Friday, I’m in Love by Camryn Garett Book Review

Book Description

Mahalia Harris wants.

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.

Review

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.

Author Information

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.

The Rainbow Race By Cate Summers Book Review

Book Description

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.

Review

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.

Author Information

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

The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas Book Review

Book Description

As each new decade begins, the Sun’s power must be replenished so that Sol can keep traveling along the sky and keep the evil Obsidian gods at bay. Ten semidioses between the ages of thirteen and eighteen are selected by Sol himself as the most worthy to compete in The Sunbearer Trials. The winner carries light and life to all the temples of Reino del Sol, but the loser has the greatest honor of all―they will be sacrificed to Sol, their body used to fuel the Sun Stones that will protect the people of Reino del Sol for the next ten years.

Teo, a 17-year-old Jade semidiós and the trans son of Quetzal, goddess of birds, has never worried about the Trials…or rather, he’s only worried for others. His best friend Niya―daughter of Tierra, the god of earth―is one of the strongest heroes of their generation and is much too likely to be chosen this year. He also can’t help but worry (reluctantly, and under protest) for Aurelio, a powerful Gold semidiós and Teo’s friend-turned-rival who is a shoo-in for the Trials. Teo wouldn’t mind taking Aurelio down a notch or two, but a one-in-ten chance of death is a bit too close for Teo’s taste.

But then, for the first time in over a century, Sol chooses a semidiós who isn’t a Gold. In fact, he chooses two: Xio, the 13-year-old child of Mala Suerte, god of bad luck, and…Teo. Now they must compete in five mysterious trials, against opponents who are both more powerful and better trained, for fame, glory, and their own survival.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: This is a book that I knew I wanted to read before it even was on the shelves. Aiden Thomas is one of my must-buy authors since I read Cemetery Boys and each of his books have been amazing. I don’t typically listen to fantasy on audio because I can’t always follow along but I decided to listen to this one and follow along on e-book and that was a great experience.

There were so many aspects about this book that I enjoyed, from the world building, to the characters, and the plot. This book grabs your attention from page one and then it never lets you go even after you finish the book and close it. I can’t wait to know what happens next for all of our characters, and this world that I have grown to love.

I liked that this book takes some time in the beginning to build up the world for us and explain how things came to be and what they are now. I also like the brief conversations that occur about gender identity and being Trans between Teo and Xio and think that this not only makes sense throughout the book but makes certain parts hit harder as you read.

Characters: In this book you are introduced to several characters and don’t worry they all have distinct qualities so that you can tell them apart. You are introduced to our main character, Teo as well as the people that he is competing against in the Sun Bearer Trials, which are Xio, Aurelio, Auristela, Niya, Dezi, Xochi, Marino, and Ocelo.

Throughout the book you get to know some characters a lot more than others but each of them play an important role in moving the story along. I really enjoyed getting to learn about each of the characters but especially love how the website has the character cards so I can keep them separated in my head. It was minor details that I would forget about each character so I did love that each of them had distinct voices and you could tell who was who just by their actions and words.

I love the tension that we get between the characters because of who they are and the rankings that exist in the world. I also like the tension that we see just based on who their parents are and the impressions that they have made because of this. I really enjoy the role that the parents play in this book and how tensions seem to arise more when they are around.

Writing Style: This story is told in third person with a narrator that follows each of the characters with a particular focus on Teo. I liked that the narrator wasn’t first person because there were points that I wanted to know what others were thinking and/or doing and we were allowed those moments. I also did like the focus on Teo as our main character because of the relationships that each character has with him.

Author Information

Aiden Thomas is a New York Times Bestselling author with an MFA in Creative Writing. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, Oregon. As a queer, trans, Latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE”, and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.

Their debut novel, CEMETERY BOYS, was published on September 1st, 2020.

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales Book Review

Book Description

It’s been two years since Maya’s ex-boyfriend cheated on her, and she still can’t escape him: his sister married the crown prince of a minor European country and he captured hearts as her charming younger brother. If the world only knew the real Jordy, the manipulative liar who broke Maya’s heart.

