LGBT Ebooks on sale!

I already made this post for my book tumblr, so I thought why not take two minutes to post it here as well and just take it down when the sale disappears. I have no idea if it’s a coincidence that so many books are on sale for kindle on amazon right now, but probably everyone in charge of this has just gone “it’s the start of pride month” at the same time.

I found a handful of different lgbt (and a few other) kindle books I’ve wanted for a long time on sale on amazon today by accident, but it’s so easy to miss so what I do is just have a kindle wishlist of ebooks that are expensive (often because just released) and then just scroll through semi-regularly, because it will tell you the percentage the price dropped with. Also fuck amazon and authors should be paid a lot and all that, but I’m also a poor uni student (also without access to library bc of corona) so forgive me.

If you didn’t know; https://queerbooksforteens.com/ is an amazing service that tells you what kind of representation each queer book has.

Also I would love to know how you find out as a reader when books on your TBR are on sale! I tried the bookbub service for a while, but it seems to have gotten worse and I’m giving up on that soon.

Books on sale (most I have yet to read, but really want to); 

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward: 

Not queer, but I just heard about it. It’s written by black author and about a poor african-american family struggling after hurricane Katrina, has magical realism elements it seems. 

Heartstopper vol. 1 by Alice Oseman: fav of mine! queer boys, m/m relationship

The darkest part of the forest by Holly Black: love this book, only a gay side character

City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault:

Lgbt fantasy with aromantic asexual characters and ownvoices for that, and I think basically the whole cast of characters are queer

Let’s Talk about Love by Claire Kann: biromantic asexual black main character, ownvoices

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo: ownvoices, transgender woman as main character

Anticipated Queer Book Releases 2020 | #PrideLibrary20

I’m joining in on some of the #pridelibrary20 prompts, hosted by The Library Looter, Michelle Likes Things and Anniek’s Library throughout June. Here’s a link to a summary of my posts from last year.

I feel that more often than not I learn about the existence of queer books after they’ve come out rather than before, because it’s been so much more up to the different readers to share the good books around, rather than good marketing promoting them before they are released. Mostly my strategy for new queer releases is finding authors I like and then lie and wait, scouting for new ones.

There were a lot of queer books released in May that I looked forward to reading, but not that many for the rest of the year, so hopefully I will find some new books reading through similiar posts.

June Releases

The State of Us by Shaun David Hutchinson: 2nd of June

  • Not quite sure what happens here, but the son of a democrat and son of a republican apparently fall in love, and it’s being compared to the other gay president/royal book ‘Red, White and Royal Blue’ that I truly loved.

Loveless by Alice Oseman: 9th of June

  • Asexual and aromantic main character coming out. Set at university, featuring lots of platonic love! I truly love Oseman’s writing in general, based on her other books (excluding Solitaire tbh).

Further Into the Future

Fence: Striking Distance by Sarah Rees Brennan and C. S. Pacat – 29th of september

  • There’s a comic series by C. S. Pacat called Fence that I thought had so much potential, but really truly sucked in quality and plotline and anything but the aesthetics. I really like Sarah Rees Brennan as an author and hope she’ll fix it.
  • Some of the guys on the team are gay, I don’t remember how many.

Exciting Book Releases Summer 2020

Summer might not be the same, but the book releases are? Hopefully? I made a similiar post for Spring 2020, which cut off in April and is why May suddenly became considered summer by accident.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Release date: 5. May

Why I want to read it: I was impressed by the writing of Acevedo when I read ‘The Poet X’

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Release date: 5. May

Why I want to read it: I’m really interested in reading more young adult books with trans main character, tbh. And it seems to have been received so well by other book blogs!

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Release date: 5. May

Why I want to read it: I mean, that title. I’m promised sapphic pirates, so I’m on-board, even if it hasn’t been getting the best ratings so far.

This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling #2

My review of These witches don’t burn (book one)

Release date: 19. May

Why I want to read it: The first book in the series gave me all the queer witches it promised!

The State of Us by Shaun David Hutchinson

Release date: 2. June

Why I want to read it: I have a hit or miss record with Hutchinson’s books, but I really like him as an author. Also this gay book with the son of a democrat and son of a republican falling in love is being compared to the other gay president/royal book ‘Red, White and Royal Blue’ that I truly loved.

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Release date: 9. June

Why I want to read it: Oseman is one of my fav authors, I’ve read so many of her other books! And really excited to read what seems like a very personal book, with an asexual-aromantic main character. I’ve seen Oseman seemingly struggle while writing this book, and crossing my fingers it was worth it and turned out like she wanted it to.

Honorary Mention:

I wondered whether to mention Midnight Sun, the 5th long-awaited book in the Twilight series by Stepenie Meyer. ‘I’m never going to read this thing’ I thought, but then I remembered the big chance I’m going to meet one of my childhood friends this summer, where we both were sooo into Twilight growing up. And if so, I have to buy and bring with me this book, there’s no way to avoid it. We have to bash it together. For old times sake.

