#contemporary, #fiction, #literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, fiction, gay, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: The Split by Laura Kay

Title: The Split

Author: Laura Kay

Publisher: Quercus

Length: 352 pages

Synopsis: Brutally dumped by her girlfriend, Ally is homeless, friendless and jobless… but at least she has Malcolm. Wounded and betrayed, Ally has made off with the one thing she thinks might soothe the pain: Emily’s cat. After a long train journey she arrives home to her dad in Sheffield, read to fold herself up in her duvet and remain in the sofa for the foreseeable. Her dad has other ideas. A phone call later, and Ally is reunited with her first ever beats, and friend of old, Jeremy. He too is broken-hearted and living at home again. In an inspired effort to hold each other up, the pair decide to sign up for the local half marathon in a bid to impress their exes with their commitment and athleticism. Given neither of them can run, they enlist the support of athletic, not to mention beautiful, Jo. But will she have them running for the hills… or will their ridiculous plan play off…?

When I first heard about this book, I knew immediately I wanted to read it. I love seeing queer stories in commercial fiction like this (something we need more of) so I was so grateful to Quercus for sending me a copy.

As we follow, Ally, who has been dumped and heads back to her hometown you can’t help but grow to love her. Actually you don’t grow to love her, its pretty instant. She’s witty and relatable and you can feel her heartbreak. There’s just an instant connection between the character and the reader and it’s all down to Lauras grey writing. The Split is full of many other fantastic characters like, Jeremy and Jo. They are both so likeable. And they also worm their way into your heart. So do Sophie and Charlie. Honestly, its full of great characters and they feel like the become your friends.

My favourite thing to read in this book was Ally’s growth, it was brilliant to read, especially because Laura has written it so well. I loved reading about ally finding herself and her passion. And you love Ally so much that you want her to succeed. Reading Ally’s growth is great and makes the book so enjoyable. I love how The Split also shows the importance of friendship, which are so important. Especially for queer people.

I also loved the queer representation in this book. Ally and Jeremy are my age, so their queer journey really resonates with me (also how can you not love any book that reference C’est la Vie by B*Witched). There was a moment in the book where Ally and Jeremy talk about being a queer kid at the school disco and that really hit me in the feels. That kid was me, and I’ve never read that in a book before. It also has fantastic queer friendships and found family and it made my little gay heart happy. This book is proof that we need more books in commercial fiction, especially when they are this goose.

Listen, books never make me laugh but The Split had me laughing out loud in the first twenty pages. I never do that. Ally has written a book that is sweet and uplifting that will warm your heart but it definitely has an edge to it that makes it hilarious and relatable.

I can’t recommend this book enough to you. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Also, it’s a super quick read because you can’t put it down.

Thanks to Quercus for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out March 18th but it’s out in ebook and audiobook now.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, literary ficton, review, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: Redder days by Sue Rainsford

Title: redder days

Author: Sue Rainsford

Publisher: Doubleday UK

Length: 258 pages

Synopsis: Twins Anna and Adam live in abandoned commune in a volatile landscape where they prepare for the world-ending event they believe is imminent. Adam keeps watch by day, Anna by night. They meet at dawn and dusk. Their only companion is Koan, the commune’s former leader, who still exerts a malignant control over their daily rituals. But when one of the previous inhabitants returns, everything Anna and Adam thought the knew to be true is thrown into question.

I read Follow Me To Ground by Sue and I absolutely loved it and then I found out she had a new book coming out and I couldn’t have been more excited. I also couldn’t wait to read it and picked it up right away. After reading this book, I think its fair to say that Sue Rainsford has become an auto-buy author for me. Whatever she writes, I’ll read.

Redder days is so intriguing and consuming that I couldn’t put it down. Here’s what I loved about the book, you are just dropped in the story and for a while you aren’t sure what’s going on, and how it all happened. And its not until Sue introduces different character perspectives that you begin to piece the story together and it really keeps the novel interesting and kept me totally hooked.

