Stormhaven by Jordan L. Hawk

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“I wasn’t strong, or brave, or anything really. But he made me want to be.”

Title: Stormhaven
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #3
Number of pages: 177 (paperback)
Good things about this book: More love and more magic, what’s not to love?
Bad things about this book: Too short? But maybe not.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it is very short and the story is more and more interesting.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Whyborne can’t catch a break. Now he has one more reason to scowl: electricity. Why is it so weird for a guy to want a poor lit house with a library with books to read almost in the dark causing permanent damage to his eyes? Whyborne can’t understand progress but he can understand magic: he’s a better sorcerer now and every book has a new spell he will use to fight and win whatever will come between him and Griffin.

Not only electricity has come to put a bad taste into Whyborne’s mouth, but a case involving a coworker accused of murder will put the two men in an unstable state: the suspect resides now in an asylum which is bad news to Griffin. I’m furious after learning what happened to him, unfairly and unnecessarily just because people are disgusting and completely selfish. Poor Griffin: his nightmares keep him up at night but he has Whyborne who will be by his side no matter what.

You’d think there’s nothing worse than the devilish electricity, the asylum, the mysterious cult worshipping a sea monster, and the possible end of the world, right? What about Griffin’s parents coming to visit with a surprise and the two of them have to pretend they are merely friends? It is worse because it will put Whyborne back into his pessimistic habits. His mind will weaken and weird thoughts will crawl in there. There’s nothing worse than a weak mind when there’s the menace of the evil rising!

“I wish to be with you until the breath leaves my body, until the last stars burn out, and the earth falls into the dying sun.”

There was so much love in this book besides the main evil plot: that’s a mystery you have to read or else it will spoil the fun. Griffin and Whyborne has come to a turning point in their relationship and maybe things are going to get better or they may easily get worse. Whyborne loves Griffin so much he doesn’t want him to suffer even if avoiding the pain will put him into a pit of despair. He’d sacrifice his own happiness to see the man he loves be his very best. I was heartbroken at Whyborne’s thoughts because he wasn’t being selfish; he was being realistic in a world that considers him a criminal only because he loves a man. Living hidden from society is taking its toll on them but love wins, right? I sure hope it’ll be the case until the very last book.

“You’re really choosing him over your family?”
“Whyborne is my family.”

I love how short these books are and how fast I can read them without putting them down. I have to pace myself, though. I don’t want to get to the last one published and have to wait who the hell knows how long for the next one. I can be very patient, but sometimes I’m not.

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[ARC] An Unseen Attraction by K.J. Charles

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4stars

Title: An Unseen Attraction
Author: K.J. Charles
Good things about this book: It takes place in Victorian England.
Bad things about this book: I wanted more mystery!!
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you already liked the author then it’s a must.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

[ARC received via Netgalley]

Victorian England, ugly weather, two men falling in love, rude family members, a mystery, and a murder. I want to say I loved everything about this book because I’ve read the Magpie series and loved it with all my heart, but this book lack a bit of everything. It was enjoyable and, even if I wanted to give it 3 stars, I’m rounding it up to 4 because I just love how this author writes.

While Lord Crane and Stephen of the Magpies series were excellent even when they were annoying, I found Clem annoying even in non-annoying situations. I wanted to like the guy, flaws and everything, but I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have a problem with his flaws. I hated how blind he was when it came to one very important thing. When showed clear evidence of something very wrong, he got angry and decided it couldn’t be true because he knew best. He didn’t give the situation the benefit of the doubt and his excuses for that were quite childish. I understand loyalty and family, but if someone is showing me the wrongdoings of a person I know, it is important to have a little bit of doubt because nobody is perfect. If you are positive it can’t be true, then investigate and try seeing all points of views. Clem wasn’t my favorite person in this book.

On the other hand, Rowley Green, the preserver and lodger of the lodging house Clem runs, is a beautiful human being and deserves all the nice things in the world. He has a creepy job, there’s no doubt in that, but nobody can deny how talented he is in what he does. The creations in his shop are magical and it’s clear, seeing them, that he loves his job. He has found a good friend in Clem when he first moved in the lodging house and he knows what he feels for the other man is more than friendship. He drowns in Clem’s eyes and sees the beauty in a man who cannot see it for himself. The way he thinks of Clem is pure and beautiful. Rowley is a character that I want to know more about. He is the other reason I’m giving this book half a star more than it deserved in my opinion.

While these two men try to have romantic and sexy encounters, a lodger is murdered and left in front of the house. This event starts a chain reaction that will inevitably get the two men to question the reality they live in and believed in up to that day. Rowley will face his past ghosts and Clem will need to let go of an image he has in mind that it’s clouding his judgement. The twists weren’t really twists but they kept the story interesting. While I think the mystery was pretty important, I think it was the romance the main theme of the book. They both are trying to start something and they put their bodies and souls in each other’s hands. We see how Clem starts being a goofball and then becomes a master in the bedroom, and we see how Rowley embraces his kinks and let go of a few inhibitions.

