LGBTQIA+, YA

Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg

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If you haven’t read Openly Straight there could be some spoilers ahead. Fair warning. I need to refer to the end right now to explain why I didn’t want a sequel to Openly Straight. I thought the ending was perfect because it was realistic. Rafe has his reasons for doing everything he does but that does not make it right at all. Rafe puts Ben through too much. I didn’t want Ben to run back to him.Ben’s reaction at the end of Openly Straight is so warranted in my opinion and I loved that we didn’t get that happily ever after. I had a strong feeling that would turn around in this book because it happens in things like this.

Ben’s narration is better than Rafe’s. That feels blasphemous to say but I don’t even remember why I liked Rafe’s so much. I think with Openly Straight I enjoyed the story and the discussion it brought up but had some issues with Rafe. He’s really privileged in being able to just switch schools so easily when he wants to change how people sees him. He has to money to just go to this pretty expensive private school and pretend to be someone different than he is.

Ben deals with so much pressure. You could see that a bit in openly Straight but don’t really understand it until you read more on Ben. He has a family that is overbearing. A father that puts really toxic ideas in his head and a mother who lets it happen for years. They are in the running for the worse YA parents on the year award in my superlatives later this year. Don’t think they will win but top three right now.

Be Happy just not too happy. Don’t get a big head or you aren’t allowed to show that you are happy about things you’ve accomplished.Carver’s can’t afford this. Carver’s aren’t vulnerable.Carver’s don’t talk about their feelings. Carver’s don’t need extra help.  Everything in Ben’s life is framed by what his father has told him. Ben is so reserved and pretty bad at sticking up for himself at times and I quickly saw it’s because he believes and follows the things his father has told him completely. Ben has several bad habits he picks up because of his father that are a result of all of this.

Everything in Ben’s life is framed by what his father has told him. Ben is so reserved and pretty bad at sticking up for himself at times and I quickly saw it’s because he believes and follows the things his father has told him completely. Ben has several bad habits he picks up because of his father that are a result of all of this.

Through all this Ben is able to deliver a narrative with some great humor and some other beautiful moments. He’s a really great character. Seeing his emotional journey was compelling. Seeing his personal arc was compelling.

One thing that I’m glad was really highlighted in this book was privilege. I feel like it is talked about a bit in the first book. Ben’s roommate leaves the school for reasons that were somewhat related to being the only black kid at this private all boys school and I remember liking the conversations that happen around it. Ben finally calling Rafe out for some of the things that he says made me very happy.

I didn’t think the book was biphobic but can see how it could be harmful to people because it does contain biphobic comments from several characters.  Ben doesn’t deny the existence of bi people. I’m fairly certain his uncle was bisexual and that is pointed out a few times. Ben just doesn’t see himself as bi or gay. The conversations on labels are being continued from the first book in an interesting way. At the end of the day, Ben should be allowed to label or not label himself whatever he wants and people should respect that.

Rafe and his family do say things that are biphobic. Plus other people in the book as well.Biphobia happens. People experience it. I think every time Ben’s reaction is showing that it is wrong even if the people around him keep doing it. I felt like this worked back into the conversation with Rafe’s privilege really well. It was frustrating in a similar way.  If this book did hurt you I’m really sorry that it did and I’m not trying to diminish that at all.

It was revealed that Toby is genderfluid. I was so excited by this. They really were on of my favorite characters in the first book. I raved about Toby and how I’d want Toby to be my friend in a book tag I filmed recently. Not many side characters stand out to me like Toby has. This made so much sense to me from the Toby I saw in the first book.

Konigsberg also reveals that Toby’s friend Alby is Asexual. Toby states that he is. I’d like more confirmation. There are not enough Ace characters at all. As someone on the Ace spectrum, it was still nice to see. I would love a Toby or Alby centered book honestly. I think I would have been more excited for a Toby centered sequel. Toby had other interesting things going on in the first book that were not touched on here. We just don’t get a chance to see Toby enough because he doesn’t have the biggest connection to Ben.

