A - E, Allgemein, B, Reviews

ARC Review: Boyfriend Material (Alexis Hall)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

 **I received an advance copy of this book from SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you so much for approving me for this ARC!**

I’m aware I rarely say this about books, but this was fantastic! Once I started to read “Boyfriend Material” I couldn’t stop anymore and with every chapter I read, I was drawn even more into the story. The conversations between the two MCs, Luc and Oliver, were so much fun and I found myself clutching the pages while laughing out loud.

Sure, not everything in this book is hilarious and Alexis Hall tackles plenty of serious topics as well. The author always does it with a little humour though and this made this a really enjoyable and entertaining read. For instance Luc’s boss is a horrible person. I mean I get it, beetles are important for the environment but boy, does she lack the finesse of human interaction. Some of the things she said at the beginning of the book were flat out rude and inappropriate and if Luc wouldn’t have been such a nice person she probably would have lost her company a long time ago.

The good thing about those moments is that they were all either called out or challenged by some of the characters and I really appreciated this approach. Alexis Hall deals with prejudices, bias and a good dose of discrimination but the author does it in a healthy kind of way. For such a funny book this is quite remarkable and before I dwell on those topics even more I’ll just go for the good stuff! Namely the easy banter of the two MCs , the fact that Luc (whose full name is Lucien btw and we all know about my weakness for that name! ;-P) is a disaster gay and the amazing portrayal of friendships which gave this all such a wholesome and healthy vibe!

“What if someone asks? I should know for verisimilitude.”
The corners of his mouth twitched slightly. “You can say I’m a gentleman and we haven’t got that far.”
“You” – I gave a thwarted sigh – “are a terrible fake boyfriend.”
“I’m building fake anticipation.”
“You’d better be fake worth it.”
“I am.”

I swear Luc and Oliver were such a formidable couple! Yes, they might have started fake-dating because at that point of their lives they both needed it to save their reputation; they were always honest and forthright though! And this was so, so, so, so refreshing!!! Most of the conflicts in “Boyfriend Material” didn’t come into being because of some miscommunication between the MCs but because the characters were used to deal with their problems on their own. They were stuck in their habits and problems and had a tough time letting anyone in, which considering both of their backstories was actually pretty relatable.

“Are we really bad at this?” I asked.
“We’ve been fake dating for three days and we’ve already fake broken up once.”
“Yes, but we fake resolved our difficulties and fake got back together, and I’m hoping it’s made us fake stronger.”

As were their friendships! I loved Bridge and the funny dynamic between Luc and his other friends. They were exactly like you’d expect good friends to be and their support for Luc was amazing! Funnily enough I even liked Alex, Luc’s gullible, innocent and totally clueless co-worker who wouldn’t even notice if he would put his foot in his mouth. Let’s just hope the Alex’s of this world will never be confronted with harsh reality. XD

This said, the only thing I didn’t like were the two storylines about Luc’s father and Oliver’s family. Whilst the plot that dealt with Luc’s father might have been dissatisfying but realistic, the part that focused on Oliver’s family fell short for me. I really wish we would have gotten more of his storyline throughout the entire book and not only on the last 30 pages. I get why Alexis Hall did it that way and I appreciate the point the author made, but for me this came out of the blue and kind of spoiled the ending. I guess this might be a typical „it’s not the book, it’s me“ situation though. Well, at least so far no other reviewer seems to have mentioned it. 😉

“I’m conscious this could be rather burdensome to hear, but you remain the thing I have most chosen for myself. The thing that’s most exclusively mine. The one thing that brings me the deepest joy.”

All told I really enjoyed “Boyfriend Material” and had a more than just tough time to put it down. The hilarious humour and easy banter made it really addicting and before I even knew it I found myself rushing through the pages. If you’re looking for a sweet rom-com that isn’t afraid to tackle a few serious topics and will make you laugh out loud, this might be exactly the right book for you! 😉 Happy reading!

Allgemein, Book Tags

The LGBTQ+ Rep Book Tag (Original!)

The LGBTQ+ Rep Book Tag4

Hey there, my lovelies!

I always wanted to do my own tag and since it’s PRIDE month I thought: Why not make my own LGBTQ+ Rep Book Tag!? (Yes, it kind of rhymes again. You know, faeries and all that jazz! 😛 ) Anyway back to the topic at hand: Why did I do my own LGBTQ+ Rep Book Tag? Well, 1.) I tried to find an already existing tag I could do for Pride month but nothing I found was the way I imagined it in my head. 2.) Once the idea took root the muse of creativity hit me full force and I couldn’t have stopped for the life of me. 3.) I blame it all on May and Sabrina!!! *lol* No, seriously, those two girls were so creative when they invented their The Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus Character Book Tag and The School for Good and Evil Book Tag that I was inspired big time! ❤ 4.) I’m a part of the community so I figured… why the hell not? 😛

Additional and nonrelevant (at least for you) info:

  • I know my graphics aren’t nearly as good as May’s or Sabrina’s and probably way too colourful, but I did my best or at least tried to. Bear with me? *lol* T_T
  • I never made my own tag, so this is a premiere and hopefully a good one. XD
  • You don’t even want to know how long it took me to create this and I really hope you enjoy the prompts and puns/wordplays. There went a lot of thought into them.

Okay, I’m done now! So without further ado: Let’s just go for it!

Rankenzeile

RULES:

  • Thank whoever tagged you and link to their blog post.
  • Link to the original creator: The Sassy Library Fox! And please credit The Sassy Library Fox if you use (copy & paste) the artwork/ graphics.
  • Match books with the given prompts.
  • Tag as many people as you like!
  • Post the rules and the list of prompts in your tag post.
If you don’t want to use the graphics just click this and copy-paste the prompt list instead!

1. FEMALE STRENGTH: A book with a lesbian heroine
2. CINNAMON ROLL: A book with an adorable gay character
3. BOYS & GIRLS: A book with a bi rep done right
4. THE BODY & THE SOUL: A book with a transgender character
5. WE’RE ALL QUEER: A queer rep you’d love to see more often in books
6. ALL ABOUT PRONOUNS: A book with a non-binary character
7. A ROMANTIC ACE: A character that belongs to the aro/ace spectrum
8. ONE BIG FAMILY: A book that features lots of different LGBTQ+ reps
9. SAPPHIC LOVE: Your favourite f/f couple
10. BOYS LOVE: Your m/m OTP
11. SIDE KICK: Your favourite LGBTQ+ side character
12. STEALING THE SHOW: An LGBTQ+ side character couple that rocks your socks
13. STRONG BELIEFS: An LGBTQ+ book that deals with religion
14. RAINBOWS EVERYWHERE: A book with an unapologetic cover
15. FUTURE GENERATIONS: Your most anticipated LGBTQ+ release

Female Strength

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I wanted to read this for ages but I still didn’t get to it. I only heard good things about „The Dark Wife“ though and since it’s already on my kindle, it won’t take long until I’ll finally be able to tackle it. 😀 I mean a lesbian Persephone and Hades retelling? It sounds so good! And some of my favourite bloggers loved it so I’m sure I’ll be in for a treat! XD

Cinnamon Roll

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Uh oh, I might have shot myself in the foot here. *lol* There are way too many adorable gay book characters to name just one. The biggest cinnamon roll of them all would be Simon Spiers though! He’s just too sweet and relatable af! I remember reading „Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda“ for the very first time and how much I loved not only Simon but the entire book! I paged through it in no time and then I was sad that it was already over. >_<

Boys & Girls

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Okay, „The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo“ is legit one of the best bi reps I read so far. I loved Evelyn Hugo so much and I adored her for accepting herself the way she is. Throughout the entire book Evelyn didn’t tolerate any prejudices that were thrown her way and she always gave us not only her POV but also her honest opinion! She called people out if they made assumptions and she stayed true to herself. Evelyn is a bi icon and I love her! ❤ Enough said!

The Body & the Soul

32146161. sy475 I just realized that I barely know any books that feature transgender characters, which is a shame. 😦 The only book I can think of that featured one is „Coffe Boy“ and even though there are some sensitive issues (e.g. an age gap of 12 years) I still think that it was a good novella. (I loved that Seth respected Kieran just the way he was and made it a point to use his right pronouns) If you do this tag and link back to me I might get to know new great books though, so thanks in advance! 😀

We're all queer

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I think you already know my answer! I want more gender fluid reps in books because the world just needs more of them (and to be entirely honest me too)! XD It’s so rare to find one and I only know two book characters that aren’t only gender fluid (Alex Fierro & Stan Novikov) but to whom I could relate to as well. The rep from „The Impossible Boy“ was amazingly done though and I’ll never get tired of raving about this book. ❤ I just love Stan!

All about pronouns

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And here’s another book I need to get my hands on! I’ve been waiting for this book to be released as an e-book or paperback for ages and my prayers have finally been answered! Thank you universe! 😀 (I actually just ordered this on amazon. *lol*) People have been raving about this non-binary rep for ages and I can’t wait to finally read it! Ben’s story sounds really intriguing and I can’t wait to read more about them! (P.S: Just like Ben, Mason Deaver is non-binary as well.)

One big Family

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Definitely „Heartstopper“! I know no other graphic novel or book that features as many LGBTQ+ characters as this series and Alice Oseman is my heroine! No matter if it’s Charlie, Nick, Tao, Elle, Darcy, Tara or even their teachers!!! Everyone in this series is queer af and I love it! ❤ I’ve been reading Alice’s webcomic for years now and I’m still amazed by it!

Sapphic Love

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I clearly need to read more f/f books but they are so hard to find?! I know about a thousand m/m books I could name here but almost no f/f book. We definitely need more sapphic love reps as well! (It looks like I only made this tag in order to fill my TBR list. Well, maybe I did? *lol*) Anyway, I’ll just go with an important book here: „Annie on My Mind“! Annie’s and Liza’s story was so well-written and even though this book was published about 38 years ago I think that it’s still valid! I had all the feels while reading it and I can really recommend it. 😀

Boys Love

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Am I allowed to curse myself? >_< I could think of so many m/m OTPs it’s not even funny anymore, but since I did this tag it’s my own fault and I’ll just have to pick one. *lol* I’ll thank myself for that later. XD Back to the topic at hand: I’m choosing Adam and Ronan! Because ARADLFKASDFJASKDFJASKFDJAFK! I just love those two! They are everything! The way they watch each other, how they feel, what they think, their gentle gestures. I ship them so hard it’s not even normal anymore! ❤

Side Kick

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Wylan van Eck! I was besotted with this cinnamon roll ever since he first appeared on the pages of „Six of Crows“! He’s so amazing and I loved his shy nature. If he wants something he can be pretty bold though and I lived and breathed for his and Jesper’s interactions! Especially those in „Crooked Kingdom“. 😉 Also I was super happy when he finally got his own POV! I’ve been waiting an entire book just to see it happen!! *lol*

Stealing the show

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Okay, I admit it! When I invented this prompt I already had a couple in mind, but you really can’t blame me for immediately thinking of Malec here! 😛 I mean they DID steal the show from Clary and Jace! Big time! I loved them so much! I still do and I’m so happy they finally got their own trilogy! They deserve it and I can’t wait to read even more about my two boys! ❤

Strong Beliefs

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I’m always trying to bring rather unknown books to your attention and I think „Autoboyography“ fits the bill perfectly. Well, at least I didn’t see a lot of people talk about it and since this book was so good and caused me to cry like a baby… Well, just read it! Sebastian Brother broke my heart and I loved Tanner! I think I’ll never get over that scene with Sebastian and Tanner’s mom and I’ll always suffer with Sebastian. T_T Ahh my heart is breaking and mending once again.

