Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday

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5stars

“The more time and emotional dollars you invest into a relationship, the more you inspire trust that encourages the other person to spend more of their own emotional dollars. In a positive outcome, this spending will lead to more emotional wealth. Or, translated, love.”

Title: Leo Loves Aries
Author: Anyta Sunday
Good things about this book: All the main characters are adorable and relatable!
Bad things about this book: Nothing, I loved it.
Do I recommend it? I do, very much recommended!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

All hail Matthew Daddario! He is the reason I read this book, besides being also the reason of so many swooning moments (the Daddario siblings are something else | we’re not worthy). I happened to notice the cover of this book randomly and clicked it because the cover model looked so much like my beloved Matthew and I, of course, couldn’t leave a Daddario picture unclicked, that’s not how I was raised. One innocent click led me to read the blurb and I was sold.

This was exactly the kind of love story that brings me joy and laughter and hope and sunshine and rainbows. Was I wrong to think that? Of course not. It brought me feelings I wanted to have and it left me craving for more and not only literary and virtual feelings, I now want real life feelings too! Oh, this is bad! A side effect I was not expecting.

Theo Wallace lives with his blind sister, Leone, and is looking for a roommate. What a lucky coincidence a certain ex-tutor of Theo, Mr. Jamie Cooper, is looking for a place to live. Theo and Leone are trying hard to move on from the end of both their love relationships (his girlfriend and her boyfriend fell for each other and now they’re getting married. Sucks, right?); Theo thinks Jamie might be perfect for his sister.

Really, Theo. You’re an idiot. That’s an F on the paper of life.

Was he the only one in the whole world who didn’t see how Jamie had his eyes set on him from their very first conversation via email? It was so obvious and Theo’s obliviousness was at the same time adorable and frustrating. It was clear as day Theo had more than friendship feelings towards Jamie but he didn’t really entertained the idea of Jamie being gay so everything the boy did to get his attention passed as a best friend kind of thing. Poor Jamie, he tried so hard, so many sentences with obvious double meanings, all wasted.

Theo followed the hot yumminess—and the pizza.

Theo has always thought he was attracted only to women so he didn’t really think about having feelings for a guy. Sure he can see and admire a guy’s good looks but how do you start realizing this is more than just a friend’s thing starting to become a real crush, and then possibly love? How are we to understand if a person is flirting, being funny or just being really friendly? I liked how, when Theo realized he was curious, he didn’t hide it; he went to Jamie and said how he didn’t see himself falling for a guy (oh, you fool boy) but he was willing to explore the sexual part of said curiosity? *PSA: Steamy moments of lust straight ahead*

“Are you insane? I’m sleeping until seven.”
“Your choice.” Jamie swatted his ass. “But you can’t complain when there’s no time for morning fun.”
“Six hours is good. Know what? So is five and a half.”

He’s in for a rollercoaster of a situation. This is a slow-burn kind of love. Things happen slowly yet not in a boring way: seeing those two develop a relationship that transcends the “original plan of Theo” gives it a reality stamp of approval from yours truly. Not everything is instant in life, things take time and the more they know each other, the more they see how it’s not an impulsive decision to try to be more than what they are now and, being such great friends, nothing but good things can come out of it. So it’s worth a try, right?

Theo: Maybe you’re overthinking it? You’ve been staring at that document all night.
Jamie: Almost as long as you’ve been staring at me, then.

I love Theo and Jamie and their shenanigans. I could read about them grocery shopping for thousands of pages and not get bored. Well, I could read about them doing their assignments separately from opposite sides of the dining room and still not get bored. That’s how much I loved them and this entire book.

“If you want to understand the principle of scarcity, just look in the fridge for vegetables after your brother has gone shopping.”

