December 2018 Wrap Up: Queer Lit Readathon, Smutathon & Shortathon

Monthly Wrap Up newest

Life Update 
  • December was such an amazing month. I went on a trip to Barcelona with my best friend and we had an amazing time. There are so many things to do and it’s such a vibrant and beautiful city, it’s a new favorite place for me.  We were there for only 4 days and I really want to go back some day!
  • Since I’m living in Spain and I had to spend Christmas and New Year’s eve away from my family that is back in Colombia, my best friend and I planned a trip to Paris for Christmas, then Milan and then Rome for New Year’s Eve (Spoilers for January:  I also went to Florence and Venice at the beginning of 2019, I just got home yesterday!). Paris is my new favorite city, I had the best time there, we stayed for 6 days and got to see so much of that beautiful place. I can’t wait to go back!
  • Even after traveling so much, I managed to read the 16 books that I needed to complete my goal of reading 150 books in 2018, so that’s really exciting as well!
What I Read
Queer Lit Readathon

 

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera (3,6 stars) 

It took me a while to get into this books, I didn’t really enjoy the first part of it, but once it got to part two, I found it a very cute read. (full review)

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (4 stars)

I really enjoyed this book, I think it was interesting that instead of a coming out story, this was about a trans girl living her life. I liked the way this book explored the relationships between Amanda and her parents and the way those relationships developed.  I think the main conflict was a bit unnecessary and I wish things could have gone differently, but overall this was a great read.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera  (3,8 stars) 

It took me a while to get into this book, but when both of the main characters finally meet it gets better. While I didn’t really feel the chemistry, overall I really liked their relationship and I think the way they both grew in this book was amazing. I don’t understand what was the point of the chapters told from other people’s perspectives, since I didn’t feel like they added anything to the story, but nontheless, I fount his to be a thought provoking book.

Smutathon

 

Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon (3 stars) 

This was just ok, sadly the writing style wasn’t for me and I felt like the characters had no chemistry, they had their sweet moments though.

Big Rock by Lauren Blakely (3,7stars) 

This was a short and fun read, steamy and low on angst. The fake relationship trope is one of my favorites and that part of the story was really well done. Also, the fact that this was friends to lovers made it even better. The characters had so much chemistry and I really enjoyed their interactions.

Mister O by Lauren Blakely (3,7 stars)

After reading Big Rock, I wanted to read the sequel right away. I really liked this couple, their dynamic is playfull and fun and they have lots of chemistry. This book handles the best friend’s little sister trope really well, because it avoids the whole ‘you’re my best friend but you don’t deserve my sister’ narrative.

 

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole (3,7 stars) 

At first I thought I wasn’t gonna like this, because the prince in this story comes off as a entitled jerk, but at the end I enjoyed seeing his development. I really liked the fact that the main character was a woman in STEM and I think the topic of sexism in her field was handled really well. My problem with this was that the last part of the book goes in a weird direction and it didn’t worked that well for me.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (4 stars) 

I really enjoyed reading about Josh and Lucy’s relationship. Enemies to lovers is one of my favorite tropes and this book did it so well. I really liked Josh as a love interest, he is introduced as an asshole, but ends up being such a soft guy and I want to cry just thinking about it!

From Lukov With Love by Mariana Zapata (4 stars) 

This is the most beautiful enemies to friends to lovers relationship of all times. The main character, Jasmine, goes through so much character development and it’s amazing, and she and Ivan are perfect for each other. I usually don’t get crushes in fictional characters, but I have a huge crush on Ivan Lukov.

Shortathon

 

Filthy Gods by R. Scarlett (3,4 stars) 

I had low expectations for this one, but I found it entertaining and it actually left me intrigued about the next books in this series. A short and steamy romance, it has good characters and it has low levels of angst.

Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen (4 stars)

This was so relatable!!! I really enjoyed this one, it was cute and funny and I wanted to take pictures of so many pages and send them to my friends.

Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert (3 stars) 

My main problem with this was that I didn”t understand why the characters got together, they had cero chemistry and honestly the guy was a jerk most of the time and it was excused because of his tragic past. Also, the writing wasn’t for me. At the end, it got better and when the guy wasn’t being a jerk, they actually had some nice moments, but nothing beyond that.

