ARC's, LGBTQIA+, Uncategorized, YA

Of Fire and Stars Review

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Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

I read it all in one night. This story gets to the action really fast which surprised me.Denna is sent off to a Kingdom to meet the man she’s been arranged to marry since she was born. This new kingdom is currently in a struggle with people who have magic. It’s preparing to persecute magic users. Denna has magic herself and must hide it from her future husband and his family. Then there is a magical murder Denna wants to solve along with the sister of the prince she is supposed to marry.

I have to say I loved Mare and Denna’s friendship and how it developed into real feelings. Denna and Mare are electric together on the page.

The mystery of who the killer is is and what is really going on with the magic is great too. Loved Denna’s slow acceptance of herself as a person with magic. It was beautifully written. It’s something that makes up who she is. Something she doesn’t want to reject but has to. So many parallels there for so many things.

There is a death in this book that surprisingly affected me. I was still thinking about it well after I finished the book.Still am right now. There is a type of side character I see killed off too often recently so that may be why. Won’t say much more because it would be a spoiler but it was a bit of a brutal way to die.

The magic in this book really jumps up toward the end. That makes sense because Denna really has to hide what she can do throughout. I just wish there was a bit more magic than we got actually. I love magic in books.

As a person who loves some of Tamora Pierce’s fantasy worlds I really gotta say this reminded me of them but way more queer. I was very happy with this book. Highly recommended. Excited to see where it goes from here and definitely hope the next book has more magic in it.

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Readathon, Uncategorized

A Very Pokemon TBR #ReadThemAllThon

I’m doing the  Pokemon Indigo League #ReadThemAllThon that was created by ReadAtMidnight. Go check out their awesome blog. PokemonGo is my obsession of the month right now so this came up at a good time.There are eight challenges for the readathon that runs for three weeks I believe. Not sure if I will do all the challenges because I am really a mood reader,but I’ve picked out some books for each anyway. Started one of these books early because it was a library book and I had to return it by the  14th. So I’ve already got one done.

ReadThemAllThon-Badge01-Boulder

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ReadThemAllThon-Badge02-Cascader

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ReadThemAllThon-Badge03-Thunder
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ReadThemAllThon-Badge04-Rainbow 

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This badge applies to  like every book that I read. Seriously. Look at the last three books I reviewed. If I have to pick one thing, though. I’m going with this one because it’s queer and nerdy. Also, the other books that fit here fit other places better.
ReadThemAllThon-Badge05-Soul
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ReadThemAllThon-Badge06-Marsh

30518773Recieved this from Netgalley. So excited to read it. Haven’t hit my dragon quota for the year yet.
ReadThemAllThon-Badge07-Flame

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ReadThemAllThon-Badge08-Earth 

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Not sure if this book is post-apocalyptic. It is a dystopia. I’ve wanted to read it for a while.

Super excited to take part in this event. If you are participating to then let me know in the comments down below. Will have a wrap-up video for this on my channel ChrisVIgilante when this finishes up. Hopefully, I can get to most of the books.

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Review of Outsiders by Tammy Ferebee

26143921First off I really need to applaud this book for how greatly diverse it is. The main character is a black. The other two main characters are mixed and Dominican. This book felt really real for me. This is the type of ethnic environment I grew up in.The language used felt appropriate. I don’t ever see this in books of this genre.

The book also had some religious diversity. When I heard that the main character was an Atheist I immediately wanted to read this.I have not read enough books with an atheist main character. I’ve read books where religion is unmentioned by the main character, but not ones where they discuss being asexual. Jaylen is also surrounded by religious character as she has to enroll in a Catholic school.I loved seeing her have to interact with religious people because it wasn’t a big deal. Interfaith friendships and relationships happen don’t have to be difficult to have.

The story felt like it could have been kind of just a contemporary story about a girl that is forced to go to a new school after something unfortunate, makes new friends, gets a love interest, and a possible enemy. Except then you add in the fact that the girl is special. She has abilities that aren’t like other people but doesn’t know what she is. I really enjoyed the sci-fi elements of this story. I was able to figure out some of it, but was completely surprised by some of it as well. I did wish that we were able to get a bit more on it, though.

Teen angst can be a draining thing to read depending on how it’s written.Jaylen’s POV definitely wasn’t an exception to that for me. It felt different than in some other books that have this issue for me, but there were definite points in the book where I just wanted to get through to something else.

I also was not feeling the connection Jaylen and Michael enough. I really wanted to but it wasn’t fully there for me yet.It may have just been the pace of it. It isn’t instalove, but I still didn’t feel it work enough for them to go to the lengths they do.

