Review: The art of being normal by Lisa Williamson

 Series: Standalone

Genre: LGBT (trans* character), YA

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Cover: a rainbow road… well…

Buy: Amazon

Trigger warnings: transphobia, body issues

Description: David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth: David wants to be a girl.

On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal: to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in his class is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long , and soon everyone knows that Leo used to be a girl.

As David prepares to come out to his family and transition into life as a girl and Leo wrestles with figuring out how to deal with people who try to define him through his history, they find in each other the friendship and support they need to navigate life as transgender teens as well as the courage to decide for themselves what normal really means.

Review: “[…] and soon everyone knows that Leo used to be a girl.” Way to spoiler this novel. It’s like this big relevation to the characters, but the reader knows it before starting to read it. Well, you could guess it while reading, too.

Apart from that I really enjoyed The art of being normal. Especially David is really well-written and you experience his struggles along with him. Him measuring his body and noting how it gets more and more masculine was heartbreaking.

I still had the feeling that this book is not about trans* characters but with them. Friendship is a really big theme and I think everyone can get behind identy issues, whether they fall into the LGBTQIA+ spectrum or not. I would have loved to analyze this book in school instead of The Confusions of Young Törless, but that’s a story for another time.

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

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Review: The only option by Megan Derr

 Series: Dubious (Book 4), Standalone

Genre: LGBT (m/m), Erotica, Fantasy

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Cover: Best part of this book.

Goodreads: add

Trigger warnings: none

Description: A desperate dragon. A lonely necromancer. A marriage neither wants.

When he is summoned to the royal castle, Rochus anticipates nothing more than a particularly difficult assignment. The bothersome journey is almost made worthwhile when he is propositioned by a young, beautiful dragon, Tilo, who seems untroubled by the fact that Rochus is a necromancer.

When Rochus arrives at the castle he is ordered to marry the very same dragon he spent the night with. Though Rochus would rather sign papers and return home, he is helpless against Tilo’s pleas for help, even if it means spending more time around a man he is desperately drawn to but who doesn’t seem to want him.

Review: I haven’t read a story about necromancy before, so I was very interested and curious. Megan Derr doesn’t disappoint with this. Rochus is a little bit creepy and his necromancy plays a big part in The only option. I still didn’t really care much for him, neither did Tilo capture my interest. So their relationship was meh as well. I can’t even call this novella a romance, because there was… well, like nothing romantic about it. You get lots of fighting instead – too much for such a short story, if you ask me, some sort of.

More world-building, more character development is needed. Hard to accomplish in a novella, so maybe this would have worked better as a novel?

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

Review: A gentleman’s position by K.J. Charles

 Series: Society of Gentlemen (book 3)

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

Rating: 5/5 stars

Cover: I love the background

Goodreads: add

Trigger warnings: none

Description: Power, privilege, and the rigid rules of class leave two hearts yearning for connection in the sizzling new Society of Gentlemen novel from K. J. Charles.

Among his eccentric though strictly principled group of friends, Lord Richard Vane is the confidant on whom everyone depends for advice, moral rectitude, and discreet assistance. Yet when Richard has a problem, he turns to his valet, a fixer of unparalleled genius—and the object of Richard’s deepest desires. If there is one rule a gentleman must follow, it is never to dally with servants. But when David is close enough to touch, the rules of class collide with the basest sort of animal instinct: overpowering lust.

For David Cyprian, burglary and blackmail are as much in a day’s work as bootblacking—anything for the man he’s devoted to. But the one thing he wants for himself is the one thing Richard refuses to give: his heart. With the tension between them growing to be unbearable, David’s seemingly incorruptible master has left him no choice. Putting his finely honed skills of seduction and manipulation to good use, he will convince Richard to forget all about his well-meaning objections and give in to sweet, sinful temptation.

Review: Why have I never read a book by K.J. Charles? I’ve been missing out!

