How to Be a Movie Star by T.J. Klune ☆

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5starsplus

“I— I wish I could see things like you do.”
“But then you wouldn’t see things like you do,” Josy said. “And then there would be two of me and none of you, and that wouldn’t be so good.”
“It wouldn’t?”
“Nope. Because I like you just the way you are.”

Title: How to Be a Movie Star
Author: T.J. Klune
Series: How to Be #2
Number of pages: 350 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Perfection, nothing to add
Bad things about this book: I said PERFECTION.
Do I recommend it? Of course, I love Klune’s books.
Rate: 5/5+++

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“Sometimes you need to hide away from the rest of the world. And it’s okay to do that, just as long as you don’t forget the world is waiting for you when you’re done.”

All the stars, all of them!

ALL HAIL TJ KLUNE!!

I laughed so much, cried, smiled like crazy! This book was everything I expected and more, so much more!!! I’ll have to listen to the audiobook just like I did with How To Be A Normal Person. I need more of all these characters, I already miss them. The four text messages at the end?? How perfect were they???? My heart is exploding with joy!

There isn’t much to say about this book. It’s about a bearded demisexual stoner hipster who wants to be a movie star, and while he is working on his dream he falls in friendship with a monster porn author that’s more anxiety than man. I read one chapter and I already loved EVERYTHING about this book.

If everyone just talked about what they were feeling instead of hiding it, things would be so much easier. Miscommunication is such a waste of time.

It was so honest, so true. Josy is the sweetest characters I’ve seen in books in a very long time, if not ever. He may not be “normal” in the weird way people qualifies who is normal and who isn’t, but there isn’t anything wrong with him. He is sincere, he says what he thinks when he thinks it, he tries his best and doesn’t give up. He made a family for himself when the one he was born into decided he was too much to handle.

All the characters were essential to this story, to make it as relatable as it was, as hilarious, important and amazing! Quincy and his mental health, Gustavo and his adventures with the internet (OMG the phone call to the customer service was gold!), Casey and his unconditional love, even Casanova Xander. All of these characters, all of them, gave me so much joy. I was smiling so much. I laughed so much that my mom kept saying “wow, it’s really funny that book I see”. Yes, mother, it is.

“We should go to the church treasure hunt,” Josy blurted. “It’s nondenominational. Yay Jesus!” Quincy stared at him. Casey turned slowly to look at Gustavo, eyes narrowing. Gustavo nodded sagely. “Sounds about right.”

I recommend it to the masses! Pick this book!! Pick all of TJ Klune’s books. This is coming from someone who still needs to read the Green Creek series. But I will, SOON!! Read it!!

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Alan Cole Doesn’t Dance by Eric Bell

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5stars

“You know what a good friend said to me once?”
“What?”
“He said, I’d rather have a hard time being myself than an easy time being somebody else.”
“Whoah.”
“Yeah. You’re being yourself, and that’s what matters.”

Title: Alan Cole Doesn’t Dance
Author: Eric Bell
Series: Alan Cole #2
Number of pages: 288 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Fantastic, important, emotional.
Bad things about this book: I want more books now but I’m happy how this ended.
Do I recommend it? Of course. You need to meet Alan.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Alan made me cry. He did it again with his innocence and good nature and his courage to be himself without having to endure bullism. Standing for himself and for all the people that don’t have the strength to do it. Defeating evil with kindness, with his art, one step at a time. To see the difference you want to see in the world, you have to start somewhere, right? If you don’t do anything, nothing will change, and that’s exactly what Alan thinks and why I love him so much. I adored this little book so much. I couldn’t put it down, finished it in one afternoon.

Alan is the sweetest of boys and Odin was a great addition to the narration. Odin and Alan were the cutest together; from “rivals” to art buddies. Smiles and laughter they didn’t share with anybody else, a past and present not so easy. Innocent and sweet. My heart couldn’t take all the adorableness. Alan’s friends, his family, things aren’t always great; they fight, because for things to get better, a little confrontation is necessary.

Having more queer books out in the world is the most amazing thing in the world and having more and more queer books for middle graders is even greater; this is the kind of book kids nowadays need, a book that normalizes their feelings because they aren’t wrong, they aren’t disgusting, their love is as much true as the ones of other people. They should never feel ashamed of who they are and books like this one give me so much hope they will have a safer world to live and be themselves.

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The Bones Beneath My Skin by TJ Klune

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5stars

You make yourselves a home out of nothing. You carry each other until your knees give out and you stumble. It’s almost impossible to understand. None of us could get that. Not until they felt a heart beating in a chest like I have. Not until I felt the bones beneath my skin.

Title: The Bones Beneath My Skin
Author: TJ Klune
Number of pages: 385 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Art’s view of people really got to me.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Another win for TJ Klune! This was such a lovely journey inside us as human beings with our flaws, hopes and loss. Everything that makes us. And meeting someone that society says you should fear and fight, but you will find that they will give you more than you’ve ever thought possible, when everything else was just hopeless. It was heartbreaking to see them so fragile, fighting ghosts inside them, trying to have a future full of hope.

