Books · Diverse Reads · Review

Book Review: *Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli | Bookstagram Tour

*Mini review on Instagram. Full review below*

Goodreads Synopsis:

Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient. Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment. Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.
But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script. Matt Olsson is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.
Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship.


My thoughts:

I’m going to be honest, the first half had me worried I wasn’t going to like it. It was slow and I struggled to be invested initially. The second half though!! Complete flip. I was hooked.

It’s a fun book. The teenage drama with crushes and such is always interesting to me. It’s so different to my teen years, I can’t relate but it’s interesting to read. I like the books focus on friendship rather than romance. I thought this would be romance-heavy, to my surprise it was more of a tale of friendship.

The setting of the theatre was interesting. I have never read anything that’s centred around theatre kids or school plays/musicals. The story is full of theatre kid antics, which is entirely new to me. I have never been a theatre kid, not even sure we had them in my school. The difference in schools and teenagers is so crazy to me. It all seems very fictional and not relatable. I guess that’s the culture difference between the US and UK.

The characters themselves, although completely unrelatable for me, were fun to read. It has a great cast of diverse characters, all were very unique and different. Each of the side characters were developed enough for me to know each one individually. I actually ended up enjoying some of the side characters more.

Kate is a bit of an annoying teen, as is Anderson… (am I becoming too old for YA?!) I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t love them. I did like their friendship though.
However, Kate, Anderson and their general group of theatre friends come across as so snobby! It was quite jarring. Very judgemental, they reminded me of ‘popular’ kids.

Even though Noah was supposed to be the annoying one, he was the star. I wish there was more of him. He was such a great side character!

My biggest complaint: the way these teenagers speak. f-boy/fuckboy. JUST STOP. It was AWFUL. It was so very overused. It was cringeworthy and could’ve been left out.

Rating: 3 Stars

*Disclaimer: Book was sent to me by Penguin/ PrideBookTours in exchange for a review/Bookstagram post. All opinions are my own.

Blog Tour · Books · Review

Bookstagram Tour + Mini Review: The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe*

I just wanted to highlight my review over on Instagram for a Bookstagram Book Tour!
Would really appreciate it if you’d give it a like/comment 🙂

Review is from the caption of the photo, so it’s more of a mini review:

I’m not much of a thriller reader, but I’ve wanted to read it for some time. I thought a YA thriller would be a good place to start. It really was!

This book jumps right into the action, throws you right into the story and doesn’t slow down from there. I love the fastness of the plot, the short chapters intensified this further. It was a breeze to get through and I was thoroughly invested from the start.

This deals with some heavier topics, like trauma etc. The main character, Nora, has been through a lot of trauma, she’s a bit morally grey and broken but one hell of a fighter. Her character felt realistic and her growth was great to see.

Despite being a thriller, there is a romance. Which I really enjoyed, it lightened the tone of the novel, but didn’t slow the plot. Nora is bisexual, and the romance is f/f ❤️
Rating: 4 Stars

*This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to PrideBookTours and TeamBKMRK for the ARC!

Books · Diverse Reads · Recommendations

LGBTQ+ Book Recommendations | Diverse Reads

LGBT-Books

 

Hey guys, hope you’re having a great Saturday!
I *still* don’t have wifi at my uni flat. I just got back yesterday and they still haven’t sorted it. Such a nightmare. Don’t they know my life revolves around the internet?!
Anywho…
I thought I’d share some LGBT recs today

Up first:
Simon vs the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli

(Gay, m/m)
Image result for simon vs the homosapien agenda

I LOVE THIS! It’s such an adorable story.
I read this in a few hours in one sitting – it’s addictive and adorable but has some serious themes about coming out and being blackmailed. Everyone talks about this book but seriously, it’s worth the hype.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Book Depository


Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith
(queer)
Image result for girl meets boy ali smith

This is a queer retelling of Ovid’s myth of Iphis – this was a required read in uni for me and I was pleasantly surprised. It really shows how fluid gender and sexuality is. I never hear anyone talk about it but it definitely needs more hype. The title doesn’t really show that it’s LGBT but it is a nice surprise in the story.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Book Depository


Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
(Not sure on sexualities but features a f/f relationship)

Image result for lumberjanes

This is such an adorable graphic novel series. It has an all girl cast and features a f/f relationship – which is SO CUTE. So nice to see LGBT aimed at a young audience.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Book Depository


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
(Bisexual MC, Gay/Lesbian side characters)

Image result for the seven husbands of evelyn hugo

This isn’t a favourite book of mine, not even close, but I think the representation was great. I loved seeing LGBT characters in this era, it was interesting to read about and different from the other LGBT stories I’ve read.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Book Depository


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What’s your favourite LGBT+ book?
Leave me a recommendation!


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Books · Review

Review: Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

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Synopsis:
Ten days after Jaya Mackenzie’s mum dies, angels start falling from the sky. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.

Hysteria mounting with every Being that drops, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh intent on catching one alive. But Jaya can’t stand this obsession and, struggling to make sense of her mother’s sudden death and her own role on that fateful day, she’s determined to stay out of it.

When her best friend disappears and her father’s mania spirals, things hit rock bottom and it’s at that moment something extraordinary happens: An angel lands right at Jaya’s feet, and it’s alive. Finally, she is forced to acknowledge just how significant these celestial beings are.

Set against the backdrop of the frenzied Edinburgh festival, OUT OF THE BLUE tackles questions of grief and guilt and fear over who we really are. But it’s also about love and acceptance and finding your place in this world as angels drop out of another.


My thoughts:
Let me just start off by saying, the representation/diversity in this book is great! I had no idea it would be diverse going in, it was a nice surprise!
There are two LGBT  characters, the main character (Jaya) is mixed-race and it has chronic illness rep! Overall, loads of great rep and it was well done from what I can tell.
It also deals with death/grief, which is a big part of the story – it’s not just about angels/ magic realism. It deals with loss and the struggle of moving on.

The writing style is really nice, easy and super quick to read. The descriptions of Scotland really make me want to visit! It sounds so beautiful.
The Beings (angels) were super interesting, I wish we could’ve learned more. (More about this below, contains minor spoilers!)

Since this book is pretty short, I don’t want to give anything away. I think it would be better to go in blind, as I did!

Characters:
Jaya:
I loved Jaya! She was a great point of view to read from.  She’s a very relatable teen dealing with the loss of her mother. Her father has become obsessed with tracking the angels (Beings) and uprooted the family to Edinburgh, where he believes the next Being will fall.
Allie & Calum: Twins that Jaya meets and end up helping her with the Being. I really enjoyed both Allie and Calum, they were a great addition to the story. I really liked their friendship with Jaya and their belief in treating the Beings as people was a nice touch.


**Minor spoilers**
Overall, a really great read. The only reason it didn’t get 5 stars is that we never get closure on the Beings. You never find out why they’re falling or anything about where they come from. I would’ve loved to know more about the Beings and their world and why they were being just thrown to earth. Sigh.

Rating: 4 Stars!


Let’s be friends! 

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