Author: Andrea Jarrell
Publisher: She Writes Press
Format: eBook
ARC?: Yes, provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Release: 09/05/17
TW/CW: Mental abuse, alcoholism.
Rating: 2.5/5

34014136When Andrea Jarrell was a girl, her mother often told her of their escape from Jarrell’s dangerous, cunning father as if it was a bedtime story. In this real-life Gilmore Girls story, mother and daughter develop an unusual bond, complicated by a cautionary tale of sexual desire and betrayal. Once grown, Jarrell thinks she’s put that chapter of her life behind her–until a woman she knows is murdered, and she suddenly sees how her mother’s captivating story has also held her captive, influencing her choices in lovers and friends. Set in motion by this murder, Jarrell’s compact memoir is about the difficulty that daughters have separating from–while still honoring–their mothers, and about the perils of breaking the hereditary cycle of addiction.

I requested this book because it sounded like a magnificent true crime story or at the very least, a book about a woman discovering hidden facets about her mother.

It was neither.

Jarrell starts the book off with the murder of her neighbor, a woman Jarrell admits to actively shunning because she was young, pretty, and a single mother. The woman is killed by another neighbor after a domestic dispute and besides Jarrell talking about how she cried about it, we never hear about the woman or her murder again.

She then launches into her own story. I was expecting something… more. The summary reads as if her life was extraordinary but, honestly, this book could be about anyone who grew up in a single parent household. Jarrell’s mother leaves her father, who is a charming, alarmingly possessive and abusive alcoholic actor. Besides a few attempts to sweet talk her mom back, he disappears from their lives for 16 years. In that time, Jarrell’s mother goes to school, becomes a paralegal, and the two go on vacations across Europe several times. When she’s older, Jarrell’s father comes back in the picture and her mother and father reunite for a brief period of time before it ends once again.

Jarrell tells about a few shitty boyfriends and then about getting married and having children.

The only thing that makes this story “extraordinary” is how full of herself Jarrell is. Everything seems to revolve around her. When her husband admits that he has black outs when he gets drunk, she acts as if his drinking was some huge secret that he kept to himself but later admits that she knew he was drinking a lot. When he goes to AA, she acts like his sobriety should revolve around her and often refers to it as “our transformation”.

I was not impressed with this book. I usually enjoy memoirs but this one read like the diary of the middle aged white lady who lives across the street and thinks your lawn ornaments are offensive. Save yourself some time and skip this one.



Author: F.C. Yee
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
ARC?: Yes.
Release Date: 08/08/2017
TW/CW: Violence, fighting, talk of servitude, description of torture (briefly shown on page).
Rep: Chinese-American

30116958The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo’s every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged.

Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.

Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined…

Let me start this post off with some honesty: I never planned to read THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO. I’m not big on demons in YA because, well, demons kind of scare the shit out of me and I can’t relate to finding romance while fighting a demon horde. I’d be too busy crying and changing my pants every 10 minutes.

I had an ARC sent to me, though, and after seeing a few friends rave about how good this book is, I figured I would at least give it a chance. I went in thinking that I might not finish it but I pretty much devoured this book. The pacing is incredible- there wasn’t one moment where I was bored or wishing something would happen. Not every minute is spent fighting demons, but you get so into Genie’s “normal” life with her friends and school that you start rooting for her friendships and college applications as much as you root for her to kick demon ass.

Genie is the perfect YA character to me. She’s angry, she’s confused, she gets fed up with being pushed around, she isn’t self-sacrificing all the time, and my girl KNOWS when she’s being a shitty person. I LOVE self-aware YA characters and I love that Genie can admit that she’s more interested in protecting the people she loves than complete strangers. I don’t think that’s a character flaw, I think that’s real human emotion. I would definitely be more concerned about the immediate safety of my best friend versus someone I barely know.

I also loved the character arc we get from Quentin. My dude is goes from WAY UP HERE to “I’m going to eat this bread and laugh at you while Genie owns your ass”. It was cool to watch Genie and Quentin become friends and then move towards something more and the fact that neither of them let their crushes get in the way demon fighting. Yes, they did have moments where they struggled against each other but it wasn’t “oh, unrequited love!”. It was two stubborn people struggling to dominate the other until they realized that they were better together. I loved it.