This series has potential and I’m very curious to see what the sequels are going to offer. I truly want to see more of Clem and Rowley together; that’s for sure!

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[ARC] The Search for Aveline by Stephanie Rabig & Angie Bee

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3stars

Title: The Search for Aveline
Author: Stephanie Rabig & Angie Bee
Good things about this book: It’s easy to read and has a little bit of everything.
Bad things about this book: It doesn’t follows its plot very much.
Do I recommend it? Yes, because I think the following books are going to get interesting.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

[ARC received via Netgalley]

I don’t know where to start because I’m a little bit confused. I liked this book, I really did, but it felt like a “get to know the characters” because the plot was often forgotten. There aren’t twists or unnecessary drama, the characters are introduced through flashbacks and sometimes there are time jumps. It takes only a moment at the beginning of the chapter to understand where and when you are so that you can appreciate the story that’s being told.

The book is called The Search for Aveline but the search is not at the center of the story. Who is Aveline and why is the captain of The Sappho looking for her? The explanation is not immediate but, again, this part of the plot, the part I thought was the main one, was left on the side. The summary made me thought there were going to be fights with their enemies and, besides a few encounters, there wasn’t really much action.

Captain Harriet “Harry” Roberts of The Sappho is a pirate. Her crew is mostly women saved from ugly situations or just people who wanted to get away. Being a large group of characters they are diverse, have different sexual orientations and they have different beliefs. These characters are introduced little by little through flashbacks. There are really a lot of people you need to know and each one of them is special in their own way.

Sometimes my favorite was Harry, then they stayed someplace for a couple nights and my favorite became Katherine, then they came back to the island where they have their base and my favorite was Kaimana the merman. They are all so loveable that it’s really hard to have a favorite. I don’t have it! The nice thing about this world is that, not only there are mermaids and mermen, but there are also Fae people, sharkmaids, sirens and intelligent lizards.

The building of the world is really nice. Forgetting a little bit about the main plot, you become part of The Sappho’s crew; you sail the oceans with them, get to know each character, you witness lots of steamy encounters (STEAMY!!) and one page at a time you become one of them. I liked that about the book and I feel that the story was like an introduction of all the characters we are going to see in the next book/s of the series. Maybe we are finally going to see some action. Not deaths, please, don’t let them die!!

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History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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5stars

History remains with the people who will appreciate it most.

Title: History Is All You Left Me
Author: Adam Silvera
Good things about this book: NYC, relatable and diverse characters.
Bad things about this book: I really don’t know, I found it balanced and perfect.
Do I recommend it? Yes, yes and yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“One day, Batman is going to take off his mask and, boom, it’ll be me.”

This book left me with so many emotions but above all it left me with reminders of how strong human beings can be when they have to face something hard like losing your first love. The story takes place mainly in New York City and, even with all the descriptions of the freezing weather, it makes the story feels magical. Fun fact: at some point in the book they tell how cold was the weather at the beginning of 2015 and I was in New York at that time with my sister and it was unbelievably cold!! It was fun sharing that unpleasant feeling with the characters.

People are complicated puzzles, always trying to piece together a complete picture, but sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’re left unfinished.

I really don’t want to tell you much about the story because I think what the summary says is the only thing you should know to experience every single chapter. There are History chapters in which Griffin tells the story of his relationship with Theo, his first boyfriend, from the beginning. The history chapters at the beginning are fun and adorable since they also have their best friend Wade that I liked a lot, then they became hard to read without crying a little bit because of so many things.

“Come on, be a bro that helps his other bros buy condoms.”

The Today chapters were hard as hell to read. I have cried and cried, smiled a bit, then cried a little bit more. Theo accidentally drowned while at the beach in Santa Monica with his new boyfriend Jackson. It broke everyone. Griffin is in pieces and doesn’t think he will ever be okay. He “speaks” to Theo telling their History together and trying to understand his history from when they weren’t together anymore. He is trying to get to know the new Theo even if it’s going to break him even more than he is already.

I have all this history with you, Theo, but he has pieces of your puzzle that would destroy me if I ever had to put them together, and yet I still want them.

I loved how the chapters went by smoothly and everything was in the right place. I was a little afraid of the pace at first because going back and forth seemed confusing but it worked really well. I have to say that every time I read the words “Today” at the beginning of the chapter my heart felt heavy because I knew how sad it was going to be and indeed it was. Suffering was beginning to look normal so that anything a little nice was a win. How much I suffered. It isn’t really the saddest story I have read but you start to get to know the characters and you follow them on their everyday lives so their sadness becomes your sadness, their happiness becomes your happiness.

I did criticize Griffin for a few of his poor choices. I knew he was going to learn from his mistakes but seeing how he was underestimating his issues I was really afraid of things going out of control. If he kept doing that it was going to be really hard to go back and get a grip of his life. I loved Griffin, flaws and everything. He is a lovely boy and when he loves he gives his all.

I should really stop blaming everyone and certain events for what’s happening to me. I’m the worst thing that’s ever happened to myself.

