Review: Bizarre Romance by Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell

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Internationally bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger, and graphic artist Eddie Campbell, of such seminal works as From Hell by Alan Moore, collaborate on a wonderfully bizarre collection that celebrates and satirizes love of all kinds. With 16 different stories told through illustrated prose or comic panels, the couple explores the idiosyncratic nature of relationships in a variety of genres from fractured fairy tales to historical fiction to paper dolls. With Niffenegger’s sharp, imaginative prose and Campbell’s diverse comic styles, Bizarre Romance is the debut collection by two of the most important storytellers of our time.

This book was without a doubt the weirdest, wackiest, most bizarre I’ve ever read. And I loved it. It turned out to be nothing like I expected, and instead of being about the authors’ relationship like I thought, it ended up being about love of art, of animals, of people, of magic and mystical beings. I really liked finding where love came into each story, whether it was a comic with fantasy elements or literary fiction.

As with any collection of short stories, I preferred some over others. I found the art style jarring at times, but I still really liked some of the comics. I ended up having two joint favourites, Thursday’s, Six to Eight p.m. and The Church of the Funnies. Thursday’s, Six to Eight p.m. was the first story in this book, and was in comic format. This story was pretty standard fiction, and I really liked it being about a bibliophile. It was very unexpected with twists and turns and I was hooked for the whole story! The Church of the Funnies was the penultimate story in this collection, and was a love letter to art (at least, in my mind). It left me with a smile on my face. The vast majority of these stories were published before for different reasons, and this one was actually a sermon written by Niffenegger and was delivered at Manchester Cathedral as part of Manchester Literary Festival in 2014.

I also ended up really liking some of the stories with fantasy elements, like the unexpected ghost story Secret Life with Cats, and the darker ones such as Digging Up the Cat. Every story had something I liked, and I related to each of them on one level or another. It appealed to the deepest, darkest and weirdest parts of me, and when I embraced it, I really enjoyed it.

I’m going to do a quick list with summaries of each story and my ratings of each!

Thursday’s, Six to Eight p.m.★★★

Comic. As I mentioned, my joint favourite story in this series. A couple get married, but he wants to have two hours on a Thursday night to himself, and doesn’t explain why. After a while, she gets suspicious and tries to find out why he wants the time alone….

The Composite Boyfriend – ★★★

Prose. This one was a lovely introduction to the prose in this book. A short story about a history of boyfriends, all of them being not ‘the one’.

RoseRedSnowRidingBeautyShoesHoodSleepingWhite – ★★★

Comic. A very odd fantasy story about siblings looking for Halloween costumes, but ended up being mystical, magical and poignant.

Secret Life, With Cats – ★★★

Prose. Another one of my favourites and I really enjoyed it. A surreal ghost story with love being a central theme (and a lot of cats).

The Ruin of Grant Lowery – ★★★

Comic. A very odd story about a man who meets a group of faeries in a bar, with an ending that made me laugh.

Girl on a Roof★★★

Prose. A short story about a girl called Nan who has not seen her girlfriend Sylvie since the floods began in New Orleans. A beautiful love story that had such a heavy, poignant feeling.

Jakob Wywialowski and the Angels – ★★★

Comic. Another wacky comic about a man with angels in his roof, that he gets the pest control in to deal with. Again, this one had a surprising, emotional ending that I really liked.

At the Movies★★★

Prose. Another one I quite enjoyed, about a couple making a movie. A simple but heartfelt story I resonated with.

Motion Studies: Getting out of Bed – ★★★

Comic. An odd story about a woman who posed for life drawing classes and was now part of what was seemingly a photography project. I really enjoyed how the thoughts and feelings of the woman were intertwined with the drawings.

The Wrong Fairy – ★★★

Prose. Another poignant story about an elderly man who had been committed to a mental asylum. Again, we had fantasy elements which were wacky but really enjoyable.