The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks & Kurt Busiek (3 stars) 

This was ok, it did nothing especial, but it was entertaining. I honestly don’t have anything else to say about it.

 

Soft on Soft by Em Ali (4 stars) 

This was so adorable and soft. I loved both of the main characters and their relationship, even if I did feel like they got together out of nowhere. A f/f romance that I would totally recommend!

Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman (3 stars)

This is a f/f romance novella and I think it was ok, it had some cute moments, but I felt like it tried to cover too much in very few pages and somethings felt both unnecessary and unresolved.

For Every One by Jason Reynolds (4,5 stars) 

I really enjoyed this book, it was the perfect book to end the year because it left me feeling hopeful. A beautiful book written in verse about working to accomplish your dreams and not giving up.

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them?

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Queer Lit Readathon TBR

I’m really excited to be participating in Queer Lit Readathon, which will take place from December 2nd to December 8th. This is an ambitious tbr considering I have a lot of school work and things to do before leaving for a trip on December 15. Also I’m participating in 2 other readathons in December, so I’m gonna be busy!

Anyway, here’s the bingo board for the Queer Lit Readathon with all the challenges:

Queer Lit Bingo

I’m reading 4 books for this readathon and I’m using each book to fill more than one square because they fit several squares and I don’t think I’ll be able to read more than 4 books that week, so here’s my tbr:

 

Ace Spectrum Main Character/ Historical Fiction:  The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy by Mackenzi Lee 

Felicity Montague must use all her womanly wits and wiles to achieve her dreams of becoming a doctor—even if she has to scheme her way across Europe to do it. 

This is one of my most anticipated releases of 2018 and this is the perfect opportunity to finally get to it! I really enjoy the first book in this series, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, and I can’t wait to know what happens next in Felicity’s story.

New to Me Author/ Author of Color: They Both Die at The End by Adam Silvera 

On September 5, Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio get a call letting them know they’re going to die that day, then they meet through an app called the Last Friend for a last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

This book had been in my tbr in more than one occasion this year and I haven’t gotten to it, but this is finally the time when I read it, that way I won’t have to say that I haven’t read any Adam Silvera books ever again.

Trans Spectrum Main Character/ #ownvoices: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo 

Amanda, a trans girl,  just moved to a new town and started at a new high school after a bad experience with bullying and transphobia. In the new school, she starts dating a great guy and has a ton of friends, but she isn’t sure if she should tell people about being trans or not.

This books has a trans main character, a trans writer and a trans model on the cover, which is amazing! I have read a short story by this author and loved it, so I’m hoping I’ll feel the same way about her book.

5 Stars Prediction: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

This is the story of  Arthur and Ben, who meet-cute at the post office, and what the universe has in store for them. 

Another one of my anticipated releases of 2018, I have really high hopes for this which makes me a bit nervous to read it, but I’m still excited. Also, I’m taking no chances, I will have read an Adam Silvera book by the end of 2018.

 Are you participating in the Queer Lit Readathon? What are you reading? Have you read any of these books? Did you like them?

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9 Books with Trans Main Characters

9 books with trans main characters

9 Books Monday is a feature here on the blog, where I talk about 9 books that have positive representation for a minority/marginalized group. In the past, I have done posts about 9 book with: bisexual female main characterslatinx mcblack mcmuslim mc, lesbian mc and asian mc.

This time I’m doing 9 books with Trans Main Characters:

4 Books I Read and Loved

When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore : This is a beautifully written magical realism book, where one of the main charcters of the story, Samir, is a bacha posh: a child assigned female at birth selected to live as a boy until puberty. But it turns out Sam is not “living as a boy,” he is a boy. Beside the trans rep, there’s also pakistani rep and latinx rep (#ownvoices).

Coffee Boy by Austin ChantThis is an #ownvoices novella about a trans boy who has a crush on a campaign strategist, who happens to be a bisexual man, and who he meets while working in an internship for a politician. The story is cute and fun and it has steamy and explicit content.    

Redefining Realness by Janet MockThis is a non fiction book about the life of Janet Mock, a biracial trans woman that has worked as a writer, jornalist and TV host. The book starts when Mock is a child living in poverty and continues through her adolescence including a very detailed account of her transition and all the heartbreaking obstacules she faced, and ends when she is a successful writer. This books tells the honest and captivating story of an incredible woman.