I could talk about the rep, but that’s not my experience. Here’s a few links to check out bloggers talk about the Chinese-American rep and how they felt about it:

One Way or An Author (WITH ART OMG!)

Artic Books

I would 100% recommend this book if you’re into mythology being applied to modern times, kickass girls, demon slaying, and boys wearing Minnie Mouse earrings.

Book Tags

Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag!


Last week was a pretty terrible week for content on my blog. And by pretty terrible, I mean I didn’t post anything. Between work, seeing my godkids off to school, and some pretty devastating personal news, I just didn’t feel like being present.

But I am back this week with another book tag! The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag, actually. While I’m not sure who created this, I think it’s super fun and if you know who credit goes to, please let me know so I can give props to them.

The rules are pretty simple: pick 10 books from your bookshelf and flip to a random page. The first character you see on that page becomes a member of your team. Write down the names on individual slips of paper and at random, choose a character for each question!


1. The first person to die?

Monty (THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE). You know it’s not hard to imagine Monty not surviving the zombie apocalypse. I’m not sure my dude would want to live in meltdown with no dances, spirits, or, er, prancing to keep his mind company.


2. The person you trip to escape the zombies?

Willowdean aka Dumplin’ (DUMPLIN’). Sorry, girl. Nothing personal.


3. First person to turn into a zombie?

Genie Lo (THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO). Wow, talk about being screwed. I don’t think even turning into a zombie would make Genie less badass and ready to kick ass. Let’s just hope we get a huge head start.


4. The person who trips you to escape the zombies?

Dimple Shah (WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI). I can actually see this happening and… I’m not even mad.


5. The idiot of the team?

Luna Lovegood (HARRY POTTER). I don’t think idiot is a good term. Luna would definitely be the dreamy one of the group, still talking about invisible creatures while the zombies are literally on our heels.


6. The brains of the team?

Prosper Redding (THE DREADFUL TALE OF PROSPER REDDING). Prosper is pretty good at thinking on his feet. While he’s not the smartest guy around, he’s dealt with demons… he’d know his way around a horde of zombies.


7. The teams medic?

Nikolai (SHADOW AND BONE). Nikolai has seen a lot of battles and wounds… I think we’d be in good hands with him.


8. The weapons expert?

Adam (THE RAVEN CYCLE). While Adam doesn’t seem to know that much about weapons, he is extremely smart and I don’t think it would take him long to figure out the ins and outs of it.


9. The Brawler?

Jane Sinner (NICE TRY, JANE SINNER). I can see Jane being the one not afraid of backing some zombies up.


10. The team captain?

Leah (SIMON VS). Leah would definitely be the level headed one to take charge and keep the team in line.


So, what do you think of my zombie apocalypse team? Think we’d survive or are we screwed?



Author: Lianne Oekle
Publisher: Clarion Books (an imprint of HMH)
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
ARC?: Yes, generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Release date: 01/09/2018
TW/CW: Attempted suicide, sexist language (briefly), alcohol, drug mentions.
Rep: mental illness (especially depression), OCD (compulsive cleanliness), Indian-American, Korean-American, high school dropout, suicide survivor.

33413915The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.

Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don’t know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she’ll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.

As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She’ll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.

I’m always weary of book suggestions when people pitch them as “You’ll love this book. This character is 100% you.” Which I heard twice. I also had it generally recommend as “You’ll love this book because  you love crunchy characters” which I am much more accepting of. There’s also this hesitation with the first because it feels like I may be stepping into some introspection that I didn’t ask for. However, the whole “You are Jane Sinner” was spot on.

And I fell in love with this book.

