Frankfurt Book Fair 2017

Starting Tuesday I’ll be at Frankfurt Book Fair again and I won’t be able to do any blog related stuff. Well, okay, I might tweet a lot but other than that…

I’ll get back late Sunday evening and I will write reviews after again! I’m thinking about doing a discussion post as well. It’s been ages since the last one…

I’m so sorry for not really writing a lot of reviews right now, but I’m so busy and exhausted all the time…

 

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Blog Tour: Would it be okay to love you by Amy Tasukada

 Series: Would it be okay to love you

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Diversity: LGBT (m/m)

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Cover: Shouldn’t Aoi be way smaller? I’m confused…

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: homophobia mention

Description: A robot fanboy. An erotic voice actor. When love comes calling, will they shed their armor?

Sato’s only long-term relationship is the one he shares with his Gundam collectibles. He dreams about the kind of unconditional love his parents enjoy. If only he could break out of his shell, he might find his special someone…

Outgoing playboy Aoi has sworn off relationships. He knows they only distract him from his budding voice acting career. He’s earned a few loyal fans, and if he keeps at it, he may even earn enough to never worry about being evicted again…

When Sato meets Aoi at the local anime store, there’s definitely a spark. But even as they tread carefully, their commitment issues and Aoi’s troubled past soon muck things up before they can start. In order for Sato and Aoi to have their happily-ever-after, they’ll both have to take a leap of faith… and hope to be caught.

Review: I love this book’s title!

It really represents both characters. Both Aoi and Sato are insecure in their own way and both think they do not deserve the other.

This sounds like a sweet love story, doesn’t it? And it is one, but the specialness I expected at the beginning wasn’t delivered. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice read and it does not fetishize japanese men or culture (I’m totally sub-reviewing a different book here, but I couldn’t help myself).

We get a good look at living in poverty (or at the edge of it) without it being aggressively in your face. Instead it’s simply there, being shown in the way Aoi lives and thinks which makes is even more heartbreaking in my eyes. And then there is Sato who is just so awkwardly nerdy and cute. They make a great couple.

But the ending kinda ruined it for me. “Aoi’s troubled past soon muck things up” (quote taken from the description) isn’t as big of a plot point as I thought. It is there, but there isn’t enough detail… or feeling… in it. It’s just solved too easily and too fast. Because of this the ending feels really rushed and not finished somehow.

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

 

Make sure to visit the other blog tour participants!

 

Review: His Quiet Agent by Ada Maria Soto

 Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Diversity: LGBT (m/m, demisexual character, probably asexual spectrum character, lesbian side character)

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Cover: It portrays them perfectly.

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: Kinda eating disorder-ish

Description: Arthur Drams works for a secret government security agency, but all he really does is spend his days in a cubical writing reports no one reads. After getting another “lateral promotion” by a supervisor who barely remembers his name, it’s suggested that Arthur try to ‘make friends’ and ‘get noticed’ in order to move up the ladder. It’s like high school all over again: his attempts to be friendly come across as awkward and creepy, and no one wants to sit at the same table with him at lunch. In a last-ditch attempt to be seen as friendly and outgoing, he decides to make friends with The Alien, aka Agent Martin Grove, known for his strange eating habits, unusual reading choices, and the fact that no one has spoken to him in three years.

Starting with a short, surprisingly interesting conversation on sociology books, Arthur slowly begins to chip away at The Alien’s walls using home-cooked meals to lure the secretive agent out of his abrasive shell. Except Martin just might be something closer to an actual secret agent than paper-pusher Arthur is, and it might be more than hearts at risk when something more than friendship begins to develop.

Please note this book has a Heat Rating of zero.

Review: Give me more!

I wasn’t sure if I should buy this book, because it’s so short and rather pricey considering its length. But dear fellow book reviewer Annie told me to read it and she never misguided me, so I bought it.

I don’t regret investing even one cent! His Quiet Agent is everything I wanted and more. I really don’t understand how Ada Maria Soto managed this, but those 156 pages present some of the most well-developed characters and relationship I’ve ever read. It doesn’t even feel like under 200 pages. If you’d tell me I read over 400? I would believe it.

I fell in love with Arthur right from the beginning, especially after him wondering if the plants at the office were real or fake. I’m known to touch flowers and plants because I’m always wondering this myself. I really enjoyed his awkwardness as well. It doesn’t come across as forced Oh-I-need-an-awkward-character, he simply is awkward. (Typing awkward three and now four times in a row is awkward btw).

Martin was a little bit harder to love at first, because you know next to nothing about him but he was so interesting and I was excited every time Arthur chatted him up. Or didn’t chat him up because he respected Martin’s wishes.  Sadly this isn’t often the case in romance books.

