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review 2018-02-05 03:05
Peter Darling by Austin Chant
Peter Darling - Austin Chant

Ten years ago, Peter left Neverland behind in order to go back to his family, who he hoped would finally accept him as he was. Unfortunately, things didn't turn out as well as he'd hoped, and in the book's present he's gone back to Neverland.

Peter seems to think that he can slide back into his old life in Neverland without any trouble, but things have changed since he left. The Lost Boys have a new leader and have become much more peaceful in Peter's absence, and Peter's efforts to "play war" now have more horrible and deadly consequences. The one person in Neverland who seems to genuinely like that Peter is back and shaking things up is his old nemesis, Hook.

I'm not really a Peter Pan fan, but I do like portal fantasies, and the enemies-to-lovers aspect intrigued me. I maybe should have paid more attention to the book's description, though, because the first half of the book had a lot more violence and bloodshed than I was expecting. Although it wasn't hard to guess the root of Peter's need to "play war" even over the Lost Boys' objections, I got frustrated with Peter and found myself wishing that someone (like Tinkerbell) would tell him to quit it before people got killed.

The second half of the book worked better for me. I enjoyed learning more about Neverland, although those revelations never completely took the sting out of the results of the big battle between Peter and the Lost Boys and Hook and his pirates. The progression of Peter and Hook/James from enemies to lovers was still very nice, and I really liked how things worked out in the end.

Since the review that put this on my radar mentioned Every Heart a Doorway, I couldn't help but think of that book too. I very much preferred the way Peter Darling's Neverland was set up as opposed to the fantasy worlds in Every Heart a Doorway, if only because I still dislike how things turned out for Kade in his world.

All in all, this wasn't entirely my cup of tea, but I'm now looking forward to reading Chant's Coffee Boy even more.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-10-15 19:55
At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans... At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces (Queer Action/Queer Ideas, a Unique Series Addressing Pivotal Issues Within the Lgbtq Movement) - Mary Collins,Donald Collins


I received a copy of this book through Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

Overall, I liked the book. It is composed of essays from Mary Collins and Donald Collins and interviews with other people who are trans and families of people who are trans.

The book details what Mary and Donald both went through in various stages of Donald's transition (Donald coming out as trans, starting hormones, perusing various surgeries). They discuss how their relationship changed and places they did and did not find support. 

The interviews were also interesting. They follow mostly white males, but also include perspectives from some people who identify as nonbinary.

The drawback for me with this book was I wanted to hear more from Donald's perspective. Looking back now, I see they have the same number of essays and roughly the same number of pages so maybe it wasn't the amount of material but rather the strength of the voice that put me off. Mary's sections were very domineering and reading them felt like the majority of the book. Perhaps it was because I didn't really like or agree with her perspective. She spends a lot of time talking about the people who did her wrong and less about her transgender son. I feel horrible saying that, because she complains about people telling her she was wrong and not supporting her, but I can't help but lean more in their favor. It was very brave of her to write this book, but it is very clear that she is still not 100% behind her son's decisions. 

A good book, especially for parents and families of people who are trans and looking for some perspective.

The book contains word banks with pertinent words such as "gender identity", "top surgery", "gender confirming". There is also a reading list including in the book with recommended works of fiction and non-fiction pertaining to gender and trans issues.
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review 2017-02-03 05:16
Wizards, magical tattoos and a ginger haired cyborg? Oh my!
The Cyborg He Brought Home - A.M. Hawke
  2.5 HEARTS--Wizards, magical tattoos and a ginger haired cyborg can be found in A.M. Hawke's The Cyborg He Brought Home. The title literally tells the plot of the sci-fi/fantasy mashup.

Jake is a mage, or wizard, the details are a little fuzzy. What isn't fuzzy is he lives in a settlement of wizards called Greentree where there are magic trees and magic tattoos all over folk. Technology isn't revered as magic. While drinking in the local wizard bar, in walks a cyborg. Which sounds like the start of possibly an awesome story but that's pretty much all there is.

We learn the cyborg's name is Cory. He's from a moon colony and on an information seeking trip on wizard colonies. There is instant dislike from most of the magical practicing folk except from Jake.

