[ARC] The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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5stars

Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Good things about this book: It all kinds of cute and funny with a very nice main character.
Bad things about this book: I can’t think of anything, with its flaws it’s still a very cute book!!
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you liked Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda then you will like this as well, no doubt.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

[ARC received via Netgalley]

Plenty adorable, a tad frustrating, highly relatable. That’s it. That’s the book for me. I enjoyed it a lot and I enjoyed also the fact that I got to read it before lots of people; it made me feel a little smug about it. Like “I know something you don’t know” kind of smug. It’s a great feeling! It made me feel special!

This book is about the search for romance from a girl, Molly, who thinks this kind of thing happens to other people, people with the right body and face, and not to fat people like her with lots of crushes and zero experience. Oh, the struggle! The frustration! All the time she was being pessimistic or only unnecessarily hard on herself I wanted to shake her a little bit. Girl, I get it. Our minds are our biggest enemies. We start thinking of the possibilities only to get crushed by the fear of not being enough, of thinking that, yeah of course he isn’t into me, how could he, with me looking the way I look. Losing before starting the race for something she wants with all her heart. A boyfriend. A crush reciprocated. The utopia of crushes. Love??? That’s the dream.

The journey to get there will be filled with obstacles, misunderstandings, wedding preparations, lots of blushing, insecurities, and unexpected changes. Molly’s growth as a person is moving; I rooted for her. I wanted to see her happy and if she thought having the hot boyfriend was what she needed, who was I to tell her she was facing her problems the wrong way? She needed to learn to look beyond what she thought the others might say or think, and start doing things for herself and for what she truly wanted to be a happier version of herself.

I love how Molly was a craft magician, going crazy looking for DIY ideas on pinterest for her moms’ wedding. I want to try making those cookie dough treats with ice cream: they sounded delicious. I think I will login again on my pinterest account: I have ideas!!

Being the nerdy person I love to be, I liked Reid, Molly’s co-worker, from the very first time he showed up. He loves Game of Thrones, Tolkien, World of Warcraft, and Queen Elizabeth the first. I have a crush on him because he is such an adorable human being, the type known as the “cinnamon roll too pure for the world”! You know a boy is a keeper when he wears with pride and joy a t-shirt about something he is passionate about. I find that extremely sexy.

Simon is there. This is not a drill, Simon, the Simon, that Simon, Oreo Simon, SIMON, is making a cameo through Abby, Molly’s cousin, who we already know. This made me smile so much, knowing he is okay and happy and still very geeky. The boy deserves the world. Now a re-read of the book is required!

A few of the things I loved about the book:
– Diversity → We get different ethnicities, different sexual orientations, different religions, and different body types: nothing forced, just exactly how the world is, in all its variety. Loved it!
– Struggle → Feeling unsure or self-conscious about how we are, how we look and how we behave it’s a daily feeling for some, a rarity for others, but it’s a feeling that’s somehow always there, lurking in the shadows. More often than I’d like in books the main character is flawlessly perfect or plain but in a way that the hottest of all the hot guys is attracted to her. Why? I usually sigh, think “of course”, and move on, feeling a tiny bit betrayed by it. No, it doesn’t give me hope, it portrays a needle in a haystack kind of situation; it makes me sigh which is not good.
– Siblings → As much as Molly’s search for a boyfriend might seem like the main theme of the book, I felt like the relationship between her and Cassie, her twin sister, was a pretty big deal. I truly loved how the interactions between them were shown, fights and everything.

I was sure I was going to like this book and I was also sure it was going to have a different kind of feeling from Simon’s book, which I adored. I haven’t been a teenager in a long time and I was a teenager in a different country, but still I related to Molly, to her everyday life and the struggles she was facing. Fat girls are like any other girl, only with more meat on their bones. Fat girls can wear whatever they feel comfortable enough to wear without people judging them and looking bad at them. Fat girls don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Fat girls are GIRLS. Why is it so hard to understand?

We are all different and I think that’s the most wonderful thing there is.

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Whatever.: or how junior year became totally f$@ked by S.J. Goslee

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4stars

Title: Whatever.: or how junior year became totally f$@ked
Author: S.J. Goslee
Good things about this book: The main character is adorable.
Bad things about this book: Unnecessary sexism, ugh!!
Do I recommend it? Yes, flaws aside it’s really cute.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“Lord knows why I find you attractive, Michael, when you generally smell like weed and broken hobo dreams, but I’ll give you five gold stars for your kissing technique.”