I would like to start this review off with a warning. Jane did attempt suicide before this book picks up. What we see in NICE TRY, JANE SINNER is Jane living with the consequences and social stigma that follows a failed suicide attempt. No one warned me about this going in because I think it’s supposed to read almost like a plot twist- Jane mentions it as “The Event” until she reveals what actually happened. I’m sure someone is going to think that I’ve ruined some part of the book, but I haven’t. This book is about Jane trying to die. This is about Jane trying to live, and she’s trying to live while being mentally ill, while dealing with her own shame. It was refreshing to see a character who wasn’t instantly like “Oh, I’m so glad I didn’t actually die.” Jane never says that she’s glad or regrets that she survived- she’s just trying to move forward which felt so authentic and real to me. Jane finds ways to be happy, she finds joy in parts of her life, but she still has an underlying sadness that made her feel so relatable. Jane is your best friend who slips in and out of focus- she’s there but not always. She’s surviving but not necessarily thriving… and she’s working hard to change all of that. That’s what makes Jane Sinner such an important character. Not what she did but that she’s trying to fix it.

The relationships in this book are amazing. I like that the love interest, Robbie, isn’t a perfect guy. He’s not your typical YA love interest- Robbie is a nice person who does shitty things. I’ve seen a lot of hate for him for things that happened in the book but I honestly loved him more for what he did. I think we’re so used to these self-sacrificing characters that when one breaks away from the mold, it seems horrifying. However, Robbie and Jane didn’t know each other that well. Yes, there was a friendship and it felt like they were moving towards more, but at the end of the day, they were two people who were competing in a game. I don’t blame Robbie for what he did and I don’t blame Jane for her reactions. Those emotions, those feelings, those actions are what made them real for me. Even the fights Jane had with her sister and her best friend were real- small fights that felt so devastating to the characters in the moment but were later forgiven. There were no giant grudges held. Jane and her best friend go weeks without seeing each other and guess what? They were still best friends! It was refreshing to see two best friends living separate lives and still loving each other.

I don’t have much to say about the Park siblings other than I love them. I love them so much. Especially Alexander who has tons of ambition and is trying to prove himself. Does he do really shitty things? Yes. And he feels guilty about them. And he apologizes.

The last thing I want to talk about in this book is religion. Jane grew up in a devout Christian family. She grew up going to church, being a part of youth groups, and surrounded by church people. She even admits that she used to tell her best friend she was going to hell for being bisexual (she admits this, has apologized, and feels terrible for it- this does not go unchallenged on page). But when Jane realizes she no longer believes the way her parents do, it shakes her world. I think that’s what tied in the realness of this book for me. In YA book, religion goes one of two ways: the character either finds God or the character doesn’t believe in God because lol science. This was the first book I’ve ever read where a character loses their faith and feels like they’ve lost a part of who they are. From personal experience, when you grow up in church and start questioning what you’ve been taught, what you believe, and what your family believes… it’s shattering. When I realized that I didn’t believe the same way my parents did, it felt like someone had died, like I had lost this person I loved, and I was worried that it would mean losing the people who still did believe the way I used to. Jane goes through those emotions. She questions herself. She is terrified. She mourns losing that part of her identity. That was such an important part of this book and I am SO glad that it was included.

I honestly feel like I could go on and on about this book, but I don’t want to get into spoilers. If you like Crunchy On The Outside, Soft On The Inside characters, this book is for you.



Talking Tuesday: Why Did I Become Vegan?


Since I posted this thread over the weekend, I’ve gotten a lot of DMs/comments asking why I became vegan and if I’m part of the zero waste or minimalist communities (because most YouTube vegans are). I would like to start this like I did my thread: I don’t think veganism is possible for everyone. I understand health issues, food deserts, multiple people sharing one small food budget. This is just my experience with veganism and it isn’t meant to shame anyone.

I was a vegetarian during high school and was an on/off vegan all through college. At some point, I stopped being a vegan and I justified it to myself by saying “Oh, I’m so tired and I’m sick so I don’t have enough energy to fix the sort of food I need to stay on a vegan diet.” Because that’s how I viewed veganism at the time- as a diet.

