Review: Making It by Christine d’Abo

35925899.jpgSummary: Devan knows exactly what he wants from life: a good career, a husband who loves him, and a child to call his own. He’s working at the perfect job, and has found the man of his dreams in Eli. That only leaves one box left to tick. When his friend offers to be a surrogate mother for Devan and Eli, he’s convinced all his dreams have come true.

Eli has been fighting his entire life. Fighting to keep his sick mother safe, fighting his frustration, and fighting daily as an up-and-coming MMA star. The one thing he can’t fight is the feeling that he’s made a terrible mistake agreeing to be a father with Devan. On the worst night of their lives, Eli knows Devan is better off without him, and leaves.

When Eli returns three years later, he comes face-to-face with Devan and a son who might be his. Devan has moved on with his life, but seeing Eli once again reignites forgotten passion. Yet if Eli wants to make it work with Devan, he must decide if he’s ready for the biggest fight of his life.

Rating: ★★★★★  

Trigger warnings: Homomisia

I received an arc from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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Review: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

23677341.jpgSummary: There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Trigger warnings: Attempted rape, suicide

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Discussion: How to be a Good LGBTQIA+ Ally on BookTube and the Book Community

So due to recent events I don’t have the energy to go into, I want to talk about how allocishet people can be good allies to the LGBTQIA+ community when it comes to reading such books. The intent of this is to not attack anyone but to educate.

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Sexuality in Books and Labels

A certain theme I keep coming across in books, mostly in YA, is that queer characters tend to be coded as queer rather than be given a label, and a lot of the time an author will state what the character’s sexuality is. To a certain extent I understand that in fantasy as they may not have access to labels but I’ve seen it occur in contemporary and urban fantasy too. So I want to go more in depth and explore how it’s been treated.

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Review: Monsters of Verity Duology by Victoria Schwab

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Summary: Kate Harker and August Flynn’s families rule opposite ends of Verity, a grisly metropolis where violent acts summon real monsters: bloodsucking Malchai; clawing Corsai; and soul-stealing Sunai. The truce that keeps the families at peace is crumbling, and August is sent to spy on Kate. But when Harker’s men try to kill her and pin it on the Flynns, August and Kate find themselves running from both sides, in a city where monsters are real

Rating:

This Savage Song: ★★★★☆

Our Dark Duet: ★★★1/2☆

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On Authors Responding to Reviews and My Personal Experience

I’ve been seeing it more frequently of authors responding to reviews and posting screen-caps on Twitter or even subtweeting reviewers. While many people in the book community have cheered them on when it comes to -ist or -misic reviews, many reviewers have expressed discomfort with this. Why? This makes them feel unsafe, that if they say something negative about a book, the author or a different one may do the same to them. Now, this isn’t me condoning -ist or -misic reviews at all. However, I still don’t think it’s the authors place to post it on social media. I’ve seen reviewers on Twitter doing it too with -ist or -misic books but that doesn’t necessarily bother me. A reviewer doing it isn’t the same as an author doing it. Why? There’s a power imbalance. Authors with huge followings doing this isn’t okay, as they have more power than someone with a smaller following. This is especially the case if the review wasn’t bigoted but critical.

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eARC Review: And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone

33819190.jpgSummary: Adam Young is a devout Mormon whose life is all planned out, by both his strict father and his church. He follows the path they’ve established for him, goes off to his mission in Barcelona, Spain, and realizes that his life may not follow the trajectory already chosen for him.

His mission companion, Brandon Christensen, is a handsome, enthusiastic practitioner on the surface. But as their mission progresses, they both realize they have major questions about their faith… and substantial feelings for one another.

 

 

I received an arc from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review 

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Trigger warnings: Homomisia, parental abuse

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Review: Strong Signal by Santino Hassel and Megan Erikson

28561501.jpgSummary: I was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind. That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel. I never expected to become fixated on someone who’d initially been a rival. And I’d never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me – a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn’t planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night – hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions. But it did. And now I can’t stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it’s love at first sight. Except, like most things in my life, it doesn’t go as planned.

Rating: ★★★★★

Trigger warnings: Homomisia, neglectful parenting

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