The writing, much like Sues plotting, is so clever. The story at times is so brutal and harsh, but Sue’s writing is so engaging and lyrical that it just keeps you turning the page. It’s such harsh topic but the writing is so lyrical and at times ethereal. The setting feels sparse and empty. Sue captures the atmosphere of this book perfectly. It feels desolate and isolated. This book was like nothing I’ve read before.

Sue writes brilliant characters, they were brilliant in Follow Me To Ground and they are just as brilliant in redder days. They are engaging, twisted, damaged and you can’t help but feel for them. But there was also something about the twins, Anna and Adam, that you can’t connect with and it makes them so intriguing. It shows the effects of two children left behind to grow up in a strange, scary situation. And they are so well crafted that and the story is engrossing that every decision they make, makes sense, even if you didn’t want them to make the decision. It’s just brilliant.

I can’t recommend redder days enough, as I’m sure you can tell I loved it. There’s no one out there writing these unique stories like Sue Rainsford. Redder days is unique and unforgettable. I’m looking forward to reading this again and getting lost in the world and the glorious writing.

Thank you so much to Tabitha at Doubleday Uk for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out March 11th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fiction, #literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, gay, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: here comes the miracle by Anna Beecher

Title: here comes the miracle

Author: Anna Beecher

Publisher: Orion

Length:229 pages

Synopsis: It begins with a miracle: a baby born too small and too early, but definitely alive. This is Joe. And decades before, another miracle: in a patch of nettled-infested wilderness, two teenage boys fall in love. One is Edward. Time passes and Joe gains a sister, Emily. She watches learn to play the violin brought for him by his grandfather, Edward. Watches him grow into a young man – a young man who is ready to begin. When Joe is diagnosed with late-stage cancer, Emily, Edward and the rest of the family are left waiting for a miracle.

Have you ever read a book and known that it’s going to make you cry within the first few pages? I have thanks to this book. It was beautiful in every way.

The writing in this book really is stunning. It was lyrical and it has such an honesty to it. This is actually why I knew I’d cry in the first few pages because the writing was so beautiful. It also poignant. Ugh, I loved it. I loved every page. I loved its beauty, its message, its prose. It’s the kind of writing that as you’re reading it, you know you’re reading something special.

This is quite a short book and there’s a part of me that wishes it was longer, but that’s just me being selfish because I loved it so much I wanted more. But it packs such a punch, and its all handled so delicately that its the perfect length. But you can’t blame me for wanting more can you.

Anna has created such complex and intriguing characters. I loved them all. They just have my whole heart. I loved the connection they had with each other, especially Emily and Joe. There was such an honesty and integrity between them. I loved that you were seeing the story through different perspectives and they handled it. It gave the story such depth.

This book obviously deals with death and it is handled so well. It’s so beautifully done. There’s a rawness and a powerfulness. It just broke my heart. It was also death with so honestly. When this book was talking about hospital it really hit home for me, it sort took my breath away. It captures perfectly the loss of a loved one and the grief that follows. Brilliant.

Although this book was sad, incredibly sad, it wasn’t depressing. It was sweet at times, and filled with love. I think this book ultimately reminds you love the people close to us and let them know because you never know how short life is. And I think thats a pretty special thing to leave with after finishing a book.

I also really quickly want to highlight this bit of writing because it made me weep so much. ‘But you wanted another sort of love. The type where another person chooses you and you choose them. You wanted someone to notice you and a little tug to develop inside them, urging them toward you. A mirror tug in you. You had seen it. People luminous around each other. The hungry way of listening, one person’s knee slipping between the other person’s knee, braced there. You wanted to be beautiful to someone. You wanted your skin to be touched…’ I mean, that is one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I’ve ever read. And its like the author looked into my soul and put it on the page. Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’ll remind you of all the important things in life and the wonder of fiction. Don’t forget to grab your tissues, you’ll need them.

Thanks to Orion for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fantasy, #fiction, #literature, #yafantasy, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, literary ficton, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

February Wrap Up

Another month has come and gone. Another month of Lockdown in the uk. I’ve, again, tried to spend my time reading but I did take a little break in the middle of the month. I’m not sure why, but that’s what happened and it definitely slowed my reading down. There was a time that I just didn’t want to pick up a book and that’s okay.