For the next few years, I was off and on veganism again. Last year I started watching vegan YouTubers and I really got into the idea of the raw food movement… but I quickly learned that’s just not for me. I also tried being a fruitarian but, again, not for me. I really felt like I didn’t have a place in the vegan community because all of the vegans I saw were vegan for health reasons. There were a few that were more planet oriented but at the end of the day, they were preaching exercise and that’s not helping the planet. While I want to be healthy, I feel like I could do the same thing eating a standard American diet. My reasons for being vegan are pretty simple- I don’t think a living creature should have to die so I can eat. I don’t think animals should be subjected to inhumane conditions so that I can drink milk or eat cheese or eggs. I don’t think I’m so above animals that their suffering doesn’t matter so long as I get what I want.

I always said that I would never “shock” myself back into veganism but I ended up doing that by watching Earthlings, a documentary that I have staunchly avoided since I found out about it. It is graphic and horrible and after watching it, I will never go back to eating meat or consuming animal products. Part of me wishes I had never watched it but part of me knows that I had to. I’ve always known that animals were treated cruelly but seeing it made it more concrete.

Honestly, the transition back into veganism hasn’t been hard. I feel a lot better mentally and physically, and meal prepping is so easy. Make a pot of beans on Sunday and a crockpot meal on Wednesday, and I am pretty much set for lunches or dinners the rest of the week. That helps out a lot since I take care of my Dad and he’s on a specialized diet. I don’t have to worry about making two meals.

As for minimalism, I try. I’m definitely not as hardcore about it as most people are but I am trying to declutter my house/not bring more junk in. It’s an ongoing process because my mind tells me that I need things to make me happy but I also know that having so much stuff makes me anxious because it has to be cleaned and stored or put to use.

As for Zero Waste… I think it’s a noble cause. I also don’t think it’s feasible. Even if you’re buying in bulk, there’s still waste being made.. it’s just being left at the store. I firmly believe in recycling when possible, using reusable containers and shopping bags, and trying to produce as little waste as possible, but I’m also not going to stop eating tofurkey or daiya cheese because they come in their own packaging. If you live that way and feel comfortable with it, more power to you. It’s not for me.

So, that’s all I have to say on that today! Next week I will post about what I generally eat in a week as a vegan/how much I spend on groceries.

Questions? Let me know in the comments below!




CaptureTitle: AS YOU WISH
Author: Chelsea Sedoti
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 432
Format: eBook
ARC?: Yes, provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: 1/2/18
TW/CW: ace/arophobia, suicide attempt, violence.
Rating: 2/5


In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.

Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself.

I think I have finally accepted that Chelsea Sedoti’s books just aren’t for me. I struggled through THE HUNDRED LIES OF LIZZIE LOVETT (Review here) and while I didn’t have the exact same problems with AS YOU WISH in finishing it, the story was… uncomfortable and confusing.

I’ve seen other reviews where they talk about Eldon being an asshole. He is. He’s written that way, and I generally like unlikeable characters. Eldon was not my problem with this story. He was a kid who grew up in a very strange house and is dealing with extreme grief following his younger sister’s accident. I think all of his actions and the way he acted on page (we’re only told that he used to be an asshole who was full of himself) was justifiable. Including his belief that Norie liked him. I know this is supposed to be a moment of “oh, yeah, Eldon totally thinks EVERYONE wants him” but I actually thought Norie liked him as more than a friend, too.

There is also Queerphobic content in the book. One of the characters decides that he wants to wish his homosexuality away. I think Sedoti tried to redeem herself by saying that the feelings didn’t go away but she drops the ball when the character is not longer interested in sex/romance… which apparently makes him a sad and pitiful character that everyone should feel sorry for. As if ace/aro people don’t exist. I was deeply uncomfortable with Sedoti’s use of the “wish the gay away” because there’s also deep seeded Christianity in this book. Norie is the only character in the book who believes in God and she is also written as the best, most honest, most caring character in the entire story.

There is a suicide attempt in the book by a character that was bullied by Eldon. In fact, the last conversation the character and Eldon has is the one that pushes the character over the edge. After someone wishes him back, he returns to school and is continuously said to look like a corpse.

I think the author wasn’t sure what the message was supposed to be. Half of the book is about not playing God and the other half is about playing God. The ending was extremely weak and felt rushed. It was as if the author wasn’t sure herself how to end the book.

