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

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

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

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

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, gay, historical fiction, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya

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

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

ARC Book Review: Fall Out by C.G. Moore

Title: Fall Out

Author: C.G. Moore

Length: 323 pages

Publisher: uclanpublishing

Synopsis: For Cal, coming out is explosive. But that is nothing to the fall out from his family, friends and foes. When events in Cal’s life reach critical, he is shaken to his core. Can he rely on his loved ones to help avoid meltdown?

I enjoyed the novel, some parts were definitely hit and miss, but overall an enjoyable with an important message that gets across to the reader.

There was a romance in the beginning of this book that I really didn’t like. It was rushed, unbelievable and it was definitely instalove. But I can say that it didn’t last to long, and it had a much better ending than beginning.

I also have to say I didn’t like the main character Cal at the beginning or his friendship with Em. The friendship was often tedious. There was also Cal relationship with Ems nan Peggy which also felt a bit random. There was just something off about if to me. However both get better as the characters develop but it still wasn’t enough to save them. All relationships just felt a bit forced to me.

The story line with Cal and his family is my favourite thing of the novel. It’s dealt with well and it’s heartfelt and meaningful. It felt was very real to me. It was the highlight of the novel.

Throughout the novel Cal is being bullied and it’s dealt with so well in the novel. It was descriptive and hard to read in the best way. It made my stomach drop at points. It captured the brutality of the kind of bullying LGBT+ kids go through and it’s heartbreaking. It also captures the ramifications well. It goes into a lot of detail and it defiantly needs some trigger warnings.

The conclusion to the story was what it needed to be. I think that’s fair to say that a good summary for the whole novel, it finishes stronger than it starts.

Thank you to C.G. Moore for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now.

Until the next review

JTH

author, blog, book blog, book blogger, book bloggers, book review, books, bookstagram, gay, lgbt, queer, review, Uncategorised, ya

Book Review: The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Title: The Death of Vivek Oji

Author: Akwaeke Emezi

Length: 245 pages

Publisher: Faber Books

Synopsis: One afternoon, a mother opens her front door to find the length of her son’s body stretched out on the veranda, swaddled in akwete material, his head on her welcome mat. The Death of Vivek Oji transports us to the day of Vivek’s birth, the day his grandmother died. It is the story of an overprotective mother and a distant father, and the heart-wrenching tale of one family’s struggle to understand their child, just as Vivek learns to recognise himself.

I’ve seen a few of my fellow bookstagrammers rave about this book so it was definitely on my radar and then I was lucky enough to be sent a copy and I couldn’t just had to start it.

And what a beautiful book The Death of Vivek Oji is. It had so much I love in a book, amazing characters, beautiful writing, and an intriguing story.

Let’s talk about the writing. It’s the highlight of this book. It really is stunning. Akwaeke manages to capture beauty, heartache and, confusion. It’s stunning. I can say I was crying by page eleven. I’m pretty sure that’s a new record. But one line was just so beautiful and struck a cord with me.

Osita wished, much later, that he’d told Vivek the truth then, that he was so beautiful he made the air around him dull’

Every character in this book is so complex. Vivek goes on such a journey that is both heartbreaking and beautiful. Akwaeke has a real talent for capturing souls. At least that’s how it felt to me. Vivek felt so real, so fragile yet strong as they became who they really are. There was a point in this book where I just stopped and realised how much I cared for Vivek and I also realised that this book will probably break my heart. I also loved Osita, Juju and Elizabeth. I also loved Vivek mum. She goes on such a journey and it’s so beautiful. I’m sure you can tell it’s full of fantastic characters.

This book has fantastic representation and they are all dealt with brilliantly. Emezi has captured a trans narrative that felt so real that it’s the heart of this book. I’m calling the character Vivek in this review purely so I don’t ruin the journey for you. But I know that you’ll feel differently about the name once you’ve read it. There’s also a romance in this book that is beautiful, but is very controversial, you’ll know what I mean when you read it.

Also the ending of this book is brilliant. Throughout the book it’s a mystery what happened to Vivek and it’s so heartbreaking when you find out. It’s just sums up the whole energy of the book. Heartbreaking and hopeful.

I’ll be surprised if this isn’t in my top 10 books of the year.

I hope I’ve managed to get across how much I enjoyed this book and how much I want you too read it. It’s amazing and it’s out now. Also I refer to the main Character as Vivek throughout this review, as that’s what in the title of the book. But it is a story about transitioning, and finding your true self and I’ve decided to let you find out Viveks true name when you read it as it’s a beautiful moment.

Thanks to Faber Books for gifting me a copy of this book in return for an honest unbiased review.

Until the next review

JTH

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

5 Books That Have Made Me Cry

I thought I’d do a fun, silly kind of post. I’m gonna talk about books that have made me cry.

Now, I love a book that makes me cry. If you care that deeply about a character, or they story that you openly weep, then the author has done a fantastic job.

