Pride Month: LGBTQIA+ Books I Love

Pride Month: LGBTQIA+ Books I Love

Hi all! I’ve been seeing some great LGBTQIA+ books around for Pride Month, and have been reading some myself. Today’s post is about some of my personal favourites I’ve picked up over the years, so if anyone needs recommendations for Pride Month reads, here you are!

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Goodreads | Amazon

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.

This is definitely one of my favourite all time contemporaries and LGBTQIA+ books ever. I adored this read, and it’s one of the first I recommend to people.

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Goodreads | Amazon

Jude and her twin Noah were incredibly close – until a tragedy drove them apart, and now they are barely speaking. Then Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy as well as a captivating new mentor, both of whom may just need her as much as she needs them. What the twins don’t realize is that each of them has only half the story and if they can just find their way back to one another, they have a chance to remake their world.

Another of my favourite all time contemporaries! I’d love to reread this book as it’s been a few years since I picked it up.

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Goodreads | Amazon

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

I had to include a few fantasy reads in here and this one is one of the best! I can’t wait for the sequel later in the year.

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Goodreads | Amazon

17 year old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.
But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective. 
Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?

I only recently read this book (review here) and it was so interesting, because not only did we have the f/f relationship but also Bengali culture.

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Goodreads | Amazon

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?
Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.
That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.
When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

You Know Me Well stands out from other LGBTQIA+ books because it focuses first on friendship, and second on relationships.

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Goodreads | Amazon

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…

I couldn’t write this post without including the beautiful Heartstopper webcomic and graphics novels! How cute is this?

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Goodreads | Amazon

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.
Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?
Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.
Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.
But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a
third?
What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?
What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?
But what if it is?

I considered posting about Love, Simon but I think What If It’s Us is the more underrated read from these two authors and I love how it focused on the struggles of the relationship after, not just the meeting of these two characters. I also love History is All You Left Me, my favourite Adam Silvera book!

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Goodreads | Amazon

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

I only finished this book the other day (review here), but it’s still on my mind. I really enjoy reading LGBTQIA+ relationships as a subplot, and it worked so well in Girls of Paper and Fire.

I also recently read Meet Cute (review here), which includes a few LGBTQIA+ short stories perfect for Pride Month! Which LGBTQIA+ books do you love and recommend?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #94

Stacking the Shelves #94

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought this week. Find out more and join in here!

Hi again all! Another week has flown by, and it’s time to confess to more YALC related book buying. I picked up a few more this week to hopefully read before the event, which is just 6 weeks away now!

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Goodreads | Amazon

Sephy is a Cross: dark-skinned and beautiful, she lives a life of privilege and power. But she’s lonely, and burns with injustice at the world she sees around her.
Callum is a nought: pale-skinned and poor, he’s considered to be less than nothing – a blanker, there to serve Crosses – but he dreams of a better life.
They’ve been friends since they were children, and they both know that’s as far as it can ever go. Noughts and Crosses are fated to be bitter enemies – love is out of the question.
Then – in spite of a world that is fiercely against them – these star-crossed lovers choose each other.
But this is love story that will lead both of them into terrible danger . . . and which will have shocking repercussions for generations to come.

I can’t believe I haven’t read this book, even though I’ve heard praise for it over and over again. I’m excited to get to it!

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Goodreads | Amazon

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer. 
These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.
Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

This book sounds so interesting and I can’t wait to see if I like it!

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Goodreads | Amazon

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. 
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

I’ve heard so much about V.E. Shwab, and yet I still haven’t read any of her books myself. I’m going to start with her A Darker Shade of Magic series, so I bought the first book 🙂

Have you bought any books this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Review: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
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Goodreads | Amazon

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel.
But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.
Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

It’s been a while since I’v read a good fantasy, and this one was just a delight to dive into. I admired this book so much, it was such an immersive experience with beautiful writing, and I’m so glad I picked it up.

Girls of Paper and Fire follows a world with 3 castes, Paper (fully human) being the lowest, followed by Steel (partly demon) and Moon (fully demon, with animal like qualities). The premise is somewhat like The Selection series, with 8 Paper girls being chosen each year to please the King, who is of the highest caste. This story follows Lei, who was unexpectedly chosen and taken away from her family to become a Paper girl, and seeks revenge for an attack on her village that killed her mother.