Mike is freaking out. The girl he thought was his girlfriend dumped him, he made out with a guy while drunk at a party and now he is analyzing every single not so very straight thought he’s had until that moment. Apparently it wasn’t a chaste kiss but a full make out session with lot of tongue and hands in special places. Mike is definitely different than he was before.

Mike is like lots of teenagers. He is in a band with his best friends, he smokes weed, is quite popular, has a nemesis and makes mistakes. He has an epiphany. What if what his ex girlfriend, Lisa, said it’s true and he really is into guys? What is he going to do now? He has to know for sure, not ignore this revelation because it’s his life and he has to live it being his true self.

“Do you not remember flirting with that guy at the Lot? Or the way you stare at Zack’s ass, like, all the time?”
“You lie, I do not.”

Well, it won’t be easy, that’s for sure! He makes some bad decisions. I kind of wanted to slap him a little bit for not doing what he was supposed to do, resulting in some people getting hurt because of him. One person in particular, one person I truly like. I, of course, wanted everything to go smoothly and, of course, it wasn’t like that. Still the story proceeded fast and, frustration feelings aside, it was a cute and fluffy story about a guy finding out the truth about himself and figuring out what to do with this new info. Will he get the boy he never thought could have feelings for him? Will his family and friends be cool about this new Mike?

“I’m thinking about bringing the fanny pack back,” he says.
“Of course you are.”

This book is short and it’s funny. There’s no denying that but it has flaws that I need to address, flaws that made me give this book less than I wanted to give it. The story for me, for my personal tastes, was a solid 5 stars but then I found quite a few episodes of sexism I didn’t like. Why the need to describe the blushing as something a virginal girl usually does? Why the need to associate feelings and the skip of a heartbeat because of happiness to feelings only a girl can have? Why is it viewed as a weakness or something to be embarrassed about being a girl? That’s not okay, not one bit and this has to stop.

Those frustrating parts aside, this little book was a nice surprise because it took a different kind of teenager from the ones I usually read and put him outside of his comfort zone without overdoing it. I also loved almost all the side characters. I loved how random they were; a weird assorted kind of gang. A good weird. If you feel like a light book with a nice ending then this is highly recommended. I’ve already re-read some passages because I found them really cute. That’s a good sign, right?

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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] Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk

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4stars

Title: Dating Ryan Alback
Author: J.E. Birk
Good things about this book: It’s cute, fun and easy to read.
Bad things about this book: It’s too short!!
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you need something light to read this is for you.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

[ARC received via Netgalley]

A teacher and an actor. A disastrous date. Kisses for days! Sexy times! The perfect combination for a few hours of cheesiness and giggling. Exactly what I needed.

From the cover I knew I was going to like this book. It looked so funny and refreshing it was impossible for it to be bad. I trust a good cover and when on it there is a picture of the characters it’s easier to imagine them during the story.

One thing: one of the characters is Mexican and he is described as having dark skin and curly hair. The guy has a specific description and I wonder why they didn’t choose a dark skinned latino guy for the cover. As a quite pale latina myself, I know we come in every color and shape but Jason wasn’t written like that. I don’t know the dynamics or the costs for models and cover designs but I don’t think it was going to be hard to find someone that matched the description. In my head I adapted his appearance and it was way better.

Let’s meet the boys. Men, they are grown up men but they are so cute and fluffy that I can’t help treating them as big babies. I don’t care if it’s a little bit creepy. They’re close to my age so it’s not that bad, right? Let’s go with that.

Ryan Alback is an actor and he is gay. He became famous thanks to a tv show he did when he was younger. Now he is an adult and is trying new roles. He lives in New York with his dog and is playing a teacher in a new tv show. He is single, he doesn’t trust easily and he cares a lot, let me repeat it A LOT, about his privacy.

Jason Santos is a teacher and he is gay. He had his heart shattered after a very long relationship and now he lives only for his work and a start up still without funding that will help children deal with separation from a relative due to immigration problems. He is single and he thinks he forgot how to flirt and get a boyfriend.

Events set by a talk show and a very good friend of Jason bring the two of them together for a weekend in Vermont. What’s more romantic than that? Obviously they are going to like each other. If only things were that easy. I could only hope they were. Things happen, tears show, mud is involved and of course the dreaded misunderstandings. I hate it when someone don’t listen to the other side of a story and just assumes the worst. Why? There is a reason but, still, why?

This book is sweet and it has little drama. It has cuddles, kisses, sexy times and two very adorable human beings living very different lives. They both have pasts they are struggling with and they will have to let go and move on if they want to find happiness with themselves and with each other. The happy ending won’t happen without little set backs, that’s for sure, but we get to see them having a pretty good time together, and that’s nice! Recommended for sure!

firmablog

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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