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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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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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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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz ☆

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Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author:
Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Why you should read this book: everything about this book is important, everyone should read it!

Aristotle, for short Ari, is 15 years old, he has trouble talking about his feelings and he doesn’t have any friends. But then he met Dante at the pool where he taught him how to swim. Dante knows how to do a lot of things Ari can’t. He shows him how to love books, poetry books, art and life.
This is a story about family, friendship and love. This is a story about life.

It is so true: we all fight our private wars.
It took me a long time to finish this book because I read it really slowly, so slowly that the characters kept living their days in my head when I didn’t know what they were really doing. In my head I invented what they were doing during the days that weren’t described in the book. I really wish I’m not the only one doing it. It feels weird but also it feels good, like I’m contributing in some way to the development of the story.

Let’s talk about the two magnificent boys in this wonderful book. Aristotle is a great main character, smart, conflicted, a 15-year old boy, with all the problems that age come with. He has holes in his life, so many things are not how they’re supposed to be. In his house there is silence. He has a big brother that everyone pretend doesn’t exist because he is in prison but nobody wants to tell Ari anything about him. This makes him feel incomplete. He doesn’t like to talk about his feelings so as a result he is always angry with the world.
Then along came Dante, a bright young man with a warm smile and a shoeless way to live his life. They are so different and they unknowingly help each other. Dante is curious about everything, he is experimenting in life because if you have doubts about who you really are you have to try a lot of things so that you can figure out what makes you happy, what it’s worth fighting for.

Their friendship is one I can only dream of. They don’t always talk, they are often quiet, they fight, they find out a lot about themselves when they think of each other. They fit perfectly together, no wonder they become best friends almost right away.

I could give this book a thousand stars and still I’d feel is not enough. When a book makes me feel this way it can only mean that it’s perfect, the perfect book to love, to think about when things are not great, when you need to smile a little.

I love how smiles were so important. Smiles where described a lot: sweet, sad, enigmatic, fake. Smiles are what I love the most about human beings (and every other being on this planet), they’re the first thing I look at in a person.
Have you ever watched a person smile and his face and whole body just start glowing? There’s magic in smiles, something it’s not easy to describe, you have to see it and feel it. Rest assure, when you see that kind of smile, no matter how bad is your day/week/month/year/life, for a couple of seconds everything disappears and you find yourself smiling and everything just feels right. Yeah, just perfectly right!

What an incredible book, don’t miss it.
So let’s smile and look at the stars!

Do I recommend it? Yes, 500% yes.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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