Rainbows everywhere

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I fell in love with this cover right from the very first moment I set my eyes on it! I love the rainbow road and the skyline of Toronto in the background! For me this is LGBTQ+ cover perfection! *lol* Also I loved the idea of Pride and a road trip! „When You Get the Chance“  was a really nice read and even though I didn’t like any of the MCs I still found myself enjoying the story.

Future Generations

52190991. sx318 sy475 I could have chosen a million books for this prompt but I think we all know that I’m Simon and Baz trash through and through. *lol* I’m going to read „Wayward Son“ soon and I’m so ready for „Any Way the Wind Blows“! So, so, so, so damn ready! I can’t even put into words how ready I actually am. XD The only reason I didn’t read „Wayward Son“ yet is because I’m afraid of finishing it. I don’t want it to end… Baz and Simon forever! ❤
Rankenzeile

I TAG:

Kaya @ A Fictional Bookworm

Isabelle @ Nine Tale Vixen

Of course you don’t have to do the tag if you don’t want to, I just thought some of you might enjoy doing it! XD

Also I’m sorry I couldn’t tag more people but I guess this is already a lot. *lol* If you want to do this tag and I didn’t tag you: You’re now officially tagged! 😛 The more the merrier!
Rankenzeile

What do you think about „The LGBTQ+ Rep Book Tag“? Will you join the fun? (Say, yes?! You know you want to. 😛 ) I really hope I managed to do the LGBTQ+ community justice.

Talk to me and let me know!

*hugs’n’kisses*

Sig.V.Ronan

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

ARC Review: When You Get the Chance (Tom Ryan)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

*A huge thank you to NetGalley and “Perseus Books, Running Press” for providing a free ARC*

This book has been on my radar for quite a while and the moment I saw the cover I really wanted to read this. I just love how queer this is and the skyline of Toronto in the background as well as the blurb only added to my already high expectations. If you ask me the world needs more covers like that and I’d be happy to buy them all. This said, the most important question is: Did “When You Get the Chance” live up to my expectations or not?

Truth be told, this isn’t as easy to answer as some might think. The beginning of this book was pretty slow and about half of the book deals with their stay at the family cottage. It’s only about the 50% mark that things actually start to get interesting when they finally hit the road. From there on out I really enjoyed their journey though and I think Tom Ryan did a great job at capturing the spirit of Pride. The feeling of being a part of all those people, of the respect, acceptance, support and safety they offer. It felt like I was there along with them and made new friends while we walked the streets of Toronto.

Another thing I truly appreciated was the diversity we got to see in this book. Mark is gay, Talia is a lesbian or pan (she’s questioning her sexual orientation because she dated Erin who is non-binary) and of course there are a lot of other queer characters as well. 😉 Speaking of the characters themselves I can’t say that I connected with any of them. Well, none except of Paige! Mark’s ten years old little sister is such a ray of sunshine and I swear she was the best character in the entire book! I loved how she saw the world and tried to understand it and I absolutely adored her stance on being queer. For her it was so normal to have a brother who’s gay and gosh how I want more people like that in the world. Ten year old Paige gave me hope in humanity and I can’t thank Tom Ryan enough for that!! For me she represented a generation that grew up with LGBTQ+ rights and accepts everyone who’s under the rainbow and I really hope that one day we’ll actually get there. =) Still, there was a moment when one of the MCs got outed by Paige and I was very glad this issue was broached and challenged. No one should out you except of yourself!

As for Mark and Talia?! Mark might have been outgoing but he was also self-centred and more than just a little egoistic! I couldn’t with him and even though some of his actions later on in the book obviously tried to redeem him, I really can’t say that I liked his embodiment of the entitled white male. Then again I’ve to admit that it was good to have a character like Mark in this book, because quite honestly not everyone can be a sweet fluffy cinnamon roll and the world is made of more complex characters than that. 😉 Talia on the other hand, was the complete opposite of Mark and more on the calm and distant side of things. Whilst Mark didn’t seem to care about deep feelings and only wanted fun, Talia was a very deep and emotional character who had difficulties to accept that her partner had changed without her at their side.

I could probably go on and on about this book but I think I’ll leave it at that. The only thing that truly bothered me was that the characters apparently had no decency regarding their situation. I mean their grandfather just died and their grandma ended up in hospital; you’d think they would have thought about other things than the fastest way to pride. I suppose some of their behaviour could be explained by them being teens and having no tangible idea of the concept of mortality, but even then I would have felt bad for my actions if I’d have been in their shoes. (I felt really sorry for Talia’s dad and Mark’s mom.)

4

Regardless of everything I just mentioned this was still a fast and enjoyable read. Sure, there were some important topics that were only brought up but never truly addressed, since this book had only 272 pages I had no problem to overlook those little weaknesses though. There’s only so much you can put into a 250+ pages book and considering this Tom Ryan actually did a good job! All told this leaves me with 3,5 paws rounded up to 4 and the hope that my next Tom Ryan book will be another pleasant read.

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Dream Thieves (Maggie Stiefvater)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”All of us have secrets in our lives. We’re keepers or kept-from, players or played. Secrets and cockroaches – that’s what will be left at the end of it all.”

Oh god what can I say about this book?
I loved it!!!
I loved it with all my heart and even though I never wanted it to end I still wanted to know what would happen next! XD

Seriously, there is something about the way Maggie Stiefvater describes her world, how she expresses the countless feelings of her characters. With Maggie things are never perfunctory. They are deep, deep like a well or an ancient ocean! Her words drag you into the water; they carry you out into the raging sea!
Every gesture, every single moment, every sentence, they all have some meaning and if you’re perceptive enough you can read between the lines. I adore her writing style and I just can’t seem to get enough of her characters!
They’re all special in their own way and every one of them is just so tangible and real! I felt like I was part of her story, like I knew those boys and their troubles and thoughts.

I can’t seem to be able to describe what Maggie’s books do to me, all I can say is that they are magical and credible and always force me to feel!!! And oh boy, how they force me to feel!!! XD
To read “The Dream Thieves” was incredible and I don’t know if it’s even possible, but I think I love all those different boys even more than I did before!!! <333

1

”Ronan Lynch, keeper of secrets, fighter of men, devil of a boy, had told them all that he could take objects out of his dreams.”

Well, I guess that quote already explains it all! The second book of the Raven Cycle is dealing with Ronan Lynch’s ability to take things from dreams and if you know Ronan, you also know that he has many secrets and isn’t as tough as he comes across! XD Still, even though the main focus lies on Ronan and his family, the other characters play a huge part in the book as well! So don’t worry, there’s still a lot to read about the other precious Aglionby Boys and Blue! ;-P

2

”But the boys were not looking at the scenery. They stood in a close circle: Adam Parrish, gaunt and fair, Noah Czerny, smudgy and slouching; and Ronan Lynch, ferocious and dark.”

Here we go with my typical spoiler warning! From now on you’ll find yourself bombarded with spoilers and quotes! So beware and tread carefully!!!

Gansey:

”She would see a rich boy dressed like a mannequin and coiffed like a newscaster – but his eyes were like the dreaming pool in Cabeswater. He hid the insatiable wanting well, but now that she’d seen it once, she couldn’t stop seeing it.”

Richard Gansey the III, the golden boy who seems to have everything but is so lonely that it hurts! Oh boy did I feel sorry for him throughout the entire book! He always tried to fix everything and his friends are like brothers to him, yet he’s never able to tell them how he truly feels. It was so frustrating to watch him, to see how he struggled and couldn’t put his thoughts into words! Gansey is such a delicate soul but for some reason no one seems to get him. T_T He would do everything for his boys and I think he proved that more than once; as it seems they all have their problems to accept his help though. Still, I liked that we finally saw some other parts of Gansey’s personality as well! For instance his wild side and how he became friends with Adam! XD I love Gansey but he’s so lonesome and driven by his need to find Glendower that it’s sometimes almost painful to read his POV! >_<

”Once, he had dreamt that he found Glendower. It wasn’t the actual finding, but the day after. He wouldn’t forget the sensation of the dream. It hadn’t been joy, but instead, the absence of pain. He couldn’t forget that lightness. The freedom.

”There were many versions of Gansey, but this one had been rare since the introduction of Adam’s taming presence. It was also Ronan’s favourite. It was the opposite of Gansey’s most public face, which was pure control enclosed in a paper-thin wrapper of academia.”

Blue:

”Blue was a fanciful but sensible thing, like a platypus, or one of those sandwiches that had been cut into circles for a fancy tea party.”

I still like Blue but there were some things that caused me to be annoyed at her. For instance the fact that she didn’t want to tell Adam why she would never kiss him. I mean, I understand her reasons to keep it from him, but I think she could have chosen her words a little more carefully. I know Adam kind of drove her into a corner, I’m pretty certain that he would have understood it if she would have told him sooner though! But then again she is young and inexperienced and has no idea how to deal with boys so I guess this kind of works in her favor. *lol* Still, this was already the second book and I still have the feeling that I don’t know her! I really hope this is going to change in the next book!!!

Blue put a hand on his chest and pressed. “I don’t want to kiss you. It’s not going to be you and me.”

Adam:

”As always, his features intrigued Blue. They were not quite conventionally handsome, but they were interesting. He had the typical Henrietta prominent cheekbones and deep-set eyes, but his version of them was more delicate. It made him seem a little alien. A little impenetrable.”

Adam Parrish destroyed me!!! This boy broke my heart in so many different ways I can’t even count it anymore. My heart ached and bled for him!!! It was devastating to watch his decline!!! And oh god, that moment when he ran away and didn’t even remember Gansey’s phone number?!! I can’t even!!! It killed me to see him like that, to know that he was so broken and couldn’t seem to be able to fix it!! Hell, even Adam knew it!!! He was completely aware of his degeneration and that made it even harder to bear!!! I was so glad that Persephone helped him to find himself and encouraged him to make peace with Cabeswater! Their relationship was amazing and to know that Adam finally found his way and became “The Magician” filled me with joy!!!! =))) I bet he’s going to be powerful in the future and I can’t wait to see it happening!!! XD

”It was nothing, but it was Adam Parrish’s nothing. How he hated and loved it. How proud he was of it, how wretched it was.”

”Do you think you’re a train wreck?”
“That would mean I was on the tracks to start with,” he replied.

”He would be Cabeswater’s hands and Cabeswater’s eyes, but he wouldn’t be Cabeswater.
He would be Adam Parrish.”