I can understand Theo’s behavior very well. You see someone you think is cute and you don’t see anything wrong in thinking that. Then some time later you see someone else being really cute and funny and still you think it’s normal, you like this person as a potential friend. Then time goes by and you keep looking at people and getting these feelings and you start having different kind of thoughts and your brain kindly announces you that, dear girl, you’re definitely not straight. Then the world gets a little bit brighter and maybe you can have it all, the possibilities multiplied, right? Right??

Reality checks in and you remember you’re not like Theo: you’re not easy going with a charmingly funny personality, with beautiful green eyes, dimples for days and a handsome face. You also don’t have a Jamie who enters your world like a gray-eyed fairy HOTmother. You get a bit sad, of course, but maybe that’s just me: the entire world to love but not a single soul to love me back. Guess I have to start reading my horoscope and hope this Scorpio woman gets a little bit of action. Stars, don’t disappoint me, I’m not getting any younger here!

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Criss Cross by Jordan Castillo Price

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5stars

I was straight most of the week (in the drug sense, anyhow) because it made working easier.

Title: Criss Cross [PsyCop #2]
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Good things about this book: Detective Victor Bayne always and forever!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

My new book crush, Victor Bayne, is having problems with his ability. His powers seem amplified and ghosts appear to be more solid, can move from where they died and they are trying to grab him. Victor is troubled. He is scared. His house, his safe haven, is compromised, too. He sees faces when he turns on the tv and he is scratching Jacob without realizing it. He can’t catch a break. Poor Vic!

I was still too fixated on Jacob to really give a damn if Roger Burke slept with men, women, or inflatable farm animals, for that matter.

Victor has a new partner, Roger, kind of bland, but he buys him expensive coffee from Starbucks every single day so he’s not really complaining. Lisa is still at PsyTrain and she is always unreachable but the few times she leaves Victor or Jacob a message is cryptic and ominous and with all that’s happening with his abilities, the situation is getting out of hand.

One scary episode of ghosts trying to grab Victor ends in him being told his liver is a mess, that he has to start eating healthy and that he has to stop taking his beloved Auracel, the only pills that keep the ghosts at bay. Carolyn takes him to Crash, Jacob’s ex-boyfriend, who is an empathic healer to see if he can help Victor get rid of the dead making his life hell. Let me tell you, Crash is a peculiar character and I still don’t know if I like him or not. He dared doubting Vic’s abilities and I was fuming, I was so angry!!

Did straight guys eat salads? Maurice never had one unless his wife made it. That was about the extent of my knowledge of the eating habits of the heterosexual world.

There are many things happening that lead you to make a few guesses as to what the hell is happening and then it all falls into place; flashbacks appear in my mind and I think “well of course, I should’ve seen it coming” and I got mad and I wanted my Victor to be happy. I wanted Vic to be able to sleep with Jacob without scratches incidents and I wanted him to get home to a place without ghosts bothering him.

I wondered if that was something like being ambidextrous, the ability to speak and write at the same time. I’m lucky I can walk and breathe simultaneously without choking.

I think I won’t be able to stop reading this series now that I have started and I know it’s not finished yet, that after the Crash’s prequel book there’s going to be a final book with I hope a perfect ending for my Victor. I will fight whoever wants to harm him, I swear!

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Release by Patrick Ness ☆

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5starsplus

“Ain’t no shame in a broken heart.”

Title: Release
Author: Patrick Ness
Good things about this book: The way Ness writes is bewitching!
Bad things about this book: Nothing, at least for me. Check the trigger warnings before reading, though.
Do I recommend it? Yes, absolutely.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I couldn’t put it down and this is the third Ness’s book that has done this to me. I loved it with all my heart; there is something in Ness’s books that resonates with my soul and I feel them embracing me and cuddling me. The magic touch, at first peculiar, settles into the narration almost unnoticed and unforced. All of this makes Release one hell of a book to read and treasure.

This is not the easiest of books, it is a book about life and the obstacles it throws at you; it gives you hope in a better future if you’re willing to fight for it. It is so hard to fight for something you don’t think you deserve because you’ve been “taught” that what you are goes against nature, against the will of a lord you think doesn’t really care how you live your life.

