7/30/2020 0 Comments
Fourteen Summers by Quinn Anderson
Fourteen Summers is such a cute coming of age, second chance childhood sweetheart, M/M romance story with characters that you immediately root for. Growing up, twin brothers Aiden and Max, and their best friend Oliver, were inseparable. But when Oliver moved across the country the twins lost contact with him. Until they accidentally run into each other again, now aged 20 and all in college, and take up the friendship again. Only, this time there might be more than friendship between Oliver and Aiden, which makes the whole threesome thing a lot more complicated…
Especially as Aiden starts to grow out of letting Max, who has always been the fun, extrovert, big brother speaking for them both, and itches to discover who he is outside of his “twin” identity. Summer won’t last forever, and with friendship, family, and happily ever after on the line, the three of them have to navigate their changing relationships before it’s too late.
What I really loved about this book was that both Aiden and Oliver were very clear about their identities and had already come out years ago. So just as in any other romance novel, it was all about the feelings, the butterflies in your stomach, the wonder of falling in love and having someone love you back (and for Max the feeling of jealousy and being left out), not solely about Aiden and Oliver dealing with being gay and coming out. Those are important and, sadly still often problematic and scary issues, but there are also so many other aspects to tell about gay love stories. It therefore felt really refreshing and hopeful that being gay was not the big thing in itself in this story and that they both had such supportive families and friends who loved and respected them for who they were.
The only objections I have is that the proteges felt a bit too immature (more like 15-16 than 20 at times, and I think the story and the way they acted would have made so much more sense if they’d been in High School rather than in college) and that the book changed a bit from sweet, slow-burning, awkward romance to NA quite sudden. I feel that it would have been better to keep the sweetness all through the book instead of going explicit, but that’s just my personal opinion, and I really understand if someone else appreciates the steamy parts. For being explicit, the sex scenes were very well written, I have to give Quinn Anderson kudos for that! And all in all, this is a wonderful, sweet and addictive reading experience. I read it in one sitting as it was completely unputdownable until the very end!
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It was such a happy surprise when Becky Albertalli gifted us with this wonderful novella addition to her Simonverse.
I loved the chance to hang out with all the wonderful Simonverse characters again (Simon, Bram, Leah and Abby and the others from Simon vs, The Upside of Unrequited and Leah on the Offbeat) and to meet them all in their respective colleges, getting glimpses of their lives through the emails they send to each other.
I really enjoyed that this book was staying true to Simon and Bram’s origins with the emails, and I also really, really enjoyed the references to the characters and places in some of my other favorite books such as The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, THUG, What If It’s Us and Dear Martin.
Love, Creekwood was such an adorable and addictive read! I read it in one sitting with a goofy smile all over my face. If you loved Becky’s other books and her adorable characters, then you’ll definitely want to read this gorgeous novella too and find out what’s going on with them all!
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7/12/2020 0 Comments
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Such a Fun Age starts off with privileged, wealthy, (white) blogger Alix calling her (black) babysitter, Emira, asking her to take toddler Briar to the local market for distraction after a family crisis. There, the security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar, and Alix’s efforts to right the situation turn out to be good intentions selfishly mismanaged. From there, we get to know Alix and her husband, Emira and her friends, and Kelley, Emiras boyfriend-to-be and also a person with whom Alix shares a (not so good) past, as things start to spin out of hand.
“I don’t need you to be mad that it happened. I need you to be mad that it just like... happens.”
This book deals with really important questions like racism, diversity, hypocritical attitudes and ‘white saviour’ complexes in a genuine and objective way, and it was certainly an eye-opener in many aspects. The story was fast-paced and vivid, thought-provoking, smart and sometimes funny, and a much-needed new voice.
I had such high expectations for this book and I wanted so much to love it. But it wasn’t quite what I had hoped for, sadly. My main problem was that I didn’t particularly like any of the main characters in the end. It was interesting to see the relationship between Alix and Emira and how it evolved from employer/employee to something else after the catastrophic start of the book. But Alix’s efforts to right the situation turned out to be good intentions selfishly mismanaged, and soon her obsession with Emira felt really unhealthy and questionable. And at the end some big revelations about Alix made me lose my sympathy for her completely. Emira was a much more likeable character, and I loved the empathic, tender and respectful way she treated Briar. But after a while, I couldn’t help feeling annoyed by her lack of direction and for not even trying to find out what she wanted from life. As for the other characters in the book, they were all interesting, but most of them not so likeable.
As Kiley Read successfully manages to point out in her book, some people may have good intentions but sometimes as they are trying too hard to let everyone know they are not racist they manage to achieve the opposite effect… So, all in all, novel is a thought-provoking social commentary that I recommend for it’s important message, even though I didn’t love it the way I had hoped for.
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.F. White C.G. Drews Charli Meadows Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson James L. Sutter Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jen Bailey Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Magdalena Di Sotru Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Tracy Deonn Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Wesley Chu Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez