Friday 29 June 2018

Pride Reads


The sun is shining, it's not dark when we wake up in the morning and everything is extra gay, honestly could life get any better? Well it's about to, as I'm going to recommend some of my favourite LGBT+ reads to you! 

If you haven't heard of this one then WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?Seriously bro do you even read? This book has been adapted
into a movie you might have heard of called Love, Simon,
and both the book and the movie are fantastic! We may have
a long way to go to achieve equality, but the fact that we have
a gay romcom showing in the cinema is a big deal, and I'm
honestly so proud. If you're reading my blog right now then
you probably already know all about this book, but I just had
to include it because I love it so much!

So this is the only book on this list that isn't YA, but the characters
are in University so are only a little older than your typical YA character. Every time I recommend this book, I do have to point
out how dark it is, as the characters suffer throughout the series,
and there are some horrible torture and rape scenes. This one
is definitely not suitable for younger readers, but it is a fantastic series with brilliantly diverse characters. Despite everything these
characters go through, the series does have a happy ending!

This one is a fantasy, but the main characters are LGBT and it's
one of my all time favourite books so of course I had to include
it! In short, this book is what Harry Potter would be like if Drarry
was canon. Along with the enemies to lovers trope, you get a gay vampire, a school of magic called Watford, and a dragon. Really
what more could you want? If you miss Harry Potter then honestly this is the next best thing.


Please read this book and appreciate my bisexual son Monty and
his gay boyfriend Percy. I adore everything about this book and
it's practically impossible to not fall in love with Monty. Monty makes some bad decisions which include stealing from the Palace of Versailles, getting chased across Europe by highwaymen and
drinking copious amounts of alcohol.
This book includes the friends to lovers trope WHICH IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVE. Honestly the romance in this book is the cutest  thing ever and you can personally complain to me if you don't love it.

you don't laugh out loud at least once while reading this book
then you seriously lack a sense of humor. The book follows
Noah, a teenage boy who is having a terrible time at school.
Things go from bad to worse when his best friend Harry kisses
 him at a party, making their once simple friendship complicated.
This book was pretty much perfection, and I've recently finished
 the sequel which is equally hilarious! I find that a lot of LGBT+
books are either serious or sad,so these are perfect if you want
 a more light hearted read.

This is quite an old book now, but I only read it for the first time
last year. It follows George, a young transgender girl who is
desperate to play the role of Charlotte in her school production
of Charlotte's Web. However, everyone sees George as a boy,
and her teacher doesn't even allow her to audition for the part.
I was actually quite shocked when I found out this was a middle
grade book, as I had never come across a trans character in
middle grade before. I loved how positive the message in this
book was. The suicide rate for young trans people is outrageously high, and this book shows how it's important for parents and
teachers to respect the gender identity of children rather than
                                 trying to force them to accept the gender that was assigned to
                                them at birth.

Please let me know if you've read any of these as I would love to kno your thoughts! Also I'm always on the lookout for books with LGBT+ rep, so please reccomend me your favourites!

Monday 25 June 2018

Blog Tour- Just Don't Mention It

Tyler Bruce is your typical badboy. He drinks, does drugs and drives around fast in his expensive car. However, no one knows that all these things are just a distraction for Tyler. A distraction from thinking about how his dad physically abused him for four years of his life. When Tyler's stepsister Eden comes to visit, Tyler finds himself unable to keep up the badboy facade with her. Eden seems to see right through him, and Tyler's walls that he has so carefully constructed over the years start to crumble.
From the bestselling author of the DIMILY series, Just Don't Mention it focuses on Tyler's story, and how he became the person that Eden first meets in Did I Mention I Love You?

SO TODAY IS MY STOP ON THE JUST DON'T MENTION IT BLOG TOUR!! I thought I'd share my thoughts on the book and probably annoy the hardcore fans with my opinions. That's not to say I'm not a fan of the DIMILY series, the fact is that (plot twist) I haven't actually read it. Now before you gasp in horror, I did try! I fully intended to read the series before JDMI, but as it is such a popular series, all the copies were checked out of my local library. I do fully intend on reading the series at some point, but for now you'll have to accept the fact that my opinions on this book may be a little different than someone who has already followed these characters for three books, so apologies if I'm completely clueless on some things!

So from what I've learnt, this book is a retelling of the first book in the series from Tyler's point of view rather than Eden's. I can see why this would resonate with fans of the series, as Eden doesn't actually find out about Tyler's abusive childhood until towards the end of the book, whereas in JDMI, Tyler is struggling with his past throughout the book. I think I was giving Tyler a pass for being such an asshole because I knew why he was acting that way, whereas if I had read DIMILY first, I probably would have hated him. Reading this book has definitely made me want to read DIMILY, as I would love to know Eden's initial thoughts on Tyler.

The book is split into two parts, with the chapters alternating between the present and five years ago. Seeing Tyler's past and how the abuse he endured from his father was still affecting his mental health five years later was particularly difficult to read. I feel as if anyone who has suffered from physical abuse should be wary about reading this book, as although it is clearly an important topic that should be made aware of, I feel as if it could be particularly upsetting for people who can relate to Tyler's story. It was horrible to see Tyler defending his dad and lying to his mum about where he was getting his injuries so he wouldn't hurt his family. Although Tyler's mum was loving and caring, she was also missing some pretty big warning signs. She never questioned why Tyler was constantly getting injured so often, putting it down to Tyler hurting himself out of clumsiness. I felt as if she should have at least questioned the frequency he was getting hurt, and noticing how Tyler was frequently studying instead of playing with his brothers. Even though no parent wants to think that their child may be getting physically abused, it's important to question it if they're constantly covered in bruises. Tyler was too afraid to tell anyone, but he did want someone to know, so I felt as if he would have told the truth to an adult he trusted if they had been the first one to bring it up.

