LGBTQIA+, YA

Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

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I’m in love with this book. It’s definitely my favorite read of the month right now. We follow three characters on the day of the terrorist attack on the two towers in New York. These are three teenagers that live in New York and all experience this event in different ways. I always think Levithan does an amazing job with alternating chapters. These three characters seem like they have no connection at first but all know each other in some way. Gave me Realm of Possibility feels. I liked it. It was able to take you through their experiences on the day of the event then go on to inspire the reader and lift them up.

Claire is a great character. From the first chapter in her perspective, I knew her experience with everything would be different. Claire’s personal journey is really well written. You know that her experiences on 9/11 are going to change her but I didn’t expect the extent that it does. She has some of the more intense passages in this book for me as she’s trying to figure out what to do. How do you move on as a city after something like this? As a country?

There is a moment in the opening of the book where I realize how strong Claire can be. She really holds it together for her younger brother and the kids in his classroom. When she lets herself feel and these intense moments come later and when she lets herself say what all she is feeling to one of the other characters it’s really wonderful. Claire puts in whatever effort she can to make things better in the world. I honestly love this character so much. Claire finds a connection to other people. She seeks out others who are affected in the way that she is.

Two of the three main characters in this book are gay. I didn’t know that going in but it’s a David Levithan book so I should have expected a little gay. Was very happy to have it.  Peter and Jasper are both great characters. They both change a lot because of the events of 9/11 like Claire do. Even if they are in completely different ways.

Peter is so hopeful and innocent in the beginning to me.I really get that impression.He’s the type of character I root for in books. He’s a gay guy who was just super excited about going on a date with a guy he met at a party. He was just hoping for a great experience with someone he’d awkwardly flirted with at a party. Then he runs down the street from his favorite store and sees the first tower of the World Trade Building collapse. His immediate disconnect from what is his norm there was poignant. He isn’t able to play his music when he walks toward school. I loved that part of Peter’s process. His grieving or finding a way to move on process involved music. Music can really help people get through things. I find that so relatable. Music is a big part of my life. His experience at a concert a few days after 9/11 was so nicely written. The camaraderie of the people who still showed up to this show was beautiful.

Jasper wakes up on the day of 9/11 to a phone call from his parents who are visiting his grandmother in Korea. I feel like Jasper is in some ways the most lost of the three characters. I feel like Jasper isn’t sure of his place in things before 9/11 happens. He seems like he’s waded through life. He hasn’t lived much or decided who he is or wants to be. I feel like thinking about all the lives lost really impacts him. Jasper even feels separate from what other people around him are feeling because his experience on 9/11 was very different from most of the people that he knows. It’s definitely different from Peter and Claire. Even though he lives in New York he experiences a lot of the after effect.he doesn’t see the planes hit. He’s not on the streets trying to get away from the wreckage or worrying about where his family is. He’s safe. His parents are away. He doesn’t know what to do or how to feel. As the story goes on I really started to like Jasper and the changes I saw in him.

I can’t even explain what I felt about Jasper and Peter fully. I shipped it so hard but also so hesitantly. Having a first date the day after 9/11 is not the best sign. I still wanted it to work so bad. I love both of the characters. I said before that I could see all these characters were somewhat lost after what happened. Jasper and Peter needed different things in order to find themselves again.Things they needed to find separately. Still, they are able to help each other in small ways. They are so different at the end of the book than they are at the beginning and I love them.

Claire bridges the gap between the three main characters of this book. I feel like she brings the group together. They all know each other in passing small ways. I feel like Claire ultimately is the force that brings three people who need each other together. They find something special. All three of these characters gain something from each other. Something they need to help them along on their journey. Claire really is able to glue them together over time. She keeps that connection to both of them because it’s something she needs. These are two people who have helped her by just listening and understanding. All three characters are different people by the end of the book.

This book left me in a light mood. It was so hopeful. It made you have faith in people. It’s truly excellent. Really happy I finally got around to reading it. I was hesitant because of the topic and I had taken out from the library once in the past without ever picking it up. I’m so glad that I did not do that this time. I definitely recommend you give this book a chance.

 

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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.

 

Book Reviews, LGBTQIA+, YA

One Man Guy Book Review

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Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out. Between bouts of interrogating the waitress and criticizing the menu, Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades. Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshman year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan.

Ethan is everything Alek wishes he were: confident, free-spirited, and irreverent. He can’t believe a guy this cool wants to be his friend. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends. Alek has never thought about having a boyfriend—he’s barely ever had a girlfriend—but maybe it’s time to think again.

