Posted in book tags/memes

T5W: LGBTQ+ Comics and Graphic Novels On My TBR

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. (Sam is taking a break from T5W for the summer, but we have tons of old topics to use/revisit during that time, so I’m planning to do a combination of that and making up my own topics this summer.) You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.


I’m still not sure if I’ll be doing all queer topics for Pride Month, but this idea popped into my head before bed a few days ago, and I decided to roll with it.

I keep wanting to read more comics and graphic novels, but I end up prioritizing other books usually when I’m in a bookstore or ordering online :/ However, I think three of these have been on my TBR for quite a while (of those, I recently bought one), and the other two have been on my radar a few months.

So, next time I actually do decide to buy a comic or graphic novel (that isn’t a later volume in a series I’ve already started), I’ll probably grab one of these.

In no particular order, as usual…


Blue Is the Warmest Color

Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh has been on my TBR for years, and I finally got it a month or so ago because the Kindle edition was on sale and I freaked out and bought it immediately.

Princess Princess Ever After

Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill landed on my radar after I saw The Tea Dragon Society (which I also want to read) in OwlCrate unboxings. I am still kicking myself so hard for not buying the February box, ugh.

Moonstruck, Vol. 1: Magic to Brew (Moonstruck #1)

I can’t remember how I heard about Moonstruck vol. 1: Magic to Brew by Grace Ellis, but it might have been someone on YouTube. I think it sounds and looks really cute and cool, but I haven’t heard much about it.

The One Hundred Nights of Hero

The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg isn’t one I see mentioned often, either, but I feel like it was talked about more a couple of years ago when it was new.

Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery (Rat Queens, #1)

Possibly the most popular and well-known on this list has to be Rat Queens vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe. I feel like almost everyone who reads comics has read this one, and I’ve pretty much only heard good things about the series.


This isn’t an exhaustive list, and I’m pretty sure I have others on my TBR, but these are probably the five I’m most looking forward to at this time (and/or the ones that have been on my TBR the longest).


If you have recommendations for comics with queer rep, I’d love to hear about them!

Have you read any of these? Which one do you think I should pick up next?

Advertisements
Posted in book tags/memes

Top 10 Tuesday: Second Half of 2019 Books I’m Looking Forward To

This is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every week, there’s a theme and you choose ten books that fit it. Check out upcoming topics here.

Oh my gosh, this topic was soooo much harder than I originally thought it would be. I finally managed to narrow it down from like 35 books to what I have here by thinking of the books I’m most likely to either pre-order or buy absolutely ASAP after release day.

These are in (expected) publication order.


July

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)

9th: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

I’ve been looking forward to this one all year, and I’m 99% sure I’ll be getting this in a subscription box ❤

Gods of Jade and Shadow

23rd: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I have an e-ARC of this and omg, I swear the release date on NetGalley said August when I got it :/ I’m panicking now because I’d planned to read it like mid-July.

August

All the Bad Apples

1st: All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

I think this might be the UK cover, idk. Anyway, I’m so freaking excited for this one and I’ll probably pre-order.

House of Salt and Sorrows

6th: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

I also have an e-ARC of this one, and holy crap I can not wait to dive into it in the next few weeks. It’s a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, which was one of my favorite fairy tales for most of my life.

September

Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House, #1)

10th: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Also known as The Book I Would Sell Part of My Soul to Get an ARC. I have been waiting so long for this omg. I’m definitely pre-ordering this one ASAP.

October

Ninth House

1st: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Do I need to say more? I’m 99% sure I’m pre-ordering this one.

The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)

8th: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

I only read the Wrath and the Dawn duology this year, but I’ve been anticipating this one since I think late 2018? So excited! I’m undecided about pre-ordering, though.

The Never Tilting World (The Never Tilting World, #1)

15th: The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

This comes out on my birthday and I am DEFINITELY pre-ordering it! I’ve waited like a decade for my birthday to fall on a book release day and for there to be a book coming out that day that I actually want to read haha. Finally! I’m so excited ❤

November

The Starless Sea

5th: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

That inhuman screeching you hear echoing from the distance? Yeah, that’s me. I’ve been screeching about this one for…7-8 months? Since it was announced. I can not wait omg. But, I’m not sure I’ll pre-order because the price is kind of scaring me.

Blood Heir (Blood Heir, #1)

19th: Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao

This one will probably be a preorder, because I was really looking forward to it earlier this year after reading the preview on Net Galley, then…things happened, which I won’t get into. Anyway, I’m very glad to see it was only delayed until autumn.


There are so many more books I’m really looking forward to, and I’m sure I’ll look back at this list in a couple of months and kick myself for not adding something, or wishing a book without an official release date had a date confirmed so I could add it, etc.

Totally unrelated to any of this, but here’s a friendly reminder to back up your files. Over the weekend, I had a really big scare involving my hard drive and I thought for a few hours that I’d lost almost everything. Thankfully, I did have the absolute most important stuff backed up, and for now my computer is functioning again, but it was not a pleasant experience. (And it was even more frustrating because that happened on the day I’d scheduled for myself to start backing up my stuff on my new external hard drive 😒)

Anyway…


What are some books you’re looking forward to during the second half of this year?

Posted in book review

Book Review: The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Genres/Descriptors: thriller; mystery

Publication: February 5th, 2019

Pages: 323

Trigger/Content Warnings: mental illness; violence; infidelity; suicide mentions; stalking

Check it out on Goodreads


What’s it about?

Alicia Berenson seems to have been living a charmed life. She’s a famous painter living in a coveted part of London with Gabriel, her popular fashion photographer husband. But one night, Gabriel gets home late from a shoot and Alicia shoots him five times. After that, she does not speak a single word again.

With her ongoing silence, even to declare her innocence or defend herself during the trial, the public imagination runs wild with the mystery of it all. Alicia ends up in a secure mental facility, and her silence continues.

Theo Faber–a psychotherapist–has followed Alicia’s story from the beginning, and jumps at the opportunity to treat her when a job opens up at the facility Alicia is being held. He really thinks he’ll be the one to get her to speak again and find finally solve the mystery of why she killed her husband. But if Alicia does speak again, he might not like what she has to say.


Review:

I can’t remember exactly how this landed on my radar (probably someone’s list of most anticipated releases), but I was kind of intrigued. It didn’t officially make it to my TBR until I saw G (BookRoast on YouTube) talking about it, and I got on the wait list on Over Drive immediately.

I finally got it a couple of weeks ago (I checked out the audiobook), and omg, yes! This is what I wanted from a thriller, and I flew through it. I think I only paused the audiobook once to grind some coffee, because I had to know what was going to happen next. I wasn’t quite on the edge of my seat, but pretty close. The pacing was fantastic, not too slow or rushed, and I really enjoyed Michaelides’s writing style.

Throughout this book, I couldn’t decide if I thought Theo was hella creepy, or just passionate about what he does. In the end, I think I settled on thinking both. He’s self-described as being fucked up (I think that exact wording was used, but I’m not sure now), and he’s kind of obsessed with Alicia, what happened the night she killed her husband, and why she won’t speak. As we’re pulled along the many twists and turns of this story, we start to get an idea of what Alicia’s life was like leading up to the murder, as well as Theo’s own history, and similarities between them start to show up. Slowly, you can start to see that Theo might have more reasons for wanting to become Alicia’s therapist, beyond professional curiosity, or tackling an exciting challenge.

I was fascinated by Alicia’s story, and I really wanted to know what the heck happened. I’m also still kicking myself because I haven’t read Alcestis, which I think would have added a little extra enjoyment. (It’s not necessary to even be familiar with the tragedy, as it’s summarized and discussed in this story. It’s just on my TBR and I wish I’d already read it.) The play is referenced quite a few times, and I love the ways it was incorporated throughout the story.

I did not see the end coming until right as things started coming together, and I couldn’t be happier about that. It’s always so nice when a thriller or mystery actually manages to shock me, instead of me spending the majority of the book knowing how it’s going to end. I still keep replaying bits of it in my head and just being amazed.

Basically, this was perfect for me. The pace was fast but not too fast, the writing was very enjoyable, I loved the twists and turns, how art and more was incorporated, and the last 50-ish pages were fantastic. I was honestly just sitting and barely breathing as the ending drew closer, and I probably had my mouth hanging open at least a few times. It was great, and I’m excited to see what else Michaelides comes out with in the future.

I gave it 4.5 or 4.75 out of 5 stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Posted in book review

Book Review: Girls Burn Brighter

Girls Burn Brighter

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao

Genres/Descriptors: contemporary; literary fiction

Publication: 2018

Pages: 309

Trigger/Content Warnings: sexual violence; human trafficking; physical assault & abuse

Check it out on Goodreads


What’s it about?

This book follows two young women (Poornima and Savitha) from India to the US. The girls first meet when Savitha is hired by Poornima’s father to work one of his sari looms, and they quickly develop a close bond. Both girls are very poor, but Savitha is even less well off than Poornima. Despite that, she helps Poornima find hope, beauty, and joy as they work and think about what their lives could be like.

