Once & Future + Sword In The Stars Review

Hi again everyone! It’s me! A few weeks back I was very kindly approved for an eArc of Sword in the Stars by Cori Mccarthy and Amy Rose Capetta, and I was so excited to read it! The only problem was, I still hadn’t got round to reading the first book in the series! So, I binge-read them and decided to do a full series review! I hope you enjoy!


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Title: Once & Future

Author: Amy Rose Capetta + Cori McCarthy

Pages: 336

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Retelling, Young Adult, LGBT

Rating: 3/5 Stars – 6.29 CAWPILE rating

Synopsis: I’ve been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure.

I’m going to start by saying that I loved the representation in this book, and in this series overall. The main character, Ari, is pansexual, and in the wide cast of characters we also see trans, demi-boy, lesbian, bi gay and ace characters! Ari is also of Arab descent and many of the other characters (both main and side) are characters of colour! In the universe this series starts in there is no racism or homophobia/transphobia, which is something I always love to see in fantasy novels!

As for the characters themselves, I loved them! They all felt so three-dimensional and I cared about all of them. Ari, the forty-second reincarnation of King Arthur, is confident and strong throughout the whole novel and all the hardships she faces. Merlin is a great comedic relief to the book and I loved that his magic was controlled by using his voice (sometimes using Cher songs to conjure it!). Gwen was kind and soft but also a strong leader of her planet, alongside Val, who was intelligent and witty. And of course Lam, who was so loyal to their friends and who I’m sure so many people will see themselves in; Jordan, the beautiful, strong-willed female knight who I’m maybe in love with; and Kay, Ari’s brother who would do anything to keep her safe. They quickly became an amazing found family that fought for each other and always had each other’s backs, and are maybe one of my favourite found families that I have read!

I was also really intrigued by the world building. We’re in a future universe where a giant tyrannical corporation, Mercer, has a monopoly over the galaxy. We see a strange Arthurian legend museum on the moon, an abandoned and exploited Earth, a dance club with oxygen bars, Ketch, Ari’s home planet which was destroyed by Mercer, an ice prison scourged by a plague, Gwen’s planet Lionel, which resembles Medieval Earth. It was so interesting and I loved exploring the galaxy with Ari’s crew.

However, I did have two main problems with the book. The first being that I wasn’t convinced by the romance between Ari and Gwen (not a spoiler, they get married within the first few chapters!). They had some feelings for each other prior to the novel and also a falling out of some sort. However, when they were together, although they did voice their romantic feelings frequently, to me it just felt like a purely sexual relationship. They seemed to just say their romantic feelings and not show them. The other problem I had was the pacing. Countless times whilst reading this book I had to stop reading, maybe even mid-sentence, and go back a couple of pages to figure out what on Earth (ha ha!) was going on. Things happened so quickly and we even moved from one planet to another in maybe the space of a paragraph and I was so lost 90% of the time (and judging by other reviews, this was not just a me problem!).

Despite this, I really did enjoy the book and I would 100% recommend it, even to those who are not really sci-fi readers!


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Spoilers for the first book ahead!!

Title: Sword in the Stars

Author: Amy Rose Capetta + Cori McCarthy

Pages: 355

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Retelling, Young Adult, LGBT

Rating: 4/5 Stars – 8.07 CAWPILE rating

Synopsis: 

Ari Helix may have won her battle against the tyrannical Mercer corporation, but the larger war has just begun. Ari and her cursed wizard Merlin must travel back in time to the unenlightened Middle Ages and steal the King Arthur’s Grail—the very definition of impossible.

It’s imperative that the time travelers not skew the timeline and alter the course of history. Coming face-to-face with the original Arthurian legend could produce a ripple effect that changes everything. Somehow Merlin forgot that the past can be even more dangerous than the future…

So, in the sequel we’re transported back in time to Medieval Earth and we get to meet the very first King Arthur. I was so excited to be in this time period – I grew up with the BBC Merlin adaptation and so I’m a sucker for Medieval fantasy novels! To add to this, I loved the new characters we got! The original Arthur is only about fifteen in this novel, and he was such a sweetheart, I adored him! We also get to see old Merlin who is almost obsessed with King Arthur, and also a little power hungry. A few other well known characters were also sprinkled in, including Gwaine and Morgause, who I was very excited to see!

The pacing issue I had with the first book, I’m glad to say, was resolved in this one. The pacing was perfect and I was on the edge of my seat on numerous occasions. The intrigue and the sense of urgency among the characters was done so well, so I must say that, if you were put off by the pacing of the first book, then definitely pick up the sequel!

My main issue with this book, and why it didn’t get the full five stars (although it was very close!) was, unfortunately, the world building. I loved the world building in the first book but I really felt it was lacking here. I know that this book is ultimately character and plot based, but it really didn’t feel like we were in Medieval England at all. If you removed the knights, we really could have been anywhere at all. It was a real disappointment.

That being said, this book was a wild ride and I really enjoyed this series overall. The ending of Sword in the Stars made me cry and I loved all the references to other Arthur retelling (and the fourth wall break) that we got at the end. This series is witty and just so much fun and I really urge you to pick it up!

The Stuck at Home Book Tag

Hello!! It’s me back again! After a scorcher of a day I checked my comments and noticed I’d been tagged by the lovely Abi @theknightswhosaybook to do the Stuck at Home Book Tag (thank you so much!!) and I love a good tag, so here goes!


Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer all the questions down below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn @AllonsyThornraxx
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about, to do this tag

What are you currently reading?

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I’m currently reading Sword in the Stars by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta! It’s the sequel to Once & Future which I read earlier in the month and enjoyed, but I think I’m loving this one a lot more! It’s an Arthurian legend retelling following our main character, Ari, the latest (and female) reincarnation of King Arthur who meets a teenage Merlin, who’s ageing backwards, and has to defeat their oppressive government, in space! It’s a bit complicated to explain in a sentence but I really am enjoying it – I’ve loved Arthur retellings for years and I grew up watching the Merlin BBC show as it aired! Also, there are barely any cishets in this series and so many characters are characters of colour! It’s great!

What’s your favourite “can’t leave the house” activity?

Other than reading! I’ve been having a great time baking, I know it’s cliché! I’ve found out I can make a great focaccia (so far I’ve made garlic and rosemary, and olive and rosemary!) and a not so great looking (but great tasting) vegan chocolate cake!

A book you’ve been meaning to read forever?

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I recently made a pile of the books that have been on my shelves the longest so I can make it a priority over the next few months to finally get to them! One of them is Graceling by Kristin Cashore which I actually managed to pick up as an ARC in a charity shop years and years ago! It’s a YA high fantasy (which I love!) set in a world where some people have graces, an exceptional skill. The main character, Katsa, has the grace of killing but no longer wants to continue doing it, and sees a way of perhaps doing so when the King’s father is kidnapped. I have never heard a bad review of this book and I’ve been dying to read it for years, and I’m excited to get to it in the upcoming months!

An intimidating book on your TBR?

I didn’t want to go cliché and say one of the Game of Thrones books, so I thought I’d go for another that’s been on my shelves for years – The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton! This book is not only huge (834 pages!), but also won the Man Booker Prize in 2013 and is historical fiction (a genre I don’t read that much of). However, I think it has such an interesting premise that I don’t think I can describe better than Goodreads does: It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

Top three priority books on your TBR?

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The first book is The Girl Next Door by Chelsea M. Cameron! I got an eARC of this from Netgalley but unfortunately couldn’t get to it before the publish date (I was approved 2 days before!). It’s an adult f/f romance that I’m very excited to read now that the weather’s getting warmer, and I’ve been wanting to pick up a Chelsea M. Cameron book for a while now! Next is Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn! I’ve pre-ordered the paperback of this book but, unfortunately, it doesn’t get released until next year. Thankfully, it is on Kindle Unlimited right now, and my free trial lasts until the end of next month, so I need to read it quickly! It’s a YA fantasy set in Revolutionary Paris and has a f/f romance! What more could I want? Finally, I really want to read Hammers, Strings and Beautiful Things by Morgan Lee Miller. I loved All the Worlds Between Us by Morgan Lee Miller, which I read last year, and the sequel comes out next month, so what better time to read her second novel! Its another f/f romance novel that focuses on a songwriter who’s dealing with the loss of her grandfather while touring with the biggest female popstar in the world, but the two fall in love!

Recommend a short book?

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Oooh! I just finished reading The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo and loved it! It’s a gorgeous Asian-inspired fantasy novella that features a non binary main character and a f/f side romance, and is only a little over 100 pages! Here’s the Goodreads synopsis: A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage. Alone and sometimes reviled, she has only her servants on her side. This evocative debut chronicles her rise to power through the eyes of her handmaiden, at once feminist high fantasy and a thrilling indictment of monarchy. The world building in this novella is absolutely gorgeous and it really does not feel like you’ve only read 100 pages! I’m dying for the sequel!

Recommend a long book?

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I’ve not read a “long” book in a while but a long-ish book (496 pages) that I love, and which doesn’t get talked about enough, is Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo! It follows four main characters: Tavia, a busker who illegally sells magic; Wesley, a gangster and Tavia’s boss; Karam, who spends her nights in the fighting ring; and Saxony, a resistance fighter in hiding. The four have to team together to save their city, Creije, after Tavia delivers a vial of dark magic and sets off the greatest conflict in decades. It’s an amazing, almost found family, novel that has amazing world building and a great f/f romance! I loved it and I need the sequel ASAP!!

Something you’d love to do while stuck at home?

Does be with my girlfriend count hahah? I’d love to just relax! I finished uni whilst in lockdown and now I’m searching for jobs during a very difficult time, in a field that’s almost impossible to get into without experience (don’t get me started on this, I will rant!). I’ve not really had any time to relax in amongst all this and it’d be nice to have a breather!

What do you plan on reading next?

My next read will be The Girl Next Door by Chelsea M. Cameron and I’m really excited to get to it!

I tag: Faith @PagesLeftUnread , Lulu @libraryleopard and Brittany @BookaholicBrittany ! (Only if you feel like it!)

I hope you’re all taking care!

June 2020 Releases I Can’t Wait to Read!

Hi everyone! Me again! Recently I’ve been doing quite a few book reviews on my blog so I thought I’d break it up a little with June releases that I can’t wait to read! All of these I have pre-ordered and all of them feature LGBT+ characters. Without any further ado, here are the books!


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The Falling In Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out. But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms. Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.

I am ridiculously excited for this book! It sounds like everything newly out teenage lesbian me wanted to read growing up, instead of having to constantly read all the cute Summery m/f books that were (over)hyped all the time! I cannot wait to sit outside in the sun with a (vegan) ice cream and devour this book!