I am glad because Griffin was surrounded by very nice parents and a friend, Wade, who was more than the third wheel of their weird trio. I am also glad because he got to know Jackson, Theo’s boyfriend at the time of his death, and could share his grief with the only other boy who truly loved Theo. Jackson is a character you may want to hate but then you don’t because you understand how much he loved Theo and how he was only afraid of losing him to Griffin and their strong first love.

There’s nothing wrong with someone’s saving my life, I’ve realized, especially when I can’t trust myself to get the job done right. People need people. That’s that.

I knew this book was going to be great and painful to read because of the author, the magnificent and really adorable, Adam Silvera. I read his book More Happy than Not without even knowing what was it about and it broke my heart. I knew it had lgbtqi characters and representation is very important so that was the main reason I read it in the first place. Books about characters not really defined by their sexualities that narrate their everyday lives and adventures are books I love to find and read.

Long story short, this book is a book that has to be read. It has various elements that can and will get to you, that you understand, that in some way you have come around some time during your life.
I will keep this story in my heart for a very long time, that’s for sure.

I feel like a rock being skipped through the ocean— pain, relief, pain again, relief again, eventually destined to sink.

I’m ready for your next book, Mr. Silvera!!

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Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry

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Adulting is hard.
The struggle is real.

Title: Adulting 101
Author: Lisa Henry
Why you should read this book: Because who isn’t afraid about the mysterious future?

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Lately (besides that one heavy book that ruined many sunny days) I’ve been reading really nice books. I’ve been very satisfied with my choices. Maybe some are not for everyone but I know what I like and the choices I made were very fitting.
This ebook, read in just a few hours, was made of sunshine and pizza. Who doesn’t like the sun and pizza? No, I don’t want to talk about those 2 years I was certain I hated pizza and didn’t eat it. Who was that girl? Not me!

Nick and Jai are the main characters even if I think we get to know a little bit more Nick’s side of the story that Jai’s.

Wow. Not only are newspapers still a thing, but so is The Family Circus, huh? Nick then spends ten minutes googling the history of The Family Circus, gets sidetracked by a few random links, and then it’s suddenly two hours later and he’s been sucked down a bishounen rabbit hole on Tumblr.
It happens.
It happens a lot, actually.

Nick is 18 years old and just graduated. He is horny as hell and determined to deal with it, if possible with Jai, tall, hot and perfect Jai! Responsibilities aren’t his things and he is not sure if he wants to go to college but doesn’t know what he wants to do if he doesn’t go. It’s a dilemma. Lots of people struggle with decisions about what do you want to do in the future, what are you doing with your life. These kind of super delightful questions people just LOVE to ask. No pressure. Just the rest of your life.

“Jai Hazenbrook is not just some guy, Dev,” Nick tells him haughtily. “Jai Hazenbrook is a glorious, beautiful, dangerous creature who makes Legolas look kind of plain.”

Jai is 25 years old and he travels. He goes all around the world with a backpack and little planning and he explores. He goes back home for the summer so that he can work, earn money and go away again. That’s why he is in town that summer he meets a very straightforward kid called Nick who offers to blow him at work. Well, that’s not an offer that comes out very often, at least not when you’re working in constructions. Nick intrigues him with his blabbering and nerdiness and his fixation with his butt.

Then he shoves his jeans down, and Nick is momentarily deafened by an angelic choir.

You need to know that Nick has a notebook full of poetry about Jai’s ass. Haikus, too. Nick is a delightful person and I share his love for a very nice butt. Love butts, world. Gotta love ‘em.

Also also, it’s totally not a surprise that the closest thing he’s ever had to a religious experience involves Jai Hazenbrook taking his shirt off.

Do you know what I love about nice stories with nice main characters? Great side characters! Here we has Devon, Nick’s BFF. Their bromance is perfection, their love epic, their cuddles heavenly. I just love when a friendship is this pure and you feel the love without the misunderstandings and one side loves. Yeah, there was that one episode, that one week in which Devon thought he was maybe gay, but that happens. You question yourself and you receive an answer. He wasn’t gay and their friendship is the best. They sleep all tangled up together, it’s lovely.

There was also lots of pizza. I think I need to taste for the first time a meatlovers pizza. I don’t know what that is but if it’s pizza with meat stuff on top I can’t think of a reason why I wouldn’t love it.

He’s never told them that sometimes he’s not just dodging his responsibilities because he’s lazy and forgetful. Sometimes he lies awake all night thinking about them, until they grow so large in his mind that he just . . . can’t.

Back on track. The book is about growing up. Growing up is hard and sometimes I think it’s something that never ends. I know that I suck at “adulting” and it’s ok because not everyone follows the same path, not everyone has everything figured out at 18, or 25, or 30, or 40! The beauty of that it’s that the world offers a lot of opportunities no mater your age and if you are brave enough there’s no limit to what you can try doing. Of course you can’t be a mathematician if you don’t understand numbers. I’m talking about things within your reach. I would’ve loved being an engineer in robotics but who am I kidding? I hate studying!

