Dalton and Orrie are a ridiculously cute couple. They are completely adorable and so damn sweet together. My heart definitely beat faster in the hope for their future. And because this was a wonderfully sweet and gorgeous story, they get it. Not without a lot of issues along the way though.
My husband and I decided a long time ago that Christmas would be about one event… no running around like headless chickens all day long. And that is just between two families. I can’t imagine jumping between four! That to start with just sounded and felt ridiculously difficult and complex. And, as it unfolded, it was even worse than I had anticipated.
This was a fun, chaotic story evolving into a beautiful ending. With the one family portion that the couple actually got along well with. I love that in the one day they not only run the gambit of their four families, but they also had to deal with their own insecurities. A brilliant holiday story.
Title: Skye Falling Author: Mia McKenzie Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:Contemporary, LGBTQI, Race Pace: Medium Format: eBook, Novel Year: 2021
This was a brilliant and kind of intense read. But damn, it was also kind of amazing. I mean, it was a great story of self-discovery, with some impressively dynamic relationships and a whole heap of emotional connections. Throughout this personal journey Skye spends a whole lot of time looking inwards. It’s a nice reminder that we never truly stop growing and learning.
This book gave me all of the feelings, it was intense and complex. Skye not only has to navigate her current friendships and family dynamics. But there a heap of new relationships and family dynamics that she also has to negotiate. I love that Skye slowly creates a relationship with the new members of her family. Relationships are never quite as easy as they seem in the books, they’re always way more complicated and McKenzie honours this fact.
Skye is forced to face up to a whole heap of hard truths and realities in her own actions. But it’s about more than that. Skye is forced to face the changing times and how the things we treasure don’t always stay the same. McKenzie also beautifully shows some of the challenges that African American women face and the realities of being an LGBTQI+ woman. McKenzie pulls in so many social justice issues and my head is still spinning after reading this.
I love that the ending of this isn’t neat and tidy. There is no tie it all in a bow ending that shows everyone riding off into the sunset. Rather, everyone finds a new path and a way to find their happy new reality. Life never has a satisfactory conclusion that ties up every loose end. And I love that Skye Falling didn’t either.
I freaking loved this graphic novel. I mean, I loved the first volume, so it makes total sense that I loved the second one. But I actually think that I loved this a little more. Maybe because now that most of the world building and backstory has been solidified, Ries was able to dig a bit deeper into the particulars of Nyeve.
Everything about this tale is beautiful and complex. It is a great journey all on its own, but there’s also this great sense of social commentary as well. Every moment of this made me reflect on the world that I live in, the biases and restrictions that we place on the “other”. It’s amazing how provocative and emotive the imagery throughout this is.
I do love how Nyeve marches to the beat of her own drum. Throughout all of this people are trying to twist and shape her to their own idea of rebellion and future. Trying to show her how to go against the grain, but to do so by fitting THEIR preconceived idea of how that looks. And it’s when she decides to truly be herself and ignore all the ideas of other people that she truly comes into her own.
There are lots of bits of Bananas past that are slowly coming to light throughout this graphic novel. I want to believe that he is good and going to be a great guide for Nyeve. But there’s that lingering feeling that he might be the source of some serious betrayal in the future. I just can’t wait to find out if I’m right or wrong!!!
Since their mentions in Sweetheart, Kieran and Roderick are just too damn cute a couple. Which, of course means that I’ve been hanging to read their romance. Plus, Kieran is such a sweet and quiet boy in all of his appearances throughout the True North series. It made me want to get to know him more. Which, as seems to be the case with Sarina Bowen stories, didn’t disappoint.
Although throughout this Kieran is discovering and acknowledging his sexuality, it’s not really the point of conflict throughout. I love that his being gay really isn’t treated as anything, well, at all in his internal dialogue. Rather, it is all of the family conflicts and his sense of self within the Shipley clan that is the main driving point of contention throughout. It’s nice to have an LGBTQI+ story that doesn’t really make any kind of deal about accepting one’s sexuality.
Then there’s Roderick. He’s a great counterpoint to Kieran’s quiet reticence. He is bubbly and cheerful. And accepting of his own crap. Accepting to the point that he is so self-aware he almost self-sabotages. Again, the point of intention doesn’t come from his crappy family or anything like that, but from his self-awareness and sense of self. For Roderick, this fact is that he worries that he throws too much of himself into a relationship.
