Five Star Predictions ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

After predicting Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro would be a five out of five stars and ending up being a disappointment, I looked at my TBR and what other books I think will be new favorites.

Hopefully I’ll revisit this in not too long and see if I predicted right! (And I might have already read some of the books when this is posted because a couple posts were postponed because they clashed with posts for the Pride Library challenge.)

Heartstopper vol. 1 by Alice Oseman: I’ve heard such great things, actually only great things, about this graphic novel and already know the art style is right in my alley! I love the colors so much, and Oseman is a great storyteller.

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson: The previous book, Truly Devious, was one of my favourites last year, with boarding school & mystery it was probably one of my all-time fav YA books. So I have high hopes for this one as well, Maureen Johnson is a great author overall.

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling: This book has a great synopsis with queer witches that seem badass and I just hope I love this new release.

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner: Also a book I’ve heard great things about, with a close friendgroup and the main character (as me) looking at graduation with mixed feelings. It’s also another debut novel.

Fence vol. 1 by C. S. Pacat: I’ve seen so many book blogs love on these graphic novels as well. I’ve fallen in love with queer sports teams before, and fencing shouldn’t seem to be an exception? Also I’ve had mixed feelings about C. S. Pacat’s books before, but to me it’s no doubt that she has talent in making catchy characters.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman Review | M/M Romances #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The webcomics are free and regularly updated here!

Genre: graphic novel with lgbt main characters (m/m romance) & mental illness

Pages: 278 (vol. 1)

Synopsis

Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…? 

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore, and he’s sort of got a boyfriend, even if he’s kind of mean and only wants to meet up in secret.

Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. That is, until the start of January, in which Nick and Charlie are placed in the same form group and made to sit together.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…

My thoughts

Rating out of five: five

Alice Oseman is great at telling stories in general (see “I was born for this” and “Radio silence” for more proof). Solitaire is the only book I didn’t like from her, which made me more wary going into this one since it’s a spin-off. I don’t think you need to read the novel before to fall in love with this one, but it does give more context and might make it even better. Through this novel I even got a better sense of what Oseman was trying to do with the characters of Solitaire, it was apparent that she cares for them deeply and seeing the big sister (protagonist in Solitaire) from the brother’s perspective and in graphic novel format was so endearing and made me like the book more, well no more like the characters, in hindsight.

The illustration style is both extremely cute and just informal enough. The m/m romance starts so innocent, with two teenage boys figuring themselves out and where being friends stop and flirting starts. They’re both so adorably awkward and comfortable throughout it all. Meeting through sports team has become a trope I’m really into all of a sudden this pride month (having read the amazing “Running with lions” by Julian Winters as well).

This volume and the rest of this on-going series is actually a webcomic which you can get for free at tapas here and is regularly updated by Oseman! The story only gets better (if that’s even possible) as I’ve of course read through it all straight after I was done with vol. 1 and I can’t wait to hold vol. 2 in my hands as well. I really need to get more into queer webcomics and graphic novels. Fence by C. S. Pacat is next on my list.

Feelings while reading this book: smiling from ear to ear, making sounds of cuteness overload and me physically freezing in place when someone tries bullying Charlie (like the big sister I am).

Sweet Cover | Friday Face Off

This is a weekly thing created by Books by Proxy, but currently run by Lynn’s Book Blog.

This week’s theme: “Coraline opened the box of chocolates. The dog looked at them longingly.” – A cover featuring something sweet

My pick: Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Paperback (1992) by Farrar, Straus and Giroux | Paperback (2007) by Commemorative Edition | Kindle (2017) by Open Road Media Teen & Tween 

Hardcover (1982) | Paperback by Farrar Straus Giroux (1998) | Spanish (2019) by Kakao Books

My favourite

First published in 1982, this book got a lot of varied covers through the years! I found several sources where the author talks about how much she hated the first cover arts, presumably the 1982 one because they talk about how masculine the characters were made to seem. It’s a YA with two girls falling in love, and until recently I regularly heard the misconception of two ‘feminine’ or ‘girly’ girls wouldn’t choose to be together, the whole ‘one guy and one girl’ thing. I’ve not yet read this book, but based on what I know of it the retro, but wholesome romantic vibes of the 1992 cover is my fav. The spanish one is like taken out of Frozen animators (aka too much), and the 1998 one is cute, but doesn’t make it explicit that they’re more than friends.

