Book Reviews

Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt Book Review

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The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning science reporter for The Washington Post

This book was really wonderful. It follows the story of the Maines’ family. Starting with the parents and their background. We learn how they met and how they ended up adopting twins. Then we see the long journey of trying to accept that one of the twins is transgender and after they accepted it we see the family take a fight they’d been having over their child’s rights to a public level. This was a rollercoaster of a book for me. You will have a really heartwarming moment in the Maines’ lives followed not long after by some unforeseen setback. it kept taking me up and down there,which is likely how the family felt on this journey as more obstacles showed up for them.

I really appreciate the work the author had to put into this. I can easily see how much work was put in. The amount of interviewing, note taking, and researching done is appreciated.

I liked that there were full sections separate,but not separate from the family’s story. Sections where we are able to get more information on transgender history, laws,accounts of what other transgender people went through, etc. One that strangely stood out to me was a section on a doctor that helped homeless teens and often ended up working with LGBT homeless teens because of the high percentage of LGBT teens among the young homeless population. It was a short chapter really but it stood out to me.

I also really like that the story really does show the whole family. There was a period of time where I was wondering about Nicole’s brother Jonas was going through and right after that thought we got a chapter on how Jonas was processing things. I thought this book’s layout really worked. It covered a lot of ground in a short time and did so really well. Definitely, would recommend it.

Book Reviews

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

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I was really happy with this. Probably a 4.5 or 4.6 stars. Going to talk about many elements, but no specifics in this review.

This book really is setting up the next few books.Answering some questions to get things set up. Who will be the villain we have to deal with? What about the prophecy? Who will be helping on the journey? So it could have fallen a bit flat for some people I think. However, I think the characters really pulled me into this one.

Before I talk about the characters, though. I need to mention how happily surprised by how queer this book is. Nico and Will are adorable dorks and I may have squealed at 1 am waking up my boyfriend because of their adorableness. Their relationship isn’t just hinted at now.They barely are getting started at the end of Blood of Olympus. It’s been several months. They are together and I loved it.

Apollo has had two great loves in his past. One of them was a male. I knew Apollo had male and female lovers and I’m glad the book didn’t skip over that.It didn’t put all the focus on Daphne. We even found out that one of Apollo’s kids is from relations Apollo has with a man, which I thought was so cool.Not sure how that worked. The gods have their ways apparently. I would love to hear that demigods story of when they found that out honestly.

I’m wondering if Apollo will ever encounter Zephyrus during this because that could be really interesting considering their past. I feel like Daphne and Hyacinth will continue to come up as the series goes on and I’m excited to see how.

Apollo is egotistical, often selfish, and narcissistic. He was like that when he was a god and now that he’s mortal he’s having a hard time dropping it. It’s kind of fantastic honestly. He’s so not on the same plain as everyone else. He thinks he understands mortals. His needs are obviously more important. It adds to the hilarity in the book.

The idea of seeing a god have to learn how to be mortal has been done before .It’s always interesting and usually quite funny. I’ll definitely enjoy seeing how being mortal will affect Apollo as the series goes on. It’s something that has to change your perspective on things at least a little.

Meg is a really interesting character.I really liked her spunk. I didn’t expect things to go the way they did with her and I’m happy with what happened. That might sound strange if you’ve already read it, but I’ll tell you why.There are a lot of lessons that readers will be able to learn from Meg’s plight over the next few books.That’s something I can already tell.

The last thing is I almost woke up my fiance to tell him the villain when it was revealed because it was someone we both studied and My fiance is writing a play on that villain right now. I thought that was awesome. Also scary for the characters because it’s a villain capable of some very bad things. I was excited, though.

One more thing. The chapter titles are haikus. There is a haiku to start every chapter. That was fantastic. It was hilarious. Probably my favorite thing I’ve seen in a while. Some had more punch than others, but it’s such a clever idea. Makes so much sense when dealing with a god of poetry. Very happy with the start of this series.

Book Reviews

We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Cover of We Are the Ants

 

 

Henry’s mom is working a dead-end job, his nana Alzheimer’s is getting worse, his brother dropped out of college after his girlfriend got pregnant.Plus Henry’s blames his self for his boyfriend Jesse’s suicide. Henry also gets abducted by aliens pretty frequently and has the choice to save the world or not.

This story was really dark. Trigger warnings galore. Definitely, trigger warnings for suicide, intense bullying, and sexual assault. Even in the near the end once I knew it was a dark book it was able to throw me off with something. Still the book is really good and so interesting.

Henry has to decide if the world is worth saving or not. I feel like the decision for Henry is influenced by all the crap he goes through, but I felt like it often came back to Jesse’s suicide. I really liked the way this book talked about depression, mental health, grieving, and guilt. Audrey is one character that definitely has great moments where she talks about these topics.

It honestly took me a while to get into this, but after the half-way point,I was in. At first, I was getting some big manic pixie dream boy vibes from Diego.Is that a thing? I think it’s a thing. There was also being bogged down with all the things happening to Henry and his reactions to them.

The characters are brilliant. I felt like they are so layered. Henry’s friend Audrey, his family, and Diego were all great characters. Marcus was even a well-done character. He developed. I still have no sympathy for him , but he developed.

This book has some really heartbreaking moments.There are so many beautiful parallels in this story that I won’t go into because spoilers. Beautiful and heartbreaking actually. I kept noticing them and just loved it. The ending was interesting. I wasn’t expecting it to end that way at all. I think I liked it. It leaves me with questions and that’s not a bad thing.