Nick leans close and repays him for the life-changing sex by introducing him to the brilliance that is Attack on Titan.

If you love The Lord of the Rings, Attack on Titan, random movies, blabbering boys, bromance, romance and butts, then you will love Nick and you will certainly love this book.

Do I recommend it? Yes, you can read it all in a day.
Rate: 4/5

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How To Be A Normal Person by T.J. Klune

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He looked ridiculous. And like the greatest thing Gus had ever seen.

Title: How To Be A Normal Person
Author: T.J. Klune
Why you should read this book: Because everyone needs to meet Gustavo!

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“Gustavo,” Bertha greeted, holding the door open for the others. “I’m glad you’re alive today.”
“That’s debatable,” Gus said. “Every moment we live is another moment we’re already dying.”

Mr. Klune did it again. All the stars from me. My stomach is in pain because I laughed so much. Second book I’ve read and I can confirm I am in love with his writing style and I will recommend all his books to the (few) people I know and love. I won’t be recommending it to the people I hate, they don’t deserve these jewels. His books reviews will be always full of quotes because these quotes are gold!

“I smiled,” Gus insisted. “In the mirror this morning. It was awkward and I regret it ever happened.”

Meet Gus; full name Gustavo Tiberius. He is peculiar. He thinks of himself as abnormal. In my opinion he is nothing but a little bit peculiar and plenty interesting. I would love to be his friend and spend time with him, scowls and gnarls and everything. He hates with a passion Michael Bay and everything he does! Gus is the not-technological twin of Sheldon Cooper. They share many peculiarities but Gus is his own person and he is so special I want to instagram pictures of him only to see him getting annoyed and maybe blush a little bit. He doesn’t have the Internet, he owns a Nokia flip phone, he wears mostly black, runs a video rental store and frowns a lot. Lovely, isn’t he? I know I love him!

Its b4 9. I haz rspct 4u. Trust4life bcuz YOLO. xx =)

Meet Casey; full name Casey Richards. Casey is an asexual Californian stoner hipster (is that the correct order? Oh well) who so happened to moved in with his aunt Lottie in the same tiny town Gus lives. He thinks Gus is a wonderful human being. Casey is a writer of vampire/werewolves dystopian young adult books and loves to instagram everything. His hashtags are hilarious. He is a ray of sunshine that will break Gustavo’s routine and make everything better. Casey is everything Gus hates (read: a hipster from California) but he will be exactly what Gus needs to move on from his loneliness.

“I am not hyperventilating. I’m breathing heavily and regretting all my life’s choices.”

This is a story about two very different people who start out as friends, change for the best and they fall in love. There aren’t steamy parts because Casey isn’t interested in sex and that’s ok. He had a hard time figuring out who he was and now that that particular part of his life is clear, he is at peace. He loves hugging and is an amazing hugger. Aw, hugs are great! He loves to get high and smokes not only because of his glaucoma, or as he calls it, his stigmata, and when he is nervous but also because he enjoys it a lot.

Gus looked into his closet and groaned. “I’m a Gothic Repressed Suburban White Kid.”

Gus knows how special Casey is and doesn’t want to be abnormal because Casey deserves someone normal so, what to do? He gets the Internet and makes some weird researches. The websites he finds, oh my goodness. He finds tumblr, I can only imagine what he saw, and he will be scarred for life. The way Gus changes his appearance and the way he talks is hilarious because he takes everything he reads seriously and that results in some very awkward situations. And Gus in flip flops and hawaiian shirts. Thanks the heavens Casey finds Gus so charming everything he says make him smile, even the most absurd and random stuff. And there are a lot!

“I look like a gay Mormon missionary,” he lamented in the mirror. “Pardon me, have you heard the word of the Lord? It’s fabulous!” He scowled at his reflection.

I love that this book doesn’t have real sad parts or the usual part in movies in which the protagonists are apart from each other and they look sadly from their house’s window and mop. This is a happy book and it will make you smile. The main characters are charming, the side characters are hilarious and they complete the story and make it perfect.

“The second was Cape Fear with Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum. The sexual chemistry between them was off the charts.”
“The sexual what now?” Gus choked out. “He was trying to kill him.”
“Exactly.”

So what exactly are the We Three Queens for each other? Friends? Sisters? Lesbians in a polyamorous relationship? What are they? I need to know but I am happy we never get that answer. But then again, I am so curious! I am going to demand a short story about them, some sort of spin off!

“What do you call it when Batman skips church?”
“I’m sure I have no idea.”
“Christian Bale.”

So many things that need to be said but I can’t tell you the whole book. I want to, trust me, but I can’t. I can tell you the telephone conversations between Gus and the girl from the Internet company are one of a kind and you will replay them in your head for comic relief whenever you’re feeling down, but maybe you won’t believe me. So, read the book. It has my approval and that, for your information, is one hell of a compliment!

People said he should smile more. He generally avoided those people.

Yeah, me too, Gus. Me, too!

