Rating: 4.5 STARS
How I got this book: NetGalley ARC
A stirring, bold and moving anthology of stories and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new talent, giving their unique responses to the broad theme of pride. Each story has an illustration by an artist identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN.
A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, PROUD is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read.
Contributors: Steve Antony, Dean Atta, Kate Alizadeh, Fox Benwell, Alex Bertie, Caroline Bird, Fatti Burke, Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Frank Duffy, Simon James Green, Leo Greenfield, Saffa Khan, Karen Lawler, David Levithan, Priyanka Meenakshi, Alice Oseman, Michael Lee Richardson, David Roberts, Cynthia So, Kay Staples, Jessica Vallance, Kristen Van Dam and Kameron White.
It's really difficult to try and summarise Proud because there's just so much packed into a relatively short collection and I have so much to say about all of it.
First of all, the forward by Juno Dawson is incredibly powerful and moving to the point of tears. It completely sets the tone for what's to follow.
The artwork that accompanies each story is beautiful and I'm certain it'll look even more stunning on paper than it does on my Kindle.
This collection covers so many issues and gives voices to so many people within the LGBT community that it's almost overwhelming. I'm not sure that I've ever read anything that's quite so inclusive and that represents so many aspects of the lives of those of us who identify as LGBT+.
It was the perfect book to start LGBT History Month and I guarantee that readers will be moved to both joy and sadness by these stories.
My personal favourites include:
"Remember you have the right to be proud.
Remember you have the right to be you."
Whether you're part of the LGBT community or not, I urge you to read this collection to truly know that:
a. You are not alone.
b. You have the right to be proud of who you are.
The fact that this book exists is both humbling and powerful, and I hope that every young adult has the opportunity to discover this inspiring collection of written and visual art.
"Be the glitter that shows up in unexpected places."
Last month I went on a bit of a 'requesting' spree on NetGalley and requested a bunch of books, with little hope of being approved, but it turns out that I was accepted for almost all of them, so I thought it might be fun to share with you the books that I'll be reading over the next month or so.
They're mostly YA with one exception and all completely different!
As always, just click on the cover to add it to your TBR:
What do you think? Do any of these books take your fancy?
Keep checking back for my reviews of these four books over the next month or two. I'm particularly excited for Proud and We Are Blood and Thunder!
Welcome to my very first book roundup of 2019!
How is 2019 treating you so far?
I'm guessing it's not just me who feels as though January lasted forever! Honestly, it was not the best start for me and my family this year and so I just have to hope that the rest of the year will take it easier on us.
Oddly, despite all of that, I somehow managed to finish 9 books in January. I can only guess that we somehow had what felt like a 3-month, month. In addition to that, I actually started 12 books last month, which gives you an idea of the kind of head space I've been in lately.
Anyway, for those of you who haven't joined me for a monthly book roundup before, here's where I basically list all of the books I read over the last month and give much smaller 'micro' reviews.
It's also probably one of the only times you'll hear me saying anything negative about a book as I also list any DNF's and books I rated less than 3 stars etc.
Here goes (you can click on the title to see the full review if there is one or to visit GoodReads):
The Princess of Baker Street by Mia Kerrick - As my first book (and first ARC) of the year, this was a great way to start. This is a really powerful story about true friendship and being true to yourself, and it was definitely not an easy read. There was a lot of pain in this book, these two extremely young characters have so much to deal with that it's heartbreaking to witness. But, all the more important because of it.
Tell Me It's Real by TJ Klune - My first audiobook of the year was so much fun! TJ Klune is now one of my absolute favourite romance writers and it's all because of his fantastic characters. This book is the perfect mix of light, sweet romance alongside real sadness and heartache.
Match Me If You Can by Tiana Smith - Admittedly, I felt a little let down by this book. I was excited by the synopsis but didn't like or feel any connection with the main character. There were so many clichés and so much drama that I did become slightly irritated. However, the writing and pace were great and I loved Logan, who was my saving grace!
Fake Out by Eden Finley - This is my first ever book by Eden Finley. I actually had really low expectations for this book but it was so much fun! Plenty of humour, great chemistry and a really sweet story.
Let's Get Textual by Teagan Hunter - Ah, this book was so cheesy but in the best possible way. I absolutely loved this book. Get ready to grin, laugh out loud and swoon!
The Wicked King by Holly Black - This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and it did not disappoint. If anything, it drove me pretty crazy with all of the plot twists. If you enjoyed The Cruel Prince, you'll devour The Wicked King!
Trick Play by Eden Finley - Since I enjoyed the first book in this series (Fake Out) so much, I guess it's no surprise that I decided to read the second. Picking up where the last book ended, this one focuses on a different couple and I loved their dynamic. Funny, cute and sexy - this book checked all the boxes.
Kissing the Teacher by Nora Phoenix - So, it turns out that I'm really not into reading about BDSM. I guess I should have figured that much out when I tried (and spectacularly failed) to read Fifty Shades of Grey. Don't get me wrong, there were some really sweet moments in this book, Baxter is just precious but the trope/relationship just wasn't my thing. Baxter also came off waaay younger than he was supposed to be which made me feel a bit uncomfortable given the age difference.
Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat - Yeah, so I think when this book was recommended to me as an "amazing m/m romance" I was intrigued. Sadly, this book left me feeling absolutely sick to my stomach. I won't sugar coat this for you. This book strongly features; slavery, abuse, torture, rape, sexual abuse and paedophilia. To me, it felt glamorised and, even if the main character Damen abhorred most of what he witnessed, he still condoned slavery. To put it lightly this book horrified me and I massively regret the £8 I spend on the eBook.
The books that I started but haven't yet finished are:
Fairies, Robots and Unicorns - Oh My! by Sarina Dorie - I spotted this book (a collection of short stories) on NetGalley last month and was drawn to the humour. The first story was great but sadly, for me, it's gone a bit downhill from there. I blame the story that seemed to be only relevant to Star Trek fans (I am so not a Trekkie) which really threw me off.
The Lost Witch by Melvin Burgess - I really don't know how to feel about this book right now. I'm around 1/3 of the way through and struggling with the narrative. I just don't feel any connection to the characters and it's written almost passively which is making it really hard to be invested in the story. I'm going to give it another try because I loved the opening scene which gave me huge Watership Down vibes. Fingers crossed I fall into it soon.
Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff - This book I am 100% into and eager to keep reading. The only thing stopping me has been the ridiculous illness I've been trying to deal with over the past two weeks. The first couple of chapters already have me fully immersed in the story and more than a little hot under the collar. How anyone could mistake these books for YA is beyond me!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
In my next blog post, I'll be sharing the books that are currently on my ARC shelf. What 2019 release are you most looking forward to?
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Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, aspiring writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
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