[ARC] The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

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4stars

Title: The Henna Wars
Author: Adiba Jaigirdar
Release date: May 12th 2020
Number of pages: 400 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It’s diverse and own voices.
Bad things about this book: The main character wasn’t always likable.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3.75/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

*ARC from NetGalley*

This is a diverse queer contemporary story about a Bengali girl living in Dublin, coming out, having a crush, navigating school while bullied by bigoted homophobes and racists. There’s a lot about family, her sister is very important to her and to the story. Nishat, the mc, doesn’t make the wisest decisions most times, and doesn’t speak her mind much since “it wouldn’t change anything”. The frustration was real. So, while I was angry at her for the miscommunication, I kind of understood why she chose not to say anything, but how can you know if something can make a difference if you don’t do anything?

The writing style was easy to get into, and all the info about the Bengali culture and food really made me see everything that makes it beautiful and fascinating. I must be honest, I don’t think I really know where is Bangladesh, but now I feel like a know a bit more about the culture. I love learning something new while enjoying a nice book. Mixing both things is perfect!

The love story might sound like the dreaded trope of instalove. It’s more of an instacrush and then we have a really slowburn kind of love story. It was a bit frustrating because it’s the first crush, all encompassing, and Nishat didn’t manage it very well. I admit to have been quite angry at her for most of the book, but the last chapters made up for all the anger and shakes of head. It was pretty cute in the end. The sum of all the parts of the book make it good! It was like a journey inside Nishat’s head with all the doubts, the sadness, the anger, the hopelessness.

This is a book I would certainly recommend to everyone.

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Martin McLean, Middle School Queen by Alyssa Zaczek

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4stars

Title: Martin McLean, Middle School Queen
Author: Alyssa Zaczek
Number of pages: 272 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was very cute and positive.
Bad things about this book: The mc could be a little annoying but he was 12 so it was fitting.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

At first I was skeptic because I realized the book wasn’t own voices and it had an irish cuban boy questioning his sexuality as a main character. Can this author tell this story? It was enjoyable and I was happy to read in the acknowledgments how many different people helped her built this book.

I’ve been to a few drag shows and I’ve been present when the magic, the transformation, happened. And it’s truly magical. Drag queens are fierce and you feel it just being in the same room with them. I loved how our young mc found his calling after a show.

There were tons of mentions of delicious food I too eat since I’m Ecuadorian, but not so often since I live in Italy and italian food is much faster to cook, and my mom thinks ecuadorian food is really fat. Which it is, but that’s one of the reasons it’s delicious!! The random spanish in the conversation can be off putting but I realized that’s exactly how my parents talk. It felt like home.

So, I say you give this little book a chance even if you had your doubts. It can be a pleasant surprise. I will still try, as always, to support own voices. There are just so many books to read, I need more time!!

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Take Nothing With You by Patrick Gale

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5stars

Title: Take Nothing With You
Author: Patrick Gale
Number of pages: 320 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: This was such a sweet story, so well written.
Bad things about this book: Nothing! I loved everything.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s worth it.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This book was a journey, an immense journey. It’s not about first loves, it’s not about that romance that blinds you. This is a book, a sort of quiet and calm book, about a man going into treatment for cancer, having to be isolated for two days, and reminiscing about his life. The first time he realized he was interested in boys, his love for music and the cello, his friend and school, his family, his life after college, his first big love who left him too soon, his heart healing, second chances, disappointments, anger, hope, living his life. I loved how the author decided to end the book. It was just so fitting the rest of the story’s pace. I loved it.

It’s the journal of Eustace. And it was incredibly touching and personal, just like a journal usually is. It infused me with all the feelings in a sort of zen garden way. I don’t know how to explain it. I guess you should just read it and see for yourself.

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Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

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4stars

Title: Her Royal Highness
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Royals #2
Number of pages: 274 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Scotland, private school, royals, tartan!!
Bad things about this book: I wanted at least one more chapter, just one more!
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s really cute.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This was a really cute book, without much drama. A quiet and sweet book set in Scotland with royals, friendships, romance, and rocks! Millie likes rocks and I love that she likes rocks because rocks…rock! I’m not sorry for that.

The not really enemies to lovers trope was perfectly adorable! I loved Flora’s character!! I thought she was going to be the mean girl, bully, but she wasn’t and I was pleasantly surprised!

It was really nice that there weren’t really bad girls in the school, and that Millie found real friends within the first minutes she got there. Going to a whole different country to finish school must be hard, but it also sounds like a very amazing adventure!

There wasn’t enough kilt talk for my taste since this was a book set in Scotland but I pictured them in my head so it’s okay! Everyone was wearing a kilt, and that’s my headcanon for the book!

I would never want to be a royal, though. It sounds like a pain in the royal buttocks!

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[ARC] We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar

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5stars

And it isn’t like I’m really in the closet. But it isn’t as if I’m all the way out either; it’s more like I’m standing in the doorway.

Title: We Are Lost and Found
Author: Helene Dunbar
Release date: September 3rd 2019
Number of pages: 304 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Honest and important. Relatable characters.
Bad things about this book: Not bad but it took a me a bit to get used to how the dialogues were written.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This book is so important and showed us a young boy’s pov of the beginning of the AIDS pandemic in NYC in the 80’s. I loved Michael’s voice; wanting to be free but feeling guilty because he didn’t want to put life as he knew it in jeopardy. And how he couldn’t love as he wanted because he didn’t wanted to die of AIDS like so many people were. So many. Those numbers. The government’s silence. The press’ choice not to talk about it. People letting fear cloud their judgement.

But I don’t have a story, I respond. Everyone has a story, Michael. Maybe you just don’t know the plot of yours yet.

I loved all the characters. Micheal and his desire to be himself in a world who sees him as a monster who deserves to die, giving himself to the music and his friends. James and his fear, living as best as he could with what he had. Becky being an adult when she should’ve been a kid enjoying her last years of school. Connor and his life after he publicly came out to the world resulting in him being kicked out of his house, his safety. Gabriel and a life working to have a better life with his family.

I truly found this book honest and important. Everyone should read this.

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[ARC] Counter Culture by J.L. Merrow

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4stars

Title: Counter Culture
Author: J.L. Merrow
Release date: November 4th 2019
Number of pages: 344 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was really sweet and the characters were great.
Bad things about this book: The drama! Why? But I must say it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This was so cute! The steampunk! The really nice Robin (full name Robin Christopher btw!), the adorable Archie (real name Mars!!). Archie’s mum was such a fresh character and, while I thought I was going to hate Bridge (the ex and mum of Archie’s baby), I came to like her a lot!

It was something like a slowburn romance with tons of little cute moments mixed with bits of serious stuff, like the homeless situation in the UK. I loved that Archie was unapologetically bisexual and nobody had anything to say about that. And how Robin was really opened about being gay even if his parents were really infuriating. They are cancelled!

This book flew in my hands. One moment I started it, then it was over! Some scenes had me giggling nonstop!! I just really enjoy Merrow’s writing and storytelling. I’ve read three times her The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries series! All of it!

Do I want to attend a Steampunk event? Of course I do. Can you imagine how cool that’d be?? Yes, please!

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Heartstopper Vol. 1 & 2 by Alice Oseman ☆

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5starsplus

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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