Trans & Non-Binary Characters #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

I’ve read only “every day” and “I was born for this” from this list, I just haven’t read enough novels with trans or non-binary characters, which I realized very recently. Hopefully I’ll find good recommendations through these posts and get to some of there ones as well –

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

  • Character changes gender mid-way through the novel

Every Day by David Levithan

  • Main character wakes up in a different body every day and experience life as different genders

I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

  • #ownvoices new release written by a non-binary author

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

  • Has a romance between two persons who was best friends wher one is a queer girl and one a trans boy. The author is queer and married to a trans man.

Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee

  • Has a trans boy best friend

I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman

  • Important characters in this book is this super popular band, in which on member is a trans boy
  • Here’s my full review of it, it was such an awesome book!

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and if you liked them! Please link your post if you’re participating so I see it and recommend any LGBTQ books you’ve loved.

Probably Unpopular Opinion TTT

This week’s top ten tuesday theme, which I usually follow, with unpopular bookish opinions sucks. And I’m writing a small quick notice because I don’t want to direct it at any single blog participating.

1) either it’s not actually unpopular and you know it or 2) you’ve just collected all of ten dislikes in one post which just comes off as a bundle of hate no matter if you felt strongly about one or all of them and then 3) all the comments are like “yes I hate this too!!!” or “well, actually …”

It’s like Twitter in here. I like when people give their honest opinion of x author or book or bookish dislike, but this just gave me a weird bad feeling.

In other more personal news; I should’ve had my completely final exam in two days, but the school fucked up and had to postpone it and I get no news of when. Those book reviews I promised are going to take a while, is what I’m saying

Favourite Fantasy Books | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl to bring bookish friends together. A new topic is posted each week.

Reviews are linked (as always)!

I didn’t do the Top Ten Tuesday last week, so I’m switching out this week’s topic for that one. They’re not in any order, because that’s too much of a burden.

THE YA FANTASY

Graceling by Kristin Cashore is a book I read I was a kid and fell in love with. It really shows nuances and someone being strong, but also doubting themselves. The main character Katsa goes through a lot of shit, she’s abused by her king uncle and made into a killer, but she has such a conscience and urge to protect people. Also the world, with it being visible through discolored eyes who has magical abilities, made for a really interesting setting.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, where Black is the ultimate author on fairy/fae fantasy and incorporating different creatures with modern people and culture.

FOR EVERYONE

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a underdog story with thrilling heists by a diverse & amazing team that become like family to each other. The kick-ass deadly Inej and the ruthless team-leader Kaz gives this story its own feeling, along with a great plot.

The Golden Compass and His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman is becoming a classic with its great coming-of-age story with a kickass girl named Lyra in a world where humans have an animal attached to them.

The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson is the gateway drug into Brandon Sanderson’s books, with plotline and characters that will blow you away, but also approchable, easy writing to follow and a young adult vibe. Sanderson is the fantasy authors I’m not afraid to overhype.

Moon Called and the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs is the best urban fantasy I’ve read. Awesome female characters is apparently my type here.

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik is filled with dragons from around the world and dragon-trainers. Novik had another bestseller “Uprooted”, but this was the first book I read from her and it’s just everything you expect fantasy to have and does it soo well. DRAGONS FIGHTS HUMAN’S WARS!!!

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman because I can’t really put the edda on this list, can i? I love Gaiman’s style of writing, but I don’t always match with his stories, or rather plots. I do love (and know pretty well) norse mythology and this retelling was really magical.