Do I recommend it? Yes, 500% yes.
Rate: 5/5

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Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

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“That’s not the spirit of the law, Emma. Remember? The Law is hard, but it is the Law.”
“I thought it was ‘the Law is annoying, but it is also flexible.”

Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Why you should read this book: Because it will take you again the world of Shadowhunters and Downwolders.

Summary from Goodreads:

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

“Lex malla, lex nulla. A bad law is no law.”

So, I really liked this book but not a 5 stars like, more like a 4- stars like. I enjoyed the story and the characters are great, every one of them with their own personality and charisma. What I didn’t enjoy much was the length of the book, maybe it was a little too much, maybe there were a little too many descriptions that could’ve been avoided. Besides that, I enjoyed the mystery, the drama, the secrets, the lies, the modernity in a world without it, the laughs, the boys, the girls, the pizza, and the sass.

“The whale without Ahab is just a whale. A whale with no problems. A stress-free whale.”

I didn’t like very much the love stories. Maybe only one but then of course it was ruined, RUINED, I saw a lot of potential in it and it was ripped away from me a little too soon. I hope we are going to see more of it in the second book because I need it.

“Faeries are dramatic. It’s what we do.”

When I read Emma and Julian were parabatai I told myself BUT OF COURSE, they will fall in love, their love will be forbidden, drama here, drama there, misunderstandings everywhere. Well, the usual, right? I wasn’t hopeful, I started the book already prepared for what it indeed delivered.

“Emma,” said Cameron warningly. “The Clave won’t like it.”
The Clave was the Shadowhunter government. In Kit’s experience, they didn’t like anything.”

The Blackthorns were really nice to read about. The character I loved the most in this book was Ty, Tiberius Blackthorn. I thought he was a little bit like myself, different from the other members of the family, weirdly excited about random stuff, doesn’t show much affection but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love everyone around him. He shows he cares differently and his personality is adorable. I want to read more about him.

“Why are you wearing a T-shirt under your other T-shirt?” Livvy asked.
“In case one of them is stolen,” Marked said, as it were entirely normal.”

I, of course loved Mark. Who can resist a half faerie half nephilim guy with pointed ears who speaks lie he came right from an old book? Lovely beyond compare. Yeah, he starts changing the way he speaks the more he stays among shadowhunters but nontheless he is a fascinating character and I loved almost everything about him. He annoyed me a little bit the last chapters of the book because, come on, you overreated, man-elf, that’s not nice!

“This cat is looking at me with judgment.”“He’s not,” said Jules. “That’s just his face.”“You look at me the same way,” Mark said, glancing at Julian. “Judgy face.”

I liked that Julian wasn’t like Jace, all emo about life. He isn’t exactly a ray of shunshine but he is adorable and he is trying his best, he loves too much and that’s a problem and it’s going to be a huge problem in the next book, I’m sure of that. Loving too much is painful and can break you. Oh, it is going to break him, and us. Oh yeah, it is going to happen.

“These pictures are my heart. And if my heart was a canvas, every square inch of it would be painted over with you.”

The mystery. Who is the murder? What is going on in LA? I had a couple of suspects in the beginning, they weren’t the murders, I misjudged them and I’m sorry of that. The murder wasn’t 100% a surprise buti t was hidden quite well. If they didn’t guessed it and I didn’t guessed it then I can say that I am as smart as at least 8 shadowhunters. I like that.

“No one is ever the villain of their own story.”

I may be one of the few that liked how the book ended. I saw the point in everything that happened. I think that was a very wise move because it involved the life of another human being. It’s a not a silly thing, it’s not a decision made by a confused teenager who doesn’t know best. The decision was thought deeply and I think it was the only way to go. Lies are bad but in this case, I cannot say it isn’t for the best.

Well, it’s not that I can’t really wait for the sequel but I’m very curious. I just hope it’s not going to be an over 700 pages book, I will settle for 580, 590 tops.

Do I recommend it? Of course, if you missed Shadowhunters you really should read this.
Rate: 4/5

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Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson ☆

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“In the back of my head, in some distant unaffected place, I wonder why it is that I like looking at this guy so much. The simple act of directing your eyes at somebody else shouldn’t be all-consuming, should it? That seems weird. Impractical.”

Title: Know Not Why
Author: Hannah Johnson
Why you should read this book: Because it is one of the funniest and sweetest book I have read in a while.

Summary from Goodreads:

Howie gets a job at Artie Kraft’s Arts ‘N Crafts hoping to score with his lady coworkers. After all, girls love a sensitive guy, and what’s more sensitive than dedicating your life to selling yarn and … stuff? (Okay, so maybe it’d be a good idea to actually learn what one sells at an arts ‘n crafts store.) But things don’t go exactly according to plan. Coworker #1 is Cora: tiny, much-pierced, and way too fierce to screw with in any sense. Coworker #2 is Kristy: blonde, bubbly, unattainable perfection. And Coworker #3 is, well, Arthur. It goes without saying that he’s not an option. Right?
… Right?
Yeah, Howie’s life just got straight up confusing.
Pun intended.

