why Sana and Jamie are into each other, besides probably attraction? Oh and they share a love of poetry. Of course this book doesn’t solely focus on romance (it focuses on family, friendship and racism to name a few as well), but since the romance is a big part of the book, the fact that we don’t really see the relationship build up, or actually see much of them as a couple, it just doesn’t work. Were they cute? Sure. Did I ship them? Not really. I honestly couldn’t care less what happened. Of course there’s an obstacle at some point (which I’ll get to later) but I wasn’t invested in their romance at all. I was told they’re in love, but I wasn’t really shown it, let alone why they fell in love. So when things got rough? I didn’t care at all. Besides I knew there was a 99 percent chance things would work out anyway. Also at some point Sana was like ‘it’s only October’ and I went ‘HOLY IT’S ONLY OCTOBER?!’. It’s been a little over a month. A few weeks. WHY
💛 So. The obstacle. Sana did something stupid. And I really wish that what she did (spoiler: she cheated. She thought Sana was cheating on her and thus kissed a boy that liked her, even though she didn’t like him) wasn’t the obstacle in their relationship. On one hand I feel like she was forgiven way too easily, but on the other hand I also understand why she did it. She let her insecurities get to her, then she panicked and only made it worse by not telling the truth to the parties involved and just made it worse. She’s only human, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth.
💛 Like I said before, I wish Sana’s friends had been developed more and had gotten an arc of the own. Same could be said about the other supporting characters. They were flat and I didn’t really care for them. Since they weren’t well-developed and I barely knew anything about them, they didn’t really stand out from each other. 

That definitely helped me get my thoughts about this book a bit clearer. There are things I liked (or even loved) about it, but when romance is a big part of a book, and I’m not feeling the romance, it’s hard to enjoy the book to it’s fullest. While the other problems I had with it didn’t help either, I think the fact that the romance wasn’t developed is the biggest reason why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had hoped.

Have you read It’s Not Like It’s A Secret? What did you think of it? Any similar books that you think I would enjoy more? Let me know in the comments!

Heroine Complex // Asian Female Superheroes Kicking Ass

Author: Sarah Kuhn
Genre: Adult // Urban fantasy // SUPERHEROES
Series: Heroine Complex #1
Goodreads rating: 3.69
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

Being a superheroine is hard. Working for one is even harder.

Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. She’s great at her job—blending into the background, handling her boss’s epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants.

Unfortunately, she’s not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea.

But everything changes when Evie’s forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest comes out: she has powers, too. Now it’s up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles—all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda’s increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right… or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion.

Heroine Complex is as far as I know very unknown and very, very underrated. I hadn’t heard of it and was very lucky to see it at the bookstore. The bright colours obviously captured my eyes, then I read ‘Heroine’ and then I noticed that the two girls on the cover looked East-Asian?? Then I read the summary and the name was Japanese?? So Asian female superheroes, how could I not take this home with me? (also I had two book vouchers and had worked a lot that week so I could afford it)

I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. I was a bit wary when I realised it was an adult book, as I’m usually not very fond of those because well, I’m not fond of sex scenes. There is some sex in this book, but I easily skipped the scene when I realised it was going into details and other than that it was all just mentioned or talked about, nothing too bad.

But let’s start from the beginning. While this is a superhero story and there’s also a romance, what I really liked is that the relationship between Evie and Aveda is at the core of the story. Evie and Aveda have been best friends since they were little and Aveda always had Evie’s back. The memories of what Aveda has done for Evie throughout the years are heartwarming to read and also helps you understand why Evie goes through such lenghts for Aveda, though it also makes you wonder if their relationship isn’t a little bit toxic. Other characters point this out as well, but what’s great is that at some point Evie stands up for herself, points it out to Aveda, and Aveda listens, apologises, and their friendship only becomes stronger for it. There’s an adorable scene where they go out, where it feels like they’re just two best friends instead of boss and employee and two superheroes with the fate of San Francisco at the weight of their shoulders. It really made me fall in love with their friendship and I can’t wait to see more of these two in the sequel. 

Both women went through some amazing growth: Evie becoming more sure of herself, coming to terms with her powers, being able to stand up for herself, and Aveda realising she’s been way too caught up in her reputation and that she hadn’t been treating her best friend very well.