“Through prayer, everything is possible-“
“I don’t know, I’ve prayed for years to change your heart. Nothing’s happened so far.”

Adam Thorn doesn’t believe he deserves being loved. He grew up in a very religious family being the son that’s different in a way they don’t dare to say out loud. Adam is gay and his family thinks it’s merely a phase, they think what he feels is not real. How much realer can it be if it breaks his heart in a million pieces? Adam Thorn has loved and his broken heart is the result of it. Will he ever let go of the past and fight for a future worth living? Will he ever let go of the boy he gave his all to but apparently was never willing to give anything back?

Where on earth had this day come from? And where was it headed?

We follow Adam throughout one day of his life; one day that will change everything. He will wake up, run errands, exercise, go to work, help his father and say goodbye to the boy who broke his heart. It’s going to be a long day, a day of news that will test his mind and episodes that will test his heart. Today everything changes.

He starts his day going to buy flowers his mother will certainly hate, and then running to clear his mind thinking how everything he does is never and will never be enough. He wants to go away and be himself but at the same time he is struggling to find some kind of peace in a home that has conditions for you to be worth being in it.

He can’t evade and find peace at work either with a boss sexual harassing him who knows pretty well how these accusations will go away easily; after all, who will believe a 17-year-old gay boy saying his boss touches him inappropriately? Here comes the frustration, the realization that a teenage boy is helpless, unable to reach for help because the world has this unbelievably twisted conviction that teenagers can only say lies and you should never believe them.

“They’re your parents. They’re meant to love you because. Never in spite.”

Adam finds his peace with Angela, his best friend. She is a tough girl and she is there for him whenever he needs it. Her family is different, open minded and kind, a safe refuge when he needs to get away from his cruel reality. Angela and Adam are a wonderful duo, ready to take the world head high. Their flashbacks show how incredible their friendship is.

“I’m always gay?”
“In every universe.”
“That makes sense. Are you always short?”
“Except in the universes where I’m Beyoncé.”
“In some universes, we’re all Beyoncé.”

I was so happy about Angela because at this point in the book I was ready to fight everyone who was in the way of my big blonde guy and his happiness. Adam deserves the world and I was more than ready to give it to him. Letting go is hard, painful, but once it’s done you’re free to live and start again. Our brain is one hell of an instrument: it tortures us when it decides on its own accord to fish memories you wanted hidden. Mastering the cohabitation with your bad memories is the way to keep them at bay and not letting them hurt you ever again. They are there, you sense them, but they don’t control you; you don’t allow them to do it.

Will Adam be ready to let go? This day will decide it; it will decide his fate.

While we follow Adam on the day his life is going to change forever, a spirit called by one single, an apparently innocent, action will leave the safety of her home to answer questions she doesn’t even know were asked. The magical realism, very similar to the one in the other Ness’ favourite of mine “The Rest of Us Just Live Here”, can seem out of place but you need to let it flow, no questions asked. It’s a parallel quest, seemingly unrelated, to our Adam’s journey, that will set in motion the end of the world, as we know it.

This book left me shaken. I related to parts of the book and sympathize with everything else. I was frustrated and angry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry but I also wanted to have hope and believe that maybe the world doesn’t really hate us the way we sometimes think. That maybe we can build ourselves a safe heaven in the midst of our not so very perfect lives.

I loved Release and it confirmed my love for Patrick Ness and the way he writes. It’s a hit or miss in my opinion and I understand when the story doesn’t reach everyone the way it reached me. Nonetheless, it is a story worth reading.

“Never pass up the chance to be kissing someone. It’s the worst kind of regret.”

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Could You Love An Apple? by Becky Jerams

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5stars

He felt ready to put on his armour and fight until every last demon was finally defeated.

