The Whispers by Greg Howard

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4stars

Title: The Whispers
Author: Greg Howard
Number of pages: 256 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: The story was so sweet and not predictable.
Bad things about this book: I can’t think of any, I enjoyed this little book a lot.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Look at me crying all the tears. I know I read this book was for fans of Bridge to Terabithia, and I still was surprised when the book was sad. I should have known better! It was exactly like that time I put on Netflix the movie I Fight Giants, thinking it was a movie about a girl fighting giants, and ended up crying all the tears I had inside me.

This book started with Riley being interviewed by Frank, asking him questions about the day his mother disappeared. I felt both sad and frustrated because Riley wasn’t telling him the whole truth. Why wouldn’t you do it if it helps find your mom? I was shaking my head hard, trying to remember what it meant being 13 and afraid. And you know what? I don’t remember. It’s been 20 years and the only thing that I remember is that of course I didn’t always tell the whole truth to grown ups. But what if the truth would’ve helped find someone I love? I would have told the truth, I’m almost sure of it.

But 13 years old don’t really know the weight of things, not really. They don’t understand how a simple detail that you think unimportant, can change everything. He is young, unexperienced, confused and afraid. Riley has a lot going on for him and I was saddened by his situation. I rooted for him to find the whispers, little fairies from tales his mom told him that could grant wishes in exchange for gifts.

The story is not as simple as it seemed, as I thought it would be. It was frustrating, infuriating, sad, and also hopeful. I didn’t get what I thought I was going to get and I’m happy for it. I read a beautiful and sweet story about a boy trying to understand his place in the world, to understand himself, and to get back the only person he thinks has his back.

The cover made me notice the book, so thank you cover for making me read this unique and heartbreaking story.

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Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles

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5stars

“It turns out I’m slightly braver than I am afraid when it comes to you.”

Title: Any Old Diamonds
Author: K.J. Charles
Series: Lilywhite Boys #1
Number of pages: 320 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: The story and characters were great.
Bad things about this book: I would have loved an epilogue but since there are going to be more books, maybe we’ll see more of the characters? Who knows.
Do I recommend it? I do!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This book was much more than I expected it to be. I knew I was going to love it because I love this author with all my heart, but then I found myself at 3am reading the book and not letting go until I finished it at 8am, when I had to get ready for work.

I give up sleep only for certain books. I love sleeping.

The dynamics between Alec and Jerry was genuine. They come from very different backgrounds, and they are thrown into this without really knowing if they can trust each other. The lust comes first: raw, unfiltered, much needed. Their relationship evolves naturally without taking anything from the story, the vengeance Alec wants to achieve from the start.

“The truth is that I love you. That I’ve been coming to love you for so long, and with so little care and attention on my part, that by the time I realised you’d walked off with my heart and soul it was already too late.”

There were a lot of references from the Sin of the Cities trilogy. This story takes place at least 20 years after the ending of those books; I found myself smiling and missing the characters and reminiscing about their misadventures and romances. Can’t wait for the next book, maybe we’ll actually see some of the characters!!

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Timekeeper by Tara Sim

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5stars

“You’re everything. You’re… You’re chaos and order and everything between. Like sunshine kept back by clouds. Like the entire world’s imploded inside you, but all I see are the stars are sewn into your skin. You’re filled with soft, dark music. I hear it all the time. Your music.”

Title: Timekeeper
Author: Tara Sim
Series: Timekepper #1
Number of pages: 448 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The story was compelling and the characters likeable.
Bad things about this book: There were some confusing points that in my opinion needed more explanation.
Do I recommend it? I do!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I remember buying this book because of the steampunk setting and the lgbtqia+ main couple, and I remember buying it knowing there were more books in the series so there probably was going to be a cliffhanger. Luckily, there wasn’t one but the last chapter set the input for the next book. I can’t wait to read it seeing as the third and last book was released just a few days ago.

I had many theories but, weirdly, none of them were the one that actually happened. What a nice surprise! I like not really knowing what’s going to happen. I liked Danny as a character, and Colton is just so sweet. The side characters were just as interesting and I hope we get to see more of them in the future. I’m curious about what’s going to happen next!

The setting, the world building, the story, they all were great and gave the book all the elements I usually like reading about.  I’ve been failing at putting words into a coherent review. I don’t really know what to say, so I’ll just say this: give this book a chance and enjoy it!

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Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

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5stars

“I wonder- if nobody is listening to my voice, am I making any sound at all?”

Title: Radio Silence
Author: Alice Oseman
Number of pages: 403 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Sort of podcast, fandom, life giving a hard time.
Bad things about this book: Nothing. Characters will make you mad but that’s how it is.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course I do, it’s an Alice Oseman book.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

The perfect mix of heart-breaking and uplifting and I loved it. I was afraid of starting it, thought it was going to be super sad, and while it was sad, it was also so much more. I’m glad I finally picked it up.

The characters were flawed, likeable and authentic. Just how I like them. I was frustrated at times, wanted the book to be over just to see how everything was going to turn out. I was not disappointed by it, not a bit.

Aled and Frances struggled with school, with life, and I was with them every step of the way. They needed to be protected: Aled and his creation, Universe City, was so interesting and at the same time so sad, I wish I could hug him forever.