Skye Kaplan was always cautious with her heart until Jordy said all the right things and earned her trust. Now his face is all over the media and Skye is still wondering why he stopped calling.

When Maya and Skye are invited to star on the reality dating show Second-Chance Romance, they’re whisked away to a beautiful mansion—along with four more of Jordy’s exes— to compete for his affections while the whole world watches. Skye wonders if she and Jordy can recapture the spark she knows they had, but Maya has other plans: exposing Jordy and getting revenge. As they navigate the competition, Skye and Maya discover that their real happily ever after is nothing they could have scripted.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: So I was prolonging reading this one because here I was thinking it was some straight romance. Don’t let that part fool you and just keep reading through the book, trust me this isn’t straight at all. I kept thinking oh no this is going to be a second chance romance and I just am not a big fan of those especially when the guy didn’t even redeem himself. I was quite surprised how wrong I was in thinking this and loved the way things ended up for all of our characters.

Something that I really enjoyed about this book was how their is almost no character growth for Jordy and for a while you are led to believe it will be the same case for Maya. You hope that she gets her act together and just lets this feud with Jordy go because as Skye points out, he really is living rent-free in her mind so technically he is winning. I love the character growth that we get to see with Maya from the start of the book to the end so don’t worry if you don’t like her too much immediately.

Characters: In this book you get introduced to the the two main characters, Maya and Skye along with several others that they interact with. You get to meet Jordy who is the star of the reality TV show that all the girls are starring in, you get to meet some of Maya and Skye’s friends from back home, and their family members.

I love so many of the relationships in this book even the ones that Jordy is involved with but that isn’t because of him but because of the girls. I really liked the relationship that develops between all of the girls who are staying together for the sake of the filming of the reality TV show. I like how their dynamics shift throughout the book and how we see competition changing their attitudes towards each other but then how they join together when truth is revealed.

The other great thing about this book is watching as the relationship between Maya and Skye develops. I really love an enemies to friends to lovers trope when its done well. I also liked that the miscommunication piece in this was all due to lies that were pushed by Jordy and the messaging that it sent across when this was revealed.

Writing Style: This book is told through dual point of views going back and forth between Maya and Skye’s perspectives. I really liked that we get to be inside both of their heads as this story unravels and this becomes a huge part of the story as time goes on. Something that I did keep forgetting while reading this book was the age of the characters but I do not think this matters much beyond knowing that they are young adults.

Author Information

Sophie Gonzales writes young adult queer contemporary fiction with memorable characters, biting wit and endless heart.

She is the author of THE LAW OF INERTIA, ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED and PERFECT ON PAPER. IF THIS GETS (co-written with Cale Dietrich) is forthcoming in Fall 2021 from Wednesday Books / Macmillan.

When she isn’t writing, Sophie can be found ice skating, performing in musical theatre, and practicing the piano. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia where she works as a psychologist.

She is represented by Molly Ker Hawn of The Bent Agency.

99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers by Adam Sass Book Review

Book Description

Will Boy 100 be the One?

Micah is rich, dreamy, and charming. As the “Prince of Chicago,”—the son of local celebrity sports radio host known as the King of Chicago—he has everything going for him. Unfortunately, he’s also the prince of imaginary meet-cutes, since he’s too nervous to actually ask boys out.

Instead, Micah draws each crush to share on Instagram with a post about their imaginary dates. Ninety-nine “boyfriends” later, his account is hugely popular, and everyone is eagerly awaiting Boy 100. So is Micah. He’s determined that Boy 100 will be different. This time, Micah will sweep the boy off his feet, for real!

So when Micah flirts with a hot boy on the L who’s wearing a vegan leather jacket and lugging a ton of library books, he is sure this is Boy 100. But right before he can make his move and ask for the boy’s number, the guy rushes off the train, leaving behind his pumpkin-embroidered jacket. The jacket holds clues to the boy’s identity, so Micah and his friends set off on a quest to return it. Along the way, Micah will discover that the best relationships aren’t fairy tales. In fact, the perfect fit—and true love—might be closer than he thinks.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: This is another one that I am so glad to have waited to listen to the audiobook but also be able to follow along using the e-book/physical book. The images really add to the story so if you listen to the audiobook make sure you have a way to access the images included.