Also funfact; when the movies came out and also the non-readers of the friendgroup got their eyes up for it, everyone was very into one character, except me. ‘Like Edward was better than Jacob as a love interest in the books, I guess. Why does she even have to be with one of these guys?’, was kind of the vibe. But of course – I just really liked Kristen Stewart/Bella Swan the whole time, without realizing. And that’s on #bisexuality, with a major leaning towards girls.

Exciting Book Releases Spring 2020

The Hand of the Wall (Truly Devious #3) by Maureen Johnson

Release date: 21. January

Why I want to read it: this series is just great, and I love Maureen Johnson’s writing in general

Deathless Divide (Dread Nation #2) by Justina Ireland

Release date: 4. February

Why I want to read it: The first book Dread Nation was such an interesting mix of historical setting, diversity, kickass armed girls and zombies.

Heartstopper vol. 3 by Alice Oseman

Release date: 6. February

Why I want to read it: Heartstopper vol. 1 and 2 was so so great and I need more of this cute gay love

When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey

Release date: 3. March

Why I want to read it: queer friendgroup of witches. that’s what I know and it’s definitely enough to get me interested.

Imagine Me (Shatter Me #6)

Release date: 31. March

Why I want to read it: I don’t really? I have nr. 5, Defy Me, 3 out of five stars after having loved the whole series. But it is the finale, so I’m going to hope for the best.

Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

Release date: 7. April

Why I want to read it: I like this kind of fantasy, or at least I liked Wicked Saints, but I’m nervous to how well this sequel to a debut novel is going to hold up. Seems like a tough job.

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Release date: 30. April

Why I want to read it: Oseman is a great author, and I’m really looking forward to this + the main character is asexual.

The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic | Review

I wrote a review after reading this book series for the first time in 2016, and found it on goodreads after rereading this series again. So enjoy my unfiltered thoughts from seventeen-year-old me about this book series I truly still love;

Pages: 237

Genre: Young Adult – lgbt characters (gay and demisexual character(s)).

Synopsis

Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.

Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.

But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil’s new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can’t walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he’s finally found someone and something worth fighting for.

My thoughts

Rating out of five stars: four

I couldn’t put this book down. Sports! Friends forming a family! Dramatic misfits! Such cute (with that I mean hardcore) characters!

First, let us get this out of the way: this book sucks the first pages. Probably the first two chapters, or even longer. But do not give up on it, because the rest of the book is completely worth it. So is the rest of the series, which I read in less than twenty-four hours.

This is a book about family, but not only the biological one. It is about the importance of support and friends, how they can change your life and you change theirs. “The foxhole court” family is not perfect; they are a bunch of misfits thrown together with only one common goal: to be champions & make people stop laughing at their Exy team. That is: except for Andrew, because he is an uncaring, high (and protective) jerk.

“The Palmetto State University Foxes were a team of talented rejects and junkies because Wymack only recruited athletes from broken homes. His decision to turn the Foxhole Court into a halfway house of sorts was nice in theory, but it meant his players were fractured isolationists who couldn’t get along long enough to get through a game.”

And yes… this is a sports book about a sport that does not exists outside of “The foxhole court”s cover. Exy is completely fictional, but seems like a mix between lacrosse and… Rugby, perhaps? A more violent twist to the sport anyway. It seems like making up a sport was preferable in how certain rules and the whole sports culture had to be different from what we know, for this book to be what it is. We already have Quidditch, so why not Exy. Easier name to spell too. Fictional sport or not, this book has an authentic i-will-do-anything-to-be-the-best feel and passion, which I like. Nothing better than jealousy and threats to motivate you.

There is no romance in this book, for reasons you will realize if reading the rest of the series. I found this really refreshing? There is a lot going on with backstories, trying to get these fucked up teens on a straight path and be sort of friends/teammates. There is definitely enough drama to go around anyway. A lot like the raven cycle, this book has the notion of a coming romance, but is too busy that it is of importance.

“Hope was a dangerous, disquieting thing, but he [Neil] thought perhaps he liked it.”

I will be the first to admit that this book got some problems, much like the characters in it. I love “The Foxhole Court” and its characters anyway, with flaws and all. Uncommonly, the series only gets better from here, and at the end of the first book, it was pretty exciting already. It was an easy read, but with dept as well. And with a squad you will love.

The Cybernetic Tea Shop | Book Review

Genre: sci-fi short story, romance, asexual main character

Pages: 65

Synopsis

Clara Gutierrez is a highly-skilled technician specializing in the popular ‘Raise’ AI companions. Her childhood in a migrant worker family has left her uncomfortable with lingering in any one place, so she sticks around just long enough to replenish her funds before she moves on, her only constant companion Joanie, a fierce, energetic Raise hummingbird.

