Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

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5stars

“Don’t punish yourselves for people’s ignorant reactions to what we all are.”
“Don’t let ignorance win,” said Ms. Stevenson. “Let love.”

Title: Annie on My Mind
Author: Nancy Garden
Number of pages: 183 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It really is a magical love story written sweetly and flawlessly.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, just the neverending frustration because people are the worst.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a wonderful book.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Copy given by NetGalley

This book surprised me. I requested it on Netgalley not knowing it was a book first published in 1982 and if it wasn’t for Goodreads I would’ve start reading the book not knowing it. It didn’t sound like a book from the 80’s (if you bypass the no cellphones thing): the school system is mostly still the same so I didn’t notice a difference but most of all people are still ignorant and close-minded today as they were back there. It all sounded very contemporary. Things are better now and I’m positive it will get better and better every year while there’s still someone fighting! While we still fight ignorance and violence every single day.

Much of that winter was— magical is the only word again— and a big part of that magic was that no matter how much of ourselves we found to give each other, there was always more we wanted to give.

Liza and Annie met one day at the museum and that was it, they were destined to be one, to fall in love. Their love does not come easily because both girls are confused and finding out more and more about themselves every day. Looking back it all makes sense but being gay isn’t easy; it comes with too much unnecessary pain. Will Liza and Annie be able to love each other as much as they both deserve without the ignorance of people compromising their happiness? This is a book about first loves, first struggles, and the strength that we have to find inside our hearts to overcome everything in the face of injustice and in order to live true to ourselves. Not an easy journey yet one they both can’t ignore.

“Unicorns. Maidens and knights. Staring at noses, even. I don’t want to pretend any more. You make me— want to be real.”

From the very beginning the story sounded genuine and relatable. The characters of Liza and Annie were very different from each other but at the same time they could represent parts of us readers. The message is not one of disgrace but one of hope, because if we don’t fight for what we believe is right, for what else are we supposed to fight for? These girls start a journey that will put a toll on them but it’s a worth one. The plot flows calm but steady giving us insights of their dates, their walks, their share smiles and knowing gazes. We are silent spectators to something magical, to fate doing a perfect job. I enjoyed being part of their magic, and I shared tears of joy and sadness with both of them. It hurt, the feeling of frustration, it crushed my heart. I deserved to see a happy ending as much as Liza and Annie deserved one.

“There are a lot of unfair things in this world, and gay people certainly come in for their share of them— but so do lots of other people, and besides, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is the truth of loving, of two people finding each other. That’s what’s important, and don’t you forget it.”

I’m not sad I found this book this late because at least I found it. If you haven’t read this book I strongly recommend you do it. As soon as I started it, I received positive comments from people who knew and read it. It made the reading experience so much better knowing how much love this book had all around the world. I wanted to be part of the loving fandom. I want to let love win, always!

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Caroline’s Heart by Austin Chant

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5stars

God, he thinks, he could be starving and she’d fill him up with one sweet look.

Title: Caroline’s Heart
Author: Austin Chant
Number of pages: 96 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Magic and lgbtqia representation.
Bad things about this book: I want to say it’s too short but no, it is perfect as it is..
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s an enchanting story.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Some time ago I happened to see a gorgeous cover of a book called “Peter Darling” and decided to read it. I fell in love with the quality of writing and the originality of how the story of Peter Pan was retold. I decided to keep an eye on Austin Chant because I knew he was going to give me more magical tales full of representation and fantasy themes.

This is a story about Roy, a trans cowboy who finds himself involved in the life of the town’s witch, Cecily, after a fight resulting in him almost losing his life. Cecily has to put inside Roy the mechanical and magical heart of her long lost lover, Caroline, ruining her chances to resuscitate her with a spell she designed. The book is not about Roy finding out he is trans and it’s not about people finding it out and bullying him, beating him or worst, trying to kill him because he’s different. This is a book about the everyday lives of Roy and Cecily forced to live together until Roy heals completely and adjusts to the new heart. It’s sweet, emotional, and of course, magical.

It wasn’t only magical because of Cecily being a witch but mainly because the writing style of Austin Chant is enchanting. One second you’re trying your best not to freeze to death on your couch, then the next second you’re fully immerse in the story you don’t realize you barely feel your nose and fingers. I felt warm and good inside with every page I read. It’s a novella so it’s short, worth every second you spend reading it. Cecily and Roy are two wonderful characters and, even though Roy doesn’t have magic powers, he is plenty magical himself with his kind nature, sincerity and his optimistic personality. It’s easy to feel for them and want them to be happy and serene.