I did end up reading nine books somehow. I’m as surprised as anyone. There were a couple of standouts for me this month and I also think I’ve found a new auto buy author, which is always a good thing. So I’m going to call this month a success!

So lets talk about the books shall we?

First up was The Drowned City by K. J. Maitland. This was a really enjoyable, detailed historical fiction novel that is the beginning of a new series. It’s got a mystery that will keep you hooked until the end. Thank you so much to the publishers for gifting me this book. It’s out April 1st.

Then I read redder days by Sue Rainsford. Did I love this book? Yes. There was just something about it that totally captured me. It’s just brilliant, not always an easy read but to captivating. Thanks to the publisher for gifting me with this book. It’s out March 11th.

Up next I read This One Sky Day by Leone Ross. This is the book that took me a long time to read. It’s not that it wasn’t enjoyable, the beginning was going to be a 5 star read for me but then I just lost my love for it. Thanks to the publishers for gifting me with a copy of this book. It’s out April 1st.

Then I read The Split by Laura Kay. I bloody loved this book. It’s great to see queer stories in commercial fiction. Great characters, great story. I couldn’t put this one down. It’s a glorious quick read. Thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book. It’s out March 18th.

Up next was Diary of a Film by Niven Govinden. This was an intimate look at the film making process and queer love and the things we feel we have a right to. This also had a quote that made me cry. Thanks to the publishers for gifting me with a copy of this book. It’s out now.

Then I read how to be sad by Helen Russell. This is a nonfiction that I’ve found really intriguing and even helpful. It says some really poignant things about grief that I’ve really connected. It’s educational and its always good to learn. Thank to the publishers for gifting me with a copy of this book. It’s out March 4th.

Up next was Infinity Reaper by Adam Silvera. After a disappointing first book, I was intrigued to read this one and I can confirm I loved it. It was epic in every sense. And now I wait for the third book. Thanks to the publisher for my gifted copy. Out March 4th.

Then I read The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent. Another super enjoyable book! It was sweet, funny and a super quick read. I literally read this in a day. Thank you to the publisher for my gifted copy. It’s out April 14th.

Lastly I read here comes the miracle by Anna Beecher. This was such an emotional read that i very much enjoyed and didn’t want to put down. Grab the tissues for this one. Thanks to the publishers for the gifted copy. It’s out now.

That’s it. Everything I read this month. It was bit of a random reading month but a good one none the less. Are you planning to read any of these? Let me know.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#literature, author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, historical fiction, literary ficton, review, Uncategorised, ya

ARC Book Review: While Paris Slept By Ruth Druart

Title: While Paris Slept

Author: Ruth Druart

Length: 512 pages

Publisher: Headline

Synopsis: Santa Cruz 1953. Jean-Luc thought he had left it all behind. The scar on his face a small price to pay for surviving the horrors of Nazi Occupation. Now, he has a new life in California, a family. He never expected the past to come knocking on his door. Paris 1944. A young woman’s future is torn away in a heartbeat. Herded on to a train bound for Auschwitz, in an act of desperation she entrusts her most precious possession to a stranger. All she has left now is hope.

I’ve read a lot of historical fiction in my time as I love the genre and While Paris Slept is one of the most enjoyable ones I’ve read in a while.

We start off with Jean-Luc and Charlotte in America in 1955 and when the police show up to question Jean-Luc about something in the past you are immediately intrigued. I knew then I was hooked within the first 20 pages.

There was also a twist that I did not see coming that shocked me and I knew I needed answers. And it’s one of those books where the answer didn’t disappoint me, it actually exceeded me expectations. Don’t we love it when books do that?

I really enjoyed the dual timelines, with the other half of the book being set in 1944. It was so interesting and heartbreaking to see how all the characters ended up where they are. As we switch between the timeline each one ended on a cliffhanger and made it impossible for me to put this book down.