Title: Could You Love An Apple?
Author: Becky Jerams
Good things about this book: BENJAMIN APPLE!
Bad things about this book: It’s long and many things can go wrong when a book is long.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

>> Beware; this is going to be a review full of quotes because I love quotes, quotes are the best

Once upon a time there was a beautiful boy who in the past made really terrible mistakes and, even if people around him has somehow forgiven him, it was very hard to convince himself that he was a person worth being with, a person worth loving.

This book has 500+ pages and has every single quality of a Netflix original series:
1) You will go through all range of the emotion spectrum;
2) You will laugh, cry, shake your head, be mad, scream, want to shake some sense out of characters for being dumb;
3) You will love every second of it;
4) You will want to binge read the hell out of it in a single sitting if time and responsibilities allow;
5) You will finish only to feel happy yet empty inside.

Every time someone smiled at him or treated him kindly, it felt so thoroughly undeserved that it made Taylor’s skin crawl.

How can you not love a book like that? It will test your patience. Believe me, it tested my patience and I am a very patient person. There were times I wanted to put it in stand-by because it was making me feeling anxious and a little, let’s say, murdery. I was angry at everything and everyone because I could see how the world would’ve been with them happy and together and it seemed that the only ones in their way to happiness were themselves.

Taylor Raven has left his family and city behind to start anew. But the past is not easy to forget, forgive or get away from. We know the horrible things he’s done to Scotty in the previous book “Reasons to Love a Nerd Like Me” but we also know that by the end of the book he has redeemed himself and we see at the beginning of this book that Scotty and co has forgiven Taylor and now they are friends. Taylor knows all of this but he doesn’t feel worth having friends or people around him. He thinks he is toxic. He thinks he’s not going to find love because how can he deserve it after everything?

“I made his life a fucking misery.”
“Because you liked him?” Benjamin asked aloud. Taylor clenched his fists together into an angry ball.
“No. Because I loved him.”

Taylor is not an easy person. He has anger episodes and a lot of internal issues caused by his family, especially his father, and by what he’s done alongside his bully friends in college. He thinks nobody will bother him in Westerfield but being a small town where everyone knows one another, is hard escaping people trying to get to know you better.

“I can’t believe this. I’ve stayed out all night in another man’s bed and I don’t have any clean clothes. I don’t even have a toothbrush! My mum is going to be disgusted with me. I’ll be a family disgrace.”

One day, trying to get away from people and his lonely flat, he stumbles upon a little pub called The Apple Inn. The pub looks quite rustic and the customers are scarce, almost non-existent. The Apple family runs the Apple Inn and they are lovely people. George and Sharon are loving parents, Ashleigh is a bubbly teenager and a very slow barman, and Benjamin is the adorable ginger cook/barman/artist who thinks Taylor is the most interesting thing that has happened in his life in a very long time.

“Is that all you’ve got to say?” Taylor grunted in response, still holding onto Benjamin firmly. “Oh bother?”
“It felt like a very ‘oh bother’ kind of moment.”

Benjamin is the most beautiful and adorable boy and he deserves the world. He is funny, some may think he tries too much, but it’s not like that, he likes making people laugh and he is genuinely lovable. He is very tall, ginger like Garfield (his words not mine), is very good at drawing and is trying his best to help his family run the pub, even if it means he had to put his future on hold.

“Stop being so soppy, get off me!”
“NO! YOU WILL ACCEPT MY ADVANCES WILLINGLY!”

I can’t begin to explain how much I love Benjamin. And I also loved Benjamin with Taylor. I knew how good Benji’s personality was making Taylor realize he could have it all. It was scary and he still had a lot to reveal about himself. What would adorable Benjamin think of Taylor after he learns what he’s done, what he was capable of doing?

“People tell me I’m very charming.”
He was joking, but at the same time it was completely true. “Oh, people tell you that do they? What people?”
“My mum.”

This was a rollercoaster of emotions. As soon as something nice was happening I knew it wasn’t going to last because, come on, I was only at 30%, how could things be perfect if the book was only at the beginning? I was scared all the time. Everything that could go wrong was destined to go wrong. They was no way of escaping it and maybe that’s for the best because that way Taylor could really face his demons, defeat them, move on and be happy.