Speaking of connections to Ben. I do see Ben and Rafe’s connection but am still skeptical about how well the two could work long term. I liked the ending of the first book because it wasn’t that magical fix like I said. I know people shipped it and wrote fanfics of the two getting back together but I never thought it should happen and even as I liked seeing them become friends and close again I still struggle to feel that they are a pairing that could work for long.

 

Book Reviews, diverse books, LGBTQIA+, YA

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee Review

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I enjoyed the story for sure. I had a hard time not questioning the logistics of the world but questions aside it is really interesting. A solar flare gave a lot of people powers. Meta Humans galore. They are classed at different levels with the higher level becoming superheroes. It is really interesting but felt like I needed more detail still.

I love the representation in the story. I don’t read many books with bisexual main characters in this kind of genre. Jess is also an Asian protagonist. I’m all about superhero stories with QPOC characters. It was great to see how her family’s background affected their life in different ways.I also like the way the main relationship went overall. It was a cute pairing. Felt a bit too fluffy for the story at times but it was nice.

There was too hinting sometimes. I figured out a lot of things really easily. I think the first reveal that Jess has no clue about is something that yeah the reader is probably supposed to figure out. If not it was okay that I did. It was a type of dramatic irony knowing the thing that Jess didn’t.I feel like the other reveals may have had too much laid out too, though. I wanted less predictable in those later chapters.

So Jess has it pretty rough in this book after things really kick off. The twist and turns n her life are a lot to handle and she really handles it pretty well. I also felt like there was a definite hero journey for her that coincided with her deciding she wanted to be her own person. She wasn’t going to live in the shadow of her family or just do what they wanted her to do in order to get by.She is going to do things for herself.

There also is a trans character in this story named Bells. It looks like he will be the main character of the sequel. I’m excited to see the continuation of the group’s story in the following book for sure.

I really wish more had happened by the end of this one or that more have been accomplished. Even knowing that there will be another book I was a bit dissatisfied with the end. The sequel does come out this year so I hope I’m able to get it sooner rather than later. It looks like it will be focusing on Bells like I said. I am glad I read this. Jess is a great main character and I hope she and everyone else makes some major progress dealing with the situation they are all in next time.

Book Reviews, diverse books, LGBTQIA+, YA

History is All You Left Me Review

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History is All You Left Me by Adam Silver is the second book chosen for The Rainbow Library.A landslide in the voting. A lot of members were excited about the book release.I’m really glad it was chosen as well. I was a big fan of More Happy Than Not and had the History Is All You Left Me book pre-ordered. I was going to wait a bit longer to dive into but I’m glad this group gave me the push to do it now.Apologizing now if this review gets too scattered. I took lots of notes.

This story intrigued me right away with the setup. You jump into the story and realize that the chapters will alternate between the present and the past.History and Today. We have a main character that is flawed in some ways too. I’m  talking about the way he handles a lot of the relationships in his life. I could see that it wasn’t the best right away. Especially after seeing how great Griffin’s relationship with Wade and Theo is in the first few history chapters. It’s so interesting trying to connect the history Griff gives us to his present. I was always looking for the clues to see how things came to be this way. Trying to figure out who is at fault for things before history could catch up with the present more.

I have to say I was surprised by how much I loved the history chapters. They start the day that Theo and Griffin admit their feelings for each other,  goes through their relationship and ends on the day that Theo dies. There were so many beautiful moments in their relationship and it really was bittersweet to read knowing that they eventually break up and that Theo dies. The first few history chapters really drew me in and I was excited that I was going to really enjoy those flashbacks.

Early on I wondered how reliable Griffin was as a narrator for not only the history sections. It was a small moment during the funeral of Theo that made me think it. It was just a perspective thing. The way he saw Jackson and how I could tell he blamed Jackson for Theo’s death to some extent. It made him think that other people might see Jackson similarly when that wasn’t the case. It was the first point where I realized there would definitely be some bias with anything revolving Jackson in the history or today part.

