#contemporary, author, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, fiction, review, Uncategorised

ARC Book Review: The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

Title: The Summer Job

Author: Lizzy Dent

Publisher: Viking Books Uk

Length: 320 pages

Synopsis: Have you ever imagined running away from your life? Well Birdy Finch didn’t just imagine it. She did it. Which might’ve been an error. And the life she’s run into? Her best friend, Heather’s. The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems… Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)? And can she herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked (but who thinks she’s someone else)?

So excited to be on the blog tour for this book. Make sure you check out all the other bloggers to see what they’ve got to say.

Listen, if you’ve read my blog before you know I’m a slow reader, but let me tell you I read this book in a day. That never happens to me. Ever. I just couldn’t put the book down.

Birdy was such a great character to follow. She was funny, relatable and you could tell she was sad and had a heart of gold. I just warmed to her instantly. She was honest. You also meet a lot of other great characters that were fantastic. Irene, James and Roxy. I really just loved them all. I loved the connection that Birdy had with them all.

Here was my favourite thing about the book, I loved the how the characters all came together to try and make the hotel a success. I loved reading it. I was desperately wanted Birdy to help them make it succeed, thats why I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to know what was going to happen. I also loved that Birdy trained secretly to help. It was so endearing.

Now, I have to be honest and say that I don’t usually enjoy books when the main character is lying to everyone around them. It actually really annoys me. But in The Summer Job, it didn’t annoy me at all. I think it was because Birdy was such a great character. And it was obvious that she really cared about the people around her and the hotel.

There’s a romance, that I’m not going to say who its between because no spoilers, but I was totally into it. It was believable, romantic and well developed and I was excited to see how it was going to end. That’s all I’ll say, you’ll find out more when you read it.

I can’t recommend The Summer Job enough, its a funny, charming and endearing book thats a great read. I’ll look forward to reading whatever Lizzy Dent writes next.

Thanks to Viking Books UK for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out April 15th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, fiction, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC book review: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Title: Firekeeper’s Daughter

Author: Angeline Boulley

Publisher: Rock The Boat

Length: 469 pages

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Daunis’s mixed heritage has always made her feel like an outsider, both in her hometown and in the nearby Ojibwe reservation. When she witnesses a shocking murder, she reluctantly agrees to be part of a covert FBI operation into a series of drug-related deaths. In secret, she pursues her own investigation using her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the criminals. However, the deceptions – and deaths – keep piling up and soon the threat strikes to close to home. Now Daunis must decide what it means to a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe women), and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

As you’re going to read in the rest of this review, I absolutely adored this book. I thought it was just brilliant. From beginning to end. I will say this book definitely deals with some difficult things so definitely check the trigger warnings for sexual assaults, drugs, grief, death. But I will say they are all dealt with honestly and lots of integrity.

The story right from the beginning was extremely intriguing. There were so many ways I could see the story going and it made it exciting to read. And it was all so detailed. Angeline really has written the perfect balance of character development, romance (yes there’s a romance that I thought was totally believable and sweet), mystery and action.

We follow the main character Daunis as she agrees to help the FBI in an an operation of drug related deaths, and she’s a brilliant character. She’s so complex and has such depth. It makes her so interesting to read. I love how smart she is and I love her how proud she was of her tribe and to an Ojibwe women. So great to see this in a YA book and In such a positive way.

Loved learning about Native American culture. Obviously it wasn’t this books job it educate me, but it did. But it never felt like an information dump, it showed us what we needed to know, then it showed us profound things. I loved learning about the traditions and some of them are absolutely beautiful. It was just detailed in the best way. It was brilliant own voices representation that we need more of.

I absolutely loved the ending to Firekeeper’s Daughter. The momentum and story had been building and the intensity had been growing so I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. It was also action packed! It had me on the edge of my seat. I also personally didn’t figure out the mystery. It was just so epic.

Listen, if it’s done right, this will make the perfect mini-series. I can see it in my head so clearly. It’s begging to be made. It felt cinematic. Netflix, you need to get on this, but don’t mess it up. This book deserves only the best.

I can’t wait for you to read this book and see all the intricacies of it. You won’t regret reading this brilliant young adult book. I’ll look forward to whatever Angeline Boulley writes next.

Thank you to Rock The Boat for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out April 1st.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#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

#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

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

#contemporary, #fiction, #literature, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry

Title: This Will Be Funny Someday

Author: Katie Henry

Length: 400 pages

Publisher: Harper360 YA

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Izzy is used to keeping her thoughts to herself- at home and in school. When she accidentally walks onstage in a stand-up comedy club, the performing experience is surprisingly cathartic. After the show, she meets Mo, an inspiring comic who’s everything Izzy’s not: bold, confident comfortable in her skin. Mo invites Izzy to join her friends and introduces her to the Chicago open mic scene. The only problem? Izzy’s new friends are college students – and Izzy tells them she’s one, too. The dutiful daughter and model student is now sneaking out to perform with her new comedy friends while her controlling boyfriend is getting suspicious and her former best friend knows there’s something going on. Izzy can hardly remember all the lies she’s telling to keep her parallel lives separate. And when the collide, Izzy must choose to either hide what she really wants or, finally, truly stand up for herself.

