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Search tags: Queer-Lit
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review 2018-06-27 06:11
Moonstruck #1: Magic to Brew
Moonstruck #1 - Magic to Brew - Shea Beagle,Grace Ellis

Super cute, über diverse, whimsical fun. The pastel, fluffy, round art fit the writing perfectly. A sweet story that centers on self acceptance that's complete with magic, monsters, and cute lesbian werewolves. Perfect for tweens, teens, and young at heart adults.

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review 2018-06-21 03:18
Chainbreaker: Timekeeper #2 (Part 1...because it doesn't end)
Chainbreaker - Tara Sim

This book has no ending. For real. It just stops. I'm not even sure I can classify it as a cliffhanger it is so abrupt. And with a page count approaching 500 that really yanks my chain.

 

On the plus side this book is mostly set in India, which was a nice change from the well tread streets of London. There are airships, fallen towers, and some action. I liked the side characters introduced, and I enjoyed getting to know Daphne more. The world continues to amuse me.

 

On the down side the pace is glacially slow. This isn't helped by long passages of flashbacks, or that chapters alternate between POV characters instead of staying where the action is. Danny and Colton are separated for almost the entire book, so if the romance element is important to you, well, sorry, you're just going to get pining. And, as I mentioned, there's no ending.

 

This book frustrated me. But, and here's the thing, I'm planning to read the third in the trilogy. After that build up I need to see what happens. So if you go into this book just be prepared for it to be part 1 of 2, and for a slow burn.

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review 2018-06-21 03:06
Timekeeper: Or, what if clocks controlled time
Timekeeper - Tara Sim

This was a cute queer teen romance with some really interesting world building. I find the idea of time being run by clocks, and all the implications and complications that entails, absolutely fascinating. I can honestly say I've never encountered a setting quite like this one before. Heck, I didn't even mind that this had strong historical fiction elements (which is not something I generally enjoy). The central mysteries held the book together fairly well, and kept pages turning, despite being pretty obvious. There was even some action thrown in, though not a lot. I also enjoyed Colton and Danny's budding relationship, and found them very cute.

 

On the flip side, the story lagged in places and tended to repeat itself. The writing was fine, but nothing terribly special. Some of the conflicts could have easily been solved by people just talking to one another, which is a pet peeve of mine, but not all of them so it wasn't too exasperating. This was one of those books that I enjoyed, but didn't really capture me to the point where I was thinking about while I wasn't reading it, nor yearning to pick it back up again. I liked it. I'm going to read the next in the series. But all in all I found the ideas are more memorable than the story.

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review 2018-04-04 01:50
A perfectly written mystery by queer author Caleb Roehrig; brings gay characters to the the main stage, and shows off natural talent for creating suspense and compelling story
White Rabbit - Caleb Roehrig

I tried to get an early copy of ‘White Rabbit’ months ago, and if I’d been able to I would have been able to tell everyone to go and preorder this book! I thoroughly enjoyed this twisty mystery from Caleb Roehrig, and read the whole thing this last weekend, devouring his sophomore novel about Rufus Holt, and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night, and a cast of colorful teenage characters.

Seventeen year old, gay Rufus is the main character and he's just now coming to terms with the breakup of his relationship with Sebastian, when they end up having to spend the night as super sleuths; Rufus receives a call from his sister April asking for help, which starts the ball rolling. They drive out to a cottage in the middle of nowhere where she’s been at a now-abandoned party, to find her covered in blood and next to her dead boyfriend Fox Whitney. Rufus doesn't believe April could have committed any crime (nor does his stepmom Isabel, who pays him to find out who did), and he and Sebastian spend the night uncovering clues, and discovering their peers’ unsavory behavior (isn't it always that way?).

We find out about the relationship between Rufus and Sebastian, and their shared past, through memories, and the romantic storyline between the two of them is very subtle and so well-written; Roehrig’s language and written dialogue is so natural, this arc fits within the mystery so perfectly. And when it comes to the actual mystery itself, it’s without holes. Follow along with the details and clues because you want to understand the boys’ thinking, and then when it all blows open at the end, hopefully other readers will be as surprised as I was.

I’m honestly looking forward to seeing what comes next for Caleb, because this was so cleverly written, and is such compulsive reading, and I can see him writing both for teens and adults. There’s also wit and smarts about him that I feel can shine through even further (check out his Twitter feed), and I bet there’s an even more complex or even funny read coming next.

PS. And next time, I REALLY would love that early copy so I can review it and can tell everyone to go order their book!

 

 

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review 2018-03-09 00:02
The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1
The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 (Volume 1) - G. L. Carriger

I wanted to love this book. In theory I really should have loved this book. But I just...didn't. I suspect part of this is due to the fact this was my introduction to Carriger's universe, and the world-building just isn't there. I spent the front chunk of the book feeling like I was missing a lot, and trying to decode what I can tell is an elaborate world filled with critters and magics. I will say I was intrigued enough I'm interested in going back and trying her first series.

 

It wasn't just the world-building though. It was the way everyone talked. If you like puns and innuendos this will amuse you to no end. If, however, you find that sort of thing annoying this will drive you crazy. It's sort of like the book equivalent of someone waggling their eyebrows and saying, "that's what she said" for 300 pages. Toss in some instalove and I just couldn't stand it whenever the main characters talked (or had an interior monologue, which is often). It's hard to cheer for a romance when you're cringing through every verbal exchange. I also felt like the pacing was a bit weird. The characters jump right into the sex early on, and the later chapters set that aside and go for a more serious plot line and leave the sexy romping behind. I'd have preferred to have more plot throughout, and the sex scenes interspersed more evenly rather than back to back (no pun intended) before pretty much vanishing. Again, maybe that's just my preference.

 

For me the issues were writing craft ones more than anything. (Pacing, world-building, dialogue, etc.) The pieces were there, they just weren't put together well. For example, we get some good character development, but it comes late in the book and gets undercut but snarky one-liners. It means that if you read between the lines, or over certain things, you can have a very different interpretation of this story. You can fill in blanks and make it great, if your imagination so desires, but that isn't really what is on the page. This is not going to bother a lot of people, and that's fine. For me it read a lot like fanfic, which again, isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the end it just wasn't to my taste. I really like the idea of a gay werewolf story with a diverse cast, I just didn't like the way this one was put together.

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