FOR THE EPIC FANTASY-LOVERS

The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss is my favourite books ever. It just is. I feel like people love or hate these books based on how much they like the main character especially, but there’s just so great writing that really speaks to me and I can reread it so many times and still discover new tidbits with foreshadowing and secrets.

Words of radiance and the rest of the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson is yet my favourite book and series by Sanderson, it just blew all my expectations away and every expectation of what epic fantasy is in general.

Summer Goals; chronic illness, training, travelling, change

I’ve briefly talked about having mixed feelings about this summer. I don’t know how interesting this post is really, because it’s kind of a mix of bookish goals, survival plans and the fact that I view summer as my new year with resolutions and all. Share any thoughts or questions you might have, I rarely get offended.

I’m the person you want to have with you in a crisis. Since I was a kid, I just act super rationally and deal with it. But what I’m scared of happening this summer is me 1) feeling stuck in a place or around people that I feel is harming (see escape plans) 2) being away from all support through friends and daily routine, making me less equipped to handle bad things 3) dissociating completely because of family/pain/past trauma 4) ending up in the hospital like last year unprepared and completely losing my shit at my unfortune. So this post is mostly for me just having something to refer to solutions if these things do come true.

About summer

I live for the summer. I love the ocean, as you might’ve guessed by the strange name of this blog, and I just feel at peace getting to spend my time like I want, which is mostly swimming, recovering and reading. I’m in and out of hospitals and constantly catching up on school during the rest of the year, but summer has always been my time to breathe. I should be excited about this summer, but the things that has kept me going these past months is in comparison routine, stability and friends. Of not looking too far into the future and the worries that lies ahead. I’m going to need goals to not let everything I’ve got going slip out of my hands.

My goals

Redesign graphics on this blog. I started it with clear ideas and just never had the time to make it as aesthetically pleasing as I wanted. Just make a cohesive thing, how hard can it be. And better quality, because look at the image of this post.

Get a routine to my writing. I’m not claiming I can finish the first draft of my somewhat resembling a novel, but I want to go from writing a lot in a couple weeks and then taking break over the next month to a more healthy routine. I’m very all or nothing kind of person, but I can’t continue writing if it’s going to occupy all my mind and become so obsessive over it at the most annoying times. A weekend of that is fine, two weeks is too draining in addition to school. How do people freaking write?!

Actually get a routine and structure to my day in general. I love being spontaneous, and my summer is based on that, with little plans. The problem is that I fall apart all of a sudden without some kind of base routine. It’s connected with having chronic pain, where with a base routine I know how much energy daily things take. Also I shouldn’t eat X hours before doing a really fun thing, or I’ll be in more pain.

Pack for vacation and then moving. This will be a thing in late june and then again in august. I’m very excited and terrified at once. I currently live in my late grandparents house and my grandma was a light hoarder, meanign we’ve been throwing out things for the past five years, but there’s still more things to get rid of before we’re renting it out. And then my stuff has to be sorted to “going to uni”, “going to loft” and “going on vacay” as well.

Start training. Have I said that summer is like my new years? But honestly, I need to start training in some sense to recover. I’ve been in bad shape since being so ill last summer and I’m just starting to regain muscle. I need training as a stress-releaser for the fall, and starting to build that foundation from scratch is going to require a lot of work. Here’s my prediction: I’ll start with yoga just because it’s softer on the body, grow so bored of it in max the 2nd week, start scouting for martial arts gyms which will all be closed and start swimming a lot instead. My lungs are still too fucked up for straight up running, I think.

Catch up with my reading: both physics science books, writing advice and others. I know I add a lot of books on my TBR every bi-weekly update. Please know that they will not be read in the near future. My TBR is currently 434 books! Another goal is definitely to shorten my TBR, which I have a few methods I want to try through blog posts, but if you have any advice throw it my way. I’ll post a summer TBR soon, because there’s some books I just have to get through.