Ronan:

”And Ronan was everything that was left: molten eyes and a smile made for war.”

Ronan Lynch is my precious boy!!! I love him to bits and pieces!!! The fact this book was about him and his family made me so happy and to read his POV was just amazing!! I love that he’s a walking and talking oxymoron and even though he seems to be so tough he’s actually a softie on the inside! *lol* AND OMG!!! I knew it!!!! I knew he was gay and had feelings for ADAM!!! YASSSS!!! There were so many hints in this book and the conversations with Kavinsky definitely helped to figure it out! We finally got to see the real Ronan and I’m thankful for every second of it. He cares about his family deeply (well everyone except of Declan of course ;-P) and to find out about his nightmares was more than just a revelation. I mean the fact Ronan tried to kill himself never set well with me and I couldn’t imagine him to commit suicide. So to find out that it had been the monsters of his dreams was kind of relieving but also disturbing. *lol* Also I’m pretty certain that Declan and him are at odds because he’s gay. There’s no palpable proof yet, but I think I read it between the lines! ;-P

”His gaze followed his brother’s leg to where it rested on top of Adam’s and his expression tightened.”

”Don’t fucking swear,” Ronan said.

”That’s not what Gansey is to me,” Ronan said.
“You didn’t say you don’t swing that way.”
Ronan was silent. Thunder growled under his feet. “No. I didn’t.”

Noah:

”The last six minutes, the ones that took place after Noah had first fallen but before he actually died, were excruciating. Blue considered herself a fairly steadfast, sensible girl, but no matter how many times she heard his torn-up breath seizing in his throat, she felt a little teary.”

I really wish we would have seen more of Noah, but since he’s connected to the ley line and Kavinsky and Ronan made it a habit to mess with it through the entire book, there really wasn’t any chance to get to know him better. Still, I love this boy and the kiss between him and Blue was so bittersweet!! It broke my heart into tiny little pieces and I think I’ll remember this moment forever! Oh god, how I wish that Noah could be happy! That he’d find someone who loves him and accepts him the way he is! As a wonderful and lovable ghost that never got a chance to live!!! Maggie please let him be happy in the next two books!!! Because my heart bleeds for this amazing boy and I couldn’t take it if he’d be unhappy for the rest of his undead life!!! T_T

”I know somebody you could kiss.”
“Who?” She realized his eyes were amused. “Oh, wait.”
He shrugged. He was maybe the only person Blue knew who could preserve the integrity of a shrug while lying down.”

”I’d ask you out, if I was alive.”
Nothing was fair.
“I’d say okay,” she replied.
She only had time to see him smile faintly. And then he was gone.

Kavinsky:

Ronan replied, “Not such a thief tonight.”
“Some nights,” Kavinsky said, all teeth, “you just take it. Consent is overrated.”

He’s such a numpty but I still liked him somehow? I don’t know! XD There was something about him that made him really intriguing and even though I knew that he was bad I still had the irrational hope that he would be able to change for the better. It was so obvious that he was unhappy with his life and would have needed some help, yet I’m still sure that he would have never accepted it. He definitely was gay and he SOOO had the hots for Ronan!!! *lol* His death might have been unnecessary but it certainly wasn’t unexpected… RIP Joseph Kavinsky! >_<

”After a moment, he heard the hood groan as Kavinsky leaned over him. Then he felt the ridged callus of a finger drag slowly over the skin on his back. A slow arc between his shoulder blades, drawing the pattern of his tattoo. Then sliding down his spine, tensing every muscle it moved over.”

”The world’s a nightmare.”

The Gray Man:

”The king of swords, master of his own emotions, master of his own intellect, master of reason, gazed out at them, expression inscrutable.”

Ha! That man gave me anxiety!!! *lol* I was so worried that he’d hurt Ronan and after the scene with Declan I actually feared for Ronan’s life!!! But then the Gray Man met Maura and everything changed! XD The chapters from his POV were really interesting and I liked the idea of him being a hit man! 😉 He was a great addition to the cast and I can’t wait to see more of him and Maura! Because truth be told, they actually were cute as hell!! *grins like a Cheshire cat*

”I’m sorry no one saved you.”
Was he unsaved? Would he have ever ended up any other way?”

Maura kissed the back of his hand. “You’re going to have to be brave.”
The Gray Man said, “I’m always brave.”
She said, “Braver than that.”

3

Adam & Gansey

”If Adam was stupid about his pride, Gansey was stupid about Adam.”

I hated that they quarrelled so often but I loved it when Gansey spoke with his friend Malory and made Adam laugh!!! Their friendship was really tense in this book, but I think it was good this way. They had to work things out and realise where they were standing and without conflict they would have never even gotten that far! Sometimes it needs friction to find out who you are and to say there was a lot of it between Adam and Gansey certainly would be the understatement of the century. *lol*

”He hated the careful way Gansey had asked him about it. Tiptoeing, just like Adam had learned to tiptoe around his father.

”Gansey couldn’t shake the image of Adam by the side of the interstate, walking, walking, walking. Knowing he was forgetting what he was doing, but unable to stop. Unable to remember Gansey’s number, even when people did stop to help.”

Ronan & Noah

”Adam thinks he saw an apparition at his place.”
Ronan eyed Noah. “I’m seeing an apparition right now.”

Those two were hilarious!!! *LOL* I loved it when Ronan threw Noah out of the window!!! They have such a close relationship and it’s awesome that Ronan treats Noah like he would treat any other boy! (Well, except of throwing him out of the window of course! XD) Noah knows about Ronan’s feelings for Adam but he respects Ronan’s wishes and that’s amazing!!! <333 He’s a really good friend and I hope I’ll see more of their interactions in the next book! =)))

”Noah,” Ronan said tenderly, placing his palm on top of Noah’s cold, seven-years-dead hand, “you’re starting to piss me off.”

Ronan & Gansey:

”There was never a time when that could’ve been you and me. You know the difference between us and Kavinsky? We matter.”

Love those two boys! I think it’s kind of funny that Ronan thinks Adam tamed Gansey, because it’s actually what Gansey is doing with him! *lol* Gansey is the voice of reason and they complement each other so perfectly it’s kind of beautiful to watch! 😉

”His face went somber for half a second, and then it dissolved into an absolutely wonderful and fearless laugh. The old Ronan Lynch’s laugh. No, it was better than that one, because this new one had just a hint of darkness beneath it. This Ronan knew there was crap in the world, but he was laughing anyway.”

Gansey & Blue :

”In some parallel universe, there was a Gansey who could tell Blue that he found the ten inches of her bare calves far more tantalizing than the thirteen cubic feet of bare skin Orla sported.”

It’s somehow amusing that Gansey sees Blue as a glorious and fearless animal! Haha! But then again that’s just Gansey’s typical way to describe the people around him! XD I loved their telephone conversations and their easy banter!!! And I was happy that they called each other whenever they felt troubled and alone! PLUS that almost kiss between them GAVE ME LIFE!!!! <333 Oh my, how my heart skipped a beat when I read that scene!!! XD

”He pressed his eyes closed. Just the sound of her voice, the Henrietta lull to it, made him feel uneven and shattered.”

”Ha! Adam’s communing with trees and Noah keeps re-enacting being murdered and Ronan’s wrecking and then making me new cars. What’s new with you? Something terrible, I trust?”

”He leaned towards her – her heart spun again – and pressed his cheeks against hers. His lips didn’t touch her skin, but she felt his breath, hot and uneven, on her face. His fingers splayed on either side of her spine. Her lips were so close to his jaw that she felt his hint of stubble at the end of them. It was mint and memories and the past and the future and she felt as if she’d done this before and already she longed to do it again.”

Ronan & Adam aka Ronam!!! (I know the official ship name is Pynch but for me they’ll always be Ronam! <333):

”Ronan sometimes dreamt of Adam, too, the latter boy sullen and elegant and fluently disdainful of dream-Ronan’s clumsy attempts to communicate.”

I still want to know how Ronan tried to communicate!!! *LOOOL* All those little moments between those two gave me SO MUCH LIFE!!! They still kept their distance and didn’t say anything, but oh boy what they thought and how they acted around each other!!!! By the end of the book I was nothing but a babbling mess and the epilogue literally killed me!!!! OH GOD!!! I’M STILL NOT OVER IT!!! I knew Adam was Ronan’s second secret and I WANT to see more of them!!! Their interactions at the Barns were so explicit! That moment with the mask and when Adam said that he couldn’t kill Ronan’s demons! They know each other’s soul and they are just meant to be together!!! Knowing Maggie this love is going to be a slow burn though and I really don’t know if my tortured and tormented soul will be able to take it! XD

”And he was the boy with the most beautifully interesting car and the most savagely handsome of friends, Ronan Lynch.”

”The mask clattered to the floor. Adam, startled, stared at where Ronan’s hand gripped his wrist. Ronan could feel his own heart pounding and, in Adam’s wrist, Adam’s.”

”Adam looked up at Ronan. “I know it was you,” he said. “I figured it out. The rent.”
He held Ronan’s gaze for just a moment longer, until something inside Ronan unwound and he almost said something.

”Ronan’s second secret was Adam Parrish. Adam was different since making the bargain with Cabeswater. Stronger, stranger, farther away. It was hard not to stare at the odd and elegant lines of his face.”

4

THIS BOOK WAS INCREDIBLE!!!! I loved it even more than “The Raven Boys” and if it would be possible to give more than five paws I wouldn’t even hesitate to do it!!!
Maggie Stiefvater knows exactly what she’s doing and to say she’s doing it perfectly wouldn’t even get close to the truth! 😉

P.S: This was a buddy read with the amazing Lior!!! Seriously, I probably wouldn’t have survived to read this book if I wouldn’t have been able to fangirl with you!!! ❤

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Mackenzi Lee)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 19 on My Book List 2019

”With a chunk of his finger missing, Callum is the most interesting he has ever been to me.”

Well, that sentence certainly got my attention and my first reaction was: RUN, FELICITY, RUN!!! *lol* Because let’s face it, if that’s the only thing that’s attractive about your partner you better leg it and don’t look back. XD Which is exactly what Felicity did and I was so proud of her. XD

I’m getting ahead of myself here though so let’s start with my thoughts after reading this book: Zounds, this was great! ❤ And after thinking about it for two weeks I still stand by it. ;-P This book was so very different than “The Gentleman’s Guide” but I loved it nevertheless! I guess that’s mostly due to the fact that Monty and Felicity are such different characters but also due to the topics that were tackled and the time in which those books play in.

As a girl Felicity had to face completely different challenges than her brother and it was so amazing to follow her journey to herself. Also can we please note that I still think that Sim, Johanna and Felicity should have started a pirate girl gang!? They would have been awesome and the bane of every male pirate’s existence! *lol* Or, well, of every man’s existence in general! ;-P

This said: There’s nothing better than a book full of strong women that know exactly what they want and how to fight for it. ❤ And now, let’s finally head to my character section so I can gush some more! 😉

2

You may board this ship but be aware that my crew is kinda rough. Their manners leave much to be desired and they can be quite rude throwing spoilers at your feet! Landlubbers ye be warned! ;-P

Felicity:

”I was sorry that my great plan hadn’t worked out. Sorry I was here relying on my brother’s Christian charity – what little he had to spare – because my plan for my future had lost its footing at every mile marker. Because I was born a girl but too stubborn to accept the lot that came with my sex.”

