The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Deya Muniz
Genre: Young Adult Graphic Novel
Publishing Date: May 9, 2023
A funny, heartfelt YA romance about finding love—and lots of grilled cheese sandwiches—in the place you least expect it, from rising talent Deya Muniz.
Lady Camembert wants to live life on her own terms, without marriage. Well, without marrying a man, that is. But the law of the land is that women cannot inherit. So when her father passes away, she does the only thing she can: She disguises herself as a man and moves to the capital city of the Kingdom of Fromage to start over as Count Camembert.
But it’s hard to keep a low profile when the beautiful Princess Brie, with her fierce activism and great sense of fashion, catches her attention. Camembert can’t resist getting to know the princess, but as the two grow closer, will she able to keep her secret?
A romantic comedy about mistaken identity, true love, and lots of grilled cheese.
Thoughts and Themes: When reading the premise of this book I was very excited to get a chance to read the book and share it with you all. I loved the idea that Camembert has to have this fake identity because of the law of the land and how this gets even more complicated when she falls in love with Brie. I also liked seeing how Brie is struggling with her feelings towards Camembert once she finds out the secret that she has been keeping from everyone.
Characters: In this book, you are introduced to Camembert and her love interest Princess Brie, along with several of Brie’s close friends and Feta who is caring for Camembert. I love the relationship between Feta and Camembert and how Feta really is only trying to look out for her. I also really like how the relationship developed between Camembert and the Princess and how that ultimately wraps itself up.
Writing Style: I really enjoyed the way that this story was told through the perspective of the count and how miserable she is throughout the whole story. I also really enjoyed the art style and there were so many cute pictures that I was just aweing over. I loved how they didn’t completely change what Camembert looked like in order to disguise her throughout the story.
About the Author
1/2 Creator of Blades of Furry⛸✨|| Author of The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich 🧀✨
Come out. Break up. Stay friends? In this heartwarming queer love story about love of all kinds, exes navigate new crushes, new feelings, and a newly uncertain future after unexpectedly coming out to each other on prom night turns their lives–and their friendship–upside down. Can they figure out how to move on without losing each other?
Jillian and Henry are the kind of couple who do everything together. They take the same classes, have the same hobbies, and applied for the same super-competitive scholarship so they can go to the same dream college. They even come out as gay to each other on the same night, after junior prom, prompting a sudden breakup that threatens their intertwined identities and carefully designed future. Jillian knows the only way to keep everything on track is to approach their breakup with the same precision and planning as their scholarship application. They will still be “Jillian and Henry”–even if they’re broken up.
Except they hadn’t planned on Henry meeting the boy of his dreams or Jillian obsessing over a cool girl at school. Jillian is desperate to hold on to her best friend when so much else is changing. But as she and Henry explore what–and who–they really want, it becomes harder to hold on to the careful definitions she has always lived her life by. Stuck somewhere between who she was with Henry and who she might be on her own, Jillian has to face what she can’t control and let go of the rules holding her back.
Thoughts and Themes: I was a little worried when I started reading this book and even more so as I got into it. I was worried this was going to be Jillian and Henry both being queer except they’d be each other’s exception. Now you don’t get that from the blurb but as things progressed through the story I was so worried that this was going to be as far as they got with their sexuality. I was pleasantly surprised though and found that I loved this book so much.
I liked how they both came out to each other at the same time but I also like how Henry later brings this up as something that wasn’t the best for him. I like that we get real feelings and emotions from Jillian and Henry and how messy their friendship is after they come out to each other. I loved that we see them go back to each other multiple times because it is all either of them knows and how they find comfort in each other. The whole book felt very real to me and it was relatable.
Characters: In this book, you get to meet our two main characters, Jillian and Henry, along with their love interests and families. I loved the relationships that we get to see throughout this whole book, between Jillian and Henry, both of them with their families, Henry with his boyfriend, and Jillian with Carla.
