Hi Pals and Welcome to a Reading Wrap Up!
I thought it would be a nice idea to talk through the NetGalley ARCs I’ve been reading recently. I did do a reading vlog on my channel you can watch, but it didn’t get a lot of traction when it comes to views so trying it out on the blog and seeing how it does here. Some of the books I talk about on instagram or probably still on my channel depending on how I felt about them, but for the most part I just review them on NetGalley and mark them as read on my GoodReads (reading goals to get to yanno!) I’ve been in and out of a reading slump recently it feels because I have had a lot going on in my life when it comes to creative projects and trying to make sales to support my needs, but these are all the NetGalley ARCs I’ve read so far and my general thoughts and opinions. I have a reading wrap up video up for February and March which includes a lot of these books too, and then a more recent video about my Recent 5 Star Reads with a lot of the ARCs I enjoyed best, and a reading vlog of trying to up my NetGalley ratings. All for you to have a watch and see if you prefer my content written, or as a video! Don’t forget to follow here and subscribe to my YouTube channel!
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Act Your Age Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert: I made a whole reading vlog talking about my reactions I recommend you watch! This was such a fun read and something I really needed! I love that the book showed two very different outward expressions of autism traits but how Neurodivergent people can understand each other in ways Neurotypical people can’t always do. I felt very seen by Eve as I am also an undiagnosed autistic. It was so lovely to read such a subtle and authentic creation about autistic people, love, and characters, as well as the struggles they faced.I related to both the main character and the love interest a lot! You don’t need to read the other books in the series to understand anything, it would probably add some context and Easter eggs but that didn’t inhibit my enjoyment. It did make me want to go and read the other two books though! (Get a Life Chloe Brown, Take a Hint Dani Brown) Highly recommend!!!
My Sister Daisy by Adria Karlsson: This one is hard to explain how I feel. It decentres the trans character, the marketing keeps misgendering the trans character. The images are of a Black family, but the write is white and so is the artist… it feels a bit ‘look how inclusive we are’ without really being inclusive. Also the author contacted me through my facebook page about my feedback, and whilst the interaction was okay, I think generally this shouldn’t be done.
Ace of Spades Sneak Peak by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé: The sneak peak was really exciting, really disclosed more about the book than I previously understood and has solidified the books space on my TBR/wish list. Also the two main characters are both queer, always love that.
A little sunshine and a little rain: a poetry journal by Sabina Laura: I wrote a mini review on my instagram, go give that a like! My main gripe with this book is the artist used Native American imagery when the author is white British, it’s just inappropriate to use ‘for the aesthetic’ when you can literally draw anything else.
You Don’t Have To Be Everything by Diana Whitney (editor): I liked the idea of this book, I know one of these poems was by a trans woman writer, I am unsure if there is a trans man/nonbinary writer in this too I hope not as this is a poetry book for young girls and women. The contradiction of including trans writers and having a poem that’s very bio-essentialist in it’s feminism and discussing women’s bodies which was extremely explusionary of trans women. And there was a poem promoting the ‘not like other girls’ cliche rather than promoting loving all girls and women for their differences.
Check out a recent reading vlog on my channel!
Dead Sea by Mia Kerick: definitely not written for a queer audience. Doesn’t seem to have any real understanding of queer sex between boys, also these are roughly 17 year old boys… and this not feeling written for a queer audience and not written for a YA audience, I have a few issues there. Also the book generally didn’t make any sense? The main plot was the main character was caught dressed up as a character in a gay bar, it wasn’t the fact he was at a gar bar that was the issue, it was his outfit. This book basically talks about this as if cosplaying doesn’t exist.
i am tired of being a dandelion by Zane Frederick: Another one that I gave a mini review on my instagram, check that out and give a like. I really enjoyed this book, gave me the mood of Rupi Kaur but with more actual poetry structure.