Just because they’ve made you cry doesn’t make them depressing to me, sometimes sadness can be cathartic, beautiful even. I personally love the feeling of being so wrapped up in my book, that I begin to believe it’s real then become effected by it.

A good cry does the soul some good.

So here are the books that have made me cry.

First up is ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ by Sue Monk Kidd. My favourite book. The book that made me fall in love with reading. In the middle of this book, something devastating happens. STOP READING NOW IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS. May, a character who finds the world hard to bare, receives some sad news and it pushes her over the edge and she commits suicide. Not only is this sad, but her sisters reactions are heart breaking. Then, she leaves a note, which is so heartbreaking and true to the character, it just makes me weep. Glorious storytelling.

Next up is ‘Lie With Me’ by Philippe Bensson, translated by Molly Wringwald. This is one of those books that makes you believe in love. This book made me cry for two reasons, first it’s just written so beautifully. It’s so lyrical, honest and deep. Like taking a look inside someone’s soul. It’s beauty made me cry. Second, that ending. I was sobbing. Once I finished I had to sit there and let me feelings out. It’s taken me a long time to get over this book.

‘Crooked Kingdom’ by Leigh Bardugo. I think most people that have read this know which bit I’m talking about. AGAIN STOP READING IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS. When Mathias dies, there’s just so many layers to make you cry. There’s the fact that he genuinely cares about the group after her didn’t for so long. There’s the fact that he was shot by a young kid, the exact kind of person Mathias used to be before he changed. And there’s the fact he made it back to Nina, to see her one last time. The imagery of her lying next to his body on the boat as it sails was enough to make me cry In the bath.

‘Second Chance Summer’ by Morgan Matson. I read this a few years ago on vacation. I have to say, I rather embarrassingly cried like a baby by the pool. STOP READING NOW IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS, but when Taylor receives a letter from her Dad after he’s passed away from cancer, after spending one last summer together. Well I’m sure you can imaging how sad it was. Grab the tissues for this one.

Dear Lily by Drew Davies. This book deals with grief in such a real way. It asks the questions we all have when we’ve lost someone close to us. In Joys case, it’s dealing with the grief of losing her sister. In my case, the loss of my mother. I really had to take some time after finishing this one and just let the tears flow.

So, these are the books that have made me cry. In fact, writing this I’ve realised a lot more books have actually made me cry, so I’m sure I’ll be doing another one of this blog posts.

Until the next review

JTH

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

ARC Book Review: Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass

Title: Surrender Your Sons

Author: Adam Sass

Length: 392 pages

Publisher: Fluxbooks

Synopsis: Connor Major’s is turning into a nightmare. His SAT scores bombed, the old man he delivers meals to died, and when he came out to his religious zealot mother, she had him kidnapped and sent off to a secluded island. His final destination: Nightlight Ministries, a conversion therapy camp that will be his new home until he “changes”. But Connors troubles are only beginning. At Nightlight, everyone has something to hide-from the campers, to the “converted” staff and cagey camp director-and it quickly becomes clear that no one is safe. Connor plans to escape and bring the other kidnapped teens with him. But first, he’s exposing the camps horrible truths for what they are – and taking this place down.

As soon as I heard about Surrender your Sons it’s been on my radar. It’s definitely one of my most anticipated queer books of the year. So many people I know have loved it and that just made me more excited and intrigued. But did it disappoint? Read more to find out.

I won’t keep you in suspense (like this book will) and I’ll tell you that I loved this book. It met all my expectations and surpassed them. It was suspenseful, thrilling, romantic and honest.

This book centres around teenagers at a gay conversion camp. And there were points in this novel when I couldn’t believe any of it was true. But of course it is, I think mainly I don’t want these kind of camps to be true, and I think it’s a testament Adams writing that he captures the horror and brutality of the situation and it just made the whole book believable. He captures the atmosphere perfectly which really makes book stands out. You’ll love the teenagers in this book especially the main character of Connor. I also loved that Adam has given every character depth, even the ones we hate.

There was also something I didn’t expect in this book was the romance. How can a romance blossom in this situation and work? But trust me, it did work. Don’t worry I won’t spoil it for you, but it really does work. Again it’s another showcase of Adams brilliant writing and talent. It gave me everything I want in a romance. It also gave the novel some hope, which was nice as the book is very dark.

The story really goes to places I didn’t expect, which obviously makes it excellent. I don’t want to say too much and spoil it for you but when the kids start to fight back against the councillors it just adds so many layers to the story. It became so intense. You could really feel the story building up to its thrilling climax. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough (I was reading it on kindle but you know what I mean). It was full of twists and turns and so many things surprised me. It really was a fantastic ending.

This is Adams debut novel, and it’s such a strong book. He manages to capture all the horror, the darkness, yet he manages to show hope and vulnerability. It takes real talent to blend all these cohesively. It’s so real. Also with this book being about Conversion Camps, it packs a powerful message. Ultimately, I think, it shows you that queerness is a power and we always need more books like this.

I would definitely recommend this book to you, as I’m sure you can tell. Don’t miss this one. I think I might’ve convinced myself to re-read it. I’ll look forward to reading what Adam does next.