Not your Villain by C.B. Lee This is the second book in a series but I’m pretty sure you could read it without reading the first one, since a lot of what happens in the first book is included in the beginning of this book. In Not Your Villain, the main character is Bells, a superhero that can shapeshift which helps him in his life as a trans guy. But then he became the country’s most-wanted villain after discovering a cover-up by the League of Heroes. This book is full of adventure and  fun and it has a diverse cast of characters.

5 Books on my TBR 

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo:  This book is about Amanda, a trans girl that just moved to a new town, starting at a new high school after a bad experience at her last one because of bullying and transphobia. In the new school everything is great, she is dating an amazing guy and has a ton of friends, but she isn’t sure if she should tell people about being trans or not. This books has a trans main character, a trans writer and a trans model on the cover.  Recently I read a short story by this author and loved it, so I ‘m hoping to read this book soon.

Dreadnought by April Daniels: This book is about Danny, she is trans, lesbian girl, who suddenly gets powers when Dreadnought (a superhero) dies in front of her. She immerses into this superhero world where she finds allies and enemies. This makes me think about Not Your Sidelick & Not Your Villain, which I love, and that makes me excited to read it. Also, I have heard nothing but great things about this one.

I Was Born for This by Alice Osmand: This has a main character that is a biracial (Indian and Italian) gay trans guy and he’s part of a famous boy band. The story unfolds when he unexpectedly mets a fangirl and they both end up having to face things in their lives. The other main character  is a Persian Muslim Hijabi who’s questioning her sexuality and I have heard there’s also really diverse side characters. I’m really excited to read this one, especially since I haven’t read any of Osmand’s books.

trans 2

Peter Darling by Austin Chant: This is a Peter Pan retelling. In this book, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up and he had to resign himself to life as Wendy Darling. 10 years have passed and now Peter’s back in Neverland, everyone is grown up and he’s falling in love with Captain Hook.  It’s a short story, #ownvoices in terms of trans rep, and since reading Coffee Boy I have been meaning to read another book by this author.

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein: I discovered this book recently, the author describes it as a biography of sorts and it’s about a trans woman that has suffered multiple traumas and that has a job helping others by cleaning up the fetid houses of the mentally ill, the hopeless and the murdered. That sounds so cool that I can’t wait to read it.

Books Releasing Soon  

I think it’s important to mention that I usually have a thrid category in my 9 Books Monday, where I pick books that are being realesed soon. Nonetheless, I couldn’t find books with trans main characters releasing in what’s left of 2018. I found out about Undertow, the second book to Darkling by Brooklyn Ray, which has a trans character as the love interest, and someone also told me that Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare has a trans character that has some chapters told from his point of view, but that’s it. It’s such a shame that there’s still so few realeses with trans main characters and I hope that by reading and promoting the ones that are already out, we get to have many more books with trans rep in the future. 

Have you read any of these books? did you enjoy them? Are you planning on reading any of them? Do you have recommendations for books with trans main characters? 

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Book Review: Meet Cute by Various Authors

meet cute

Title: Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet

Author: Various Authors

Published by:  HMH Books for Young Readers

Publishing date: January 2nd 2018

Genre: Contemporary, YA, Anthology

Pages: 320

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors. 

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants. 

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

Goodreads | Amazon 

I usually don’t read anthologies, short stories just aren’t my thing, because I almost always end up feeling like I wanted more from them. I only  read this one because I like the concept, I love reading about meet cutes,  and I had heard a lot of great things about it. At the end, I foudn that even if this had highs and lows, like every anthology, there was certain consistency in the stories and I enjoyed most of them.

Here are some thoughts about each individual story:

SIEGE ETIQUETTE by KATIE COTUGNO (2.5 stars) 

This story was told in second person and that didn’t work at all, it kept pulling me out of the story. The main character is unlikeable, which I feel is hard to handle in such a short story, and even when you get the impression that there’s more to her, it’s hard to empathize with her.  Also, the main characters have cero chemestry and I saw the ‘big reveal’ coming, it was pretty obvious.