Digging up the Cat – ★★★

Prose. As previously mentioned, another one of my favourites and I really liked this one. A dark story about a family who were digging up their pet cat who had been buried for 7 years, and wanted to add another recently deceased pet to be buried with it.

The Church of the Funnies – ★★★

Prose. A joint favourite for me alongside Tuesday’s, Six to Eight p.m.. A love letter to art that I really liked and left me quietly chuckling to myself.

Backwards in Seville – ★★★

Comic. An emotional story about a middle aged woman had joined her aging father on a cruise. This ended up being very sweet and I quite liked the art style.

There is nothing that explains this book as well as this quote from the introduction of the book itself, and I couldn’t sum it up better myself: “sometimes romantic, sometimes star-crossed, or merely discombobulated, but all are at least a tiny bit bizarre.”

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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December Wrap-Up + January TBR

Hi lovely readers! I’m here today with my December wrap-up and January TBR. I actually had another really good reading month in December, despite it being a little different to my TBR in the end. I have a few books from my December TBR that have been pushed back to January, but other than that I read all of the books on my TBR and a few different ones!

Books I Read in December

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.

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In Find Me, Aciman shows us Elio’s father, Samuel, on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, who has become a gifted classical pianist. A chance encounter on the train with a beautiful young woman upends Sami’s plans and changes his life forever.
Elio soon moves to Paris, where he, too, has a consequential affair, while Oliver, now a New England college professor with a family, suddenly finds himself contemplating a return trip across the Atlantic.
Aciman is a master of sensibility, of the intimate details and the emotional nuances that are the substance of passion. Find Me brings us back inside the magic circle of one of our greatest contemporary romances to ask if, in fact, true love ever dies.

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Romance was not part of Nora Grey’s plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life. 

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Review | Goodreads | Waterstones

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Ben has a plan for the ultimate Christmas present for Nathan. All it requires is taking a large golden retriever from one end of the country to the other. No pressure.
When a snowstorm rocks the east coast sooner than expected, though, Ben is trapped at the airport, and suddenly all their plans for a perfect first Christmas with Nathan are on the line.
This 60-page short story details Ben and Nathan’s first Christmas together back in 2019.
This short story is available for free via Gumroad’s ‘Pay What You Want’ option, however any proceeds this short story earns will be donated to the National Center for Transgender Equality

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I’m not going to think about the past few months, about Charlie and me, and all of the sad. I’m going to block it all out. Just for today.
“Happy Christmas, ” I say.
The festive season isn’t always happy for Tori and her brother Charlie. And this year’s going to be harder than most. 

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My favourite book of the month was definitely The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, as you can probably guess! My least favourite was Crescendo, in which the whole series fluctuated between 3 and 3.5 stars, but this was my least favourite.

Books I Want to Read in January

Chasing the Stars – Malorie Blackman
Tonight the Streets are Ours – Leila Sales
Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys

I’m not putting any pressure on my reads in January past this very small TBR, because I want to spend the month deciding how I’m going to attack my TBR in 2021. I do have the idea of reading a classic per month, and Wide Sargasso Sea will be my January one! I’m super excited for this one as it is inspired by the mad wife in Jane Eyre, and Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books of all time.

What did you read in December and what do you want to read in January?

-Beth

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Review: Becoming the Dark Prince (#3.5) by Kerri Maniscalco

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Goodreads

Enigmatic, brooding, and darkly handsome, Thomas Cresswell has always been the one mystery Audrey Rose has never been able to fully solve. As brilliant partners in crime investigation, they understand each other perfectly…but as young lovers, their passionate natures have led to both euphoria and heartbreak throughout the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.
This novella features a collection of scenes that takes place during and after the pair’s horrifying Atlantic voyage in Escaping From Houdini. Experience new and familiar scenes from Thomas’s unique point of view, including an intensely personal look into his plea for Audrey Rose’s hand in marriage.