I like that we see Jillian and Henry’s relationship change over the course of the book as they figure out how they fit with each other. I like that Henry calls Jillian out on everything having to be on her terms and how much control she has to have. I really thought that the conversation they had was important to their character growth even though it hurts as you read through that scene.
Writing Style: This book is told in first person through the perspective of Jillian which is something that I actually really enjoyed. I like that we only got to see how Jillian was feeling about everything and we were missing the perspective of Henry. I think the book would’ve read differently to the reader if we knew how Henry felt about everything that was happening. I liked that all we knew was the things he actually told Jillian about but we didn’t know these things until he had enough.
Jennifer Nissley (she/her/hers) is the author of THE MYTHIC KODA ROSE, which will be published by Simon & Schuster in Summer 2021. Although her first love is writing, she is powerfully attracted to video games, horses, and pretty much any piece of clothing or interior design with an animal on it.
She received her MFA in Fiction from Stony Brook Southampton and lives in Queens with her wife and doggo, but sadly no horses.
Currently, she’s at work on multiple writing projects.
We Are Okay meets They Both Die at the End in this YA debut about queer first love and mental health at the end of the world and the importance of saving yourself, no matter what tomorrow may hold.
Avery Byrne has secrets. She’s queer; she’s in love with her best friend, Cass; and she’s suffering from undiagnosed clinical depression. But on the morning Avery plans to jump into the river near her college campus, the world discovers there are only nine days left to an asteroid is headed for Earth, and no one can stop it.
Trying to spare her family and Cass additional pain, Avery does her best to make it through just nine more days. As time runs out and secrets slowly come to light, Avery would do anything to save the ones she loves. But most importantly, she learns to save herself. Speak her truth. Seek the support she needs. Find hope again in the tomorrows she has left.
If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come is a celebration of queer love, a gripping speculative narrative, and an urgent, conversation-starting book about depression, mental health, and shame.
Thoughts and Themes: Apocalypic, end of the world stuff is my favorite, make it queer and it gets to a level of must-read. I loved this book before I ever opened it up and when I finished it I loved it even more. The whole time that I was reading this book I felt like it was saying here have some cute stuff that fills your heart with warmness only to be like now let me rip that heart away from you.
There were so many moments in which I fell in love with this book. I loved the way this book handles the topic of suicidal thoughts/attempts and the way we get to see all of Avery’s feelings surrounding this. I like how we get to see Aisha process this and being the only person who knows what Avery’s plans were before we know about the impact coming to Earth. I like the conversation that Dr. Talley has with Avery regarding this and how he doesn’t push her to tell anyone. I like how we get to see Cass’s response to this and how difficult that is for her to process. I also liked how we got to see Avery’s parents process things and how her mom processes the death of her sister by suicide.
Characters: In this book, you are introduced to several characters through their interactions with our main character, Avery. You get to meet the love interest, Cass, her roommate, Aisha, her mom and dad, her brother and his wife, her English professor, Dr. Talley, and more. I loved all of the relationships that you see throughout this book since they all stood out to me.
So many of the relationships stood out to me because of how they impacted Avery. I really enjoyed getting the chance to see her change as she accepts her feelings for Cass and learns about those feelings. I also liked seeing her change as she starts to let people love and care about her. There were a lot of relatable factors in this book as I read on and that was why I hugged this book tightly when I finished it. Not only was it a book I couldn’t put down because I fell in love with the characters but because I saw so much of a younger me reflected in the story.
Writing Style: This book is written in first person through the point of view of our main character, Avery, and it goes back and forth from days until the impact and years/months before the impact. I really enjoyed that we got to see the past and the present playing side by side to see how one is impacted by the other. I also really liked that you only get to see Avery’s perspective throughout this whole book because we only get to see what she shows us.
Lambda Literary Fellow Jen St. Jude (she/they) grew up in New Hampshire apple orchards and now lives in Chicago with her wife and dog. She has served as an editor for Chicago Review of Books, Just Femme & Dandy, and Arcturus Magazine. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her cheering on the Chicago Sky and Red Stars. If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come is her first novel.