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The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinksa

Every year on St. Walpurga’s Eve, Caldella’s Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking. Lina Kirk is convinced her brother is going to be taken this year. To save him, she enlists the help of Thomas Lin, the boy she secretly loves, and the only person to ever escape from the palace. But they draw the queen’s attention, and Thomas is chosen as the sacrifice. Queen Eva watched her sister die to save the boy she loved. Now as queen, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s willing to sacrifice anyone if it means saving herself and her city. When Lina offers herself to the queen in exchange for Thomas’s freedom, the two girls await the full moon together. But Lina is not at all what Eva expected, and the queen is nothing like Lina envisioned. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella’s streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.

I am a huge sucker for f/f fantasy books and ever since I first read the synopsis of this one I have been dying to read it! I’ve read so many great reviews from people who got arcs (I’m so jealous!) and, although my copy won’t arrive until August, I’m ridiculously excited to read this one!

You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson

Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor. But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington. The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?

I just turned 22 so I feel like I’m kind of past high school stories, and so this one was always on my radar but not really top priority UNTIL the author tweeted this and now I need to read it!! I am a sucker for the wlw and her himbo best friend “trope” and, being Scottish, I’ve never really understood American high school and all the dances etc. (what does Sady Hawkins even mean? who is she???), but I love reading about them! I cannot wait for my pre-order to arrive!

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All the Paths to You by Morgan Lee Miller

SPOILERS IN SYNOPSIS: In the sequel to “All the Worlds Between Us,” swimmer Quinn Hughes has given up a lot in order to be an Olympian: her social life, her love life, and everything that comes with being a normal twenty-three-year-old. Just days away from competing in the Tokyo Games, Quinn runs into her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart, Kennedy Reed. Five years earlier, they’d made a pact that they would try again if their paths ever crossed, and now she can’t shake the feeling that this is a sign. But Kennedy has a whole life in New York City, and Quinn’s at the opposite end of the country in San Francisco, struggling to redefine who she’ll be after the Olympics. Feeling lonely and lost from everything she’s given up, Quinn finds comfort in reconnecting with Kennedy, and they both discover that time and distance have only fueled their passion. As Quinn comes to terms with herself and what the future holds, she’s sure of only one thing: she’s not letting the only girl she’s ever loved get away for the third time.

I will honestly never shut up about this series! I was lucky enough to get a Netgalley e-arc of the first book in the duology last year and I loved it! I really thought it was going to be a standalone novel so when I finally went to purchase myself a physical copy and I saw that there was going to be a sequel, I don’t think I’ve hit the pre-order button quicker! This is such an underrated ya f/f novel and I won’t stop raving about it until everyone has picked it up!

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Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran

When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father. Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason? In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other … 

This is my most anticipated book of 2020! I have been hunting for so long for a f/f fantasy novel with a romance between a queen and her spymaster, and it’s finally getting released after sadly (but completely understandably) getting pushed back from its April release date, due to everything that’s going on. This book has received so many positive reviews and I’m ridiculously excited to get my hands on it – its going to be difficult stopping myself from devouring it straight away!


Are you excited for any of these books? Are there any others you are excited for (let me know so I can add them to my neverending TBR!)? As always, take care!

Felix Ever After Review

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all keeping well! Recently I’ve been treating myself to a few books that I’ve either been dying to read for a while or are new releases that I’m so excited about, and one of those is Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender! I received it in the post about a week ago and I’ve been dying to read it since then, and I finally did and loved it! So I thought I’d do a short review on it! I hope you enjoy!


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Title: Felix Ever After

Author: Kacen Callender

Pages: 368

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, LGBT

Rating: 5/5 Stars – 9.00 CAWPILE rating

Synopsis: Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

This book was a joy to read! First and foremost, this book follows Felix who, at the start of the novel, walks into school one day to find pre-transition photos, which he thought were private, plastered around school, alongside his deadname. Felix, understandably distraught, goes on a mission to get revenge for this and accidentally ends up falling in love along the way. Felix was a great main character to read from. He was at times rash with his decisions but always tried his best to be kind and understand other people’s point of view. Felix struggled with being truly accepted by his dad, and even some of his friends, and this was something I could really relate to. He also brought up how difficult it can be being trans, black and queer all at the same time and I think it’s so important that people will be able to finally see themselves in a character like Felix!

Then we have Ezra, Felix’s best friend, whom I adored! Ezra is so sweet and really Felix’s biggest supporter and their friendship was something that I really loved about this book – Ezra always stood up for Felix and backed him up no matter what, and they really are the best duo. Unfortunately, none of the characters felt that fleshed out to me, which is why this got a low 5 star CAWPILE rating. A lot of the characters are part of the LGBT community but sometimes that’s all they felt like they were – we never really got to learn any of their hobbies, their likes and dislikes, even Felix. Saying that, I think the amount of representation we got in here was amazing, and I really cant wait for young queer kids to get their hands on this book!

Regarding the representation, there were some really important discussions in here that were tackled amazingly well. To name only a few, we got discussions on labels which was done so respectfully of both sides of the ‘argument’ – on the one hand it can be empowering for people and create a sense of community, but for others it may feel restrictive to label yourself – and it’s one of the few books I’ve seen tackle that (another book that did it well was The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper). Furthermore, there was a discussion about privilege which I also felt was done really well, and also about how, even though someone has faced struggles growing up, it is still important to acknowledge your privilege and that one does not negate the other. Intersectionality of identities was also touched upon and how it’s okay to keep questioning your identities, even if you thought you had them down. For these discussions, and the many others throughout the book, it’s evident how important this book will be for young people who pick it up, and I wish I had read it when I was younger too!

