Posted in Monthly Wrap-Ups

June 2021 Wrap-Up 🌈

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles! I hope this last Wednesday of June has treated you well.

It’s finally summer, and now we’re halfway through 2021! Crazy to think about, but honestly? Good riddance. Online school was horrendous. But now that’s all done for, and I still have a bit more free time before I go back to school.

Anyways…

GENERAL THOUGHTS:

Summer has freed up a lot more time to blog, which I’ve enjoyed! Even though I took a break with my vacation, I had time to make a lot of posts that were loads of fun to write.

And my vacation! Being in an airport for the first time since mid-2019 was…weird, to say the least, but Glacier National Park was beautiful! Being back in nature for a solid week definitely mended up some of the pieces that learning from a screen broke down.

Somehow, June has been one of my lowest reading months, though. I think it’s partly because while I was reading on vacation, I spread the three books I bought out a little bit more, but hey, I’m officially halfway to my goal of 250 books for the year! (I’m at 132 right now.) I also read a lot of great queer stuff for pride month, and I found some amazing books as a result. (But hey! Read queer all year long!) I hope you all had a lovely pride month. As always, here’s a reminder: you are loved, you are valid, you are beautiful, and nobody has a say in your identity except for YOU. ❤️🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

Pin on Gif

I’ve made some good progress with my sci-fi WIP as well! I had a nasty case of creative block for a few days after getting back from Montana, but with a little help from sci-fi Pinterest and my sketchbook, I’m back on track. I just passed 100 pages yesterday!!

Other than that, I’ve just been drawing little aliens, getting back to volunteering at the library, watching Loki and Invincible, and enjoying the warmer weather.

i had a few
[sniffles]

Also, I changed my profile picture to Rabbi Milligan from Fargo on a whim…hey, why not?

We live with the choices we make. Consequences.”... - Tumbex

READING AND BLOGGING:

I managed to read 20 books this month! Not as many as I would’ve liked to, but at least I got to make some trips to my favorite bookstore. Didn’t have any 5-stars that weren’t re-reads, but I have a few 4.5-star reads that I adored!

2 – 2.75 stars:

Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins – ARC Review – Books Real When Shared
Here the Whole Time

The Orphanage of Gods – Helena Coggan (⭐️⭐️)

The Obsidian Tower (Rooks and Ruin, #1) – Melissa Caruso (⭐️⭐️)

Here the Whole Time – Vitor Martins (⭐️⭐️.75)

3 – 3.75 stars:

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh
Every Body Looking

The First Sister – Linden A. Lewis (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

The Hidden World of the Fox – Adele Brand (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Hot Dog Girl – Jennifer Dugan (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Off Planet (Aunare Chronicles, #1) – Aileen Erin (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

The Light of the Midnight Stars – Rena Rossner (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

A Chorus Rises (A Song Below Water, #2) – Bethany C. Morrow (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75)

Every Body Looking – Candice Iloh (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75)

4 – 4.75 stars:

Amazon.com: The Ones We're Meant to Find (9781250258564): He, Joan: Books
The Ones We’re Meant to Find

The Falling in Love Montage – Ciara Smyth (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Chameleon Moon (Chameleon Moon, #1) – RoAnna Sylver (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Juliet Takes a Breath – Gabby Rivera (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Instructions for Dancing – Nicola Yoon (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Sasha Masha – Agnes Borinsky (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Between Burning Worlds (System Divine, #2) – Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.25)

The Ones We’re Meant to Find – Joan He (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea – Maggie Tokuda-Hall (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

5 stars:

Heart of Iron: Amazon.co.uk: Poston, Ashley: 9780062652850: Books
Heart of Iron

Heart of Iron (Heart of Iron, #1) – Ashley Poston (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH (NOT COUNTING RE-READS): The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea4.5 stars

Amazon.com: The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea (9781536204315):  Tokuda-Hall, Maggie: Books

SOME POSTS I’M PROUD OF:

POSTS I ENJOYED FROM OTHER WONDERFUL PEOPLE:

SONGS/ALBUMS THAT I’VE ENJOYED:

I haven’t listened to Neighborhood #3 but #1 and #2 are just gorgeous
This might just be my favorite song right now?? So many childhood memories of being in the car…big thank you to my dad for putting this on the playlist while we were in Glacier
The new Danny Elfman was hit or miss for me but I loved this one
SOPHIE RETURNS
this whole album is incredible
AND NEW CAR SEAT HEADREST! The remixes EP wasn’t that great but I loved this covers EP

DID I FOLLOW THROUGH ON MY JUNE GOALS?