I just loved the dynamics among the characters. Funny but not in the usual Klune’s comedy writing style, the over the top comedy I love so freaking much; the right amount of fun to fill a story full of emotions and self-discover. I found the characters full of life, trying to get to the other side of the tunnel after life tried to block their paths. So many hard lessons, so many sweet scenes, stolen moments in the middle of dangerous situations.

“Even if you think you have no faith left, I promise you, you do. All of you do. It’s easier, I think, to stay lost. But when you’re found, when you open your eyes, you can finally see the truth for what it is.”

While I usually read books with younger characters, I’m finding more and more books with older characters (as old as me or older) that I’m loving a lot. It has never happened before. Usually books with older characters all talk about the same thematic, and I can’t relate, and they often bore me. This is not the case here; I haven’t experienced what they had and I’m surely not like Artemis Darth Vader, but I have seen how the world can bring us down, how the void pulls stronger sometimes and it takes all of our strength to win the fight. Their journey softened my heart.

This is definitely a book to read without stopping. Get it all in, get the feelings, the truths, the raw love that grows slowly in time, and the one that grows all at once. You will love Alex, Nate and Art, you will love them so much it’ll be so hard to let them go.

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Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

5stars

Title: Last Seen Leaving
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Number of pages: 352 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I wanted to know more and more, I couldn’t stop reading.
Bad things about this book: Flynn’s lies were a little irritating.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

As good as I expected it to be. I kept wondering what happened to January, Flynn’s girlfriend, and I kept being on edge about Flynn lying and keeping an important part of himself hidden, a part he just wasn’t ready to tell the world.

I kind of love seeing teenagers getting justice with their own hands because their truths can’t be shared with the police and they think they can do better jobs at finding the bad guys and get them arrested. It’s fun because, in reality, it can’t happen without real consequences, but in fiction it’s all allowed, and I love it. Give me teenage vigilantes!

Flynn is a flawed character, but he is so easy to love. Yeah, I’m aware of the age gap between him and Kaz, but things kind of evolved in a very natural way that I forgot at some point they weren’t the same age. He’s is 3 years older I think, not much but enough to have more maturity when it comes to life and things in general. I just hope that in this fictional world, they can build a safe relationship and if either of them feels it’s too much, they call it quits and move on.

The ending satisfied me, as the rest of the story. I’m not usually a fan of thrillers because I need to know who did it, how and when, so I skim read, but with this one, that had also coming of age, coming out, and romance, I was glued to the pages until the very end.

I recommend it and, after this second book by this author, I can officially say that I will continue reading his books in the future. There’s come coming out on January and I can’t hardly wait, it sounds great!

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The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

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5stars

Your beauty is not a tax you are required to pay to take up space in this world.

Title: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Series: Montague Siblings #2
Number of pages: 450 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Very funny and clever with wonderful characters.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It’s a queer thing, to have a vacant space inside you and not know what it is that carved out the absence.

PLOT —
A treasure hunt! I was looking for the perfect description for this book and that’s what came to mind, and it fits perfectly. Felicity sets off for a very peculiar adventure from Edinburgh and ends up somewhere mysterious. Felicity has a mission: she will get to medical school and become a doctor. But the men keep denying her that possibility even if she may be even more capable than most of them put together if given the chance. Men are absurd thinking she couldn’t do the same things they did just because they thought women were weaker. Weak where? Don’t make me laugh!

It is not a failure to readjust my sails to fit the waters I find myself in. It’s a new heading. A fresh start.

CHARACTERS —
Felicity is a sweet and ferocious girl and I love her with all my heart! She surrounds herself with a couple of very interesting girls. One from her past and one from her present, each of them with secrets and goals in mind that’ll somehow bring Felicity on this dangerous journey of discovery. I love those girls so much!! All of them are so special!! I was so happy to see Monty and Percy again even if it wasn’t for many pages. They are so ridiculously and adorably in love, it gave me goose bumps and I smiled a lot.

“Prickly?” I say. “I’m not prickly.”
“Felicity Montague, you are a cactus.”
“Debatable.”

THOUGHTS —
It was infuriating reading about how women were treated not long ago. It’s so actual, maybe not the same, but this superiority complex of men has to stop. It has expired, and it shouldn’t exist anymore. I’m truly sick of it: sick of all the mansplaining, the condescending smiles, the little derision laughs, the way men make us feel. I loved how Felicity challenged this injustice and made everything she could to change the unjust situation.

I have spent so long building up my fortress and learning to tend it alone, because if I didn’t feel I needed anyone, then I wouldn’t miss them if they weren’t there.

CONCLUSION —
Loved the story, loved the characters, and love the ending. I was ready to kick some butt and was glad to see it done by the amazing ladies in this book. If Mackenzie wants to give us one more book with the Montague siblings I’ll accept it with open arms, open heart, and with lots of fangirling.

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Sometime After Midnight by L. Philips

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5stars

“I like romance.”
Victor merely shakes his head. “No, you don’t. You like structure, and stability, and a good dose of all those things practical.”