This book was an interesting experience for me.I stayed up all night reading it. It was 5am when I went back to my room. Right from the beginning, I knew it was going to be an amazing book. The opening is hilarious, fast-paced, and just fun. The rest of the book followed suit for me. It really was  actually funny. There were serious laugh out loud moments for me. I sat in the lobby of my building laughing at four in the morning at parts. The doorman was concerned.

I listen to music when I read often but it’s always great to listen to music featured in the book. So during this book I listened to Rufus Wainright. Alek and Ethan go to see a Rufus concert in the book.He’s Ethan’s favorite artist. It was fantastic listening to Rufus while reading this.I am a little Rufus Wainright obsessed right now because of it.(My boyfriend just said that I’m extremely Rufus obsessed) I listen to a lot of queer artists so I don’t know how I had not listened to him before now.

The families are eccentric and wonderfully written.Alek’s Armenian family were a big part of the book and I loved them. The restaurant scene with Alek’s family at the beginning of the book was amazing.The customs and history you learn in the book are fantastic. Barakiva writes really great family dynamics.I also thought the little bits where we see Becky and Ethan’s family were really great as well. You get to see different kinds of families in this book.

Now the relationship. Ethan and Alek are so freaking cute. I was so surprised at how well the relationship formed. It was kind of quick , but not really. It was quick but didn’t bother me like it could have. It just worked well. They are really different individual characters. I think Ethan needs more order in his life and Alek needed some freedom to learn who he really was.They are good for each other.I loved it.

I really am glad I picked this up from the library. It was so good. I want to get my own copy. I want an adaption of it so much. This would be such a great comedic movie. I could not help but think that throughout this. It would be so good. It’s at the top of my books I want adapted list right now.

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews, LGBTQIA+, YA

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

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Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—from Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage, to Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.

When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the seven unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.

I really loved this book.Seven students each representing a deadly sin. That got me interested immediately. I love studying the seven deadly sins. The episode with the sins on charmed was one of my faves.It’s just a fun concept. Figuring out which one each student represented was fun for me too. Some are more obvious than others for sure.

I felt like the story made it pretty obvious which student is a part of the affair pretty early. I thought that might take away something from the story,but really you get to see everyone else around that person reacting to them without really knowing them. It was interesting. Especially since one of the seven does know who it is from the beginning.

Let’s quickly go over some of the characters. I want to talk about some of the diversity in the book. Some other things I appreciated as well.

I loved Valentine Simmons. He’s so blunt. He’s not trying to be funny but completely cracked me up at times. Loved his arc. He changes a bit from where we see him at the beginning to where he is at the end of the book. Also, he’s ASEXUAL. They don’t say the word,but he is. Looking for more books with Asexual characters then check this one out.

The other queer character is one that I loved as well. Lucas is Pansexual. He is awesome. I had some reservations going into the book because I was told he was the character that represented greed. Could have been problematic, but it wasn’t. He really represented greed when it came to money and wanting luxurious things specifically. That aspect of him didn’t factor into his being pansexual at all. Loved the conversations around pansexuality in this because it was realistic. It’s not easy to explain to people and sometimes people don’t get it.

I liked the message the book had about how people treat girls that sleep around differently than boys that do. The character that represented lust was overall a really strong character in this book to me.She didn’t let herself care what people thought of her but didn’t let people take things too far either. Also really liked where her story ended up at the end.

Matt is half  latino. His mother speaks Spanish at times in the book I believe. I thought that was really cool. You really see he comes from a mixed background in this. Also really liked his character overall. he had one slip up where I was like that’s not cool,but he actually redeems himself, unlike some people. This leads us to my least favorite character.

I hated Claire. I got to the point in the book where I decided she was irredeemable really early. I didn’t think that would be the most annoying deadly sin to read, but it was. She’s the complete worst.I would not forgive her for the things she did in this book if I were her friends. The attempt of a turnaround for her did not land well at the end. Not enough time to make it work in her last two chapters honestly. I’d rather get another Valentine, Juniper, or Lucas chapter. Even another Olivia chapter, which we didn’t need. We had plenty of those. I’d still prefer more over Claire’s existence.

So I loved this book. I had the one character I hated throughout. A sort of mystery where you wonder when will everyone find out.A few very poetic chapters. Lots of drama. A little bit of romance. Some really great LGBTQIA + characters. A dash of feminism. This book was completely for me. Definitely, recommend that people try it out. This was an Overdrive library read for me. It’s going on the list of books I need to buy because I want to own this book.

 

LGBTQIA+

Drag Teen by Jeffrey Self

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A fantastic, fabulous, funny YA debut from Jeffery Self, one of the gay icons of the YouTube generation, that follows one high school student on a drag race to his future.

Debut YA author Jeffery Self takes us on a road trip with an insecure high school senior who has one goal: to be the first in his family to leave Clearwater, Florida, and go to college. The problem is, he has zero means of paying for school — until his friends convince him to compete in a drag teen competition for a college scholarship.

This book kind of went the way I expected it to for the most part. It was a good humorous story. I think the experiences the friends had on the road trip were some of the best parts of the book. One of the things I love about road trip books is the interesting people the characters meet along the way. JT, Seth, and Heather meet some great characters on their trip for sure.

I think this book took too long to get to the road trip. I say that because I know you are going to the Pageant JT. So the long period of time where he was telling everyone he wouldn’t and couldn’t do it was a little annoying. Especially because of the point here he finally decides he would. I didn’t think that moment would be such a big convincing moment. It only highlighted things he seemed to already know about his situation.

JT’s self-pity and lack of self-esteem probably annoyed me more than it did his boyfriend, but after the midway point in the book, it got a little more bearable. Seriously midway. I was reading the ebook and was at about 54% when it stopped bothering me as much.

Having low self-esteem is a thing. I understand that. It just felt like the reasons for it are kind of dumb in this. JT let things that were really stupid stop him from believing in himself. Homophobic jerks reactions the first time he did drag being one of those things.It just frustrated me. It made no sense. Of course, the reaction would be different in a different setting.

Seth’s big reveal is also pretty frustrating.It was so dumb.His reaction to I’m not perfect is I used to be not perfect essentially.They built it up to seem something really shocking and it wasn’t at all.You are great for being such a supportive boyfriend but get out. This is not that serious.” I think I said that out loud when I was reading the ‘reveal’ at Starbucks yesterday. I’m not even kidding with you I tend to mumble to myself as I read sometimes.Definitely said that part out loud.

I felt like Heather’s issues made the most sense.You saw what they were rooted from over the course of the book and it was logical. You saw people in the book not treating her the best they could. Her reactions to that were realistic and her reactions to that made me scared for her. I didn’t know what would happen with her in this book and still aren’t sure about where she’d progress to at the point where this book ends even with the hopeful tone at the end for all the characters really.

Not knowing what is in store for the future and living in the moment is one of the themes in this book, though. It’s something JT really needs to be able to do. You see really quickly it’s something he is going to struggle to do. Still thinking about past embarrassments or worrying about his future.

Things wrapped up okay at the end.Not exactly as you’d expect , though. One aspect of things didn’t make that much sense to me. I may have to reread some interactions down the line to see where the turnaround came from more. I really don’t like unrealistic 360’s in books.

Overall a good book. Sort of campy. Think it would make a great movie. The humor suits watching it well. Some jokes would land better hearing or seeing them out loud than reading it in a book for sure.

Book Reviews, LGBTQIA+

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

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Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.

I listened to this audiobook in one day. Most of the time I was trying to clean my apartment,but ended up just stopping to listen to the book a lot of the day. There were so many things I liked about this book and I had some problems with it too. Midway through the book I was invested because of how complicated and interesting the dynamics in the relationships were. Lisa, Solomon were each really interesting characters.

I did not expect to like Clark as much as I did. I usually don’t like characters like Clark very much. He was just different, though. It’s why he fit so well with Solomon really. He felt like a really genuine character. I liked it all a lot. Their friendship is one of my favorite friendships ever. I was jealous. The whole plot with Clark and Solomon in the book was really familiar for me. It was relatable in some ways.

Lisa is something else.I honestly found myself laughing at Lisa’s life when I shouldn’t have been. Like the entire last half of the book. The situation she causes with her own insecurities. I laughed. I couldn’t help it. I could see what was going to happen and just had to.

The book is one of those where it all starts off because of questionable and immoral decisions of one character. Books like that can work, but often don’t. This works because people are telling Lisa that what she’s doing is wrong each step of the way. There is always a tension building as you think about when Solomon will find out what she did or if he even will.

Solomon’s grandmother is amazing. I wish I had a close relationship with one of my grandmother’s like what Solomon has with his. It’s really great to see.I loved their conversations in the book.

