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ARC Book Review Yesterday Is History by Kosoko Jackson

Title: Yesterday Is History

Author: Kosoko Jackson

Length: 320 pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Synopsis: Weeks ago, Andre Cobb received a much-needed liver transplant. He’s ready for his new lord to finally begin, until one night, when he passes out and am wakes up somewhere totally unexpected… in 1969, where he connects with a magnetic boy named Michael. And then, just as suddenly as he arrived, he slips back to present day Boston, where the family of his donor is waiting to explain that his new liver came with a side effect – the ability to time travel. And they’ve tasked their youngest son, Blake, with teaching Andre how to use his unexpected new gift. Andre splits his time bouncing between the past and the future. Between Micheal and Blake. Micheal is everything Andre wishes he could be, and Blake, still reeling from the death of his brother, Andre’s donor, keeps him at arms length despite their obvious attraction to each other. Torn between two boys, one in the past and one in the present, Andre has to figure out where he belongs – and more importantly who he wants to be – before the consequences of jumping in time catch up to him and change his future for good.

As soon as I heard about this LGBTQ+ book I knew I wanted to read it. It was immediately added to my tbr and I was so excited when I got an advanced copy and I started it straight away.

Now, unfortunately I have to be honest and say that this book was a bit of a letdown. I wanted to love it so badly, but I just couldn’t. There was just so much missing. It was at times to shallow, and laughable. I feel so bad saying that.

Ok, to keep this all from being negative lets start with the things I liked. I really liked the main character Andre, I thought he was fantastic. I read somewhere that Kosoko wanted to make a black boy is seen as a love interest and I think that was achieved. He was by far the best thing about this book. I also like how it dealt with grief, it was a main part of the book, and I really liked it. And I never considered dnfing it, I wanted to know how it would end.

Alright, lets talk about what I didn’t like. The love triangle. It was so bad. So, so bad. When Andre meets Michael it’s one of the worst cases of Instalove I’ve ever read. It was so unbelievable, so rushed, I just ended up hating it. It felt like we were just told they were in love, but there was no connection. Then when Andre meets Blake and it feels like the author here at least put in a bit of effort to give them a connection, he’s still thinking about how much he loves Michael and it just is annoying. Then he has this goodbye with Michael that’s supposed to be emotional, but because there ‘love story’ was handled so poorly throughout it was actually laughable. I literally laughed out loud.

The whole book just felt disjointed to me. There was a lot going on, and none of it was explored in that much detail. I really wonder if the author tried to put to much into the book. With the love triangle, the cancer, the family’s grief, the time jumping. It just felt a bit messy to me. The time jumping was interesting, but I wanted so much more. I wanted it to be explored in more depth. But Andres time jumping became all about Michael, which we know I wasn’t a fan of.

I really don’t know if I would recommend this one. It really didn’t work for me. I will read what Kosoko writes next, as I think each book he writes will probably get better. But yeah, this one wasn’t for me.

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for gifting we with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out February 2nd.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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ARC Book Review: Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean

Title: Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow

Author: Benjamin Dean

Length:

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s

Synopsis: My name’s Archie Albright, and I know two things for certain 1. My mum and dad kind of hate each other, and they’re not doing a great job at pretending they don’t anymore. 2. They’re both keeping a secret from me, but I can’t figure out what. Things aren’t going great for Archie Albright. His dad’s acting weird, him mum too, and all he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together. When Archie sees a colourful, crumpled flyer fall out of his Dad’s pocket, he thinks he may have found the answer. Only problem? The answer might just lie at the end of the rainbow, an adventure away.

I absolutely loved this book. It was so wholesome and sweet, yet I believe it has such an important message.

Archie, Seb and Bell are such a fantastic characters. I loved them, what a trio. I loved there friendship, I loved how the support each other. They also made me laugh, Bell is so funny. It made me laugh out loud and books never do that. Honestly they are so adorable. There’s other great characters in this. Archie dad, who journey of self acceptance is touched upon, is really moving.

It’s such a fun, meaningful story. I loved the adventure that the gang went on. And I have to say, as someone who has never been to a pride parade I am insanely jealous of them. I don’t want give to much of the gangs adventure away but it is fun, and it also has so much heart. And the adventure ends so brilliantly.

Can we also talk about how stunning the proof is?

