Forever Friday

Forever Friday (June 23)

ffForever Friday is a weekly post to show a little love to a book I’ll love forever!

 

21969786MORE THAN THIS by Patrick Ness follows the author’s traditional writing style of keeping you entirely off balance until the very end of the story where he then slings you into a wall.

And I love it.

A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.

Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive.

How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

I read this book in 2015 and it immediately put me in a book slump. It’s that good. While Seth is Queer, that’s not the central message of the story and it was very refreshing to read a book about a Queer character that was allowed to exist outside of their sexuality.

If you’ve read this book, what are your thoughts on it?

 

Forever Friday

Forever Friday (June 16)

ffForever Friday is a weekly post to show some love to a book I’ll love forever!

 

496102BETWEEN MOM AND JO by  Julie Ann Peters was one of the first books I ever read that featured Queer characters. While the main character isn’t Queer, his two mothers are and the book revolves around the dissolving of their marriage.

Nick has a three-legged dog named Lucky, some pet fish, and two moms who think he’s the greatest kid ever. And he happens to think he has the greatest Moms ever, but everything changes when his birth mom and her wife, Jo, start to have marital problems. Suddenly, Nick is in the middle, and instead of having two Moms to turn to for advice, he has no one.

Nick’s emotional struggle to redefine his relationships with his parents will remind readers that a family’s love can survive even the most difficult times.

I loved the message of this book… that it doesn’t matter who the “biological mom” is when it comes to loving a child.

 

 

Forever Friday

Forever Friday (June 9)

ffForever Friday is a weekly post to spotlight books I’ll love forever!

 

19547856If you follow me on twitter then you already know Becky Albertalli is my favorite author and I’ve been in love with her writing since the first time I ever read SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA. This book is a cute story about the trials of new love, new and old friendships, enemies, and the overall awkwardness of being a Queer teenager. Plus, this story gave us my favorite character of all time, Leah Burke.

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

This book has been so important for so many people. I’ve seen posts and reviews and tweets about how SIMON VS helped people come to terms with their sexuality. Even more than the Queer aspect of the book, I loved how genuine the friendships in the book were and how loving the Spier family was (even if they do make a big deal out of literally everything).

If you haven’t read this book, please do. And if you haven’t picked up Becky’s second book, UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED, I encourage you to! Becky and her writing are important parts of the YA community and I’m so happy to be able to support her.

Forever Friday

Forever Friday (June 2)

ffForever Friday is an original meme to spotlight books I’m going to love forever.

31560094LOVE BEYOND BODY, SPACE & TIME by Hope Nicholson is an Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi anthology.

“Love Beyond, Body, Space, and Time” is a collection of indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters. These stories range from a transgender woman trying an experimental transition medication to young lovers separated through decades and meeting far in their own future. These are stories of machines and magic, love, and self-love.

This collection features prose stories by:
Cherie Dimaline “The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy,” “Red Rooms”
Gwen Benaway “Ceremonies for the Dead”
David Robertson “Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story,” Tales From Big Spirit series
Richard Van Camp “The Lesser Blessed,” “Three Feathers”
Mari Kurisato “Celia’s Song,” “Bent Box”
Nathan Adler “Wrist”
Daniel Heath Justice “The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles”
Darcie Little Badger “Nkásht íí, The Sea Under Texas”
Cleo Keahna
And an introduction by Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair “Manitowapow,” with a foreword by Grace Dillon “Walking the Clouds”.
Edited by Hope Nicholson “Moonshot,” “The Secret Loves of Geek Girls”

The first time I read this anthology, I cried. There are little to no books out there for Queer Indigenous people and this was the first book I ever read that featured a Two-Spirit character. I can’t put into words how important this anthology is and has been for me.

I recommend this to everyone who wants an AMAZING Queer anthology written by intensely creative Indigenous peoples.

Forever Friday

Forever Friday (May 19)

CaptureForever Friday is an original weekly meme where I showcase a book I’m going to love forever.

CaptureMy mom read of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by L.M. Montgomery to me when I was a kid and even though I didn’t 100% understand everything that was happening in the story, I did know that I loved Anne.

Years later, I still love the red head with the big vocabulary and bigger imagination. I’ve since read the entire series and while I love all of those books, I keep coming back to the first one. There’s nothing like the magic of rediscovering a book that changed your life.

I was a timid kid. I had a plethora of cousins that I was comfortable with but I was never able to really express myself around people I didn’t know. You know those kids who never meet a stranger? Yeah, I definitely was not one of them. I was painfully shy and fearful of everyone… which would later be diagnosed as anxiety. Anne was everything I wanted to be, though. She was loud, unafraid to take up space, and when she wanted or needed a friend, she wasn’t afraid to make one.

