LGBTQIAP+ Books I Want To See Turned Into Movies Part II

A little while ago I talked about LGBTQIAP+ books I want to see adapted, but there was no way I could fit all of them in one post, so here’s part two! One day there will be a part III, but there’s no way I’m getting that up before Pride ends. So for now, here are six more LGBTQIAP+ books I want to see on the big screen!

Leah on the Offbeat

Now that Love, Simon is out, I want to see a movie about two bi girls falling in love okay? Also while I did like Katherine as Leah, I really want them to recast her with a fat actress. Fat bi girls deserve rep too.

Magnus Chase Trilogy


Just noticed that the center image is cut off adfjsbg I’m too lazy to make a new one

Obviously not made by the same people behind the Percy Jackson movies* The Magnus Chase books would make such a fun movie franchise. Can you imagine the Nine Worlds on the big screen? Also a pansexual main character and brown genderfluid love interest – yes please. Plus a huge focus on friendship! One of the things I love about this trilogy is that Magnus truly is a healer, and that’s how he solves conflicts – he’s not the best fighter, but his love for his friends keeps him going. And let’s not forget the other rep among the main cast, like a Muslim Valkyrie and a black dwarf.

* Wait what movies am I talking about are there movies??

Six of Crows Duology

Though a tv show would also be lots of fun?? I don’t know, as long as it’s done well. Whether it’s two movies or a tv show, I do hope they make it a lot more obvious that Nina is bi, because I learned that she was by reading it on the internet, because apparently Bardugho said so?? Did I miss that in the books?? If you’re not familiar with Six of Crows it has a black bi boy and a white boy fall in love (I don’t think Wylan ever showed interest in girls? But I don’t want to just label him). It’s a great slowburn, but all the relationships in this duology are great. Plus heists!! Heist movies/tv shows are GREAT. Who doesn’t want that

Timekeeper

This one is SO underrated. I mean a sequel came out but no one is even talking about this? That includes me though because I haven’t read the sequel yet hahaha I’m a terrible fan. BUT THIS BOOK. It’s absolutely beautiful and so unique? The main character is gay and has PTSD (such great PTSD rep!!) and he falls in love with the spirit of a clock tower. There’s also a biracial girl trying to make it in a men’s world. In this world they are dependent on clocks (like the Big Ben, not a regular clock in your living room), if a clock breaks, the entire town will be stuck in time, with no way of getting out. Mechanics like the MC and the girl have to make sure that doesn’t happen. I did all that from memory so I hope that makes sense. The romance is adorable and, spoiler before I get attacked: they get their happy ending*

* The sequel better not ruin that asdgbj

I Was Born For This

I just finished this the other day and I have no words?? I Was Born For This blew me away and I definitely get all the hype for Alice Oseman. I’m not sure a movie could do this book justice, as it would miss the incredible, thoughtful writing, but it would be a great movie nonetheless. Plus that rep!! The two main characters are a Muslim girl and a trans gay boy with anxiety. There’s great rep among the supporting cast as well plus it’s a great take on fame and how it affects celebrities. This would just be an incredible movie??

The Upside of Unrequited

The main character of The Upside isn’t queer herself, but she has two moms (one of them black) and a twin who’s a lesbian, dating a pan Korean girl. Same sex marriage has just been legalised so the movie would start with that and show how everyone outside is celebrating. Her moms decide to get married as soon as possible, so the MC is busy with their wedding, as she’s taken it upon herself to plan everything. Ending a movie with a big gay wedding is the best kind of ending to be honest. While the book doesn’t show much of her twin and her girlfriend, because it’s told from the MC’s pov, the movie could show us more of their relationship. Plus the MC is fat and has anxiety – so it’s just a fun, happy movie with lots of great rep and important messages! A.k.a. the perfect feel good movie

I need these movies ASAP okay?? THE WORLD NEEDS THESE MOVIES ASAP. Please let Love, Simon have been the first step to getting more LGBTQIAP+ YA books adapted

Have you read any of these? Which LGBTQIAP+ books would you like to see adapted? Let me know in the comments!