One really interesting thing about Griffin as a narrator is that he’s talking to Theo. The whole story is Griffin going over his history with Theo and also telling Theo the things he didn’t know. The things he wanted to but didn’t get a chance to. The “you” he references in the today sections is Theo.He models his actions toward Jackson based on what Theo would want him to do. If Theo would be disappointed in him. I saw it as another way for him to process Theo’s death. Believing that somehow Theo might be out there listening to him. A little odd considering that it’s pointed out that Griffin isn’t religious like Jackson.

Griffin has OCD. I really can’t comment much on the way it’s written besides that it feels accurate. I have a family member that has OCD and I grew up watching them deal with their compulsions. Compulsions that are very different from what Griffin’s are, though.His compulsions dealt with counting and even numbers. He always had to walk on one side of people or he became anxious. I liked the way it was shown throughout the story.I liked the way the people in his life reacted differently to it as well.

This story had what I call the January problem now. It’s where you only see a character through flashback and don’t always get the info you want. January from Last Seen Leaving was a character I had this kind of issue with. Theo can’t tell his story. Griffin has to tell it for him. Jackson and others can share stories of him but they can’t tell us what Theo was thinking. I really just wished I could get in his head. I got to the point in the history chapters where I had some questions. Theo, what are you doing? Do you really think you can stay friends with Griffin and be with Jackson? Do you not see how messy this situation is? Why are you a mess? Plus so many more questions as I realize things that Theo did or said. It’s not a problem that takes anything away from the story for me. I just will have those questions forever.

The last sixty or eighty pages I would read a page. Then stop to process because I needed to before reading another page.It was a long process. Sometimes I would lean against a wall or pace. Adam Silvera takes you on these really emotional roller coasters in his work. The situation between this group of guys was so messy and that was before Theo died. It really just gets worse. There were definitely some cringe moments because I didn’t want to think about how I’d handle the situations they were going through.  Pg 225 I for sure wasn’t ready for. I could not. I still cannot.I didn’t even know how I kept going toward the end right after that.

I really can’t knock this story rating down for anything that happens. There are things that were frustrating but it wasn’t frustrations that would affect the rating I’d give the book.If the situation was different these things would. I’m never a fan of people doing things to emotionally hurt people. Griff definitely does that at points in this story and I feel like Jackson does as well.Griff makes some bad decisions in his History with Theo that might make him unlikeable for people. Theo might be unlikeable for you.However, this was a story about people grieving over the death of someone they loved. It’s completely true that there were moments where I definitely have a problem with things done. Especially by the main character Griffin but all his emotions and actions were valid.This form of grieving was valid. Not right necessarily but it was valid. He’s in a rough spot and you see that throughout the entire book. I went along on this journey with Griffin knowing that he was going to possibly make some bad decisions.

There were chapters early on where I wished we could see more of Wade. I think it’s because I loved Wade in the chapters in the past. He was a great friend and added something to those scenes before Theo and Griffin start pushing him out a little unintentionally.I also wondered why he became more distant. What did Theo do or say to push his best friend away? Another question I had. Later in the story, we do finally get to see what’s going on with Wade. I have to say that there are things about Wade that I related to in a this is hurting my soul kind of way. I really wish we could have seen more of his character. Jackson and Griffin get to m0urn together for a big portion of this story. Wade mourns his friend alone and that is really rough.

I have to applaud Silvera on somehow throwing in a subtle twist that was just as jarring as the twist in More Happy Than Not even if on a smaller scale. More Happy Than Not had a sci-fi element.The thing that shocked me there was a big deal. History is All You left Me is just all real and still had these emotionally jarring moments that are so brilliant and unexpected. Adam Silvera is really becoming one of my favorite authors really quickly.I’m excited for his next book They Both Die At The End.I know I will likely be a complete emotional wreck after that one but I don’t mind that when it’s an Adam Silvera book. This story comes out to a 5-star read for me.

Comics, LGBTQIA+

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade

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I enjoyed this story a lot. Breezed through it really quickly. The Young Avengers are all faves of mine. Especially Wiccan and Hulkling.Never can get enough of them. Wiccan and Speed search for The Scarlet Witch who they think might be their mother.They need to find her before lots of other angry people do.

It was really great to get more of the fill in for what happens with House of M. This rounds out that plotline. Wanda does something that affects the entire Marvel universe. She wiped out most of the Mutant race by accident.Reality warping powers are really too much for anyone. Learned that with Wiccan in Young Avengers and he got it from Wanda.

So the X-men are angry and coming for her. The Avengers are searching for her as well because she killed some Avengers.The Doctor Doom is involved. Wanda has lost some of her memories.Maybe got rid of them herself. Reasonable considering her grief and everything that caused House of M. She’s a mess with reality warping power and Doctor Doom has his clutches in her. It’s bad. No one wants Wiccan to look for her because the situation is bad. Also, I think the adults are a little afraid Wiccan’s powers might be too much like his moms.

This story revolves so much around Wiccan a.k.a. Billy Kaplan a.k.a. one of my favorite gay superheroes ever. I’m most happy that I read this because it has some great moments between Billy and his boyfriend Teddy a.k.a Hulkling.It’s great seeing how much they love each other and will do to protect each other. Billy left a note for Teddy at one point and I just read it over and over. I’m trash for this couple. I love following their relationship over time. They have big moments like the letter that went on for a few panels. Then just the small moments in fights or in passing. Moments where they check up on each other and protect each other. Just naturally gravitating toward each other in different situations. The little flirting they do here and there. I love this pairing. The end of the comic with them was really great.You constantly see how much they care about each other in this.

Plus I love all the family feels for Billy and his brother Tommy a.k.a. Speed. I’m going to stop putting in a.k.a. now. He’s searching for his mother with his brother but also meets his grandfather Magneto for the first time. We even get a mini comic of when Magneto learns about the existence of his grandchildren. Why do I feel like Magneto would actually be a decent grandparent? Like he might use you and your powers to his advantage but he’d take someone out if they came for you. He’d care in a Magneto way. Wiccan and Speed meet their uncle Quicksilver as well which isn’t the best first meeting but the family resemblance is so cool to see. Even if Speed and Quicksilver’s outfits are actually way too close. Like how does that even happen?

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This is a star-studded cast. Got the main X-men team. Mostly really annoying in this but it made sense.I needed them to think a little more but they were angry at all the mutants who died trying to get their abilities back. I understand.The Avengers appear as mentioned. The fight between the X-men and Avengers in this is lit. Then the Young Avengers. I love the Young Avengers. They are so great. I love the newer version of The Young Avengers and really need to talk about those comics but it’s really nice seeing the dynamics of this young Avengers team.You really see the fall of it here too, unfortunately.

There also was another gay superhero couple in this comic. I had not read them until now but I need to read more of them. Rictor and Shaterstar have such great moments in this. I know the pairing just from forums talking about the mutant couple in the X-men comics. Rictor talking about what it feels like to be connected to the earth with his power one day and to not have his power the next was intense. I really felt for the character. Then he and Shatterstar had this moment and I melted and I can’t. I need more of them. I feel like this is as far as their run has gone from what I know right now. So I’d be starting from before this and I hope I like seeing how it develops. I’ve also seen Shatterstar listed as a polyamorous character under a directory once so I wonder how that plays into his relationship with Rictor in the comics.I hope the comic handles it well.

The ending was sad even when I knew who was going to die already. I’ve read of Young Avengers comics set after this. It’s rough for a lot of reasons. Hoping the movie verse doesn’t take that turn with that character for a while. It would be rough to see on screen.No one really has a happy ending at the end here. most groups leave the situation extremely unhappy. Billy and Teddy still have each other and eventually will have a new Young Avengers team. Still, it’s a rough ending to the comic for Billy considering what has happened to the current team and ultimately what his search for his mother leads to.  I could do with less time travel in the plot, to be honest, but still enjoyed this a lot. Especially the gay.I’m a sucker for gay superheroes as you might know from so many other things I’ve reviewed. Plus my focus on them in this review. The queer characters in this particular comic had great arcs to follow. Can’t read to more on a lot of these characters in the future.

 

Comics, LGBTQIA+, YA

Runaways Complete Collection Vol 2.

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I enjoyed this volume of the comic but not nearly as much as the first one. It’s a brand new direction since the parents are dealt with in the first volume. There are arcs here that I really loved. I think the general direction and who the big villain is for this volume wasn’t the greatest for me. I feel like this needed more focus to really work like the first Volume does.

I liked the new additions to the team.Victor Mancha who is Ultron’s son apparently. Not sure how that happened still. Pretty sure that makes him related to Vision, though which is really cool. I’m pretty sure they will meet in a crossover between The Runaways and The Young Avengers. I’m excited to read that.

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Then we meet a shape-shifting Skrull named Xavin. Xavin is there to find Karolina who they are supposed to marry. Karolina is a lesbian and I thought it was so interesting that Xavin decided to just turn into a girl for her. I felt like Karolina and Xavin had a big arc in this. it may have happened a bit too fast but I’m interested to see where it goes.Also love that Xavin is black when in human form. This is a pretty diverse cast. Xavin changes gender often throughout the story.The pronouns used in reference to Xavin changed because of that. I’d love to see how they handle it.I hope the upcoming show based on the comic gets to the point where Xavin will be introduced.

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I love Nico Minoru in A-Force. In the Runaways, she just keeps getting worse right now. I really can’t warm up to her character at all. I’ve read further than this volume by the time that I’m writing this and her actions after what happens at the end continue that. I really don’t get why she acts the way she does. They also really need to figure out something for her magic to be useful again. Her method in A-Force is really fantastic.

I wish Gert/Arsenic was more confident in her body. The bad guys seem to consistently call her fat and I just want her to kill them with her Dinosaur. She goes through a lot in this volume. I think she’s such a strong character and puts up with so much.She deserves more. Her relationship with Chase comes out of nowhere in the first volume for me. I think there were some great moments between them in this. I still can’t find myself to really like Chase, though. He makes a lot of mistakes here.

The end of this volume was so sad. I’m jumping into the next volume. Don’t want to linger with what happened here too long. I want to see how the team handles it going forward. I feel like they won’t fare well.

Quote1 Most people in life don’t have great power, and the few that do are almost never responsible with it. The people who have the greatest responsibility are the kids with no power because we’re the ones who have to keep everybody in check. Quote2 – Gertrude Yorkes to Spider-Man

 

 

 

Comics, LGBTQIA+

Shades of A Webcomic Review

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This is a story about a guy named Anwar who is asexual. His friend drags him to a kink party. He’s uncomfortable and doesn’t want to be there but meets a crossdresser (Vixen/Chris) there who he befriends. Anwar keeps running into Chris after that night and it slowly builds a relationship between the two guys.

The story does a pretty good job of accurately showing the certain aspects of the BDSM/kink community unlike some things out there. The members of the community are shown in such a wonderful way. There is a variety with the members shown apart of that community.They aren’t all the same at all. It’s so well done. Plus the story overall shows a large variety of characters from all different backgrounds in this story.

Wish we could see more moments between Anwar and his mother in this story. Anwar’s mom loves quoting star wars. She’s so supportive. We see her for a few panels and loved her immediately. Anwar’s father is dead but you can see that he still thinks of his father a lot when making certain decisions. Especially decisions about school and what he wants to do with his life.

I loved the conversations Anwar has with Chris in this story. Communication is such an important part of a relationship. They understand they care about each other and have a big romantic attraction but need completely different things sexually. I love that they talk about it and come up with a plan that works for them. The trust that is there by the end of this story is good.

Best side comments ever. I haven’t read 50 Shades of Gray and don’t plan on it.In some of the comments under the comic pages, the author would point out if a scene was a direct parody of something in that novel. Sometimes they would call out the inaccuracies 50 Shades of Gray presented about BDSM at the bottom as well.I also read over some people’s opinions in the comments for each page. It’s cool to see what people thought who were waiting for the comic to come out page by page. I love that stuff with webcomics.