I love that although there is initially a little resistance between these two gorgeous hunks, once they’re together, it’s the journey of self-awareness that drive the story’s conflict. Yes, other people come into this, but it’s a bit of a tangential influence. Mostly, the two figure out how to work through their own nonsense and make it work in a relationship together. Definitely a story too cute for words.
Title: The Gender Games: The Problem with Men and Women, from Someone Who Has Been Both Author: Juno Dawson Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect) My Bookshelves:Biographies, LGBTQI, Memoirs Pace: Slow Format: eBook, Novel Year: 2017
This memoir is fantastic, intense, and seriously wonderful. It was also very thought provoking and sometimes confronting. Dawson has a great style of writing that makes you want to dive into her story page after page. Even in those moments that you might feel a little bit uncomfortable. There is just something about her writing that is enjoyable and emotional, even when the topic is sometimes difficult.
As one would expect, this memoir is a very intense look at gender and how it makes life difficult. Dawson is a lot more brutal with her analysis of that, but that’s the overall idea. I also love that Dawson is able to highlight the different challenges that come to each gender. Whilst she was identified to society as a male for the first twenty, thirty (I can’t remember exactly) years of her life, and then has started her transition, the expectations which are placed on us for an arbitrary classification are all encompassing. And Dawson has the unique experience of seeing this from both sides.
This was one of those slower reads for me. Not because it wasn’t brilliant, but because every single chapter was thought provoking. It took me a long time to absorb everything that Dawson had to say. And I honestly felt like Dawson’s words deserved that time to process. Gender and sexuality is something that has long fascinated me, and I really wanted to understand more of Dawson’s experiences. As much as someone who identifies as the gender, I was born ever can…
This memoir is brilliantly written, impossible to forget and just all round fantastic. I definitely fell completely in love with Dawson’s voice. And now that I know she is a YA author, I just want more of her work on my shelves!!!
Graphic novels are still a fairly new genre for me. Admittedly, I was a bit of a snob about reading graphic novels, I didn’t necessarily consider them “books”. Luckily, I grew out of that when I started to find some authors that I absolutely adore. And, yet again, I’ve found one that completely fits this bill. I loved the story line, the graphics and just the general experience of reading this graphic novel.
I really enjoyed the idea that hair dictates the power of a being. For me, it was a great commentary on how we judge people by their looks. And if they don’t fit into our expectations, based on how they look, then we tend to discount them. In the case of this tale, the lead is constantly trying to hide her power. That, and there’s the horrors of her own experiences with bureaucracy – powerful is good, too powerful is bad.
I can’t wait to try and sink my teeth into the next Witchy collection – I’m sure I could read it online through Ries’ website, but I love the feel of having a book in my hands. Reading by lamplight, late at night. The mood making is just beautiful. Plus, there is something far more magical about having the printed version of the images – I have a tendency to run my fingers across the beauty of the graphics that Ries has created.
I absolutely loved this graphic novel. Witchywas an entirely unexpected world that left me smiling and wanting more. But, as with all the graphic novels that I’ve been enjoying lately – there is an extra message about the state of our world. The idea that we need to stop judging others by our preconceived notions. And the reminder that sometimes power threatens others, and we need to be wary of this too.
It’s taken me a long time to get to this book, considering its been sitting on my bedside table for about six months. I lovedThe Edge of Heaven, so I think that although I was hoping to love this just as much, I was also a little bit hesitant. Sometimes a banger of a first book can be followed by a not so good second book, and I was hoping against hope that that wouldn’t be the case. Luckily for me, Love in Slow Motion was just as good, sweet and wonderful.
I’ve read a lot on my online book groups about how much people love a “slow burn romance”. And I can’t say that it’s something that I’ve ever noticed much in the romances that I’ve read. There are plenty that feature a couple in which one has always had a crush, or friends to lovers and such. But the slow burn? Wow, I finally get what people are actually talking about. It is a very different beast to the other romance tropes that I’ve been enjoying. I might not want it all the time – I found that the slow burn also meant that we were slow getting to the action, and I needed things to hurry up a little. There is still something so toe curling and butterfly inducing about it that makes me want to read another, similar slow burn. Although, admittedly, that could just be Lindsey’s writing…
Reading the blurb of Love in Slow Motion, I was expecting something both beautiful and a little cringe-worthy. After all, a man falls in love with his best mates dad… there may only be seventeen years difference, but I always find the age gap thing a bit uncomfortable. The fact that Frederic is the father of Ilan’s best friend… I was expecting some serious catastrophic damage and many, many cringe-worthy moments. Yet, somehow, Lindsey was able to make this one of my favourite literary couples of late. All those things that I thought would be seriously cringe-worthy and filled with second-hand embarrassment and discomfort… didn’t even happen.