Speaking of romance. Oh my God, the romance in this book…So my cup of tea! It’s totally innocent but so true somehow. And the love declaration scene? God yes! If you read nothing else, you have to read that scene.

But there isn’t only romance and a healthy romantic relationship in this book. We’ve got a fun, badass lesbian character, mystery and a nice pinch of drama. Is there anything else you need?

Give me more real asexual romances!

 

 

Review: Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan

 Series: Standalone

Genre: LGBT (m/m, ace character, aroace character), Romance

Rating: dnf

Cover: Typical Manga Look.

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings:  Bullying, Sexual Harrassment, bad ace rep (maybe more)

Description: A single stroke can change your world.

Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten College to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour.

Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.

Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.

Review: I don’t even know what’s the worst part of this book. It’s horrible.

I’ll try to make sense of my notes for you, but summing it up: NO! You could stare for an hour into nothing and you would get more than from reading this book.

Sounds mean? Maybe. But this book is not only badly written, it makes a fetish of Japan and the so-called asexuality representation is plain harmful. So imagine how affected readers will feel with being portrayed this way. It’s more than ‘mean’.

So where to start… I really don’t know where to start so I’ll try to go chronologically through my notes. There is a slight spoiler but I feel it’s very important to know about this. I will mark it though, so you can decide for yourself.

So. First thing I wrote down: Antisocial states that it’s unusual and totally a Japanese/Manga/Anime thing for high schoolers to be without their parents. Have you read english YA? How often are there parents present? There are so few where the parents have a role in a story that I tell you about this in my reviews. Maybe that’ll give you a hint that it is not a Japanese thing.

Japan itself is so fetishezed in this book it’s not even funny anymore. Everything is Japanese but the people. There is not one character who is Japanese. Or Half. Or a quarter. No, that’s not true. There is one, but he is dead and has been way before this story started.

Okay, I can get being interested in Japanese Culture. Being a teen it may be understandable to fetishize it a little. But it’s still not right. Having an adult author be that way? Not cool.

I mean, one of the characters speaks like maybe 3 Japanese sentences. He uses it for sex talk. If my better half spoke in their mother tongue to me, yes totally okay for sex talk. Using a language you don’t even speak? Not okay!

There could be said way more about that Japan Fetish but I want to talk about something that’s very dear to me.

The ace rep. Or the NOT ace rep. I do not accept anything I have read in this book as ace rep. If you want to read about ace spectrum characters DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! DON’T DO IT! Says the ace spectrum reviewer. Or screams at you. Whatever you prefer.

First it states that all men are sexual beings. Wrong?! And even an allosexual man does not think about sex 24/7?

And then the allosexual character is portrayed as a saviour for accepting the other character’s kinda maybe asexuality. The allo one knows this before the person themselves btw. But okay. Maybe. Sounds totally unrealistic to me, because I suspected it myself even though I didn’t know the actual word or that it is a possibility and I kinda thought everyone felt this way and I therefore was always very confused when people were like “I’d fuck that” without knowing the ‘that’. But enough about this. Because I could go on for hours and I maybe will but not here and not now.

Before I read Antisocial I read an article by Heidi Cullinan in which she talked about being not ace but having a low libido or something. I have forgotten the actual details. Or rather I made me forget about it. Anyway, having this article in the back of my mind and reading this book? Tainted the book even more for me. But it would have been bad either way.

I was very pissed that the aroace side character – someone who knows how it is to be stereotyped – stereotypes all fraternity guys. Because you can’t be in a relationship with them. They are all the same! Sure.

I HATE THIS BOOK WITH THE WHOLE OF MY HEART AND SOUL AND BODY AND EVERY LAST DROP OF ACENESS IN ME!

How about having sensitivity readers? Huh?! Have people who know the stuff read over your “Hm, I think that could be the way it is”?! I would have done it for free fucking hell!

Okay, calming down. Or trying to. Give me a minute. Or an hour, I don’t know.

Those things alone were dnf worthy and I thought about dnfing so many times… But then there was a certain scene. And it reminded me of something from my past that I thought I was kinda okay about but apparently not.

 

 

SPOILER HERE with explicit language

One of the characters is in a fraternity and the new maybe members are at a party with everyone when one person is like “you have to blow our guys here and the first to make his finish gets to fuck a prostitute!”

And I was like “I’M OUTTA HERE!”

 

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

About my kinda absence

You may have noticed that I wasn’t writing as many reviews as I used to.

There are a few reasons for this (I won’t go into details here).