Felicity is such a great character and every time she was so down I wanted to tell her that she’s perfect just the way she is! I could relate to her hunger for knowledge and the curiosity that comes along with it and to some degree I even found myself in her. I’ve always been fascinated by nature and the human body as well, and for a very long time I actually wanted to become a surgeon or marine biologist. If you would have asked 5 – 15 year old Gin about her future job, she certainly would have given you that answer. *lol* Unfortunately life caught up with me when I got older and I realized that I could become neither of those two. >_< Well, anyway! I could understand Felicity and her desire to be a part of this world. To be more than what all those men saw in her and to remodel and reshape their world into a better place! There was so much she could give and those biased men just didn’t want to see it! *grrr* Still, she eventually tried to work with the tools she had at hand and if you ask me she did a marvellous job of it! ❤

”Half my heart is this hunger. My being is constructed by an aching to know the answers to every mystery of the frail ligaments that connected us to life and death. That wanting feels a part of me. It has seeped into my skin like mercury injected into a vein to trace its shape through the body. One drop colored my whole being. It is the only way I can see myself.”

”This work is mine. If it is selfish to want, then selfishness shall be my weapon. I will fight for everything that cannot fight for itself. Block the wind and keep away the wolves and put supper on the table. I am suddenly swollen with more than wanting to be known – I want to know.”

Johanna:

”I’m not telling you how you feel, I’m telling you how you make me feel. I felt so silly for so long because of you. But I like dressing this way.” She spreads her arms. “I like curling my hair and twirling in skirts with ruffles, and I like how Max looks with that big pink bow on. And that doesn’t mean I’m not still smart and capable and strong.”

At first I didn’t know what Felicity saw in her but the more I got to know her, the better I understood why Johanna acted the way she did. Johanna loves to be a woman and she embraces everything that comes along with it, yet she doesn’t want to be defined by her choice of clothes. She’s basically the embodiment of beauty and brains! Unfortunately the men in her vicinity only wanted to see her as a docile girl and didn’t appreciate her intelligence. So you might say that Felicity and Johanna faced exactly the same problems because they didn’t fit in the common mold of their time. Johanna wanted to get noticed for her intelligence and not only for her love for frilly dresses. Much to her chagrin people apparently couldn’t be bothered to see beyond her clothing style though. Poor girl!! >_< Despite everything she still didn’t let anyone get her down though, and that makes her a very strong woman and a truly amazing character! ❤

Sim:

”That’s the lie of it all. You have to be better to prove yourself worthy of being equal.”

Aww how I felt with Sim! She’s the third girl in the gang and even though she’s kind of a pirate princess she still has to deal with the same problems Felicty and Johanna had to deal with. Her father didn’t see beyond her being a girl and even though she would have deserved to be his heir her brother would have taken over if anything would have happened to him. Which is so unfair! Because just like Sim said: As a woman she always had to be better than her brothers in order to prove that she was as qualified as them. I loved that Mackenzi addressed that topic because I think that despite all the decades that are between Felicity’s time and ours this still holds true for many of us. >_<

”I’m sorry your father doesn’t see it.”
“See what?” She raises her eyes to mine, and we trade a look that feels like a dare.
“How bloody brilliant you are,” I say.

Platt:

”I’m a little disappointed it isn’t blood your dress is covered in. I would quite like to see a lady surgeon at her post.”

What a SLIMEBALL!!! I hated Platt with a fierce passion and his character stands for everything that is wrong in their time. He likes intelligent women? My ass! I would have loved to throw that man into the sea and to watch what the dragons would do to him! *lol* Heaven knows he would have deserved it! Such a conniving, opportunistic, misogynistic and disgusting person! *throws darts at a picture of Platt* XD

3

Felicity & Monty:

”I’ve missed you. Both of you.” I can hear the soft smile in his voice when he replies, “I won’t tell Monty.”

Haha! Their relationship is still everything! I love them! <333 They’d never admit that they care about each other but when push comes to shove they’ll always have each other’s back! The two are such realistic siblings I can’t even! Mackenzi clearly outdid herself with this sibling rep and I can’t emphasise enough how much I love her for writing them this way! I’m sure many people who have siblings can relate to that and I’m definitely one of them. XD Also Monty and Percy are still so precious!!! I want to hug them for eternity! ❤

”Do you want me to marry Mr. Doyle because you think I need a man to protect me? Or complete me? I’ll pass on that, thank you very much.”
“No,” he says. “I just wish you had someone cheering for you all the time, because you deserve it.”

Monty points at me. “That one’s got a squint like she reads too many books.”
I shall break into a thousand pieces with the effort it requires not to roll my eyes at him. He’s taking such great pleasure in his clandestine crowing that he’s going to give us both away.

Felicity & Johanna:

When she looks at me, I am disarmed. “Well then,” she says, and I don’t know how I shall survive these next few days without drowning in her. “Lucky you’re not me.”

Well, those two had a lot of issues to work through but I’m glad they never gave up and actually worked on their relationship! It’s obvious that Felicity apparently feels more than just friendship for Johanna but she never acted on it which is okay the way it is. I mean as far as I could tell Johanna is straight and Felicity seems to be a biromantic asexual? (Just a guess here… I can’t say for sure.) So this ship never would have sailed anyway.*lol* They have a more than just wonderful friendship though and if you ask me this is even more perfect than any relationship would have ever been. XD Gosh, I just loved those two! <333

”How is it, I wonder, that the brain and the heart can be so at odds and yet have such a profound effect upon the functions of the other?”

”I’m so pathetic,” she says, and I can’t tell if she’s laughing or crying. “I’m soft and selfish and sentimental.”
“You’re nothing of the sort, Johanna Hoffmann,” I reply. “You are a shield and spear to all the things you love. I’m glad to be among them.”

Felicity & Sim:

”And I’m not a crocodile. If I am to be an animal, I would like to be a fox.”
“Well then, foxy.” She whips the cloak off from around my shoulders, then smooths the collar of my dress, her hands lingering on my breastbone. “You’ve only got one chance at this, so make it count.”

And now we come to the ship that might or might have not sailed. *lol* I admit it: I wish it would have sailed full force, but I understand and respect why it didn’t. Sim was crushing really hard on Felicity which she never hid and openly admitted and Felicity had feelings for Sim too. So I really dunno if they became a couple in the end but I’m sure if they did it would have been on equal terms. Sim tried to understand Felicity and was very curious about her being ace/aro and I’m convinced that she would have never pushed her to do anything she didn’t want to do. Though I’m also certain that Sim probably would have wanted more out of a relationship with Felicity. I mean she kissed her so there’s that… I guess we’ll never know what happened in the end. Or, well, we eventually might. *lol* There will be a third book after all! ;-P

”Or maybe I would be a flower. But a really tough flower.”
“A wildflower,” Sim says. “The kind that are strong enough to stand against wind, rare and difficult to find and impossible to forget. Something men walk continents for a glimpse of.”

”That oil slick of a smile spreads over her lips, and I want to touch a candle to it and watch her smolder, this dangerous, gorgeous, wildfire of a woman.”

”And would we be happy?” I ask.
“Ecstatic,” she replies.

The feminism & diversity:

”You deserve to be here. You deserve to exist. You deserve to take up space in this world of men.”

Ohh the feminism was strong in this one and I LOVED it! It was so amazing to see how those three girls took their fates in their own hands! <333 They might have had doubts and there were a lot of obstacles in their way but in the end they always continued to fight! Also, Felicity telling off that guy at the reception was one of my fave things ever! *lol* Way to go, girl! XD And can we please note the diversity in here as well?! I mean we have Johanna who’s a feminist even though she loves to dress up and has mastered the art of using make-up! We have Felicity who doesn’t give a damn about her clothes, is ace/aro and can gush about medical theories like a pro and we have Sim who’s a queer muslim pirate princess! (I say queer because I don’t know if she’s the L, B or Q in the LGBTQ+ spectrum. She might be pan, it’s never mentioned so I can only guess.) So THIS was everything!!! <333

”I have as much claim to this world as anyone else. No one will offer Johanna and me permission to make this work ours, to take up her mother’s maps and follow their headings to the horizon’s edge, where the sea and the sky smoke together. First of our name, first of our kind.”

”Really? First girls, and then young lady? That’s how you feel it is appropriate to refer to us? Like children?”
“Your current comportment is excessively so,” he replies.
“And your current comportment doesn’t give me much reason to believe your brain is your best asset,” I reply.

The ace/aro rep:

”I want friends,” I say. “Good friends, that make up a different kind of family.”
“That sounds lonely.”
“It wouldn’t be lonely,” I reply. “I’d like to be on my own, but not alone.”

I think the ace/aro rep was really great in this one but since I’m not ace/aro you’ll have to take my words and opinion with a pinch of salt. The way it was described, it just felt like I understood what Felicity was trying to put into words. Like she loves her family and friends deeply but she has no desire to get physical with them. For instance she doesn’t like hugs (I’m such a hugger! *lol*) and her kiss with Sim was okay but not as earth shattering as it might have been for people with another sexual orientation?! Does that make sense? If you’re ace/aro and read this please correct me if I’m wrong. XD Ultimately the rep was done in a way I could grasp, it made being ace/aro more tangible for me and so I think it was done well. =)

”Did that work any sort of magic?”
“Not really.”
“That’s a shame.” She settles back into our little nest of cloaks, pulling the collar higher around her face. “It worked for me.”

4

What’s not to love about this book? From the reps to feminism, from the strong girl gang that took on every obstacle that was placed in their way up to the mystery of the dragons and the conflicts that were dealt with this was a more than just amazing journey to read! Mackenzi Lee took all those different topics and mashed them together into one huge book! And if you ask me she did it masterly! If you like crafty, strong and stubborn women that don’t take any s*it from anyone, do their thing and go their own way “The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy” might be the perfect tale for you. ;-P

”I’m learning there is no one way for life to be lived, no one way to be strong or brave or kind or good. Rather there are many people doing the best they can with the heart they are given and the hand they are dealt. Our best is all we can do, and all we can hold to is each other.
And, zounds, that is more than enough.”

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Upside of Unrequited (Becky Albertalli)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 3 of My Book List 2020

”Falling in love is terrifying.”

This book was definitely better than “Leah on the Offbeat” but it still wasn’t as great as “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda”. So I guess that means that for me it’s somewhere right in the middle. There were many things I loved about “The Upside of Unrequited”, but I also had some issues I just couldn’t seem to be able to ignore. Which is kinda good, because I like to address my issues head-on. (and I need to write something into my reviews after all, right? They would be boring without a little bit of controversy. *lol*)

”This is going to sound weird, but I think I need to be rejected. I think I need it like I need a flu shot. Or like those therapists who make you hold snakes until you’re not afraid of snakes anymore.

