Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (12/3/19)–Everything Grows

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

 

This is one of the few gems I’ve found that Goodreads didn’t recommend to me. In fact, though I forget what book the recommendation came from, this one came from the library. I inhaled this one over Thanksgiving break (I’m so glad I had that much time to read…), and I must say, an absolute gem among this year’s releases! A criminally underrated, 90’s LGBTQ+ novel about growing up and discovering yourself.

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Everything Grows 

1993. Eleanor Fromme, newly 15, has just started high school, and is already faced with more emotional challenges than she could ever anticipate. After her longtime bully, James, unexpectedly commits suicide, she’s shocked, and unsure how to cope. Her solution? Chopping off and dyeing all of her hair, and writing letters to him for an English assignments.

All the while, Eleanor has begun to struggle with her sexuality, after she realizes that she’s a lesbian. As her old friendships crumble and new ones begin to blossom, Eleanor must find her way in a word that seems to frown upon her.

 

 

I’ve hardly heard anyone talk about Everything Grows, probably due to the fact that it’s from a more indie publisher. But man, am I glad that this one was recommended to me…

Aimee Herman deftly captures what it is to be 15, to be struggling with your identity, transitioning into a new school and a new way of life, and coping with things that none should have to. Eleanor’s character had such a poignant and relatable journey, which, combined with stellar writing and explorations of several facets of  the LGBTQ+ community (besides Eleanor, there are also more lesbian, bisexual, and  transgender characters), made for an unforgettable book. If you haven’t already read Everything Grows, please do so–and recommend it to your friends. More people should know about this book. A solid 4.5 stars from me. 💗🏳️‍🌈

 

Everything Grows is a standalone, but Aimee Herman has several collections of poetry, published prior to it. I’m debating whether or not I should delve deeper into her works, but I’m sure I’d enjoy it.

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and stay tuned for more content later this week!

 

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Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (12/2/19)–Perfectly Preventable Deaths

Happy Monday, bibliophiles, and happy December as well!

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Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

Another addition to Goodreads’ merciless onslaught of recommendations, Perfectly Preventable Deaths seemed like an intriguing, witchy read; not very fitting for the oncoming holiday season, but who’s paying attention to that?

So, without further ado, here’s this week’s Goodreads Monday!

GOODREADS MONDAY (12/2/19)–PERFECTLY PREVENTABLE DEATHS by Deidre Sullivan 

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Everyone in Ballyfran has a secret, and that is what binds them together…

Fifteen-year-old twins Madeline and Catlin move to a new life in Ballyfran, a strange isolated town, a place where, for the last sixty years, teenage girls have gone missing in the surrounding mountains.

As distance grows between the twins – as Catlin falls in love, and Madeline begins to understand her own nascent witchcraft – Madeline discovers that Ballyfrann is a place full of predators. Not only foxes, owls and crows, but also supernatural beings who for many generations have congregated here to escape persecution. When Catlin falls into the gravest danger of all, Madeline must ask herself who she really is, and who she wants to be – or rather, who she might have to become to save her sister.

Dark and otherworldly, this is an enthralling story about the bond between sisters and the sacrifices we make for those we care about the most. For fans of Frances Hardinge and Laure Eve. 

 

So why do I want to read this?

First and foremost…this is rather petty, but it’s always kind of fun to find a character that shares a name with you (that, in my case, isn’t a certain children’s book character). 😜

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Secondly, the description is vague enough that I’ll either a) I won’t see the plot twist coming (👍) or b) there’ll be no sense of story (👎). The concept of these “supernatural beings” flocking to the island to escape persecution does sound fascinating, and I’m interested to see how they come into play. All in all, I’ll hoping that it’ll at least be a decent tale of sisterhood, witchcraft, and the supernatural. Though…oh man, the “for fans of Frances Hardinge” worries me a bit. I’ve often found her literature to have incredible concepts, but  executed in a drawn-out and boring manner. Fingers crossed that Perfectly Preventable Deaths won’t be the same.

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and stay tuned for more content later in the week!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books, Movies

I Should Have Read That Book Tag

Happy Friday, everyone! If you celebrated, I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving as well!