Download Girl Reading B GIF Status, Shayari, Quotes | Nojoto
  • Make a list with some Pride Month recs: see the SOME POSTS I’M PROUD OF section!
  • Read at least 20 books: 20!
  • Enjoy the first month of summer: absolutely!
  • ACTUALLY start that first draft of the sci-fi WIP: done, and I’ve made lots of progress since then!

GOALS FOR JULY:

Unf its getting hot in here GIF on GIFER - by Oghmalis
July in Colorado is ✨way too hot✨ and we already had a heat wave recently…wheee…
  • Read at least 20 books
  • Get into Camp NaNoWriMo for the sci-fi WIP
  • Don’t melt into a puddle from the heat

First month of summer? I’d say it’s been a success.

Today’s song:

guess I’m on a Blur kick hehe

That’s it for this month in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books

Pride Month Recs: My Favorite LGBTQ+ YA Books That I’ve Read Recently 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles, and happy pride! 🌈

Now that we’re in the month of June, I’m so excited to share more queer YA books. I did a whole series last year of LGBTQ+ books in various genres, so I was struggling to think of something new for this year. So I’ve decided to compile my favorite queer books that I read between last pride month and now. (There’s a whole lot of good ones!)

But as with all kinds of posts like these, it’s important to remember that we must uplift marginalized voices in literature 365 days a year.

If you want to check them out, here are my pride month recs from last year:

Let’s begin, shall we?

Happy pride month! by Ciled on DeviantArt

🌈THE BOOKISH MUTANT’S PRIDE MONTH RECS: 2021 EDITION🌈

SCI-FI

The Sound of Stars – Alechia Dow

Amazon.com: The Sound of Stars eBook: Dow, Alechia: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: MC is bisexual/demisexual, nonbinary side characters, straight-passing relationship between MC and LI

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

One of my favorite books that I read last year! Secret libraries, aliens, road trips, and bonding over music? What’s not to love?

Tarnished Are the Stars – Rosiee Thor

Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Two of the MCs are sapphic, wlw relationship, third MC is aromantic/asexual

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

This one wasn’t without its flaws, but I loved this blend of sci-fi and fantasy! There’s also an especially beautiful scene where Nathaniel (aroace character) discovers his sexuality, and although I’m not aspec myself, I’m sure this will touch the hearts of so many ace readers.

Crownchasers – Rebecca Coffindaffer

Crownchasers (Crownchasers, #1) by Rebecca Coffindaffer

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: MC is pansexual, gay, lesbian, & nonbinary side characters

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

If you’re looking for a fast-paced, queer space opera with a high-stakes competition, look no further! (AND THAT COVER…AAH)

Victories Greater Than Death (Unstoppable, #1) – Charlie Jane Anders

Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: bi/pan MC, LI is a bi/pan trans woman, wlw relationship, nonbinary side characters

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

I preordered this one a while back, and even though it wasn’t *quite* as good as I thought it would be, it was loads of fun! (Normalize asking for people’s pronouns!)

FANTASY

Showers, Flowers, and Fangs – Aidan Wayne

Amazon.com: Showers Flowers and Fangs eBook: Wayne, Aidan: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: MC is a bisexual trans man, LI is gay, mlm romance

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is exactly the kind of queer fantasy we need – soft, light-hearted, and feel good! And it’s a rom-com with a budding romance between a half-human, half-fae and a vampire – what’s not to love?