So keeping that in mind let’s talk about the things I loved first: I really liked that Molly was such a relatable teen. I mean she was super insecure and didn’t know how to act around guys she liked and she was crushing on 26 boys and nothing ever happened with any of them! I don’t know about you, but I think this was a really healthy rep! Yes, Molly is seventeen in the book and never kissed a boy, let alone held his hand. It’s often mentioned that she feels stupid and childish because of it, but it’s also implied that this is totally okay. And it is!

She looks at me. “Wow. Like, you can’t. You actually can’t admit it.”
I cover my face.
“This is so sad and adorable.”
“I’m twelve years old. I know.”
“You seriously are.” She laughs. “Which is okay! But you’re gonna have to turn thirteen.”

These days it feels like teens have to deal with this enormous pressure of having a bf/gf in order to be valued and accepted. It was already bad when I was a teen but looking at the next generation now I can see how much this has changed. A teen that’s seventeen and has no romantic experience? Almost impossible. Most of them seem to have their first bf/gf at the age of 12 or 13 and there are some that are even younger. So I’m glad that Molly was a character that only crushed but never followed through with it. It’s okay to have crushes and to wait for the right person, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! 😉

”Because that’s the thing about change. It’s so painfully normal. It’s the most basic of all tragedies.”

Another topic that was dealt with was the power of change and the problems that come along with it. Molly and her twin sister Cassie start to go into different directions because they both make new
experiences, fall in love and start to have a life outside of each other’s orbit. Which is so “coming of age” that it was actually pretty painful to watch. The chasm that opened between them felt very realistic though and even though it hurt to see their sisterly bond getting stretched so much, it was still a great rep. I think everyone who has a sibling can relate to that and I was reminded of the time my sister got her first bf.

”I remember when she got a boyfriend, and she just fell off the grid. It sucked.”
“Yeah.”
“And no one warns you about this. No one tells you how hard it is, because, yay, love! And we’re so happy for them! But there’s this sharp edge to it, right? Because yeah, you’re happy for them. But you’ve also lost them.”

Those words from Patty rang so true! No one warns you what happens when your sibling starts to date someone and yes, it is some sort of loss. I remember when my sister started to date her first bf. We always used to hang out in our room and watched our favourite TV show together. And well, when she got her first bf I found myself making some comment about the show, turning my head towards her bed just to realize that she wasn’t there anymore. I think what I’m trying to say with this is that you have your rituals and once another person comes into your life, those little rituals sort of die. They are replaced with new people, new experiences and other new rituals. To grow up means to change and you have to accept that change and go with it in order to keep in touch.

”It’s just I’m having trouble balancing this. I’m not used to having another person be this important to me.”
She’s staring at her knees, tears pooling in her eyes.
“And I don’t want to lose us, you know?”

I liked that the issue was addressed in the end but I still think they should have talked more about everything that happened. For twins that were so close before, they actually didn’t do a lot of talking and this led to many misunderstandings and problems during the book. So I found myself being annoyed that they just couldn’t seem to be able to talk about their issues. *lol* I’m a very direct person though so I guess this might count as my subjective opinion. 😉

”I KNOW! She fell asleep watching Harry Potter. Side-eye emoji.
I write back frantically. WHAT? That is the worst. She is the worst.
She’s a squib, he writes. Which makes me smile all the way to Woodley Park.”

Next to the great diverse cast (we have two moms, twins, a pansexual Korean-American character, a gay character, a medical anxiety rep etc.) the friendships in “The Upside of Unrequited” were definitely among my favourite things about this book! XD I loved how Molly and Simon bonded not only over their friendship with Abby but also over their mutual love for Harry Potter. *lol* Those two were just great and I really enjoyed reading about their short interactions. =)

”And I always tell Molly: you’re a little zaftig, of course, but you have a lovely face. Isn’t she lovely?”

So I think now that I talked about the many things I liked, it’s finally time to tackle the problematic topic I had issues with: I really didn’t like that Molly considered herself to be a “fat girl”. So what? She’s not a skinny size zero mannequin and actually has some curves. What’s wrong with that? Nothing! If anything the only thing that’s wrong, is the fact that her grandma made her feel bad about not being skinny. Her grandma was called out on her behaviour though and it was shown that she had her own problems and issues to deal with, but ultimately was a good person. (Which was great because it made her a complex and realistic character.) Still, what I really had issues with is the fact that Molly thought that “girls like her” don’t get boyfriends and apparently needed one to tell her that she’s beautiful before she could accept herself.

”Even if he likes me, I’m not sure he’d like me naked. I hate that I’m even thinking that. I hate hating my body. Actually, I don’t even hate my body. I just worry everyone else might.”

I didn’t like that Leah in “Leah on the Offbeat” always thought about herself as a “fat girl” and I still didn’t enjoy seeing this kind of self-perception in here. It’s like Becky tries to show us that everyone is different, that there are girls with curves out there and that this is okay, yet at the same time they always seem to have problems to accept themselves. Which, with all due respect, is bulls*it! It’s okay to have a normal body, everyone has their problem areas and no one is as skinny as all those models in magazines! For once I’d love to see a normal character in a YA book! (I’m not talking about the “I’m so plain but everyone still loves me because as it turns out I’m actually pretty special- trope” here) And if you truly want to write about girls with curves, then please, please, PLEASE, let them be content with them for once!!! I mean, hell, there are actually people out there that are okay with their body. It would be really sad if all of us would hate themselves like Molly does.

I can only speak for myself but a couple of years ago (yes, I was a teen back then) I posted a picture of myself on social media and there was a guy that commented: “You look great but your boobs are too small.” So what? Yes, my butt is probably bigger than my boobs. I know that and I’m fine with it. *shrugs* And just in case you’re interested in my answer. I told him the following: “Thanks, I’m content with my boobs!!!” Well, apparently some people found this answer so hilarious that they actually founded a group called: “I’m content with my boobs.” But that’s a story for another day. *lol*

To get back to the topic at hand: There are people that love their body, stand by it and accept themselves exactly the way they are! And it would be really refreshing to read about a YA character that doesn’t have issues with its size. I hated that Molly needed a boyfriend to feel good in her skin and the message that was conveyed with that was really wrong. Like only a bf or gf can make you feel beautiful and valued. *shakes head*

4

“The Upside of Unrequited” was a great book and once I started to read it I found myself rushing through the pages. There were many things I loved: For instance the diverse cast, the different reps and the undeniable fact that it made me feel all giddy and happy at the end. (Which, if you ask me, seems to be a typical Becky Albertalli trade mark. ;-)) Unfortunately there were also some things I had issues with and so this ended up being a 3,5 paws (rounded up to 4) book for me. Still, it was a fast and nice read and it tackled a lot of important topics that are rarely mentioned in other YA books. So for this alone “The Upside of Unrequited” is definitely worth a try. 😉 Happy reading!

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: We Are Okay (Nina LaCour)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”I wonder if there’s a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn’t yours anymore.”

This book was one of the most beautiful books I ever read. Not only because the writing style is amazing but also because there is so much truth in it. The truth can be beautiful, it can be bittersweet, it can be painful and excruciating, it can hurt you but it can also give you hope. The truth of “We Are Okay”? It does all those things and even more.

”No one will know if you stay in bed all day. No one will know if you wear the same sweatpants for the entire month, if you eat every meal in front of television shows and use T-shirts as napkins. Go ahead and listen to that same song on repeat until its sound turns to nothing and you sleep the winter away.”

There’s a sadness in this book, on every page, in every single line. It seeps from the pages, it’s a tangible and breathing thing. It makes it hard to pick up the book and it stays throughout the entire story. A silent and looming companion, something to be afraid of but also something that keeps you going, something that accompanies you, for better or for worse. There were so many things I could relate to and I think my personal experiences made up a big part of the story’s appeal.

”I’m just afraid that one day something’s going to catch me by surprise. Stale coffee. Squares of American cheese. Hard tomatoes, so unripe they’re white in the center. The most innocent things can call back the most terrible.”

How can anyone who hasn’t gone through loss even comprehend how hard it is to remain a living, functioning and acting part of this world? The answer is simple: They can’t. Grief is something that changes you, it turns and twists you, you might look the same on the outside but on the inside you’re shaken to your core. Once grief found you, it leaves its mark and it’s something you carry with you for the rest of your life. You can’t get rid of it and you recognize it in people that made the same experiences.

”But I know that there’s a difference between how I used to understand things and how I do now. I used to cry over a story and then close the book, and it all would be over. Now everything resonates, sticks like a splinter, festers.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m always glad for the people who never experienced such a profound loss. They still have some sort of innocence to them; they’ve never been shattered like that and don’t have to try to fit together the pieces of a puzzle they didn’t even know existed. It’s not easy to come back from this kind of grief and it doesn’t only take away your innocence, it also steals your youth.

”In the kitchen, I put a pot of water on the stove. Before the water reaches a boil, he will be here. I dropped pasta in and set the timer. Before the then minutes are up. I melted some butter. I wasn’t hungry, but I would eat it anyway, and by the time I was done, he would walk through the door and call out my name.”

*sighs* How I could relate to this part of the book. The waiting, the hoping that her grandfather would turn up. The ingrained KNOWING that he wouldn’t. That utter and deafening sense that something is wrong but you can’t do anything to make it right. You’re helpless, desperate and frantic and you just don’t know what to do. Until, well, until someone eventually confirms your biggest fears. Until someone shatters your world forever.

”And Hannah kept saving me. She saved me with never asking questions, with instead reading to me about bees and botany and evolution. She saved me with clothes she loaned me and never took back. She saved me with seats next to her in the dining hall, with quick evasions when people asked me questions I couldn’t answer, with chapters read aloud and forced trips off campus and rides to the grocery store and a pair of winter boots.”

But thankfully there are people like Hannah out there. People that watch out for you, that don’t turn away from you but embrace you with all your shattered parts. I’m pretty sure Hannah might have experienced loss too because she stuck with Marin and in my experience only people that went through it will react like that. The others? Well, those who are fortunate will have never experienced anything like it, so they’ll say how sorry they are, they’ll try to cheer you up, but when you fall into that black and endless rabbit hole of grief. Well, they’ll eventually lose interest after a few days or weeks (if you’re lucky) and then move on. Without you…

It took Marin months to speak about her loss; it took me an entire year to open up and to speak about mine. A year that changed me forever, a year I’ll never get back. I really wish I would have had this book when I was seventeen and I hope and pray that everyone who experiences the very same thing will stumble upon it. That they’ll find solace and hope in Nina LaCour’s words and that they’ll eventually find the strength to move on. Because the truth is: Life is merciless and it doesn’t pause for the living.

If I learned anything then it’s this and that you’ve to live your life like there will be no tomorrow.