Etc: spend time with friends (who’s understandably working a lot), spending as much time in the ocean as possible, start learning Python programming (how? I don’t know yet).

Where am I going?

Summer town on the coast of Norway: It’s the place I grew up and then decided to move from, with good reasons.

  • The positives: constantly surrounded by water, lots of places to go out with a boat, a family cabin and lots of bathing spots, a couple friends.
  • The problems: my family there, who have always refused to accept that I’m chronically ill in any way (even as I came out of surgery last year) and I feel the need to confront them all for the sake of my also chronically ill little brother. It’s something that is a big goal this summer, just because I’m 20 years old and it’s the first time I don’t rely on them anymore. I just feel like sometimes you got to make decisions and mark what the criteria for continuing a good relationship with people need to be. I learned that when I was 16 years old refusing to pick up the phone out of a, now looking back, scarily mature moral decision. It sparked a little change in treatment. It’s time for a bigger one.

Denmark: the first escape plan (also will be there at least a week in july).

  • The positives: extremely nice aunt who lives there, extremely good food, quiet enough for lots of reading, baking and recovering. I’m going to buy a year’s worth of tea.
  • The negatives: the countryside, so no people around. Can’t spend the whole summer there, or I’ll permanently become a hermit, which is only bad because I won’t be able to go back into regularly society for a while and that clashes with plans to go to uni.

Amsterdam? My second escape plan. My third escape plan is tenting at the beach. I know where I’ll get the equipment already. It might seem like I’ve put too much thought into this, but at the same time it’s been very necessary before.

Relate to any of this? Are you doing something special this summer? (I have more free time than most, I know)

Authors of Colour #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

Here’s a couple of the authors I’ve read & loved.

Bejamin Alire Sáenz

  • Born in New Mexico
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: ultimate gay teenage summer-vibe romance (both Mexan-American)
  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life: YA with the most kind-hearted gay, hispanic dad character that possibly ever existed
  • Also has a lot of contemporary more adult LGBT fiction, which I didn’t realize before now

Malinda Lo

  • Asian-American, cofounded http://www.diversityinya.com/ with Cindy Pon (Silver Phoenix)
  • Ash: lesbian YA romance, retelling of Cinderella
  • Also written “Huntress”, “Adaption” and “Inheritance”

Anna-Marie McLemore

  • Mexican-American
  • “When the moon was ours” is on my TBR this month, with a romance between a queer Latina girl and a trans Pakistani-American boy. I only found out now that her husband is also transgender!
  • “Wild beauty” is also a book I’ve been wanting to read. It has a Latina bisexual girl as main character and genderqueer side characters.

Adam Silvera

  • Puerto Rican
  • “What if it’s us”: cute romance with gay guys
  • “They both die at the end”: two latino characters where one guy is bisexual and the other gay
  • “History is all you left me”: three gay/queer guys and lots of crying I predict, which is why I haven’t read it yet

Julian Winters

  • I just read and fell in love with “Running with lions” this month. It’s centered around a inclusive football team where so many of the guys are bi/gay, one of them Pakistani muslim, and the main character Sebastian Hughes is bi

There’s so many more authors I want to read books from like Claire Kann, Natasha Ngan & Sabina Khan. The TBR is just tooo long sometimes!!! It’s exciting, but also so many books to get to.

Also I fell down the rabbit hole of googling whether inuits and sami people were defined as ‘people of colour’, just to find Frozen-debates dominating the google-searches, so if anyone have the answer that would be great. Here in Europe the racism is often based on ethnic groups, which is just as bad, but less confusing on where the lines of distinction are drawn.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and if you liked them! Please link your post if you’re participating so I see it and recommend any LGBTQ books you’ve loved.

Rainbows & Unease | Bi-Weekly Update

As I’m writing this the girls in front of me are discussing promoting Amnesty campaigns (I think especially through local youth group’s insta) for protecting LGBTQ people and especially Pride Parade Turkey, so there’s actually queer stuff everywhere.