This is a novella from Thomas’s point of view, focusing on his relationship with Audrey Rose. This has only been published in ebook format, and is set at the very end of Escaping from Houdini and before the events of Capturing the Devil. I’d definitely recommend reading this after Escaping from Houdini like we did! Again, I read this one with Amy and Jo as part of our buddy read of the whole series. I’m really glad Amy recommended we read this one too as we all enjoyed it quite a lot!

Winning is an archaic way or looking at romance.

I really like Thomas as a character and a love interest. Learning about his perspective on their relationship and his own inner demons was really interesting. His passion and love for Audrey Rose is so heartwarming and his willingness to let her make her own choices (especially in this historical setting) is so beautiful. Their relationship is so great to read about and I love how they treat each other as complete equals, especially due to the time period.

The setting was lovely, and I’m really excited to read about the couple exploring New York! I love the descriptions of the surroundings and the clothing, it really makes the books feel historically accurate.

Her heart isn’t like a cheap round of cards. Love isn’t a game. It’s a choice.

I really enjoyed this novella and I’m glad it was my first read of the year! If you like the series, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Hunting Prince Dracula (#2) by Kerri Maniscalco

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Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend. 
But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

I buddy read this book with Amy and Jo, who I buddy read the first book with and it was so much fun despite being deep in assignments and busy at work and only managing to read a very small amount a day! As with the first book, Maniscalco has the most amazing way of describing the world Audrey and Thomas are in. This book is set in snowy Romania, and funnily enough we ended up reading it over some of the days in the book, as it is written kind of in diary format and set in December!

I adored the setting of this book and it just felt so magical, especially in the snow. The first part of the book really reminded me of Murder on the Orient Express, and I loved how much I could picture it. The castle that most of this book is set in was also so well described, and I could picture it so well along with the nearby village they travelled in to.

You are not mine to take.” He brushed his lips against mine. Softly, so softly I might have imagined them there. My eyes fluttered shut.

As with the first book, Audrey Rose made for an excellent protagonist. I loved how strong and independent she is, and she just really holds her own, especially for the main character of a book set in the Victorian times. She continues to be such an admirable woman of her time and I really enjoyed reading about the decisions she makes in regards to her relationships.

Thomas was also a great love interest, despite a few questionable moments that Audrey certainly doesn’t let him get away with (and I love her for it!). Again, this story has another dark mystery which I loved. It felt sufficiently creepy and atmospheric, and I had no clue who the killer was until the reveal!

He could persuade me to build a steamship to the moon when he kissed me. We could orbit the stars together. “You are yours to give.

Overall, this is an excellent edition to the first, and I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to read more about Audrey and Thomas and the adventures they get up to!


4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Find Me (#2) by Andre Aciman

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Elio believes he has left behind his first love – but as an affair with an older man intensifies, his thoughts turn to the past and to Oliver.
Oliver, a college professor, husband and father, is preparing to leave New York. The imminent trip stirs up longing and regret, awakening an old desire and propelling him towards a decision that could change everything.
In Call Me By Your Name, we fell in love with Oliver and Elio. Find Me returns to these unforgettable characters, exploring how love can ripple out from the past and into the future.

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book after not enjoying Call Me By Your Name when I read it a few years ago. However, I was intrigued by Find Me, especially when I found out it contained a story about Elio’s dad. The discussion Elio has with his dad in Call Me By Your Name was one of my favourite parts of the book, so when I heard I could read more about him I jumped at the chance.

However, I unfortunately can’t say I enjoyed this much more. It was mainly quite bland and just okay. I read it mostly on audiobook (probably around 80% and 20% physical) and I’m glad I did. Although Aciman’s writing is very beautiful, it is quite deep and therefore difficult to get through in my opinion. Reading the audiobook definitely helped with this!

Each of us is like a moon that shows only a few facets to earth, but never its full sphere.

I’ve heard a lot of readers were disappointed by this book because they expected more Elio and Oliver, and I can see why. The first half of the book follows Samuel, Elio’s dad, which I actually enjoyed the most. He meets a woman by chance on a train, called Miranda, and they fall in love in a whirlwind 24 hour journey. Although I felt it was quite unrealistic, I loved the stark honesty of their feelings for each other and some of the discussions they had. However, the romance did feel odd at times, in the pure desire and love they felt for each other merely hours after having met. There was also some incredibly odd and problematic scenes and discussions between them, including some very problematic discussions of sex and abuse.

