Heartstopper Vol. 1 & 2 by Alice Oseman ☆

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Title: Heartstopper (Vol.1 & 2)
Author: Alice Oseman
Number of pages: 278 & 315 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: This is one of the sweetest coming of age stories I’ve ever read.
Bad things about this book: Nothing. Alice spoils us with new content very often.
Do I recommend it? Yes, always.
Rate: 5+++/5 (this is a fav series)

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I haven’t posted a review in MONTHS! I’ve read tons of books but I’ve also been through a few reading slumps. These months have been weird. If you follow me on instagram, my bookstagram account is very active and I update it daily.

So I got the second volume of Heartstopper yesterday and, even if I’m up to date with the webcomic, being a patron and all that, I decided to read it immediately. I just love these kids so much. They are relatable, have real problems, aren’t romanticized in any way, they just are teenagers having issues you may or may not have had when you were in your teens.

In the first volume we saw how Charlie and Nick started being friends, best friends, and how Nick started feeling a deeper connection. In volume 2 we see how this deeper thing is explored and how this revelation will affect both Charlie and Nick. Knowing what is going to happen, I’m calm about everything, but I still worry about them. They are adorable and should be protected. The bullies can just go away and never come back. Why do bullies exist, btw? I don’t get it!

At the end of volume 2 there was the special chapter of how two other very sweet characters met: Darcy and Tara. It was so cute! I want more.

Please follow Alice Oseman’s instagram, support her, support her work, and read her books. They are worth it! Tomorrow there’s going to be the title and cover reveal of he 4th book! I’m excited!!!!

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White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig

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4stars

Title: White Rabbit
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Number of pages: 320 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s really entertaining and captivating.
Bad things about this book: The bullying is always a sore spot for me.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I say you can give it a chance.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I started it midafternoon yesterday and finished it at a little bit past midnight. I couldn’t put it down. While it wasn’t without flaws, I kind of liked how it was written and how over the top it was. Like a movie or tv show with teenagers doing unnecessary things in criminal situations instead of going to the police. I can think of at least five shows exactly like this (Riverdale, people??). Totally unlikely in real life but extremely entertaining.

I wanted to know how it was going to end so until the last page I couldn’t stop reading. I needed to know who the murder was or I was going to dream about it! I liked the mystery and I liked how the two characters with obvious unresolved business were put together in this ridiculously dangerous journey that would also help them talk about the past that left Rufus heartbroken. I hated Sebastian for most part of the book. What he did to Rufus, how he made him feel, for whatever reason he thought he was doing it, was too much.

I would have given it five stars if it wasn’t for the bullying. Everyone bullied and threw ugly degrading words at Rufus, yet nobody did anything about it. He knew better than to say anything because the adults, as much as his schoolmates, were absolutely useless. Is it really like that in schools with rich kids? I hope not but I’m afraid to know the ugly truth.

As random and ridiculous as it got, there were many sweet parts that made me forget for a bit the bad ones. Rufus and Sebastian were cute and frustrating and I couldn’t stop myself from shaking my head when they were stubborn and annoying and so clearly in love with each other.

Recommended to fans of shows like Riverdale, fans of mystery books and thrillers, and fans of over the top narrations that you can’t stop reading!

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If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

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4stars

I thought about how every person could hold two truths inside of them, how impossible it felt sometimes to have your insides and outsides aligned.

Title: If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Good things about this book: Amanda is a delightful and strong character!
Bad things about this book: Nothing bad just but check for triggers before reading.
Do I recommend it? I do!
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This is a very difficult book to review because I will never understand what it means to be Amanda. I will never be in her position; to have the same fears she has, to not being able to be a 100% true to the people she knows and to herself. At the end of the book there is the note from the author explaining how it must be viewed, either if you are trans like Amanda or if you identify with the gender you were born with.

In the note the author writes about how she simplified the struggles Amanda has to face to made us understand her better without asking ourselves too many questions; can people tell she is trans? No, because she is very feminine. Will people see she is trans by mistake while entering the bathroom unannounced? No, because she could afford a surgery most people wouldn’t be able to pay. Will they see her as a girl even after knowing she wasn’t born with the body of one? Read the book and find out.

“You can have anything,” she said, “once you admit you deserve it.”

I know trans people but knowing them and seeing them transitioning doesn’t mean you understand everything they’re going through and what they are feeling. I can only be myself and see them how they want to be seen, how they are on the inside that they want to be seen also on the outside. So one day he is a guy’s name and the next day she is a girl and she stays a girl, so what? They tell me they have a new name, new pronoun to use and that’s that. From my part, I can’t see why it has to be hard.

People frustrate me. They give hate to the wrong people for no reasonable motive; they spend so much energy hating something so simply to understand with a little effort. Sometimes I think they want to be scared of something so badly to feel better with themselves that they don’t care to see they are “scared” for absolutely no reason. For example I can’t stop being angry for the “bathroom issue” and I smile every time a place doesn’t have different bathrooms for different genders. Little steps. Maybe too little sometimes.

We have three bathrooms at work. One is on the first floor and everyone can go because there is no sign on the door. The other two were mistakenly decorated with the male and female symbol on the door and if the male one is occupied, the male coworkers wait instead of going inside the other one. A simple sticker on the door plays so hard with their minds they are willingly waiting hours to pee instead of putting their masculinity in danger going inside the girl’s bathroom. The reason I’ve been told? “It feels weird, it’s for girls.” How dumb is that? It’s the exact same bathroom as the other two, only with a sticker on the door. A stinking sticker with zero value, zero utility.

This book made me see things differently, not only because it takes place in the USA and I live in Italy so many things don’t happen here or I simply failed to look closer. I don’t go out much so I only have three places to compare experiences: my workplace, my house and the LGBTIQA+ community I’m a member of. I don’t really know the real world and even if I had struggles growing up, being an immigrant latina in a white country, I have to say I’m privileged enough to have lived my life peacefully. That’s how it has to be for everyone else and we will keep fighting, we will keep marching, keep doing whatever we can, even if small, to make the world a better place for every single person living in it.

I realized, I wasn’t sorry I existed anymore. I deserved to live. I deserved to find love. I knew now—I believed, now—that I deserved to be loved.

I’m sorry I didn’t talk about the book, mainly to avoid spoilers also because some books need to be experienced without insights, but rest assured I liked it and I recommend it. It is hard, it is triggering (so, beware), it isn’t for everyone but if you want a book that gives you a point of view you are missing and you want to understand then this is a book you have to read.

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