Finally, I’d like to touch on the plot. There are a couple of little plot lines throughout the book but I suppose the main one was who created the gallery of photos and Felix’s deadname. I really enjoyed the plot of this one, even if at times it was difficult to read. I was trying to figure out who did it alongside Felix (and was honestly surprised by the ending too!) and I really grew to love a few of the characters throughout too for how they reacted to things that happened. I felt that the romance/love-triangle plot was also done very well (especially coming from someone who’s not a big fan of love triangles) and I’d honestly love to see an epilogue novella of what happens to the three of them, because I’d love to see their dynamic after what happened at the end of the book!

Overall, this book was fantastic and should definitely be a staple in classrooms across the world as I really think young LGBT (and, in particular, trans) kids and LGBT kids of colour would really benefit from reading it! Please, please pick up this book if you get the chance!

Music From Another World Review

Hi everyone, hope you’re doing well! Recently I’ve been trying my best to keep on top of my Netgalley TBR but just about as soon as I finish one I request about five more! This is a more recent addition to the TBR, however, and is released in the UK at the end of the month and because I was really feeling something more contemporary after binge reading the Girls of Paper and Fire series I decided to give it a go, and I loved it!

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Title: Music From Another World

Author: Robin Talley

Pages: 384

Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, LGBT

Rating: 5/5 Stars – 9.14 CAWPILE rating

Synopsis: It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s only outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk…until she’s matched with a real-life pen pal who changes everything.

Sharon Hawkins bonds with Tammy over punk music and carefully shared secrets, and soon their letters become the one place she can be honest. The rest of her life in San Francisco is full of lies. The kind she tells for others—like helping her gay brother hide the truth from their mom—and the kind she tells herself. But as antigay fervor in America reaches a frightening new pitch, Sharon and Tammy must rely on their long-distance friendship to discover their deeply personal truths, what they’ll stand for…and who they’ll rise against

I loved this book! The story begins with two teenage girls – one who’s desperately trying to find her identity and another who is desperately trying to hide hers. Tammy and Sharon both grew up in strict, claustrophobic Christian backgrounds in the 70s and haven’t really had much freedom while doing so. One Summer, they get paired together as pen pals for a school project and their friendship blossoms from there.

In Orange County, Tammy is trying to hide the fact that she is a lesbian from her family and her friends while both struggling to meet the expectations of her parents and having to participate in the homophobic protests organised by her extended family. Meanwhile, in San Fransisco, Sharon is slowly becoming enveloped in the local punk scene and helping out leafleting at a local women’s bookshop after being taken to a protest by her closeted gay brother. The two bond over their love of music and slowly become each other’s best friend and closest confidant. I adored Tammy and Sharon’s friendship. They both understood each other’s worries and struggles and cared so, so much about each other, despite never having met. At times, hearing about the homophobia that Tammy and Peter, Sharon’s brother, dealt with, was so hard to read, as it’s something that almost all LGBT people have heard from both strangers and people they love their whole life. Despite this, the book was written with a real hopefulness from start to finish and a real sentiment of how much community and friendship matters, which was so important.

I loved the setting of this book. Being born in the 90s I’m not familiar with the 70s in the slightest, never mind the USA in the 70s, but I adored it nonetheless. It was so much fun reading about the local punk scene, albeit most likely fictional, and the women’s book club and I wish that kind of scene was still around nowadays. It made me feel a sad nostalgia for all the LGBT bookshops, clubs and organisations that I never got to experience. It also made me very nostalgic for Pride and how excited I was to be able to go with my girlfriend of the first time before the virus shut everything down! Nevertheless, I also adore reading about LGBT history and this book was no exception – the backdrop of this book is Harvey Milk getting elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and all the backlash he received for being gay. I had, rather embarrassingly, never heard about this before so I was really interested (and at times saddened) to hear about this piece of LGBT history that was so groundbreaking at the time!

This book really centred around love – love between friends, love between family, conditional love, unconditional love, love within a community, gay love, straight love. It explored identity and being true to who you are, and maybe being a little bit confused as to what exactly that is. And it did all this beautifully. I will always hold this book close to my heart and I loved every second of it!

Overall, as I’ve said countless times in this review, I adored this novel and it definitely at times reminded me of the first half of The Miseducation of Cameron Post, so if you loved that book I’m sure you’ll love this and vice-versa! If you’re in the US, go and check out this book asap! And if you’re in the UK please pre-order it! I’m sure you won’t regret it! As always, stay safe and take care!

Girls of Paper and Fire + Girls of Storm and Shadow Review

Hi everyone! Recently I decided to do a re-read of one of my favourite fantasy novels, Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan, so that I could finally get to the sequel, which I’ve been dying to read for months! I decided to do a joint review of the two of them, and there will be some spoilers for the first book in my review of Girls of Storm and Shadow, so do be aware of that! I hope you enjoy my first review on the blog!