At the point that this ends I had a very ‘that’s it’ feeling. I felt like more needed to happen. Anwar is kind of irritating for a lot of this story. He’s hung up an ex. I’ve been there. I feel that. The problem was he is pretty focused on his self and his problems throughout this. I felt like I wanted to see him caring for Chris and see him thinking about that relationship more. I don’t know how far apart the end of this first comic and the release of Shades After, the sequel. I’ve gotta be honest and say that if it just ended with this first one I’d be disappointed because I don’t feel like Anwar has made enough progress in this one. Excited to read Shades After and I’ll definitely be talking about it right here. Go check out this comic at the link below if you’re interested.

http://www.discordcomics.com/comic/shades-cover/

Comics, LGBTQIA+, YA

Lumberjanes Comic Review | Volume 1

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I liked Lumberjanes more than I thought I would.I’d heard bits and pieces about the series but never decided to pick it up. After reading Nimona which is also by Noelle Stevenson I thought it might be time to pick this up from my local library. I love Nimona. It was one of my favorite reads of last year so I hoped this would be something I enjoy.

It’s a group of girls off at summer camp trying to earn their badges and solve the mystery of this crazy place.There are three eyed things lurking in the woods, water monsters, yetis, and a lot more. It’s pretty wild from start to finish. Lumberjanes starts with some of the troop lost in the woods a page before encountering three-eyed foxes.

If I wasn’t looking at a picture with the characters names on it right now I would not be able to refer to any of the characters by name in this review.I still won’t probably. About midway through I tried to go back and see if I could figure out who was who but still was confused honestly. The only ones I was sure on was Rosie the Camp Counselor we only see once in this volume.I think she knows things. Then Jen the Roanoke cabin’s scout leader. Jen yells at the girls a lot for disappearing and breaking rules.She probably should have taken an internship at space camp instead of being stuck in the woods as a scout leader.Too late Jen. Too late.

I did like a lot of the main cast of girls. I loved their friendship. They build each other up. They each have different skills they bring to the table and work well together to get out of the situations they get stuck in. They are great friends and a great team. I love girls supporting each other in books.

Lumberjanes is tagged as LGBT  but no one was completely pointed out as queer in the story. There are hints of a possible relationship between some characters or at least feelings, though.Mal and Molly are the characters names I’m pretty sure. There is also sort of a kiss in the story but extenuating circumstances so I don’t know.The queer subtext is there and I hope it is explored more in the following volumes. Especially if that is with Mal and Molly. I ship it.

The sign for the camp has “Hardcore lady types” stapled onto it. It was pretty cool to see that for sure. I also liked the way they did the oath and the girls would say things like “What the Joan Jett?” It was cute.Really enhanced that girl power message but let you know if was for all girls too. I appreciate this comic a lot.

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I liked the artwork. The creatures they encountered look really cool and there is a lot going on in each page. I love the pace of the story. It’s a quick paced comic and was great for when I was stranded waiting for my boyfriend’s car to get fixed. I just wish there was more going on with the character development to keep me invested. I still want to get the next volume, though and have already put a hold on it at my library.

 

 

 

 

ARC's, LGBTQIA+, YA

Dreadnought by April Daniels

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Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, she was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But then her second-hand superpowers transformed her body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but between her father’s dangerous obsession with curing her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and the classmate who is secretly a masked vigilante, Danny’s first weeks living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined.

She doesn’t have much time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer, a cyborg named Utopia, still haunts the streets of New Port City. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

I was lucky enough to get a Netgalley Arc of April Daniels debut novel Dreadnought. Dreadnought follows Danielle Tozer. Danielle accidentally stumbles upon a superhero and villain fight and ends up gaining new powers and the body that she has always wanted.