Make your experiences, don’t regret anything, recognize your loss, stay true to yourself, keep on fighting, keep living, because it’s worth it. Life is so worth it and you only have one chance! Make it count! 😉

This said, I love this book with all my heart and I’ll recommend it to everyone who ever experienced loss! This, this is your book! Your voice! Your thoughts on paper! Read it and heal! ❤

„Say yes.“

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: What If It’s Us (Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

This apartment isn’t home for either of us, but we’re home to each other, and that’s what makes every wall fall away so I only focus on him.”

When I heard that Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera were writing a love child book together I instantly knew that I needed this in my life. XD Okay, it might have taken me a little while to get to it and I guess I kinda missed the hype train, but maybe this was good because I could focus on my own opinion instead of reading the opinion of others on my feed. 😉

And after finishing the final page let me tell you this: My opinion about this book is quite a strong one! *lol* I know there are a lot of people out there that ended up not liking “What If It’s Us” and I’m the first one to admit that it wasn’t exactly what I expected. If you’re looking for a fluffy and cute contemporary book you might be disappointed. Because yes, there is some fluff and cuteness going on but in this one it’s actually taking a backseat. At least it felt like that for me.

”But there were only so many hits to the heart I could take before I needed to step away. I gave him a lot of chances – I gave us a lot of chances. I just wasn’t good enough to remind him love could be a good thing.”

So what did Albertalli and Silvera try to achieve with this? If you ask me I think they wanted to write something realistic! And if they tried to do this, well, then they certainly nailed it! I mean at first I was a little bit disappointed about where this was heading too. I was hoping for a sweet romance and then I got Arthur and Ben! *lol* One of them some sort of innocent and naïve country bumpkin that only lives in the big city for the summer and the other a pretty disenchanted guy that is grumpy because his first love didn’t work out the way he hoped it would.

I swear, I never read about a couple that would have been worse for each other than those two! *lol* And I’m meaning this in the best way possible. At first glance they have nothing in common and just don’t fit together, but as the story continued to unfold I realized that this was okay. They are two different people that don’t have a lot in common but despite their obstacles, their misunderstandings, their troubles and personal sensitivities they still work somehow.

”…, and our voices don’t ever really become one, but I like how we sound together.
Like two people trying to make it work.”

I loved this quote because it’s so true! If you’re in a real relationship nothing is perfect. It’s easy to be in a relationship when you both still see things through rose-coloured glasses, but once this first stage of infatuation wears off a relationship is a lot of work. In Ben and Arthur’s case they just had to face those problems way earlier than others, they both tried to understand each other though and if you ask me I think this was a very mature approach. Speaking of which, another thing I really liked was the fact that both of them were already out of the closet. Ben’s entire family knew and Arthur told his people before he moved to New York.

”Yeah. I put up an Instagram post on Thanksgiving a couple years ago. Said that I was thankful for all the people in my life who are cool enough to love me as I am. And everyone else could unfriend me online and in real life. I had even checked my follower count before posting.”

Gosh, how I wish everyone could be as brave as Ben! But then again, not everyone has a family and friends like him. Not all of us are fortunate enough not to be unfriended after a statement like that. No matter if it might be on Instagram or in real life. >_< Still, I liked that they were both comfortable with being who they truly are and it’s really rare to read an LGBTQ+ story in which the characters are already out. So kudos for that! Well, for that and for the amazing portrayal of realistic friendships! XD

Dylan claps. “Okay. I’m sold. I am shipping you with the boy you met when you were supposed to be shipping relationship relics to your last boy.”

I loved Ben’s and Dylan’s friendship so much! They were amazing and their innuendos and jokes kinda reminded me of my bestie and me. *lol* I swear, when it comes to that we’re exactly like those two and it was so refreshing to see a friendship like ours represented on the pages of a book. Alone for that I couldn’t help but adore this story! I would never ever say anything like Ben to my bestie though. Phew! That was a really hurtful comment and I swear if my bestie would have said something like that to me I wouldn’t have talked to her either! I’m just glad Ben got his act together and apologized to Dylan in the end. XD

Samantha takes a step away from him. “A lightning bolt is going to burst in here any second now and shut you up.”
“I eat lightning for breakfast.”

Samantha and Dylan were amazing too! ❤ They weren’t only made for each other and a truly perfect match, but also so damn funny that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. 😉 Some people might say that Dylan was a little bit over the top, but let me tell you this: there are actually real Dylan’s out there in this world and if you’re very lucky one of them is a part of your life! XD

4

At first I was a little bit disappointed because this went in an entirely different direction than I expected. The longer I read the more I got captivated by the story though. I began to appreciate it for its realistic and honest approach and with time all the characters and their individual flaws started to grow on me. If there is one thing I have to criticize then it’s THE ENDING!!!! I mean OMG!!! To quote the Duke from Moulin Rouge: “I don’t like this ending!”
WHY, Becky and Adam?!! WHY??!!! I think I’ll never get over this ending and like so many others before me I demand a “do-over”! (See what I did there? *lol*) I’ll miss my two disaster gays so much and I’ll always want a sequel. #SorryNotSorry ;-P
This said: Happy Reading!

Arthur is tearing up. “Thanks for this. For everything. This morning. This summer. I know I’m a lot, and you’ve been so cool about it.”
I laugh a little. “We’re the worst. I mean, we’re the best. But we’re the worst. You always think you’re too much, and I feel like I’m not enough.”

Allgemein, P - T, R, Reviews

Review: Red, White & Royal Blue (Casey McQuiston)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”He wants to set himself on fire, but he can’t afford for anyone to see him burn.”

This sentence, this book, the topics that are tackled, the honest and blunt way they are dealt with and approached?! This was everything!!! I love this book so much, I can’t even put it into words. <333 Well, I loved it and some little, tiny, infinitesimal part of me might haven even hated it for being so perfect! Because the way subjects are approached in here? Gods, I wish everyone would be as open minded as the characters in this book.

That sentence at the beginning of my review? It hit close to home, it pains me to read it, yet I still love the fact that Casey McQuiston wrote it down on paper! That she had the guts to give this particular kind of feeling her own voice and words. How many people who are forced to be in the closet have felt like that? How many children were afraid to come out to their parents? How many still didn’t do it and never will, because they know exactly what their parents might say? How they will react… How many of us have felt alone and were weighted down by the truth?

This book, this supposedly romantic comedy, it touched me in a way books rarely do. It ripped out my heart, it made me laugh, it stomped all over my feelings, it smacked me across the face, it forced me to confront me with myself and it gave me something I didn’t even know I was missing: It gave me hope.

Hope that there IS a better world out there.

Hope that one day people will accept others the way they are.

Hope that people can change.

Hope that we’re all equal and that our actions count more than our outward appearance.

Hope that our future in this world is worth fighting for.

So if you decide to read this book, enjoy it! Laugh and cry, appreciate the politics and scheming, adore Henry and Alex for being the way they are, fall in love, enjoy their freedom and youth, but most of all find yourself in those pages and try to keep this feeling even after you closed the book. 😉

2

Do I even have to mention that you’ll be spoiled into oblivion if you dare to cross this line?! *lol* This is my characters section and I wouldn’t be me if I wouldn’t gush like a crazy little teen! XD So you’ve been warned! Dare to move on or leave it at that. Your decision, your choice. ;-P

Alex:

”Alex’s image is all charisma and genius and smirking wit, thoughtful interviews and the cover of GQ at eighteen; Henry’s is placid smiles and gentle chivalry and generic charity appearances, a perfectly blank Prince Charming canvas. Henry’s role, Alex thinks, is much easier to play.”

I didn’t like Alex at the beginning of the book! I know this might come as a shock but I really felt like he was sitting on his high horse and didn’t even bother to think about how other people felt. Or in this particular case how Henry felt. In his mind he gave him a role and never even looked beyond the horizon. But then the accident with the cake happened and Alex was forced to spend some time with Henry and he finally realized what a dumbass he actually was. I loved how Alex realized that he likes him and I adored him for being so unapologetic about his bisexuality. He just accepted it as a part of himself, he wondered about it, he explored it but he never felt bad about being who he truly was! And this was amazing! I wish there would be more bi representations like that; I wish that everyone would be as cool about being bi as Alex was. As his friends and family were! It was a huge part of him but it didn’t define him or is actions. This was so wholesome and such a nice way to deal with your own sexuality. Then again Alex is a very confident and brazen character so to deal with it like that fit him perfectly. XD

”It’s unpredictable and it’s intoxicating and it’s fun, because Alex has never met a challenge he didn’t love, and he – well, Henry is a challenge, head to toe, beginning to end.”

”He shouldn’t feel wronged deep in his gut. But that everyone seems enamored, when the only difference between the lie and the truth that would burn up Fox News is the gender involved … well, it fucking stings.”

”Sería una mentira, porque no sería él.” It would be a lie, because it wouldn’t be him.

Henry:

”Hmm,” Henry says, making a show of thinking hard. “I always liked Luke. He’s brave and good, and he’s the strongest Jedi of them all. I think Luke is proof that it doesn’t matter where you come from or who your family is – you can always be great if you’re true to yourself.”

I FREAKING LOVED, LOVED, LOVED and LOVED, Henry! *lol* This boy is adorable and kind and sweet and gentle and everything anyone will ever need! <333 I mean he’s a Warsie and Potterhead!!! He ships Lupin with Sirius and he loves to watch Bake Off because it’s so soothing??!! Where the freaking hell is my Prince Henry!!??? *lol* I definitely need this fluffy biscuit Prince in my life! Like yesterday! XD But there’s also a wild side to Henry, a defiant one and boy did I ever live for those little snippets of his personality! I adored his character arc so much! I mean at the beginning of the book he was the shy and reserved prince and by the end of it he eventually found his own voice and shouted his innermost thoughts into the world. Still, it was so sad that his father died when he was so young and I felt Henry’s grief like it was my own. T_T I could understand why his mother decided to withdraw from the world, but I was really glad that she accepted her son the way he was and fought for him in the end. =)

”It’s just so soothing,” Henry says. “Everything’s all pastel-coloured and the music is so relaxing and everyone’s so lovely to one another. And you learn so much about different types of biscuits, Alex. So much. When the world seems awful, such as when you’re trapped in a Great Turkey Calamity, you can put it on and vanish into biscuit land.”

”A curious thing about grief is the way it takes your entire life, all those foundational years that made you who you are, and makes them so painful to look back upon because of the absence there, that suddenly they’re inaccessible. You must invent an entirely new system.”

”What are we even defending here, Philip? What kind of legacy? What kind of family, that says, we’ll take the murder, we’ll take the raping and pillaging and the colonizing, we’ll scrub it up nice and neat in a museum, but oh no, you’re a bloody poof? That’s beyond our sense of decorum! I’ve bloody well had it. I’ve sat about long enough letting you and Gran and the weight of the damned world keep me pinned, and I’m finished. I don’t care. You can take your legacy and your decorum and you can shove it up your fucking arse, Philip. I’m done.”

”I’ve been gay as a maypole since the day I came out of Mum, Philip.”

Nora:

”Numbers on me being into dudes?”