Elio’s story follows, and then Oliver’s. They are all set years after Call Me By Your Name, and I think Oliver’s section was set 20 years after. I quite enjoyed Elio’s story, which was also a whirlwind romance with a strange amount of mystery surrounding a sheet of music, which it became clear was the idea for the chapters of the book. The relationship in Elio’s section felt more realistic, but was not without it’s problems in discussion.

Oliver’s section of the book showed him married, but seemingly fantasising at length about a threesome with two of his friends. This just felt uncomfortable and conflicting to the story. We eventually end the book with the characters all coming together, in a way.

Most of us never meet those who’ll understand our full rounded self. I show people only that sliver of me I think they’ll grasp.

As I felt about Call Me By Your Name, this book was very problematic in some of it’s discussion and in a lot of ways, feels like a way for the author to play out his own very weird fantasies. Although I did enjoy some elements of this book, including the beautiful setting and beautiful writing, there was just too many problems for me to enjoy it.

★★★
2.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Four (#0.1-0.4) by Veronica Roth

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Readers first encountered Tobias Eaton as “Four” in Divergent. His voice is an integral part of Allegiant. Readers will find more of this charismatic character’s backstory told from his own perspective in Four: A Divergent Collection. When read together, these long narrative pieces illuminate the defining moments in Tobias Eaton’s life.
The first three pieces in this volume – “The Transfer,” “The Initiate,” and “The Son” – follow Tobias’s transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, his Dauntless initiation, and the first clues that a foul plan is brewing in the leadership of two factions.
The fourth story, “The Traitor,” runs parallel with the events of Divergent, giving readers a glimpse into the decisions of loyalty – and love – that Tobias makes in the weeks after he meets Tris Prior.

This one pleasantly surprised me, actually. I actually left this book trying to analyse why I may have enjoyed this ever so slightly more than the series itself, and I think it all comes down to Four. This book followed Tobias before and during his transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, and the first time he meets Tris. Even though you learn a lot about his history in the Divergent series itself. it was really enjoyable to read from his point of view.

I stopped allowing myself to dream, 

I think a lot of this comes from how annoying I found Tris as a narrator of the main series. I enjoyed reading from Tobias’ point of view in Allegiant and finding out that he was meant to be the main character of the series surprised me. I think I may have enjoyed it a lot more as a whole if he was! I thought some of his dialogue in the main series was quite harsh, but reading from his point of view made a lot more sense to me.

Even though I knew the bare bones of most of Tobias’ story, I did quite enjoy reading it and finding out his justifications for his actions. I read this in about 12 hours and a couple of sittings, it was super quick!

because it was more painful to long for things and never get them than to deal with whatever was in front of me.

Overall, I can’t believe I enjoyed this more than the series, but it really shows how much a character can change things.

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Insurgent (#2) by Veronica Roth

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Tris Prior’s initiation day should have been marked by victorious celebrations with her chosen faction; instead it ended with unspeakable horrors. Now unrest surges in the factions around her as conflict between their ideologies grows. War seems inevitable; and in times of war sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge and choices will become ever more irrevocable. Tris has already paid a terrible price for survival and is wracked by haunting grief and guilt. But radical new discoveries and shifting relationships mean that she must fully embrace her Divergence – even though she cannot know what might be lost in doing so. 

Unfortunately, this book really fell flat for me. Luckily, I think I’ve only watched the movie once (looking back, I’ve probably watched Divergent more than once and that’s why it was so fresh in my mind), so it didn’t feel like such a re-read for me and I could see it with fresher eyes.