Dogs of Devtown by Taylor Hohulin: This was a surprise for me. I’ve never read a sci-fi book all the way through until this. I’m always sceptical of men writing women main characters, but I felt like it was done really well. I really enjoyed the plot and the elements of mystery helped keep me interested. Very visual, and very easy to follow along. I enjoyed the three main characters a lot, they were all very different to each other. I’m pretty sure there is a second book coming from the prologue.
She Memes Well by Quinta Brunson: A book for the internet memers. An Interesting memoir of how Quinta accidentally became internet famous. A lot of social commentary as well and a look into the experiences of a Black woman in the comedy/performing industry. I skipped a couple of chapters that were like listicles, one was a chapter of songs… I just wans’t interested in those bits. I did find the end of the book was a bit long and felt like it carried on.
Boys Run The Riot vol 1 by Keito Gaku: A book I keep recommending. A manga by a trans man and about a trans man. These two kids in school start a fashion brand coz no one else is interested in the same things they are so a random selection of weirdo’s join forces and start designing clothes and setting up their site. I don’t think this plot is for me, but I don’t think there was anything wrong with it. I keep promoting it as I don’t think I have ever read a manga by a trans person or with a trans character (and i mean trans characters not, cross dressing for laughs).
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The Dream Team: Jaz Santos vs The World by Priscilla Mante: This was such a fun little book. Middle Grade based in my hometown Brighton! An Own Voices book, the main character Jaz is Black and so is the writer. Jaz loves football but is always mocked by the boys and none of her friends who are girls want to play, until there’s a way to show the boys up and enter the local football competition. Amazing. This is going to be a series so I think I need to buy these to be totally honest, two sets. One for me and one for my friend’s kids. I also identified a lot of myself in Jaz and I believe she shows a lot of ADHD traits, I’m interested to see if this becomes canon and if it will be added to the commentary of racism, sexism, etc. the book already discusses.
Dear Azula, I Have A Crush On Danny Phantom by Azura Tyabji: this was a fun and very short poetry book using characters in cartoons and pop culture and how they affected the writers, either discovering their sexuality, gender, or finding a character that reminded them of themselves, etc. Created by Button Poetry.
The Pronoun Book by Cassandra Jules Corrigan: I’m not sure if the writer is trans, but some if the information included wasn’t correct.
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The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow by Emma Steinkellner: A fun middle grade graphic novel with very heavy Sabrina the Teenage Witch from 90s/y2k show vibes. The main character is a young Black girl, but this isn’t Own Voices. It is fun an enjoyable, another book I’d pick up for myself and my friend’s kids.
Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally by Emily Ladau: A great book for Americans specifically who want to learn more about disability and be a better ally to disabled people, but also very good for anyone globally! There are lots of universal info and tips. Check out my Disabled Writer Rec list and my Insta post for my full review.
The Ghosts We Keep by Mason Deaver: Check out this video, I did a reading vlog for the book tour. This is a YA about familial grief but also a little bit romantic grief. From the POV of Lee, their brother dies in a freak accident and everything changes. There’s a huge emphasis on kids relationships with parents, a teenagers relationship with friends and when to call it quits on toxic friends, and how to find closure/cope with losing a family member you didn’t know as well as you thought. Heartbreaking, I cried a bunch.
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Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean: This was a really enjoyable read. You can check out my original review on my instagram. I loved Princess Diaries films, and this book gives off that vibe but with the beautiful and rich culture and history of Japan.
Artie and the Wolf Moon: This was super fun! I love werewolf stories and the main character having my name might have helped me pick this one up ! :’) but I’m glad I read it. The art style reminded me on the walking dead games, I loved the colour palette so much! Also, anything gay gets extra points! I love Artie and her mum, and their little werewolf family. It was a fun but emotional read, I think I would really like to continue reading this graphic novel! Give the review on my insta a like.
