Author: Sophie Gonzales Publication date: March 3, 2020 Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance, LGBTQ+ My rating: 5/5 stars
Cute, queer, and oh-so-diverse, this might be my favorite book I’ve read this year thus far. Only Mostly Devastated is essentially a gay retelling of Grease, only with more humor (and emotions), broader social awareness, healthier relationships, and none of the “change the most fundamental aspects of your personality just to please a boy” nonsense that fills the end of the original musical. In other words, it is everything the world of light, contemporary YA thrives on, and I am so here for it.
Author: Alyssa Sheinmel Publication date: February 1, 2020 Genre: young adult, contemporary My rating: 4/5 stars
What Kind of Girl is one of those books that, regardless of your opinions on its execution, you have to acknowledge is vitally important for its willingness to openly address difficult social phenomena that society likes to sweep under the rug. It is a heavy read, but in a necessary way, not the maudlin sort of sob-story that is an inherent risk of writing about so many serious issues that teens face today.
“Doing something when you’re scared is braver than doing something when you’re not.”
Author: Danny Tobey Publication date: January 7, 2020 Genre: science fiction, thriller My rating: 4/5 stars
Welcome to The God Game! This book, and the game within it, feels like something straight out of a Black Mirror episode–“Shut Up and Dance” (the one with the blackmail text messages) especially comes to mind. Prepare yourself for moral dilemmas, the horrors of technology, the complexities of teenage friendship and high school life, and above all, a riveting plot that makes this book’s 450+ pages absolutely fly past. Just remember, even as you read this review: G.O.D. is always watching.
Author: Rebecca McLaughlin Publication date: January 7, 2020 Genre: young adult, fantasy My rating: 2.5/5 stars
When broken down to its fundamental components, Nameless Queen has a lot of things that tend to make me automatically love a book: a protagonist who is a thief, hidden royalty, and commentary on classism and rigid social structures. But when taken as a whole, the novel failed to breathe much life or originality into those tropes. The result was a lukewarm story–not bad, but wholly unremarkable.
Author: Stacie Ramey Publication date: January 1, 2020 Genre: young adult contemporary, romance My rating: 4/5 stars
A timely narrative about disability, sense of self, and first love, It’sMy Life deftly navigates the difficulties–physical, emotional, and social–that accompany serious disability, through the eyes of a smart, likable, and relatable narrator. Though it does get a bit cheesy and/or implausible at times, the story itself is an important one, specifically targeting the younger end of the YA spectrum with a solid message of hope.
Author: John Scalzi Publication date: December 1, 2019 Genre: short stories, humor My rating: 4/5 stars
If you want a stocking-stuffer guaranteed to produce roughly an hour or two of amusement and giggles for any of your family members, this book is for you. At just 144 pages, this is a quick read that will feel even quicker because you’re just enjoying it so much. Because this is a mini book, I think it’s fitting to give it just a mini-review, so here’s what you need to know:
Author: Ryan La Sala Publication date: December 3, 2019 Genre: young adult, fantasy, LGBTQ+ My rating: 2.5/5
“Kane shoved down his curiosity, knowing it was useless to expect a drag queen to do anything other than exactly what she wanted.”
When I heard that a book existed where the “evil queen” trope has been transfigured into “drag queen sorceress,” I just knew I had to read it. And it’s a YA fantasy being compared to Inception and full of fabulously queer characters? It sounded like such an exciting idea. But you know those books that you have so hyped up in your mind because they sound so fresh and original, but then you find out that “fresh” is just a euphemism for “unpolished and awkward”? Yeah, that’s how this one ended up.
To my US friends: Happy Thanksgiving! To everyone else: happy Thursday! And to all of you: I’m so thankful for books and this community surrounding them, and especially for all of you who take time to write about books, read my ramblings about them, and leave likes and comments. Much love to you all 💜
Anyway, this is a continuation of my book haul for this month, which has been way larger than anticipated, courtesy of several giveaways I’ve managed to win (no clue how…). If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here. Otherwise, here are a few more pretty pictures. Enjoy!
Author: Adam Kay Publication date: December 3, 2019 Genre: nonfiction, humor My rating: 4.5/5 stars
This book was…laugh-out-loud hilarious? Painfully sad? Excellent validation that I made the right choice in not becoming a doctor? Honestly, all of the above. With candor and a never-ending stream of (often dark) humor, this collection of journal entries by a former medical resident paints a vivid picture of all parts of the medical profession: the funny, the bizarre, the awful, the heartwarming, the disgusting, the personal.
Author: Seanan McGuire Publication date: October 31, 2019 Genre: short stories, fantasy, science fiction My rating: 5/5 stars
Most of all, this book is for all those fools who laughed at me in the academy. I may not be raising the dead yet, but I still know where my shovel is.
It’s no secret that I think Seanan McGuire is pretty great. I’ve only read a few of her books, but I’ve massively enjoyed them all. I knew she was great before I started on this collection, but boy howdy, she has outdone herself. Twenty-two short stories, all filled with her signature wit, wistfulness, and love for all things strange and disturbing.