Review | The Art of Being Normal : More like The Art of Being Problematic (which this book was very good at)

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson is a book about two transgender teens, which deals with the matter – how do I say this nicely? – rather terribly. Let me tell you why.

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I initially didn’t want to include this synopsis in this review because even the synopsis is terribly problematic – I really wish I had read it before buying and reading this book and had not just read the blurb on the back of the book instead (WHICH WAS NOT PROBLEMATIC). Though it also feels wrong to not include any synopsis so I’m going to cross out some parts and replace them by good things.

Two boys One boy, one girl. Two secrets.

David Kate Piper has always been an outsider. His Her parents think he’s gay she’s a gay boy. The school bully thinks he’s she’s a freak. Only his her two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl Kate is a closeted transgender girl.

On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan.

When Leo stands up for David Kate in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…

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Review | Dare Mighty Things : Asexual Space Nerd Competes to go Into Space

Heather Kaczynski’s book has a premise that might as well have come from my mind, because it’s just so perfect!

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29523636THE RULES ARE SIMPLE: You must be gifted. You must be younger than twenty-five. You must be willing to accept the dangers that you will face if you win.

Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Gupta’s entire life has been leading up to this—the opportunity to travel to space. But to secure a spot on this classified mission, she must first compete against the best and brightest people on the planet. People who are as determined as she to win a place on a journey to the farthest reaches of the universe.

Cassie is ready for the toll that the competition will take; the rigorous mental and physical tests designed to push her to the brink of her endurance. But nothing could have prepared her for the bonds she would form with the very people she hopes to beat. Or that with each passing day it would be more and more difficult to ignore the feeling that the true objective of the mission is being kept from her.

As the days until the launch tick down and the stakes rise higher than ever before, only one thing is clear to Cassie: she’ll never back down . . . even if it costs her everything.

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Review | Ramona Blue : Swimming, Small Towns, and Fluid Sexuality

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy is a standalone contemporary novel and I listened to it on audio.

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31449227Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

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Review | Baker Thief : badass queer characters and an exploration of aromanticism (#ownvoices review)

Baker Thief is a book I’ve been anticipating ever since I first heard about it a few months ago and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint at all!

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36225236Adèle has only one goal: catch the purple-haired thief who broke into her home and stole her exocore, thus proving herself to her new police team. Little does she know, her thief is also the local baker.

Claire owns the Croissant-toi, but while her days are filled with pastries and customers, her nights are dedicated to stealing exocores. These new red gems are heralded as the energy of the future, but she knows the truth: they are made of witches’ souls.

When her twin—a powerful witch and prime exocore material—disappears, Claire redoubles in her efforts to investigate. She keeps running into Adèle, however, and whether or not she can save her sister might depend on their conflicted, unstable, but deepening relationship.

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Review | Far From The Tree: A brilliant story about the power of family

I recently read Far From The Tree by Robin Benway, which I absolutely adored. I listened to it on audio.

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33830437Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

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Review | The Female of The Species : A honest and hard to read but important feminist contemporary

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis is a hard book to read and to review. But I’m going to try and I’m going to try to do it justice.

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A contemporary YA novel that examines rape culture through alternating perspectives.

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.

Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.

As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

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