‘But time has a way of folding itself, like a map, distances and journeys and hours and minutes tucked neatly away to leave just the realness of the before and the now,’

I say this book is like The Selection, but the likeliness stops there. This book, this world, holds so much more. More depth, more emotion, more intrigue and fight and hardship. It’s no secret that this book tackles some difficult topics, such as sexual abuse, and even though I was prepared, I was left with tears in my eyes in parts. Despite, or maybe because of these difficult subjects, this book is just so powerful.

The politics were interesting to read about and I loved hearing the side of the story from the people who wanted revenge against the Palace. It balanced out perfectly with the gentle friendships the girls found in each other, a unique bond with intriguing characters I could easily read more about.

‘as close as hands pressed on the either side of a rice-paper door.’

The romance that blossoms within this story is beautiful, powerful and healthy. I found myself being reminded of my own relationship and seeing reflections of how myself and my partner support each other, and it was so lovely to read about. I won’t say too much to avoid spoilers, but it felt so wholesome and made me love the characters even more.

The only small problem I had with this book was the pacing at the beginning. Unfortunately, it took me a good few days to get through the first 100 pages, but after that I couldn’t put it down! I was soon whirled away with the lovingly written landscapes, friendships, romances, action and much more. In fact, I want to end by saying the writing was just incredible. I saw a Goodreads review describing it as sensuous, and that is just spot on. Ngan has such a way with words, that resonated with me and has stolen my heart.

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Let’s Discuss! Reading a 16 Book Series

Let’s Discuss! Reading a 16 Book Series

Hi everyone! Ever since I finished Morganville, I’ve wanted to write a post about the series as a whole, and my experience reading such a long series. For a long time, I didn’t really read series, and I read a lot of standalone contemporaries. In fact, I only got into Morganville because of Rachel Caine touring when Midnight Bites came out and my friend at the time wanted to go! I’m really glad we did, because here I am 3 years later, having finally completed and adored the series.

I have to say, going into 16 books was daunting, but it couldn’t have been an easier to read series. Most of the books are short, and although not exactly lighthearted, they’re all easy and quick reads. I needed something I knew I wouldn’t have to focus on too much while moving house a couple of months ago, and these were the perfect books to pick up. Going on holiday in early May meant I could storm through a few more, and I think I finished them in under 2 months altogether! Before I talk about my last thoughts and feelings, I’m going to link all of my reviews below.

Glass Houses (Morganville #1) – Rachel Caine
The Dead Girls’ Dance (Morganville #2) – Rachel Caine
Midnight Dance (Morganville #3) – Rachel Caine
Feast of Fools (Morganville #4) – Rachel Caine
Lord of Misrule (Morganville #5) – Rachel Caine
Cape Corpus (Morganville #6) – Rachel Caine
Fade Out (Morganville #7) – Rachel Caine
Kiss of Death (Morganville #8) – Rachel Caine
Ghost Town (Morganville #9) – Rachel Caine
Bite Club (Morganville #10) – Rachel Caine
Last Breath (Morganville #11) – Rachel Caine
Black Dawn (Morganville #12) – Rachel Caine
Bitter Blood (Morganville #13) – Rachel Caine
Fall of Night (Morganville #14) – Rachel Caine
Daylighters (Morganville #15) – Rachel Caine
Midnight Bites – Rachel Caine

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It’s going to be bittersweet to leave these books behind, and I want to end by saying a few things about the series as a whole:

  • The cast of characters and the group of friends (Claire, Shane, Michael and Eve), have been some of the best I’ve read about. Their chemistry, and action packed scenes contrasted with them living together, made me love them all so much.
  • The location has been so layered, atmospheric and beautiful, in it’s own weird way.
  • Rachel Caine has some skill to keep me interested for 16 books, the longest series I’ve read so far!

I want to leave on a quote from the end of the book which I loved so much and thought summed up the wonderful journey Caine has taken me and so many other readers on:

“You know, you are not the mousy little thing I met that morning in Common Grounds,” he said. “You’ve become something else entirely.”‘

Claire, it’s been so great to see you grow up and mature. Thank you for your story, and the adventure that came with it.

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Top 5 Books On My TBR the Longest

Top 5 Books On My TBR the Longest

This Top 5 Wednesday series is inspired by the weekly meme on Goodreads which you can find here. I no longer follow the topics and instead use my own.

Hi all! Who else has an endless TBR? I went on a book ban for a few months over Christmas/New Year and yet I still have 67 physical books on my TBR. I’m blaming it all on YALC at the moment as I’ve been stocking up books for then and adding books I want to read before YALC to my TBR. I’m currently reading Girls of Paper and Fire before I’m able to meet Natasha Ngan at YALC, and I’m really enjoying it so far!