I also identified with Anne because like her, I spent the majority of my childhood living inside my head. Sure, I went places with my cousins and rode bikes with the neighborhood kids but I was never fully present in those moments. Like Anne, every road was a new landscape… mostly imagined. I created spaces and places and I lived more there than here, something that made me a ‘dreamy’ child. Anne was the first character who talked openly about her daydreams and I believe that’s why I connected so deeply with her on out first meet.

Of course, Anne is not the only great thing about this series. Gilbert Blythe was my first real book crush, I desperately wanted an uncle like Matthew, and I fell in love with Marilla the same way Anne did- slowly but surely.

At this point, I can’t tell you how many copies of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES I own. I love collecting the different covers and the storybooks.

While the language is outdated and society has moved on, Anne is still a classic to me.

Forever Friday

Forever Friday (May 12)

CaptureForever Friday is an original weekly book meme where I put a spotlight on my forever favorite books!

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This week I will be talking about SHE’S COME UNDONE by Wally Lamb. This book follows Dolores Price from the time she’s a little girl through adulthood, chronicling her life and the obstacles she’s faced.

There are some major trigger warnings: rape, death of a parent, eating disorders, suicide attempt, and spousal abuse.

I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews about this book and while I don’t disagree with everything they say, there are a few points that I would like to bring up. This actually isn’t a “fat girl gets skinny and gets happy” story. I’m not sure if the reviewer and I read the same book, but after Dolores loses weight and moves into a life she thinks she wants, things rapidly fall apart. Dolores losing weight doesn’t change her happiness in life. She’s not suddenly happy. In fact, towards the end of the book when Dolores does start discovering her happiness, she’s gained weight back.

I found this book when I needed it. Right after my mom passed away in 2007, I had went to a library book sale and found a tattered copy of SHE’S COME UNDONE. I wandered around the sale with it in my hand and had actually decided to put it back when the librarian spotted it and told me that it was one of her favorites. Sensing I wasn’t convinced, she insisted I take the book for free.

I ended up reading this book back-to-back 3 times before I could put it down. Reading this book was cathartic for me- it opened up wounds and helped me process the death of my mom in a way I don’t think would have been possible if I hadn’t read this book. So while I can understand and sympathize with people who found this book to be problematic, it’s still a book that got me through a very rough time in my life. I love it so much that when I see copies in used bookstores and libraries book sales, I pick them up. This book is a little slice of home to me.

Forever Friday

Forever Friday (May 3)

CaptureForever Friday is an original book meme where I’ll be highlighting books I’m pretty positive I’ll love forever.

9200000024982380My first featured book is SAVANNAH BLUES (Weezie and Bebe Mysteries #1) by Mary Kay Andrews. I want to say my first time reading this book was back in 2012 or 2013 when I was reading more adult mystery and contemporary books. I found my original copy of this book at a Friends of the Library book sale ($.50 for a hardback!) and I immediately fell in love with it. Not only is the book set in Savannah, Georgia, (y’all know I love anything set in the South) but the main character of the book’s name is Weezie!

SAVANNAH BLUES follows 30-something year old Weezie Foley, a feisty antiques and junk picker from Savannah, Georgia. She’s working hard to navigate life after her divorce from her husband Cal, that snake in the grass who was cheating on her with someone much younger. Weezie isn’t complaining too much, though. She’s enjoying her life with her mutt of a pup, her old pickup truck, and her best friend, Bebe. When Bebe’s new chef turns out to be Weezie’s old flame, the already scorching Savannah summer heats up just a notch more. Throw in a murder and some forged antiques… Weezie’s got a busy summer to get through.

I loved everything about this book. I come from a long line of junkers and there’s nothing I like more than a good story about junking. This book launched by obsession with jadeite coffee cups.

I also LOVED Weezie and Bebe’s friendship. It reminds me so much of my own friendship with my best friend, Shay- lots of laughs, lots of comforting, and lots of talking smack about people we don’t like. This friendship lasts the entirety of the series (which is 4 books) and they never once have a fight. Only a true friend is willing to dress all in black and go sneaking around an abandoned building at night to prove your innocence.

Weezie and Daniel (the hot old flame chef) do have a pretty chaotic relationship in the first book. There’s definitely a lot of tension on both sides but there are no TWs to go with it. Daniel is a severely private person and it takes him some time to get used to Weezie’s openness (and her nosiness). In the other 3 books, their relationship is definitely more stable and you get to see Daniel’s character grow and open.

This book is FULL of sweet revenger, sweet Southern belles who will slit your throat, and lots of antiques. It’s a book I can’t wait to read again and again.