Mooncakes – Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰ (Cabeswater, Canada)'s review of Mooncakes

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Queer MC, nonbinary LI, nblw relationship, sapphic side characters

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Here’s another feel-good queer fantasy – this one’s a graphic novel! Besides the fact that there’s nothing better than witches and werewolves having soft relationships, it’s so cool to see a disabled queer character like Nova! (She’s hard of hearing, and there’s several discussions about her hearing aids.)

Elysium Girls – Kate Pentecost

Amazon.com: Elysium Girls (9781368041867): Pentecost, Kate: Books

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Sapphic MC, wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A fascinating blend of fantasy and alternate history! Perfect for anyone who enjoys fast-paced plots, tricksters, and high stakes.

CONTEMPORARY

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them – Junauda Petrus

Amazon.com: The Stars and the Blackness Between Them (9780525555483): Petrus,  Junauda: Books

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Sapphic MCs, wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m surprised that more people aren’t talking about this one! Such a beautiful and tender romance, and so well-written.

The Henna Wars – Adiba Jaigirdar

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar | 9781624149689 | Booktopia

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Lesbian MC, bisexual LI, wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I don’t usually jump for contemporary, but this was SUCH A DELIGHT. Not only is it an enemies-to-lovers, multiracial sapphic romance, there’s some really important discussions about homophobia and cultural appropriation.

The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Gay MC, lesbian and trans side characters

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A beautiful, coming-of-age novel in verse about a mixed-race teen realizing his sexuality and discovering himself through drag. I don’t read a whole lot of novels in verse, but this is one you absolutely have to read!

Summer Bird Blue – Akemi Dawn Bowman

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Aromantic/asexual MC

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This one’s hard to read at times, but it’s 100% worth it. It’s more of a story of grief than anything, but it’s so great to see aspec rep like this start to become more prominent in YA.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! Have you read any of these novels, and what did you think of them? What are your favorite queer YA books? Tell me in the comments!

Best Pride Month GIFs | Gfycat

Today’s song:

That’s it for these pride month recs! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books

Pride Month Book Recommendations, Week 4: Historical Fiction

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

This week is the final week that I’ll be doing these recommendations, but no matter the month, I’ll always be recommending LGBTQ+ books, don’t you worry. 🏳️‍🌈

Historical fiction isn’t a genre that I usually delve into, but in the genre, I’ve found quite a few gems. If done well, historical fiction can be a wonderful insight and perspective into another time period, and books that can immerse us in the past more than any textbook ever can. With LGBTQ+ historical fiction in particular, it can give us insight on events that most textbooks don’t usually cover (looking at you, APUSH textbook…I found a whopping ONE mention of the LGBTQ+ community. ONE. IN THE ENTIRE TEXTBOOK. Granted, we had to stop at the 1950’s because of the COVID-19 situation, but still…).

So let’s begin, shall we?

PRIDE MONTH RECS, WEEK 4: HISTORICAL FICTION

  1. Like A Love Story, Abdi Nazemian
Amazon.com: Like a Love Story (9780062839367): Nazemian, Abdi: Books

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Two out of the three protagonists are gay, mlm relationship, several gay side characters

TIME PERIOD: 1989-1990 (AIDS Crisis)

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I know I blab about this one quite a lot, but quite frankly, this is easily the best historical fiction novel I’ve ever read. Period. A major tear-jerker, to be sure, but worth every bout of sobbing, 100%.

2. Everything Grows, Aimee Herman

Amazon.com: Everything Grows: A Novel eBook: Herman, Aimee: Kindle ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Lesbian protagonist, bisexual love interest, trans woman side character, gay side character

TIME PERIOD: 1993

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

A grossly underrated, poignant, and relatable novel about realizing your true self and discovering your identity.

3. Loki: Where Mischief Lies, Mackenzi Lee

Amazon.com: Loki: Where Mischief Lies (9781368022262): Lee ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Pansexual/Genderfluid protagonist, gay side character, queer relationship

SET IN: 19th Century (London, specifically)

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I know what you’re probably thinking. “Why’d you put this in the historical fiction category?” And aside from the fact that I don’t read the genre as much, a good portion of the novel, though it leans more towards the fantasy/mythology side, is set in London in the 1800’s. Plus, Loki. Can’t go wrong with Loki, now can we?