If you have a couple hours or less to spare, then I recommend you read this novella. Who wouldn’t want to have magic powers to conjure food and clean the house? I know I would. I’m in a lasagna mood right now.

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Lovers Like Us by Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie

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5stars

“We’re fucking different but we’re still two superheroes who’d die for each other. In any era, any alternate universe. Like Captain America and the Winter Solider.”

Title: Lovers Like Us
Author: Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie
Series: Like Us #2
Number of pages: 365 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Fun, interesting, hot, well-written, you will keep reading until you finish it. Guaranteed.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, this series is beautiful.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I know I loved Damaged Like Us because it was different from any other book I’ve ever read. Its pace was different, fresh, it kept me glued to the virtual pages and I didn’t want it to end. So I knew I was going to love this sequel but I wasn’t expecting to love it this much. There is not much drama, there’s action, steamy and not, we get to know more relatives and we have the exclusive of Moffy and Farrow’s relationship. Did I say there is little to no love drama? Oh, how I love that, you have no idea!
I loved everything. I was on edge so many times, a little scared, super happy, very entertained, and more often than not, awfully turned on. I’m only human, after all.

“Vote for whoever looks the best.” Farrow, my mind blurts out in response. I swear my brain is one terrifying step from making shrines of the guy. Which is not cool. Not cool.

Damaged Like Us ended with the whole family finding out Farrow and Moffy were boyfriends and hell broke loose. Harsh words were said, people got offended, things were changing but maybe that wasn’t a bad thing. Now, as damage control, Moffy and the oldest Hales-Cobalts-Meadows are going on tour with their bodyguards: all of them, cramped inside a bus for four months. Things are going to get heated. There is a troll account threatening Moffy and Farrow is restless because he needs to save the man he loves both as his boyfriend and as his personal bodyguard. It will get messy and butts will be seen; so many butts it’s glorious.

“She’ll ‘revoke’ your membership to that Rainbow Brigade shit if you’re not careful.”
Oscar almost laughs, and he reties a rolled bandana around his forehead. “It’s not real until she makes pins.”

Maximoff, Jane, Charlie, Beckett and Sulli are participating in a few fan conventions to raise money for lgbtqia youth all around the US and of course their bodyguards came along. I was happy to see more of the famous kids and also I loved the bodyguards; they were all hilarious, even Thatcher, and they made the book richer and more interesting. They are as much part of the story as the rich and gorgeous: and they are also quite hot! The camaraderie between bodyguards and the love and care they have for the families they serve is profound and true; they share almost every second of their lives with them and they are like their own families. It’s lovely!

My eyes burn. I wake up every morning, and I’m more in love with him than the day before.

Besides the obvious bonding and some pretty interesting events that happen on the bus, the book’s story is told from Farrow and Moffy’s POV and so we are inside their heads while they brood, while they flirt, while they desire nothing more than kiss each other’s faces and get naughty. It’s hilarious and adorable. They love each other and they can barely believe they have found someone who knows, supports and understands what the other is going through. Moffy may not know everything about Farrow’s past but he is absolutely certain that if he asks, the answers are going to be 100% true. There’s so much trust between the both of them and that is the reason there is no love drama; they communicate trying not to leave anything left to be misunderstood. I hate miscommunication because people aren’t mind readers; you need to say out loud if something is wrong or else suck it, the world isn’t waiting for you. Do something and stop whining!

His mouth curves upward. “Welcome back, space cadet.”
I scowl and unbutton my jeans. “I barely spaced out.”

The ending was perfect, just as much as it was perfect everything else. Sweetness galore and happy smiles: my favorites. Everything I needed to have the dumb face I usually have when a story is dreamy and I’m jealousy wishing I could have what they have. This series was a surprise; I am scared about the third and last book but I trust the authors. They won’t disappoint me because until now these books have been flawless so I don’t expect they’ll stop now, right? Give me Alphas Like Us right now or right this moment, either is fine by me.

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The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

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5stars

The world will end. The big picture cannot be changed. But in the meantime, as Loki once said, we can choose to alter the details. That’s how we take control of our destiny.

Title: The Ship of the Dead
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3
Number of pages: 423 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Funny, intriguing, mysterious.
Bad things about this book: The lack of fluidity of Alex seemed done on purpose. I didn’t like it very much.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I always recommend a Rick Riordan.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

As soon as I read this was going to be the last book of the Magnus Chase series I knew my book was going to be late because I’m lucky like that. I placed a pre-order that was mysteriously refunded a couple days before the release and that was the beginning of “The Epic Journey of Kristel and the missing Magnus”. It took it one whole spoiler-avoiding month to get here and now that I’ve read it my mind is trying to come to terms with what happened and is going to happen in the next Apollo book. I’m scared!