I will recommend it and I will keep on loving it. I already loved Becky Jerams for Scotty’s story and now my love is confirmed with this book. I am putting her on my authors-I-love list; she deserves it.

“I’ve seen you knock things over so artfully, I thought for sure you were training for the next Olympics.”

^^^Oh, how I love my beautiful goofy ginger angel!

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Olive Juice by T.J. Klune

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5stars

He was sad. He knew this. He knew this more than anything else. David was sad, and he didn’t know how not to be.

Title: Olive Juice
Author: T.J. Klune
Good things about this book: It is hard and authentic.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I think it’s nearly impossible to write a review of this little book without spoiling it all. It has only 121 pages. It has only one long chapter. The story takes place during one evening. You start it, you finish it. There’s no other way to read and insert yourself into this book.

You ache, but you’re able to breathe. And if you can breathe, then you can take another step.

This story is sad right from the beginning. You have very little info about what happened to our mc, David; you only know that he is not well. You will have to keep reading and things will be revealed little by little. You will make a few guesses, some may be wrong, some close to the truth. All of these won’t happen without a sane dose of pain.

I shed tears. I was sad, angry, frustrated, hopeful. I had so many feelings for those two men, David and Phillip, reminiscing about a life that was not the same anymore. About something that has changed their lives forever.

He didn’t— he couldn’t run the risk of saying something he’d regret later. Because he’d already had a lifetime of regrets.

Until now I have only read humour books by T.J. Klune and I have loved every single one of them. That man has talent. I wanted to try one with a hard theme and this one, being as short as it is, was the perfect choice. I also loved that the main characters were over 50 years old; everyone deserves their story told. I didn’t regret losing sleep because I wanted to finish it. It was worth every minute spent reading it.

Since I can’t say anymore about this little jewel, I kindly invite you to buy it and read it. Prepare a couple tissues; train your heart to be strong because you will need it.

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Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg

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5stars

Even in that strange, disorienting place between sleeping and waking, my brain recognized the irony of hearing my name whispered from a closet.

Title: Honestly Ben
Author: Bill Konigsberg
Good things about this book: Ben is just one of us and you will relate to him and his problems!
Bad things about this book: I would have loved an epilogue.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I’m positive you will like the ending of this duology.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Reviewing this book is going to be hard, maybe impossible. Everything I want to say it’s a spoiler not only of the first book but also of this one and without talking about what I want, I can’t express what I liked about this book. See? Impossible.

I liked very much Openly Straight. I loved Rafe as a main character, I loved his voice, his flaws and how he was with Ben, Toby and Alby, We all know what happened in Openly Straight and how sad I was when it ended the way it ended so I was hoping for a happy ending in this companion/sequel. Then I read the summary and was scared about what was going to happen.

Having Ben as the main character was different. I didn’t know what to expect and at first I was a little perplexed. Ben has issues: with his dad, with school, with his baseball teammates and obviously with Rafe after what happened. He was freaking out and he was overwhelmed with so many things that he wasn’t seeing what was right in front of him. He liked Rafe, why the hell was he denying it?

Weird. I was just plain weird, and it was a good thing no one had access to my innermost thoughts.

Of course I know why he was pretending not to feel anything but I still got annoyed. I wanted him to want more for himself, not what others wanted him to want. I can’t explain it well. He was trying to make everyone happy but himself. He was stressed, confused, angry, sad. It wasn’t ok. I wanted to help him, tell him it was going to be ok, that he needed to really talk to someone because he was the only one who could get himself out of all those situations. He needed to get a grip of his life and decide to be happy for himself, not for others.

It’s a very nice book; it is deep. It has important themes, very important I must say, that will get you thinking. It got me thinking about privilege, homophobia, labels and the pressure put on such young people. And so much more!