I saw this on A Little Haze Book Blog not long ago, and I figured that I’d give it a go. I feel like I’m putting the same books in my book tags (I’ll try to fix that), and since this one’s  about TBR books, I’m excited to participate!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post (see above!)
  • Link to the creator’s blog (booksnest.co.uk) in your post
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag 10 others to take part
  • ENJOY THE TAG!

 

The Questions

  • A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read
  • A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t picked it up
  • A book in a series you’ve started, but haven’t gotten round to finishing yet
  • A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but never actually read
  • A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read
  • A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but you just haven’t read it yet
  • A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet

 

1. A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read 

Lately, a good friend of mine has started to get into some older sci-fi, and this was her first, vehement recommendation to me: The War of the Worlds.

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It’s not available at the library (woe is me…), but I’m definitely excited to get my hands on this one someday.

 

2. A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t picked it up

This one’s been on my TBR since day one…

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Though I’m not a fan of Holly Black, I absolutely adore Ted Naifeh’s work, and the story of The Good Neighbors  seems like a perfect melding of their respective styles.

3. A book in a series you’ve started, but haven’t gotten round to finishing yet

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I read the first book, Mask of Shadowsabout a year ago, and I remember the story being pretty intriguing and fast-paced, not to mention the excellent LGBTQ+ rep. (the main character, Sal, is genderfluid). But…I’ve just neglected to read Ruin of Stars  for no good reason other than my being lazy. Sigh…

 

4. A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but never actually read

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I’m putting this one off for a few years, because I’ll have to read it for an AP English class, but Brave New World seems like it would be an interesting read, in the same vein as 1984. 

 

5. A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read

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Somehow, I STILL haven’t gotten around to reading The Hate U Give,  despite several recommendations from friends and librarians alike. It’ll probably be in that constant “all copies in use” limbo at my local library for a few years, due to its immense popularity, but I’d definitely like to give it a try at some point.

 

6. A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but you just haven’t read it yet 

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I didn’t realize until the end credits that Jojo Rabbit was based on a book. I’m not sure if I’ll have the stomach to read this one (I’m guessing that Taika Waititi had some comedic liberties while directing Jojo), but I’m sure Caging Skies would be worth a read.

 

7. A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet

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I tend to see Furyborn pop up often, and I’ve been meaning to read it for a while. I’ve read a few other books by Claire Legrand (The Year of Shadows, Some Kind of Happinessetc.), and most of them have been decent. Claire Legrand’s obviously prolific, with a wide range of talents, so I’m excited to see how this plays out.

 

I tag…

Weeeelll…I’m not sure if  I know ten people who’d all be interested in doing this tag, so I’ll open it up to anyone who hasn’t done it, and wants to. 🙂

 

Have a lovely rest of your day! I might not be able to get to any more tags this week, but stay tuned for more content!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Pancake Book Tag

I found this tag on A Little Haze Book Blog, and I figured it would be a fun tag to participate in!

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Alright, here are the rules:

  • Link back to the original creator, Becky @Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic.
  • Feel free to use any of the pancake graphics in your post, or create your own!
  • Tag some people!

 

I love pancakes, so here goes nothin’…

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Hands down, I’d say Wild Beauty.

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Not only is the story reminiscent of a fairy tale, the writing is as lush and decadent as the flowers it centers around.

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Sidenote: pancakes with lemon drizzle? Ooh, never tried that combo…I love most anything lemon-flavored, so…

I know I add this book in with most of my tags, but Finian from Aurora Rising definitely fits the bill.

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Even at the most inopportune times (edit: mostly at inopportune times), Finian always has a sassy, snappy comeback that never fails to make me laugh out loud in the most serious of scenes.

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I just can’t stop re-reading Carry On

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Though it’s a bit intense at times, I always come back to love story of Simon and Baz…and end up feeling all the feels as a result.

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Whew…I really want to re-read A Monster Calls again at some point, but man…[prepares myself for an intense outpour of tears]

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When I first read this, around two(ish) years ago, I just had to read it twice in a row. Nothing could take my mind off of it, and…yeah, I feel like I couldn’t read anything else for a few days. Gaaaaah, this one’s a killer…

 

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Indulgent feels…hmm…

If we’re talking about indulgent feels, I’d say Soul of Stars, the second installment in the Heart of Iron duology.