There are so many moments throughout this book that I highlighted because I resonated with the things being said by the characters. The whole time as I was listening to this book I found myself yelling at Micah because as the reader you know something that he isn’t picking up on.

There are so many moments that broke my heart but I can’t tell you about them all without running the story. Just have some tissues near you and be careful to not throw whatever device you are reading on across the room.

Characters: In this book you are introduced to several characters through their interactions with our main character, Michah Summers. You get to meet his friends, Elliot and Hannah, his parents, his sister, his boyfriend, Grant, and a few side characters.

I really enjoyed all of the relationships that you get to see throughout this book because each of them adds something different to Micah’s life. When I first started reading this one I really didn’t understand the point of Grant being introduced and was quite frustrated with him. It really isn’t until the ending that you understand why he needed to be included into this story. I really enjoyed the relationship that Micah and Grant have especially closer to the end of this book. I think he needed to be included in the story for there to have been any character growth for Micah.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Micah and Elliot, this was actually my favorite throughout the whole book. The friendship between these two is wholesome and this is what I really enjoy about their relationship. I really like how the two of them bring out the best in each other and how they just know what the other needs.

Something else that I really enjoyed about this book was the relationship that each of the characters have with their family members. I love how supportive their families are of them and how we get to see how those dynamics play out. I especially like how involved Micah’s parents are in his life and even how his sister gets involved.

Writing Style: This book is told in first person through the perspective of Micah. I really enjoyed having the story be told in his perspective because it doesn’t let us know how others are feeling. I liked that people had to directly tell Micah anything for him to understand what was going on.

Author Information

ADAM SASS

writes pop-as-hell stories with queer characters in the driver’s seat. In his books, he strives to capture the three “H’s” of the queer experience:

HUMOR.

HEART.

HORROR.

He is the award-winning author of the conversion camp escape thriller SURRENDER YOUR SONS and THE 99 BOYFRIENDS OF MICAH SUMMERS, a romantic comedy about imaginary boyfriends and missed connections. His forthcoming novel, YOUR LONELY NIGHTS ARE OVER, is about two popular gay best friends who must stop the slasher who’s been stalking their school’s LGBTQ Club. It will release in Fall 2023 from Viking.

The Edge of Being by James Brandon Book Review

Book Description

Isaac Griffin has always felt something was missing from his life. And for good reason: he’s never met his dad. He’d started to believe he’d never belong in this world, that the scattered missing pieces of his life would never come together, when he discovers a box hidden deep in the attic with his father’s name on it.

When the first clue points him to San Francisco, he sets off with his boyfriend to find the answers, and the person he’s been waiting his whole life for. But when his vintage station wagon breaks down (and possibly his relationship too) they are forced to rely on an unusual girl who goes by Max—and has her own familial pain—to take them the rest of the way.

As his family history is revealed, Isaac finds himself drawing closer to Max. Using notes his dad had written decades ago, the two of them retrace his father’s steps during the weeks leading up to the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in San Francisco, a precursor to the Stonewall Riots a few years later. Only to discover, as he learns about the past that perhaps the missing pieces of his life weren’t ever missing at all.

Review

TW: Self Harm, Suicide Attempt, alcohol, abuse, drugs, hospitalization

Thoughts and Themes: I really enjoyed Ziggy, Stardust, and Me so when I saw the author had come out with another book I knew I had to read it. When I found out the audiobook is read by the author I decided I wanted to listen to the book rather than read the e-book version.

Something that I really enjoy about this book is the way that it integrates Queer history throughout the story. There were a lot of pieces that I knew about briefly but not extensively and these pieces sparked interest in learning more. I really like this aspect because this is meant for Queer youth to read so it’s nice knowing they would learn history along with reading this story.