Okay, you see, most people in the world take paths that are expected. They go to school, get a job, get married, have kids. Then there are the rest of us. We’re on left-handed paths. It’s not what’s expected. The world would like it better if we didn’t take these paths, because the world doesn’t know what to do with people who buck the system, or explore things that are new.

I won’t say more about what I read. The summary says half of it and the other half you need to find out reading the book. If you’re curious about Ben and if you want to know if Rafe and him can be friends again, or maybe more than that, then you need to give it a chance.

I am happy about how it ended but of course I wanted more. I think it lacked an epilogue. An epilogue would’ve been nice but we can’t have it all, can we?

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Until You by T.J. Klune

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5stars

“It’s the gay love story of the ages. Boy meets boy, boy hits boy with his car, boy and boy get married.”

Title: Until You
Author: T.J. Klune
Good things about this book: It is perfect!
Bad things about this book: Too short and you will miss the characters.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s the conclusion of the perfect trilogy.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

The perfect wedding for the perfect couple in the perfect conclusion to the perfect book series. I’m just so happy I decided to read it. I knew I was going to do it but the covers were keeping me from doing it. I thank rebel me for going against rational and aesthetic me. I will be forever thankful. Also T.J. Klune, oh my, that man writes books I enjoy from the bottom of my heart. I have never laughed so much reading books like I do when I read something by Mr. Klune.

This book is shorter, at least by a half, than the two prequels, it doesn’t have drama, it’s hilarious, it has all the characters you love, it will make you cry, and it will make you desire a love like Paul and Vince’s. They are so perfect for each other it hurts and it’s a little bit gross; they are really cheesy. And domestic. They have a domestic kink and it’s hilarious.

“You don’t have a gun,” Sandy said, rolling his eyes.
“Vince bought a nail gun,” I said. “We’re tool owners because we’re men and we do construction projects on stuff.”

Darren and Sandy are as flirty and in love as ever. They fight all the time just to start eating their faces off soon after that. Aw, the romance! Corey/Kori has a little crush and I just want to know if their story is going to be told in the future, near future if possible. Daddy Charlie has found love in a very weird place and he’s blushing and he’s so nervous it’s adorable. The family is still the best family in the whole world: isn’t Nana the best? The answer is and always will be yes.

“What’s gay-guy stuff?” Vince asked before I could stop him.
“Oh,” Nana said. “You know. Living happily. Having nice taste. Keeping a clean home. Being successful and kind. Hosting classy dinner parties with watercress sandwiches and dry martinis. Living and laughing and loving each other.”
“Aw, Nana,” I said, surprised.
“Also butt stuff,” Nana said. “Lots and lots of butt stuff.”
“And there it is,” I said.

The wedding is upon them and they are finishing the last things before the big day. The bachelor party is one the one event that will be remembered for generations. Oh boy, Sexy Paul dancing his gay anthem? Epic! That party was source of so many tears from too much laughing. I certainly didn’t see that coming. This morning I sang Paul’s anthem at work like there’s no tomorrow. That album was also part of my generation; I could relate.

Our guests gasped again, like the drama queens they were. They acted like they’d never been to a gay wedding before where one groom launched himself at the other groom. Amateurs.

There were also happy tears during the wedding vows. I knew I was going to cry because love makes me cry. I’m a romantic. Those words hit me right in my heart and they made me so happy. They felt true and perfect and they described Paul and Vince’s love story fully. I just love those two and I will miss them so much.

“They can see you, they can see the sarcasm. They can see your sass. But I don’t think they can see your heart, your perfect, fierce heart like I can.”

Do I have a hole inside me now that this series is over? Yes, I do. Am I sad? Completely. Will I start making choices asking myself first “what would Paul/Sandy do”? Probably.
They changed me. I feel better now that I got to know them. Fictional BFFs confirmed!

I would rather have melted cheese in my mouth than a smaller waist any day of the week.

Yes, Paul, I totally agree with you!

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