Being abused as a child often leads to mental health problems later in life, which is exactly what happened to Tyler. He felt as if he couldn't tell his friends about what had happened to him, as he was afraid of coming across as weak. I loved how he eventually felt as if he was able to open up to Eden, and not have to keep up the bad boy act with her. I did however feel as if Eden was a little pushy at times.

I'm a little torn over the romance side of things, as although it was sweet at times, I felt as if Tyler and Eden were constantly making bad decisions. I was shocked that Eden would kiss Tyler while knowing that he had a girlfriend, as she initially came across as quiet and shy. I felt as if her personality changed drastically, as she was soon kissing someone else's boyfriend and getting drunk at parties. Although Tiffani was horrible and manipulative, I still don't think she deserved to be cheated on along with having to find that out from someone else. Something else I was surprised at was how Eden seemed to go straight from hating Tyler to kissing him. Now I'm all for the enemies to lovers trope, but it seemed to come out of nowhere. I'm sure if I had read DIMILY and saw the situation from Eden's perspective, this wouldn't have been the case, but from Tyler's point of view, there didn't seem to be any sort of build up.

Both Estelle and the publisher have told me JDMI can be read as a stand alone, but I do personally think that I would have enjoyed the book more if I had read DIMILY first. I think reading Eden's story first would definitely have made me more invested in Tyler's story, as there were quite a few things that Eden did that had me wondering what the reasoning behind them was.I also feel as if I would have liked Eden more as a character if I had known her thoughts and feelings. Even though I wasn't that keen on the romance, I did love the important messages, and I definitely want to read DIMILY to see if my opinions on Eden change!

Half ratings aren't something I usually do, but I think I would have to make an exception for this one and give it a 3.5

Just Don't Mention It is now available to purchase!

  | Amazon Book Depository

Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour!

Friday 8 June 2018

Review on Starfish

Kiko Himura has her heart set on going to Prism, one of the best art schools in the country. However, Kiko doesn't get in, and with no backup school, she has no idea what to do next. When her best friend leaves for college early, Kiko seems doomed to spend the summer with her self obsessed mother and her two brothers who she barely speaks to, but her plans all change when she bumps into Jamie, an old childhood friend who moved to California. Jamie convinces Kiko to spend the summer with him in California, where she will be able to look into alternative art schools. However, leaving her family behind turns out to be more difficult than Kiko anticipated.

So I accidentally judged this book by it's cover and thought it was going to be a Sci-Fi book before reading the summary! The cover is completely gorgeous, and as I own about 100 galaxy themed things, it fits my aesthetic perfectly. However the cover doesn't really give the genre away, and I don't think anyone would guess it was a contemporary book just from looking at the cover. I definitely don't think the packaging fits the content, but the cover is definitely eye catching!

The book follows Kiko, a girl who has just graduated from high school and is looking to get into art school. Kiko doesn't get along with her family, and is desperate to move away from home for school. When Kiko doesn't get a place in the only school she applied to, she has no idea what to do about her future. Something that I immedietly loved was how it showed that sometimes our plans don't go the way we thought they would, and we are forced to find alternatives. Life is never smooth sailing, it is full of seemingly unclimbable mountains and ditches we can't seem to scramble out of. As I currently have no idea what I'm doing with my life, I related to Kiko's struggles.

Something that came up quite a lot in the book was Kiko's heritage. Kiko is mixed race, with a white mum and Japanese dad. Kiko feels as if she doesn't belong anywhere, and starts believing her mothers ridiculous beauty standards. Kiko's mother is awful to her, and along with blaming Kiko for practically everything, she makes her feel ugly by idolising blonde, white girls. I hated that Kiko's mum would treat her own daughter this way, and I was happy that Kiko eventually discovered what having a real family is like, and realised that beauty doesn't have a race, as not only white girls can be beautiful.

We often see siblings who get along well and siblings who hate each other, but we rarely see siblings who are indifferent to each other. Kiko cares about her brothers, but she has nothing in common with them, and rarely spends time with them. This is similar to the relationship my mum has with her siblings, so I thought it was interesting to see a character in a similar situation. I did find it a little sad that they didn't get along, as they all had one thing in common, which was hating living with their mum. I felt really bad for Kiko's younger brother, and felt as if he wouldn't have had such a hard time if he hadn't felt so alone. It's important for children to be able to tell people how they're feeling, and Shoji wasn't able to do that.

I talked about Kiko's anxiety and how I related to it in my Starfish blog tour post, but I'm going to touch on it a little here too. I was really happy with how it was dealt with, as I see way too many books that treat anxiety as if it's a character quirk rather than a mental health problem. I related to Kiko a lot, especially with her not being able to go to new places alone. I also loved how although Jamie helped Kiko with her anxiety, he didn't miracuously cure it. Something I hate is the idea that boyfriends are a cure all. Boys can't cure mental illnesses by being cute and charming, so I loved how what happened was realistic.

Hiroshi was an interesting character, and I loved how he became a father figure to Kiko. I loved how he made Kiko feel proud of her Japanese heritage instead of ashamed, and how she got to experience Japanese culture for the first time. Hiroshi was a brilliant role model, and I loved how Kiko slowly started to realise how incapable her mum was at parenting.

The one thing I didn't enjoy that much about this book was the romance. There are times when I love the friends to lovers trope, but it was too obvious from the start that they were going to end up together romantically. I loved that they had been friends for so long, and as platonic relationships between boys and girls are rare in YA, I think I would have preferred if they had stayed friends.

Overall I loved this book, and I thought it dealt perfectly with anxiety, race and family issues. This was a brilliant debut novel, and I look forward to reading more from Akemi in the future!
Starfish is now available to purchase!

  | Amazon Book Depository