Something else that I really enjoyed about this book was that while it is a coming of age story, it isn’t a coming out story. I like how all three of the main characters are trying to figure out their lives and the missing pieces in each of them. I also like how each of them are trying to use other people to fill that void, and how this doesn’t turn out how they planned.

Characters: In this book you are introduced to our main character, Fig, his boyfriend, Christopher, a friend of his, Charlie, and a girl that they met along their journey, Max. You are also introduced to several characters that Fig comes into contact with on his journey to find his dad.

I really liked all of the characters that you are introduced to throughout this book. I liked the relationship between Fig and Christopher and how this changes throughout the book. I liked how real their relationship is and how messy they are with each other. I like how you see them both trying to hold onto something that isn’t there, and while you hope for the best for them you also hope they find themselves without the other one.

I also really enjoyed the relationship that develops between Max and Fig and how this shifts throughout the story. I liked seeing how each of them understands the other and how they just clicked right from meeting each other. I just like how easy it was for Fig to trust Max, and how she just takes it all in and vice versa.

Writing Style: This book is written in first person through the perspective of Fig. I really enjoyed this being told through his perspective because you don’t get a chance to see how other people feel. I like that we are inside of Fig’s head as he is figuring out things for himself especially when he locks others out.

Author Information

James Brandon produced and played the central role of Joshua in the international tour of Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi for a decade, and is Co-Director of the documentary film based on their journey: Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption. He’s Co-Founder of the I AM Love Campaign, an arts-based initiative bridging the faith-based and LGBTQ2+ communities, and serves on the Board, as well as the Powwow Steering Committee, for Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAITS) in San Francisco. He’s also a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, spent a summer at Deer Park Monastery studying Zen Buddhism, and deepened his yogic practice in Rishikesh, India. Brandon is a contributing writer for Huffington PostBelieve Out Loud, and Spirituality and Health MagazineZiggy, Stardust, and Me is his first novel.

Youngblood by Sasha Laurens Book Review

Book Description

Kat Finn and her mother can barely make ends meet living among humans. Like all vampires, they must drink Hema, an expensive synthetic blood substitute, to survive, as nearly all of humanity has been infected by a virus that’s fatal to vampires. Kat isn’t looking forward to an immortal life of barely scraping by, but when she learns she’s been accepted to the Harcote School, a prestigious prep school that’s secretly vampires-only, she knows her fortune is about to change.

Taylor Sanger has grown up in the wealthy vampire world, but she’s tired of its backward, conservative values—especially when it comes to sexuality, since she’s an out-and-proud lesbian. She only has to suffer through a two more years of Harcote before she’s free. But when she discovers her new roommate is Kat Finn, she’s horrified. Because she and Kat used to be best friends, a long time ago, and it didn’t end well.

When Taylor stumbles upon the dead body of a vampire, and Kat makes a shocking discovery in the school’s archives, the two realize that there are deep secrets at Harcote—secrets that link them to the most powerful figures in Vampirdom and to the synthetic blood they all rely on.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: When I heard about a sapphic vampire book I knew I had to read it because most of the vampire books that I have read are all straight, cis, and white. I am glad that I decided to wait and listen to this one on audio because it really adds to the story. I loved the narrator of the book as there is a clear distinction between which character is speaking.

I really like how so much of what happens in this book is based on miscommunication or just the lack of communication between people. I thought this was very realistic for teenagers and loved seeing that even supernatural creatures come across these problems. Then there are so many things you discover closer to the end of the book that just make the book so much better. Please stick around to you get to this point because it really does get good, it pretty much speeds up half way through as everything unravels itself.

Characters: In this book you are introduced to our two main characters, Kat and Taylor, along with several of the people who are in their lives. You get to meet Lucy and Evangeline who are friends of Kat, along with Galen who all the girls are interested in. You also get to meet a few of the professors that are at the school in which Kat and Taylor are attending.

I really like the relationships that develop throughout this whole book and how attached this book makes you get with each character that you meet. I like the conversations that occur between Kat and Taylor and how they explain themselves to each other. I love how these two go from best friends to enemies to lovers.