While Aveda obviously had her flaws, I couldn’t help but love her. I definitely didn’t approve of the way she manipulated Evie, the moment I read Evie’s memories of Aveda standing up to their racist classmates and eating all the food Evie’s parents made, or jumping up the stage and grabbing the mic from the band because Evie wanted to hear a particular song at a school dance, I just couldn’t help but fall in love with her. She’s incredibly hardworking and knows what she wants, but she still has her insecurities and just wants to be approved and loved.

The romance between Evie and her love interest (while it’s pretty obvious who it is I don’t want to give it away in case you don’t want to know going in) is really good. I didn’t expect to fall in love with them as much as I did, but boy did I. It builds up throughout the novel, they get to know each other better, communicate, support each other, tease each other and it’s just?? So pure?? They also admit their mistakes to each other and apologise.

Besides Aveda and her love interest, Evie also has a great friendship with Aveda’s body guard Luisa  (who is a lesbian!) and her other childhood friend Scott, and is also struggling with her relationship with her teenage sister. Speaking of her sister, towards the end of the book she made a decision that I felt was kinda… random? I thought it was a bit much, but maybe she just didn’t think it through. I loved that she was really smart and finding her place among the group, and even though she and Evie didn’t always see eye to eye, they definitely loved each other.

While I absolutely loved the fun, comic book vibes the book had going on, I did wish that the villain didn‘t feel cartoonish. I couldn’t really take them seriously, which meant the stakes didn’t feel that high to me, which wasn’t the case at all! San Francisco and it’s citizens were at stake after all, and thus the main characters as well, but it was just hard for me to really take it seriously.

Another thing that I had a bit of a problem with, was the lack of character descriptions. Evie and Aveda were described (and on the cover) but either I missed it, or I have no idea what the other characters looked like. I went back several times to see if I missed it, so I could’ve overlooked it, but I think they just weren’t described, which was really annoying because I didn’t know how to imagine the characters besides Evie and Aveda. It’s a small thing though and didn’t ruin the book at all for me.

I definitely fell in love with this book. It had a bit of a slow beginning, but once I got into it I couldn’t stop reading. If you haven’t yet, I urge you to pick this book up.

Have you read Heroine Complex yet? What did you think of it? Who’s your favourite superhero? Let me know in the comments!

The Upside of The Upside of Unrequited

No that title is not a typo, I didn’t accidentally write The Upside of twice – no it’s me trying to be witty and making a pun *finger guns*

Author: Becky Albertali
Genre: YA | contemporary
Goodreads rating: 4.08
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right? (Goodreads)

Becky Albertali has done it again. How does she manage to write such cute, fluffy, fun books, that are also important? I mean, I’m trying to do it myself with my current WIP, so I definitely look up to her.

Seriously though, The Upside of Unrequited is such a joy to read. My favourite thing about it is probably how diverse it is. Molly and her twin Cassie have two moms, of which one is black. They also have a little brother who’s also black (their white mom is their biological mom, while their black mom is their little brother’s biological mom), the family is Jewish, so is one of the love interests, Cassie is queer and of course so is her girlfriend Mina (to be specific she is pan), who is also Korean-American, Molly of course is fat and she also has anxiety (something I didn’t know going in) and there is so much diversity in the background too. Like one of Molly’s ex-crushes makes an appearance and he has a boyfriend. Also it basically starts on the day same-sex marriage is legalised which I absolutely loved.

Since I have anxiety myself, I was really thrilled to find out Molly has it too. Like I said in my Queens of Geek review anxiety is different for everyone, so of course there are differences between me and Molly, but I definitely related to her. Guys I’m so happy how many books are coming out lately with a protagonist who has anxiety (and they’re not necessarily about anxiety) – this is definitely a trend I don’t want to end (can we celebrate the end of abusive male love interests though)

Speaking of the end of abusive male love interests – I’ve noticed that this trend is dying out, especially because we’re getting such great male love interests lately. Of course they’ve always been there, but abusive male love interests are really popular in fiction (not just talking about books, tv and movies too) so I’m really happy to see less and less of them in books. Reid is such a cutie and he and Molly have great chemistry. I really hope this is the start of a new trend (as Jamie in Queens of Geek was a sweetheart too) and that abusive male love interests will be a rarity soon.

Another thing I loved was the focus on family. Molly and Cassie are very close, but throughout the novel they face some problems and Molly fears they’re growing apart. This was just as important to the plot as the love story and I feel like this is something a lot of people can relate to, though maybe with friends instead of family members.

