Queerly Beloved by Susie Dumond Book Review

Book Description

A people-pleasing baker tries to find her place as a bridesmaid-for-hire . Will she finally find her happily ever after—and her own voice?

Amy, a semicloseted queer baker and bartender in mid-2010s Oklahoma, has spent a lifetime putting other people’s needs before her own. Until, that is, she’s fired from her job at a Christian bakery and turns her a one-off gig subbing in for a bridesmaid into a full-time business—thanks to her baking talents, crafting skills, and years watching rom-coms and Say Yes to the Dress. Between her new gig and meeting Charley, the attractive engineer who’s just moved to Tulsa, suddenly Amy’s found something— and someone—she actually wants.

Her tight-knit group of chosen family is thrilled that Amy is becoming her authentic self. But when her deep desire to please kicks into overdrive, Amy’s precarious balancing act strains her relationships to the breaking point, and she must decide what it looks like to be true to herself—and if she has the courage to try. 

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I was drawn to this book just based on the cover of it and I am glad I had the chance to read it. I winded up listening to this one on audio and really enjoyed the audio version of this book.

I tend to not read romance books because of the spice scenes which I am not a big fan of. This book includes a few of those scenes but they are not overdone and they add to the plot without deterring so I found them to be well done. I do think that this book is marketed as a romance but it is more of a story in which Amy is finding herself and learning to embrace that with some romance included throughout.

There were quite a few things that I really enjoyed throughout this book. I really enjoyed how we get a chance to see what it is like for Amy to have two separate lives, one in which she is out and another in which she is closeted. I like how this book brings up how hard it is to be a queer person of color or someone who doesn’t fit the binary living in that small town. I also really enjoy how this book talks about what marriage equality means for Queer people but also how it isn’t everything people think it is and how there is still more work to be done.

I also really enjoyed Amy being a baker and also her brief time as a backup bridesmaid. I really enjoyed getting to see her be in her element even as she hides a piece of herself that is important to her. I liked getting a glimpse at some of the weddings that Amy has to work at and the mess that she gets herself into at some of them.

Characters: In this book you get introduced to several characters through their interactions with our main character, Amy. You get to meet some of her friends, Damian and Joel, her family, the love interest, Charley, and more.

I really enjoyed all of the relationships that are included in this book and love hearing about Amy’s relationship with her friends. I loved getting to see how she allowed herself to just be who she is around them without worrying about others finding out about her queerness.

I also really enjoyed the relationship between Amy and her mother. I love how Amy goes to her mom for so much yet her mother pushes her to make Queer friends to talk to because she doesn’t understand everything. I love how supportive Amy’s mother is of her and how you also see Amy’s mother in Amy when she is supporting a Queer youth later in the story.

Writing Style: This story is told in third person through the perspective of Amy. I really like having romance books be written in third person because I can detach from them and am able to enjoy the story as an outsider. I like that we only get things told to us in the perspective of Amy because we don’t see how others are feeling as things fall apart. I also really liked how this story is more than just a romance story and has parts that aren’t just about Charley and Amy.

Author Information

Susie Dumond is a queer writer from Little Rock, Arkansas. She is a Senior Contributor at Book Riot, where she writes a monthly Horoscopes and Book Recommendations column, as well as various quizzes, book lists, and bookish news pieces. Susie received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tulsa and a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the George Washington University. Currently, she’s probably making cupcakes at her home in Washington, DC, with her partner Mary, her dog Waffles, and her cat Maple.

She Gets The Girl by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick Book Review

Book Description

Alex Blackwood is a little bit headstrong, with a dash of chaos and a whole lot of flirt. She knows how to get the girl. Keeping her on the other hand…not so much. Molly Parker has everything in her life totally in control, except for her complete awkwardness with just about anyone besides her mom. She knows she’s in love with the impossibly cool Cora Myers. She just…hasn’t actually talked to her yet.

Alex and Molly don’t belong on the same planet, let alone the same college campus. But when Alex, fresh off a bad (but hopefully not permanent) breakup, discovers Molly’s hidden crush as their paths cross the night before classes start, they realize they might have a common interest after all. Because maybe if Alex volunteers to help Molly learn how to get her dream girl to fall for her, she can prove to her ex that she’s not a selfish flirt. That she’s ready for an actual commitment. And while Alex is the last person Molly would ever think she could trust, she can’t deny Alex knows what she’s doing with girls, unlike her.

As the two embark on their five-step plans to get their girls to fall for them, though, they both begin to wonder if maybe they’re the ones falling…for each other.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: I was so surprised to see an arc of this book in my mailbox and was so happy to get a chance to read it. I decided to listen to it on audiobook since it was the first book on a readathon that I am doing. I followed along with the physical book though and really enjoyed the audiobook of this one.

I really liked the way this whole story begins with Alex trying to help Molly get with Cora in order to prove to her ex-girlfriend, Natalie that she isn’t just a flirt and cares about more than just herself. I love the way all of this unfolds and this whole story reminds me of my first relationship and how that all became a disaster.

This is definitely one that I am going to want to read more than once for so many reasons. There were just so many cute moments that occur throughout the story between our main characters. I love how the romance develops and love how what they thought they wanted was so wrong for both of them.

Characters: In this book you get introduced to both of the main characters, Molly and Alex as well as some of the people that they interact with. I really enjoyed each of the characters that you get to meet through this story and liked how we know little about some characters and a lot about others.

I really liked how different Molly and Alex are from each other and how unlikely their friendship is right from the start. I loved getting to know more about each character apart from each other and how their home life affects their college life. I also really liked getting to know more about their friendship and the things the similarities that they share.

I love Molly and how ridiculously naïve and dorky she is. There are so many moments in which I have second hand embarrassment for her or I’m screaming at her for something she isn’t saying. I just love watching her fumble as she tries to flirt with people and follow the steps that Alex has lay out for her.

I liked getting to see Molly and Alex’s relationship with their mothers and how different each of them are from one another. I also really enjoyed the relationship that develops between Alex and her boss at the food truck. I thought this was great to see and I love how he helps her out even though he has a tough exterior. I think because of how alike those two are their relationship dynamic works out and I like how we see them open up to each other.

Writing Style: This story is written in first person going back and forth from the perspectives of Molly and Alex. I really liked getting both of their sides throughout this book because it allowed you to get to know both girls independently of each other. I liked getting to see both of their lives outside of the university and how that impacts the way they interact with each other.

Author Information

Rachael Lippincott is the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Five Feet Apart. She holds a BA in English writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, she currently resides in Pittsburgh with her wife and their dog, Hank.

Alyson Derrick was born and raised in Greenville, Pennsylvania, a town where burn barrels take the place of recycling bins. After making her great escape to Pittsburgh, where she earned her bachelor’s in English writing, Alyson started her own food truck, but soon realized she much prefers telling stories over slinging cheesesteaks. She is the coauthor of New York Times bestseller She Gets the Girl and author of Forget Me Not. Alyson currently resides in Pennsylvania with her wife and their dog, Hank.