LGBTQIAP+ Books I Want To See Turned Into Movies Part I

That’s me right now. I know I didn’t disappear on the blog* but it’s how I feel because ugggh exams are next week and I’m dead. I don’t even know how I’m writing this post right now. Planning exams during Pride is homophobic tbh

ANYWAY. Today I thought I’d talk about some LGBTQIAP+ books that I want to see follow in Love, Simon’s footsteps. Hopefully it opened doors for many other great YA books with LGBTQIAP+ leads to follow *fingers crossed*

* I did skip a weekly wrap up but I mean,, I do that all the time so

Queens of Geek

Obviously I want to see one of my favourite books of all time on the big screen, but I mean?? That rep though?? The two leads are a Chinese-Australian bisexual girl (Charlie) and a fat, autistic girl with anxiety (Taylor)?? And Charlie’s love interest is a black girl (Alyssa*)?? Both romances are adorable, but Charlie and Alyssa’s first date?** ICONIC. ADORABLE. NEED TO SEE THAT ON THE BIG SCREEN. Taylor and Jamie were adorable and so healthy too though! It’s a super fun and cute read (it takes place during a convention!) but it also addresses so many important topics adgnjs I just love Queens of Geek and I need to see it adapted asap ok pls thank u

* I don’t remember her sexuality and I hate myself
** Don’t quote me on this I remember it as their first date but hey maybe it was their second I haven’t had the time yet to reread this beauty because exams ugh

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

SO APPARENTLY GREG BERLANTI, DIRECTOR OF LOVE, SIMON, HAS SHOWN INTEREST IN THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE AND MAKING ALL MY DREAMS COME TRUE. Okay so apparently he’s planning on making it into a tv show and I know this post is about movies but?? Idc?? A tv show would be even better because MORE of my kids. I haven’t gotten around to reviewing this yet which is,, offensive tbh,, but I want to reread it first because I barely remember anything. But!! The protagonist Monty is bi, his love interest is a black boy who has epilepsy and Monty’s sister is most likely ace*. The book touches on so many important topics like racism, sexism, ableism and so much more. Also PTSD rep! Plus it’s just super fun (road trip! friendship! siblings! pirates! shenanigans!) and the romance is great?? Wow I am not doing this justice curse my bad memory

* I don’t know if this has been confirmed yet or if we have to wait for her book to come out since I’m very out of the loop

Anger is a Gift

I’ve already talked about how good Anger is a Gift is and why you should read it in my review here but seriously you need to read it? And it would make an INCREDIBLE film. Anger is a Gift is a very powerful look on police brutality and just like The Hate U Give will open so many eyes. I really hope studios won’t think ‘we already have The Hate U Give’ so we don’t need to adapt AIAG as well because boy we need so many more movies on police brutality. It’s also super diverse: none of the main characters are white, many LGTBQIAP+ identities (multiple trans characters AND a nonbinary character? I was shook), a disabled character, a character with PTSD, a muslim character… We need this movie okay

Cinderella Boy

Okay so I haven’t reviewed this yet (I will! Though more towards the end of the month) but this would be such a cute Disney Channel like movie? I say ‘like’ because I doubt Disney Channel is ready for a Cinderella retelling with a genderfluid main character and a queer Prince Charming. But yeah, this would be such a cute, empowering movie? Plus queer kids fighting for their rights!! There are moments of injustice in this book that will make you mad of course, but in the end it’s also a ‘feel good’ book as it shows these kids supporting each other and fighting against bigotry, and *spoiler, though it’s very much a fairytale so a happy ending is to be expected* they win! Plus that epilogue is perfect and would make such a cute ending scene

Tash Hearts Tolstoy

I just finished this one and immediately thought of putting it on this list because asexual protagonist! If Tash Hearts Tolstoy were made into a movie it could really teach people about asexuality and give ace teens great rep, while at the same time it would be a really fun movie about a bunch of kids adapting Anna Karenina into a webshow (it could switch between the main storyline and their webshow?). Tash Hearts Tolstoy isn’t about Tash’s asexuality, it’s just a part of who she is and of course of the romance. If done right it could break harmful stereotypes and ideas about asexuality and help so many ace kids. If you haven’t read Tash Hearts Tolstoy yet, it’s up for free on Riveted during the entire month of June!

Autoboyography

Autoboyography shows a gay mormon kid coming to terms with his sexuality and is really respectful towards religion – it really shows that the authors did a lot of research. I think Autoboyography could really help a lot of LGBTQIAP+ religious kids, while it also has great bi rep. While it can get pretty intense it’s also just beautiful, fun and cute and would make such a heartfelt movie. I was honestly blown away and haven’t been able to fully gather my thoughts yet. I’ve mentioned before that Autoboyography is up for free on Riveted this month, but in case you missed that or forgot go grab your chance to read it!

Did I even do any of these books justice?? I feel like I just gushed because I love them all a lot and writing cohesively is hard. If you haven’t read any of these yet, I highly recommend all of them. I loved the rep, the characters, the stories, the queerness, the writing… Just everything okay?? I need all of these as movies and not just for selfish reasons but let’s be real here, movies have a far wider reach than books and these stories and characters are so important. If any of these get adapted I will cry

Part two hopefully coming soon, because I have a lot more LGBTQIAP+ books I want to see turned into movies that I need to talk about

Have you read any of these? Which LGBTQIAP+ books would you like to see turned into movies? Let me know in the comments!

