LGBTQIAP+ Comics You Should Read Part II

I’m back with more comic recommendations! With this being the last week of Pride it doesn’t mean that I won’t ever do a part III of course, I’ll definitely share more at some point in the future! Anyway, let’s dive in

Giant Days

I discovered Giant Days when I caught up on all the Lumberjanes issues that were out back then and was looking for a replacement. According to some forum (I think?) Giant Days was similar to Lumberjanes and as it sounded interesting I went to check it out. And lo and behold, I was hooked. Giant Days is very much its own story of course, but it is a little bit like a more mature Lumberjanes.Giant Days is about three best friends trying to get through college together and while it’s pretty realistic, it also has some more fantasy-like elements, thus why I see the similarities with Lumberjanes. While dealing with some serious topics, it’s fun, silly and absolutely hilarious. I don’t laugh out loud quickly when reading comics, but Giant Days? I’ve laughed out loud multiple times. Daisy is biracial (her grandmother is black) and throughout the comics she realises she likes girls (I don’t remember her labeling herself?) and eventually she gets into a relationship with a girl. It’s… not the best relationship, but the comic never pretends it is. It’s just a very realistic take on a bad relationship. If you like Lumberjanes, I definitely recommend Giant Days.

The Backstagers

*chants* Queer theater boys queer theater boys queer theater boys! Another one that really reminds me of Lumberjanes, although this is about the backstage crew of a school theater club. Like the Lumberjanes’ camp, backstage isn’t a regular one as it’s a magical place with lots of secrets to uncover. I love how The Backstagers not only showcases great friendships between boys, but also breaks down stereotypes and toxic masculinity. Plus a cute slow burn between two of the boys and Beckett (on the left) is trans. There are only two volumes so it’s a very short read (though a Valentine’s Day special came out so maybe there’s more coming?) but so so worth it. Again, if you love Lumberjanes, definitely recommend this one.

Patsy Walker

I’ve only read the first volume of this but I’m already in love?? It’s just very queer without making a big deal about it and I love it. Also the story itself is just fun and cute? Patsy Walker a.k.a. Hellcat starts a temp agency for people with superpowers which in itself is already a unique and fun concept, but the entire vibe of the comic is just?? So fun?? The art work is cute and colourful and while there are villains to fight there isn’t really any angst. Also the humour really reminds me of Squirrel Girl, which is a plus. There are multiple queer characters (my fave being Ian Soo, who’s bisexual) who just get to exist, be happy, have fun adventures and friends* and ahhh I’m so sad this got cancelled even though I haven’t finished it yet.

* I don’t know about any romantic relationships as I’m not that far yet but I think they do also get into healthy relationships?

Zodiac Starforce

I’ve actually talked about this one before!  Zodiac Starforce is a magical girls comic, in which the girls powers are based on the zodiac signs. Apart from multiple POC the main cast also consists of two queer girls who fall in love with each other. Apart from that once again a great friendship is at the center of this one. These girls are not just fighting to save the world, but also to protect each other. It’s a fun read, though it also explores the darker side of being a magical girl.

Hi-Fi Fight Club

Okay so there aren’t that many issues out for this one yet so I can’t really say that much about plot and characters, but the main character has a crush on a really pretty girl and it’s super relatable because SAME. She’s such a mess around her ajbshg The main character works at a record store, but it turns out that her co-workers are sort of superheroes, minus the super powers and have started a fight club. Oh and it takes place in the 90s! So far it’s really fun and cute and I can’t wait to see where this goes

That’s it for now, but as I said Pride being almost over doesn’t mean the end for this series.

Have you read any of these? Any LGBTQIAP+ comics you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!

My Current Writing Ideas/Projects That Are All Gay Duh + Aesthetics!

I’ve thought of talking about all the writing ideas/projects going around my brain for a while now. Then I thought: why not talk about all of my LGBTQIAP+ WIPs/ideas for Pride! Then I realised that’s all of my ideas ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ve Been Working On This For Almost Two Years and It’s STILL Unnamed

You may be familiar with this one as it’s my main WIP right now and I’m hoping to finish it this year *fingers crossed*. I’ve written a blurb for it for a few writing tags, which is not complete as it does not mention the other two main characters, Reyna and Hye-su, but it’s the best I got right now.