PRINT SHOP by NINA LACOUR (4 stars) 

This was a very cute f/f couple. All the characters were compelling, even if they only appeared for a couple pages, the set up of the print shop was pretty interesting and it was what I was expecting from this anthology, which was a story that left me with the sense that it was a promising start to something more. I would like to read more this couple.

HOURGLASS by IBI ZOBOI (3 stars) 

This story had some very positive aspects, it addressed race, body image and poverty. Nonetheless, there were too many plot elements for such a short story and the meet cute happened in the last page, so there’s just a few sentences about the guy the main character meets. Honestly, it left me with more questions than answers not only about the romance element, but also about other elements of the plot.

CLICK by KATHERINE MCGEE (5 stars)

This was a really cute story, the concept was interesting and it’s the firt story where the characters get to spend more time together, it’s a longer meet cute. There was some deep to this story since it dealt with grief, shortly but in a very emotional way. Also, the ending was so heartwarming.

THE INTERN by SARA SHEPARD (3 stars) 

I feel like this tried to be a very emotional story from the first moment, but it doesn’t enought time to come to emphatize with the main character. Also, the characters involved in the meet cute didn’t have much chemestry.

SOMEWHERE THAT’S GREEN by MEREDITH RUSSO (5 stars) 

This one was cute and precious and I loved it. It had a f/f romance and one of the chracters was a trans girl and the other a lesbian. This story dealt a lot with transphobia and I do think the conflict was resolved a little too quickly and easily, especially because it was a complex issue, BUT I really liked both characters and in the end the two of them together kind of worked.

THE WAY WE LOVE HERE by DHONIELLE CLAYTON (5 stars) 

This had a really captivating and unique concept, it was the first one to be a bit magical but it worked really well with the other stories. Honestly, I don’t understand how she did so much worldbuilding in such a short stoy and still managed to have compelling charatcers as well. This story almost made me cry, I felt connected to the chracters and I was impacted by what they went throught.

OOMPH by EMERY LORD (5 stars) 

My favorite story! This one was the most adorable story about two girls that meet in an airport. There were amazing characters, good dialogue, so much chemistry and the sense that the meet cute is the beggining of something more. I would love to read more about the two of them.

THE DICTIONARY OF YOU AND ME by JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT (4stars)

I liked the premise of this one and the funny phone conversations between the main characters. When they actually meet face to face things got awkward for a little while but the ending is really adorable.

THE UNLIKELY LIKELIHOOD OF FALLING IN LOVE by JOCELYN DAVIES (3,8 stars )

This premise of this story was a bit far fetch for multiple reasons but the ending was so cute! There was insta love, which I normally don’t like, but honestly I didn’t mind it that much in this. Also, I found the secondary characters really compelling, especially the family of the main character and that helped  to keep the story interesting.

259 MILLION MILES by KASS MORGAN (3,5 stars)

This had an interesting premise with the little scifi element but the ending was kind of sad even when I could tell it was trying to be hopeful. This story was the only one in this anthology that left me feeling disappointed and sad about the fact that the main characters met. Also, I think this story tried to cover too many topics that had emotional implications, but never got me to feel anything about any of them.

SOMETHING REAL by JULIE MURPHY (3,5 stars)

I didn’t enjoy this story that much, I think the plot didn’t work that well even if the concept had potential. But the characters were really good and helped to redeem this story a little. Also, the ending was adorable! Another f/f romance with really likeable main characters that get stuck in an uncomfortable situation.

SAY EVERYTHING by HUNTLEY FITZPATRICK (2,8 stars)

The characters in this story had cero chemestry and I didn’t like the plot, I felt like it was the kind of plot that was popular in YA contemporary novels a long time ago, this angsty star-cross lovers story that reminds me a little of late 2000’s books.  Also, it was a really forgattable story.

THE DEPARTMENT OF DEAD LOVE by NICOLA YOON  (4 stars)

This story is really good mainly becuase the concept is fascinating and there’s a lot of worldbuilding packed into a really short story. Also, I felt really sad about the break up portion of the story and I liked that this invoked an emotional response out of me, but the problem is that the new relationship that starts to develop fades to the background becuase the old relationship is such a big part of the story,  so I ended up not being as invested in the meet cute

Overall rating: 4 stars
Have you read this book? Did you like it? Do you have it on your tbr?
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