Loki Tom Hiddleston GIF - Loki TomHiddleston ShakeHead - Discover ...

4. Pulp, Robin Talley

Amazon.com: Pulp eBook: Talley, Robin: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Both protagonists are lesbians, wlw relationship

SET IN: Alternates between 1955 and the present day (2017)

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A touching tale that alternates between a closeted lesbian (and budding author) in the age of the Lavender Scare and a curious, out-and-proud lesbian in the 2010’s.

5. Ziggy, Stardust and Me, James Brandon

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon: 9780525517641 ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Both protagonists are gay, mlm relationship

SET IN: 1973 (TW: Conversion therapy)

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I talk a lot about this one as well, but honestly, what more could you want from an LGBTQ+ coming of age story centering around a boy who idolizes David Bowie? IT’S DAVID BOWIE!

trustmeimthetrickster: “ David Bowie interviewed by Russell Harty ...

As always, Queer Books for Teens is a wonderful resource if you’d like to find more LGBTQ+ recommendations and books to read.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE NOVELS? WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE LGBTQ+ HISTORICAL FICTION NOVELS?

Latest Gay Pride GIFs | Gfycat

Today’s song:

This one’s been coming on my shuffle in the car lately. Never fails to make me smile…

That’s it for this week’s pride month recommendations! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: June 15-21, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

First of all, Happy Father’s Day! I don’t know where I’d be without my dad–both in terms of life and in terms of quality music and comics–so for everything he’s done, I am eternally grateful.

It’s so strange to think that June is almost over. It seems like this month has gone by in a blur; mentally, I’m still on the first week of June. But aside from that, I’ve had a good week. I started out with a mediocre batch of books, but it picked up once I read one of my eARCs. I also went on my first out-in-public comic shop run, and that’s always super fun. Phoebe Bridgers also came out with her new album, and I’ve loved it so far! And, I just got to 300 pages on my WIP! I’m writing the last chapter, and my first draft should be done in a matter of days…

Bohemian Rhapsody Queen GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek–Kim Michele Richardson (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel - Kindle edition by ...

Colorblind–Siera Maley (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Colorblind by Siera Maley

Elatsoe–Darcie Little Badger (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Elatsoe (9781646140053): Little Badger, Darcie, Cai ...

The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed–Mike Mignola (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed #1 eBook: Mignola ...

The Deep–Rivers Solomon (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: The Deep (9781534439863): Solomon, Rivers, Diggs ...

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Kingsbane (Empirium, #2)–Claire Legrand

Amazon.com: Kingsbane (The Empirium Trilogy Book 2) eBook: Legrand ...

Dating Sarah Cooper–Siera Maley

Dating Sarah Cooper - Kindle edition by Maley, Siera. Children ...

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss–Amy Noelle Parks (eARC)

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss (Hardcover) | ABRAMS

Today’s song:

Before I leave, I just wanted to let everybody know that I won’t be doing a Goodreads Monday tomorrow, since my family is going to be hiking all day for Father’s Day. 🙂

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books

Pride Month Book Recommendations, Week 3: Contemporary

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles!

As far as LGBTQ+ YA literature goes, contemporary is the genre where such representation is most common, I think. Contemporary novels were where many people were first introduced to LGBTQ+ themes and issues, and as a genre that sticks to the more realistic side of things, it’s a straightforward vehicle for representation.

But with such a plethora of books, there’s a wider variety. So, I tried to compile some of my favorites from this genre, and the ones that stood out the most in the genre.

Let’s begin, shall we?

PRIDE MONTH RECS, WEEK 3: CONTEMPORARY

  1. I Wish You All the Best, Mason Deaver
Amazon.com: I Wish You All the Best eBook: Deaver, Mason: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: protagonist is nonbinary (they/them), nonbinary side character

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A heartrwenching and poignant novel. Ben’s journey to realizing their identity as a nonbinary person is beautiful and simultaneously heartbreaking to watch unfold. (Trigger warnings: LGBTQ+phobia, being thrown out of the house)

2. Under Shifting Stars, Alexandra Latos

LGBTQ+ representation: One of the protagonists is genderfluid, nonbinary love interest

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I can’t wait for this one to be released so that you all can experience this wondrousness! A beautiful and relatable novel about sisterhood, grief, and exploring one’s gender identity and sexuality.