Title: Girls of Paper and Fire

Author: Natasha Ngan

Pages: 385

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT

Rating: 5/5 Stars – 9.71 CAWPILE rating

Synopsis: Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honour they could hope for … and the most demeaning. This year, there’s a ninth. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after – the girl with the golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, Lei does the unthinkable – she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

Review: I absolutely adored this book, maybe even more so than the first time that I read it! The characters, for me, were one of the best parts of this novel. Lei, our main character, starts off the book as a scared and angry girl who just wants to be back at home with her family, but she slowly grows to be a strong-hearted, brave character that I can’t help but love. Lei forms an almost found family with the other paper girls around her, particularly a close friendship with Aoki, who wants desperately to fall in love with the King, and Wren, a secretive and beautiful girl with a hard exterior. Other characters that I loved were Lill, a tiny steel caste servant girl with a heart of gold, and Zelle, one of Lei’s teachers. Even the character’s I grew to hate, the King and Blue, were so well developed that I almost enjoyed reading about them! Of course, I can’t talk about characters without discussing the romance, which, of course, I adored! Lei falls for another paper girl and their relationship is slow burn and so unbelievably sweet. They’re strong for each other through the horror’s they face and through their love they realise that intimacy and love can be bravery in itself.

The atmosphere and setting of the book was so lush! I adore Asian-inspired fantasies and the setting of the palace in particular was so intriguing and I wish we’d got to see other parts of it, particularly the other courts, such as the city court and the mortal court. What we did get to see, however, was so magical and stunning – from the steamy, relaxing bath houses to the solemn yet enchanting ghost court, I eagerly devoured Natasha Ngan’s beautiful descriptions. Food descriptions are something that I absolutely adore in a book, and these were no exception – every delicacy that the paper girls got to eat sounded so delicious I wish I could reach into the book and have a taste for myself!

Natasha Ngan’s writing was, of course, excellent and I was constantly on the edge of my seat while reading the book, even though it was not my first read. Although it was quite difficult to read at times – there are a whole host of trigger warnings, including rape and sexual assault – I definitely think it was a necessary read, particularly as an own voices novel. The representation in this book was also done phenomenally and, when I first read it, was one of the first f/f fantasy novels I had read, and so for that alone it holds a special place in my heart. I cannot recommend this book enough!


Add on Goodreads

Title: Girls of Storm and Shadow

Author: Natasha Ngan

Pages: 400

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT

Rating: 5/5 Stars – 9.14 CAWPILE rating

Synopsis: In this mesmerizing sequel to the New York Times bestselling Girls of Paper and Fire, Lei and Wren have escaped their oppressive lives in the Hidden Palace, but soon learn that freedom comes with a terrible cost.

Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn’t the end of the plan—it’s just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei’s head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within.

Meanwhile, an evil plot to eliminate the rebel uprising is taking shape, fueled by dark magic and vengeance. Will Lei succeed in her quest to overthrow the monarchy and protect her love for Wren, or will she fall victim to the sinister magic that seeks to destroy her?

Review: Wow! So I have just finished reading the book as I am writing this and I am absolutely blown away! First of all, the characters. We’re introduced to a new band of characters that we briefly meet at the end of the first novel who become another almost found family for Lei – Nitta and Bo, a brother and sister and both cat demons; Hiro, a shaman and the last of his clan; Merrin, a bird demon; and Shifu Caen, advisor to the head of the Hanno clan. I adored the dynamic between the group, particularly the sibling bond between Nitta and Bo and the playful back and forth banter between Merrin and Bo. We also get a couple of chapters from other character’s perspectives who are still inside the palace, including Naja, and it was so interesting to see the rebel forces working within, though I do wish we had got to see more of the other paper girls. Aside from this, we see so many new faces, including some from Wren’s past, and they’re all morally grey and just so human, and Natasha Ngan really broke my heart on several occasions! We also see Lei and Wren dealing with their trauma and what happened in the previous book, which I think was very important and a very necessary part of the book.

At times, I did feel the plot was slightly lacking – a large part of the book was the main group of characters travelling – but the action scenes and the parts that took place, for example, at other palaces more than made up for it! As they were travelling we did get to see a lot more of the world and learned a lot more about the different clans which was another highlight for me, and something I felt was a little lacking from the first book (although understandably so)! There was also so much intrigue and back-stabbing which, once again, kept me on the edge of my seat, and also reminded me of another Asian-inspired fantasy which I adore, The Poppy War. So much was revealed about certain characters and relationships were tested (and broke my heart!) – the last 100 or so pages had so many twists and turns I just didn’t want to take my eyes off the page!

Overall, this sequel really exceeded my expectations, after seeing so many mixed reviews. The ending has absolutely destroyed me and I’ve only just stopped tearing up! I need the next book now, I don’t want to wait until November!!


I hope you enjoyed this review and that maybe it was the final push you needed to pick up these amazing books! I cannot wait to read the final book, Girls of Fate and Fury when it is released at the end of this year! As always, stay safe!

The Quarantine Book Tag

Hi everyone! I followed a ton of new blogs this afternoon and did a revamp of the blog and while doing so I found the Quarantine Book Tag (and discovered that I don’t know how to spell quarantine!) and it looks fun so I thought I’d give it a go!

Rules:

  • Pingback to @WordsAboutWords, so they can see all your comments
  • Tag the person you found this from (@isnikkiereads)
  • Don’t stress and have fun! (& don’t forget to stay safe!)
  1. Favourite reading spot at home?

I love just reading in my bed! Especially now that I’ve finished all my exams and my room is free of all my politics and interpreting notes it’s the perfect place to read! I get interrupted less by my family (!), I’ve got my air diffuser with some lavender essential oil in it, and I’m surrounded by cuddly toys to cuddle in case something happens to my favourite character!