Magnus and friends are set to sail towards the place where they know the ship of the dead, made of toenails, is, defeat Loki, his undead army, and stop Ragnarok from starting. Sounds easy, right? No, it doesn’t, and it’s not even only those things they need to do. How do you defeat a god? How do you stop an army of zombies when you don’t have a plan? You wait for godly advices and try your best not to die in the meantime. That’s the plan; wing it until you win it.

My first task was my favourite one – getting out of the way.

As usual I loved Magnus, everything about him and his inner monologues. I also loved the whole set of characters accompanying him on this almost impossible quest; we get to know more about all their background stories, the way they died as heroes earning them a place in Valhalla. Each one of them has so much to give to this quest and each one of them is essential for this quest to be a success. I always love how the story is never about a single hero who magically wins everything: this is a team effort and I wouldn’t have loved it as much as I did otherwise.

Alex Fierro, Sam’s green-haired gender-fluid half-sibling chaperone of doom.

One thing I didn’t like was the Alex situation. Alex is gender fluid, right? So if you give us a character that is fluid then you have to allow them to be fluid, on page. When Alex was male it felt through the pages, he was different and I couldn’t wait to get to know him better. I have read books with gender fluid characters and their fluidity was wildly shown and we got to see every aspect of what made them the wonderful beings they were. Instead with Alex we got three scenes with him as a male, three scenes, two right at the beginning then the issue was kind of forgotten! With more scenes it will have shown us more about how Magnus felt about Alex as both male and female. It will have given him and us more info about who he was more interested in. If the whole fluidity was shown off-page, I don’t think I’m okay with it. Give us representation the way we deserve it. All things said, I love Alex and I hope we’ll see more of them, even just a tiny mention, in future books. I’m hoping we get a short story. That’ll be nice!

I will have given this book a 5++ rating if it wasn’t for the Alex situation but The Ship of Dead is still one hell of a book. It has everything I like. It was entertaining, full of mythology, diverse characters, originality, and it has The Lord of the Rings references. Who doesn’t love pop references, right?

My friends were all dressed like me, in white wool, so we looked like a secret society of very clean monks – the Fellowship of the Bleach.

I think it’s time for a Lotr marathon. I just need almost 10 free hours, maybe double if I also want to watch The Hobbit. I will do the re-watch while anxiously waiting for the next Apollo book. I think bad things are going to happen and I will never be ready for those! Please, Rick, don’t kill anyone; make them lose a leg, an arm, but not their lives, I’m begging you! We’ll just have to wait and read, I suppose. Patience is not always a virtue I’m fond of.

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Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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5stars

The only person I can be at this school is Eliza Mirk, and Eliza Mirk is barely a footnote in anyone’s life. Including mine.

Title: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author: Francesca Zappia
Number of pages: 385 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Real themes well written.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, I enjoyed it.
Do I recommend it? Yes, to everyone.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

 

I started this book thinking it was going to be a happy story about a girl who created a popular webcomic and whose life wasn’t easy but it all turned out fine with little to no drama. Oh girl was I wrong! I was so wrong and I got my heart crushed; my eyes were burning with anger, pain, hope, and I found so much of myself in Eliza it was somehow scary.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be the person whose color comes through even when standing still. To be someone so vibrant, others can’t help but notice you.

Sometimes the true of your inner self isn’t very obvious; you can’t see it unless someone points it out or you read something and then it comes to you that maybe you’re not the person you think you were. It’s scary but maybe it can also be what makes you seek help and be better for yourself and your wellbeing. This book confirmed some things and revealed some other things. It was a very interesting and different book. You may not think it different because of what it’s about but it’s important; it gets you and, if you feel or have ever felt like Eliza, it makes you feel less alone in this scary world.

I like to tell myself I might do a lot of things – but I and my brain and everyone else know that I’m going to chicken out in the end and barricade myself in my bedroom with a plate of pizza rolls and my Netflix subscription.

Eliza is the creator of a super popular webcomic, Monstrous Sea, but besides her family and a couple of online friends, nobody knows her real identity. She goes by LadyConstellation and her comic is so famous she is in seventh heaven, economically speaking. She loves her story and the characters, she has put all of herself in them: she also loves the fans but they intimidate her. Being on the spotlight is a double-edged sword: the internet is a scary thing. Eliza is introvert and lacks the social skills to make friends in real life; she is better at communicating through texts. Eliza is just like me.