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Soul of Stars was everything that I wanted in a sequel–the cast of characters retained their impeccable chemistry, the plot was just as heart-racing (and heart-wrenching), a certain in-credible plot twist (loud crying) and a perfectly satisfying ending.

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Ooh…my first thought for this one is Art from Like a Love Story.

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He’s got many year’s worth of pent-up (and…sometimes not so pent-up) anger, which coats his personality for most of the book; about 3/4 of the way through the book, we definitely get to explore deeper into him, as his relationships with some of the other characters begin to strengthen.

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No doubt, The Pioneer.

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This one had me constantly second-guessing what was going to happen next. The Pioneer is the kind of book where you think you have the plot figured out, but something makes the plot go topsy-turvy in seconds.

 

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Alright, I hate to do this to you guys, but…I really…can’t…think of any…

All of the significant romances I can think of either a) worked out near-perfectly from the star or b) everybody loves, but I still kind of despise. Oops.

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Hands down, This Time Will Be Different.

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Not only is the main character Japanese-American, we’ve got a whole, backing cast of POC and LGBTQ+ characters, not to mention the deft tackling of several issues, almost all of them stemming from racism.

 

So, that just about wraps it up!

I tag: 

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and if I don’t post tomorrow, have a happy Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that! 🙂

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (11/26/19)-Ziggy, Stardust and Me

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

 

When I first saw the premise of this book, I practically leapt for joy.

I mean, not only is it an LGBTQ+ romance, but the main character’s hero is David Bowie. And, of course, being a devotee of David Bowie for most of my life, I just had to read this. And honestly? Ziggy, Stardust and Me certainly had its flaws, but it is a story that absolutely needs to be read.

 

Without further ado, let’s begin this review!

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Ziggy, Stardust & Me

1973. Jonathan Collins is 16, and all around him, the world is shifting. His therapy, meant to cure his homosexuality, only serves to make him feel worse. The bullies are constantly at his back, and his father is relapsing into alcoholism. Jonathan’s only source of comfort lies in his imagination, and in David Bowie, the flamboyant rock god whose music is a source of solace.

Then, Web, the new, openly gay boy at school, tumbles into his life. Web is everything that Jonathan wants to be–confident, tough, and unabashedly unafraid of being himself. As Jonathan begins to fall for Web, he begins to push the boundaries that have confined him for his entire life–but at what cost?

 

Aaaaah, what a book!

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I wasn’t the biggest fan of the writing (I get that it’s from Jonathan’s teenage perspective, but it still felt a little bit sloppy), but my criticism just about ends there.

Ziggy, Stardust and Me deals with a boatload of difficult to talk about topics (namely racism, homophobia, and conversion therapy), but it did so in a way that was perfectly balanced–not glossed over by any stretch of the imagination, but in a way that was showing, not telling, to be sure. A lot of it was absolutely heartbreaking to read, but this is content that people need to know about. Spectacular representation (besides the fact that Jonathan and Web are both gay, Web is Native American), and a beautiful relationship that had me gushing. I cried…several times…but it was all worth it. Solid four stars for me. 💗🌈

And…David Bowie. I’m sold.

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Ziggy, Stardust and Me is a standalone, and James Brandon’s debut novel. Though I haven’t heard any news of him writing anything new, I sure hope we get something from him in the next few years. We certainly need more stories like this in literature.

 

Well, I hoped you liked this review! Have a lovely rest of your day, and stay safe out there! (I almost said “stay warm,” but I don’t know what kind of weather you’re all having…currently looks like a snow globe outside my window, so…🥶)

Stay tuned for more content later this week!

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Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (11/25/19)–The Space Between

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

 

Whew…Goodreads has been piling on the recommendations lately, so I’ve got lots of content for many Goodreads Mondays to come. Among them were an influx of LGBTQ+ books, which I am SO glad to see pop up in my recommendations! The Space Between happens to be one of them, so here goes nothing…

Alright, let’s start the week off right…

GOODREADS MONDAY (11/25/19)–THE SPACE BETWEEN by Michelle L. Teichman

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Everything’s great for Harper Isabelle, the most popular girl in grade nine. That is, until she meets Sarah Jamieson.