3. Queens of Geek, Jen Wilde

Amazon.com: Queens of Geek eBook: Wilde, Jen: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Bisexual protagonist, wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A wonderful and diverse story about love, fame, and the uniting–and dividing–power of fandom.

4. The Art of Being Normal, Lisa Williamson

The Art of Being Normal: A Novel by Lisa Williamson, Paperback ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Trans woman protagonist, trans man side character

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Though it wasn’t without its flaws, The Art of Being Normal is a poignant exploration of grappling with gender identity and sexuality as an adolescent.

5. Summer of Salt, Katrina Leno

Amazon.com: Summer of Salt (9780062493682): Leno, Katrina: Books

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Lesbian protagonist, aro/ace side character, wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Even though this one’s a bit more on the magical realism side (hey, it’s shelved as contemporary on Goodreads though…right? Right?), this is, without a doubt, a gorgeously written novel and one of my favorite YA love stories.

6. Echo After Echo, Amy Rose Capetta

Amazon.com: Echo After Echo eBook: Capetta, Amy Rose: Kindle Store

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Protagonist is a lesbian, bisexual love interest, wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Another winner from Amy Rose Capetta! Not only is it a wonderful love story, it’s also a fascinating mystery set in the world of the theater.

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS! WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE CONTEMPORARY LGTBQ+ NOVELS?

Happy Pride Day GIF by pikaole - Find & Share on GIPHY

As always, Queer Books for Teens is a wonderful resource if you want to find more LGBTQ+ YA literature.

Today’s song:

MORE SOCCER MOMMY MORE SOCCER MOMMY MORE SOCCER MO–

(Also, Phoebe Bridgers released her new album a day early! Expect an album review next week…😄)

That’s it for this week’s pride month recommendations! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (6/16/20)–Ash

Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

Ash had been on my TBR for quite a while, and I’d read a few of Malinda Lo’s stories in an anthology or two, so I figured that I’d give her solo works a try. I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed in the least–this retelling reads like a true fairytale, and is a wonderfully subversive take on the classic tale of Cinderella. And, it’s a perfect read for Pride month! 🏳️‍🌈

Enjoy this week’s review!

Ash by Malinda Lo

Ash–Malinda Lo

After the death of her parents, Ash’s life changes forever. Gone is the loving family she once knew, replaced by her cruel, domineering stepmother and her two daughters. Her only solace is the book of fairy tales that her mother read to her as a child. A walk in the woods at night, however, makes her realize that her fairy tales are more than tales for children.

Now under a pact with a formidable fairy, she finds herself falling for Kaisa, the king’s royal huntress. As the pair fall in love, Ash must choose between her newfound love and the pact that binds her to the wicked forest.

Cinderella is already plum-full of gilt and brocade and magic; it ...

We all know it–Cinderella has been retold so many times that it has almost become stale. But reading this, I realized that Ash may have been one of the first of its kind–a YA retelling, groundbreaking not only for the higher stakes and subversion of the tale, but with the sapphic aspect of the romance. And without a doubt, Ash is a retelling to be reckoned with.

Lo’s writing reads like a well-loved fairytale, filled with lush prose and the air of a seasoned storyteller. Every description, from the woods outside of Quinn House to Ash’s enchanted gown, is lusciously written. It almost reminded me of the classic style of narration used in films like Pan’s Labyrinth, and other fairytale media.

flowerwall - Tumblr Blog Gallery

Aside from the borderline, almost annoyingly edgy quality of the blurb on the cover and the Goodreads synopsis, Ash is a wonderful example of a fairytale retold in a darker way, staying true to the original tale while having fresh, dark, and lyrical elements that make it stand out from the volley of other retellings on the YA market today.