Work has been really stressing but I think it will slow down soon.

My family has to undergo some changes and it’s exhausting. I myself am good though and I will go and see my girlfriend tomorrow. But on Sunday I will sit down and write reviews.

I have read as much as ever so there is enough on my backlist so to say. I just need to write it.

 

Review: Close Quarter by Anna Zabo

 Series: Close Quarter (book 1)

Genre: LGBT (m/m), Paranormal, Romance

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Cover: I don’t know about the pose but the blood fits.

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: rape mention, gore, torture mention

Description: On a transatlantic cruise to New York, sculptor Rhys Matherton struggles to piece his life back together after losing his mother, inheriting a fortune, and finding out his father isn’t his father after all. He spills a tray of drinks on a handsome stranger, then he finds himself up against a wall getting the best hand-job he’s ever had. And for the first time in his life, he feels whole.

Rhys enjoys the company of Silas Quint, but for the eerie way no one pays attention to them even while they kiss in a crowded bar. Silas explains he’s a forest fae able to glamor the room around them—and more importantly, that he’s on the cruise to hunt vampires. Rhys thinks Silas is full of it, until he discovers vampires are real, and he’s part of their main course.

Silas Quint can’t be distracted by a human lover, even one as lovely as Rhys. Stuck in the middle of the ocean, he has barely enough of energy to hunt the vampires he’s been sent to destroy. Rhys is full of the one thing Silas needs needs most—the element of living plants. Only sucking energy from Rhys would make Silas as soulless as the creatures he hunts. How can he keep Rhys safe, without becoming like the very monsters he hunts?

Review: This was my first book by Anna Zabo but it won’t be my last.

I really enjoyed being in the book’s world. Never before have I read about fae hunting vampires but that’s not the only thing that caught my eye. Closer Quarter’s take on vampires is a new one for me and I really liked it.

Sadly Rhys and Silas have a serious case of insta-love. Like really serious. I didn’t enjoy this aspect of the story and since it’s such a big part I had to reflect it in my star rating as well… I did enjoy their sexual encounters though. Especially the way they played with each other. It still didn’t make me understand why they’re ready to sacrifice themselves for the other. Like you’ve known each other a few days tops… calm down!

Coming back to the good things: I liked Vasil and his actions I could understand totally. He is only a side character but whenever he took part in the story it was an important part, so I’m satisfied with it.

Thinking back on this story I must say that I’m surprised. The description says it, but I wasn’t expecting Silas’ reluctance to use Rhys’ energy to be so long-lasting. It felt right though and I really like the kinda philosophical aspect of it.

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

Merken

Review: Love is Love by Mette Bach

 Series: Standalone

Genre: LGBT (trans* character), Romance

Rating: 1/5 Stars

Cover: Only good thing about this book…

Links: goodreads

Trigger warnings: trans* phobia

Description: Overweight and unhappy at home, Emmy gets sexually involved with a popular classmate so that people will think that she is worth liking. When she realizes that he is just using her, she decides to leave her home in Winnipeg to stay with her uncle’s family in Vancouver. Emmy has always been intimidated by her perfect cousin Paige and Paige’s cool friends, so she is surprised to find that the coolest of them is transgender. Emmy is instantly attracted to Jude (who used to be Judy), and starts hanging out at the coffee shop where he works. She even performs at the poetry slam Jude hosts there.

Emmy is never sure where she stands with Jude, and can’t believe that such a confident, charismatic guy might actually be interested in her. Both her mother back in Winnipeg and Paige warn her away from Jude, saying that he will just use her and she will get hurt. But it’s not until she almost falls again into the trap of casual sex to boost her self-esteem that Emmy realizes it’s worth it to put your true self out there for real love.

Review: This book couldn’t work.

Its 176 pages long and we’ve got a character who needs to learn to accept herself, needs to learn to trust her love interest, falls in love with said love interest and then have a lot of drama and resolve everything? How should that be possible? But I wanted to give it a chance. Maybe it could have worked out?

I’ve re read the description… I can’t remember the trap of casual sex? And again? Was there anything in it about casual sex? But let’s start at the beginning.

There is no drama in this book. I was promised drama. I wanted drama. To be honest it is very boring to read and there is not much happening. The things that are happening are way too easy. You will not be surprised that there is insta love in Love is Love.

I’m really sad about this because this book could have been great. There is a trans* male love interest and a fat girl MC. You don’t read about characters like this very often.

But then they get rushed through everything and it’s without any emotion or… anything really. It’s not been that long that I’ve read this but I feel like I can’t remember a thing about it. If it weren’t for my notebook…

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