Sometimes Michael would be a little frustrating to read. I felt like the way he did things was realistic, but I he just frustrated me a lot at certain points. I wasn’t really a fan of his character from the beginning and nothing in his dialogue made me care for him ever. This was a little bit of a problem since he really is the second important character to the plot. I liked Josh, and Ayana more even though they are side characters we don’t see too much of.

At the end, there are just enough questions unanswered to leave you wanting more.I’m ready to learn more about what Jaylen is. Among a few other things. I won’t mention them because it would be spoiling something. I will say that I’m intrigued by the conflict that is set up in the end of all this, though. I also definitely think that I will continue with the series when the next book is released.

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Eve: The Awakening Review

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Eve is an outcast. A chimera.
After years of abuse and rejection, 19-year-old Evelyn Kingston is ready for a fresh start in a new city, where no one knows her name. The esteemed Billington University in sunny Southern California seems like the perfect place to reinvent herself—to live the life of an ordinary human.

But things at Billington aren’t as they seem. In a school filled with prodigies, socialites, and the leaders of tomorrow, Eve finds that the complex social hierarchy makes passing as a human much harder than she had anticipated. Even worse, Billington is harboring a secret of its own: Interlopers have infiltrated the university, and their sinister plans are targeted at chimeras—like Eve.

Instantly, Eve’s new life takes a drastic turn. In a time filled with chaos, is the world focusing on the wrong enemy? And when the situation at Billington shifts from hostile to dangerous, will Eve remain in the shadows, or rise up and fight?

This book was so dynamic. I don’t even know where to begin. I’m somewhat in awe of it. I took my time with this book in a way that I don’t normally do and I am really glad that I did for it. This is a new adult sci fi novel. It is not something I can really say I’ve read a lot of and if I have they weren’t quite like this.

The plot is so well planned out. Each sequence of the book could have been it’s own episode of a show and it’s a damn good one. It literally felt like episodes to me. I enjoyed that a lot. There were enough big moments to feel like I had a mid season finale. Some huge dramatic reveals leading up the the biggest reveal of the novel each felt like  their own episodes. We got a more comic, but still dangerous episode where Percy has to go undercover at one point. I absolutely loved that feel. I think the writing style has a lot to do with it. The dialogue and detail let me feel the story in this way.

Speaking of the big twist/reveal though. I had guesses. I had three guesses on something. I was 100% the big reveal coming up was going to be my first guess. The other two were just back ups. I was completely shocked.  My mouth dropped and I kept saying wow. Everyone on the CTA bus was looking me like I was crazy and I didn’t even care for  a couple minutes. Someone could have filmed me and I wouldn’t even know. I really applaud Jenna Moreci for it.She made me want to go back into my own writing and make sure I’m not making things too obvious. I really liked being surprised.

I also really like the characters even the evil characters. By the end of this I was just so surprised by how much I love them. Percy is definitely one of my favorites.Alongside Sancho and JJ. Percy and Sancho are badass, but have really realistic comic moments. Percy is also gay.A book having a main gay cast member is always a bonus for me if you haven’t guessed from my other reviews. 

I’m officially a JJ fan even though I think she is cracked out of her mind sometimes. I also could say that about Sancho though. Can’t wait to see where she goes because I was back and forth with my feelings on her lot. She is a valuable member to the team.They would not have been able to do as much as they did without her.

Eve is a fantastic protagonist.I wasn’t that with her at the beginning, but I really did grow to love her as I saw her growth. Eve and Jason have multiple breaking points in this story and it’s great to watch how they handle them or aren’t able to handle them.Their relationship developed among so much chaos, but I really loved it.Jason is really extra sometimes in this. Like he needs to find his chill, but still love him. 

The fight scenes in this book were some of the best that I’ve read all year. They were so good. Each fight kept getting bigger and better as the story went on. I liked that we got to see what everyone was doing during the fights.I didn’t mind the head hopping because it wasn’t confusing at all. We were getting a glimpse of the whole field of battle , which made sense when the fights were that big. I had to stop and take notes on some of the descriptors used in the fight scenes at one point because they were so good.

I liked the way the world/time period details aren’t thrown at you right at the beginning. We get things throughout. I really liked learning about the time period in the moments throughout. Often through bits of the dialogue as well.

I wasn’t a big fan of the dream sequences, but I’m just not a fan of them usually. I wasn’t confused by them though. It was pretty clear when we were in one of Eve’s dreams and when we broke out of one. I did really like the last one that appeared in the book. It came at a really appropriate time and gave good insights into the character’s state of mind at the time.

I hope we get to see a bit more of the team’s reaction to everything they go through in this book and whatever follows. There’s a small timehop at the end and I want to know what happened in the in between time a little more. I read this on ebook , but I absolutely need to by a physical copy like now. I want it in my possession because a book this amazing needs to be on my shelf. I can’t wait until the next book is released.I rated this one 5 stars.