That pulls Nora up short, before she cocks her head to the side and says. “Seventy-eight percent probability of latent bisexual tendencies. One hundred percent probability this is not a hypothetical question.”

I loved Nora’s analytical mind and her conversations with Alex. It was obvious they were great friends and knew each other better than anyone else. XD And don’t kill me for this but: WHAT EXACTLY WAS GOING ON WITH NORA AND JUNE???!!! There was something there, right? I didn’t imagine this unresolved sexual tension, did I? *lol* Want to hear my thoughts on it? I think there was some sort of threesome going on the night they celebrated at the karaoke bar. Pez, Nora AND June! All three of them, feel me? *wriggles eyebrows* Unfortunately this is a mystery that was neither tackled nor resolved so my imagination will have to continue to run wild and I’ll blame it all on Casey McQuiston! *lol* ;-P

Alex’s parents:

”How many times do I have to tell y’all not to discuss your murder plots in front of a sitting president?” their mother interrupts. “Plausible deniability. Come on.”

Haha! This sentence instantly made me love the President! XD She was such a cool woman and Alex was so lucky to have her as his mum! It was amazing how she could be all business but at the same time always watched out for her kids. They were her first priority no matter how important her job was and she would have done anything to make them happy. Yes, she had a lot of responsibility and tried to perform damage control, but that was mostly due to her feelings for her son. She didn’t want Alex to get hurt and she wanted to protect him. I mean she was a public figure and we all know how those games are played. Well and as it turned out, Richards played very dirty indeed. >_< Also can we appreciate how Alex’s dad reacted to him being bi and loving Henry? I wish more parents would say words like that to their queer kids! Because it’s true, it’s not different when it’s your own kid, you still love your child and want the best for it. (At least it should be that way!!!) You want it to be happy, right? See, that’s exactly what I meant when I said this book gave me hope. =)

His dad slaps him on the bicep with the spoon, leaving a splatter of crema and cheese behind. “Have a little more faith in your old man than that, eh? A little appreciation for the patron saint of gender-neutral bathrooms in California? Little shit.”
“Okay, okay, sorry!” Alex says, laughing. “I just know it’s different when it’s your own kid.”
His dad laughs too, rubbing a hand over his goatee. “It’s really not. Not to me, anyway. I see you.”

”Diaz, you insane, hopeless romantic little shit,” says the voice of the President of the United States, muffled in the bed. “It had better be forever. Be safe.”

”I am your mother. I was your mother before I was ever the president, and I’ll be your mother long after, to the day they put me in the ground and beyond this earth. You are my child. So, if you’re serious about this, I’ll back your play.”

”I’m not giving them shit,” Ellen cuts him off immediately, not even looking up, “especially not after what they did to you. This is real shit. I’m taking this motherfucker down. It has to stick.” She finally puts her highlighter down. “We’re leaking it to the press.”

3

June & Alex:

”You have so much in you, it’s almost impossible to match it. But he’s your match, dumbass.”

Haha! I loved this sibling relationship because seriously, it was just so realistic! *lol* June and Alex were typical siblings which basically means that they were blunt and honest to a fault and didn’t hesitate to call each other out! XD I loved how June noticed that her brother was obsessed with Henry and I’m glad Alex had such a great sister! She supported him and even went into a fake relationship with Henry to keep them out of trouble! That’s the love and sacrifice of a loving sibling! <333 I wish we would have seen more of June, but maybe there’s going to be a second book? About June, Pez and Nora? Maybe? Some day? Mhmm, mind to do your fans a favour, Casey? XD *lol* ;-P

”Ugh! Men!” she groans. “No emotional vocabulary. I can’t believe our ancestors survived centuries of wars and plagues and genocide just to wind up with your sorry ass.” She throws a pillow at him, and Alex scream-laughs as it hits him in the face.

Henry & Alex:

”Let’s get it over with.”
“I’d rather be waterboarded,” Henry says, smiling back. The camera snaps nearby. His eyes are big and soft and blue, and he desperately needs to be punched in one of them. “Your country could probably arrange that.”
Alex throws his head back and laughs handsomely, loud and false. “Go fuck yourself.”
“Hardly enough time,” Henry says.”

I could have quoted the entire book, I swear!!! There were so many amazing quotes, countless sweet and tender moments, about a thousand ways they told each other that they are in love. ❤ Easy banter, sassy retorts, just everything you could possibly wish for. One of my personal highlights was the Turkey Gate though. *lol* And their e-mails, hell, their e-mails killed me! T_T I loved how they swore so much in their normal conversations but wrote so beautiful messages to each other. And considering that to write a message takes time and that you think long and hard what to write this was very realistic too. They were utterly, truly and madly in love and you could read it in every line! I felt so sorry for them though. It must have been so tough to be exposed like that and to deal with the press and consequences. Alone the fact that Richards leaked their relationship and didn’t even give a damn about their feelings. They were outed by others and it was NOT their own decision! And this is wrong!!! If you decide to out yourself it’s a personal thing, it’s something you decide, something that should be in your hands! You should be able to decide when you come out to your family, your friends or the world. If you never want to come out that’s okay too, but it is YOUR DECISION to make and no one should take this away from you! GRRR!! *grizzly bear mode* I guess you can already tell that this is a very important and touchy subject for me. XD But I feel about this strongly, because not everyone is ready to come out and for many people to take this step means to give up the life they are used to. Not everyone is as understanding as Alex’s family and not everyone accepts a person the way it is… Anyway, those two are sharing the first place with Baz and Simon now. *LOL* Because I love both of those m/m couples so much and can’t decide which one is the better OTP! XD Their level of cuteness is just off the charts!! <333

Henry’s whole face grimaces in frustration, his eyes casting skyward like they’re searching for help from an uncaring universe. “Christ, you are as thick as it gets,” he says, and he grabs Alex’s face in both hands and kisses him.

”Should I tell you that when we’re apart, your body comes back to me in dreams? That when I sleep, I see you, the dip of your waist, the freckle above your hip, and when I wake up in the morning, it feels like I’ve just been with you, the phantom touch of your hand on the back of my neck flesh and not imagined? That I can feel your skin against mine, and it makes every bone in my body ache? That, for a few moments, I can hold my breath and be back there with you, in a dream, in a thousand rooms, nowhere at all?”

”I fucking love you, okay?” Alex half yells, finally, irreversibly. Henry goes very still against the mantelpiece. Alex watches him swallow, watches the muscle that keeps twitching in his jaw, and feels like he might shake out of his skin. “Fuck, I swear. You don’t make it fucking easy. But I’m in love with you.”

”but I’ve kissed your mouth, that corner, that place it goes, so many times now. i’ve memorized it. Topography on the map of you, a world i’m still charting. i know it. i added it to the key. here: inches to miles. i can multiply it out, read your latitude and longitude. recite your coordinates like la rosaria.”

”I hate this so much. I know. But we’re gonna do it together. And we’re gonna make it work. You and me and history, remember? We’re just gonna fucking fight. Because you’re it, okay? I’m never gonna love anybody in the world like I love you. So, I promise you, one day we’ll be able to just be, and fuck everyone else.”

”I don’t know if I’ll ever be allowed to tell the world, but I … I want to. One day. If there’s any legacy for me on this bloody earth, I want it to be true. So I can offer you all of me, in whatever way you’ll have me, and I can offer you the chance of a life. If you can wait, I want you to help me try.”

”Henry takes a moment to respond, but his voice is level. “I don’t know if I would have chosen it yet, but it’s out there now, and … I won’t lie. Not about this. Not about you.”

Bea & Henry:

”I was, what, eighteen? I drove there and she was sitting on the back steps, high as a kite, and I sat down next to her and cried and told her she wasn’t allowed to kill herself because Dad was gone and I was gay and I didn’t know what the hell to do, and that was how I came out to her.”

Those two were amazing together as well! Henry loved Bea so much and he tried to keep her out of trouble, did his best to make her realize that her life was worth living for. And in exchange for that she loved him back… unconditionally and exactly the way he was! They gave each other strength and hope and this is so important! ❤ Bea really knew Henry and was aware of his inner struggle and when Alex came into his life she did one of the best things a sibling can do: She accepted Alex but also warned him that she might kick his ass if he ever hurt her brother! Which fills me with so much love that I could burst! *lol* That’s the true love of a sibling! <33

”You need to understand this to be with Henry. He is the most loving, nurturing, selfless person you could hope to meet, but there is a sadness and a hurt in him that is tremendous, and you may very well never truly understand it, but you need to love it as much as you love the rest of him, because that’s him. That is him, part and parcel. And he is prepared to give it all to you, which is far more than I ever, in a thousand years, thought I would see him do.”

The crew of the White House:

”That’s why you – Oh my God, I thought you were getting into international relations or something.”
“I mean technically –“
“If you finish this sentence, I’m gonna spend tonight in jail.”

Zahra gave me life!!! Haha! It might be weird that I mention the crew of the White House but they definitely deserve to be mentioned! They were always with the kids and a part of the family. You know, like that grumpy old aunt you love because she’s always ranting about things. *LOL* I adored the way they treated each other and they legit had some of the best scenes in this book! ;-P

4

“Red, White & Royal Blue” was one of my most anticipated reads this year and I wasn’t disappointed! This book was everything I wanted it to be and it made so, so happy! McQuiston tackled a lot of serious topics and they varied from loss and depression up to homophobia and political schemes. This book was an amazing composition about love, hate, ignorance and prejudices. Some might say it’s a modern fairy tale and I’m inclined to agree. What made this book truly outstanding is its final message though: You are perfect just the way you are! You are beautiful and you are allowed to love yourself! Or to say it with Alex’s words:

”Take everything you want and know you deserve to have it.”

Allgemein, K - O, L, Reviews

Review: Leah on the Offbeat (Becky Albertalli)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten

Book 26 on My Book List 2019

“Imagine going about your day knowing someone’s carrying you in their mind. That has to be the best part of being in love – the feeling of having a home in someone else’s brain.”

If you know me and my reviews you also know that I’m not one to beat about the bush so I’ll say it directly and without detour: I really wish I would have loved this as much as I loved “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” but I didn’t and that’s kinda sad. =(

I mean it was a good book and nice to read! There were a few fluffy and cute moments and I loved that we got to see Simon and Blue again. It was nice to find out what happened after the ending of “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” and of course I loved all the HP, Sailor Moon and Fruits Basket references that made an appearance throughout the entire book. Despite all that I somehow still didn’t enjoy this as much as its predecessor though, and I’m sorry to say it, but I think it was mostly due to Leah’s character and her POV.