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Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous Leaders, Dreamers, and Change makers from Past and Present by Adrienne Keene: This book, Notable Native People by @nativeapprops is a wonderful and easily digestible book of Native people’s stories across America. Both historic and modern covering Native American, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiian people. I learned a lot reading this and also found many more creatives to follow and enjoy their work, such as @amrpodcast, @frankwaln, @traskstariez and @janetmock This is appropriate reading for all ages and is really fascinating to see how people have chosen to revive their culture, languages and practices for future generations. The book will be out October 5th 2021
Finding The Wolf by Mell Eight: An accidental erotica selection. Wasn’t well written, didn’t make a lot of sense, hard reaching for a lot of the plot. I loved the premise of a dragon falling in love with a Prince with the werewolf spin, it just wasn’t well executed.
Check out my recent blog post on Disabled, Neurodivergent and Chronically Ill writers!
Sick Girl Secrets by Anna Russell: This book was pretty simple and short. Not amazin writing or literature, but I included it in my Disabled writers blog post as the writer is disabled and this book specifically is about a disabled young girl in school. They were kind of like poetry but without much rhyming.
We Can Do Better Than This by Amelia Abraham: This is a new favourite book at the moment. Really great anthology book of personal essays around queerness and transness, over lapping with politics and other identities. Highly recommend a purchase. I mention this in a video.
Glass Syndrome by Eiko Ariki: A queer romance manga, the characters are in highschool and it isn’t graphic, more of a fade to black moment. It’s nice to read more manga that is meant to be LGBTQ+ as many manga use it as a joke or a random thing mentioned in the character profile but never anywhere else or actually in plot. I would like to read more written by LGBTQ+ manga writers though, but so far I haven’t found any with plots and characters that interest me.
Check out my blog post on Trans and Nonbinary Authors!
Fools in Love: Fresh Twists on Romantic Tales by Rebecca Podos: Recently reviewed on my instagram as well, not usually the kind of book I pick up as I don’t usually enjoy anthologies or short story books. This is a book with lots of diverse stories, LGBTQ+ characters and romance, but also a few straight romance stories, BIPOC characters and a mixture of cultural backgrounds. Most of the stories I really enjoyed and felt they were fun spins on the prompt they used, but there were a handful that felt rush, unfinished, or didn’t link to the prompt at all. If it wasn’t for those few stories, this would be a five star for me. But I still highly recommend as I enjoyed reading different genres and from different writers. Definitely for you if you enjoy short romantic one-shots.
Drõmfrangil by Cynthia McDonald: Ooft this one was bad. I went to read it because it was written by a disabled person and has a disabled main character, but the writing was poor. Lazy info dumping sessions regularly throughout instead of weaving the information through the text better. Dodgy terminology. Pacing was very weird and off. And it was very boring having the human main characters constantly explaining words to the magical creatures. A lot of it was outdated slang which made the characters hard to believe to be real. hard NO. Also why I didn’t include it in my Disabled writers blog.
Carmilla by J Sheridan Lefanu: Another Classic I didn’t enjoy. Still searching for a classic novel I enjoy. Even though this was a short book, it took me two weeks to get through because it was very dull. Slow pace until 70% where another character basically told the same story we just read but in three chapters, and then suddenly everything happened all at once and that was the end.
Deep Sniff: A History of Poppers and Queer Futures by Adam Zmith: This is my current ARC read. So far it has been interesting to read the history of how poppers came to be and how they became illegal, but then legal again and why they are sold where they are sold now. Interested to see where this book goes. GoodReads says it is under 200 pages but the eARC im reading makes it seem longer so, I guess we will see!
I’ve also picked up The Transgender Issue by Shon Faye from GoodReads as a read now. So will be reading through this soon, again if you subscribe to my book club membership of my Kofi you’ll get all behind the scenes thoughts and feelings.
How do I get all these free book ARCS? I’ve signed up to NetGalley and this is my main mode of reading ARCs, I am also signed up with a few booktours who have provided me with free physical and digital ARCs as well, and occasionally I have worked directly with a publisher if I have seen their call out on Twitter.
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