“You know, I don’t think it’s worth it to deny yourself happiness just so you can stay faithful to the person you think you’ve become.”

I couldn’t put it down, I loved this book so much, I want to recommend it to the world but then I get a little territorial and I want to keep it to myself forever. Leave me alone with my feelings, ok?

This is not mainly a romance lgbtq m/m book. This book is about self-realization, about how to come to terms with what you are, with understanding what makes you happy and go forward head high. I love that there’s a little bit of everything, not much drama, not much tears, pure love, joy and happiness. You know what I also loved about this book? That the characters weren’t too young. Arthur is 26 years old while Howie is 22. Arthur is closer to my age and that makes me a little happy.

“Oh, Artie. You’re handkerchiefing me?”
“It’s a Kleenex,” he protests.
“Still.” I grin at him. “You classy gent.”

Howie is the main character of this book, he is 22 years old, goes to community college, english major, lives at home with her mother, has a twin brother who is much more everything than he is. He has 2 best friends and a mission to get laid soon. What can he do to get that result? He decided to get a job at a local arts and crafts shop where he is sure cute girls work. He has no idea what is really going to happen once he starts working there, it will be an enlightening experience that will change his life forever, for the best. Oh boy, if you knew, if you knew!

“Please, boytoy mine. I live large. And fast. Always.”

Howie is seriously hilarious, he invents and uses complex words, his inner monologues about random stuff are the best, he is constantly making me laugh like there’s no tomorrow. He starts working in the arts and crafts shop only to get a girl. He has no idea who he is going to get: our dear, fabulous, smirk-enthusiast Arthur Kraft Jr., the boss and a few years older than Howie. Something that I don’t want to reveal happens and Howie is confused. He has never had luck with girls, he thought there was something wrong with him but now he is thinking that maybe he has always being in denial about his sexuality and now he wants to find out what he feels.

“He gives me a slight smile. I simultaneously want to, like, build shrines to it and punch it off his face. It’s complicated.”

I loved that the road for this discovery isn’t “traumatic”, he understands there is nothing to do about how he feels about Arthur, he likes him a lot so they start dating without further ado. Their story is often on the background because that’s not what the story is about but their relationship is adorable, simple and I’m sure it will go on and on forever, happily ever after. Howie has to deal with telling the people he knows about this epiphany about himself. He doesn’t want to ruin what he has with his friends, his mother and his brother even if he lives elsewhere and they barely talk.

This is what he thinks about Arthur after he told him he was having corndogs for breakfast:
But I’ve got a crazy old bastard trying to force-feed me citrus in the name of my own health, and that? That’s not something I’d trade.

From reading the book I know for sure that his friends, Amber and Mitch, are going to be ok with it but he is just not ready to face them with this news. He wants to have two lives, the one he already have with his friends and mom believing he’s straight and horny about girls, and the other life in the shop with his new friends Kristy and Cora and his handsome boyfriend Arthur. He will lie a lot, those lies will be revealed, tears will be shed, hugs will be given, punch will be thrown, but things will untangle smoothly and that’s exactly what I wanted in a story. Pure happiness, little to no drama!

“You look like you’re about to start playing the world’s saddest song on its tiniest little violin,” Arthur informs me. “And then hug a kitten, and paint a rainbow, and watch Titanic whilst weeping profusely.”

Arthur is the best, I loved him from the very beginning, so composed and a little bit of a nerd. He and Howie are opposites and that makes them special together. Howie drinks coffee with 5 bags of sugar, Arthur drinks only tea, Howie listens to popular music, Arthur listens only to classical music and plays the piano, Howie eats unhealthy fast food, Arthur cooks his own healthy meals. Arthur is very patient and that’s what Howie needed during this period of realization. Those two are meant for each other.

“It’s an upholstered footstool–”
“A footstool? You paid five hundred bucks for a stool…for feet?”
“It was a very good deal. It’s antique–”
“You really are gay, aren’t you?”
“Really? This is what confirms it? Not all the sex that I could have sworn you were present for, but a piece of furniture–”

This is Arthur at McDonald’s for the very first and probable the last time and if you don’t think this is adorable then you are wrong and you can get out:
Arthur stares at the menu the way a time-traveling seventeenth century Puritan would watch a Lady Gaga music video. *I love you, Arthur*

Howie teasing Arthur gives me life and it’s honestly one of the best things about this book. I won’t deny nor confirm that will read this again sooner than later.

“You didn’t like Mamma Mia?” I ask, feeling like I just got kicked.
“I’m not even really sure what it is,” Arthur replies, frowning thoughtfully.
Useless bastard.

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

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How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis

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“I am one man with a laptop. When I give the world my characters, it’s because I don’t want to keep them for myself. You don’t like what I made them do? Fucking tell me I’m wrong! Rewrite the story. Throw in a new plot twist. Make up your own ending.”

Title: How to Repair a Mechanical Heart
Author: J.C. Lillis
Why you should read this book: Because it is sweet and it makes you frustrated, in a good way, though.