A must-read that belongs in every home and classroom, “A Day With No Words” invites readers into the life of an Autism Family who communicates just as the child does, without spoken language.
This colorful and engaging picture book for young readers shares what life can look like for families who communicate in a nonverbal way, utilizing tools (like tablets) to embrace their unique method of “speaking.”
This story highlights the bond between mother and child and follows them on a day where they use a tablet to communicate with others.
When I read the description of this book I knew I wanted to read it and have the chance to share it with you all. I have rarely seen books that show AAC being used, even more so children’s books. I really liked the way that this book describes what voices sound like for someone who is autistic and how different those voices sound when they are coming from people who are important to them. I also really liked how this shows the kid feeling like no one can hear him because he isn’t using spoken words, and how his mother supports him. I like how we see the whole family using AAC to communicate with each other as well as with other people they encounter. I also love that we get to see the things that make the kid happy and people’s responses to that, and the way those words still hurt even as these people think he doesn’t understand their words.
Tiffany Hammond is the voice behind the popular social media account Fidgets and Fries. She is an Autistic mother and advocate. Tiffany is a storyteller, using her own personal experiences with Autism and parenting two teen boys with the same diagnosis to guide others on their journey. Her activism is rooted in challenging the current perception of Autism as being a lifelong burden, cultivating a community that explores the concept of Intersectionality and Autism, and inspiring thought leaders through storytelling, education, and critical discourse. She has a Masters in Developmental Psychology from Liberty University.
Tiffany is an Autistic Speaker and Autistic Consultant who currently uses her lived experiences to inform her audiences of the issues that matter most to this community, with emphasis on the Black Autistic experience.
Tiffany is a dreamer by day and writer by night. She doesn’t care to write about herself in the third person but can be easily persuaded to do so every once in a while. She lives in Texas with her husband, Alonzo, and their two boys, Aidan and Josiah. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.
DEADENDIA: The Watcher’s Test & DEADENDIA: The Broken Halo by Hamish Steele
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy (Graphic Novel)
Publishing Date: May 2, 2023
Synopsis The Watcher’s Test:
Barney and his best friend Norma are just trying to get by and keep their jobs, but working at the Dead End theme park also means battling demonic forces, time traveling wizards, and scariest of all–their love lives!
Follow the lives of this diverse group of employees of a haunted house, which may or may not also serve as a portal to hell, in this hilarious and moving graphic novel, complete with talking pugs, vengeful ghosts and LBGTQIA love!
In the second installment of this quirky, heartfelt, LGBTQ adventure comic, war is brewing across the thirteen planes and as always, haunted house attraction and portal to hell Dead End is right at the center of it.
It’s been weeks since Dead End was destroyed and as it reopens as a hotel, resident tour guide turned hotel manager Norma is determined to leave the ghosts of the past where they belong. But with her friendship with Barney up in the air and angels and demons using the hotel as their literal wrestling ring, Norma soon finds that unwanted ghosts can appear at any moment, especially when they’re your own.
Hamish Steele (he/they) is a freelance animation director and illustrator who grew up surrounded by legends, myths, and folktales. Since graduating from Kingston University in 2013, Hamish has worked for the BBC, Cartoon Network, Disney, Nickelodeon, among others. He is the creator of and showrunner for the Netflix series Dead End: Paranormal Park, based on his graphic novel series, DeadEndia, and the Eisner Award-winning creator of the graphic novel, Pantheon. Hamish currently lives in London and can be found online at https://hamishsteele.co.uk/.
¡Ay, Mija! (A Graphic Novel): My Bilingual Summer in Mexico by Christine Suggs
Genre: Young Adult Graphic Novel
Publishing Date: January 1, 2023
“An absolutely heartwarming and vibrant story of belonging, family, and the meaning of home. This book is a treasure.” – Julie Murphy, New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’
In this bilingual, inventive, and heartfelt debut, graphic novel talent Christine Suggs explores a trip they took to Mexico to visit family, embracing and rebelling against their heritage and finding a sense of belonging.