Now I like my historical fiction to be detailed and intricate and I can gladly say that While Paris Slept is both of these things. It’s the little details that make it atmospheric and believable. It also shows the cruelty and hardship of war. It’s a big book that you can really get emotionally involved in and you’ll absolutely fly through it.

Ruth has created such fantastic characters that it makes the perfect blend of historical details and emotion. They all go on such emotional journeys that you grow to care for all the characters so much. There’s a sweet romance that survives against all odds between characters and familial heartbreak that will break your heart. The while book has such my heart in it.

Here’s what I think is really special about this book and makes it stand out from other historical fiction is how it deals with Sam, the child in the novel. I’m going to try and talk about this without giving any spoilers because I want you to read it for yourself. It was incredibly powerful and heartbreaking to see how the events have a psychological on him. I couldn’t decide what was best for him and Ruth captures perfectly the emotion and complexity of the situation.

Also the ending made me cry. It was such a build up of emotion that I couldn’t help it. When you read it you’ll see what I mean. That’s all I’ll say as I don’t want to spoil it for you.

This is Ruth’s debut novel and I think it’s brilliant. It’s such a strong, emotive debut that I can’t recommend enough for you all to read. This is a book I won’t forget for a long time. I’m already looking forward to what Ruth will do next. I’ll be picking it up for sure.

Thank you to Louise at Headline books for my gifting me copy of While Paris Slept in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out March 4th

Until the next review

Jthbooks

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

5 Books to read for LGBT History Month.

It’s LGBT+ History Month here in the UK, so I thought I’d share five books (although there is many more you could read and I hope you do) that talk about the history of the queer community. Some are non-fiction, some are historical, some are just wonderful queer books.

It’s so important to remember the history of the queer community, it can stark reminder of how bad things were, how far we’ve come. And we must remember every part of the community, gay, sapphic, bisexual, trans, questioning, aro, ace and non-binary. We are all part of the same community and we must celebrate it all. We can’t forget 2020, was the worst year for trans violence, especially for trans people of colour.

These books shed some light on queer lives.

So lets talk about the books shall we?

The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. This has become one of my favourite books of all time. It’s so beautifully written, it’s literally stunning. It’s so moving. It’s the story of two black enslaved men, who are in love. I’ve never read this before. It’s showing that queer people and queer love existed in this time, because of course they did. You can check out my full review here.

Swimming In The Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski. This is one of those unforgettable novels that is quiet and understated but will have such an impact on you. It’s set in the 1980s Poland, and is the love story between two men in a time when it’s unacceptable. It’s thought provoking and moving. I can’t recommend this one to you enough. You can check out my full review here.

Fighting Proud The Untold Story of the Gay Men Who Served In Two World Wars by Stephen Bourne. This book says it all in the title. It details the lives and stories of gay men fighting in the war. It gives them a voice, full of facts. Such a super interesting read.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. I will always recommend this book. It’s brilliant. It’s one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s sent in our time, but it just perfectly captures the journey towards self acceptance and that’s definitely an important thing to read during lgbtq+ history month.

Lie With Me by Philippe Benson. One of my favourite novels that I couldn’t not mention. Set in France in the 1980s in the middle of the AIDs epidemic, this a story of two boys falling in love when acceptance wouldn’t be granted. It’s so beautifully written, so heartfelt. You can check out my full review here.

I have only chosen to feature five books, which I also know focus on m/m stories but this mainly what I read. But here’s some more recommendations of books that share the queer experience in brilliant ways. All The Young Men by Ruth Corker Burks, You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson, Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, Real Life by Brandon Taylor, Camp by L.C.Rosen, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo and All Boys Aren’t Blue by George Johnson.