Jake is fascinated by the mechanical eyes, copper wire hair and Cory's fascination with the simplest magic. The story plot wise? Doesn't offer much. It's about 10K and I'm reviewing an uncorrected, unedited ARC. The entire thing read closer to an outline - there were two scenes: initial meeting and then going home to have sex. The lack of chemistry was an issue for me. I couldn't buy it between Cory and Jake, which hung like a grey cloud for the rest of this very short story.

The world created was an interesting idea. I like that tattoos were conduits of magic. The Nature vs. Machines idea, if developed, could have been something. If the entire story was more developed, it could have been magical. It was more of cool ideas and concepts (wizards in nature, cyborgs living on the moon, MAGIC TATTOOS!) and meh a sex scene. *shrugs*

I will say Cory was the stronger developed character of the pair. I'd have enjoyed reading more back story on him. There were inklings of story possibilities when he spoke briefly on moon life. I believe this was my first trans cyborg I've ever read. It was Jake's first trans partner, so he asked a lot of questions. Cory was cool with them.

"Right, but I mean--you're already half metal. You could look like whatever you want."
"That's true, I could."
"So why keep a scar?"
"Because they're mine, Jake. They remind me of where I've been and what it took to get to where I am now."

The story ends with a possible HFN. It's a first time hook up, so who knows what the future holds for Jake and Cory?

Overall, interesting concepts, but the execution is underdeveloped. If this is ever re-edited or re-released in the future, I'll take a peek.

A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.


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review 2016-11-07 00:00
trans·fer·ence - Ava Harrison trans·fer·ence - Ava Harrison description


Suffering a tragic loss, and after a car accident lands her in the hospital. Eve knows she needs to get some help. She is having nightmares and suffering panic attacks. She is slowly losing herself. After a brief meeting at the hospital with Dr. Preston Montgomery where he offers her his card, she just can't seem to get him out of her mind. Finally ready to take the steps necessary she contacts him.

Dr. Preston Montgomery knows it was stupid to offer Eve his card. She reminds him of a painful past, and of someone he failed to save. He is her DR. and her his patient. Soon enough sparks fly and boundaries are crossed. With both of them playing with fire someone is bound to get burned.

I actually don't know where to begin with my review of this book. I enjoyed it so completely. It is just beautifully written. So emotive in its style. You could almost taste these characters passion, and pain, and desperation.

This is what "I" would deem a slow burn type of romance book. It is over halfway through before we get any sexytime action, and even then it's more on the mildly descriptive side. I think those type of scenes is what was needed for this book and the more graphic erotica type would have seemed out of place.


Both characters for me were likable. I had a harder time warming up to Eve because I found her frustrating for the first half of the book. I just wanted her to pull herself out of her funk and get on with life. She comes into her own in the second half of the book, and a decision she makes near the end of the book, though perhaps frustrating for us readers, really shows how much as a character she has grown. Preston was lovely and frustrating, and sweet, but I wanted more from him as a character.

So why not 5 stars? A couple reasons. One, I wanted more background on Preston. I didn't feel like he was as developed as Eve. I wanted a little more insight into his relationship with Sloane. Maybe more of his interaction with his family. Just a BIT more depth. My other issue was right from the start I felt we were getting these tantalizing tidbits dropped like bread crumbs leading us to some BIG revelation. Unfortunately when it came I was underwhelmed. I don't know, perhaps I was reading too much into these little glimpses we would be given. Lastly, I would have liked a bit more time with this couple at the end. It wrapped up fairly quickly.

That said, those things were just minor issues and didn't stop me from completely loving this one. So two HUGE thumbs up from yours truly.


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review 2016-09-18 11:50
Die Favoritin
Die Favoritin - Matthias Lehmann,Volker Zimmermann

Constances Leben wird durch ihre strenge Großmutter bestimmt, die jeden ihrer Schritte überwacht. Spielen mit Gleichaltrigen ist ebenso verboten, wie das alte Herrenhaus zu verlassen, das sich abseits einer französischen Kleinstadt befindet. Für Constanze bleibt lediglich ihre Fantasie um die öden Tage zu überstehen und ihre Umwelt auf ihre Art für sich zu entdecken. Als das alte Ehepaar eine neue Verwalterfamilie anstellt, die sich fortan um das Anwesen kümmern soll, lernt Constance erstmals Kinder in ihrem Alter kennen und beginnt sich mehr und mehr gegen die Regeln ihrer Großmutter zu stellen. Doch ihre stille Rebellion und ihre steigende Aggressivität gegen die herrische Frau haben ungeahnte Folgen und sorgen dafür, dass ein schreckliches Geheimnis ans Licht kommt …

Eigene Meinung:
Mit der Graphic Novel „Die Favoritin“ legt der Carlsen Verlag das Debüt des französischen Zeichners Matthias Lehmann vor, der mehrere Jahre an der Umsetzung der Geschichte arbeitete. Der Comic wurde u.a. 2016 für den Comicpreis Angoulême nominiert, einer der wichtigsten europäischen Comicpreise.

