#ownvoices · bookish list · Diverse Books

Underrated LGBTQIA+ Books

Underrated LGBTQIA Books.jpg

 

Coffee Boy by Austin Chant – 960 rating on Goodreads
  • Representation: Transexual man mc (#ownvoices) & bisexual man li
  • Genre: New adult, romance
  • Why read it?: Short book with funny and witty banter, character development, thoughtful conversations about gender and sexual orientation & a great romance.
Secondhand Origin Story by  Lee Blauersouth – 24 ratings on goodreads
  • Representation: Black lesbian mc, lesbian mc, asexual mc, gender queer mc (#ownvoices).
  • Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
  • Why read it?: A character driven story set in a fascinating world full of superheroes. A group of teens that has to fight against a corrupt, racist and ableist system.
The Story of Lizzy and Darcy by Grace Watson – 97 ratings on Goodreads
  • Representation: Lesbian mc, bisexual mc, trans side character
  • Genre: Contemporary, Romance
  • Why read it?: Amazing Pride and Prejudice retelling, with the publishing industry as a background.
Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’beirne – 298 ratings on Goodreads
  • Representation: Lesbian indian-australian mc, bisexual mc
  • Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
  • Why read it?: Character development and a really interesting premise: a competition that it’s a mix between a summer camp and a Model UN.

 

 These books are part of a series, but they can be read separetely and out of order.

Small Change by Roan Parrish – 539 ratings on Goodreads 
  • Representation: bisexual female mc
  • Genre: Romance, Contemporary
  • Why read it?: A story about a bisexual female tattoo artist that’s dating a guy, who is the sweetest, nicest love interest ever. It deals with gender and with the idea of a woman in a male dominated industry.
Invitations to the Blues by Roan Parrish – 431 ratings on Goodreads
  • Representation: gay mc, black gay mc
  • Genre: Romance, Contemporary
  • Why read it?: Complex characters, interesting discussions about race and mental health, and a really adorable love story.
Honorary Mentions 

These are 3 books that have a higher amount of ratings on Goodreads, but they still have less than 3000 ratings.  I feel that these books deserve to be read by a lot more people and that’s why I’m including them.

 

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera – 2989 ratings on Goodreads 
  • Representation: Latinx lesbian mc (#ownvoices)
  • Genre: Young Adult, Fiction
  • Why read it?: A main character with a captivating and honest voice, a lot of character development and important discussions about intersectional feminism, queerness  and safe spaces.
How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake – 1529 ratings on Goodreads 
  • Representation: bisexual mc, biracial lesbian li
  • Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
  • Why read it?: A really sweet romance and a raw, complicated mother/daughter relationship that it’s addressed with so much honesty.
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee – 2798 ratings on Goodreads 
  • Representation:  bisexual and Chinese-Vietnamese mc (#ownvoices), lesbian li
  • Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
  • Why read it?: A cute book set in an interesting post-apocalyptic world, amazing conversations about gender and sexual orientation,  villains that are not so evil and heroes that are not so good.
Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? What underrated LGBTQ+ books do you reccomend?

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#ownvoices · Diverse Books · Review

Book Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

The Wedding Date 2

Title: The Wedding Date

Author: Jasmine Guillory

Publishing Date:  January 30th 2018

Published by:  Berkley

Genres: Adult, Romance

Pages: 224 pages

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other… 

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

Goodreads | Amazon

The first half of The Wedding Date is full of cute, romantic and even some relatively steamy moments. The main character, Alexa, is smart, strong and driven and then the other main character, Drew, is really charming, at least in the first half of the book. Both characters have established careers that they are passionate about, which makes the story and the characters more compelling.

Something else that adds to the story is the fact that Alexa and Drew are an interracial couple, Alexa is black and this is #ownvoices representation, while Drew is white. Throughout the book, there are scenes where they have some interesting conversations about race, which adds depth to this story and make it more engaging. Also, this book does a very good job of showing Alexa’s insecurities and how society’s beauty standards  can affect someone body image.

The second half of this is where things go a bit south for me.  As I mentioned before,  the main character, Drew, is pretty charming thorughout the first half of this  and I even like him in the second half when he is with Alexa. Nonetheless, everytime Drew is with his best friend, Carlos, especially towards the end, he’s an asshole and a terrible friend, which takes away from the belief that he is a great guy for Alexa, because someone who is rude and inconsiderate towards their friends isn’t exactly good relationship material.