This is obviously a book for children, but i think its a book everyone should read. It has such a wonderful important message. It shows the importance of acceptance. And its from a perspective I’ve not read before. It also shows the importance of found family that is often so vital to the queer community. It also made me cry, I couldn’t help. The message is just put across so well.

Dean has written a brilliantly book. It’s funny, it’s sweet and its vital. I love that theres a queer book like this out in the world, especially for children. It’s a diverse, inclusive book that I sincerely hope you all decide to pick up.

I can’t recommend this book enough. I’m looking forward to what Dean writes next. I guess all there’s left to say is, can we have some more adventures from Archie and the gang?

Thank you so much to Simon & Schusters Children’s books for gifting me a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out February 4th.

Until the next review

Jthbooks

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Book Review: Here The Whole Time by Vitor Martins

Title: Here The Whole Time

Author: Vitor Martins

Length: 267 pages

Publisher: Hodders Children’s books

Synopsis: Felipe doesn’t believe someone like Caio could ever fall for someone like him. But over the next fifteen days, everything will change…

If you read my blog they’ll you know I read a lot of queer books and I’ve often said that so many of them are the same, but finally we have one that is different. Shall we talk about why?

In Here The Whole Time, we see a plus sized person that is the main character and it’s so refreshing to see. They are also the love interest. It’s so refreshing to read a character in a queer book that is real. And they’re not a high school student that somehow looks like a super model.

I absolutely loved this representation. It’s necessary and important. In all of queer YA books the characters all look like supermodels with fantastic bodies but in Here The Whole Time Vitor has given a voice to people that don’t fit into this absurdity. It’s brilliant to read. It’s also wonderful to see how Felipe confidence blossoms.

It’s full of fantastic characters. As I said Felipe it a great character. He’s so likeable and funny. Caio is also great. I also really loved Felipes mum Rita and Becky they are a real highlight of the novel. They were brilliant. I found myself caring for all of them.

We’ve got a slow burn romance and it’s a good one. A really good one. It was so sweet and romantic and it just made me swoon. I absolutely loved it. I was willing them to get together. They had real chemistry and it felt organic. I loved when Felipe gave Caio the book. I mean who doesn’t want to be given books right?

I loved this book. I loved it’s important message about self love and standing up for yourself. Of course I had to have a little cry at the end.

I definitely recommend this book. It’s a must have for any queer shelf on your bookcase.

Thank you so much to bmkr for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now I’m eBook and comes out in paperback January 7th.

Until the next review

JTH

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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

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Book Review: Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green

Title: Heartbreak Boys

Author: Simon James Green

Length: 405 pages

Publisher: Scholastic Uk

Synopsis: Jack’s summer of love just became the summer of dumped. Nate is newly out and newly broken-hearted. Together they’re on a mission to prove to the world (or at least Instagram) that they are totally over their exes. But between dismal campsites and clapped-out camper vans, is there a sparkle of something that might change this summer from Insta-fake to forever?

December has been a rough reading month for me but thankfully Heartbreak Boys came along and saved my reading month and made me remember that I actually enjoy books.

In Heartbreak Boys we follow Nate and Jack, who after finding out their boyfriends have been cheating on them, rekindle their friendship and go on a road trip with Nate’s family.

The first thing I’m going to talk about is how much I loved the characters. Nate has my whole heart. I wanted to look after him, I want to give him a hug, I wanted to be his friend. And then there’s Jack, all I can say is Jack is a way cooler Jack than I will ever be and one day I hope to be authentically myself as Jack in the book is. Also, we love Rose for her side comments and is it weird I’d like to spend the day hanging out with Mrs Nate?

The story is told through two perspectives and Simon has created such individual characters that you never get mixed up which character you’re reading and I love that. Simon really does write fantastic characters.

This book is full of both heart and humour. You can really feel Nates heartbreak at being cheated on and how both the boys deal with it. It’s really emotional to read. Of course there’s a wonderful slow burn romance that I was so swooning over. It was such a good one. It was so quiet and tender, which made it super believable. They’ll be together forever and won’t have any problems and no one can convince me otherwise. Rose is incredibly funny, as is Mrs Nate after she smokes a ‘special cigarette’. Hilarity happens on the road trip of course. Simon can really write comedy. It’s a laugh out loud book.