New book posts:

Other books I’ve been reading:

I’ve been reading again! Which means I’ve not completely lost the ability to, hah!

  • Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore (currently reading)
  • The life-changing magic of tidying by Marie Kondo
  • Running with lions with Julian Winters (queer)
  • The cybernetic tea shop by Meredith Katz (queer)
  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (I haven’t been making progress since last time … oops)

Added to TBR:

  • The gilded wolves by Roshai Chokshi (YA fantasy, Siobhan loves it so that’s promising)
  • On the edge of gone by Corinne Duyvis (queer dystopia)
  • Brave face by Shaun David Hutchinson (queer memoir, rec by Anniek)
  • War of the foxes by Richard Siken (poetry, queer)
  • Steel by Carrie Vaughn (YA fantasy w/ fencing! and pirates!)
  • You know me well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan (queer YA)
  • A memory called empire by Arkandy Martine (queer scifi, rec by Acquadimore)
  • Out of salem by Hal Schrieve (queer YA with zombies!)
  • City of strife (queer fantasy, rec by Alex) by Claudie Arseneault

Great posts from other blogs!

Three things on my mind:

  • I cut the complaining out of this post. I’ll just sum it up in one sentence; I don’t know when my last exam is yet and I just had to spend an hour and a half to postpone an important hospital thing, and then I can only do two months later… fuck, why can’t anything just be simple sometimes.
  • It’s summer! I’m not as excited about it as I always am, because I’m really really nervous. I’ve been going back and forth with myself about why, but then I realized – the problem is last year’s summer. It was horrible, as I finished my last exam in May last year and was admitted to hospital straight afterwards (with a bad lung infection and fluids pooling up, and also needed minor surgery on my gallbladder). The complications meant I was in and out of hospital far into July. I’m not that ill this time, but I think finishing exams and planning summer is quite the trigger for worry of it happening again. When it comes down to it, the only thing I can do is try to relax, but you know – not that easy.
  • AURORA came out with a new album as I’m writing this!!! The second part to “A different kind of human” and it’s magical. Here’s the link to Spotify. Haven’t found it on youtube yet, but I’ll link to the newest song. I really like “The River” and overall a new album is just the thing I need to calm down. Also the song Daydreamer has definitely something I relate to; “White, silicon eyes, watching storms, sitting quiet// Reading books in the heat of city lights // Bored, everyone’s bored // When I’m restless, put me under the night life stars // And I will feel grounded

Regular book reviews will return shortly ❤

Purple Queer Books #PrideLibrary19 🌈

The Pride Library 2019 Challenge is hosted by Library Looter, Anniek’s Library and Michelle Likes Things. Join in on it anytime or link your post in the comments so I see it! Also all reviews I’ve written will be linked.

I haven’t read a single purple queer book. WHAT!?

TBR

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

I read and loved the first book “The gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue” so of course I have to read this one following Felicity, the nerdy aromantic-asexual sister trying to become a doctor in 1700s Europe. I don’t know where the piracy plays in, but excited to find out.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

goodreads.

YA fantasy where the lesbian main character is sent to be a part of a nine girl consort to the king, but fights against it as well as falls in love. Major trigger warning for rape and sexual violence.

Far From You by Tess Sharpe

goodreads.

YA mystery where the bestfriend is murdered and the bisexual female main character, previously struggling with addiction, has to figure out who did it.

Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden

goodreads.

This was one of the books I first heard about while trying to find lesbian romances, so it’s been on my TBR for a while. Seems like the typical forbidden teenage lesbian romance.

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

goodreads.

Just released in May and got great reviews so far! Queer girl main character who’s a witch! Supernatural disasters in the city happens, dark magic is appearing, and also a cute new ballerina arrives, all throwing her off the normal state of things. I’M SO EXCITED TO READ THIS!

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and if you liked them! Please link your post if you’re participating so I see it and recommend any LGBTQ books you’ve loved.