This month is a time to reflect on how far the queer community has come, of course not all other the world as being queer is still illegal to be gay in 72 countries, this still shows how far we’ve still got to go.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. And you enjoy some of these. Let me know if there’s any queer books you think I should be reading for this month.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#fiction, #literature, author, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, literary ficton, review, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

Title: How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

Author: Cherie Jones

Length: 320 pages

Publisher: Tinderpress/Headline

Synopsis: In Baxter’s Beach, Barbados, Lala’s grandmother Wilma tells the story of the one-armed sister, a cautionary tale about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers. For Wilma, its the story of a wilful adventurer, who ignores the warnings of those around her, and suffers as a result. When Layla grows up, she sees it offers hope – of life after losing a baby in the most terrible of circumstances and marrying the wrong man. And Mira Whalen? It’s about keeping alive, trying to make sense of the fact that her husband has been murdered, and she didn’t get the chance to tell him that she loved him after all.

I am so thrilled to be on the blog tour for this amazing book, make sure to check out my these other reviews

Let me state this now, I absolutely loved this book. I loved it so much. I had high hopes, but this book surpassed them in every way. It is absolutely one of my favourite reads of the 2020, there is no doubt about that. It was in my top 10 of the year for 2020. It’s the book I’ve been recommending to everyone. So I’m absolutely recommending it to you. It’s brilliant.

I don’t want to say to much about the plot of this book, I want you to experience it for yourself. How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House (can I quickly mention what a fantastic title that is) is at times heartbreaking and it also at points made my stomach drop. It’s so immersive and I was absolutely enraptured from the beginning, I really was. It’s beautiful, it has something to say

We follow multiple perspectives in How The One-Armed Woman Sweeps Her House and they are all fantastic. I mean, my heart now belongs to Lala. Lala is one of our main protagonists along with Mrs Whalen. They are brilliant and complex. There’s also Adan and Tone. All the characters are so well crafted. I also loved how Cherie, mentioned characters throughout this novel and then they got their chapter perspectives and they are brilliant. It made the whole book feel so connected. My favourite is character that you get a snippet of is Sheba.

How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House is the kind of book you can’t stop thinking about. I would be baking cakes at work and thinking of Lala. Or be thinking about where the plot was going to go. Or how I wanted to get home and read it. It’s also the kind of book you tell everyone about. I was telling everyone at work about this. Most of them don’t read (sad I know) but I just had to let them know about this book and how it was consuming all my thoughts.

The writing is absolutely phenomenal, Cherie has such a wonderful way with words. Chapter 25 is a masterpiece. The writing is just so assured. It’s so powerful and emotive. There are also some really tough moments in this book, but Cherie handles them so honestly. This is Cherie’s debut and it’s one of the best debuts I’ve ever reads. It’s so assured. I just think this book is outstanding. I don’t reread books but I know I’ll be rereading this one, just to experience the beautiful writing again.

By the end of this novel, if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough. There was so much building up towards the end and there was such an atmosphere. I couldn’t believe what was happening and Cherie paced it perfectly. I won’t say anymore. All I’ll say it didn’t disappoint me in anyway. I also had to put the book down and really take in what happened. Ugh, it was so good.

I can’t recommend this book enough. Could you tell I loved it? Please read it. It’s a powerful, intimate debut that is unforgettable. I’m already looking forward to what Cherie writes next.

Thank you to Antonia at Tinder Press for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out on January 21st.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

December Wrap Up

Phew, December was not a great reading month for me. It got off to a bad start when i DNF’d two books, which I never do. Although I’m not going to actually class them as proper DNF’s because i do plan on picking them up again at some point. And then I think it took me nearly two weeks to finish my first book. It’s not like me at all.

I finally did get going and I finished five books this month, which isn’t very many for me, but as well know its not the amount you read, its what you learn from each book and how much you enjoy them.

So lets talk about the five books shall we?

First I read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This has been on my shelf for a long time and I had high expectations but ultimately it was disappointing for me. I know people love this one, but for me it just had so much missing. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t my favourite. I’m gutted I didn’t love it, but there’s plenty more books on my shelves.

Up next I read Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green. This was my favourite of the month, I loved it. I love what Simon is doing for Queer UKYA. It’s a sweet, funny road trip romance between to young boys with an important message. You can check out my full review here.