Throughout the book, Simon subtly tackles toxic masculinity and living in a heteronormative world without ever mentioning it and I think it’s incredibly important. Towards the end of the book Jack considers turning down his personality in order to make other people more comfortable, to be less queer and thankfully he doesn’t do it but it really highlights how queer people are treated. It’s shows young kids, hell anyone reading it, that you are perfect the way you are and you are valued and you deserve love. I think it’s brilliant.

I love what Simon is doing for UKYA book, especially queer UKYA books. I would’ve loved books like this when I was a teenager and I’m so glad to read them and I still enjoy them just as much because Simon is a brilliant writer.

I loved this book, I couldn’t put it down. It’s a super easy, quick read filled with love, fun and, an important message. I loved ‘Alex in Wonderland’, I loved ‘Heartbreak Boys’, I’m excited to read ‘Noah Can’t Even’ and ‘Noah Could Never’. Simon also has a new book called ‘You’re The One That I Want’ coming out in June 2021 that I’ll definitely be picking up.

Until the next review

JTHBOOKS

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Book Review: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Title: Felix Ever After

Author: Kacen Callender

Length: 354 pages

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Synopsis: Felix Love has never been in love – and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears he’s one marginalisation too many – Black, queer, and transgender – to ever get his own happily-ever-after. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages- after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned- Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi-love triangle… But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Oh my good! Oh my god! Oh my fucking god this book is incredible. Absolutely incredible. Not only is it incredible, it’s sweet, romantic and incredibly powerful.

We follow Felix, as he is trying to get a scholarship for art at the college he wants to attend and he is subject of a transphobic attack.

It’s such a captivating story that gives you all the feels. It really does. You so desperately want Felix to be happy. Again, it’s hard to read at some points because Felix is outed, and there’s transphobia, but it really is important.

Felix is a fantastic character to follow. He was kind, funny, super relatable. I also loved how although he had transitioned, he was still questioning who he is, what is pronouns would be. I can really see people finding the representation they’ve maybe been longing for in this book. There’s also more fantastic characters in this book. Shoutout to Ezra. I loved him. Loved him.

Oh the romance. It was so perfect. There was kind of a love triangle that I didn’t see coming and I was into it. One aspect of the triangle I didn’t really think I would be into when it became clear what was going to happen, but of course I was. But I was happy with the outcome. It was so well done. So romantic. How wonderful to see a trans love story!

As I’m sure you can imagine, I cried many times throughout reading this book (yes it really is that good). I shall now list the pages where I cried. Page 23. Page 124. Page 259. And then the last 15 pages. I cried because of the story, because of the writing and because of some of the powerful statements Kacen makes throughout the book.

I have to say this is why fiction is so powerful. Fiction shows you someone’s experience, so you connect to it in someone way. And in that connection you empathise. And when you empathise, you care and when you care that’s when you support. And this book is the perfect example of that.

‘I know, that as a trans person of colour, my life expectancy is in my early thirties, just because of the sort of violence people like me face every day.

Kacen has created a story that’s so entertaining, romantic and ultimately heartwarming. They’ve also created a story that is authentic that is full of representation. And we all know how important representation is.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s brilliant. This will be in my favourites of the year for sure. Everyone needs to read this book.

Until the next review

JTH

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Book Review: The Prophets by Robert Jones jr

Title: The Prophets

Author: Robert Jones Jr

Length: 400 pages

Publisher: Quercus Books

Synopsis: Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was they way it was since to beginning, and they way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a space of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man – a fellow slave – seeks to gain favour by preaching the masters gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is now seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony.

I’m going to start this review and say that this is probably the best book I’ve ever read. It is simply outstanding. I’m also going to say that this is the hardest review I’ve ever had to write because I know I’ll never do the book justice.

There are so many elements in this book that just hit you in your soul. The writing is so sharp it gets to the core of you. The characterisation is phenomenal. It all just comes together to make a brilliant book.

And let me say this, in literature, we often read about Queer movement or Queer Historical figures but in The Prophets Robert Jones jr has given a voice to Queer Love. In a historical period were queer love has never been considered. Two black slaves choosing each other and love is so powerful to read. I’ve never read Queer Love in this period of history. And by doing this Roberts given queer people of this time a voice.