Danielle has a lot of self-doubts that she has to contend with throughout this story for a large part of it. A large part of that is because of the way her father treats her and always has. You can see how the way Danielle thinks about herself is linked to her father pretty early. When Danielle thinks she’s stupid for something she did or isn’t good enough to be a hero. It’s because that’s the way her father treats her and what he calls her often.

Danielle has some really strong moments in this story where she stands up for herself.Really early on. She is able to stand up for herself against the legion of superheroes.When her friend starts treating her differently. Then still can’t do the same with her father. I thought it was such an interesting relationship to see play out in this. She’s really been emotionally abused by her father for years and you see how much it affects her life.

The superheroes in this story have great names. Wonder how April Daniels came up with some of them. It’s a really great assortment of characters even the ones we don’t learn much about. I do wish we had learned more about the heroes in the legion. I really liked a few of them.Magma and Doc Impossible are the best. I loved them. I want them to be my mentors, please.

Danielle has such a great hero journey in this. It follows the motions of things you see in a lot of origin story comics for heroes. Her first big time-saving people is really amazing. I was so happy for her as she was doing it. You could tell right then that she should be a hero. Not because these powers fell into her lap but because she wants to help people. It’s kind of the reasons she got her powers in the first place. She’s not a person that can walk away when someone is hurting.

She also had some great team up moments with Calamity that every hero needs to have.Patrolling and investigating. She goes one on one with someone who has powers. She consistently is learning, getting better, and saving people throughout this. All while still having that self-doubt for a large part of the story. She doesn’t allow herself to feel like she is as special as she is.

The claiming of superhero colors was such a powerful moment in the story. I recently wrote about how the claiming of one’s name can be important in a review of a different book and I felt like Danielle’s finally deciding on her superhero colors and superhero name was that moment in this story. She’s claiming who she is.

There will be a second book and I’m excited to see what challenges Danielle faces next. Also really want to see where Calamity goes after what happens at the end of the book. More people should read this book and make fanart if you can. I can’t make fanart but I want to see fanart for this book so badly. Definitely, pick it up.

 

 

 

Book Reviews, diverse books, LGBTQIA+, The Rainbow Library, YA

None of The Above by I.W. Gregorio

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None of The Above was the first book chosen for The Rainbow Library. On the Rainbow Library, you can see member reviews of the book the entire week starting January 23rd. We chose the novel because it focuses on a part of the LGBTQIA = community that we don’t often read about or see people talking about.

This book follows a teenager named Kristen who finds out that she is intersex during a trip to the hospital. Kristen has to deal with what that means for herself personally. She has a lot of fear and confusion about her diagnosis.She confides in her friends and family. However, things really blow up when her secret is leaked to the entire school.

I enjoy the story. I just have some problems getting into it. I think the novel explains what intersex is and what it means to be intersex really well.You also learn about AIS and DSD.If you are looking for a book to get you more familiar with what intersex is I definitely recommend this. The novel has me interested in reading more books with intersex characters as well.

The book contains resources where you can get more information. I always have to point out when a book does a great job at doing that. You never know who will be needing those resources and it’s great that the book contains several. There are some fiction and non-fiction book recommendations that include and intersex characters and talk about what intersex is in the back of the book as well.

One of the main reasons this book didn’t hook me is because Kristen can be really annoying in this story at times. So can her friends and boyfriend. This is before she even finds out that she is intersex.The story is first person perspective from her perspective. She’s 18 I believe. There may have been just the age gap thing. The way she thinks about things or talks about things was a bit much sometimes. I thought she was much younger than 18 at points in the novel.

I didn’t feel bad when things go sour in the novel with the boyfriend because I really did not like him from the beginning. The way he said certain things rubbed me the wrong way. Again before Kristen even finds out she’s intersex.It really only gets worse from there. So I found it hard to think it was the end of the world like Kristen seemed to feel over the breakup.

You get more and more angry as the book goes on because of how much Kristen goes through. I felt like the book picks up through the middle for me. Kristen experience so much hate and bigotry and I think the way she handled it was realistic considering the fact that she’s never experienced anything like this before.