Another issue I have with this book is that the problems between Alexa and Drew in the second half are communication problems and they could have been solved easily. I think this is particulary frustrating because at the beginning of the book, Alexa and Drew are established as mature and intelligent characters, and so it was a bit unbelievable that they couldn’t have an honest and open conversation about their relationship. I understand that the fact that the relationship starts with fake dating makes them have doubts about it, but I also think that their inhability to communicate and talk drags out way too long.

Overall, this is a fun and cute read, especially at the beginning, and it deals with important subjects like race and body image in a very good way. Nonetheless, it loses some of its appeal by the end because both the main character, Drew, and the relationship between Drew and Alexa become less charming.

Rating: 3,6  stars

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Review

Book Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Frost and Starlight

Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publishing Date: May 1st 2018

Published by: Bloomsbury YA

Genres: Fantasy, YA

Pages: 272

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

Goodreads | Amazon 

This book was so disappointing, it was absolutely unnecesary. Most of this book revolves around characters walking around Velaris and shopping for presents. Then there’s scenes that are simply fans’ wish fulfillment. Also, there was a really weird sex scene in this that left me confused and creep out.

The chapters I thought were interesting were the ones told from Casssian’s and Nesta’s perspective, because they gave a little bit of  insight into the next books in the series. But to be honest, this book gave almost no information about the next book and that was frustrating. I feel like Mor may also play a big role in the next books because she got a POV in this book, but I think one of her chapters was a disservice to her character and the other one made no sense. Going back to Nesta, one part of the book that I actually found interesting and compelling was the portrait of Nesta’s PTSD. To me, she is the most interesting and complex character in the series and I’m looking forward to read from her POV.

There were three or four scenes from Feyre’s and Rhysand’s POV that I thought were cute or interesting or fun to read, like the christmas scene where all the characters were together. Nonetheless, I feel like Sarah J. Maas could have realesed those scenes as bonus content in her newsletter or website or anywhere, but there was no need for an entire book. Almost every scene in this was pointless. I feel like this book needed a lot more editing.

So, why did this get 3 star and not less? I actually don’t know…. I think it’s because when I first heard the name of the book, I thought SJM was going to take this in another direction. I thought she was gonna have the next books be about the Winter Court and about Mor, and as much as I love Mor, I wanted my Cassian and Nesta book. Since this book confirmed that they are gonna be main characters in the next books, it made me happy. Also, I loved their scenes together in this book, getting to read from their POV and, as I said before, the portrait of Nesta’s PTSD. Additionally, I think the teaser we got from the next book also help this in terms of rating, which I know doesn’t make sense since that’s part of another book, but it just made me enjoy the experience of reading this a lot more.

Rating: 3 stars

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#ownvoices · Diverse Books · Review

Book Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X

Title: The Poet X

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Publishing Date: March 6th 2018

Published by: HarperTeen

Genres: Comtemporary, YA

Pages: 368

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

Goodreads | Amazon 

The Poet X is an #ownvoices story about a dominican american girl called Xiomara. It’s a story that explores Xiomara’s struggle with inhabiting her body, a body that attracs attention and because of it, it’s unwillingly subjected to the male gaze; it also deals with growing up in a conservative latinx family that it’s extremely religious and that imposes faith and leaves no room for questions. It’s a book about trying to figure who you are in an enviroment that doesn’t leave much room to do so.

This book is written in verse, which allows the reader to connect with the main character, Xiomara, and her struggles so much more and it makes the story more compelling than it would have been if it was written like a normal novel. We get a direct line to the powerful emotions that she is experiencing and trying to express, which allows an intimacy that it wouldn’t have been possible any other way. Despise being written in verse, the narration is still easy to follow because all the different parts are connected and one flows into the other with ease.

One of  the strongest aspects of the book is the exploration of faith and religion; reading from Xiomara’s pespective, the reader gets to understand all her doubts around her own faith, but also her questioning of the rol that women have been assigned in catholisms as the sinners, the temptation and a lot of times the inferior gender. It also explores the tension that exists in a lot of latinx families when it comes to religion and how even when certain ceremonies like the Confirmation are meant to be a voluntary acceptance of the faith, they become this mandatory step to be a part of the family. Also, the way this books draws a parallel between prayer and poetry is absolutely sublime and it’s done in a very powerful way.

This book also explores complicated family dynamics and it’s particulary interesting to see the mother/daughter relationship; the misunderstanding, the judgement, the contrary beliefs, but also the way it develops when both mother and daughter try to understand each others truths. They don’t arrive to that point until a huge confrontation that it’s intense, raw and heartbreaking, but seeing the ups and downs of their relationships is compelling and engaging.