Sal is a fully autonomous robot, the creation of which was declared illegal ages earlier due to ethical concerns. She is older than the law, however, at best out of place in society and at worst hated. Her old master is long dead, but she continues to run the tea shop her master had owned, lost in memories of the past, slowly breaking down, and aiming to fulfill her master’s dream for the shop.

When Clara stops by Sal’s shop for lunch, she doesn’t expect to find a real robot there, let alone one who might need her help. But as they begin to spend time together and learn more about each other, they both start to wrestle with the concept of moving on… 

My thoughts

Rating: five out of five stars

A short & cute sci-fi love story, set in an old tea shop, between a highly-skilled technician working on AI and a fully autonomous asexual robot! Which I really didn’t think would work, but when the sci-fi world was first explained it made complete sense. There’s what we would define as robots, which have been programmed by a human to do tasks or act a certain way, and then there’s these high-tech beings that should be considered as intelligent, aware and (probably) given the same rights as humans – to the point where they stopped creating them because they were too full of free will. And that’s the type of “robot” in this love story, called Sal.

I really liked the writing and the focus on routines and daily life of Sal the robot, as well as the technician Clara having her quirks, with wanting to travel and keep her distance from people. It was all so perfectly put together; the emotion, the plot, the romance building up and showing how these two people fit together so perfectly. It succeeded in telling the story of someone at the edge of society, being considered different and harassed for it.

What really made this story work is seeing scenes from the robot’s perspective as well. The writing and thoughts were clearly different, but at the same time human enough. It became a journey of trying to figure out what was memories and “human” emotional connection to the tea shop for Sal and what was their ancient programming tying them to the place they were tasked to upkeep.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this story, even if you’re like me and is usually so much more interested in the sci-fi aspects than the romantic story. I love tea and rituals and robots and skilled introverted technicians. I’m looking forward to reading more short stories by the author!

Fav quotes *minor spoilers*

Her wanderlust was hard to explain to anyone who didn’t feel likewise. Too many people were rooted to a concept of home, wanted to have the same place to return to every day, to walk the same paths between home and work and back, to see the same faces every day. Nobody would just nod to the idea that she could decide to leave before she’d picked somewhere to go. 

They lay together in a tangle of skirt and blankets and discarded cords and chips.

She couldn’t cry, and despite that, she heard herself make the sound, a shaky breath, a sob, and she flung her arms around Clara and just held on as she tried to find her own center, tried to find a way to understand herself that wasn’t defined in contrast to anyone else.

Asexual Protagonists #PrideLibrary19 🌈

Heyyy. It’s 2 am and this post is a day late. But I’ve also nearly packed up all my belongings before moving and forgotten which day it was two days in a row. Which means I’m very productive, but also a bit of a scatter head. Let’s just file that as the official excuse.

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.

The (past) day’s theme is asexual or aromantic main characters, which I have to admit I feel like I’ve read too few book with yet.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman (full review linked): the protagonist is bisexual, as the other main character Aled is demisexual. Would absolutely recommend it!! Alice Oseman writes perfectly about the introverted teenage experience, while also creating characters and problems that are so much their own and alive.

Trigger warnings for this book: suicidal ideation, depression, emotional abuse, animal cruelty. I cried my eyes out at points – it’s one of those books that just succeeds in being too real.

The Foxhole Court (All For the Game #1) by Nora Sakavic: the protagonist is demisexual, which is somewhere on the asexual spectrum. Demisexual is someone who only feels sexual attraction after having already formed a close emotional connection with someone. Also has several gay characters. Queer books for teens (what a great site!!!) also says it’s ownvoices for the ace spectrum.

Trigger warnings for this book: substance use/alcoholism, sexual assault, violence, abuse, suicide/suicidal ideation, murder

The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz: I have yet to write a review of this, but it’s such a cute love story set in a tea shop, between a highly-skiled techinician working on AI and a fully autonomous asexual robot. Yes, I also was hesitant to how not all robots are inherently asexual. But it’s set in a sci-fi world where it’s very apparent that there’s what we think of as “robots” and then there’s these high-tech beings that should be considered as intelligent, aware and given the same rights as humans – to the point where they stopped creating them because they were too full of free will.

On My TBR

Let‘s talk about love by Claire Kann: The synopsis really says it all, sounds like a great dramatic summer read –

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood. 

City of strife by Claude Arseneault: high fantasy with several asexual characters, including the main character (who is also aromantic). #ownvoices as it’s written by an asexual&aromantic author. Here’s a cry for help – in general can high fantasy become more diverse?? Like I so want to really dive into high fantasy, but it’s just so … many white straight men among the popular ones. I’m so excited to read this!

Researching this I found Claude has made a database of aromantic and asexual characters! Here’s the link to her website with info about it. I found that so smart and fascinating.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee: Following Felicity, the lovely nerdy sister from the first Montague Siblings book The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue as she tried to become a doctor in 1700s Europe. She’s aromantic & asexual. Excited to see where the piracy plays into all of this.