Yong-sun An is worried about a lot of things, but at the top of his list? The future. Worried his anxiety will get in the way of everything he does, he has no clue what he’ll do after graduation. If he even graduates. Because that’s another thing he worries about. Not that his grades are bad, far from it, but one time it’s bound to go wrong, right?

Meanwhile, his not-best friend (except he is his best friend) Drew suddenly starts to act weird. Yong-sun has no idea how to help, but he has a feeling that it has to do with the mysterious text messages Drew has been getting.

So yeah none of my four kids are straight, Hye-su has two dads (one of them bisexual) and Drew’s aunt isn’t straight either

If you want to know more about my WIP you can check out these posts:

💛 Introducing My Characters
💛 Sharing 7 lines from the WIP
💛 Snippets: How To Flirt 101 by Andrew Lewis and Yong-sun is a Blue Cow
💛 All Hallows Write Tag 
💛 Winter Is Here Write Tag
💛 Your WIP in Gifs Tag

The Unnamed Sequel to the Unnamed Contemporary

HAHA YES. I HAVEN’T FINISHED MY UNNAMED CONTEMPORARY BUT I ALREADY GOT IDEAS FOR A SEQUEL HAHA HELP ME

So basically this unnamed sequel to my unnamed contemporary* follows Hye-su going to art school, but her insecurities and anxiety are getting the best of her. She feels like she doesn’t belong, that she’s not good enough and she gets major art block, resulting in her friends taking her on a road trip. It has an f/f relationship that originally would have sailed in the prequel, but I didn’t like the idea of not really seeing their relationship develop as the prequel is told from Yong-sun’s pov. Honestly I’m tempted to give Reyna and Drew their own books as well, but I have no clue yet what they’d be about

Anyway recently I got the silly idea to finish the prequel after my exams (June 19th), outline this one and then make it my Camp NaNo project what is wrong with me

* That’s what I’m gonna name them. I’m just gonna stick with that. Just wait and see

Gay Superheroes Squad

Plot?? What is that?? I DON’T KNOW BUT I LOVE MY SUPERHERO KIDS. All I know is that a bunch of kids suddenly find themselves with superpowers, eventually they all find each other and decide they want to use their powers for good and as the working title gives away they’re all LGBTQIAP+. I’m not sure yet if they’re only going to fight homophobia, racism, sexism etc. or if they’re also just going to fight general bad guys. Oh and they go to a retired superhero (who I picture as Isaiah Mustafa) to train them and such, and they also meet his husband who’s a healer (and who I picture as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson). I haven’t really worked on this yet, though I did write a first chapter (yes even though I have no plot) from Julius’ pov because he’s my fave*

Also here’s an aesthetic for Julius because did I mention I love him??

Fun fact: I picture Keiynan Lonsdale as Jules, and Alberto Rosende as Jaimie

* I don’t like to play faves when it comes to my characters but?? I love this boy so much??

Sjakoo Retelling

I actually got this idea from a blogpost last year in which I talked about story ideas for books set in The Netherlands – I got more than one idea from this post actually, but this is the only one that I actually have a plot for. I’ve basically been obsessed with Sjakoo since I was a little kid, but you’re probably wondering ‘Michelle who is Sjakoo??’ Sjakoo is said to have been a master criminal in  18th century Amsterdam and to have had a fort with secret passages. Most of his story is a myth, but I just love the idea of a YA retelling about Sjakoo, living in 18th century Amsterdam, becoming a criminal, starting a gang and creating his fort. I haven’t found anything that indicates he wasn’t straight but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Short Stories

I’ve been meaning to write short stories for the next two aesthetics since I made them… last year?? the year before that?? who knows time is a concept. Anyway, I’m lazy and forgetful ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Two girls run a bakery together and fall in love 

I can’t say much about this since I don’t really have much of a plot?? It’s sweet and soft and just ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  One day I may write it

It’s like the Swan Princess but instead she’s a unicorn

When the clock strikes midnight the beloved princess turns into a unicorn

Again I have no plot but when I made this aesthetic I apparently thought of the princess having a girl gang as well? Anyway, of course the curse* can only be broken** with a true love’s kiss so this Unicorn Princess needs a princess.