Writing Style: This book is told from a dual point of view going back and forth from Kat and Taylor’s perspectives in first person. I do like that we get both points of view because the girls are very different from each other. I liked getting to know about them separately from each other especially since they start off being ex-best friends. I also liked how this plays out when the two aren’t in the same place because you get to see the way both stories unfold.

Author Information

Sasha Laurens is the author of A Wicked Magic and Youngblood. She is originally from Northern California and has lived in Michigan, New York, and St. Petersburg, Russia. She has a PhD in political science and lives in Brooklyn.

Single Riders: A YA Novella by Selys Rivera Book Review

Book Description

After Seong Duri gets in a fight with her sister, Duri skips church to go to an amusement park. But when she runs into the pastor’s son, she asks the next person in line to switch places. She has no idea this decision will change more lives than one.

Alex Danieli is heartbroken after their boyfriend dumped them. Missing him, Alex decides to go on their ex’s favorite ride. But when Alex agrees to switch with another single rider, they immediately regret their decision. Alex soon learns, though, that maybe that decision wasn’t so bad after all.

Jaya Foster is an aspiring writer with a secret. She’s still trying to figure out how to tell her mom when she accidentally gets pulled into drama involving two other single riders. Little does Jaya know this is exactly what she needs to solve her problem.

Single Riders is a fun and touching reminder that you’re not alone. You never know when a future friend is around the corner. Or maybe next in line.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: When I heard about this book I knew that this was something that I really wanted to read. I tend to visit theme parks on my own a lot and have always thought how cool it would be to make friends in line. I loved that this whole book takes place in a matter of a few hours because it definitely feels like more time has passed than that.

I also like how each of these characters has something that is stressing them out regarding the future, and how they understand this for each other. I really liked the way that they introduce their problems to one another but also how we get the back story for these problems. I also like the idea of everything being resolved at the end of the day because your new friends gave you the courage to stand up for yourself.

Characters: In this book you are introduced to our three main characters, Alex, Duri, and Jaya, along with a few of the important people in their life closer to the end of the story. I really liked how the story focuses on the three main characters without really introducing us to the people who impact their lives until the very end.

I liked how naturally this friendship develops between the three of our main characters and how quick they are to support one another. I like how easily they became friends and what things brought them together.

Writing Style: This novella alternates between three different perspectives, Alex, Duri, and Jaya, told in first person. I really enjoyed getting to read this story through each of their perspectives as we get to know their back story in each of their sections. I also really like that we get to see how each of them feels in each moment as things play out for them.

Author Information

Originally from Puerto Rico, Selys Rivera considers herself a queer, God-loving, and social justice-obsessed chica.

Selys has published articles, poems, and stories in magazines, anthologies, and literary journals, as well as books. Her favorite genres to write in are YA/NA Fiction, Memoir, and Poetry.

In her free time, you can find her reading too many books, spending time with loved ones, or playing with her red Dachshund named Ketchup.

Follow her on TikTok @SelysRiveraWrites to stay connected.

Heat Wave (The Extraordinaries 3) by TJ Klune Book Review

Book Description

Nick, Seth, Gibby, and Jazz are back in action bringing justice, protection, and disaster energy to the people of Nova City.

An unexpected hero returns to Nova City and crash lands into Nick’s home, upturning his life, his family, and his understanding of what it means to be a hero in the explosive finale of the thrilling and hilarious Extraordinaries trilogy by New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I really enjoyed the first book in this series but the second one let me down. I was a bit worried about this one because of that and the reviews that I saw of this book. I’m glad I decided to listen to it on audio though since I don’t think I could’ve gotten through it otherwise. It isn’t because its bad but the second hand embarrassment is a lot.

There were moments in which I wanted to throw this book across the room or hide it under a pillow because of the terrible second hand embarrassment. These were moments that I thought were way too much but then I remembered being a teenager and a lot were just accurate. There were also moments in which I had to pause the book because I was laughing and not paying attention to what was being said. Books rarely make me laugh out loud especially when I am in public so this made for some fun moments.

