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 Instead of bowing to the bigots and outdated school administration, Jeremy decides to make some noise—and how better than by challenging his all-star ex-boyfriend, Lukas for the title of Homecoming King?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.

All Kinds of Other by James Sie 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

JAMES SIE is the author of STILL LIFE LAS VEGAS (St. Martin’s Press, 2015), a Lambda Literary Award finalist for Best Gay Fiction, and the YA novel ALL KINDS OF OTHER (Quill Tree Books, 2021) He is an award-winning playwright of literary adaptations, receiving a Joseph Jefferson Citation for his adaptation of ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS, and an After Dark Award for the original work THE ROAD TO GRACELAND. He has contributed essays for The Rumpus, Pen USA, FSG’s Book Keeping and The Advocate. In addition to writing, Sie can currently be heard as a voiceover artist in animation and audiobook narration.

Author Links:

Author Website ~ Instagram ~ Twitter

Book Description

Publisher: Quill Tree Books

Release Date: May 4, 2021

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54798457-all-kinds-of-other

Book Purchase link: https://www.harpercollins.com/products/all-kinds-of-other-james-sie?variant=32260054155298

Book Description: 

In this tender, nuanced coming-of-age love story, two boys—one who is cis and one who is trans—have been guarding their hearts to protect themselves, until their feelings for each other give them a reason to stand up to their fears.

Two boys are starting at a new school.

Jules is just figuring out what it means to be gay and hasn’t totally decided whether he wants to be out at his new school. His parents and friends have all kinds of opinions, but for his part, Jules just wants to make the basketball team and keep his head down.

Jack is trying to start over after a best friend break-up. He followed his actor father clear across the country to LA, but he’s also totally ready to leave his past behind. Maybe this new school where no one knows him is exactly what he needs.

When the two boys meet, the sparks are undeniable. But then a video surfaces linking Jack to a pair of popular transgender vloggers, and the revelations about Jack’s past thrust both Jack and Jules into the spotlight they’ve been trying to avoid. Suddenly both boys have a choice to make—between lying low where it’s easier or following their hearts.

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win one finished copy of All Kinds of Other by James Sie! Open USA only. There will be 1 winner.

Giveaway starts: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Giveaway ends: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CST

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d39/

Review

Thoughts and Themes: This one I had to sit on before writing the review because of how much I really enjoyed it. As a trans person there was several portions of this book that I had to just set the book aside because the Transphobia was too much. Our main character never really gets a break from all the transphobic people in his life and the first thing that I noted was see these things happen in liberal spaces too.

As soon as I started reading, my favorite thing was that this book took place in Los Angeles. I think the setting is really important for many of the events that occur throughout this book. I think the book shows how sometimes people like to think that transphobia and homophobia only exists in small towns and conservative places, but this book shows how it exists in what we think of as a safe town. I also really loved the setting because it felt like I was going to these places with the characters, I could picture all the places they went as these are the places I grew up going to.

Something else that I really loved that this book addresses is the transphobia within the queer community. I thought it was important that the lack of trans awareness in the school’s GSA was addressed and we also saw some of the LGBTQ+ characters having a hard time when Jack is outed.

The reveal of who outed Jack was so hard to read but also I kind of liked Jack’s response to the person who outed him. I thought it was nice that he took this as a teaching moment while still expressing his anger about what happened. I can’t speak much about this without giving spoilers but I have a lot of feelings about how it went down.

This book has so much packed into it and discusses many topics. This book also briefly goes into being mixed race, and we also see how Jack is treated because he is half Indian. While there is so many layers to this book, and so many different things going on, I don’t think that any of it takes away from the book.

Characters: Through this book you meet several characters through their interactions with Jules and Jack. I really liked getting to know Jack and Jules and thinks the book does a great job of letting you know them both with and without each other.

I really liked reading as the relationship between Jack and Jules developed and then what happens when Jules finds out that Jack is trans. I think this non-linear development of their relationship was realistic. I thought that their relationship was realistic for their ages and really liked how they both were figuring out themselves and what they wanted. I really liked that we do get a happy ending for their relationship because it felt wholesome and I love happy endings for trans people, we deserve them.

I thought that both sets of parents played an important role in this story and was really glad that they were included. I thought it was important that we see Jules’s mom being transphobic and read as how that figures into the story. The dinner scene was so hard for me to get through because of all the transphobia that is packed into just a few pages. It was hard to read as Jack’s dad didn’t stand up for his son, and Jules’s didn’t know how to make it all stop. I did think it was important to see Jack’s dad struggle in this moment and to also see Jack’s response to this.

Writing Style: The story is told through two perspectives and in first person. The book also includes some tumblr posts that Jack is making to Evie along with some video transcripts Jack and Evie made. I liked getting to hear both of their sides to the story and see what was happening for each of them as the story progressed. I really liked getting to see parts of Jack’s past through the tumblr posts and youtube videos because they show how he came to be who he is now.