My final thought on this book is that it tried way too hard to be Nightvale. A secret town in the desert with a magic cave that grants wishes? Please.

I would not recommend this book.


Spooky Saturday: IT Update


Remember when I started IT by Stephen King all those months ago and I was like “Yeah, I’m going to read 100 pages every day so I can finish it fast!”

And then I said “I’m going to read it exclusively on the weekends but it shouldn’t take me long!”

And now I’m like, “I’m scared. This book haunts me. I still have 600 pages to go. I hate clowns. Send help.”

C99O54SUMAAxzp9Last weekend, I dove back into IT. I only read 40 pages before I tapped out (it was dark outside, I was scared). This isn’t a normal horror novel. This isn’t a “scary, not scary, not scary, scary” book.

No, IT is a horror novel that you’re terrified of from the start. I don’t think I’ve gone more than 2 pages without something absolutely terrifying happening.

My last update left us with the Loser Gang, now adults, meeting back in Derry. They’ve come together to try and end Pennywise… for good this time. After a terrifying lunch (I will never look at fortune cookies the same), the gang splits up to explore their old stomping grounds. Each of them is drawn to a certain place and they face Pennywise. I find it pretty strange that Pennywise offers each of them a chance to leave town, almost as if IT is scared of them.

The gang is also starting to get pieces of their memories back. If you haven’t read the book, none of them really remember what happened that summer or how they defeated Pennywise. But as they’ve come back to Derry, little memories have started pushing their way up.


Review: The Night Child

Author: Anna Quinn
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Format: eBook
ARC?: Yes, provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: 1/30/2018
TW/CW: child abuse, graphic sexual abuse of a child, blood mentions, needle mentions, hospitalization for mental disorder.
Rep: Schizophrenia (never said as exact diagnosis), multiple personalities/split consciousness, child sexual assault survivor.
Rating: 4/5

35390279All Nora Brown wants is to teach high school English and live a quiet life in Seattle with her husband and six-year-old daughter. But one November day, moments after dismissing her class, a girl’s face appears above the students’ desks—a wild numinous face with startling blue eyes, a face floating on top of shapeless drapes of purples and blues where arms and legs should have been. Terror rushes through Nora’s body—the kind of raw terror you feel when there’s no way out, when every cell in your body, your entire body, is on fire—when you think you might die.

Twenty-four hours later, while on Thanksgiving vacation, the face appears again. This time, it whispers, Remember the Valentine’s dress. Shaken once again, Nora meets with neurologists and eventually, a psychiatrist. As the story progresses, a terrible secret is discovered—a secret that pushes Nora toward an even deeper psychological breakdown.

There are some major, major trigger warning on this one. I wish there had been some hint that the “big secret” was that her father sexually abused her and I also wish that it hadn’t been so graphic. I’m not sure if I’ve just gotten so used to young adult and middle grade books that handle the subject more delicately, and even though, there was a little hint of what was to come right before the secret was revealed, it was still a huge shock that it was so graphic. Even more shocking was what happened when she told the priest what happened. If you decide to read this, please keep in mind that there is nothing glossed over about the abuse Nora endured.

I can’t speak on the split consciousness rep because that’s not something I have experienced, but I did feel like the mental health rep as far as the therapist and the hospitalization felt pretty real. I’m not sure that they would have allowed Nora to be alone with anyone but other than that once incident, it was fairly accurate.

I also enjoyed Nora’s utter devotion to her daughter, even when she was going through her mental breakdown. I’ve read a lot of novels where the parent gives up caring about their child when things happen and it was interesting to see Nora working very hard to break the cycle of mother/daughter neglect that she had experienced with her own mother.

The one thing I didn’t like in this book was the continued assessment that sex = a sound marriage. I think this story would have been a 5 star for me if Paul and Nora had pulled through this together and if the author hadn’t insisted that if a married couple aren’t having sex, it means one of them are cheating. There are many, many reasons why couples stop having sex and it doesn’t mean they lack love and trust in one another or that one partner is going to cheat.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. I would not, however, recommend this to anyone who is easily hurt by sexual abuse.