 

 

 

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Openly Straight Book Review

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Video Review Below

Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret — not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn’t even know that love is possible.

I didn’t know what to think going into this book, but I enjoyed it a lot. It didn’t end where I expected it too.It felt really realistic throughout the entire novel. It makes sense where Rafe ends up.

I loved how the book was about labels in a different way than I usually see in queer young adult novels. Rafe doesn’t want to live life with the label gay, but there are some advantages and disadvantages he faces from it.

I liked Rafe. I was surprised by that. He has to go through a lot of self discovery in the book. During that process he definitely hurts some people he cares about. Even so I didn’t feel like he was being overly selfish in his process. I felt like doing what he did was something that he thought he needed.

There were great side characters in this story. Albie and Toby were so weird and I loved them. Bryce and Ben were both characters I really loved as well.Rafe’s parents are really cool. They need to take a step back sometimes, but I really liked them. I also loved his best friend Claire Olivia. I thought the scenes with her in them were fun.

The writing style was great.It was a really easy read. I felt like the overall message of this book was about self love.Rafe takes his time getting there.

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Books I Read in One Sitting

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is books you read in one sitting. This is something I often end up doing when I read. Especially if I’m really excited for the book beforehand. Here’s five books i read in one sitting.

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera – If I pre-order a book I will often end up reading it in one sitting. This was a book I pre-ordered really early. It was an emotional and psychological roller coaster for me.

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Blood of Olympus – I was so excited to get this book I couldn’t put it down once I started. I paced around while reading for part of it and I think my family thought I was crazy.

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The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal by E.K. Weaver – I wasn’t planning on reading this whole comic in one sitting. It was late and I wanted to sleep, but it was too good to stop at volume one.

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Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde – This one was close. I read the majority of it on a train ride to see my fiance and finished it the second we got to his dorm. This book has really compelling characters.

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Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare – Partially read this in one sitting because it was for school. I also just needed to get to the end because of how crazy it was once I started. This is Shakespeare’s bloodiest play and it’s awesome. This is not something you want to read before dinner. Trust me.

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Misfits by Garrett Leigh | Book Review

This was a story about a polyamorous relationship forming. You start off with Cas and Tom who are extremely in love with each other , but have an open relationship. Tom meets a guy named Jake and brings him home for sex. Jake wakes from an awesome night of sex with Tom only to see Tom has gone into work. Then he meets Tom’s partner Cass. He’s definitely surprised and initially wants nothing to do with the open relationship Tom and Cass has, but life has other plans.

Like I said Tom and Cass are in an open relationship. So when Tom has sex with Jake it’s not cheating. Even though that’s what Jake initially thinks when he finds out about Cass. It’s something that wasn’t difficult for me to understand, but I can see how others might struggle with it. I’d still tell you to give the book a shot even if you thought you might struggle.

I did not know what to expect going into this story. I’d never read a story where the couple had a relationship quite like Cass and Tom’s.I’ve read other stories with characters in an open relationship, but this was really different. Every interaction said so much even when I was still questioning the strength of Cass and Tom’s relationship.

I didn’t understand why they  ever decided to open up their relationship at first.By the end I think I had a good answer for that. Cass and Tom loved each other, but they were still broken. It was really great seeing them go on this journey. I feel like they were pieced back together in the end. I don’t think that was just because of Jake becoming part of their lives.

I definitely think Jake helped. Jake is really honest about what he is feeling  even if it’s not intentional sometimes.I think that’s something that Tom and Cass needed.  I loved seeing how Jake dealt with his tics. I’d never read a character with TS before and really enjoyed getting to do it in this story. i also enjoyed seeing how differently Tom and Cass were with dealing with Jake.

Cass was the most mysterious of the three for me. He often said things that felt kind of sardonic. Part of it may be that we don’t get his perspective until the end, but I enjoyed that it took us some time to get him. When you learn more about his past it all clicks for me. I understand why his relationship with Tom seems so broken at times.

I really loved seeing all three of the characters develop individually and together over time. Jake’s connection to Tom was instant, but I liked seeing his connection to Cass grow over time. It was a really beautiful story.

You can get the book from Amazon. See more works from Garrett Leigh at GarrettLeigh.com .

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Top Ten Tuesday – Authors I Really Want To Meet

Top Ten Tuesday is run by The Broke and the Bookish so go check them out.For this list I chose only authors that are living to help myself cut it down to just ten. I’d probably ask all of the authors on this list for different tips with my own writing. I’d also flail around not knowing how to talk for some of them.

1.David Levithan– I have loved every single thing i have read from this wonderful man. I would want to tell him how much his books got me through some difficult times in high school and thank him for that.

2.Jay Bell– I love the romances that Jay bell Writes. I also just want to be friends with Jay and his husband,

3.Margaret Atwood– Oryx and Crake is one of the few books that I will always be willing to reread. I just love her novels.