Sixteen-year-old Christine takes their first solo trip to Mexico to spend a few weeks with their grandparents and tía. At first, Christine struggles to connect with family they don’t yet share a language with. Seeing the places their mom grew up—the school she went to, the café where she had her first date with their father—Christine becomes more and more aware of the generational differences in their family.
Soon Christine settles into life in Mexico, eating pan dulce, drawing what they see, and growing more comfortable with Spanish. But when Mom joins their trip, Christine’s two worlds collide. They feel homesick for Texas, struggle against traditions, and miss being able to speak to their mom without translating. Eventually, through exploring the impacts of colonialism in both Mexico and themselves, they find their place in their family and start to feel comfortable with their mixed identity.
Content Warning: body issues, colonialism, family trauma, diaspora
Thoughts and Themes: The minute that I read the description of this book I knew that it was something that I had to read. I am so glad that I got the chance to read this book and also to share it with you all. This book spoke to so many pieces of me especially a younger me and it felt so healing. I hadn’t even realized that this book was Christine’s memoir because of how relatable so many of the moments were.
I really liked how there were portions of the story told in Spanish and those moments were not translated. This allowed me to feel the way that Christine feels in this story as they are trying to keep up with conversations going on around them. I like how Christine explains what it means for them to not be fluent in Spanish but also want to feel like a part of that family.
I rarely get to read books in which the main character is Latinx and queer so that was really refreshing and something else that stood out to me in this book was the integration of the religion. I really liked the way you can see aspect of their religion peeking through in different moments throughout the book and how Christine is grappling with that.
Something else that stood out to me about the book was how the main character looks like me, I think this piece was the most important part of this story. This was why I kept forgetting it was a memoir because I was like this could be a younger me and relating so much. I remember throwing this book across the room because of how frustrated I was in moments because of that relatability but then also hugging the book because of what it meant to me.
About the Author
Christine’s pronouns are they/them/theirs
Christine Suggs is a comic artist and designer living in Dallas, TX with their wonderful partner, 1 dog, and 2 cats. They’re currently working on a YA graphic novel about spending their summers in Mexico as a teen, set to release in 2023 from Little Brown Young Readers. Christine’s work explores the intersection of their identities, namely being a queer, fat, Latinx leftist who loves all things cute. Bonus facts: their day job is in app design, they are an avid Dungeons & Dragons player, and they’re quite obsessed with their cats.
When Will comes home to small-town Washington for his family’s solstice celebration, he expects to feel out of place. A trans man in a coven of witches, he’s never felt the magic his family feels. Things change, however, when he runs into an old classmate from high school. Bea sees Will in a way very few people from his hometown do, and more than that, she believes in his magic. These two grow closer over the holidays, and learn to lean on each other in the face of family prejudices and expectations, but when the holiday is over, what will happen to their budding relationship? A funny, intriguing, and sometimes bittersweet story about finding people who see the real you in a world that isn’t made for you.
Thoughts and Themes: I always forget how much I really do enjoy short stories/novellas and am very pleased when I get the chance to read one. This one was great and is definitely one that I am adding to the list of things to re-read. It’s one that was rough at the start but as it goes on and when it ends left me with a lot of hope.
I really liked the premise of this story and how the coven has no boys in the past eighty years and how our main character is the first boy and even then it wasn’t until later in life that he recognized that he is Trans. I like how this plays out for Will’s family members and how they respond to him as well as how other town people respond to him. I also like how Will points out the way his family accepts woman loving woman but not him being Trans.
Characters: In this book you are introduced to the main character, Will and the love interest, Bea. Along the way you do get a chance to meet some of their family members but very briefly. While they were a lot during the brief moments they were introduced, I did enjoy that we got to meet ‘s family because it shows a lot of why he responds the way he does.
I really enjoyed the romance that happens in this story and how Bea helps Will learn to love himself despite his family. I also like how this develops and how Will is quick to dismiss Bea at first because of them being in two different places geographically. I like that we get to see him struggle with her not being ready to leave behind all she has known.