Book Tags

R.I.P It or Ship It


I found this tag floating around and haven’t been able to pin down just where it started. But, this seems like a super fun tag and I wanted to get in on it. If you know who created this tag (or maybe it was you!) please let me know so I can add proper credit.

The gist of this tag is simple: write down an even number of character names (I picked 20) and put them in a container to be selected at random. Pull out two names and tell whether you ship them.. or rip them.

Reid (Upside of Unrequited) and Dimple (When Dimple Met Rishi)

Ship! I think Reid’s overall niceness would go well with some of Dimple’s more rough edges.

Molly (Upside of Unrequited) and Felicity (The Gentleman’s Guide)

R.I.P! I’m not sure if Felicity is aroace or just ace… but either way, she doesn’t seem to want any kind of relationship. I think they’d be great friends, though!

Anne and Gilbert (Anne of Green Gables)

SHIP SHIP SHIP! I think it’s totally fate that I pulled these out together. Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe just belong together!

Adam and Gansey (The Raven Cycle)

Ship! Another fate pairing, I was so disappointed they didn’t fall in love in the books.

Kevin (The Foxhole Court) and River (Between the Devil and…)

R.I.P! Two self obsessed boys seems like a recipe for trouble. I think River would definitely dominate Kevin and that boy is already messed up. No, no, sons. Not today.

Elise (This Song Will Save Your Life) and Anise (Girl Out of Water)

SHIP!! I think these two have a lot in common. Elise would teach Anise how to DJ and Anise would teach Elise how to surf.

Simon (SIMON VS) and Neil (The Foxhole Court)

Ship! Simon would be so good for Neil and I think having a supportive family base would do wonders for Neil.

Starr (THUG) and Abby (My Best Friend’s Exorcism)

R.I.P. I think Starr would be weary of Abby’s white girl antics.

Dumplin’ (DUMPLIN’) and Nox (Dorothy Must Die)

Ship! I don’t know why I ship this other than I ship all hot dudes with Dumplin’. She deserves it.

Leah (SIMON VS) and Kaz (SOC)

Ship! Why does Leah and Kaz get paired together for every tag I do? It’s fate. It has to be. I think Leah and Kaz would get along as well as they get along with anyone else. Plus, Kaz would totally rip Martin’s eye out for her. I’m here for it.


I hope you enjoyed this tag!



Author: Jen Wang
Publisher: First Second
Pages: 288
Format: eBook (graphic novel)
ARC?: Yes, provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: 2/13/2018
TW/CW: being outed without consent
Rep: Non-gendered clothing. I wasn’t sure how to label this because it’s never explicitly stated that the Prince is genderfluid, but they do sometimes feel like wearing “masculine clothing” and sometimes they feel like wearing “feminine clothing” and being referred to as a woman.
Rating: 5/5

34506912Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend?

I’m usually not a fan of graphic novels. I can count the graphic novels I’ve read on one hand, but when I saw the summary of THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER, I knew this was one that I definitely wanted to read… and I was not disappointed.

The art is beautiful in this book. Not just the characters and scenery, but also the dresses that Frances creates for Lady Crystallia. I spent a ton of time just looking at each panel, admiring the art.

This does have romance in it, which was something I did not expect. Generally when you have a character that is genderfluid but was deemed male at birth, their creator has them be attracted to people who were also deemed male at birth. It was AMAZING to see Frances and Sebastian slowly fall for each other, and I think it’s a good reminder for people who are not apart of the Queer community (and even some that are) that “dressing as a woman” doesn’t equal “gay”.

There is a lot of self exploration in this book. Not just from Sebastian/Crystallia, but also from Frances. It was great to see Frances stick up for herself. She wanted to protect Sebastian and understood why they did what they did, but still knew that it wasn’t fair to her. It was a good commentary on how we can understand that something may be good for our friends, but it isn’t good for us and we’re allowed to leave situations that hurt us.

The ending was spectacular! I think I screamed during the fashion show scene and I can’t wait until this comes out so I can make the king my profile picture.

If you’re a fan of gender noncomformity, friends turned something more, and people discovering who they are, this cute graphic novel is for you!