* Though is it REALLY a curse to turn into a unicorn 🤔
** Does it really need to be broken though like it’s not that bad to turn into a unicorn during the night?? Just lie down and get some sleep girl

I actually do have more projects lol (that are semi-active, meaning I still think about them/plan on writing them one day). One is one of my first stories, that I tried rewriting a few years ago but got stuck because I no longer like the plot. I actually stumbled across an aesthetic I made for it back then while I was putting together this post and?? Suddenly?? Inspiration struck?? I STILL don’t have a full, better plot that is not a frickin’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer rip-off but!!! things are happening inside my brain!! The other three projects are kiiiiinda a secret as in I’m terrified someone mean will come along and steal my idea(s)

but maybe one day I feel confident enough to share them!

What are you currently working on? Or planning to write? Are any (or all of them) LGBTQIAP+? Let me know in the comments!

LGBTQIAP+ Comics You Should Read Part I

HAPPY PRIDE

Am I going to start all my Pride posts like this? Probably. ANYWAY. You may know I love comics. One of the reasons I love comics so much is because they’re so diverse?? Including LGBTQIAP+ rep?? Obviously it hasn’t always been that way so I can’t be all mad and go ‘why did no one tell me before I got into them in 2016!!’* I’ve been meaning to scream about my favourite comics, so what better time than Pride?

* Obviously not counting the Donald Duck and other Disney comics I used to read as a child. Oh and the Winx Club comics! Anyone remember those? I did read manga before that but it’s really hard to find good LGBTQIAP+ manga that are not full of gross stereotypes and fetishing adgjhs

Shoot Around

My absolute favourite!! Okay I love all the comics on this list dearly, but oh my goodness this one. It has a special place in my heart because it was the first LGBTQIAP+ comic I read but it’s also just SO GOOD. It’s about an all girls high school basketball team and their coach who suddenly find themselves in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. While it gets tense and there’s quite some angst – because you know,, zombies – the focus lies on these characters just trying to keep on living their life, not just surviving. Out of the eight main characters only one of them is white and none of them are both cis AND straight – the only (seemingly) straight character is trans. The supporting cast is also incredibly diverse and look!! At that body diversity!! It’s heartwarming, heartbreaking, absolutely hilarious and very queer and unfortunately finished, though that does mean you can binge and don’t have to fear any horrible cliffhangers! If you need more convincing I once wrote a post about it but if I’ve got your attention, please read it either on the Webtoon site or app – it’s completely free for you but supports the artist.

Rock and Riot

IT’S GREASE BUT QUEER LIKE COME ON YOU NEED THIS. Shoot Around is very diverse when it comes to sexualities and gender identities, but Rock and Riot?? I was blown away. >big>So many different identities but all these characters are so much more than that. Also!! As you can see there’s also diversity when it comes to race and bodies! Rock and Riot takes place in the fifties and follows two (later three) gangs: a girl gang, a boy gang and a non-binary gang. The first two gangs have a rivalry together, while the third one is just off having a Good Time™. These kids are just so silly and relatable and it’s just adgjs They stand up for what is right and fight for each other – I can’t say too much without giving it all away but damn the scenes I’m talking about were empowering. Also THE BEST, MOST ICONIC™ coming out scene of all time. You can read the comic on Tumblr  but if you need more convincing you can read my old post about it

Lumberjanes

You might have heard of Lumberjanes, as it’s pretty popular around the book blogging community (for non-superhero related comics anyway) but if not have no fear these kids are queer! Couldn’t help myself. Anyway not all of them are (at least not confirmed) But Mal and Molly are in love and it’s adorable and just everything, Jo is a trans girl and later on we get a non-binary character. It takes place at a summer camp in magical woods with monsters, not all of them friendly, but that’s okay because these girls are always up for an adventure. It’s silly, it’s fun, it’s cute. READ IT. And if I haven’t convinced you yet, here’s my old post on it

Goldie Vance

Did someone say Nancy Drew but she’s black and queer – that someone is me. I said that. HELLO MEET GOLDIE VANCE SHE’S A TEEN DETECTIVE, HELLA SMART, LOVES CARS AND RACING IN THEM AND SHE HAS A HELLA COOL GIRLFRIEND*. Goldie Vance is cute, fun and colourful. I mean look at that art?? Goldie isn’t the only girl interested in cars – there are multiple girls who are, who work on them and who race as well. There are a bunch of interesting characters and it’s just so worth diving into?? Though if I didn’t have you at ‘Nancy Drew but she’s black and queer’ I don’t know how to convince you further. Though I did write a post on this wonderful comic once upon a time that you could read if I haven’t convinced you yet 