Writing Style: This story is told in first person through the perspective of Will which is something that I really enjoy especially when the conflict arises. I liked that we only get to see things from Will’s point of view and we don’t know how others are feeling. I thought this was especially important regarding his family and their feelings about him being Trans and leaving them. I thought it was great that we don’t get to see this because their feelings in the long run didn’t matter.
Alec lives in the Pacific Northwest, where they write romantic adult fantasy and self-indulgent fanfiction. They make candles inspired by their favorite characters.
Very few individuals can truthfully say that their work impacts every person on earth. Forrest Galante is one of them. As a wildlife biologist and conservationist, Galante devotes his life to studying, rediscovering, and protecting our planet’s amazing lifeforms. Part memoir, part biological adventure, Still Alive celebrates the beauty and determined resiliency of our world, as well as the brave conservationists fighting to save it.
In his debut book, Galante takes readers on an exhilarating journey to the most remote and dangerous corners of the world. He recounts miraculous rediscoveries of species that were thought to be extinct and invites readers into his wild life: from his upbringing amidst civil unrest in Zimbabwe to his many globetrotting adventures, including suspenseful run-ins with drug cartels, witch doctors, and vengeful government officials. He shares all of the life-threatening bites, fights, falls, and jungle illnesses. He also investigates the connection between wildlife mistreatment and human safety, particularly in relation to COVID-19.
Still Alive is much more than just a can’t-put-down adventure story bursting with man-eating crocodiles, long-forgotten species rediscovered, and near-death experiences. It is an impassioned, informative, and undeniably inspiring examination of the importance of wildlife conservation today and how every individual can make a difference.
Thoughts and Themes: It’s been a while since I’ve read non-fiction on audiobook and this book reminds me of why I enjoy it so much. There really was so much that I enjoyed about this book and I think hearing it added to that experience.
I really enjoyed hearing about the animals that were named extinct but were actually still alive just in hard to find locations. I loved hearing about those locations that the author had to travel to and all he did to find these animals. I also really enjoyed how the author explains his reasoning for finding the animals and how it goes beyond prestige for him. This book made me really want to watch the shows he mentions in this book.
Something else that I enjoyed about this book was the way in which it ended and brought up the Covid-19 pandemic in relation to the rest of this book. I thought it left the reader with a lot to think about which is something that I always look for when reading non-fiction. It also left me wanting to know more about certain topics and searching for answers.
Writing Style: This book is told in first person through the perspective of the author which really adds to the story. This point of view makes it feel like you are on these adventures with the author. This was something that I really enjoyed about the book and this piece kept me listening and wanting to start it over once I was done with the story.
Forrest Galante was born on March 31st, 1988 in California, but within the first few months of his life moved to Harare, Zimbabwe. He grew up on a productive farm that cultivated luxury alstroemeria flowers, various fruits and was home to a myriad of livestock and wild African animals. As a child, Galante’s favorite pastimes included catching snakes, fishing in the dam, breeding guinea pigs and playing rugby. When he wasn’t enjoying life on the farm, his mother would take him and his sister on safari in the African bush. As one of Africa’s first female safari guides and bush pilots, Galante’s mother took her children to explore some of the most remote parts of Africa, collecting artifacts and observing wildlife. Galante was enthralled by all wildlife and knew he would one day pursue a career with animals. At age 14, Galante was the youngest person to ever lead an international canoe safari down the Zambezi River.
In 2001, Galante’s world was turned upside down when terrible political turmoil in Zimbabwe caused their farm to be seized. They were forcefully evicted from their home in the middle of the night and fled the country of Zimbabwe. With only a suitcase each and a couple hundred dollars, Galante and his family returned to California to the small town of Cayucos, and later Santa Barbara.
Galante turned to free diving and spearfishing as a way to adjust to his new life in California. Over time and as his skills developed, Galante made a name for himself in the underwater community. He traveled to various countries to participate in spearfishing events and today holds six pole spear world records. Along the way, Galante also got certified as a SCUBA dive master, a 100-ton ship captain, and an EMT. In 2009, he graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in biology; special emphasis in marine biology and herpetology.