Anger is a Gift // A Powerful Look On Police Brutality (Also It’s Hella Queer™ )

Author: Mark Oshiro
Genre: Contemporary //  YA // LGBTQIAP+
Goodreads rating: 4.42
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

Six years ago, Moss Jefferies’ father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media’s vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks.

Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals by their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration.

When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.

Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the publisher (thank you!) in return for an honest review

Honestly I don’t even know where to start I’m so blown away by this book. I’m honestly kind of disappointed at the lack of hype surrounding this one? I’ve barely seen it around and hadn’t even heard of it when I stumbled across it on Netgalley. Let me tell you: Anger is a Gift deserves all the hype and more. It’s incredible, intense, heartbreaking, yet also shows family, friends and an entire community having each other’s back, fighting for each other and always, always being there for one another.

Anger is a Gift is very graphic, and just gets more and more graphic as the book continues. The police brutality described just gets worse and worse, and gets described in some detail, which is something you should know going in if this triggers you. That said, it’s an incredibly important read and Oshiro has clearly done so so much research, making this incredibly realistic and brutal.

Moss watched his father get shot right in front of him by a police officer, leaving him with severe PTSD (it’s never stated that Moss has PTSD, I read it this way myself) and panic attacks, which is described really, really well. He’s also left with a lot of anger, naturally, which only increases in the book, but as the title of the book states ‘anger is a gift’, and Moss learns that his anger is not a bad thing, and that he could use it to try and change things. Moss’ character development is incredible: he went from not wanting to be anywhere near a protest because of his panic attacks to pretty much leading a movement.

While the entire book is very intense, it’s not all heavy stuff, especially when it comes to Moss’ family and friends. His relationship with his mother is so heartwarming to read: they share everything and are very open; something that all characters were with each other. They all just discussed everything, had no secrets for each other… It was so refreshing to see. Plus all the parents actually being involved!

”You realize how lucky I am that my son is one of my best friends?”

And then there’s his friends, who are absolutely amazing. These kids would do anything for each other – which they did. They always had each other’s back, no matter what. They went through hell for each other, and they’d do it over and over again. Also I loved how diverse (none of them are white) and queer they’re group was, without anyone seeming like the token anything. Moss himself is gay, Esparanza is a lesbian, Reg is disabled, Kaisha is ace, Njemile is trans (and has two moms!), Bits is nonbinary and Rawiya is a Muslim. They’re so unapologetically queer and Oshiro has gotten the queer friends group thing so right – the way they talked about their sexualities and gender identities, joked around etc. all felt very realistic and similar to me and my friends. While of course they face discrimination, the people that matter never give them a hard time and are very accepting and supportive, which was great to see.

And oh, oh my god the romance. The romance is just so good I’m still broken over it. It starts out very awkward yet also very cute, and just very realistic? The entire romance was – neither of them had been in a relationship before, neither knew what to do.

Another burst of nervous energy flushed through Moss’ body. ”Yes,” he said. ”I mean, no!” He blurted it out, then shook his head. ”Please sit down,” he finally said, certain he had embarrassed himself beyond repair.
(I made a note on my Kindle app about this that just says ‘Useless Gay™’)

As I said, all characters were very open with each other, and Moss and Javier were no exception. They shared their doubts with each other: doubts about themselves, but also doubts about the relationship because they were both clueless cinnamon roles. Moss felt so safe with him, sharing his insecurities and Javier making sure that he never felt that way. They were absolutely lovely. While they were never really friends before the romance developed, it still felt very much like the relationship was built on friendship. Also everytime Javier kissed Moss on the cheek I died.

Anger is a Gift  is a powerful, incredible, critical look on how rooted racism is in America and the corruption of the police. The ending is so powerful and heartbreaking, because it’s very realistic. I highly encourage you to read Oshiro’s author’s note, as it made the book even better (if that’s even possible).

I could never do this book justice. There are no words to do so, but I hope you’re going to pick this up, because Anger is a Gift is really important, touches on so many important issues that I can’t even begin to list because then we’ll be here for a while, and is just a must-read for everyone.

Have you read Anger is a Gift? Are you planning too? Let me know in the comments!

Lost Boy, Found Boy // Futuristic Neverland Where No One Is Straight™

Author: Jenn Polish
Genre: Sci-fi // Retelling // LGBTQIAP+ //YA
Goodreads rating: 2.75
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a futuristic world, Neverland is a holomatrix, Hook is a cyborg, and Tinker Bell is an automated computer interface.

Peter is desperate to save his lover from a military draft that, unbeknownst to him, Mir volunteered for because they are desperate to be able to fly. So, naturally, Peter programs an entire island—Neverland—as a refuge where Mir can fly without having to fight in a war.