The romance between Samuel and Isiah is so tender, yet constricted. You can feel the characters, especially Samuel, be afraid to fully give into the relationship because of the ramifications it will have, not only for what will happen to them from their masters point of view, but what would happen if they admit it to themselves. But you also can tell that they need each other, they wouldn’t survive without each other. And somehow Robert conveys all so poignantly and so powerfully. He makes their love feel so deep. It feels like you’re reading about true love, I know that sounds silly to say, but It doesn’t always work in books but in The Prophets it feels real. It’s achingly beautiful. It captures you. It feels so intimate and special, but it feels grand and opening. It’s one of the best love stories I’ve ever read.

There are so brilliant characters in The Prophets, like Maggie, Adam, Sarah and Essie. Here’s what I thought was genius and such a smart, brilliant choice by Robert is that you learn about all these characters through their connection to Samuel and Isiah and their love story. I love how it connected them all. I love how Robert has put Queer love at the centre of the novel. It gives the love such a power. It makes the whole book feel like magic to me. I haven’t felt like this about a book since Girl, Woman, Other. It’s got the same feel to me.

Now of course this book is set in America before the Civil War and its set on a Plantation. So at times it’s hard to read. It’s harrowing and brutal. But Robert handles it with honesty. There’s also some chapters that show White people capturing and enslaving Black people and bringing them over on the ships. They are short chapters but they are so enraging and engrossing. They are incredibly powerful. It just shows what a masterful writer Robert Jones is.

I’m not going to say much about the ending, but all I’ll say is that it broke me. It absolutely broke me. I was crying so loudly my sister came into my room to ask if I was okay. And I’m not even embarrassed about that fact. Robert builds so much momentum and atmosphere. Utter brilliance.

Roberts writing is so breathtaking that he conveys all this without ever really saying it. It is absolutely phenomenal. It’s the kind of book I’ll reread, and I never reread, and I’ll find more meaningful beautiful prose. I can’t tell you how many times I cried because of the honesty and the rawness of the writing, especially about the love between Samuel and Isiah. It’s majestic. All queer love stories will need to live up to this one for me now.

I think it’s pretty obvious that I’d recommend this one. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. I think it’ll be award winning. I’m gonna say Booker 2021 now. Please read this book. You won’t regret it. I know I’ll be rereading it.

Thank you so much to Quercus for my copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out January 5th. It’s available for preorder now. I’ve preordered mine and it’s a signed copy and I’m so excited!!

Until the next review

JTH

#fiction, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya, young adult

Book Review: You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson

Title: You Should See Me In A Crown

Author: Leah Johnson

Length: 324 pages

Publisher: Scholastic

Synopsis: Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed Midwestern town. But it’s okay – Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend Uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor. But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plan comes crashing down… until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington. The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams… or make them come true?

Ugh, I loved this book. I loved it so much.

It just has everything you want in a book. It’s fun, it has a beautiful romance, it has a powerful message and brilliant characters.

Let’s talk about those brilliant characters shall we? Our main character, Liz Lighty, is absolutely fantastic. I absolutely loved her. I loved watching her journey. Her arc definitely felt like a coming of age, learning to be comfortable with her sexuality and learning to love and stand up for herself. I also loved Amanda, what a brilliant character and a burst of fresh air. She’s someone I’d like to know In real life. It’s full of fantastic characters. Read this book and discover them.

I also really loved the plot. We see Liz, who after not getting her musical scholarship for college, enter the race for prom Queen to earn the money. The race itself is so interesting and the complications that come along with. I’m not going to tell you if Liz succeeds but all I’ll say it this…

FUCK YOUR FAIRYTALE (if you’ve read it, you’ll know).

The romance, it was so good. It was a little bit of a slow burn, but the romance didn’t need to be slow burn because it was so bloody good. Their connection was amazing! I thinks it because the characters by themselves were so fantastic, when they joined together it was electric. And it was so sweet. It was just everything I wanted it to be. And more.

This book also deals with grief, family, anxiety and friendships. The friendship were so complex. It deals with race in the friendship and I loved reading Liz stand up for herself. It’s Black Girl Magic at its finest. I can just imagine how many young Black Queer girls who see themselves in this book and i love it. All these aspects just give this book such depth and a realness. I love it.

Leah’s writing is so powerful and beautiful that I enjoyed every page of this book. The story is so beautifully told, that of course i was crying by the end. I’ll look forward to whatever Leah writes next.

This one is out now.

Until the next review

JTH