Thirdly, I read All The Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks. This just wasn’t it for me. It’s a memoir, but I’m struggling to see what the intentions of the book was. The balance was just totally of for me. Thank you to Orion for my copy and its out on January 21st if you’d like to check it out.

Then I read The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. This was a brillant historical fiction book. If you loved The Nightingale by this author, you’ll love this one. It’s got a gripping story and characters you’ll love. It had me crying at the end. Thank you so much to panmacmillon for my copy of this book. It’s out February 2nd.

Lastly, I read insatiable by Daisy Buchanan. This to was a really important book. It’s modern, it’s filthy and it has a brilliant message. It definitely made me laugh out loud a few times. Thank you to Sphere books for my copy. It’s out February 11th.

So that’s it for my reading month. Let’s hope in January I can get my reading mojo back. Especially as I’m back in lockdown and what am I going to do besides read?

Until the next review

Jthbooks

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, literary ficton, queer, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Top 10 Books of the year.

Well my friends 2020 is finally over. Finally. Shall we all breath a collective sigh of relief. It’s been a tough year hasn’t it? But I always try and look at the positive side of things, and being in a nearly 4 month long lockodown I have managed to read more books than ever before. I had a lot of time on my hands.

Throughout this year I had books. Books that let me discover new worlds while I was stuck inside. Books let m meet new characters while I was stuck inside. They’ve been a gift to me. Of course my reading had dips when I just couldn’t manage to pick up a book.

I’ve read some brilliant books this year. Absolutely brilliant. I’ve loved them. There’s been new found favourites, books that surprised me, books with writing that has moved me. There’s definitely an eclectic selection of books here which I love. There’s some young adult books, queer books, literary fiction.

So shall we talk about these books? Just to clarify they are in no particular order.

1) The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr

I knew I was going to love this book, but I didn’t know I’d love it this much. It’s a masterpiece. It’s genius. It’s the book I’ll recommend to everyone. The writing is stunning beautiful. It’s sublime. I’m already planning on rereading this one next year. It’s truly a work of art. It’s out on January 5th. You can read my full review here.

2) The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Everyone was recommending this to me and I’m so glad I read it. It pulled me out of a reading slump and it changed my life. It had me crying through at its sheer beauty and honesty. It’s a Young Adult book but I think it should be required reading for everyone. What a message. I love this book so much.

3) How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

This one took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. Cherie creates such real characters that stay with you. It’s the book I was talking to all my friends about at work. It had me gripped from start to finish. It’s truly a wonderful piece of fiction. I won’t forget these characters or the book for a long time. What a brilliant debut. I’m on the blog tour for this one, so look out for my review on January 17th.

4) Camp by L. C. Rosen

I adore this book. It’s the book I needed as a teenager, i still needed as a 28 year old. It’s got brilliant representation and it shows you all kinds of queer is valid and worthy and i think that kind of representation is important. Of course its funny, romantic and a brilliant story. You can check out my full review here.

5) Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

This fantasy book stole my heart. I loved the characters, the story and the African inspired world Jordan has created. It’s so much fun, its got a brilliant message of Black Girl magic and its so captivating. I want more. I’m basically just spending my time waiting for the sequel to come out. You can check out my full review here.

6) The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwartz

I’m sure this is going to be on a lot of people’s lists this year and its got a firm place on mine. It’s just a brilliant, moving book that is so original and enthralling. Addie and Henry just take up a place in your heart. And what an original concept. I can’t wait to read more from Schwab as this was my first book from them. You can read my full review here.

7) Girl In The Walls by A. J. Gnuse

This is not my usual type of book but I absolutely loved it. What an original premise. It’s so clever and the author makes it so believable. It had me on the edge of my seat, and my heart was pounding and I just had to know how it would end. Surprisingly emotional also. I really loved this book. It’s out in March and I can’t recommend it enough.

8) Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

I just think this book is so important. Once again showing how important representation is. Of course its entertaining and you’ll enjoy the characters but this book at its core has something to say. It’s just brilliant. You can check out my full review here.