Then along came Wallace, the new kid in school, quiet and football player big. He is interested in talking to her and, guess what, he is the number one fan fiction writer of Monstrous Sea. Eliza is at the same time fascinated to know a fan in real life and terrified he is going to find out who she is and treat her differently, being yet another person to isolate her.

MirkerLurker: He’s not exactly the kind of guy that’s usually interested in me.
Apocalypse_Cow: what kind of guy is usually interested in you?
MirkerLurker: The kind I make up in my head.

The story of Eliza and Wallace’s friendship is simple yet complicated. Wallace comes with issues of his own and a personality that has many layers, some of them I didn’t like very much. Let’s be honest, he made me do the face, “The Face” capitalized, the one I do when I’m judging and cursing you very hard. Eliza is already struggling to keep herself on the surface of her life and we see how everything new (like having Wallace in her life) and not affects her fragile mental stability.

Eliza is a very relatable character for me. She is 15 years younger than me but we have much in common. I think some things never change no matter how old you are; I’m still fighting demons of my own and it’s hard to keep my guard up but that’s what we must do, right? We fight and we keep afloat.

We ascribe value to the things we care most about, but sometimes we don’t stop long enough to take a look at the bigger picture.

Hidden almost on plain sight is the theme of mental illness. Some chapters are harder than others. Some make you hopeful, some hopeless. A few pages threaten to bring you down, and then others lift you to the Moon. These swings are real and they hurt but the light at the end of the tunnel is there even if you at first fail to see it. Eliza goes through a lot when her identity is revealed; she crumbles and she is lost. Her journey is not an easy one but it was nice to read it and feel it so close to home, with a hint of hope.

Monstrous Sea is mine.
I made it, not the other way around.
It’s not a parasite, or an obligation, or a destiny.
It’s a monster.
It’s mine.
And I have a battle axe waiting for it.

Eliza and Her Monsters gave me comics, life struggle, the fear of the outdoors, the problem with communication between different generations, problems within oneself, friendships that transcend the standard concept, young scary love, but above all it gave me a young girl I could relate and I could cheer on and accompany on her rocky road that’d leave her scarred but also stronger. That’s who we are, right? Scarred but stronger every single day.

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[ARC] Artemis by Andy Weir

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5stars

Attack of the Moon Woman Who Made Bad Life Decisions.

Title: Artemis
Author: Andy Weir
Expected publication: November 14th 2017
Number of pages: 384 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Artemis is on the Moon!!!!
Bad things about this book: Nothing, it has everything.
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you loved The Martian you will love Artemis.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a review – This review will contain many quotes but zero spoilers.

Artemis was so much fun to read and plenty interesting. I love a good sci-fi book and if the mc is funny but not in an overwhelming kind of way, then I’m hooked from the start. Guess what? I was hooked from the very first page! I fought to get an ARC because I loved The Martian; I couldn’t miss another book like that one, right? I was such a fool to let two whole months pass from receiving the ARC to finally reading it. Such a fool, shame on me!

“Oh, poor billionaire,” I said. “Maybe you should have some moors installed so you can pine on them.”

Now that I have read it, I can very much say that I loved it; loved the concept, the characters, the heist, the twists, and how easy was to read it without being a scientist. I recommend it more to science enthusiasts, though, because it has many terms that may confuse or bore most of the people I know so, if you’re not in awe of everything scientific, then maybe this book is not for you.

I had this bad habit of checking my bank account every day, as if compulsively looking at it would make it grow. But the banking software wasn’t interested in my dreams.

Jazz is a wonderful main character. She is fun, she is a rebel, and she is extremely relatable. She lives in the poorest part of Artemis. Did I mention that Artemis is the only city on the Moon? On the freaking Moon!! Can you believe how cool is it to live on the Moon with only 1/6th of the Earth’s gravity? I loved everything about Artemis; it seemed like magic but at the same time it all seemed so possible it was incredibly enchanting. I was dreaming with my eyes wide open.

“I’m sorry, but this isn’t my thing,” I said. “You’ll have to find someone else.”
“I’ll give you a million slugs.”
“Deal.”

Let’s go back to Jazz: she is a Saudi-Arabian 25-year-old girl, she works as a porter, and she is a criminal. Not a dangerous one, though. She smuggles things from Earth to sell to a higher price to Artemisians. Let’s say you miss smoking and it’s forbidden to smoke in Artemis because it’s flammable, then what do you do? You call Jazz, place your order, she emails her friend on Earth and, tadah, you have your very expensive cigarettes and you can smoke on the Moon, hopefully without setting the whole city on fire killing everyone inside.