* I’m not jealous you are

DC Bombshells

Can you believe I haven’t written a post on this comic yet even though I love it very very much. I can because I’m lazy and forgetful  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Anyway, DC Bombshells takes place during World War II in an alternative universe where most male superheroes don’t exist (or aren’t superheroes like Bruce Wayne) and puts DC’s women – superheroes and villains alike – in the spotlight.It’s very political, but also just a lot of fun. One of my favourite things about this comic is their take on the Bat Fam, as it includes a bunch of teens/young adults who were inspired by Batwoman, took up her name and decided to keep Gotham save while Batwoman is in Europe fighting the nazi’s. They’re a very diverse group and I just love those kids. The comic has multiple queer characters (and a bunch of POC as well!) and f/f relationships, though it’s been so long since I read this and I’m super behind, so I don’t want to go into too much detail in case I remember something wrong. I started to reread it last year so that I could write a proper post but guess I should start rereading again dgksjshg

And that’s part I! I still have some others to share so if nothing here interests you, part II might have the perfect comic rec for you!

Have you read any of these? What’s your favourite LGBTQIAP+ comic? 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!

Why You Should Support The Bold Type (Because I Need A Second Season and So Do You)

I’ve talked about The Bold Type before, but this amazing show deserves a post of it’s own. Especially after that beautiful, emotional finale – the show just got better and better. Oh and because we still don’t know if we’ll get a second season* or not which is TERRIFYING so I need y’all to go and support this show that stole my heart (and will steal yours too!!!)

* Though maybe by the time this goes up it will have been renewed?? Not that that would make this post unnecessary – I still want to spread the love

Why YOU should also watch, love and support The Bold Type

💛 It’s about three best friends who work at the same magazine together (friendship!!)
💛 One of them is a black bisexual woman!
💛 Who falls in love with a lesbian Muslim!!

💛 Their relationship is the main ship on the show????

me screaming about Kadena

💛 Their relationship is build up slowly and beautifully and is healthy and just

💛 Don’t mind me crying over here okay

💛 The magazine the girls work at is a women’s magazine, but it doesn’t just talk about fashion, makeup, relationships etc. but is also very feminist

💛 The show itself is incredibly feminist and explores a lot of (other) important issues: immigration, sexuality, rape, breast cancer, misogynistic trolls on the internet  to name a few and it does so beautifully

💛 The female editor-in-chief is not a bitch!! Devil Wears Prada Who??* She’s kind, inspiring, ambitious and hardworking, supportive, and really, really cares about her staff. She’s an icon and I know I already said she’s inspiring, but she’s SUCH an inspiration I love her

💛 The friendship of the three girls is the heart of the show and while the girls all have their own stories, relationships with other characters, it always comes back to their love and support for each other. Of course they sometimes fight, but whoever is in the wrong always realises their mistake and apologises for it. They always have each other’s back and it’s just such a beautiful friendship. While Kat’s realising that she’s bi the other two never make a biphobic or homophobic comment and are just excited for her when the relationship seems to be going well

💛 Besides Kat (black bisexual) and Adena (lesbian Muslim) we also have Alex (black) who is such a sweetheart. He’s an amazing friend to both Jane and Sutton and really funny and he’s just?? I love him??

💛 While it covers important and heavy issues, at it’s heart it’s a feel-good show: it’s funny, inspiring, positive, fun, heartwarming. There’s such a good balance with the heavy topics

💛 It’s amazingly written, directed, filmed and acted. It’s such a powerful show, especially the finale was amazing. One of the final scenes gave me chills and I was a sobbing mess. Just writing about it now makes me cry again.

💛 No romanticisation of abusive relationships?? They’re all healthy??

💛 As a journalism student myself it was so much fun to watch a show about journalism – and so inspiring! I just wanted to write articles myself haha

💛 And so many more reasons that I can’t put into words?? Or have forgotten because I have a terrible memory and I didn’t take any notes** It’s just so beautiful and amazing and funny and inspiring and important??

* Don’t get me wrong I love The Devil Wears Prada but I’m SO TIRED of this trope
** I want to rewatch it so bad but there are so many other shows I need to watch ahhh

Did you watch or are you watching The Bold Type? Did I convince you to watch it? Do you have any recs that are similar to The Bold Type that can keep me satisfied while I wait for season 2? (Please please let there be a season 2) 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!