May The Best Man Win by Z.R. Ellor Blog Tour Post

I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by Turn the Page Tours. Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here. 

Author Information

Z. R. Ellor (he/him) is the author of MAY THE BEST MAN WIN and the forthcoming adult fantasy SILK FIRE (written as Zabé Ellor.) He holds a BA in English Lit and biology from Cornell University. When not writing, he can be found running, playing video games, and hunting the best brunch deals in Washington D.C.. Find him online at https://zrellorbooks.com/

Book Description

TITLE: May the Best Man Win

AUTHOR: Z.R. Ellor

PUBLISHER: Roaring Brook Press

RELEASE DATE: May 18th, 2021

GENRE(S): YOUNG ADULT FICTION–Contemporary, Romance

BUY LINK: https://bookshop.org/a/11727/9781250625120

SYNOPSIS:

A trans boy enters a throw-down battle for the title of Homecoming King with the boy he dumped last summer in ZR Ellor’s contemporary YA debut.

Jeremy Harkiss, cheer captain and student body president, won’t let coming out as a transgender boy ruin his senior year. Instead of bowing to the bigots and outdated school administration, Jeremy decides to make some noise—and how better than by challenging his all-star ex-boyfriend, Lukas for the title of Homecoming King?

Lukas Rivers, football star and head of the Homecoming Committee, is just trying to find order in his life after his older brother’s funeral and the loss long-term girlfriend—who turned out to be a boy. But when Jeremy threatens to break his heart and steal his crown, Lukas kick starts a plot to sabotage Jeremy’s campaign.

When both boys take their rivalry too far, the dance is on the verge of being canceled. To save Homecoming, they’ll have to face the hurt they’re both hiding—and the lingering butterflies they can’t deny.

Giveaway

Up for grabs, we have ONE (1) copy of May the Best Man Win by Z.R. Ellor. This giveaway is open to US residents only and will run from May 16th to May 23rd at 12 AM CST. No giveaway accounts allowed.

ENTER HERE

Review

Thoughts and Themes: The minute that I saw this book had Trans rep and Autistic rep, I knew I had to read it.

Once I started reading there were too many moments in which I put the book down because of how angry I was with the characters. It took me a little bit to really get into this story and not be so angry with the characters. I had to give them time to grow on me and also to understand why they acted the way that they did. Once I understood them a little more and gave them permission to be messy because they were teenagers, and also just learning about who they are.

There were quite a few things that I really enjoyed that occur over halfway through the book, so if you’re struggling with the first half, I highly suggest continuing until over halfway point. I liked as Lukas and Jeremy talk to each other rather than just trying to one up each other. I also really like a lot of the activities that take place in the week leading up to homecoming. I also really enjoyed the outcomes for the homecoming court and thought that was a great unexpected twist.

Characters: In this story there are two main characters and you get introduced to others in the interactions that these characters have. Through the interactions in the story, you get to meet some of the main character’s friends, family members, and bullies.

At the beginning of the story, I really wasn’t having it with Jeremy. Jeremy was pushing all of his friends away and being an ass to anyone who tried to get close to him. It wasn’t until over halfway through the book that I felt for Jeremy and started to understand why he would push the others away. I thought that Jeremy read as realistic and I did appreciate that especially as he is trying to figure out how his trans identity affects him and his relationships with others.

Lukas was a character that I liked from the beginning of the story yet there were times in which I was angry with him as well. I felt bad for Lukas as he has to hide that he’s Autistic while at school and feels that his Autism keeps him from being the child his parents want. I would have liked to see there have been more character development when it came to Lukas being Autistic and there have been more positivity around this rather than it feeling like it was just a side trait.

Something that I do like is how Lukas and Jeremy’s competition with each other and the way that they treat each other, really shows a lot of their insecurities. I thought it was great to see how their insecurities played out, and also to see how they dealt with those insecurities. I also really liked how others were involved in this story and thought that the main side characters really added a lot.

I really enjoyed reading about Sol, a nonbinary Latinx computer nerd who is a sophomore. I really liked what they brought to the story and how they taught Jeremy the importance of having a LGBTQ+ community, and how his Trans identity is important to who he is.