So obviously I haven’t read the first two books of the A society of Gentlemen series – which I plan to do very, very soon – but I didn’t feel lost. intrigued? Oh yes.

Charles’ writing is incredible, very readable and flowing and I fell in love with it. But the story is great as well. So much tension and heartbreak and drama. I really came to love Richard and Cyprian (and I’m curious as hell about the other characters, too). And I love how realistic this romance is.

… I need alternatives to love…

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

Review: 62 Blog Posts to overcome Blogger’s Block by Marcie L. Hill

 Series: Standalone, with workbook

Genre: Nonfiction

Rating: 1/5 stars

Cover: I have flashbacks of my school days and presentations

Goodreads: add

Trigger warnings: none

Description: Kick Blogger’s Block in the Face!!

Have you ever been sitting at your computer ready to create written, audio, video, or other multimedia content for your blog, website or other online project and your mind went completely blank?

Can your blog posts use a little more “oomph”?

Do you want more engagement and return visits from your readers through the content you create on your site?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then this book is for you.

“62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block” provides tips, tools, and strategies on how to create blog posts, which will help keep your audience returning. In addition, it will boost your creativity; improve your writing and technology skills; and increase your engagement with your readers.

Not a blogger? That’s okay. This book is for anyone who produces content for online or print properties. Check out the preview and order your copy today!

Review: I just came out of blog vacation, which I took because of blogger’s block and some real life things. So obviously I thought ‘this is the book for me!’.

After reading it I know it’s not the book for me. It really isn’t about getting out of blogger’s block. It’s more a these-are-the-ways-you-can-blog-book. And not even a good one. There’s just a little pro section and a short what you need to keep in mind section. Then a real blog picture as an example, not done by the author but by real bloggers.

Let’s get real. Everything you need to know about blogging you can find on the internet. People blog about blogging. I learned how to blog using blogging 101s.

It didn’t help me get out of blogger’s block. Apparently there is a workbook you can get as well, probably you’ll write a blog post for each blogging idea. I don’t know. I don’t want to find out.

I’m very disappointed, because I really hoped for something different.

Disclaimer: I got it for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

Review: High Contrast by Tess Bowery

 Series: Evolution Ink (book 1)

Genre: LGBT (m/m), Romance

Rating: 4/5 stars

Cover: I could stare at that tattoo for hours

Goodreads: add

Trigger warnings: mention of domestic violence

Description: The deepest scars aren’t the ones that show.

Jacob Shain is your average member of Generation Screwed. He has a boring internship, no cash flow, and a tiny NYC apartment he has to share with Ethan, his much-cooler, tattoo-artist twin brother. Not to mention his love life is DOA. At least, until his brother’s shop hires on a new piercer, and Jacob’s humdrum life takes a turn for the weird.

Cody Turner is gorgeous, funny and kind—everything Jacob wants in a boyfriend. Except for the way he refuses to talk about his past, or where he lives, or anything about his personal life.

When Ethan is arrested while on a mission of mercy, the reason Cody is so tight lipped comes to light. And while Jacob and Cody fight to understand the depth of their feelings for one another, the police dogs catch their scent. So does the local mob.

Now Jacob has to make the hardest choice of his life: stay safe like a good boy, or dive headfirst into a world he barely understands…and hope Cody is there to break his fall.

Review: Let me start with saying that this book isn’t as dramatic as the summary seems. At least I expected lots of being threatened by the mob. If you’re looking for an angst free read, this is one for you.

I was seriously entertained, though. So much so, that I read High Contrast in one sitting. Jacob and Ethan are very cute together and sickenly sweet in their awkwardness around each other – especially Jacob. Their relationship is nicely slow build. Their back stories are interesting, too and the rest of the gang was just so much fun to read. I love feel good books like this one. Bonus points for no stupid stereotypes! (Spoiler: you don’t have to be the stronger one to top)

Disclaimer: I got it for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.