One really great thing is the relationships with some people in her corner. She has a solid support system there even when things are falling apart around her. Even if she doesn’t see how much they are there for her at times. Favorite parent of the year award so far goes to her father figure in this. I’m only 8 books into this year but that’s still pretty good.

The romance was kind of meh. It was pretty obvious where things were going. Plus Kristen being way too hung up on her first boyfriend and annoyingly never being sure of what she wants.She makes some decisions for the wrong reasons in this story. She doesn’t think about herself when she should be making decisions for herself. I felt like the end of the story was abrupt but the last part did make me smile.

 

Comics, diverse books, LGBTQIA+, Readathon

#DiverseAthon Potential Reads

It’s time for the first Diverseathon of 2017. Super excited. I am the biggest mood reader ever. I will stop a book just because I’m not feeling the genre at the moment so I will be doing a very long list of potential reads for this Diverseathon. My list consists of primarily queer lit as it normally does. I did try to focus on books with queer characters of color a bit more and get some Own Voices books in the list as well. You can look at my rundown on my Youtube post or read through my choices here. Check out Naz’s DiverseAthon post on his blog ReadDiversebooks.com  for more information on the readathon.

 

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None of The Above is the book of The month for The Rainbow Library. Members of the group will be posting reviews all this week. Super excited to finish this story. It follows a teenager who finds out they are intersex. I definitely have not read much on intersex people before and I’m glad I’m doing it with a group. There has been some great discussion around the book already.

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Dreadnought is a story about a trans girl whose body transforms when she accidentally gains superpowers. The book comes out on January 24th. I have a digital ARC and am really enjoying it so far. About 30% into the story. Hoping to see a bit of a hero journey with this character.

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I loved More Happy Than not. I feel like Adam Silvera’s new book might wreck me like it did but I’m excited. The main character is gay. He’s dealing with the death of his first love. He has OCD I believe. I definitely want to read a story with a character who has OCD and have for a while.

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I didn’t finish this during #DAReadahon so I hope I can finish it now. Really love the main character from the part I did read. I’ve wanted to read more stories with LGBTQ + Asian protagonist for a while.

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I am so excited to read this story. I love queer superhero stories. This one follows a teenage superhero named Javier Medina. You get to see how he balances or fails to balance his life as a junior superhero and his life at school.

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A revelatory novel about being queer and Muslim, set in war-torn Iraq in 2003.Ramy is a young gay Iraqi struggling to find a balance between his sexuality, religion, and culture. I’m excited to read this story. I feel like it’s going to be intense and wonderful. Really happy I got a copy of this novel.

 

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This is written by the author of Nimona. It’s been on my radar for a while. It has queer characters and that’s really all I know right now. Hopefully, I will like it. Definitely will get to this soon since it’s due back to my library in a few days.

 

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The is a story based on the Green Turtle. The Green Turtle was the first Asian American Superhero in golden age comics. Super excited to read this. It’s own voices with the writer and artist. The art looks so good.

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Teen guys who are neighbors. One is a popular jock and the other is a nerd. We get to see them fall for each other. Super excited. Reminds me of the gay version of You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift. Hope I love it.

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I’ve wanted to read an Elliot Wake book for a while. I have followed Elliot Wake on Instagram and twitter and am really excited to finally read one of his books. I love that this one follows a Vlogger who is also secretly a vigilante. I’m excited to see how this story goes.

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Two awesome authors writing two gay characters who meet during Pride weekend and have an adventure. I love books that focus on friendships. Especially queer friendships. This book has been on my shelf unread for way too long. I even have two copies. I need to read this soon.

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Last potential read is Boy Robot. I’ve wanted to read this since I found out Simon Curtis was writing it. I love his music. I’m excited to see the story of Isaak in this. He finds out he’s a robot and his adoptive parents are killed in one night. I know this book is LGBTQ in some way and I am excited to read it.

This is my tentative TBR for this week. Super excited to read some of these great books. Also really excited for the #Diversathon twitter chats. The conversations were amazing last year and I can’t wait to see what everyone has to say this year.