Matthias Lehmann erzählt die Geschichte der jungen Constance, die wahrlich kein leichtes Leben hat. Sie steht unter der herrischen Fuchtel ihrer Großmutter, die den Haushalt wie ein General führt und auch vor drakonischen Strafen nicht zurückschreckt. Das wahre Ausmaß wird erst nach und nach ersichtlich, denn der Autor versteht es zunächst dezent darauf hinzuweisen und erst im Laufe der Zeit zu zeigen, wie schwer Constances Leben eigentlich ist. Auch die Tatsache, dass es sich bei der jungen Heldin in Wahrheit um einen Jungen handelt, der von dem alten Ehepaar als Mädchen aufgezogen wird, kommt erst relativ spät ans Licht. Den Leser erwartet eine tieftraurige Geschichte, in der es um Geschlechtsidentität, Kindesmissbrauch und psychischen Krankheiten geht, um Angst und Trauer, aber auch um Fantasie und Hoffnung. Dabei spielt natürlich auch die Zeit, in der die Geschichte spielt, eine große Rolle, denn nicht nur Constances Leben ist davon geprägt (Frankreich der 70er Jahre), auch die Persönlichkeiten ihrer Großeltern sind durch die Vorkriegsjahre geprägt, in denen man alles getan hat, um „geistige“ Krankheiten zu verschweigen oder ganz zu ignorieren. Nahezu alle Figuren sind Opfer ihrer Zeit und nur wenige gehen am Ende des Buches als Gewinner hervor – selbst Constance nicht.

Die Figuren hinterlassen einen tiefen Eindruck beim Leser. Gerade der kleine Junge, der so lange als Mädchen leben musste und nicht einmal seinen richtigen Namen kannte, bleibt im Gedächtnis. Man fragt sich, wie es mit ihm weitergeht, denn Matthias Lehmann lässt sein Werk recht offen enden und regt zum Nachdenken an. Auch stellt man sich zwangsläufig die Frage, wie die Sache ausgegangen wäre, wenn Constances Großvater eher den Mut gefunden hat, die Wahrheit ans Licht zu bringen oder die Familie der alten Frau auf ihre psychischen Probleme anders reagiert hätte, anstatt sie einfach zu verheiraten.

Die Zeichnungen sind gewöhnungsbedürftig, da Matthias Lehmann einen sehr groben Strich hat, der ein wenig an alte Holzschnitte erinnert. Man braucht ein wenig, um sich mit den manchmal etwas starren schwarz/weiß-Zeichnungen anzufreunden. Die dicken Linien und die groben Schraffuren strahlen eine gewisse Düsterheit aus, die sehr gut zum Inhalt des Buches passt und die gedrückte Atmosphäre passend widerspiegelt. Sie vermitteln die richtige Stimmung und sorgen dafür, dass man auch bei den fantasievolleren Szenen, in denen Constance einfach nur Kind sein kann, nicht vergisst, wie schrecklich und deprimierend die Hintergrundgeschichte ist und welch furchtbare Dinge in dem alten Herrenhaus passieren.

„Die Favoritin“ ist ein ungewöhnlicher Comic, der durch eine sehr traurige Geschichte und einen recht eigenwilligen Zeichenstil besticht. Matthias Lehmann legt ein sehr düsteres Debüt vor, das zum Nachdenken anregt und Kindesmissbrauch und Geschlechtsidentität thematisiert. Wer schwere Kost mag und kein Problem mit einigen verstörenden Szenen hat, sollte der Graphic Novel eine Chance geben und einen Blick in „Die Favoritin“ werfen. Allein aufgrund des Endes und der Aufdeckung der Geheimnisse lohnt sich die Geschichte um den kleinen Jungen, der fast sein gesamtes Leben als Mädchen gelebt hat.

Source: www.like-a-dream.de
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