I know not everyone can be a special snowflake like Simon Spier and that there are characters that have rough edges. No matter how much I tried to keep that in mind, I still didn’t warm to Leah though. There were just too many issues I had with her as a character and they ultimately led me to have issues with the book as well. >_<

Don’t get me wrong: I still enjoyed this! It was entertaining and easy to read and I lived and breathed for all those tiny and sweet Simon and Blue moments. But I guess in the end this was actually the very reason that caused me to give this book only three stars. In contrast to “Simon vs. THSA” I didn’t really feel the romance of the two MCs. Call me picky but if the side characters have more chemistry than the main protagonists of the story it’s never a good sign. Well, at least not for me. *lol*
So yes, I had a good time reading this sequel but I didn’t feel the same magic I felt when I read the first book! XD

2

And here comes the moment when I tell you that you shouldn’t read on beyond this point! If you haven’t read the book yet you’ll be spoiled like crazy, so you better think twice before you continue your journey through my characters section! Take it or leave it, but whatever you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you. ;-P

Leah:

”I think I hate the concept of needing space. What it really means is that the person’s mad at you, or hates you, or doesn’t give a shit about you. They just don’t want to admit it.”

*sigh* I had really high hopes for Leah’s character and since I liked her in “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” I thought that I might like her in this book too. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and I found myself disliking her immensely. And this comes from a person who loves morally grey characters and is a huge fan of bookish villains! It’s just… idk. There were so many little things that I didn’t like about her that it resulted in me not liking her at all. For instance I didn’t like how she treated her mom and her boyfriend. I mean damn that poor woman was 35? So only 4 years older than I and according to Leah she shouldn’t be dating? Hell, give your mom a break! 35 is still young and after raising you as a single mom that did everything possible in order to make you happy you could at least try to be nice to her boyfriend! Sure, Leah is a teen and they get annoyed by their parents on principle (;-P), but the things she did and said to her mom? Phew! Not nice! Plus it wasn’t just her mom, she was also rude, presumptuous and unfriendly to other people and I just couldn’t deal with that. It’s one thing to have a bad day or to be in a bad mood, but to take it out on others? Nope. *shakes head* I probably could rant about her for ages but I’ll stop here and continue with the rest of my review. *lol*

”I can’t help it. I’m a Slytherin.”
And I’m the worst kind of Slytherin. I’m the kind who’s so stupidly in love with a Gryffindor, she can’t even function. I’m the Draco from some shitty Drarry fic that the author abandoned after four chapters.

Abby:

”Why do you need a reason?”
“Because it sucks that there wasn’t one. I just wasn’t feeling it. At least not as much as I should be? Like, I’m sad about it, but it doesn’t wreck me, and I really feel like it should wreck me.”
I glance at her sidelong. “You want it to wreck you?”
“Do I want to love him enough that leaving him would wreck me? Yeah.”

I still love Abby and she definitely was a character I could relate to. She always tried to do the right thing and she followed her gut feeling when things got a little bit tricky. You might argue that the way she ended her relationship with Nick was pretty uncool, but then again to end a relationship is never easy. There are always two people and at least one of them gets hurt. It was more than just obvious that she cared about him deeply though and that she was very sorry for breaking his heart. Sure if you’re the one whose heart got broken this doesn’t give you any comfort but at least she was honest to him! I really liked that she always tried to look on the bright side and that she did her best to figure things out. In the end Abby is a really cheerful, compassionate and sweet character and you could read it on every single page! =)

”I guess it’s like, I forgive her, but I don’t really know if I can trust her again. Does that make sense?”

Simon:

”Sorry, Simon, but you’re too precious. If you weren’t gay and taken, I’d totally marry you. And let’s be honest, marrying Simon would be amazing – and not just because I had a sad, secret crush on him for most of middle school.”

I LOVE and ADORE Simon Spier!!! When it comes to that I can totally agree with Leah! He’s just too precious for his own good! *lol* It made me so happy to see him and Bram together and I loved how he interacted with his friends. He’s such a charming character and I would have loved to read even more about him. Aside from the countless adorable moments with Bram, the action with his mobile phone was probably the best thing in this book though! *LOL* I loved that Abby caused his phone to go all “50 Shades of Grey” on April Fool’s Day and Simon’s reaction to his hacked AutoCorrect was priceless!!! <333 XD

”And then there’s Simon in the middle, glancing back and forth like we’re a street he has to cross. I don’t think I’ve ever met a person so nervously attuned to conflict.”

3

Leah & Simon:

My phone buzzes with a text from Simon. FUCK. My. Life. Leah. Oh God.
“Okay, I better go,” Mom says, setting my yogurt down. “Have fun today.”
I say good-bye to her and turn back to my phone. I can’t fuck your life, I’m monogamously fucking my own life.

Their friendship is so amazing and one of the few things I really liked about this book! ❤ Leah and Simon are two very different characters, but this still didn’t change anything about the fact that their friendship is strong! Their conversations and messages felt real and I loved that they understood each other without having to explain anything. It was obvious that they’ve been best friends for a long time and the way they acted around each other was natural and easy. This was a really lovely friendship rep and I was so here for it! <333

”You know I’m going to lose my mind without you, right?”
“Me too,” I say softly, leaning into his chest.

Leah & Abby:

”Are you asking me to prom, Leah Burke?”
“Yes,” I say flatly. “We’re literally standing five feet away from your boyfriend, and I’m asking you to prom.”
She raises her eyebrows, like she can’t decide if I’m kidding. So that’s a twelve out of ten on the awkward scale.

Where to start? *lol* I didn’t ship them and I felt no chemistry between them. Leah had the weirdest thoughts when she was around Abby and I couldn’t help but wonder why Abby fell in love with her. It was easy to understand why Leah was in love with Abby but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t understand why Abby would fall in love with Leah too. I mean would you fall for a person that constantly gives you the feeling that she doesn’t like you? That attacks you for things you can’t control? Hell, even when Leah defended her against Morgan she still claimed that she only did it because Morgan had been racist. Yes, Morgan’s statement was wrong and it was good that Leah called her out on it, but would she really have lost her face if she would have admitted that she also did it because she’s Abby’s friend? Nope! So, why Abby? Sure, you could argue that love is something that just happens, but in Abby’s case this isn’t enough for me. Also where did that romance suddenly come from!? I spent the entire first book hoping that Abby and Nick would eventually find each other and they did. Well, and then all of a sudden Abby breaks up with him? This came out of nowhere and the explanation that she did it because she doesn’t want to have a long distance relationship was so flimsy! I know some of you will argue that she was in love with Leah all along and therefore broke up with Nick but after reading the first book I’m not convinced by this theory. Nick and Abby really were in love and they were a great couple! Feelings change? Yes, they do, but usually not that fast! They were crazily in love in the first book and then this? XD I know I’m ranting here but DAMN IT, I just don’t understand it!!! I’m sure this might be an unpopular opinion but to me it felt like the author wanted to write an f/f relationship and decided that Leah and Abby would do. There I said it! *lol* I’m sorry, but I really wasn’t convinced by their romance and whenever they had the possibility of having a sweet moment Leah’s attitude ruined it for me. >_<

”I had a dream once where she kissed me on the collarbone. Softly and quickly – barely a thing. I woke up aching. I couldn’t look at her all day.”

”So what, now you think you’re bi?”
“You make me think about it.”
My heart skids to a stop.

”You keep running away.”
“You keep finding me.”

The bi & non-binary rep:

”Leah, you would love them. They’re a drummer.”
That casual singular they. It isn’t even my pronoun, but it feels like a hug. Because if Caitlin’s unfazed by her enby friend’s pronouns, she’d probably unfazed by me being bi.

First of all I have to say that the mention and short appearance of a non-binary character was my personal highlight of this book! It’s so damn rare to find a non-binary rep and my heart sang when I read this quote! I love Becky Albertalli for including them in her book and I can’t thank her enough for giving them room!! That was awesome Becky!!! <333

As for the bi rep… I’m sorry to admit that I wasn’t really happy with it. There were a lot of things that rubbed me the wrong way and I’ll try my best to explain why I felt the way I did. To some of you this might sound crazy but it really bothered me that Leah had so many crushes. I know some of you will say: What’s wrong with having crushes? And my answer is “nothing”. But in that context with her being bi it just felt like the thousandth repetition of a prejudice I heard way too often. Yes, being bi means that you’re attracted to men and women but this still doesn’t mean that you find everyone attractive!!! Just because you’re bi you don’t have a crush on everyone! Just because you’re bi you don’t “choose” the best of both sexes!! I’m sure most of the readers didn’t even notice those offhand comments about her crushes but I did and it made me unhappy. The thing that truly got me were Leah’s and Abby’s discussions about being bi though. I’m convinced that Becky Albertalli only tried to point out some prejudices and did her best to set them right by Abby and Leah discussing them but for me this didn’t work. Were their conversations important? Yes! Did they make me cringe inside? Double yes! I mean just take this quote:

I shake my head. “Lowkey bi, a little bit bi. Just be bi. Like, come on.”
“What? No.” She draws herself up. “You don’t get to decide my label.”
“It’s not a real label!”
“Well, it’s real for me.” She exhales heavily. “God, sometimes, I don’t even know…”

Whilst I agree with Leah that there is no such thing as “lowkey bi” or “just a little bit bi” I still don’t think that it’s okay to attack Abby like that. I mean that girl is trying to figure herself out and is confused and Leah had nothing better to do than to push her into a certain direction and to tell her that the current definition of her sexual orientation isn’t valid! WTF?! Leah is bi too so she of all people should know how difficult it is to come to terms with yourself! I know some of my friends argued that Leah was insecure herself but the more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that I won’t accept that as an excuse. Because NOPE she’s not insecure! I was barely a few pages into the book when she admitted that she’s bi and she even came out to her mother. Of course her friends didn’t know but it was obvious that she was comfortable with being bi. It never felt like she was insecure about it, if anything she was insecure about her feelings for Abby and worried that Abby wouldn’t reciprocate them. Still, just because she’s afraid of being rejected she shouldn’t have tried to label her! (And I’m once again cringing inwardly because I really don’t like the word “label”….) Plus and here comes another thing I didn’t like: When Abby said that she came out to her family I was like: WHAT?! Because let’s face it, to me this felt really unrealistic. Who would come out to their family before even defining their sexual orientation? Why come out to your family when you’re still insecure about who you truly are? This just didn’t make any sense to me. Take it from me: You don’t just come out like that! There are about a thousand questions you ask yourself first! You notice that you like boys AND girls! You wonder why it is like that. You imagine kissing a girl and realize that this feels okay to you. You do internet-research because you want to find out more! Maybe Abby did all that and I missed it but I doubt that she truly questioned herself. And let me tell you this: If you don’t fit into the norm and realize that your sexual orientation isn’t straight you automatically do this! So, this aspect of the story felt really unrealistic to me and since Abby defined herself as “lowkey bi” right after she admitted that she came out to her family I can assume that she didn’t go through that process yet.

Phew… that was a long paragraph! *lol*
Sorry for the rant but it had to get out of my system. XD

4

“Leah on the Offbeat” might have been a page turner but I couldn’t seem to be able to connect to the MC and that took away a lot of my enjoyment. In addition to that I had many issues with the way certain topics were addressed and tackled. I really wish I would have loved this more, but maybe my expectations were just too high after reading “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda”. I’m sure many people will love Leah’s story as well, in my case it unfortunately didn’t work out though.