But he doesn’t locate Mir right away; instead, he fights for control of the island with automated interface Tinker Bell, and in his attempts to find Mir, others arrive on the island. But Peter’s single-minded focus on Mir generates repercussions for everyone.Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the publisher (thank you!) in return for an honest review

Well, this was a fun read! Unfortunately this book does lack a lot of worldbuilding and the characters are kinda flat. I still enjoyed reading it though, even though it left me with a lot of questions. Let’s start out with the things I liked

What I liked

💛 Peter is trans and in love with Mir, who’s non-binary. Peter also refers to them as their enbyfriend!
💛 Tinkerbell is an asexual lesbian computer interface and in love with Gwen, who is based on Wendy
💛 Hook is a bisexual cyborg (though I do have one problem with how this was written but I’ll get to that)
💛 Two of the Lost Boys are in love with each other!
💛 Hook is a part of the squad!!
💛 It was fun to see how the original tale was woven into this
💛 Peter is such a soft boy for Mir??
💛 It’s a really quick read

What I didn’t like

Now as for things I didn’t like/felt the book could improve on…

💛 I have NO CLUE about the world this is set in. It’s clearly a futuristic world, and as they talk about ‘old Earth’ I think it’s a different planet? But I have no idea. There’s also a war going on, but that’s barely touched upon. I don’t know why there’s a war or who they’re fighting. Also: I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW NEVERLAND WORKS I DON’T KNOW IF I’M STUPID OR WHAT. So basically Peter has a dream about Neverland and then decides to make it real. It’s VR but it’s also real?? They’re actually taken to Neverland?? How does this work help maybe I’m just overthinking it too much but for a while I thought it was all virtual reality because Peter puts on a VR helmet?? Did that helmet transport him to the world he coded?? And then it turned out he was really there?? MUCH CONFUSION

💛 The characters are unfortunately really flat. They only have a few characteristsics, though in case of The Lost Boys they pretty much have none? New characters kept appearing without really developing the previous ones, and the Lost Boys are suddenly there and barely get any screen time. Hook is a cyborg through experiments but?? We don’t know why or what exactly happened

💛 The plot is really, really rushed, which also leads to a lot of telling instead of showing. For example we don’t see Gwen and Peter falling out. There’s a time skip where it’s already happened because Peter starts to get really frustrated and takes that out on the others, but I wish we could’ve seen that happen

💛 So there’s nothing to indicate that Hook is bisexual in the book, though since this is an ARC that may change. It’s clear that he’s not straight, but if it weren’t from the author’s bio on Goodreads I wouldn’t have known that he’s supposed to be bisexual, which is a real shame.

💛 Tink and Gwen are cute but we don’t really see them develop as a couple, which makes me so sad

Basically this book has A LOT of potential. If the book had been longer, developed the plot, characters and the relationships more – this would have been a really, really great book. It’s such a fun take on Peter Pan and there’s a lot of LGBTQIAP+ rep. I definitely have hope for this author’s next works.

Lost Boy, Found Boy comes out 19th March!Have you read Lost Boy, Found Boy, or are you planning to? Have you read any Peter Pan retellings that you’d recommend? Or other LGBTQIAP+ retellings? Let me know in the comments!

None of the Above // An Important Read, But A Bit Lacking

Author: I.W. Gregorio
Genre: Contemporary | LGBT+ | YA
Goodreads rating: 3.89
My rating:  ⭐⭐⭐


When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?A really important read, but in some ways I found it a bit lacking. It’s clear that the author has done a lot of research and knows what she’s talking about. Kristen is well developed and her coming to terms with being intersex was well explored, but when I only had a few pages left I was wondering – is this it? It might be that I had different expectations, but for me the story was far from over. Of course Kristen’s story is never finished, and I’m okay with the fact that her story doesn’t have a definite end – but I just wish that some things had been explored a bit further, like the support group for intersex women and I wished Kristen had come to the realisation that her ex-boyfriend is a jerk and that he’s not the victim. At some point she thinks to herself that she doesn’t deserve him, that he deserves love – no girl, he doesn’t deserve you.

I also found it a shame that the supporting characters and their relationships with Kristen were quite underdeveloped. While reading I had no trouble remembering them, but I know that after a while I will have forgotten them.

While I’m glad the romance took a backseat, it may have taken a bit too much of a backseat*, as I felt like the love interest didn’t show up enough times and his relationship with Kristen wasn’t that well developed. When I got towards the end I was wondering how they were still going to end up together** as there just hadn’t been enough scenes between them for me. That said, the love interest is a sweetheart and I do approve.

* I can’t believe I’m complaining about this since I usually complain when a romance takes over the story lmao
** Them ending up together was obvious

All in all, I flew through this book and I’d definitely recommend it.

Have you read None of the Above? What did you think? Any other YA books with intersex characters that I should check out? 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!

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!