9) Kingdom Tide by Rye Curtis

Now, I didn’t expect this book to be on the list but as I came to write this blog post I realised I couldn’t stop thinking about this book. Then I realised I’d been thinking about it all year. I remember the brilliant writing and the characters and the powerful connections between. And that to me is a sign of a great book. I read this back in January. You can check out my full review here.

10) Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez.

I read this early on in the year and just knew it would make it on the list. I loved every page. It has so much to say on queerness and race in the uk. It’s so captivating and beautifully written and I’d love more people to read this one. It’s stunning. I’ll look forward to whatever Paul writes next. You can check out my full review here.

So there we have it. My top 10 books of the year. And what a crazy year its been. But I’m so thankful to these books for letting me escape inside them and keeping me sane.

Have you read any of these? Or do you plan to? Let me know in the comments.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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Top 10 Queer books of 2020

Has this been the year I’ve read the most queer books I’ve ever read? Yes, yes it has. Does that make creating a top ten list very hard? Yes. Yes it does. Am I still going to do it? Yes. Yes I am.

2020 has been the year I’ve really expanded my queer reading. As a white gay man, I was mainly reading stories by white gay authors about white boys falling in love. But I’m pleased to say my queer reading has really diversified this year. I’ve read more queer books by black authors, more sapphic books, some queer fantasy, some books by trans and non binary authors. Books like these will only get published if we support them.

So lets talk about the queer books shall we? (These are in no particular order)

1) The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr. This is the most incredible book. It’s the queer historical fiction book I’ve been waiting for. It’s heartbreaking, its life affirming, its got the purest and the most intimate love story I’ve read in a long time. It’s a love story between two black slaves, its never been dove before and it needed to be. It gives a voice to queer history.

2) The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. This book is phenomenal. It had me in an absolute flood of tears. It is so beautifully written. It just captures all those feeling of being a young gay person and feeling lost. It truly is brilliant. I think this book should be required reading for everyone. And it’s got some beautiful poetry in too.

3) Camp by L. C. Rosen. I adore this book. It’s the first book I read that tackled toxic masculinity. It was the first time I read a book that saw femme guys as the love interest and I think its so incredibly powerful. It’s the book I wish I had when I was younger. It’s also incredibly fun and entertaining. It’s also got a wonderful love story.

4) Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender. This book is so powerful. It’s the kind of book that will capture your heart and educate you at the same time and to me that great fiction for you. It follows are trans big who is the main character, who is the love interest and that kind of representation is so important. I know this book has helped so many people. Please read this one if you haven’t.

5) Hideous Beauty by William Hussey. This is an incredibly addictive and thrilling young adult book. I read it in one night. I’ve never done that before. I just couldn’t put it down. It’s got a mystery you just want to know the answer to and a sweet lovely. I’m looking forward to Williams next book. You can check out my full review here.

6) You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson. This is a brilliant young adult contemporary novel that celebrates black girl magic and the first time falling in love. The romance between the two girls is so adorable and charming, but this book as has an important message. You fly through it and be left wanting to read more from this author. You can check out my full review here.

7) All Of My Friends Are Rich by Michael Sarais. This book is wild and sexy and provocative but underneath it all it has a really important message about mental health and the pressures we all face, and I think the author highlights these all so well. It’s an honest and emotional account that had me crying by the end of this book. You can read my full review here.

8) Boy Queen by George Lester. This is such a wonderful book about finding yourself and finding the courage it takes to do what you want. In this book again, we see a femme boy at the centre of the story and I love it. This kind of representation matters. All there’s some fantastic drag featured in this book that is so much fun. You can check out my full review and an interview with George here.

9) Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez. I read this one at the beginning of the year and its stuck with me. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking look at growing black and queer in Britain. It’s written beautifully and will stay with you. I’m looking forward to what Paul writes next.

Swimming In The Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski. Another book I read earlier in the year that has stayed with me. It’s such a beautiful, intimate love story between two me in Poland. It’s got a goodbye that’ll make you cry. It’s such a beauty of a book. You can read my full review here.

Until the next review

Jthbooks