And can we talk about Ash and Kaisa? I. LOVED. THEM. They were both such relatable characters with poignant struggles, and they had chemistry to die for. SAPPHIC POWER COUPLE SUPREME. BEAUTIFUL.

All in all, a groundbreaking retelling, and one that will surely stand the test of time. 4 stars!

Beautiful Happy Endings GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Ash is a standalone, but there is a prequel set in the same universe, Huntress, which is set many years before the events of this novel.

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (6/15/20)–Dark and Deepest Red

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Before I begin, here’s a bit of good news amidst all this negativity: the U.S. Supreme Court just ruled that LGBTQ+ people cannot be discriminated against in the workplace because of their sexual or gender orientation! Through all the awful things that have been happening lately, I’m so glad that we at least have this positive decision.

Gay Pride Love GIF by jewlybeads - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.

Continuing with LGBTQ+ books for this meme, anything by Anna-Marie McLemore was an obvious choice. Not only does she write incredible LGBTQ+ stories, but her writing is lush and unique–some of the best on the YA market today.

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (6/15/20)–DARK AND DEEPEST RED by Anna-Marie McLemore

Amazon.com: Dark and Deepest Red (9781250162748): McLemore, Anna ...

Blurb from Goodreads:

Summer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and Lavinia may have to do the unimaginable to save herself and everyone she loves.

Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes.

With McLemore’s signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Redpairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal.

So why do I want to read this?

Legion Season 1 Thread - Starts Wednesday 9 CT on FX | Page 10 ...

As I said…I am a simple woman. I see anything by Anna-Marie McLemore, and I am morally obliged to put it on my TBR.

Aside from that, this sounds like some seriously fascinating historical fiction! Witchcraft, the dancing plague, magical families…what more could there possibly be? Knowing McLemore’s nearly unmatched writing prowess, this sounds like it might be one of her best novels to date. Maybe I’m setting my expectations too high, but I just loved Wild Beauty and When the Moon was Ours so much…

You get really excited about lame stuff, like low interest rates ...

Today’s song:

I listened to all of Bury Me at Makeout Creek yesterday, and there is not a single bad song on the album. Phenomenal.

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: June 8-14, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles!

All things considered, it’s been an…alright week. There hasn’t been anything super eventful, other than J.K. Rowling testing me ([screams] TRANS RIGHT ARE HUMAN RIGHTS, WHEN WILL YOU LEARN–). I’ve received a few more eARCs (more reviews to come next week!), but I checked Edelweiss yesterday, and I’d gotten declined 4 (four) eARCs all at once…whee…

But hey, I’ve just started out. And plus, I still have a bunch of pending requests, so things could start looking up next week.

My reading week’s been fairly hit-or-miss–it’s swung between four star and two star reads, for the most part, but I’ve found a few that I enjoyed. As far as writing goes, I’ve just finished writing the climax for my WIP (!!!), and I’m close to 300 pages! It’s the most I’ve ever written, so that’s been crazy. I’m also working away at an Iron Giant puzzle, which has given me a primal urge to go back and watch it again.

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WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Under Shifting Stars–Alexandra Latos (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Dreamwalkers–Leslie Rush (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Dreamwalkers - Leslie Rush - Pre-Order - Filles Vertes Publishing, LLC

Fourth World–Lyssa Chiavari (⭐️⭐️)

Fourth World (Iamos Trilogy, #1) by Lyssa Chiavari

Lyrics and Curses (Cursed Hearts, #1)–Candace Robinson (eARC) (⭐️⭐️)

Lyrics & Curses (Cursed Hearts, #1) by Candace Robinson

Ash–Malinda Lo (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Ash by Malinda Lo

The Girl who Was Convinced Beyond All Reason That She Could Fly–Sybil Lamb (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

The Girl Who Was Convinced Beyond All Reason That She Could Fly ...

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek–Kim Michele Richardson

Amazon.com: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel ...

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Books

Pride Month Book Recommendations, Week 2: Fantasy

Happy Thursday, bibliophiles! 🏳️‍🌈

Continuing with my Pride recommendations, I’ve decided to devote this week to fantasy novels featuring LGBTQ+ characters and themes. In times like these (and all the time), it’s incredibly important to support LGBTQ+ authors and inform yourself about the community, and literature is a vital vessel for learning about such topics, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.