Today’s topic is books that have been on my TBR the longest. I definitely have a lot to choose from here!

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Goodreads | Amazon

When the lift cranks open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone – an army of boys welcomes him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a terrible maze. The Gladers have no idea why they’re there, or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything to find out.

I really have no excuse for not reading this series yet. I may have only had the books myself for the past year or so, but my brother has had the set since the first movie came out!

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Goodreads | Amazon

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.

My boyfriend picked this series up almost 2 years ago so we could both read it. He’s read the first one but I haven’t managed to get to them yet even though we’ve watched all of the films!

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Goodreads | Amazon

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

I picked this series up second hand years ago (I can’t even remember how many years ago it would have been), yet I still haven’t picked them up! I guess it’s because I used to find it daunting to read series, but now I pick them up a lot more.

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Goodreads | Amazon

A sharpshooter. A dreamer. A damn good liar. 
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it s an unforgiving place, especially if you re poor, orphaned, or female. 
Amani Al Hiza is all three. She s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she s destined to wind up wed or dead.Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she d gallop away on a mythical horse or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

I actually started this book when it came out and couldn’t get into it. Then when the second and third came out, I saw signed editions and couldn’t resist picking them up! Now I read a lot more fantasy, I’m sure I’ll enjoy them when I give them another go.

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Goodreads | Amazon

Noemi is a young and fearless soldier of Genesis, a colony planet of a dying Earth. But the citizens of Genesis are rising up – they know that Earth’s settlers will only destroy this planet the way they destroyed their own. And so a terrible war has begun.
When Noemi meets Abel, one of Earth’s robotic mech warriors, she realizes that Abel himself may provide the key to Genesis’ salvation. Abel is bound by his programming to obey her – even though her plan could result in his destruction. But Abel is no ordinary mech. He’s a unique prototype, one with greater intelligence, skill and strength than any other. More than that, he has begun to develop emotions, a personality and even dreams. Noemi begins to realise that if Abel is less than human, he is more than a machine. If she destroys him, is it murder? And can a cold-blooded murder be redeemed by the protection of a world?
Stranded together in space, they go on a whirlwind adventure through Earth’s various colony worlds, alongside the countless Vagabonds who have given up planetary life altogether and sail forever between the stars. Each step brings them closer – both to each other and to the terrible decision Noemi will have to make about her world’s fate, and Abel’s.

This book is probably the worst on this list, because it came out over 2 years ago and I have an ARC. God knows what got in the way 2 years ago, but I definitely have to read this soon!

Which books have been on your TBR the longest?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Meet Cute by Various Authors

Review: Meet Cute by Various Authors
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Goodreads | Amazon

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors. 
Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants. 
This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

I’m always a little hesitant when it comes to short story collections, because they can be so hit and miss. But this one didn’t let me down, and overall I enjoyed all of the stories in some capacity. In some ways the stories being so short (20-30 pages each) was good, because I didn’t have to spend too much time on those I didn’t like as much.

I really liked the concept of these books, with each short story being about two people meeting, and you have no idea where the relationship heads afterwards. It’s such a cute idea, and leaves a lot up to the imagination of the reader! A few of these were LGBTQIA+ and diverse in other ways, including race and a plus size character.

‘”What do you think the difference between wanting to be friends and wanting to be more than friends is?”

As with anthologies, this book included many different concepts that varied by author. This was so fun – we had a lot of contemporary, but also some magical realism and fantasy! I’m going to go through each one to give my opinions.

Siege Etiquette by Katie Cotungo ★★

This story was about two people meeting in the bathroom at a party and kind of hitting it off. Unfortunately it felt flat to me, had a weird writing style I wasn’t used to, and I really didn’t see the connection between the characters. A poor start!

Print Shop by Nina LaCour ★★★★★

Thankfully, the book greatly improved for me with Nina LaCour, who frankly will never let me down. I love the creative idea, with the main character working in a print shop and meeting one of her clients when her order went wrong. Very cute with great characters!

Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi ★★★

I don’t want to give this a bad rating but the fact I don’t remember anything that happened is really not a good sign? It definitely wasn’t all bad, featuring a girl who doesn’t want to go to prom and her friend who does. Great diversity with a cute ending, but unfortunately very forgettable.