Side-characters so detailed and full of fulfilled potential; can we talk about Daniel? Surprising how I found myself in love with him just as much as I loved Aled. I can’t seem to stop thinking about every message this book communicated, all the things that made me think of. Radio Silence is a quiet jewel that needs more people paying attention to it.

“Everyone’s different inside their head.”

Ah, don’t I know it. Luckily there’s no mind reading yet.

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A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood

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5stars

“If it’s going to be a world with no time for sentiment, it’s not a world that I want to live in.”

Title: A Single Man
Author: Christopher Isherwood
Number of pages: 152 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Raw and true, extremely well written.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, as long as it should’ve been.
Do I recommend it? Yes, and then watch the movie.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

A Single Man may look like a simple book. Well, it isn’t. It’s short, yes, it takes place during one whole day in the life of George, it analyses his struggles, his routine, his suffering. It may look simple, because it’s written simply, but it really isn’t. It’s a deep dive into George’s life as a gay man, grieving for a lost lover, not really living his life, just going with the tide until you can’t go anymore, and everything ends.

I love books that in just a few pages manage to transmit me so much feelings, either of joy or sadness. Relatable and raw. George’s inner thoughts are hard to process because he isn’t really living anymore after the loss of his lover. Each day is a struggle he just lives just because he has to. But he is determined to keep going.

The ending surprised me. I haven’t seen the movie yet, I didn’t know what to expect, and this was an ending I didn’t see coming. Throughout the book I thought what I was going to get, I was convinced I was going to be right, and I was wrong almost every time, right through the ending. Little book surprised me quite a lot. Highly recommended.

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The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

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5stars

“But your best is not good enough sometimes.”
“Sometimes… you have to stop trying and just let someone else try their best. In order to survive.”

Title: The Wicker King
Author: K. Ancrum
Number of pages: 305 (hardcover edition) + 40 pages (novella in ebook)
Good things about this book: Heart-wrecking, emotional, complex, raw.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, I had also a novella and the ending was perfect.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Yesterday after lunch I wrote a couple of reviews and then went to bed with the intention of reading a few chapters of The Wicker King. I couldn’t put it down: didn’t eat, didn’t go to the bathroom, didn’t blink. Long story short: the book was over before dinner time.

It wrecked me, this descent into madness of these two boys: one seeing the other losing grip of reality, and being overwhelmed by the weight of it all, the other seeing a different world he needs to defend and can’t do it alone. Jack living in both the real world and the fantasy world was portrayed in a way that kept me glued to the pages. I needed to know more, I needed to know he was going to be okay That they were going to be okay in the end. It was a freaking rollercoaster. I exhaled a long sigh of relief after I finished it.

August’s heart seized.
He didn’t … know he could have this.

I knew it was a queer book from all the Instagram posts, but it wasn’t immediately obvious, and I found myself both curious as to how they were going to face their not so subtle feelings, and bothered by the miscommunication that brought our August to not know he could wish for more, risk asking for more, so he fooled around a lot. It broke my heart, because the feelings were there, as twisted and complex, but they were there!

“If you drop the weight you are carrying, it is okay. You can build yourself back up out of the pieces.”

It wasn’t the easiest of books to read, their friendship was unhealthy, super codependent and the negligence of the adults was absurd and irritating, but it was surely a book that I’ll keep with me forever.

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The novella that was a sort of companion of the book, gave us Jack’s pov and a sneak peek into the fantasy world his mind was creating; I loved the way both the book and the novella ended. I’m so happy now. Five glorious stars for Jack and August, The Wicker King and his Champion.

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Alan Cole Doesn’t Dance by Eric Bell

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5stars

“You know what a good friend said to me once?”
“What?”
“He said, I’d rather have a hard time being myself than an easy time being somebody else.”
“Whoah.”
“Yeah. You’re being yourself, and that’s what matters.”

Title: Alan Cole Doesn’t Dance
Author: Eric Bell
Series: Alan Cole #2
Number of pages: 288 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Fantastic, important, emotional.
Bad things about this book: I want more books now but I’m happy how this ended.
Do I recommend it? Of course. You need to meet Alan.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Alan made me cry. He did it again with his innocence and good nature and his courage to be himself without having to endure bullism. Standing for himself and for all the people that don’t have the strength to do it. Defeating evil with kindness, with his art, one step at a time. To see the difference you want to see in the world, you have to start somewhere, right? If you don’t do anything, nothing will change, and that’s exactly what Alan thinks and why I love him so much. I adored this little book so much. I couldn’t put it down, finished it in one afternoon.

Alan is the sweetest of boys and Odin was a great addition to the narration. Odin and Alan were the cutest together; from “rivals” to art buddies. Smiles and laughter they didn’t share with anybody else, a past and present not so easy. Innocent and sweet. My heart couldn’t take all the adorableness. Alan’s friends, his family, things aren’t always great; they fight, because for things to get better, a little confrontation is necessary.

Having more queer books out in the world is the most amazing thing in the world and having more and more queer books for middle graders is even greater; this is the kind of book kids nowadays need, a book that normalizes their feelings because they aren’t wrong, they aren’t disgusting, their love is as much true as the ones of other people. They should never feel ashamed of who they are and books like this one give me so much hope they will have a safer world to live and be themselves.

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