The city shined in the sunlight like a bunch of metallic boobs. What? I’m not a poet. They look like boobs.

Jazz needs money and she’s been presented with the perfect opportunity to gain enough money to live like a queen possibly for the rest of her life. She can’t turn it down even if it’s dangerous and she risks being deported to Earth where she hasn’t been since she was a little girl. She is not an Earthling anymore; she is a 100% Artemisian.

How dare you call me lazy! I’d come up with a scathing retort but, meh, I’m just not motivated.

The story doesn’t lack twists and many of them involve side characters. I knew things weren’t going to be as they seemed at first, but some twists got me totally unprepared. I love a story that doesn’t put drama just for the sake of it and the twists are well managed so that the story doesn’t drag pointless for too long. The story flows perfectly with all its obstacles. Jazz, her inner monologues, and her interactions with the side characters make this story captivating. Once you start reading, you won’t want to stop until the end.

“You are unmarried and have sex with many men.”
“Yes, I’m quite the harlot.” Her son, Isvan, had banged more dudes than I ever had. I resisted the urge to tell her.

I can’t and won’t say much about anything else. I found myself rooting for Jazz from the start and I wanted to see how her crazy self was going to manage all the crazy things she wanted to do to have a better future and to redeem herself from all the bad decisions she’s made in the past. This is a charming story and it’s told perfectly. I loved it and if you loved The Martian as much as I did, then pick this book as soon as it’s released and read it.

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A Boy Worth Knowing by Jennifer Cosgrove ☆

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5starsplus

Hope was a dangerous thing, and it had no place here.

Title: A Boy Worth Knowing
Author: Jennifer Cosgrove
Number of pages: 172 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Nate is the sweetest and he really is worth knowing.
Bad things about this book: Too short? Maybe not, it ended perfectly.
Do I recommend it? Yes, please love it as much as I did.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I LOVED IT!!! It was adorable and sweet and gave me so many feelings!! At one point I was fuming, almost crying because I was sad and frustrated. My poor baby Nate; such a short book giving my heart an incredibly hard time. It was hardly fair because I cared for Nate and it was an immediate thing the attachment I felt for him. I didn’t think it was rushed; you just met the guy and start wanting all the best for him. Simple as that.

Since he was twelve, Nate has been able to see and communicate with the dearly departed. It’s a family thing but his ability is somewhat stronger than his relatives’. As a result, his own mother who lacks the medium ability is scared of him and kicks him out of the house and forbids his sister to have contacts with him. It was hard for me not to want to reach inside the pages and slap the woman. That sweet boy was hurt and his mother didn’t want to have anything to do with him. He goes to live with his aunt and talks frequently with his grandma who passed away a couple years before. She is a great confidant; a little nosey, though.

Dear, sweet Aunt Susan, what is it like in your simple life? Where people actually talked to each other? Asked questions and got answers? What was that like? I bit my tongue.

Nate is an outcast, bullied and ignored by his schoolmates who call him crazy. Nate is lonely and resigned to be by himself until the new boy, James, sits next to him and friendship blooms almost immediately. James likes Nate and Nate is confused by this: does he like him as a friend or maybe he can hope for something more? Oh boy, Nate was conflicted and didn’t want to risk the only friend he had to find out if they could be something more.

To make things weirder, if that was even possible, James had a ghost in tow: his brother David who passed away only a few months before James moved. James is clearly mourning his brother but won’t talk about it. He is suffering and David appears very often to tell Nate to help his brother move on so that he can be happy again. David and Nana are somewhat love advisors to Nate with his struggles of the heart. Nate likes James a lot and I suffer with him everyday he can’t tell James how he feels; every time Nate suffered because of James, I suffered and my heart broke in a million pieces.

He chuckled, and I was quietly overwhelmed by the idea that someone wanted to talk to me.

The frustration and sadness I felt reading some chapters were overwhelming; I thought I was going to start ugly sobbing at any moment. I did have tears in my eyes. I was so sad for Nate and for all the unfairness he was experiencing. I thought he was incredible and the thought of him being used to be alone, to be disappointed and left behind, made me hurt so much I still want to cry just thinking about it.

This book was so short but so full of emotions. I loved every page of it and I will put it in my favorites book drawers in my mind. It deserves this and much more. It was an adorable love story with a twist of paranormal so it was just the kind of book that’ll get to me and I was not disappointed. Not one bit.

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