2. An unread book from your physical TBR?

Oh wow there’s so many! I’m dying to get to Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare after reading Lady Midnight in March – I need more of Mark and Christina! I’m also so excited to read The Nickel Boys by Colston Whitehead – it’s a bit out of my comfort zone but I’ve had my eye on it for months and now I have the perfect excuse to finally get to it!

3. A book you’ve actually read from your physical TBR?

Since I’ve been in lockdown I’ve mostly read books on my kindle (and I’ve loved getting back into doing that!), but I did read the amazing The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis which is a western-style fantasy (and a new favourite of mine) featuring a very diverse cast of characters getting back at their oppressors, and Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour which is a gorgeous f/f contemporary romance which also explores the film industry!

4. Next book release you’re hyped for?

Oh my god there’s so many! The Falling In Love Montage by Ciara Smyth (a cute f/f romcom), The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart (an asian inspired f/f high fantasy with bone magic), I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch (rivals to lovers f/f contemporary with art school and fanfic), The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar (rival henna businesses, f/f with a muslim lead), Cemetary Boys by Aiden Thomas (trans mc summons a ghost and falls in love with him), All The Paths to You by Morgan Lee Miller (sequel to All The Worlds Between Us, swimming star maybe still has feelings for her first crush), The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska (witch queen needs a sacrifice to save her city but accidentally falls in love with her), Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell (the story of 60’s fictional band Utopia Avenue), This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling (sequel to These Witches Don’t Burn, literally almost everyone in this books is LGBT and a witch!), and of course my most anticipated book of the year, Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran!

5. Favorite bookish world to escape to?

Ooh this is difficult! Maybe the world in Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst – I’m a sucker for high fantasy and in a world where homophobia doesn’t exist, who wouldn’t want to be a lesbian princess!

6. A bookish world you would NOT want to visit?

I recently re-read the Hunger Games and I think I speak for everyone when I say I would not like to live in Panem!

7. Favorite author to follow on Twitter?

Probably Samantha Shannon and Nina Varela!

8. A bookish craft you’d like to try?

Oooh I honestly have no idea!! Maybe just fan-art! I’m really not good at drawing people but I wish I was good at it so I could draw fan-art for all my fave LGBT books!!

9. Something you’d like to practice/get better at?

See question above haha! I started watercolour painting in January but I quickly got bogged down by uni work but now I’m finished with uni I have so much time to paint again and I’m really enjoying it!

10. How many times has your reading been interrupted by a family member/living mate?

Constantly!! If i decide to read elsewhere in the house than my room I have to wear headphones to avoid being interrupted by my dad watching cycling/motorbike/politics/cooking videos on the xbox! Also my brother is back from uni now too and seems dead set on bothering me at all times!

11. Have you bought a book since you’ve been quarantine? Which & from where? [No? Well, there’s still time…]

See question 4 for all the preorders I’ve made (that’s not even all of them!)! If I went into every book I’ve purchased I’d be here a very long time but my gorgeous copy of Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender arrived while I was making this post and I’m so excited to read it!

12. What TV shows/movies have you binged watched?

My girlfriend made me watch Killing Eve and I’m finally up to date with it (though not enjoying this season as much as the previous ones!) and I’m also hoping to start Twin Peaks with her soon too as it’s one of her favourites!

13. What other media are you consuming?

I’ve been watching SO MUCH YouTube recently! Of course BookTube videos but also caricakes – she’s my absolute favourite youtuber!!

14. Favorite song to wash your hands to?

I don’t have a specific one! Just whatever’s stuck in my head at the time – although for some reason If U Seek Amy by Britney Spears has been stuck in there recently!

This was so much fun! I’d love to know your answers, especially what books you’re looking forward to! Stay safe!

Netgalley Mini Reviews #1

Hi everyone! Recently I took part in the #netgalleylibrary readathon hosted by Anniek’s Library and The Library Looter – a week long readathon to help everyone takle their Netgalley TBRs! I had a great time and read some great books, so I thought I’d compile all the mini-reviews into one blog post!

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Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo

This book was not an easy read, and I found myself both very angry and very emotional whilst reading it. The story details Kim Jiyoung’s life, from being a young child to being married with one child, and displays the harsh sexism that she, and every other woman like her, goes through on a daily basis. The story is interspersed with facts which just make the reality of life in South Korean for women seem even less hopeful. This was a tough read but ultimately a necessary one and I’m looking forward to buying my own physical copy to share out to family and friends!

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Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

This book was okay, and only okay. The characters felt quite underdeveloped and, although I liked their group dynamics a lot and they all grew on me, I felt that we’d occasionally just leave a character for them not to bee seen again for another 100 or so pages (or about 300 in the case of Ines). The plot and world building left me quite confused at times (part 2 really seemed to come out of nowhere) and I found it quite difficult to really picture this parallel Chicago in my head, perhaps that was just me, or perhaps it was a bit underdeveloped. Besides that, I know a few readers felt bored by the story, and I know that it is quite slow going, particularly for a sci-fi, but I honestly couldn’t stop reading and I was thinking about this book constantly whenever I had to put it down. I also thought the use of case files and poems and other typed of media to show what the characters had been through in the past was really effective. Overall, an enjoyable enough read that I’ll most likely pick up the sequel!