This book says on the back ‘perfect for fans of The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel’ and I knew I had to have this book, is I was very grateful when Harper360ya sent me a copy.

This is such an enjoyable book. It’s got everything you could want in a in a YA contemporary novel. It’s funny, it’s moving, and it’s really well written.

This Will Be Funny Someday has got fantastic characters in. I loved the main character Izzy. She was brilliant. She was instantly likeable, you wanted to her to be happy and achieve all her dreams. You really felt for her at times. She’s a really complex character and I really appreciated that in a YA book. I also really loved Mo, and I really enjoyed the friendship her and Izzy had. Jonah and Will were also great. Don’t great characters just make a book brilliant?

I absolutely loved the Stand-Up comedy element to this book. It’s so interesting. I loved seeing Izzy journey from the first time on stage, to working on her set and then getting more confident. I also think the stand-up was really well written. I imagine it was really hard to write but Katie pulls it off perfectly for me. The stand-up made me laugh out loud which is always a good sign.

I will say this book definitely deals with some hard things, it deals with emotional abuse in a relationship, toxic relationships and sexual assault, so there’s definitely some trigger warnings for those. They are dealt with honestly and its really powerful and emotional to read. It also makes you really feel for Izzy.

I also just need to point out how much I enjoyed the fact that there wasn’t a romance in this book. It was so refreshing to read Izzy finding her passion and working towards, it was super inspiring to read. It’s all about Izzy finding her voice and speaking up in every way fo her life and I really loved this aspect.

I will say the only thing I didn’t enjoy about this book was all the lying Izzy did. I understand why she had to lie at the beginning, but as they continue it just becomes annoying. Especially as she is lying to her friends, and we as a reader knew how it was going to end so it was just a little bit tedious.

I definitely recommend this book. It was really enjoyable, and it wasn’t like anything I’ve read before. A brilliant YA novel.

Thank you to harper360ya for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out February 18th in the UK.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

author, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, gay, gothic, historical fiction, interview, lgbt, queer, review, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

January Wrap Up

Hello my bookish friends, another month has come to an end and I can confirm its been a good reading month for me. In England, we have gone back into Lockdown so that means I’ve had a lot of time to read on my hands (which I’m not mad at).

I managed to read 10 books this month, which is very good for me. It ties with the most I’ve ever read in a month. I enjoyed most of the books I read this month, so that makes it a really good month.

Lets talk about the books shall we?

First I read This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry. I really enjoyed this book. It was funny, I loved all the stand up elements to the book. It’s a great YA contemporary that’s out in the UK in February.

Then I read Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean. This book was so adorable and wholesome. I loved every page. It’s a children’s book but I truly think everyone should read this book. It’s got such an important message. It’s out in February

Thirdly I read The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe. This book is absolutely wild. It’s so intense, with a plot that will keep you hooked until the very last page. Filled with twists and turns and complex characters. It’s out in February.

Up next was Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley. This is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s taken me a long time to make my mind up, but i think I loved it. It’s so human but other worldly. It’s out in March.

Then I read Forever Ends On Friday by Justin A. Reynolds. This was such a wonderful book, that deals with a heavy subject that made me really emotional. I really loved this book. Thanks to mykindabook for my copy. This one is out now.

Up next was A Meeting Of Two Prophets by Judah Tasha. This a sweet queer love story from a perspectives I’ve never read before. The love story really captured me but it also taught me a lot. Thanks to Judah for sending me this book. It’s out on February 4th.

Then I read Native by Akala. I read this as part of my 2021 challenge to read a nonfiction book every month. Such a brilliant book on class and race in the uk. I learnt so much. It was so informative yet accessible. This one should be required reading.

Up next I read Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson. I was really looking forward to this book but for me it unfortunately missed the mark. There was just something missing and few things that didn’t quite work for me. It wasn’t bad, but not my favourite. Thanks to Netgalley and SourceFire books for my copy. Out February 2nd.

Then I read The Coven by Lizzie Fry. I really enjoyed this book. It was engrossing and really clever. With fantastic characters and a book that parallels a society we find ourselves living in today. And who doesn’t love witches? Thanks to the publishers for this book. It’s out February 25th.