Summary from Goodreads:

Eighteen-year-old Castaway Planet fans Brandon and Abel hate bad fan fiction—especially when it pairs their number-one TV crushes of all time, dashing space captain Cadmus and dapper android Sim. As co-runners of the Internet’s third most popular Castaway Planet vlog, they love to spar with the “Cadsim” fangirls who think Cadmus will melt Sim’s mechanical heart by the Season 5 finale. This summer, Brandon and Abel have a mission: hit the road in an RV to follow the traveling Castaway Planet convention, interview the actors and showrunner, and uncover proof that a legit Cadsim romance will NEVER, EVER HAPPEN.

A Brandon and Abel romance: also not happening. Brandon’s sick of his struggle to make “gay and Catholic” compute, so it’s safer to love a TV android. Plus Abel’s got a hot new boyfriend with a phoenix tattoo, and how can Brandon compete with that? But when mysterious messages about them start popping up in the fan community, they make a shocking discovery that slowly forces their real feelings to the surface. Before they get to the last Castaway Planet convention, Brandon’s going to find out the truth: can a mechanical heart be reprogrammed, or will his first shot at love be a full system failure?

“You can’t stay fucked up forever, can you? You need to start putting yourself out there and getting humiliated like the rest of us. Only then will you be a Real Boy”

Now, who will repair MY mechanical heart?? This was brilliant, heartwarming, frustrating, just perfect.

“I wind up my mechanical heart and open his door.”

Brandon is hunted by Father Mike’s words about how to be a good christian, how loving boys instead of girls is not what God wants. Brandon is torn between what he wants and what he needs to do in order to make his parents happy. Brandon can’t change who he is so he kind of decided he isn’t going to love and he prefers to turn himself into an android and reprogrammed himself to not feel, not think, not live.

Abel is his friend and together they run a vlog about their favorite sci-fi tv show Castaway Planet. They have each a crush on the main characters, Abel loves Captain Cadmus and Brandon loves his android friend, Sim. What they don’t love? Cadsim shippers. They are positive a romance between the two of them is impossibile but it seems that after a famous “cave scene” the fangirls are taking this ship to another level and they can’t take it anymore.

“I’ve never seen a naked torso that wasn’t on a cross, at least not so close up. I don’t know where to look. His belly button. Belly button. Look at the belly button. 

So what to do? Simple, Abel, Brandon and Brandon’s best friend Bec decided to follow the Castaway Planet convention tour asking the infamous “did they do it or didn’t they?” to the actors and show runners. They made a bet with the Cadsim shippers: if the answer is NO, the shippers will have to put a disclaimer before every fanfic saying the ship is not canon, and if the answer is YES, Abel and Brandon will have to reenact a scene of one of their fanfics, a steamy one if possible. This is going to be interesting.

What they don’t know is that along the way they will not only have the answer to that infamous question but they will learn more about themselves and about a certain hater that reveals itself to be totally different than they believed. Who would’ve thought?? I didn’t expect that to happen and it had me laughing so hard my face paralyzed in a weird grin that may or may have not scared a few people.

“JESUS HORATIO CHRIST ON A MOTORBIKE WITH A DIME-STORE UKULELE AND A RASPBERRY BERET, CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS UNBEARABLE WONDERFUL MADNESS????”

Abel is a silver-haired loud and funny boy, he says what he thinks but he is very fragile and it’s scared of being hurt. He is not afraid to cry and show his emotions. I love that about him, he may have been a little bit rushed in a decision but I understood why he did it, you could feel his pain, the fact that he wanted to avoid being heartbroken all over again. Brandon is trying to live his life but he feels something for Abel, something he can’t tell him, not only because of Father Mike’s “Put on the brakes” words but also because Abel has a boyfriend (with a chicken tattoo…sorry, phoenix) at the moment and he thinks he will never be interested in him. Oh boy, were you wrong, did you see what I see? How he looked at you? Are you blind? Abel is such a sweet guy, I love him!

“You want a med student with perfect hair and a wine cellar. ‘Ooh, look at us! We’re pre-engaged! He gave me his promise ring and someday we’ll get married and adopt an orphan from Zimbabwe and name him Aiden!”

Romance wasn’t really the main theme of the book (even if it was extremely important to the development of both the main characters), it was more about Brandon finding the strength to be who he is without guilt, without the little voices in his head telling him what to do. He has to think for himself, embrace the difficulties along the way and be honest with the one person he can be himself with. His parents were harsh, he came out, they forced, brainwashed him, into thinking it wasn’t what God wanted, that he could change the way he felt because God wanted him differently. They didn’t put themselves in his shoes, they didn’t see how much they were damaging him inside. He is conflicted, he doesn’t want God to hate him but he also doesn’t want to change who he is, he can’t. Can you believe her mom changed channels because the show was showing a half naked man?? And his father panicking when the remote control broke so the tv stop while it was showing Dancing with the Stars? What’s wrong with people??? This makes me so mad, like really mad! I have expressed my feelings about this in other books reviews with similar themes and no matter how much I read about it, it still makes me feel as mad as the first time.