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

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I really had mixed opinions about this book. On the one hand I absolutely adored the whole NASA space program aspect. I loved all the hype around the mars mission, the sort of “found family” among all the astronauts families and when the experts talked about their different projects – you can really tell that Phil Stamper loves what he’s writing about! I loved the drama with the news station and the last 20 or so percent of the book was so much fun, I really had a ball reading it! I also really appreciated the discussion of mental illness (for the most part) and therapy in particular, especially this quote – “People aren’t broken, and therapists couldn’t fix them if they were. But maybe someone can make things a little better, or help them be a little happier”.

However, I did have a few pet peeves about the book. I didn’t really like the main character at all. He was very selfish and really does not know how to communicate! He fell out with his best friend over something quite silly very early on in the book, didn’t contact her for half the book, gave her a pretty meh apology and everything was fine again. I also didn’t like how he kept pushing Leon to apply to universities, particularly when he supposedly understands how tough Leon’s battle with his mental illness is. Furthermore, I also wasn’t a fan of the relationship, unfortunately. It was the biggest case of insta-love I have seen in a long time! They knew each other for about a week and decided they were in love with each other! The pacing felt very off and I just couldn’t really get into it, but I did think by the end they were quite cute together (when they finally decided to communicate!)

Overall, I had a lot of fun with this readalong! I still have quite a few more Netgalley reviews to come so look forward to those! Take care and stay safe!!

Recent Reads #3

2020 Reads 10 – 15

Hi everyone! I’m back again, a little later than hoped! Everything is so hectic right now, what with both the state of the world and having to write a dissertation while doing online classes! I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy and that you’re managing to get some good reading done too! I managed to get a bit of reading in recently and overall I’ve enjoyed what I have read! Without any further ado, here are the books!

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The Ten Loves of Mr Nishino – Hiromi Kawakami

It feels so good to be able to go back into one of Hiromi Kawakami’s novels! Her writing is so lush and delicious and Allison Markin Powell does an absolutely amazing job translating her works, particularly since I know first hand how difficult literary translation is! Although at times this book was a bit…strange (why was his sister breastfeeding him???) I found myself really loving each and every character and I really wish I could live in a Hiromi Kawakami novel! Her food descriptions are something that I particularly enjoy and, although her books don’t have much of a plot, I always find myself engrossed in them. This isn’t my favourite book by her but I loved it all the same and I can’t wait to read her short story collection next! (Also, I know it’s crumbs but I was SO happy to read her write a lesbian character!!)

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The Midnight Lie – Marie Rutkoski

This was my first Marie Rutkoski book, and also my first 2020 release I’ve read so far, and I was anything but disappointed! Marie Rutkoski’s writing, like Hiromi Kawakami’s, is so lyrical and delicate that you just wish that you could dive into it! Although I must say the plot was not my favourite, the world building and the characters hugely made up for it! There was so much political intrigue in the world which I found really refreshing and I found myself wanting to know more about what was being kept hidden. The characters were all so flawed and gritty so they felt really realistic. My favourite part of the book, however, was the romance. I bought this book for the romance and I was not let down. Marie Rutkoski managed to write the best yearning between two female characters I have ever read and the sexual tension between them was just SO GOOD!!! I cannot wait to read the sequel and I’ll definitely be picking up the Winner’s Curse series as soon as possible!!

Circe – Madeline Miller

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I had been DYING to read this book for the longest time, especially after reading The Song of Achilles in 2019, so it was about time that I actually bit the bullet and read this. I knew absolutely nothing about Circe before I entered this novel, and my only knowledge of Ancient Greek history or mythology is the one semester in France that I studied the Peloponnesian war, so at first this was very difficult to get into. Overall, I have to say I was quite disappointed in this book. I loved Circe as a main character and the imagery of her island was beautiful. I also thought that the themes of mortality, feminism and love were done excellently, but the plot was so all over the place that I just felt so disconnected from the story. I think I might benefit from a re-read of this at a later date to fully appreciate it, but overall I thought this was just okay.

Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare

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Finally I started the Dark Artifices series! I’ve been reading the Shadowhunters chronicles since I was, I think, 13 or 14 (I’m now 22) and I’ve been trying to catch up and read them all in publication order. This trilogy starts with a new set of main characters – Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn – that we briefly met in TMI and a couple of the novellas, alongside the whole Blackthorn family and some other great characters! This book was definitely slow to start with but I was SO intrigued by the plot (I definitely didn’t guess who did it). I definitely read these books for the characters and I would die for Mark and Christina, they were hands down my favourite characters! I love the Blackthorn children (although sometimes I get them muddled up) and Kieran and Diego too! I did miss my TMI characters (although they did briefly pop up) and I’m so excited to see where this trilogy leads (although I would like Aline and Helen back and some more downworlder characters please)!

The Good Luck Girls – Charlotte Nicole Davis

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This book is definitely a new favourite!! I bought this one really cheap from World of Books after hearing a couple of my favourite authors talk about it and I’m so glad I did! This book deals with fighting back against your oppressors and has really amazing friendships throughout. The book also deals with some sensitive topics like prostitution and rape so do bare that in mind if you do decide to read it. The book features several black characters, including the main character, and a side f/f romance which was adorable! Although I did feel that conflict was resolved too easily and conveniently, the plot really kept me on the edge of my seat and I really had so much fun whilst reading it! I also LOVED the world-building – the book is set in a kinda alternate history/post-apocalyptic Western style setting and it’s so intriguing! I’m absolutely dying for a sequel and I really hope Charlotte Nicole Davis writes one because I’m dying to find out what happens to the characters!!