For all of my reservations on starting this book, I completely adored it. It was fun and witty. Cute and heartfelt as needed. It’s a reminder that falling in love, no matter how we do it can be filled with many, many pitfalls. Many of them being our own insecurities… Lindsey is able to show amazing vulnerability in her characters without it being a painful read. Definitely one of those romances that made my heart beat faster and then skip a beat as I hoped for that happily ever after moment.
I absolutely loved Red, White and Royal Blue. It was brilliantly written with amazing characters and a wonderful storyline. Which means that I’ve been kind of hanging to read One Last Stop. I figure if one novel by McQuiston was going to be amazing, the next one probably was too. And I was completely correct. This book is amazing and wonderful and has so many emotions to it. I honestly don’t quite know where to begin…
Alright, so it took me a little to get into this. I did love August from the start. But some of her hang-ups and insecurities were just… too difficult for me to comprehend. Partly it’s probably because I’ve never really been floating through the world and untethered. I’ve always had someone, or something to give me roots. It’s incredibly difficult to understand what it would be like to not have that grounding and then relate… but I digress. August, regardless of that small factor in her characterisation that I couldn’t quite relate to was a wonderful lead. And, as I understood her more and more, I wanted to see the amazing character growth that I was hoping for from McQuiston’s writing. I wasn’t disappointed. At the root of this story, there is a major coming of age vibe that left me with all of the happy feelings.
It took me a decent chunk into this book to find the paranormal element to it. It was completely unexpected. I spent the first chunk trying to figure out how this wonderful little romance was going to go off the rails and fill the roughly 400 pages. And then that mystery element hit, and suddenly the length of the book became a lot more understandable and less tedious. I love how it was a twist that I honestly just didn’t see coming, one that had me hooked and unable to look away. It was a wonderful approach and idea that I kind of want to read more about. Actually, mostly I just want to read more about what happens after the whole cast of this story rides off, happily, into the sunset… they’re all just too cute.
This novel has a fantastic cast of characters. August and Jane as the lead couple are wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed August’s journey to acceptance and finally growing her own roots. But, then there’s the rest of the cast. Not only do multiple facets of the LGBTQIA+ community get represented within here, but there are also drag queens. Which I find ridiculously fun and wonderful. It just made me sink further and further into this story with the biggest, most ridiculous smile on my face.
As with all of my other O’Neill graphic novels, this is sickeningly and overwhelmingly adorable. It is so damn cute that it will make your teeth ache. And I mean that in an entirely positive light. Love these books.
One of the aspects of graphic novels I love the most is that they are even more open to interpretation than prose. It doesn’t matter how many times I read one, I find a new meaning and symbol within the storyline.
Reading this was a wonderful journey into the world of tea dragons. It made me seriously joyful to be reading this with a nice cup of tea at my side…
I definitely didn’t enjoy this novel as much as The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I think there was something about Monty’s chaotic existence and personality that drew me in. I just didn’t quite feel as attached to Felicity. This was still an amazing novel. But just not quite as grabbing as Monty’s story.
One of the aspects of Felicity that I found most difficult to connect to, but, also the most realistic, was how judgemental she was about other women. Its a conversation that is often had – there is no right or wrong way to be a woman. There is no right or wrong in being strong and independent and a feminist. Sometimes we are our harshest critics and its definitely something that needs to be changed. As is pointed out very beautifully in this story.
There is an element of asexuality in this story that I found beautiful. Instead of being a romance and ending with the off kilter couple running off together, there is that sense of me about romance and sexuality. I’m not sure if there was an aim for an asexual character, but it was definitely how I read it.
Lee is able to bring up a lot of very relevant social issues and realities in a seamless manner. It’s a rollicking adventure that had me smiling. One that I would happily read again. But maybe not for a little while…