But Insurgent made me realise why everyone found Tris really annoying back when everyone was reading this series. It had serious second-book syndrome for me. I rarely find narrators I find as annoying as I’m finding Tris right now – she just cannot make a good decision. She spent this entire book pushing everybody away and taking childish, uncalculated risks that turned into mistakes. And I just couldn’t even bring myself to sympathise with her.

Cruelty does not make a person dishonest,

The plot fell flat too and just didn’t have the same kind of excitement for me as book one. I still got through it in a couple of days, but it felt slow and like not much happened for long stretches of time. I found the start of the book okay, the middle a slog, and then the last 30 pages or so finally ramped up, but by that point it was way too late.

Tris and Tobias feel like completely different people and I really did not enjoy reading about their relationship. This whole book is a back and forth about them doing stupid things and then forgiving each other with one kiss. I cannot take their sucky communication skills. They never seem to talk about anything and their relationship is unrealistic. I hope it takes a backseat again in Allegiant as it did in Divergent.

the same way bravery does not make a person kind.

Overall, this was not great. I still found it okay, and it was fun in parts. There are still glimmers of what I enjoyed about Divergent, and I’m hoping the third book picks up!


★★★

3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Divergent (#1) by Veronica Roth

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Beatrice Prior is on the brink of a decision that will change her life. In a society divided into factions all are forced to choose where they belong. And the choice Tris makes shocks everyone, including herself.
Once decisions are made, the new members are forced to undergo extreme initiation tests with devastating consequences. As their experience transforms them, Tris must determine who her friends are – and if the man who both threatens and protects her is really on her side.
Because Tris has a deadly secret. And as growing conflict threatens to unravel their seemingly perfect society, this secret might save those Tris loves… or it might destroy her.

This is one of those few books (and most of them are under the dystopian category) that I’ve watched the movies and never read the books. I’ve also watched the movies fairly recently, meaning in the past few years, so I started remembering what happened as I was reading. I didn’t know the first movie stayed so close to the book, but it felt like a reread to me and I found it so hard to rate because of it!

I read this partly on audiobook and partly a physical version (probably around 70/30) and I really enjoyed reading it that way. It made the book go so quick and I read it within a few days.

We believe in ordinary acts of bravery,

I’m finding it really hard to articulate my thoughts of the book, but overall, I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat as much as I think I would have been if I was reading it without watching the movies first, but I did still enjoy the plot. The biggest change for me was obviously being able to see inside Tris’ head, and I quite liked her as a character. Her inner torment was really interesting to read about and how she discussed the factions in relation to how she felt about her own mannerisms was fascinating.

I liked the other supporting characters, although I didn’t quite click with Four. Their relationship kind of got to me at times, and I just didn’t feel like they knew each other very well, or I knew him well enough to like him as a character. I felt like Tris didn’t own up to how she felt, and that really frustrated me. And some of the scenes between them were just so cringey.

in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

The writing wasn’t particularly astounding, but it kept me hooked and interested. Some scenes were written particularly well and had me on edge, but most of the book felt quite mediocre.

Overall, I like the concept of this series, it feels quite original and was interesting and fun to read. It didn’t wow me, but I’m looking forward to carrying on with the series!

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Boy Queen by George Lester

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Robin Cooper’s life is falling apart.
While his friends prepare to head off to university, Robin is looking at a pile of rejection letters from drama schools up and down the country, and facing a future without the people he loves the most. Everything seems like it’s ending, and Robin is scrabbling to find his feet.
Unsure about what to do next and whether he has the talent to follow his dreams, he and his best friends go and drown their sorrows at a local drag show, where Robin realises there might be a different, more sequinned path for him . . .
With a mother who won’t stop talking, a boyfriend who won’t acknowledge him and a best friend who is dying to cover him in glitter make up, there’s only one thing for Robin to do: bring it to the runway.

This book was every bit as fabulous as I expected it to be. Boy Queen follows Robin, who is struggling with knowing what to do when he gets turned down from his dream drama school. Surrounded by his friends, he ends up exploring the world of drag, and blimey it is a ride.