 Status: Naked. On bed. With boy. Systems overheating. Sudden doubts multiplying. Meltdown imminent. 

Your son likes boys, so what? Is he any different from what he was before? Is he a criminal? Is he going around naked singing in the rain? No, he is exactly what he was before, nothing changed, they only thing that “changed” is that now you know another think about your son, a thing that was always there but you didn’t know about. I really don’t get it, for me it’s really simple, there is nothing to accept, nothing to tolerate, nothing to hide from people because you are afraid to be judged. It’s love pure and simple, love with obstacles, love with doubts, love with new discoveries and adventures. Love is love, no matter who is experiencing it.
The ending was PERFECT even if I wanted to know more. Abel and Brandon, Bec and the irony of her convention conquest, and the famous Church of Abandon will be missed. The hilarious fangirls will be missed, their posts OMG, that is exactly what is going on in my head when I read something about one of my million ships! They are one of us! “Cheers. Decibel level: new pope at balcony.”

“No one told me what doubt was like. To know how much I still don’t know.”

Do I recommend it? Of course, 500% yes, I still feel the need to break something.
Rate: 5/5

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Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

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“Straight people have it so much easier. They don’t understand. They can’t. There’s no such thing as openly straight.”

Title: Openly Straight
Author: Bill Konigsberg
Why you should read this book: Because this is an important book about labels and how they affect our lives every single day.

Rafe is a writer, he likes sports and is a good son and friend. He is also gay and his coming out put this huge label on him and all the other things he were seemed to disappear. As much as he loved being around people who love him, he wants to have a change to being just Rafe, just a boy with interests and willing to make new friends. He decided to transfer to an all-boys school far from his home in Colorado and being openly straight. He doesn’t want to go back in the closet, he just doesn’t want people to define who he is only based on his sexual preferences. He knows that by not saying he is gay he will be able to make friends and do what he loves without interferences. He didn’t know he was going to fall in love with his new straight best friend, Ben. That little lie is going to bring more damage that any other things that had happened in Rafe’s life so far.

“He was staring into my eyes, and I felt that shivery thing that happens when you look in someone’s eyes and you get goose bumps because you’re gaining access.”

First of all, loved the cover and the title! Before reading the summary I wanted to have it because I loved how it looked so much!
This book is beautiful, it looks simple but it has so many deep things in it. Rafe is openly gay, his family supports him, his best friend, too. Everyone seems ok with it but he became the “gay kid”, he wasn’t Rafe anymore. He wanted to start over but of course at first it was easy but then the lies started to grow and everything looked wrong.
Rafe didn’t know he was going to fall in love with his new best friend, Ben, a straight jock with a great body and personality. (Crying Ben made my heart hurt a lot).

“You can be anything you want, but when you go against who you are inside, it doesn’t feel good.”

Rafe had reasonable reasons to hide this huge part of himself but he had to know that he couldn’t lie for two whole years. It was an impossible task. Of course boys will ask him about girls, girlfriends, experiences, past etc. He only wanted to omit one truth but by doing that all those questions had lies for answers. How are you suppose to be honest with your new friends if you couldn’t tell them when you were hurting because you had feelings for someone? Friends should support you, help you with heartbreaks but if they don’t know what you feel and who do you have those feelings for, then it’s not real friendship.

“Then I wondered if that was what this was, like a Brokeback Mountain thing. We’d sleep in the same bed for a year, and finally we’d do it, but we’d never talk about it, ever, and then Ben would get married and I’d be killed in Texas.
Probably not, but you can never be too careful with these things.”

I just knew things with Ben weren’t going to go smoothly, I was ready to have my heart broken. Ben has all the rights to be angry, he is confused, he is starting to understand how he feels about everything that is happening in his life. He had two important people in his life, one dead and one that couldn’t help him now because he needs to help himself first. I wanted the ending to be a little different, I wanted to be given more details, more of everything. We need to wait for the second book, I guess.

“The world needs people who are more comfortable standing still. We keep the earth on it axis when everybody else is bouncing around.”

Rafe’s parents are weird but great. I think that is a nice combination. They love their son not matter what he does, they support him. When he came out they were happy, his mom listened to everything he had experienced with boys and if he was hurting about something, she was always there. They were there also when he told them about the reason why he went to the all-boys school. They weren’t happy but if that was what he needed to do then they were ok with it. How cool are they?

Can we talk a little bit about Albie and Toby??? We all need them in our lives, random, different and sincere! Albie and his knowledge about survival. Toby and his speeches that made me go “eh?” in a good way. How much they made me laugh!

Special mention to Rafe’s teacher, very important to have someone like him around to help us being honest with ourselves!

“It’s hard to be different,” Scarborough said. “And perhaps the best answer is not to tolerate differences, not even to accept them. But to celebrate them. Maybe then those who are different would feel more loved, and less, well, tolerated.”

Do I recommend it? Yes, it will make you a little bit mad but then again it will you feel warm inside.
Rate: 5/5

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