I would skip this series if you are not a fan of second hand embarrassment, and a lot of mention about sex. There is also pro-cop sentiments in the first two books and the third book doesn’t really do a good job of handling the shift from pro-cop to anti-cop. It kind of attempts to make the reader give a pat on the back to Nick’s dad for quitting the force without addressing his prior actions as a cop or why this shift needed to happen.

One thing that I didn’t like about the book is the way in which it ends. I won’t give spoilers but it seemed rushed to me which is why I wasn’t a big fan of it. I also found it a little hard to follow and had to listen to it more than once to follow what was happening and why.

Characters: In this book, you continue following Nick and his group of friends, Seth, Gibby, and Jazz as they try to keep their city safe. You also get to continue learning about their families, mostly their dads, along with a new person, Burrito Jerry.

Just as I did in previous books, I will always love the relationship and support that Nick gets from each of his friends. I actually like the friendships much more than the relationship in this book. I love Nick and Seth as a couple but I value their friendship a lot more. I also really enjoyed the Dad squad in this book and how supportive they are in their own ways.

Writing Style: This story is told in third person through the perspective of Nick. I like that things are told through his perspective because we get a lot of his inner thoughts. I like that his thoughts aren’t linear because of his ADHD and how we get to see the way this affects him.

Author Information

TJ KLUNE is a Lambda Literary Award-winning author (Into This River I Drown) and an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company. His novels include The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Extraordinaries. Being queer himself, TJ believes it’s important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories.

Melt With Me by Jennifer Dugan Book Review

Book Description

Fallon and Chloe used to be best friends, but last summer they hooked up right before Chloe left for college, and after a series of misunderstandings they are now not speaking to one another. A year later, Chloe’s back home from school, and Fallon is doing everything in her power to avoid her–which is especially difficult because their moms own a business together, a gourmet ice cream truck where both girls work.

When their moms have the opportunity to make a presentation to some venture capitalists in Texas–something that could seriously expand their business and solve all their money problems to boot–it’s up to Fallon to work a series of food truck festivals across the country. But she can’t do it alone, and Chloe is the only one available to help. As tensions heat up again between the two, will Fallon be able to keep her cool?

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I have such mixed feelings with miscommunication as a trope because I get frustrated that they just don’t talk but then when its YA it reminds me that this is really what its like to be that age. The miscommunication trope is done well when it is with teenagers because it reminds me of what it was like to just keep everything to yourself rather than ruin anything between friends. But then again the whole time I am yelling at both characters because they both knew that a conversation needed to happen.

I’m glad that I listened to this one on audiobook because I don’t think I would have gotten through it otherwise. I really enjoy the moment these two finally have the conversation that they needed to have. I thought this part was done well and I love the honest response we get from the both of them. I like that they both were thinking of the worst when it came to the other but they both had different responses to this.

As this book carried on I was so worried that I was going to end up hating the book the closer we got to the ending of this book. I was quite surprised that we don’t get a generic ending which is what I was so worried about. I really enjoyed the way that this story wraps up and how things aren’t just great between everyone who was involved.

Characters: In this book you are introduced to several characters through their interactions with our main character, Fallon. You get to meet her ex best friend, Chloe, her friends, her mom and several people they meet on their road trip.

I really like the relationship that we get to see between Fallon and Chloe and how confusing it is for the both of them. I like that we get to see slices of their friendship through Fallon’s perspective before things fell apart. I also like that we get to see Chloe trying to fix this friendship even though she doesn’t know why Fallon is being cold to her.

Writing Style: This book is told in the first person through the perspective of our main character, Fallon. I really like that everything is told through her perspective because we have to wait until she talks to Chloe to know both sides. I also like that Fallon does occasionally break the fourth wall to let the reader know what she is thinking.

Author Information

Jennifer Dugan is a writer, geek, and romantic who writes the kinds of stories she wishes she had growing up. In addition to being a young adult novelist, she is also the writer/creator of two indie comics. She lives in New York with her family, dogs, and an evil cat that is no doubt planning to take over the world.