The characters were all so much fun to read about. I loved all the little, quiet moments Molly had with her moms, where she confided in them and they were just there for her. My favourite moment is when one of them tells her that her getting a boyfriend at seventeen isn’t ‘late’, as Molly thinks and that it’s completely okay to not date in high school at all. I found this super important, since there’s a lot of focus on romance in fiction and media geared towards teens and a lot of them (me included, though I’m no longer a teen and I no longer feel that way) feel like there’s something wrong with them if they don’t date during this time. 

I also loved that Molly is basically a Pinterest Queen™ and loves crafting. I feel like there aren’t many YA protagonists with that hobby? Or at least that I’ve read about so it was a joy to read.

Basically: lots of diversity, focus on family, healthy relationship(s) (while there’s mostly a focus on Molly and Reid, the relationship between Cassie and Mina and Molly and Cassie’s moms are healthy too), positive messages, cute and fun oh and a big gay wedding

Have you read The Upside of Unrequited yet? What did you think? Any more books with great male love interests that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Queens of Geek More Like Queens of My Heart

Author: Jen Wilde
Genre: YA // Contemporary // LGBTQIAP+
Goodreads rating: 4.07
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

 

When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to eow fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe (Goodreads).

Favourite book of the year along with The Hate U Give, hands down. I honestly don’t see any other book this year being able to surpass these two. But let’s save The Hate U Give for its separate review, shall we?

The biggest thing I loved about this book (besides everything else), is how relatable it is. Firstly I can of course relate to the fact that they’re at a con and geeking out about pretty much everything. I think pretty much all of us bookworms can relate to the fandom aspect of this book. I didn’t expect to relate this much to Queens of Geek though.

Firstly there’s Taylor and her anxiety. While everyone experiences anxiety differently (and mine has a lot to do with my PTSD too) and there were thus some differences between me and Taylor, I still related to her a lot. I am absolutely in love with the way Jen Wilde wrote Taylor’s anxiety. While sometimes reading about it sometimes made me feel really anxious as well, it mostly felt really nice to read about because I felt so understood. I really wish that I had had this book when I was younger.

I also loved how understanding Charlie and Jamie were of Taylor’s anxiety and how much they helped her. It’s hard to find friends like that, so I’m happy that those with anxiety who sadly don’t have people like that around them, can see that there are definitely people like that out there (and of course this is fiction, but as someone who found a great friend like that I can assure you there really are people like that out there and I hope they’ll come into your life soon <3)

Then there’s Charlie, who I didn’t relate too as much as Taylor, but there was one line that really, really got to me:

The moment I first realized I’m into more than one gender was a quiet one. It was sudden and almost anticlimatic, so it’s not a particularly exciting story. I was fourteen, and by that time I’d had more than one crush on a girl, mostly movie stars. But I never interpreted my feelings as a crush; I just thought I admired them a whole lot. It didn’t occur to me that those feelings were similar to the way I felt about guys I liked.

So I guess this is were I come out on my blog? I didn’t want to do a whole post dedicated to it, since I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it and new followers would most likely not come across that post anyway, but if you’ve been following my blog for a while and didn’t know, I guess this may come out of nowhere so I didn’t want to not address it.

Anyway, I had never thought about it that way, but when I read that sentence, I realised that I had thought the same thing. The way bisexuality is written is so positive and while there’s some biphobia, it’s addressed and it’s coming from an antagonist.

There are two romances in this book, an f/f and a m/f one, and both were so adorable and healthy. I think I died from cuteness overload multiple times. And while I absolutely love Alyssa, I want to give a special shout out to Jamie. For a long time abusive male love interests were a trend in YA, and I’m glad to see that’s dying out. Jamie is an absolute sweetheart, who’s soft and nice and caring and nothing like the male love interests that were so popular not that long ago.

I also loved that Charlie’s ex was clearly abusive towards her and that it was addressed. It’s made clear that the way he treated her was not okay. As someone who’s very passionate about portraying abusive right and not romanticising it in fiction I absolutely loved that this was added. There are so many positive messages in this book. There’s also a part about bodyshaming and the way that was handled was so beautiful it almost made me cry.

Another thing I loved was how supportive Charlie’s manager was. When she was first introduced I feared that she wouldn’t sympathise with Charlie and be mean towards her, but I was pleasantly surprised. She was like a friend/big sister/aunt/manager in one and I loved her relationship with Charlie.

