The Power of YA | Simon Spier and the rise of LGBT+ stories

simon vs. the homo sapiens agenda becky albertalliOne of the things I love most about reading, is how it can literally change someone’s life. Books have the power to change things, even if they’re minor things. They can. In this (hopefully) monthly series on my blog I am going to talk to you about the impact and the power YA books have. I’m going to include not just my own thoughts but also other people’s opinions and if I can find them, stats and figures.

This first post will be about Simon Spier (Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli), who has quickly become one of the most iconic LGBT+ YA characters and will probably only gain popularity once the movie (Love, Simon) is released over the world. I have sadly not been able to see Love, Simon yet because it’s not released where I live, but I have seen the impact it has had on many others.

This post does not include any spoilers about neither the book nor the movie it is simply a discussion of the effects Simon’s story has.

Continue reading “The Power of YA | Simon Spier and the rise of LGBT+ stories”

4 LGBT+ Books I Need to Read ASAP

There are so many books I haven’t read yet but need to read! One thing that always makes me want to read a book is LGBT+ representation or diversity in general, and I’ve read a lot of those already, but I always want more! So here are 4 books that are on my TBR that are queer and I really want to read. There are of course more on my TBR than only these ones so let me know if you’d like a part 2 of this post!

Somehow this post turned into a bi-rep post but hey, I like that!

Continue reading “4 LGBT+ Books I Need to Read ASAP”

Aromanticism: Answering All The Questions You Probably Wanted To Ask But Didn’t.

Because nobody sent me questions (I’m looking at you twitter folks. No hard feelings :P), I’m just going to answer all the questions I ask myself way too often and then answer them too (because why not). The reason for me doing this Q&A is because I think aromanticism is relatively unknown and though it is part of the LGBT+ spectrum, it gets little attention. When I asked whether people would be interested in reading this Q&A 28% did not even know what it was. So it is time!

Continue reading “Aromanticism: Answering All The Questions You Probably Wanted To Ask But Didn’t.”

Review | Future Leaders of Nowhere: A+ Characters & LGBT romance

General rating: ★★★★
Diversity rating: ★★ (lgbt+: lesbian, bi; POC: indian)

Future Leaders of Nowhere is a novel by Emily O’Beirne. It is a YA, contemporary, LGBT, super cute story which is a lot of fun to read. The book is divided into three parts, the first part is written from the perspective of Finn, the second is written from the perspective of Willa and the final part alternating between them.

33849121Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne

“Finn’s solid. Not in body, but in being. She’s gravity and kindness and all those good things that anchor.”

“Willa’s confusing. Sometimes she’s this sweet, sensitive soul. Other times she’s like a flaming arrow you hope isn’t coming for you.”

Finn and Willa have been picked as team leaders in the future leader camp game. The usually confident Finn doesn’t know what’s throwing her more, the fact she’s leading a team of highly unenthusiastic overachievers or coming up against fierce, competitive Willa. And Willa doesn’t know which is harder, leaving her responsibilities behind to pursue her goals or opening up to someone.

Soon they both realise that the hardest thing of all is balancing their clashing ideals with their unexpected connection. And finding a way to win, of course.

I loved the characters in this book and their development throughout the entire story. Willa and Finn are both very different people and at the same times in many ways the same. They are very intelligent girls with a drive for success. They are complex and very realistic, you just want to get to know them in real life, and it kind of feels like you already do by the time you finish the book.

Both of them get chosen to be a team leader at the Camp for Future Leaders where they both partake in. Both get chosen for different reasons but the result is the same, an entire group of people is counting on them to lead them to the best path possible. During the story, you get to know the characters on a very personal level, you get a look into their heads and how they see the world. The characters go through difficult situations and learn a lot from their experiences, and from each other.

“Have you only liked guys?”
“No. I like people.”
“So do I.” Willa grins. “They just happen to be girls.”

The romance is absolutely swoon-worthy, it’s just too sweet. It made me read for hours into the night and I just didn’t want to put it down. Willa is a lesbian and Finn is bi, and it felt like the most natural thing in the world, it didn’t feel forced in any way and I just don’t know what else to say, it’s just wonderful.

Because that’s the trouble with being smart. You can only fool yourself for so long.

As you might have noticed, the best part of this book was definitely the characters. It is quite hard to write a review when there’s just nothing to complain, it was just really good. I am giving this book 4 stars, but I don’t really know why I’m not giving it 5. It was cute, sweet, realistic, wonderful and definitely a book you want to read. I recommend this book if you like LGBT+ books, sweet romance and/or contemporary.

In Ageless Sleep Review: Sleeping Beauty with a gay spy & set in space? Hell yeah.

General rating: ★★★★
Diversity rating: ★★★☆ (POC, LGBT+ (lesbian), minority (Russian?), disability (limp))

In Ageless Sleep by Arden Ellis is a short novella that you can read in less than two hours that takes place in space. It’s a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but then ten times more awesome than the original. It’s a book that I believe is meant as an adult book, but might as well be YA.

In Ageless Sleep by Arden Elliscover109220-medium

Mal is a spy, a misanthrope, and a coward; growing up in the brutal Reaches has taught her that honor is a quality best left to the dead. Her latest mission: to hijack a cryo-ship carrying the brilliant daughter of the Sovereign King, and deliver her straight into enemy hands.

But when a vital component of the ship’s cryostasis system malfunctions, the only person who can keep the unconscious passengers alive is the woman Mal was sent to kidnap. Alone together on a ship of silent sleepers, Mal must remember that she and Aurora are enemies—or risk them becoming something much more dangerous.

I loved the characters in this book, both Mal and Rory (Aurora) were diverse characters with different backgrounds, that had different views of each other and of the world. Both are strong, independent, and interesting women. They are enemies, Rory is Mal’s prisoner, but over time they become something resembling friends. This process was very interesting to follow.

“You could at least talk to me,” she said. “I can’t imagine you enjoy the silence any more than I do.”
“I’m not much of a conversationalist,” Mal replied without feeling.
“Luckily for you, I’m a captive audience.”
Mal glanced up at Rory in order to see her brief, wry smile. “That joke was terrible,” Mal said.
“I know. But it got you to look at me, didn’t it?”

The world it was set in was simple and beautifully sketched. Pretty much the entire story takes place on a spaceship, on which Mal is in charge of a small population of cryo-sleeping prisoners. This simple story is happening in a world with political drama and wars, which are vital for the story.

The thing that really started to bug me was how short it was. Only when I was almost finished with this book I realised how few pages I had left. It made me really sad, because I would have loved to read way way way more about Rory and Mal in this world. I wish everything was just a little more elaborate, I would love to know more about the world it was set in, I would love to see their relationship develop even more, I would love to know more. That is really the only thing that disappointed me in this book, that there wasn’t enough of it.

I will be giving this book ★★★★ (4 stars) because though it was short, it was awesome. I would definitely recommend this very short novel if you like science fiction stories, lgbt+ romance or retellings. The book reminded me of the movie Passengers (2016), but then in a way less creepy stalker kind of way.

She and Mal weren’t so different in the end. They were both in stasis, hanging between one state and another, with no way of knowing what the world would look like when they woke up.

(btw the book is only $2 or less than 2 pounds on Amazon, so go crazy, you deserve it)