So let’s begin, shall we?

PRIDE MONTH RECS, WEEK 2: FANTASY

  1. Reign of the Fallen duology, Sarah Glenn Marsh

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Bisexual protagonist, lesbian love interest wlw relationship, several gay side characters

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Not only is Reign of the Fallen a fascinating and action-packed fantasy novel, it boasts one of the most accurate (personally) depictions of bisexuality in YA literature. Odessa will always have a special place in my heart.

2. Simon Snow series, Rainbow Rowell

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Both protagonists are gay, mlm relationship

MY RATING:

Based off of a Harry Potter-like fan fiction written in Fangirl, the Simon Snow series is if you took Harry Potter and made Drarry canon. Even though book 2 was a little disappointing, Simon and Baz are always wonderful.

3. The Brilliant Death, Amy Rose Capetta

Amazon.com: The Brilliant Death (9780451478443): Capetta, Amy Rose ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Both the protagonist and the love interest are genderfluid, queer relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I read this a little over a year ago, and there’s no doubt that Amy Rose Capetta is a veritable champion in the world of LGBTQ+ YA literature. The sequel to this one (and the conclusion to the duology), The Storm of Life, just came out this January, and I’m so excited to read it!

4. Girls of Paper and Fire, Natasha Ngan

Amazon.com: Girls of Paper and Fire (9780316561365): Ngan, Natasha ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: wlw relationship

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Although I found book 2 to be quite disappointing, this is an immensely powerful novel, not only discussing LGBTQ+ themes, but it mainly tackles the trauma of sexual assault. Gotta love Lei and Wren. 💗

5. Mask of Shadows, Linsey Miller

Mask of Shadows (Mask of Shadows Series #1) by Linsey Miller ...

LGBTQ+ REPRESENTATION: Protagonist is genderfluid

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

[smacks self in forehead] I still can’t BELIEVE that I haven’t gotten around to reading Ruin of Stars (book 2), because this novel was SUCH FUN TO READ! And though I can’t speak to how good/bad the genderfluid representation is (as I’m a cisgender person), Sal’s depiction seemed both accurate and well-written.

Tell me what you think! Did you like these novels? Do you have any LGBTQ+ fantasy novels that you loved? Tell me in the comments!

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As always, a great resource for finding LGBTQ+ novels is here at Queer Books for Teens, so check out their website for more great recommendations!

Today’s song:

Soccer Mommy–night swimming (demo)

Another song from her Soccer Mommy & Friends singles, this one is just as dreamlike as the original song! 🙂

That’s it for this week’s pride month recommendations! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (6/8/20)–The Sound of Stars

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.

Continuing on with LGBTQ+ books, this one’s been on my TBR for a while. And from the description, it’s virtually everything that I’d ever want in a sci-fi novel. I am on an eternal search for quality YA sci-fi, so I REALLY hope to read this one soon!

Let’s begin, shall we?

GOODREADS MONDAY (6/8/20)–THE SOUND OF STARS by Alechia Dow

Amazon.com: The Sound of Stars (9781335911551): Dow, Alechia: Books

Blurb from Goodreads:

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

So why do I want to read this?

Aliens

Music

Libraries

LGBTQ+/POC representation

this is everything i've ever wanted gif | WiffleGif

I might be setting my expectations too high, but I might have just found another dream book…

Like I said, I’m a huge lover of sci-fi, and the addition of a secret library and a shared love of music seems like the exact type of thing that I would immensely enjoy in a novel. A friendship between a human and an alien and bonding over secret art is just the kind of content that I’ve been wanting to read for ages.

And in times like these (and all the time), it’s so important to support POC/LGBTQ+ authors, so I encourage all of you to spread the word about such novels, review them, and recommend them to friends. 💗

black lives matter – GIF

Today’s song:

(Why yes, I did watch Baby Driver yesterday, why do you ask?)

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful day, and take care of yourselves!