The year after his college graduation, Galante took a year to travel the world. He visited 46 of the most remote places on earth to work with and photograph rare wildlife. Along his journey, he caught crocodiles, dove with white sharks, photographed venomous snakes, outsmarted a startled hippo, dodged a cyclone, and had countless other adventures—but also was hospitalized multiple times.
Upon returning to California, Galante pursued a career in high-risk wildlife biology fieldwork, always focusing on animals on the brink of extinction. In 2014, he participated in Discovery’s hit show, Naked and Afraid and scored one of the highest PSRs (primate survival rating) ever on the show. Galante’s hands-on approach to wildlife, passion for nature and extraordinary background eventually led to the development of his own television show, Extinct or Alive, on Animal Planet. The show followed Galante as he travels the globe searching for animals he believes have wrongfully been deemed extinct.
Since 2018, Galante has captured evidence of the existence of eight animals once believed to be extinct. To learn more about his discoveries, read here.
Galante continues to conduct field expeditions and surveys, working not just with believed-extinct animals but also with a wide range of other wildlife. His mission is to inspire and educate people about animals and adventure through the media, including hosting programs on Animal Planet, on-camera expert interviews, and production of his own wildlife and natural history shows. He also communicates his mission through his active social media presence, with frequent posts to a large following.
She wants a big Sweet Sixteen like her best friend Naomi. She wants the super cute new girl Siobhan to like her back. She wants a break from worrying–about money, snide remarks from white classmates, pitying looks from church ladies . . . all of it.
Then inspiration strikes: It’s too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if she had a Coming Out Party? A singing, dancing, rainbow-cake-eating celebration of queerness on her own terms.
The idea lights a fire in her, and soon Mahalia is scrimping and saving, taking on extra hours at her afterschool job, trying on dresses, and awkwardly flirting with Siobhan, all in preparation for the Coming Out of her dreams. But it’s not long before she’s buried in a mountain of bills, unfinished schoolwork, and enough drama to make her English Lit teacher blush. With all the responsibility on her shoulders, will Mahalia’s party be over before it’s even begun?
A novel about finding yourself, falling in love, and celebrating what makes you you.
Thoughts and Themes: I will give any LGBTQ+ a try so when I saw this one I was happy to read it. I also have been trying to diversify the LGBTQ+ books that I read which means including more Sapphic books in that mix.
There is so much that happens in this book and I just really enjoy the way the author touches on each of these things. This book talks about socio economic class, queerness, religion, friendship, family, the concept of coming out, and so much more. I really liked the way each of these topics come about but also how much this book shows that it takes a village.
This book is one that I hugged, threw across the room, only to go grad it and hug it some more, this book made me laugh and then cry. This is one that just stuck with me for so many reasons and there was so much relatable material in this book that I just had to sit with it sometimes. This is one that I just wanted to immediately re-read once I finished it because of how much I related to what was going on in this book.
Characters: In this book you are introduced to several characters through their interactions with our main character, Mahalia. You get to meet her mother, her best friend, Naomi, the love interest, Siobhan, her dad, his new family, and several more characters. I really enjoyed each of the characters that are introduced throughout this book and the relationships that they have with Mahalia and with each other.
I loved the relationship between Mahalia and Siobhan, even if you suspect this is coming there are definitely moments in which you think Mahalia is in love with a straight girl. I loved that this wasn’t the case and how this all unravels and how their relationship comes to be.
I also loved the complexity behind the relationship of Mahalia and her mother. I love that the mom wants to support her and doesn’t always know how to. I love that they don’t always know how to communicate with each other and that this is called out. I also liked how their relationship contrasts with the relationship that Mahalia has with her father. I thought it was great to see that contrast and then also see how Mahalia’s father’s new wife can show up for Mahalia even when he can’t.
