End of Hiatus (life update!) + Hiatus Wrap-Up

Hi everyone!

Wow, I’ve actually missed this blog a lot. But I also feel like this time away from it rekindled my interest in blogging about books and not just write reviews on Goodreads (which I kept doing while on blog hiatus).

I really felt like I needed some time off an activity (blogging) that I know I enjoy in order to explore my passion in doing other things too, so I sacrificed bookblogging because I knew I would get back to it and enjoy it even more, while other passions needed my full attention in order for me to integrate them in my routine in a way that would be permanent. Does that make sense? I don’t know, but it made sense to me.

It wasn’t just about my passions though! I moved to another country just this past week, so I’ve had to get prepared for that, physically and mentally. Now, because I’m here and I still don’t know how things will work and how my week will look once I find a job (sigh adulting) I actually don’t know how active I will manage to be, but I have queued a few reviews of books I’ve read this summer that I want to have on my blog too (although you can always read reviews of every single book I read on my goodreads), plus all the tags I’ve been neglecting (aehm, shoutout to Laura who kept tagging me ♥) so there should be at least one post a week.

But let’s talk about books because that’s what we’re all here to do.

Here’s my hiatus wrap up, just in picture format because it’s every book I read since June (and the ones worth talking about are getting full reviews here soon).

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Well, well, well. I wonder if these books follow a trend? Yes, yes they do.

In June (pride month) I promised myself to only read LGBT+ books, and I realized it wasn’t much of an effort at all. And the thing is, I was already reading mostly books that featured LGBT+ characters, and that’s what I kept doing all summer. Which brought me to realize that this is what I’m “known” for (not that I’m famous but whatever). It’s just that every one of my mutuals on twitter and my friends on GR know I mostly read those books and I realized that I don’t mind that one bit and that my blog should reflect that. So, once I’m fully back, this blog will feature discussions surrounding LGBT+ lit, LGBT+ representation in books and media, as well as the usual reviews of LGBT+ books.

All I can say is that I’m really happy that I found a.. niche? where I fee comfortable, both reading-wise and (book)community-wise, plus it brings me joy to help (often younger or much younger) readers find books where they might feel represented (or warn them to avoid others if the representation in them is bad or harmful).

Of course I’ll also review any book I feel like reading regardless of that, but that’s the direction I feel make the most sense for me.

I’m pretty sure none of the people who follow me will be bothered by all this, but just in case, well, you’re free to leave.

With all that said, I’m looking forward to keeping up with this blog again and I hope you’re all doing well (plus if you wanna tell me about your summer -or winter for some of you I guess- I’d love to hear what y’all were up to while I was away) ♥

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FENCE by C.S. Pacat & Johanna the Mad – Why You Should Be Excited For It

Hello there! Let’s postpone The Talk about me technically still being on blog hiatus (it’ll end soon though, I promise!) for another time, because today I am so excited to talk about a new upcoming comic by quite literally my favorite author ever, C.S. Pacat, and Johanna the Mad, an amazing artist whose fanworks have always left me speechless.

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The cast of Fence. From left to right: Nicholas, Seiji, Harvard, Aiden, Jesse, Dante, Bobby

Particularly I want to talk about the importance it will have in the queer community. I fully believe that the comparison with Yuri!!! On Ice and other queer-positive works like Check, Please! is 100% accurate.

Why am I saying this with such confidence when I obviously haven’t read it yet, since it comes out in November? Two reasons:

⚔ I fully trust C.S. Pacat to stay true to her words and deliver

“something that’s very joyously and unabashedly queer. That’s very important to me.”
(source)


Knowing her and knowing her previous work and the other fictional works (like Y!!!OI) that she enjoys, I know that she isn’t just saying that in order to appeal to a certain audience. This is something that might have been scary to publish one year ago, when the queer world hadn’t been quite literally shaken by Yuri!!! On Ice yet. But now we know that the (queer and not queer) world is ready for something that doesn’t have to justify itself in order to exist. Not only won’t there be any queerbaiting, there won’t be “sad gays” either.

⚔ This premise brings me to my second point. A comic is something that will appeal to readers and non-readers alike. We in the bookish community sometimes tend to forget that there are many people who don’t read as much as we do, and that’s fine. Many of those people are teens that maybe are more into anime and manga, and they’ll be given access to something that might -might!- eventually draw them into the bookish world. Even more importantly, these are young people who more often than not are just coming to terms with their sexuality. These are teens and young adults who have been at best queerbaited by shows like Free! and Haikyuu!!, and at worse they’ve been shown that if you’re queer you are someone expendable, someone who will die before the straights can find a solution to a zombie-riddled world or you’re simply there to allow a straight narrative to reach its positive outcome, or you’re there to be the gay stereotype that the audience will laugh at.
This won’t happen with Fence. (Young) people will have a positive queer representation like they’ve had in Yuri!!! On Ice, and being queer won’t be the main subject of the work. They’ll be shown that you don’t have to only be your sexuality, you can be an athlete, you can be anything and be queer and be valid and if you don’t understand the importance of that then maybe it’s really time for you to think about your straight privilege.

Now, focusing on the rest of what we know so far, this story will have amazing characterization. Again, you ask, how do you know this? Because that’s what Pacat does. And if you haven’t read Captive Prince and you don’t trust me on my word, read this:

I’m working with a really great épée coach in Australia to choreograph all the fight scenes. And I’ve been working with him on the fencing characterization of each boy, so they’ll all have different strengths and weaknesses that will evolve throughout the narrative.


…in “Fence,” especially because I was so invested in the accuracy of the fencing, there’s no smudging allowed.
(source)


These are NOT the words of someone who doesn’t think their characters through. The characters’ personalities will reflect in the way they fence and act outside of fencing, like in all the best sports anime/manga/fiction.

This is already so clear from just a raw of one page alone:

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“But will it be diverse?” you ask. Yeah!

…having a diverse cast was very important to me. When you’re writing heroic narratives it’s very important to make sure that you have a story where everyone can feel as though they can be a hero.
(source)

 

Because this is a comic, obviously another really important thing to look forward to is the art. Johanna the Mad is an amazing artist (see pictures above) who has more than once impressed me (and many others, including C.S. Pacat) with her art.

Something else I find amazing is that both writer and artist come from the online world. They not only know the community they’re addressing, they’re fully part of it and that is one more reason to trust them.

So really the question is, what’s there NOT to look forward to? (the answer is: everything about this comic should make you as excited as I am)

And more importantly, is it November yet?