Three Things on my Reading Wishlist

Like always this meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Go and take a look at their blog!

It’s been ages since I’ve done a TTT, but I’m back! Kinda. I don’t know if I’m able to do it weekly, but I simply had to do it because of this week’s theme.


More LGBTQIA+/MOGAI variety!

There is more than gay men, you know? I especially wish for more f/f pairings and asexual characters, but I would love to read about demi, aro, pan, genderqueer, poly, (you name it) characters as well.

Healthy relationships!

I’m so sick of abusing relationships being romanticized. What’s so hard about writing a healthy relationship? It’s important and they are very fun to read about. And shockingly there can still be drama, you know? I’m sick of love triangles as well.

Mental Illness!

I like books with mentally ill characters, but for God’s sake portray them correctly. No more stigmatizing and no more romanticizing, okay?


I could go on and on about my reading wishlist, but I’ve decided to choose those three that are most important to me right now.

Are there some things you want to read about more often in books?

Review: Thaw by Elyse Springer

 Series: Seasons of Love (book 2), Standalone

Genre: LGBT (f/f, asexual character), Romance

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Cover: How many times have I mentioned how much I love this series’ covers?

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: none

Description: Abigail is content with her quiet life as a librarian. But when she’s invited to a high-profile charity auction, she finds herself dancing with one of the most beautiful women she’s ever met. Abby’s sure she’ll never see her again, but then Gabrielle calls and asks her on a date. And soon after, another.

Supermodel Gabrielle Levesque has a reputation as the Ice Queen—cold and untouchable—except she warms up whenever she’s with Abby. Only Abby isn’t interested in the heat between them; she’s asexual, and she’s worried that admitting as much to Gabrielle might spell the end of their blooming romance.

They’re two different women from two very different worlds, but Abby knows she can love Gabrielle. Her passion for books, travel, and theater prove there’s more to the Ice Queen than meets the eye. But they’ll have to overcome Abby’s fears—and Gabrielle’s own threatening secrets—in order to find their way to love.

Review: An ace book by an ace author!

I was so excited for this book and then I finally could read it. I was not disappointed. Of course not.

I simply devoured this book without noticing how time flew by. While the first book was rather dramatic this one’s really soothing somehow. One of the reasons is Elyse Springer’s writing but another was how easy Abby’s asexuality was accepted by her friends, how not a big issue it was.

Well, it is an issue at first for Abby because she doesn’t know if a relationship with a not asexual partner can work or if she has to have sex in a relationship – but that are thoughts and doubts every ace person has, I’d say.

As one can expect from an ace book by an ace author there are some… let’s call them pointers for non asexual people in it. But they’re not patronizing. They’re simply offering a different kind of view. Like for example there’s this discussion how there is always sex in society and… there truly is always sex in society. It’s fucking everywhere!

I could go on a rant regarding this theme, but I want to keep talking about Thaw itself.

I do have to add how great it is that there is no one-true-way-to-be-asexual portrayed in this book. I think it can be a real eye opener for some people – if they’re willing to have their eyes opened, that is.

So, it’s really a feel good book – exactly what I needed at the time of reading. The only bad thing about it is its shortness. Shortness in general because I could have read about Abby and Gabrielle for ages, but shortness in a specific way as well. Near the end it felt a little bit rushed to me. I honestly was surprised that it’s finished.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Review: Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton

 Series: Standalone

Genre: LGBT (m/m), Romance

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Cover: I love it.

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: Abuse mention, drugs mention, homophobia, AIDS mention

Description: It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

Review: Yes. Simply yes.

I think I fell in love with this story. Somehow I’ve gotten more than I expected.

I will not to spoiler you, so I’ll give you a bullet list of why you should read Trailer Trash:

  • showing not telling of how it is to be poor
  • sooo sweet
  • that is when you’re not on the verge of tears
  • lots of good drama
  • NO bitchy female
  • doesn’t show poor parents as assholes
  • slow burning romance

If I had to say something bad…hm… maybe Nate’s naivety? It’s maybe a little bit over top, on the other hand… there are people like this.

Seriously, just read it. You get healthy relationships, slow building, cute romance, interesting characters and the danger and impact of  AIDS is not downplayed.

Merken

Review: The Resistance – United in love

 Series: Standalone

Genre: Nonfiction, Poetry, Essays

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Cover: So, so powerful.

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: none-ish

Description: We the people
Will not be silenced
Our voices are important.