Throughout the story, Xiomara discovers slam poetry and it’s amazing to experience, through her perspective, the freedom and the happiness of finding a way to express all her thoughts and emotions in a time of her life when she really needs that outlet.

Rating: 4.7 stars 

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Uncategorized

The Movie Journal: May 2018

The Movie Journal

The Movie Journal is a feature where I keep track of the movies I watch in 2018 and my thoughts about them. Here are the movies I watched in May:

Into the Woods (3,7 stars)

A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.

  • Directed by: Rob Marshall
  • Written by:  James Lapine
  • Cast:  Anna KendrickMeryl StreepChris Pine, Emily Blunt, James Corden 

This movie starts really well, it’s entertaining, the acting is captivating and the songs are deep and though provoking, then when there’s 40 minutes until the end,  it becomes a bit repetitive and stale and it’s boring and not very compelling by the time the credits roll. Nonetheless, the movie does a great job at looking like a fairytale but leaving behind the innocence of the disney versions and confronting the more ambiguos, darker, challenging aspects of life.

You’re Not You ( 4,3 stars)

A drama centered on a classical pianist who has been diagnosed with ALS and the brash college student who becomes her caregiver.

  • Directed by:  George C. Wolfe
  • Written by:   Shana FesteJordan Roberts
  • Cast: Hilary SwankEmmy RossumJosh Duhamel

This is not the most original movie,  but the acting saves it from blending in with all the  movies about illness that come out every year. Everytime I see Hilary Swank movie I’m reminded of how brilliant and talented she is. In this case, her meticulous depiction of the symptoms of ALS is mindblowing; the way she portraits the advances of the illness with her body movements and her voice is outstanding. And Emmy Rossum who could have easily being eclipsed by Swank, shines on her own playing a sensitive, lost,  caring, rebellious, rowdy woman: the caregiver and friend to Swank’s character.

 Have you watched any of the movies I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to watch any of them? Let me know in the comments! 

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wrap up

May 2018 Wrap Up

monthly-wrap-up-1

Life Update 

  • May was a the month of waiting, which was incredibly frustrating. Last month, I said that May 22 was the day I’d find out if I got the scholarship to get my master degree, but the results didn’t come in. Now, the results are suppost to come out in June, so I still have to wait for a little longer. If you can keep sending good vibes my way, I would really appreciate it.
  • Last month I also said that I was applying for a job and I thought I was gonna know if I got it or not in May, but it’s a job with the government, so the application process is really long. I’m still waiting for that as well.
  • Thanks to all the waiting and expectations, my anxiety got out of control. It was a really hard month.
  • I got to see my boyfriend, who lives in another city, but came to visit. It was really good to see him. Also, I got to spend a lot of time with my friends and it was really fun and exactly what I needed.
  • There were presidential elections in my country, Colombia. It was the first round and the candidate that I like passed to the second round, but it’s very unlikely that he’ll win. If he loses, we are gonna be stuck with a far-right president AGAIN. I’m worried and sad and it sucks.

What I read 

I read A LOT MORE than usual in April and I could feel at the begining of May that I was kind of going into a reading slump, I didn’t want to read as much and so I decided to re-read one of my favorite series, which is 10 books long, that’s why this wrap up is full of re-reads. Now, I’m feeling the desire to read again and I’m sure June will be a great reading month.

 

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas (3 stars) 

This was so disappointing, there was a bunch of unnecesary scenes and there were scenes that are simply fans’ wish fulfillment. Things I liked: Nesta’s and Cassian’s chapters and the portrait of PTSD. The review is coming next month.

Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn (3 stars) 

This is a fun, quick read. It has the sister of the best friend trope and at least it doesn’t take the usual route of the brother that doesn’t want the protagonists together, it goes in a different direction.  The main characters had chemestry, but the reason they weren’t together was kind of silly and based on miscommunication.

ae61e-addicted2bcalloway2bsisters2bseries

Addictes/ Calloway Sisters Series by Krista and Becca Ritchie 

This was a re-read and I really enjoyed it, since this is one of my favorite series of all time. This was the third time I read the entire series and some of the book I have read even more times (like 4 or 5). I had never written a review of any of them and this time I decided to write a few thoughts for each book on Goodreads and I’m linking that down below:

Addicted to you  | Ricochet | Addicted for Now | Kiss the Sky | Hothouse Flower | Thrive | Addicted After All | Fuel by Fire | Long Way Down | Some Kind of Perfect

On the blog 

Here’s everything I posted this month on the blog:

 

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them?Tell me what happened in your life during April! What did you read? What did you post? 

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