One more side character. At first, I didn’t like Janice. I still don’t but I don’t hate her. Janice isn’t the best person in the world, but neither is Lisa. Their friendship actually makes sense to me, which is crazy. It did not for a while there. Then I woke today and it just made sense. People who are sometimes horrible people being friends makes sense.

Solomon isn’t in therapy for his agoraphobia. I really liked that his parents saw that it wasn’t helping. Therapy isn’t for everyone. I liked that the other two characters went to that as a solution first telling him that’s what he needed because people really do that. It was realistic and didn’t have any affect on Solomon. Them saying that didn’t make him run to his parents and ask for a therapist. He understood what worked for him and someone telling him what they thought he needed didn’t change anything about what he thought.

If you don’t like when characters joke around mental health.Maybe don’t read this. Solomon does it himself and so does his parents. I mostly felt fine with it in this. Why?

  1. His family’s sense of humor made sense to me.The family unit in this book seemed like one that really worked.I feel like Solomon’s parents understood him.
  2. I know a lot of people who joke about their conditions in the same vein for whatever reason. My sister used to all the time. I have.

Still, there were moments where things made me felt a little off. It depended on who was using the language. So if Lisa, Clark, or someone else like Janice did it I didn’t like it much.You could argue that Lisa and Clark become as close as family,but there are things said really early in the book by them that I didn’t like.

It’s a book about friendships and being oneself. It had its problems , but I still recommend it. I feel like at the end Lisa is at a point where she realizes her actions were wrong. That’s what you would hope for. I’d like more there. I’d like her to really recognize the specific things she did and said that were wrong. Her attempts at different kinds of therapy when she is not a psychologist yet. I’d want her to understand even more how the things she says to people matter.

You know what the problem actually is. The last chapter. There is a line from Lisa that really annoyed me. I think the one line drops the book a little. It was just not good. I really questioned if she really got it in the end because of it.If I ignore that then I’d say I liked the ending a lot more,but it’s hard to ignore. I’d still recommend people try the book like I said. The characters are really great. John Corey Whaley does a great job of pulling you into the story. 

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.

Book Reviews

Money Boy by Paul Yee Review

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This book takes place over the course of just seven days of Ray’s life. We see him get kicked out for being gay and we see him become a male escort. I ended up giving this story 3 stars I felt the plot was interesting. I liked that the story centered on an Asian character and family. I thought the elements of the story that talked about immigration and his family history. The comparison to other families like theirs. There were little things that worked well.

The biggest problem I had with this was the pacing. It didn’t really work for me. I also felt like the issues could have been gone into more thoroughly.It talks about coming out, homelessness, and immigration. I don’t feel like any  of them are hit on really well.

The main character Ray is also just too aloof. He is kicked out of his house and doesn’t ever seem to understand the severity of his situation. No matter the many bad things that happen to him along the way.It became annoying at one point.

I did really like the ending, though. It felt really hopeful.There were some great comedic moments in parts of the book and one of the best ones is near the ending. I just felt like there could have been so much more based on the premise of the story.

Book Reviews

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda Book Review

 

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Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

I was excited to finally get to read this book, but it still took me a while to start reading it once it arrived. I used my vacation for it and it was so hard to put it down and do stuff with my family because I loved reading Simon’s story. It was so hard to put down.

Simon and his relationship with Blue is the sweetest thing. I loved reading it. The emails between the two of them were something I’d want to just keep reading forever.They are so sweet to each other and you see how much they care about each other.

I have weird ships and don’t always like the pairing that the main characters end up with.Even in books where there doesn’t look like there would be an other option I can hate the romantic pairing. This is a pairing that I loved and I actually guessed who Blue was pretty early. It’s definitely not easy for most people, but the pairing was what I wished the pairing was in so many books where I hate who the protagonist ends up with.This book gave me everything I wanted.

Except for some more closure for Leah’s storyline, but I’ll let it slide. I really liked Leah’s character. I think she’s a great friend to Simon and I don’t think anyone in the book really thinks about what she’s going through ever.

Abby and the other beautifully written characters of color in this book made me so happy. I wish I didn’t have to point this out , but I still do. It’s something I don’t see enough in YA. Abby being the beautiful girl who all the guys want and all the girls are jealous of is a big deal. My sister was so happy when she saw that. I wish I could explain how her eyes lit up at that.  It was something I noticed early on and knew I would love the book from there on out.

This is a story that I will definitely be rereading on a gloomy day to cheer me up sometime in the future. I am going to be recommending this book way too much now.

 Video review will be up on my Youtube channel soon: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfYT0tfdoJ_ExGX0eB4b6-A