Writing Style: This book is written in first person through the perspective of Mahalia. I loved that everything was being told through Mahalia’s perspective because you got to know her feelings instantly. I think that being in her feelings really makes the book hit a lot harder and allows you to feel her pain. I also liked that everything was told in her perspective because there were so many moments that were beautiful because you didn’t see them coming.
Camryn Garrett was born and raised in New York. In 2019, she was named one of Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 and a Glamour College Woman of the Year. Her first novel, Full Disclosure, received rave reviews from outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, the Today Show, and The Guardian, which called a “warm, funny and thoughtfully sex-positive, an impressive debut from a writer still in her teens.” Her second novel, Off the Record, will be released May 18, 2021. Camryn is also interested in film and is a student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. You can find her on Twitter @dancingofpens, tweeting from a laptop named Stevie.
When seventeen-year-old Eleanor Willis arrives at Camp Sunshine, a camp secretly for LGBTQ+ girls, her mom’s beat-up old car can barely make it up the hill. She decides to walk the rest of the way and admires a black Rolls Royce, before noticing the pretty girl with the blue eyes in the back seat. She wonders if this could be the start of a summer romance until the girl scowls at her and promptly rolls up the window.
It’s just Eleanor’s luck that she’s fallen for Yvette Fleur, a half-French, rich, anti-social girl who wants one thing only: to leave camp as soon as possible. With Yvette’s dad constantly traveling for work and her mom passing away when she was little, she’s learned not to get attached to anyone. Eleanor wants to show her otherwise.
But Eleanor has her hands full as leader of Team Indigo in the lake crossing competition and must organize her team to build the fastest floating vessel for the big race. Unfortunately, she’s stuck with two competitive over-achievers, an aspiring fashion designer who is more focused on their uniforms than the watercraft, and Yvette, who disappears every chance she gets.
To win the race and to win Yvette’s heart, Eleanor must bring the girls together to work as a team. Maybe then Yvette will learn that not everyone leaves, if she’ll only let them into her heart.
Thoughts and Themes: I don’t remember why I originally got the e-book for this one but it was probably something I saw posted online and was interested in. I had someone pick out my next read and this was their choice which I’m glad that they picked it because this was a quick read and it was great.
This is a really short and quick read which means you don’t really have time to build much up. The romance aspect of this book comes on rather quickly but I keep reminding myself that these are teenagers and everything is so quick at that age. I actually like the pacing of this book when it comes to them building friendships with each other and crushing on one another.
Something else that I like about this book is just how normalized it is that this is the place for queer girls to meet each other. Like from the very start this is why Eleanor wants to go to this camp and they have a way to wear their wristbands that indicates to the others if they like girls. I thought it was great that even the adults that are at the camp are aware of this and don’t bat an eye to any of it.
Characters: In this story you are introduced to several characters through their interactions with our main character. You get to meet Eleanor’s teammates, Regan, Bridget, Sylvia, and Yvette, and a few of the other people who are at camp as well.
Something else that I do enjoy about this book is that we get to see each of the girls grappling with their futures. I like that Eleanor talks about her struggles financially and how scared she is about college and her future. I like that we get to see Yvette struggle with allowing others to see her emotions. What I really liked though about getting to see all of this was reading how the girls helped each other through their doubts and fears. I liked the relationships that come from all of their struggling.
At first I wasn’t too big of a fan of the relationship that was going to inevitably happen between Eleanor and Yvette. I didn’t see how she could just instantly like her without knowing anything about her and then continue to pine after her after she was blowing her off. I slowly grew to like these two together though as we learn more about each of the girls and why they respond to each other in the manner that they do.
Writing Style: This book is written in first person through the perspective of Eleanor which I thought was great. I really liked that you don’t know how the other girls are feeling about what Eleanor is doing as a team captain or even regarding her feelings for Yvette. I like that we are following Eleanor and all we know is what is inside of her head and the conversations that take place out loud.
CATE SUMMERS is a bestselling author, who knows that anything is possible with friendships, adventure and love. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Be sure to sign up for her newsletter at catesummers.com