Click by Katherine McGee ★★★★

This one featured an interesting futuristic concept where people meet via an app in which they are matched with others. It reminded me of the Black Mirror episode Hang the DJ, and I really enjoyed it. It had a unique concept that stood out for me, and sent out a good message!

The Intern by Sara Shepard ★★★

Another one which wasn’t bad as such but was just lacking. Of course this book includes many stories and it’s hard to stand out from the crowd, and this one blended in too much for me. It was very insta love, with a celebrity and intern who worked at a music shop.

Somewhere That’s Green by Meredith Russo ★★★★

This story included a transgender character and a character struggling with accepting her sexuality. They had great chemistry and an interesting story. I loved the different PsOV, and found the characters compelling and touching.

The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton ★★★★

The only fantasy story in this collection and that definitely made it memorable! I’m not usually one for stories like this, but I really enjoyed it. The two main characters are born on an island where everyone has soulmate bands that lessen as the date to meeting their soulmate gets closer. It was so touching and heartwarming with enough twists to keep me on my toes.

Oomph by Emery Lord ★★★★

I read a review on Goodreads that describes this story as a Hayley Kiyoko song, and I cannot describe it better. Two girls meet in an airport, and one overcomes her anxieties to connect with the other. Overall, a fluffy and cute read that worked.

The Dictionary of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★★

Another really cute read, but set in a library. Yes, the perfect setting for bibliophiles to read a romance story set in. This story was so sweet and touching, and I loved the awkward but adorable characters.

The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love – Jocelyn Davis ★★★★★

This story was definitely one of my favourites, and followed a girl studying the statistic of whether she was going to see a guy she was attracted to on the subway. I loved it all. The concept, the characters (the classmates were super cute), the setting. So well executed!

259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan ★★★

This one focuses on two people interviewing to be sent off on a mission to mars, and end up being locked in a room for 24 hours as part of their interviews. I loved the concept, but the ending really let it down. I just didn’t feel enough hope for these guys to be honest.

Something Real by Julie Murphy ★★★

This story was cute, and had really good elements, but I also didn’t click with it as much as I’d have liked. It featured two girls competing for a date on a reality TV show, and ended up liking each other instead. It was definitely the funniest of the stories, but something felt so cliche about it and let it down a little.

Say Everything by Huntley Fitzpatrick ★★

I had such high hopes for this story because of how much I love My Life Next Door, but ugh, no. It focuses on a waitress going on a date with one of her customers, and then finds out she has a weird connection to him. This one just felt kind of creepy and sinister, and didn’t work for me in such a short format? It needed more explanation to work!

The Department of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon ★★★★★

I loved this one. Of course Nicola Yoon wouldn’t let me down! This story is set in a futuristic world where you can have your memories of someone erased, have relationships studied by experts etc. and that’s what our main character thinks he wants. It had such a cute twist and I adored the concept.

‘”Some people you want to get to know and some people you want to know you. I think that’s the difference.”’

So overall, such a mix of short stories, but only let down by a few. I’d love to go back and read my favourites sometime, and it’s definitely a book you can just pick up if you want a heartwarming read.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #127 / A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Beautiful Quotes #127 / A Very Large Expanse of Sea

Beautiful Quotes is a weekly meme hosted by me, where I post some of my favourite quotes. Any other bloggers are welcome to join me in this and just link my blog!

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last posted a Beautiful Quote! A LOT has happened since that last personal update.

  • I have travelled! I went to Greece with my boyfriend, and just a week later we went down to London to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • I finished my first year of uni and I started a job! Both of these are huge accomplishments for me and I’m so proud of myself. I’ve been settling into my job over the past few weeks which may explain why I’ve been off the radar a little. It’s very tiring as I work early morning shifts but I’m honestly enjoying it and the people are really lovely!
  • I’ve bought a lot of books…as I’ve been preparing for YALC. At the moment I’m reading Girls of Paper and Fire and trying to get through my YALC TBR. I’m super excited for that weekend!

So that’s a quick summary of my life recently. As you may or may not know, I recently read The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali also in preparation for YALC, and I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of a book I loved even more, A Very Large Expanse of Sea. So today we have a quote from that one!

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“I didn’t believe it was possible to hide a woman’s beauty. I thought women were gorgeous no matter what they wore, and I didn’t think they owed anyone an explanation for their sartorial choices. Different women felt comfortable in different outfits.
They were all beautiful.” 

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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