Lastly I read The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna. I absolutely loved this book. I loved it. Every page, every character. The only thing I didn’t like is now I’ve got to wait for the second one. Such a brilliant young adult fantasy. This one is out February 4th.

So that’s all my books for the month. Do you plan on reading any of these? Or have you read any? Let me know.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

#contemporary, #fiction, #literature, author, blog, blogtour, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, thriller, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Book Review: Forever Ends On Friday by Justin A. Reynolds

Title: Forever Ends on Friday

Author: Justin A. Reynolds

Length: 470 pages

Publisher: MyKindaBook

Synopsis: When his best friend, Q, dies in a terrible accident, Jamal is given an extraordinary choice: one more week with Q, alive and kicking. The catch? Q mustn’t ever know that he died. Now Jamal had the chance to give Q the best week of his life before he has to say goodbye again…

I’m so excited to be on the Blog Tour for Forever Ends on Friday. Make sure you check out all the other books and see what they are saying about the wonderful book.

I’m going to start this review with a warning, get the tissues at the ready. You will need them. You will definitely need them. I did. I needed them. A lot of them.

Forever Ends on Friday is a book that I really enjoyed. There’s a lot to connect with, with wonderful characters and a heartbreaking story. It’s the kind of book you pick up and struggle to put down.

One of the highlights of this book is the connection between the characters that Justin creates. They are so sincere and heartfelt. I loved the friendship between Jamal and Q, like I said you can really feel the connection between them. But there’s also the relationship between Jamal and Autumn. Jamal and his sister, Q and his mum. Honestly they all had such depth to them. They really grounded the novel.

Forever Ends On Friday deals with really heavy subject matter but its all dealt with, with real honesty and emotion. There are some really emotional moments, which I know you’d expect from a book surrounding death, but because you really grow to care for the characters it makes it worse. If you’d like to know where I ugly cried (yes obviously I ugly cried) it was the conversation between Q and his mum. Oh I’m was so sad! So, so sad.

But please don’t think you’ll read this book and be depressed after finishing it, there’s at times some real light-hearted ness to the book. With the romance between Jamal and his sister and Jamal and Autumn, they provide some real funny and sweet moments.

It will also have you asking yourself some questions, would you bring someone back from the dead if you could, for a short while? Would you tell them what happened and they didn’t have long left? I know it’s something I’ve been thinking about after reading it.

Forever Ends On Friday is a really enjoyable contemporary, with a hint of sci-fi that I really enjoyed, that will tug at your heartstrings and remind you what truly important in life. You’ll treasure your friends and loved ones after this. I can’t recommend this book enough.

Thank you so much to Amber at MyKindaBook for my gifted copy, in return for an honest, unbiased review. And thanks for having me on the blog tour. It’s out now.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

ARC Book Review: Love is a Revolution by Renée Watson

Title: Love Is A Revolution

Author: Renée Watson

Length: 289 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury Ya UK

Synopsis: When Nala reluctantly goes to an open mic night for her cousin-sister-friend Imani’s birthday, she finds herself falling in instant love with Tye Brown, the MC. Tye’s perfect, except… he’s an activist and Nala would rather watch movies and try out new ice cream flavours. So, in order to impress Tye, Nala tells a few tiny lies so she’ll have things in common with him. But as they spend more time together, those lies become harder to keep up. As Nala falls deeper into her lies she’ll learn live can be hard, but also self-love is truly revolutionary.

Love Is A Revolution is a sweet, funny, romantic and brilliant book that was such a quick read. I couldn’t put it down. It was full of fantastic messages and great characters.

I was really looking forward to reading this book and was very lucky to receive a proof copy.

This book is full of brilliant characters. I absolutely loved Nala. I loved the journey she goes and seeing her growth. I also loved her sense of fun, we don’t actually see that enough in YA. I loved Imani too. I loved how they were both empowered young black women, who celebrate it and I think that will be inspiring for a lot of people.

I also loved the representation of body image. Both Nala and Imani are plus sized, but it’s not important to them, they know there’s so much more to them than their weight and I love that message. This book is full of important messages.

My favourite thing about this book is the relationships. Of course the romance between Nala and Tye was swoon worthy. Oh it was so good. I was willing them to be together. I also loved the friendships too. The friendship between Nala, Imani and Sadie was really organic and heartfelt. And I loved Nala’s relationship with her Grandma. Renée really created some believable connections between them.

I loved the message of self love and gratitude towards the end of the book. I think it’s really important and I hope a lot of people that read this book will really get something out of it. I also loved how Renée dealt with it in the book.

Love Is A Revolution feels fresh, especially the ending. I love the ending. I thought it was going to be a bit predictable, but it wasn’t and I liked that. It really solidified the message of the book and made me like Nala even more. I couldn’t recommend it more.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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

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