There’s so much more that I loved about this book, but these really are the main things (at least the ones I remember) besides the fact that it’s simply fun. And just a positive read. Sure, it touches some heavy topics, but it doesn’t feel heavy. To summarise: a light, fun but important read, with lots of positive rep and messages.

Have you read Queens of Geek yet? What did you think? What’s your favourite book of the year so far? Let me know in the comments!

Goldie Vance // Black Queer Female Teenage Detective

You may know that I’ve been reading quite a lot of comics lately, and today I wanted to talk to you guys about another favourite that deserves more love (obviously all my favourites deserve more love but ssh), namely: Goldie Vance

Goldie Vance is about a teenage detective solving, well, mysteries obviously. It takes place during the sixties and is just a lot of fun. So why should you read it?

💛 First of all, because it’s about a black queer female teenage detective!!

💛 Goldie is such a fun character

💛 All characters are so colourful and unique

💛 Goldie has a cute girlfriend!!!

💛 It’s a fun read

💛 It takes place during the 60’s yet has a diverse cast

💛 Girls who race!!!

💛 Girls who work on cars!!!

💛 Girls who love cars!!!

💛 Lot’s of girl power and girls supporting girls

💛 There’s more to the mean girl than meets the eye (which honestly is one of my favourite tropes I can’t help it I’m such a sucker for it – maybe because ‘the mean girl’ is a far more used trope??)

💛 It’s funny and just delightful???

💛 THE ART. LOOK AT IT. IT’S SO CUTE AND COLOURFUL

💛 And the clothes omg I love the clothes

💛 Positive parental figures and positive relationships with their children

💛 Good mysteries!

💛 Basically: read it??

I hope my fangirling was useful to you and convinced you to read it haha. Do you know any similar comics or books (besides Nancy Drew) that you’d recommend? Have you read Goldie Vance? Let me know in the comments!

Rock and Riot – It’s Like Grease but Queer

I’m back to talk about more comics! Before I talked about Shoot Around and Lumberjanes, today it’s Rock and Riot’s turn (and believe me there are a lot more coming).

So what is Rock and Riot about? Taken from the comic’s tumblr:

Rock and Riot follows the tales of opposing teenage gangs in the 1950s with an LGBTQ theme! Will the teams set aside their differences to fight for what they have in common?

Doesn’t that sound great?! If that hasn’t convinced you yet, here are some reasons to read it:

‘LGBTQ THEME’ IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION

No one’s straight?? There are so many different gender identities and sexual orientations in this comic it’s amazing! There are lesbians, bisexuals, panromantics, pansexuals, demisexuals, asexuals, trans characters, an agender character, aromantics, a genderfluid character, a demiboy, a bigender… And I think I haven’t even mentioned all of them at this point. IT’S GREAT.

NOT JUST LGBTQ+ DIVERSITY 

Not everyone is white yay! And so many different body types!! That no one gets shamed for!!

CHARACTERS ARE UNIQUE AND RELATABLE AND JUST GREAT

Sometimes I hate myself for adding titles because honestly what can I add to that. THEY’RE JUST GREAT OKAY. They’re all so cute and funny and relatable sfnsghd I love them. Also they’re so much more than their gender identity and/or sexual orientation, though they are topics that are dealt with

THEY ARE IN GANGS

Which is so much fun! Like not the killing kind of gangs but the ‘I am cooler than thou’ kind of gang with amazing friendships. There’s a girl gang (with a trans girl in it!), a boy gang and an entire gang of teens who don’t stick to the gender binary and they’re definitely the coolest gang.

SUPER CUTE RELATIONSHIPS THAT WILL BE THE DEATH OF YOU

I’m not joking you will die

BEST COMING OUTS EVER

I don’t want to spoil anything, but… IT WAS GREAT. I need to see more of these

CUTE ART STYLE

Just look at it! It’s so cute and colourful

IT TAKES PLACE IN THE FIFTIES

Honestly I love the fifties but… Not good times. So it’s great to see a story take place in the fifties and be so diverse and positive (though there are obstacles as well of course, especially a big one going on right now but it looks like the characters will fight it yay!)

It’s just super fun and cute and relatable and so diverse!!! It’s great trust me. I already linked to the tumblr where you can read it, but I’ll do it again. So if you want to read this amazing comic (YAY) click here.

Are you reading Rock and Riot? What do you think? Are you reading any similar comics that you’d recommend to me? Let me know in the comments (fun fact I wrote comics instead of comments at first woops)!