We the people
Will not be pushed aside
We will be seen
Our numbers are more than you know.

We the people
Will make a difference
We will hold the government accountable
Our empathy is not a weakness.

In these turbulent times we the people will stand together in the face of hate knowing we are all equal, and every life matters.
We the people are The Resistance, United in Love

Authors coming together to write a collection of poems and essays that reflect our views on what has happened and our hopes for the future.

This work is not affiliated with any political party.

Review: I feel so bad for typing this review but I will always review honestly, so…

I expected lots of powerful, sad, emotional, moving (you name it) poetry and interesting essays with this. I didn’t get what I expected. I wasn’t really moved, but that may be a personal thing.

And it’s not like everything in this book is bad, it’s just… I can get a lot of texts like this for free on the internet. A lot of those texts will be even way better. So… why pay for it?

Don’t lynch me now! I’m just speaking from a not rich reader’s pov. The Resistance is currently on German Amazon for 2,99€ for the e-book and 8,05€ for the paperback. According to Goodreads it’s under 160 pages. Like I said, I can get better stuff for my money.

And yes, I do know that the description on NG says, that “100% of proceeds are being donated to ACLU”. I don’t know anything about that organisation, but… I could give them my money directly and read stuff online for free.

I have dreaded writing this review so much. But like I said in the beginning, I’m all for honest reviews. Had I bought this book I would have been really, really disappointed, so…At first I had the feeling like I needed to be all positive about this book because it’s about social things and the like, but… no. I won’t give a good rating to something I did not like simply because its theme is important.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Merken

Review: Between the Lines by K.D. Williamson

 Series: Cops and Docs (book 3), Standalone

Genre: LGBT (f/f), Romance

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Cover: Nothing special

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: mention of depression, Homophobia, child abuse, suicidalness mention

Description: Psychiatrist Dr. Tonya Preston lives a life of cool detachment, often sacrificing her personal needs to appease her opinionated father. She often finds it easier to deal with patients than confront her family or her own issues. When her path dramatically crosses that of irrepressible rookie police officer Haley Jordan, she’s thrown out of her comfort zone. Things have come easy for Haley, who has a drama-free life filled with love and friends that Tonya finds as alluring as the irreverent woman behind the badge. An attraction simmers between them, drawing them to each other. But will it be enough when work, family and a confronting police case starts to tear at their fledgling relationship?

Review: I so have to read the books before this one!

At first I was not amused by this book, because one of the MCs has sex with a not MC, but that’s before they are in a relationship and everything.

But then. Oh but then. I really loved the dynamic between Tonya and Haley. It’s so much fun to read about them! Okay, it’s fun as long as there is no drama (which there is of course), because then I really felt with them. You’re in for an emotional rollercoaster.

I enjoyed how other characters play a role in this book as well. Their friends and family are important to them and they are important to this story as well. Plus they have their own personality and background stories. Especially the relationship between Tonya and her sister is an interesting one.

I could tell you so many amazing things about this book, but then I would be spoilering you and I don’t want to do that. So… just read it already?

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Review: Starting from Scratch by Jay Northcote

 Series: Housemates (book 5)

Genre: LGBT (m/m, trans* character), Romance

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Cover: Perfect.

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: internalized trans*phobia

Description: Starting over isn’t easy, but Ben is ready to live his life as the man he was always meant to be.

Ben is transgender and back at university after hormone treatment and chest surgery. His new housemates have no idea about his history and Ben would prefer to keep it that way. He’s starting from scratch and his life is finally on track, except in the romance department. The idea of dating guys as a guy is exhilarating but terrifying, because if Ben wants a boyfriend he’ll have to disclose his secret.

Sid is drawn to Ben from the moment they meet. He normally gets what he wants—in the short term at least. Ben’s guarded at first, and Sid’s not used to guys rejecting his advances. He eventually charms his way through Ben’s defences and helps Ben on his journey of sexual awakening.

It doesn’t matter to Sid that Ben is trans. He’s attracted to the whole person, and isn’t worried about what is—or isn’t—in Ben’s pants. They’re good together, and both of them are falling hard and fast, but Ben’s insecurities keep getting in the way. If Sid can convince Ben he’s committed, will Ben finally be able to put his heart on the line?

Review: I was so excited for this book!

And I still am, because folks who are not trans* get a real look into the experiences and feelings and changes a trans* man can possibly have. I’m using ‘real’ not because I’m trans* myself (which I’m not), but because Jay Northcote himself is trans*. That’s another reason why I was and still am excited for this book. Ownvoices, fuck yeah!