Thank you to Netgally and Flux for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out September 15th.

Until the next review

JTH

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

Book Review: Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Title: Cinderella is Dead

Author: Kalynn Bayron

Length: 400 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Synopsis: It’s been 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over. Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows she only has one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball… are forfeit. But Sofia doesn’t want to be chosen – she’s in love with her best friend, Erin, and hates the idea of being traded like cattle. And when Sophia’s night at the ball goes horribly wrong, she must run for her life. Alone and terrified, she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s tomb. And there she meets someone who will show her that she has the power to remake her world…

This book was enjoyable, but I have to be honest and say for me, there was just something missing. Something that would’ve taken the book from good to great.I love the premise. It was really interesting, and I thought it was such a good idea. I was really invested in the first few chapters. I was ready to explore the world, the story, the history but unfortunately I just can’t but think that I wanted the story to go deeper. Maybe there needed to be more world building? I wanted to know more about the grand Balls, and in the palace walls. To truly get the sense of the evils Sophia was fighting against. I wonder if it focused too much on Cinderella. I know that sounds silly to say as it’s literally called Cinderella is Dead.

I loved that this book has a F/F relationship. But again, it needed to be more. It felt a bit flat. I just didn’t feel the connection, I knew there was supposed to be one between the characters but it never happened for me. I loved both of these characters separately, but they didn’t click for me as a romantic pair. They definitely worked as pair trying to change history. But it’s always good to see LGBTQ+ representation in books.

I did however love the characters. Sophia is a great character to follow. She was fierce, brave yet had a vulnerability in her bravery that I absolutely loved. I loved Constance too. She was funny and sharp. I cared about them. Towards the end, when they were in a bit of danger, I was genuinely worried what was going to happen to Sophia. Kalynn Bayron has written some fantastic characters. For me, overall this book did need more. It was still good, it certainly wasn’t a bad read. But I just felt at times the author was telling me what to feel, instead of actually letting me feel it. It was a bit lacklustre. And also i felt the story needed a bit better structure.

Again, this book wasn’t bad. I wanted to see how the author would wrap the story up and I wasn’t disappointed. And there was a twist that I didn’t see coming and it shocked me. That’s always a good thing. It was enjoyable, I just feel like it had the potential to be great. But I know so many people loved this book. Listen to them, not me.

I would recommend this book. I even wonder if I read this again, would I like it more. And I’m excited to see what Kaylnn writes next.

Thanks to Bloomsbury UK and Netgalley for a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out now in the UK.

Until the next review

JTH

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

ARC Book Review: Fin & Rye & Fireflies

Title: Fin&Rye&Fireflies

Author: Harry Cook

Length: 320 pages

Publisher: Inkroad Books

Synopsis: Fin Whittle is sixteen and he likes guys. A fact which seems to be complicating his life. One minute Fins kissing the godlike Jesse; the next he’s been cruelly outed. His family’s response? To up sticks in search of a fresh start. A fresh start won’t change who Fin is. Obviously. But it does introduce to the best squad in town: kick-ass Poppy, her on-off girlfriend June and the super cute, super irresistible Rye. Fin soon has a serious crush. And Rye might just feel the same way. But Fin’s parents aren’t happy. If their son won’t change his ‘lifestyle’, they’ll force him onto the straight and narrow… by way of ‘conversion therapy’. An outrageous plan is needed to face down the haters and to give Fin and Rye (and their fireflies) a chance at the happy-ever-after their story deserves…

This book is told from the perspective of two characters Fin & Rye. I really enjoyed both perspectives. At times at the beginning I did get confused as to which perspective I was reading but that didn’t happen once the story progressed. And of course, I fell In love with both of them.

This was the love story I didn’t know I needed. It was beautiful. It was a nice slow burn that felt really real to me. I got that feeling in my stomach, and that means I totally fell for the romance. I needed them to be together. It was so nice to get lost in their love story. It was just really sweet and sometimes we need sweet gay romances because they simply make the world better.

This book also deals with some really tough issues. And I have to say it deals with them really well. It captures the severity of them, but manages to avoid any triggering words and I really, really liked that. There was transphobia, there was conversion therapy. They still had the impact, but Harry dealt with them in a really classy way.

There were many types of relationships dealt with through out the book. There was obviously the romance which I spoke about above. There was the friendship between the four friends which was so beautifully organic. Rye and his mum relationship was super fun and how all mum/son relationships should be.

The relationship between Fin and his parents is a highlight for throughout the book. It’s not easy to read, as deals with a heavy subject of Conversion Therapy. You can feel the tension between them and I was so hoping for a good outcome. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but I wasn’t disappointed. It also felt like a real organic ending.

I would definitely recommend this book. I know many of you are too, as you’ve messaged me saying so. Harry Cook is a new YA LGBTQ+ author that I’ll be watching out for in the future because I need more of his books.

Thanks to Inkroad books for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out August 12th.

Until the next review

JTH