So, that’s all for this recent reads! Next I’m hoping to tackle my Netgalley arcs as part of the #NetgalleyLibrary Readathon, hosted by Anniek’s Library and The Library Looter! I completely failed my OWLs (my dissertation really took over my life!) and I really need to get on top of my Netgalley TBR so I thought it would be super fun to join in, so hopefully you can look forward to a Netgalley wrap up soon! Hope you’re all healthy and keeping safe!!

F/F Recommendations #1 – Contemporary

Hi everyone! Once again on book Twitter we are seeing some “drama” surrounding the supposed lack of f/f books that are out there and once again I feel like it is my job to shout about them more! The problem is not that there aren’t any out there and it’s not that people aren’t talking about them (although it does mainly seem to be wlw who are the ones talking about them) it’s just that some readers are trying to justify their not reading them which is really frustrating for those of us who do read and love these books! There are so many amazing f/f books out there and, as much as I could spend all day gushing about Girls of Paper and Fire and The Priory of the Orange Tree (two of my favourite books!) I decided to dedicate a series of posts to talking about some of my favourite lesser talked about f/f books and hopefully there will be at least one that piques your interest!

Learning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss

Elena Mendez has always been career-first; with only two semesters of law school to go, her dream of working as a family lawyer for children is finally within reach. She can’t afford distractions. She doesn’t have time for love. And she has no idea how much her life will change, the day she lends her notes to Cora McLaughlin. A freelance writer and MBA student, Cora is just as career-driven as Elena. But over weeks in the library together, they discover that as strong as they are apart, they’re stronger together. Through snowstorms and stolen moments, through loneliness and companionship, the two learn they can weather anything as long as they have each other–even a surprise visit from Elena’s family.

Learning Curves is a really quick, adorable novella that is perfect for when you’re in a reading slump. Elena and Cora’s relationship is so sweet and the novella has some really great representation (the mc is a fat latina lesbian and the love interest is pan and ace)! There’s also a sequel of sorts called Wrapped Up In You which is a Christmas novella and both of them are available on Kindle Unlimited!

Ask the Passengers by A. S. King

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother’s pushiness and her father’s lack of interest tell her they’re the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn’t know the passengers inside, but they’re the only people who won’t judge her when she asks them her most personal questions–like what it means that she’s falling in love with a girl. As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can’t share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don’t even know she’s there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers’ lives–and her own–for the better.

This is a coming out novel, and I know for a lot of people they may be well past coming out novels (I know I am!) but I can wholeheartedly say that this is one of the best coming out novels (how many times can I say that in one paragraph!) that I have ever read! There are a whole host of LGBT characters in here and a touch of philosophy too, if that’s something that interests you. If you can read this whilst on a plane journey, I highly recommend doing so!

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

Seventeen-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.

This is a slightly more heartbreaking read (with a whole host of trigger warnings), so I think that it is important to be in the right headspace while reading this novel, however I definitely think it is a must read! Although Rukhsana deals with a lot of homophobia from her family there are some really heartwarming friendships and family relationships in this novel that really made me tear up and one of my favourite aspects of the novel was the food references – everything in this book made my mouth water! I highly recommend picking this up if you’re looking for an f/f novel that’s less US/Western-centric.

All the Worlds Between Us by Morgan Lee Miller

Seventeen-year-old Quinn Hughes needs to be in top shape if she wants to medal at the swimming World Championships in ten months. This means no easy distractions, no matter how pretty they are. She’s still piecing her confidence back together after not qualifying for the Olympics, her relationship with her twin brother is getting worse the more he hangs out with the popular kids, and then Kennedy Reed suddenly squeezes herself back into Quinn’s life. The girl who was her best friend. The girl who gave Quinn her first kiss. The girl who hasn’t spoken to her since. Soon, Quinn finds herself juggling her new girlfriend, training for the biggest competition of her life, and discovering she’s not the only Hughes twin with a crush on Kennedy Reed. All these distractions are getting to her, and if she wants that medal she needs to find a way to stop drowning on dry land.

I was so lucky to be able to read an arc of this book through Netgalley before it was released and I can honestly say it’s in my top 3 contemporary f/f novels! It’s one of the most realistic f/f novels I’ve read (teen wlw wanting and having sex is not something we see often and was dealt with so well in here) and has one of the best endings I’ve read in a contemporary novel. The sequel is coming out this year and I can’t wait to get my hands on it alongside Morgan Lee Miller’s other novel, Hammers, Strings, and Beautiful Things, which is another f/f novel about a girl in a band dealing with loss and her growing music career!

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

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.

This is another book that I was lucky enough to get an arc copy of through Netgalley and was another hidden gem! Both authors are well known for writing LGBT books but this one seems to have slipped under the radar a little. Although David Levithan’s writing doesn’t really click with me I love Nina LaCour’s sections and overall this is an excellent, light, Summer read that really captures the feeling of going to your first Pride and falling in love with a girl for the first time!

Although contemporary is not my favourite genre I hope that this gave you a few more books to add to your TBR pile! These are only books that I have read and I’m always looking for new recommendations so feel free to leave some in a comment! Next time I think I’ll start to tackle some fantasy recommendations as that is my favourite genre! Until my next post, stay safe and keep reading f/f books!