Look, I don’t know much about drag. I watched a bit of Drag Race yearssss ago, and I don’t remember much about it. But this book feels like a staple for those who love drag, and those who only know a little about it. As Robin is only just being introduced to the wonderful world of drag himself, I was very much along for the ride, and what a ride it was.

I absolutely adored the characters. Robin’s mum was my favourite. She was smart, she was sassy, and she loved Robin more than anything in the world. I loved every line she came out with, and the relationship between Robin and his mum was so heartwarming. The book never talks about why Robin and his mum live alone, and I actually really liked that. I’ve found a couple of books recently that don’t discuss single parent relationships in too much depth, and I find it really strong and a great thing to normalise. Not that it’s not important, it just wasn’t the story Boy Queen was here to tell, and that’s okay.

Robin was surrounded by a lovely, diverse group of friends who stand up for him when it really matters. They have their differences, which feels real and is done really well, but they also stick together. And Robin himself, the fabulous little drama queen he is, was a great protagonist to follow. He even made me properly laugh out loud in parts, which I find rarely happens with a book and I really appreciated!

I read this book in a couple of days, and although the pacing can be a little slow at times, it feels like an all-singing, all-dancing heart-warming pick me up. It was warm and fuzzy, but not without it’s family feuds, break ups and drama! What an absolutely sparkling YA debut! I can’t wait to see more from George Lester.

cw: homophobia, physical attack/abuse, homophobic slurs

★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Wonderland by Juno Dawson

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Alice lives in a world of stifling privilege and luxury – but none of it means anything when your own head plays tricks on your reality. When her troubled friend Bunny goes missing, Alice becomes obsessed with finding her. On the trail of her last movements, Alice discovers a mysterious invitation to ‘Wonderland’: the party to end all parties – three days of hedonistic excess to which only the elite are welcome.
Will she find Bunny there? Or is this really a case of finding herself? Because Alice has secrets of her own, and ruthless socialite queen Paisley Hart is determined to uncover them, whatever it takes.
Alice is all alone, miles from home and without her essential medication. She can trust no-one, least of all herself, and now she has a new enemy who wants her head…

Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review!

I haven’t read any of Juno’s fiction before and I was super excited for this. It was really intriguing and sounded wacky. I heard Juno read aloud from it back in February/March and I was so drawn into it, I knew I had to pick it up. I’ve had my copy since release, as I was lucky enough to receive a proof! However, I have only just managed to pick it up as part of our non-binary November readathon. I wanted to mention that I haven’t read the other two books in the ‘series’, but as I understand these are standalones that have cameos in each one.

The concept of this book was amazing and I really loved the idea. It is a modern reinterpretation of Alice in Wonderland which follows Alice, who is a trans girl in a private school, and her friend Bunny, who is missing. The way this was written was incredible clever, with interwoven quotes and references to the story which I loved. The setting was a very exclusive party for the high class students of the school, called Wonderland. Alice managed to sneak into this following finding an invitation she found in Bunny’s locker. I loved the scenes travelling ‘down the rabbit hole’ to the party and the party itself. It was magical and reminded me of something out of Willy Wonka.

In fact, the setting was probably my favourite part. It felt fantastical and was, again, very clever. I also loved the discussion of gender and sexuality, with Alice discussing her own journey of being transgender and pansexual. She is very open about her body and sex-positive, and I feel like these discussions will be really important to some readers. I really felt for her and some of the things she had to go through felt exhausting.

But unfortunately, that’s where my love ended for this book. A lot of it actually felt quite problematic for me and I just felt slightly uncomfortable reading it. I personally didn’t enjoy the casual sex/sleeping around, as I just didn’t relate to it and how Alice felt. I also felt like the excessive drug use just wasn’t for me. I understand that because of the nature of Alice in Wonderland itself, it was kind of needed in terms of retelling the story, but it also didn’t sit right with me in terms of normalising a lot of this stuff for young people.

CW: Attempted date rape, bipolar episodes/hallucinations/ intrusive thoughts, suicide, drug use, casual sex.

★★★
3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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