After something horrible happens to Savitha and she leaves their village, Poornima resolves to find her, no matter what. Her journey to find her friend takes her from their small village, through awful ordeals of her own, and finally halfway across the world to the United States.

The book alternates between both points of view, and tackles of a lot of issues women face today all over the world.


Review:

This is not an easy book, and I strongly advise anyone who has experienced sexual trauma and/or domestic abuse to steer clear of it. Or at least read a lot of reviews that go in depth about what happens in this book. Find spoilers and prepare yourself, because this one is tough.

There aren’t any very graphic descriptions of the acts of violence inflicted on the characters, but a clear enough picture is painted. While I know that things like this are happening countless times to women every day, that didn’t make it any easier to read about, and I spent the majority of this novel vacillating between rage, nausea, and something like sorrow or depression.

I won an ARC of this over a year ago in a Goodreads giveaway, and at the time, I didn’t know much about it. Thankfully, I ended up in a terrible reading slump around the time the book arrived, and then I lost it for a few months (along with a couple other books I’d gotten from giveaway, because I’m a moron and didn’t pay attention to where I put them when I was reorganizing my shelves). I’m glad it took me so long to get to this, because I’ve had time to read a lot of reviews and prepare myself for it. If I’d gone into this before that, I’m not sure I could have finished it.

This store really feels pretty hopeless, but at the same time, there’s this shred of hope that stubbornly holds on, if that makes sense. Through rape and abuse, disfigurement, prostitution, human trafficking, an arranged marriage, and more, both women still hold out hope for getting back to each other, and escaping their circumstances and abusers. The bond between Savitha and Poornima was the one bright spot of hope and beauty in this tragic story.

I really don’t know what else to say about this book, because I could honestly talk about it for a very long time, but I think I’m going to wrap this up because I don’t think I can accurately convey my feelings without this getting horribly long.

The one thing that irked me a little was the ending. I wanted a little more from it. Yes, I can totally imagine what happened seconds after the last line, but I really wish that was actually on the page. It was a bit disappointing, and I know I’m not the only person who felt that way.

Overall, I think this is an important and powerful book, with strong writing and character development, but it’s definitely not for everyone, and it can be quite difficult to read.

I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Posted in book tags/memes

T5W: 2019 LGBTQ+ Books I’m Anticipating

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. (Sam is taking a break from T5W for the summer, but we have tons of old topics to use/revisit during that time, so I’m planning to do a combination of that and making up my own topics this summer.) You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.


Originally, I wasn’t going to do all queer topics for T5W this month, buuuuut… I’m really feeling it. We’ll see how things go.

Last week, I talked about 5 queer books on my TBR, but this week I literally came up with this after 5AM after sitting at my desk and wracking my brain all night for a topic (I’m not exaggerating, send help…or like, coffee in an IV or something). Why it took me literal hours to think “upcoming releases,” when I knew there at least a few LGBTQ+ books scheduled for release this year, is a mystery.

Okay, enough babbling. I need to get on to the books so I can catch a few hours of sleep, hopefully. In order of release date.


All of Us with Wings

All of Us With Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil– Somehow (and trust me, I am beating my head on my desk about this between typing words), I managed to only JUST NOW learn what this book is about and I am so annoyed with myself. I saw the cover and thought it was going to be a contemporary, which isn’t something I reach for, but omg this sounds like an awesome fantasy story and I am so excited! (June 18th)

Shatter the Sky (Shatter the Sky, #1)

Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells– You had me at “dragons.” I haven’t heard much about this one yet (although I have seen the cover for sure on a few blogger’s lists this year…I think…), but I’m really intrigued. (July 30th)

Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House, #1)

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir– Also known as The Book I Would Sell a Large Piece of My Soul in Exchange for an ARC. You guys. I have been screaming about this book all year to anyone who will listen, and I can not freaking wait. LESBIAN NECROMANCER!! (September 10th)

Tarnished Are the Stars

Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor– Okay, I really don’t know a lot about this, except that it’s supposed to have lesbians in space, and it sounds like there’s some sort of steampunk-y stuff going on? IDK. But it also happens to come out on my birthday, so that’s cool. (Hell yes, finally my birthday is on a book release day, and there are at least 2 books coming out that day that I’m pumped about! Off topic, sorry.) (October 15th)

Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell– I almost hate myself for including this one on this list, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to it. (Plus, I was having a hard time finding a 5th that’s for sure queer and hasn’t already been released.) I’m not screaming in excitement about this one, and I won’t be preordering or anything, but I am going to read it eventually. (October 3rd)


Are you looking forward to any of these?

If you know of any other LGBTQ+ books coming out later this year that I should check out, let me know!