Starting from Scratch starts with a little glossary so all readers can understand ‘special’ words perfectly. It makes reading the actual book very flowing because there aren’t any lengthy explanations about word meanings etc. Plus if you want to read up the meaning of a word later on, you just need to take a quick look at the glossary.

I’ve read some books with trans* MCs (not enough though) and up to this one… there never were any sexual scenes in it. I’m not saying a book has to have sex in it to be interesting (if you know me you already know it), but it was a nice change to be able to read about sex with a trans* guy. It was very informative for me as well, because there are some body changes due to testosterone that I didn’t know about (because I never read up on it and because it never was written in those trans* books I’ve read before).

I also think that writing sex like this… makes it more ‘normal’ for people? Like, they see it is ‘possible’ and not something you have to be afraid of? I’m speaking from both POVs here right now. Ben is afraid he won’t be male enough for his partner and Sid is unsure if he can be aroused and what to do with Ben andandand. And I think those are worries that non fictional people can have as well.

I love how they both talk about this though. Communication is so damn important in every relationship.

You may be wondering know why I gave 4 stars instead of 5 if I’m so happy about this book. The reason is… there is too much sex for my taste. Yes, I know I go on and on about how great it is that there is sex and then I’m like but not this much please! It’s just… it really isn’t a long book and they are having too much sex and I like my plot okay? I like to get to know the characters and read about their life.

Interestingly enough, Jay manages to make me like Ben and Sid and their dates are very cute and fun to read about. But I still would have liked to read more about that aspect of their life. Personal taste, like I said.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Review: Allaha of the Mountain by Aurora Lee Thornton

 Series: Wildflowers (book 1)

Genre: Fantasy, LGBT

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Cover: I love its medival touch.

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: suicidal thoughts mention, attempted rape

Description: Allaha is a knight of the Order of Aisha, Fallen of the Mountain. She – like her fellows – is stoic and reserved, trained to fight against demons and their ilk. When she triggers a vision that kills a renown oracle, she is set on a quest to complete the prophecy.

She becomes the protector of those mentioned in the prophecy.

Tamara is a young woman of the Menori – a migrant people that travel in caravans. She is also a hamalakh, able to sense the emotions of others as well as sense falsehoods. She is sometimes wise beyond her years, but at other times her youth can cause her to draw incorrect conclusions.

Hibu, a sorcerer, is from the country of Jeongwon – a land where the nobility are worshipped as gods. He was the personal sorcerer of Prince Ji – a testament to the strength of his powers. He is ever curious and seeking new knowledge, questioning all the people they meet on their journey. He is joined by his demon familiar, Goric.

Karejakal was orphaned by the death of his entire clan – but his mastak powers gave him the ability to keep their spirits close. Still a child, Karej is a Tibu – a race of cat people that walk upright. Learning of his people from the spirits of his clan, the child has adopted Allaha as his mother.

Together, they travel the land of Magdra, seeking answers to a broken prophecy wherein they only know two things – that a darkness is coming, and that they are meant to stop it. All they need to discover now is how to do it.

Review: I loved books like this when I was younger.

And I thought I still do, but… somehow I don’t anymore. Which is sad, really. But I will try my best to give a good review anyway.

There are a lot of different characters in this story and I had some trouble because of this. It took way too long for me to be able to know that person a’s name is this and their background is that… (that may be a personal problem though!). I would have needed some kind of glossar to be honest.

Anyway, once I did know who is who I came to like the different characters – especially a certain demon. He’s by far the most interesting and funny one and I simply love his scenes. If there’s ever a side story with him as the MC, count me in!

According to goodreads you’re in for a 456 pages long ride. And at times… it felt even longer. I have to confess I skim read at times, because sometimes the story is a little bit slow and, well, boring.

But one thing is far from boring: The world-building itself. There are a lot of different cultures in this book and they are not your usual Tolkien-ones. But they are inspired by our world, I think.

Another thing that could (or should) be of interest to you is something the author told me about Allaha of the Mountain: There are a lot of LGBT characters in this story. A few you get to know now, but later on there will be an aro ace character! There are hints to them in this book, but I won’t spoiler you.

I started this review along the lines of when I was younger… and I truly think I would have loved it when I was younger. But somehow… it was too much and not enough for me now. Maybe I just can’t concentrate on fantasy this long anymore, who knows?

Disclaimer: I received a free copy through the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.