Writing Style: The story is told in dual perspective through the point of view of Lukas and Jeremy. I really liked getting to see both of their sides to the story and all of the events that take place. I liked how we go back and forth between both of these characters as it gives you a full picture of the events that occur between them. I think having both of the perspectives shown allows you to not take sides even when you are really angry at either of them.

Under Shifting Stars by Alexandra Latos Book Review

Author Information

Alexandra has considered herself a writer her entire life. In fact, she won an award when she was only five years old for her story about a “dorphaned” bear. As a kid she liked climbing trees, walking to the drugstore to buy notebooks for her next story, and forcing family members and friends to act in her plays. 

Alexandra graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance, but after a few stints in various treasury departments, she quickly realized the finance world wasn’t for her (the stocks app is still the most under-utilized app on her phone). She returned to university to earn a Bachelor of Arts in English and a certificate in Technical Writing. Though she still picks up a technical writing contract here and there, her true passion remains creative writing, which she manages to fit in between taking care of her kiddos.

Alexandra has published Young Adult and New Adult fiction. She’s currently working on an Adult novel through a grant process with Alberta Foundation for the Arts. She lives with her husband, two (soon to be three) tiny tornadoes, and two black cats, one of whom thinks he’s a dog.

Book Description

This heartfelt novel for fans of Jandy Nelson and Adam Silvera follows twins Audrey and Clare as they grapple with their brother’s death and their changing relationshipswith each other and themselves.

Audrey and Clare may be twins, but they don’t share a school, a room, a star sign, or even a birthday. Ever since their brother Adam’s death, all they’ve shared is confusion over who they are and what comes next.

Audrey, tired of being seen as different from her neurotypical peers, is determined to return to public school. Clare is grappling with her gender fluidity and is wondering what emerging feelings for a nonbinary classmate might mean. Will first crushes, new family dynamics, and questions of identity prove that Audrey and Clare have grown too different to understand each other—or that they’ve needed each other all along?

Review

Thoughts and Themes: From the start of this book I really enjoyed listening to it and was glad that I decided to listen to it rather than read the physical book. I love this book as an audiobook because it feels like you are there with each of the characters.

I really like the way this book goes through Clare trying to figure out her gender identity and sexual orientation. I liked the scenes in which Clare is using google to search for things and we are told exactly what she finds on the site. I really enjoyed how Clare figuring things out for herself is handled and how the complexity of grief is mixed into it all. I thought it was great to see how she begins to separate her grief from who she is and realize that her grief has nothing to do with how she identifies.

I really like the way that each of the character’s feelings are addressed throughout this whole story. I like how we see them go through the process of grief and how these feelings are addressed at the ending of the story. I liked how we get to see not just Clare and Audrey have feelings about their brother’s death but their parents also shares their feelings too.

Characters: This book centers around two main characters who are twins, Clare and Audrey. Both of these characters are very different from each other and these differences keep them from being close to each other. You also get to meet their parents along with some of the twins friends.

I liked seeing the way that Clare and Audrey’s relationship changes throughout the book and how we see the reason that Clare has certain reactions to Audrey. I thought that it was interesting that Clare blames Audrey for their brother’s death but doesn’t realize that Audrey also blames herself.

I like the relationship that Clare has with Taylor and how that relationship helps her figure things out for herself. I like how they ease into their relationship and how their is no negative reactions to this relationship from the people who matter to Clare.

I also really enjoy Audrey’s relationship with Calvin and how she goes back and forth with her feelings about him. I like how messy the relationship begins and how he responds to her actions. I liked that through this relationship we see what autistic dating looks like for one person and I loved that Calvin likes her and explains things differently than the way she sees herself.

Writing Style: This book goes between both two different perspectives in the first person. You get both of Audrey and Claire’s perspective through this book which is something that I really enjoy. You get both of these perspectives and I like that both of the voices of the main characters are distinct.

The narrator of the story is really good and easy to listen to. I like how each of the girls is voiced by a different person so they have a distinct voice. I also like that you can hear the emotion in each of the character’s voices and that each character has a distinct voice. This is one book that you can just listen to and get lost in because of how it feels that you are in these scenes with Clare and Audrey.