4.Brent Hartinger– The Real Story Safe Sex Project is something that I am really glad exist and it’s thanks to this author. Russel Middlebrook is one of my favorite characters also.

5.Tamora Pierce– The Circle of Magic series is to this day my favorite fantasy series. I will never forget the characters, especially since I haven’t finished the follow up series yet.

6.Robin Reardon– Robin writes stories that more people need to read. I feel like I always learn something new from her books. Even if it’s just realizing something about my own beliefs. I definitely recommend the Evolution of Ethan Poe.

7.Adam Silvera– His novel hasn’t even come out yet and I am way too excited to read it. I love his tweets and his appearance on the Epic Reads youTube channel. I just want to be friends with him.

8.Rick Riordan– I grew up reading his series. First Percy Jackson. Then Heroes of Olympus. I absolutely love the worlds that he can create.

9.Perie Wolford– I love Encounter so much that I definitely have to put Perie on this list. I love his sci-fi and also enjoyed the first book in his Turning 16 series.

10. Piper Vaughn– Piper Vaughn wrote one of my favorite M/M romances of the last couple years when she wrote Wanting. Can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out.

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Top 5 Wednesday | Books I Want to See As TV Shows

                                                           Top 5 Wednesday

     Created/Hosted by Lainey

I definitely prefer the idea of a book becoming a TV show to it becoming a movie. in a show I feel like there is a opportunity to really cover the entire book and an entire series well. you don’t have to leave anything out because you can have each episode focus on a different section of the book. This won’t necessarily always be the case, but I like the idea of it. I’ve also seen way too many book to movies fail. not enough have been as successful as Harry Potter.Still it was really hard do come up with five for this list. Here’s the list and a video where I talk about it on YouTube is going up when I no longer have technical issues,

5. Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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I actually have heard there are talks for a movie with this series, but I feel l;like I’d like Nick way more as a TV character than in a book or movie.You’d get the time to really see him develop into the person he becomes in the later half of the series. The Dark hunter world is really great as well.

4.Sam Dorsey and The Gay Popcorn/ Turning 16 series by Perie Wolford

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Loved the first book and hated the second. I somehow feel like the second book would work so much better as a TV show. It feels like the appropriate amount of drama and comedy to be like Faking It or Awkward on MTV. I’d definitely rather watch a character like Sam than read him.

3. The Gay Youth Chronicles by Mark Roeder-

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This is a series with thirty something books all about growing up, discovering one’s self, coming out, and living life as young and gay. So many different topics are hit in this series that follows the lives of interrelated characters from the 1940’s to now. The television series could start at so many different points, but I feel like it would be amazing wherever it started.

2. Heroes of Olympus/Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan

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I loved  the Heroes of Olympus way more than Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but I understand you really need to start with Percy Jackson. Give it a chance on TV so that it will be done so much better than the movies did. They missed so much and changed so much in the two films that I could not stand it. I’d want it to get another chance.

1. Circle of Magic book Series by Tamora Pierce –

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I would do anything to get this book series turned into a TV show. Honestly I feel like it would be amazing.The entire magic system in the books. Creating the world of Emelan would be brilliant. Plus I feel like you could have two of the four’s stories going on at once sometimes. Specifically when you got to the Circle Opens and the Circle Reforged series. That sounds like it could mess things up , but I believe it could be done really well. Tamora Pierce has written amazing female characters that deserve to be seen by and influence more people.  I believe Tamora Pierce does not want her books to be movies, but if she hasn’t thought about TV shows I hope she does.

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M/M Romance Shuffle #1

I came up with a new thing for my YouTube channel where I talk about M/M Romance and Erotica stories at random. Why am I doing this you might ask.I don’t see anyone talking about stories like this on booktube and it just happens to be something that I read a lot of in my spare time.So here I am telling you how I feel about some of the stories I’ve read.

A lot of the stories are things ones I found for free . Often thanks to things like the Goodreads M/M Romance Group‘s yearly M/M Romance anthology release, which I will be published in this year. I plan on continuing to talk M/M romance in sets of five per video.The next one will actually be up tomorrow and I get to talk about my favorite M/M romance in it while wearing a rainbow cape.

In this video I talk about the following stories:

Taken By The Minotaur : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18458480-taken-by-the-minotaur?from_search=true&search_exp_group=group_a&search_version=service

The Man Who Came Too Much : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13517026-the-man-who-came-too-much?ac=1

The Circle ( Heirs of Ghorus) : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18284415-the-circle?ac=1

Good Boy (Unrepentant): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22701102-good-boy?from_search=true&search_exp_group=group_b&search_version=service

Cumming Out With His Step: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23785693-cumming-out-with-his-step?from_search=true&search_exp_group=group_a&search_version=service