LGBTQ

a coming out post, to thank diverse books

I have always questioned my own sexuality and yeah I know, I’m not special because everybody does that. But hey I thought I was straight for like all of high school until now. I figured I’d graduate without anything really changing all that much. That seems to be a trend though, thinking that I have it all figured out and then whoopdeedoo I learn and change again.

In retrospect, it’s probably more accurate to say that I had been questioning, even if I didn’t realize it. I’ve had crushes on both guys and girls, although I always excused the latter as being a “girl crush” or that I “really, really wanted to be her friend.” I admired girls in a totally “platonic” way.

Cue the eyeroll, please.

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[Review] Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

AutoboyographyAutoboyography by Christina Lauren
Publication:  September 12th, 2017 by Simon & Schuster  
Number of Pages: 
407
Genre: 
Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Public Library
Rating: ★★★★★


Summary

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

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[Review] Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Series: None

Publication Date: February 21st, 2012

Publisher: Simon and Schuester Books for Young Readers

Number of Pages: 359

Genre: Contemporary, Historical, LGBTQ, Romance, YA

Source: Public library

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

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[Review] Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley

Lies We Tell Ourselves

Lies We Tell OurselvesAuthor: Robin Talley

Publication Date: September 30th, 2014

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Number of Pages: 384

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.”

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

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Everything Leads to You – Nina LaCour

Everything Leads to You

Everything Leads to YouAuthor: Nina LaCour

Publish Date: May 15th, 2014

Number of Pages: 307

Genre: YA, Contemporary, LGBTQ, Romance

A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still.

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.


Review

This would have been posted much earlier if WordPress hadn’t erased my entire review when I went to save it. *shakes fist at computer*

Can I just say that I love the cover of this book? I love the font and the pale pink color. I love how summery it looks. Even though it’s such a girly color, I don’t feel like I’m going to read something that is insufferably shallow. One thing that I did find a little misleading is that for the majority of the book, I thought the girl on the cover was Emi. After all, Emi is the main character right? Imagine my surprise when I learn that Emi isn’t completely Caucasian, but instead, mixed. (Seriously, authors need to slip these details into the book earlier so I’m not making completely incorrect assumptions). I read on until I read a tidbit about how Ava’s hair comes out of her bun and grazes her neck. So now, I’m assuming that the girl on the cover is Ava.

Beautiful cover aside, Everything Leads to You was a book different from the bajillion other contemporaries I’ve read. It focused on Emi, a girl with a unique job as a set designer. At the beginning of the book, her brother leaves, giving her and her friend Charlotte his apartment until he returns. With the one requirement being that something truly epic has to happen within the apartment, the two girls embark on a journey to find the daughter of Clyde Jones. Now it sounds kind of boring, but it actually wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed reading about how she put together the sets and about the different things they did to find Clyde’s granddaughter. But I did think that the characterization was a little lacking. Charlotte still feels like a blank piece of paper. She’s organized and extremely loyal, but what other traits does she have? Charlotte read like a placeholder. She didn’t ever feel like she was an important aspect of the plot. There was the occasional moment where Emi would mention how Charlotte disapproved of her ex-girlfriend, Morgan, but Charlotte herself was a forgettable character.

To be quite honest, I’m not too sure what my final say on the plot should be. It’s extremely boring at times. I mean, the book feels like a daily narrative of Emi’s life over that particular summer and her summer wasn’t very interesting. It’s a story of how Emi fell in love and learned more about people. She goes through a number of realizations about her job, her friends, and her family and this change of character is really well developed.

Something I really enjoyed about this book was the fact that the homosexuality elements were treated as if they were a given. In some other LGBTQ books, a character’s sexuality is often repeated innumerable times, as if the character feels the need to tell you every few pages that they like a certain gender. In this case, it wasn’t reaffirmed so many times. She was lesbian. So what? It’s not as if it’s much different from a straight relationship. I liked that her sexuality didn’t take the attention off of the plot.

While I’m on the topic of relationships, the romance in this book was extremely believable. While I didn’t really like the way that Emi obsessed over Ava, the way that the two eventually got together was something that I liked. It was evident by the end of the novel that Emi had changed. She’d realized something about love and the right way to begin a relationship after her toxic one with Morgan.

All-in-all, Everything Leads to You, was not terrible, but it has the possibility of being quickly forgotten.

3/5 Stars