Title: Sometime After Midnight
Author: L. Philips
Number of pages: 352 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The music, it’s written but you feel it.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
As much as it was introduced as a sort of Cinderella retelling, this had only the fact that they met, connected, and then one left leaving behind only the picture of his shoes. The rest was so far from being similar to Cinderella that I forgot about it. Nate and Cameron’s story about how they met, how Nate starts avoiding Cameron after learning who he is, and with Cameron having a dream and knowing that Nate is the key of it coming true, is well written and I thought it had a lot of great elements that didn’t drag the story and delivered what it promised.

CHARACTERS —
Nate was a little bit overdramatic and didn’t allow his reason to see what was right in front of him. I could forgive that because all the scenes where we had him and Cameron making music, were so sweet, deep and emotional that I forgot he was been unreasonable the scene before. Cameron from his part is an adorable young man; fresh out of high school, he is supposed to take over the family business, but he has dreams of his own and the fateful meeting with Nate will allow him to wish for more out of his life.

It’s like he planned this to torture me.
And damned if it won’t be the best kind of torture ever.

THOUGHTS —
While I was certain they were going to be okay in the end, the process of this love story, mixed with music and so many feelings, brought goosebumps to my skin. I learned about some bands and musicians I hadn’t heard before, so I put their songs as a background music and kept reading the book. The emotions I felt from that point on, reading the songs the boys were writing, it took me there with them, a little of a fifth wheel of a situation. This is the kind of book about music, in which music is just another character, as important as the main ones. Music raw, true, deep: the description of the music, the darkness of it, its sweetness, its power, brought tears to my eyes and my heart doubled in size.

CONCLUSION —
This book was the type of sweet that gets your eyes a little teary while being a tad sad but also incredibly romantic, all without being too corny. The right amount of sappy. I just loved it and was afraid for my heart, fearing drama incoming that luckily wasn’t as I expected.
I had a gigantic smile when I finished the book. And that’s how I love finishing books, plenty satisfied, full of joy

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A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra

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5stars

“You are a normal person. We all are. We all have brains that work differently, that’s all. You guys have been handed challenges. But you are worthy of happiness and health and help.”

Title: A Tiny Piece of Something Greater
Author: Jude Sierra
Number of pages: 258 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s a very sweet book with a good portrayal of mental illness.
Bad things about this book: It’s hard to read. Read the trigger warnings first.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course. It’s a story to be read by everyone.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Pretty intense. Read with an aching but hopeful heart. I cared for these characters and, even if I won’t know what choices they decide to make, I will know in my heart that they’ll be okay and living day after day. Together.

Books about mental illnesses are always very hard for me to read. Books like this are somewhat triggering but I can’t help but read them; I feel the need to know other point of views, to learn more, to be able to help myself and others with new information. It won’t ever be easy for me reading about someone struggling to keep themselves afloat. It won’t ever be easy for me reading about someone using unhealthy behavior.

He tries to give his body over to the sounds of a great big earth around him, understanding that he is very small, a tiny piece of something greater, a small glimmer of either light or darkness, depending on his choices and will.

Reid suffers from an illness called cyclothymia that I have never heard of before. It was hard to read how he struggled in the past, is struggling with recovery in the present, and will struggle with it for the rest of his life. Reid is a magnificent boy who has a brain that works in a very peculiar way and it makes his life very difficult. He really tries his best. Reid touched my heart with his personality and the way he wants to be seen by the world, and by the amazing and handsome boy he starts crushing on, Joaquim.

Joaquim finds himself in it too deep and too soon with Reid. Reid is not an easy person to be with, but it won’t be a mental illness the cause for him to walk away from someone he can see himself building something concrete with. Why would he run away when things get difficult? He asks a lot of questions and is destined to make mistakes, but he is a very patient boy and his feelings are deep and real. He can’t run from them.

Reid doesn’t pray, but sometimes he likes to think that the energy he and the others put out into the world might make a small difference.

The portrayal of mental illness is done in detail, wonderfully, and painfully. Nothing graphic, nothing just to give us some drama. Things aren’t okay, and they’re explained in a way that you understand both how Reid is feeling and how Joaquim is elaborating the info he’s getting. It’s a painful process, but it’s liberating. Joaquim is seeing Reid for who he is; he is not his mental illness, he is a boy fighting to get better, who wants an adventurous life and to love and be loved. Reid and Joaquim were sweet and cheesy and adorable. All the kisses, the hugs, the little touches, they were all elements that made their love story, one to desire. I will never be loved like that and it makes me sad.

When I finished the book last night, I closed it and realized I wasn’t in the mood for anything else; I was left empty yet full, no space for anything more. I went to bed and waited to fall asleep recalling one of my many happy made-up scenarios, because I knew that if I started thinking about the book, I’ll stayed awake analyzing every single aspect of my life. I hope I’m not the only one that uses made-up fantasies to fall asleep in order to avoid falling into the endless stream of anxious thoughts about life.

I keep sighing thinking about Reid and Joaquim. Those boys stole my heart. I’m so glad I somehow found this little book and impulsively bought it. I knew my impulsiveness had more pros than cons!

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