Sarah is a reclusive artist, a loner who wears black makeup and doesn’t have any friends, but for some reason, Harper can’t stop thinking about her.
Sarah isn’t used to people looking her way, especially popular girls like Harper Isabelle. Scared, religious, and unsure of herself, when Sarah begins to realize that her feelings for Harper might go beyond friendship, she is afraid to take the plunge and tell Harper how she feels.

Emotions build between these young women until they both reach their breaking points, and they need to make a choice about coming to terms with who they really are, and what they can and cannot live without.

So why do I want to read this?

Not only does The Space Between explore the complications of relationships in high school, it seems like it also explores the pressures put on some of the more popular kids to be “perfect” (and by perfect, I mean a “good, straight girl”). Additionally, there’s the initial fear of going into a sapphic relationship, knowing that everyone is watching.

I’m so excited to see a lesbian relationship, and my fingers are tightly crossed that it’s executed well. It’s beautiful to see how far we’ve come in terms of LGBTQ+ representation in literature in the last decade; we still have a long way to go, but it’s certainly the best that it’s ever been. What a time to be alive, folks.

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I hope you’re having a wonderful day, and stay tuned for more content later this week!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

The Book Snob Tag

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

 

I found this tag on A Little Haze Book Blog, and I thought it would be a super fun tag to participate in! Hopefully this’ll make up for my lack of a Book Review Tuesday (But hey, Wilco was a religious experience, sooo…) 😉

 

Adaptation Snob: Do you always read the book before you see the film? 

I try my best to. If there’s a film adaptation of a book that I want to see, I usually try to see if I can read the book first, but all too many times, I’ve fallen into the trap of seeing a movie and not realizing that there’s a book adaptation. (Lookin’ at you, Jojo Rabbit…)

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Format Snob: You can only choose 1 format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which one do you choose: physical books, eBooks, or audiobooks?

Is that even a question? PHYSICAL. WITHOUT A DOUBT.

Though the Kindle is pretty convenient for travel and such, there’s just some, unreplicatable magic about having a physical book in your hands. I’ve only listened to…maybe one (1) audiobook in the course of my life, and though the aspect of different narrators is an influential factor, I’m not keen on getting full-on into audiobooks anytime soon. Also…book page smells. Can’t beat that.

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Ship Snob: Would you date or marry a non-reader?

Ooh…

Weeeeeeeeeeeell…it would depend on if their other characteristics would make up for their non-reading. Okay, never mind. I don’t think I’d be able to bring myself to do that. I’m awful, I know. It’s just…reading is such an integral part of my life, and I need that sort of connection to a loved one, you know?

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Genre Snob: You have to ditch one genre – never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

Yowch, these are hard questions…

I mean…if anything, mystery. Sci-fi and fantasy mean too much to me (though sci-fi far more so), and contemporary/realistic fiction can be an essential medium for portraying the ins and outs of daily life, as well as the woes of society. So…sorry, mystery.

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Uber Genre Snob: You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

Nobody:

This question: THIS ISN’T EVEN MY FINAL FORM…

But, yes. Sci-fi, hands down. The amount of possibilities hidden within space, superpowers, and everything in between are endless, and I thoroughly enjoy exploring every single one.

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Community Snob: Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

Fantasy, but particularly fantasy novels with a female protagonist.

Time after time, book after book, I see reviewers absolutely tear apart characters that, god forbid, aren’t the Oh So Docile™️ girls that our society seems to value. She’s too headstrong. She’s flawless. She’s annoying. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…

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And while some of these qualities do come true, sure, I see it in at least ten reviews per fantasy book. I suppose it could apply to any sci-fi/fantasy book with a female protagonist. And while yes, there’s plenty of books where reviewers ramp on the male protagonists, I feel like in recent novels, the girls have gotten the brunt of the overexaggerated scrutiny and scorn.

Whew, went into a little rant there, but hey…

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Well, that just about wraps it up! Thank you to A Little Haze Book Blog for posting this tag, and have a lovely rest of your day!

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