Release Blitz + Q&A and Giveaway: Happy For You by Anyta Sunday

Happy For You Banner 2

Series: Love & Family

Publisher: Anyta Sunday (self-published)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 10, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 60,000 words

Subgenre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Warnings: Depression (affecting a side character)

Order now: https://www.anytasunday.com/projects/happy-for-you/

Mort wants his de facto family back. . . .

He knows he doesn’t deserve them. Not yet, anyway. Not without making up for leaving them in their time of need.

But it’s not easy to make amends. Mort must show how much he wants the Rochester family back in his life. When his best friend’s younger brother, Felix, has his license suspended, Mort jumps at the chance to play chauffeur and to win back the family he desperately wants to call his own.

Repairing his broken relationships—with all five Rochester siblings—becomes Mort’s personal mission. Especially with Felix. Felix, who used to follow him everywhere. Felix, who idolized him. Felix, whom Mort has not stopped thinking about . . .

Felix is just trying to keep it together. . . .

With a perma-smile as his armor, he’s determined to make his family happy. Determined to be a positive role model to his three younger sisters, while their mum struggles with depression after her kidney transplant.

Unfortunately, no amount of smiling can save his license when he gets pulled over for the umpteenth time, and he still needs to get his sisters to school, soccer, and dance classes.

The solution to his problem emerges in the return of their prodigal neighbor, Mort. Mort, who left their lives without a word. Mort, who was in love with Felix’s older brother.

Mort, who is the last guy Felix wants charging back into their lives. . . .

Mort and Felix. Two guys bound by a rocky past—

—a past they must come to terms with to find true happiness in the here and now.

~-~-~

Set in New Zealand, Happy For You (Love & Family #3) is an MM gay romance featuring two guys pitted together in a blue 1988station wagon—and there’s no doubt about it, Mort is going to drive Felix crazy.

Can be read as a standalone.

Tropes: brother’s best friend, second chances, family drama, friends-to-lovers, slow burn, found family

Genre: New Adult, light-hearted contemporary gay romance

Trigger warnings: Depression and generalized anxiety (of a side character)

HappyForYou-AS-f

Teaser:

Felix eyes me sleepily. “That’s one wild frown.”

I readjust my cap. “Tailored just for you.”

His cheeks dimple. “What’s the matter?”

“Are you in the mood to talk?”

Felix pushes himself upright, leaving a smear of condensation on the glass. “About what?”

“Everything.”

He squints, hesitant. “Define everything.”

“How’s your mum doing?”

A whimper-laugh drizzles out of him. “I’d rather talk about the sorry state of my love life.”

“How sorry are we talking?”

He stares at me blankly. “You first.”

I laugh. “Remember when I dragged you for coffee at Zealandia Café and we bumped into my colleague Jack and—”

“And Ben McCormick. Trust me, a week is not long enough to erase the embarrassment of almost toppling into them.”

“Jack’s the guy I’ve been flirting with at work.”

Felix gives me a standard cardboard smile. Those smiles are pissing me off. His days are littered with them.

I fight back a growl. “I’m fairly sure he’s a lost cause.”

“Considering he wedged his hand into Ben’s back pocket, I’d say he is.” Felix stares at passing cars. “Are you gutted?”

“He’s a decent guy. Hot and charming but mostly just a distraction.”

Felix whips his head toward me. “From what?”

I give him a pointed look.

“From missing us,” he murmurs.

Yeah. From that tiny ache that’s ripping me open.

“Do you miss us all equally?” Felix claps his mouth shut. “Forget it. That’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is. No matter how untrue, they’ll swear they don’t have one.”

I peer at him through the rearview mirror. “I missed you all equally.”

“You’ll make a good parent.” He drops back in his seat, and catches my eye, mouth twisted toward a smile. A real one this time.

I want more of his smiles. I want Felix to see what we could have together. Want to graduate from “chauffeur” to Guy He Has Fun With.

Felix clears his throat and clicks his seatbelt open. “I should get inside.”

“Tiffany has an hour left.” I eye the arcade. “We can use it.”

Felix hums. “Yeah, okay. We’re out of parchment paper and detergent. The Warehouse is still open. We can swing by.”

Parchment paper and detergent? That’s how he wants to spend a free hour? Felix doesn’t know how much he needs me. “Out of the car, sunshine.”

“What?”

“Hop out, or I’m coming around and making a show of opening your door.”

 

Q&A with Anyta Sunday:

What is the significance of the title “Happy For You”?

AS: This book’s all about happiness – where to find it for ourselves, how to make others happy, and how to live with the fact that we can’t make everyone around us happy.  Mort and Felix have to learn it the hard way: if they’re both only trying to make others happy, they’ll lose sight of themselves. They have to find their own happiness first to finally be happy together.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?

AS: While every book has its own challenges, this one was special because it features a large family that wanted to have ample space on the page. To give all of them their rightful place was not easy, but they all demanded to be heard ☺ This spring and summer, when I worked on “Happy For You”, was also a time of transitions for my family – from my son changing schools to me transitioning to a new diet, so finding time for the book wasn’t always easy.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?

AS: I am always working 😀 At the moment, I’m diving back into astrology and star signs, and tackling book 5 in the “Signs of Love” series. A Cancer and an Aquarius are the lucky couple in this one, and I’m already having so much fun with them. It’s quite emotional, but just like all the other SoL books, also full of banter and romantic comedy!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

AS: Inspiration is all around – walking the streets, seeing a couple interact at the café, getting a lovely message from my husband. So many things can spark an idea, like a smell that brings back a memory or a piece of music that becomes alive in my head. I try to soak it all in and scribble it down as soon as possible.

Do you have any new series planned?

AS: There are a few ideas currently swirling in my head, and I never know how they’ll finally arrive on the page. One series idea I just cannot stop thinking about is what I call the “Love Shack” in my head. A beachside house that brings different roommates together, always sparking new misadventures and love stories! Another idea is a cozy, super sweet and romantic mystery. But whatever series comes next, you can be sure it’ll be full of slow burn romance!

About Anyta Sunday:

I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love. Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries. I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of Fantasy. My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Thai.

Connect with Anyta:

Author website | Author newsletter signup | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub

Happy For You Graphic 1

Giveaway!

Enter to win one complete paperback set of the Love & Family series: Taboo for You, Made for You, and Happy for You, or, one of three e-books of Happy for You. Prizes are open internationally. Must be 18 to enter and win.

Advertisements

Guest Post: My Faith and my Queerness by Vanshika Prusty, author of Droplets of Starlight from KEEP FAITH (out now!)

Today I am happy to give this space to Vanshika Prusty, one of the authors in the Keep Faith anthology edited by Gabriela Martins, where they will talk about the relationship with their religion and their queerness. This is only one of the many personal stories that brought this anthology into existence. If you’re religious, faith is one of the many aspects of yourself that will intersect with your queerness, and this essay focuses on that.

Keep Faith is an anthology for everyone who has ever wanted to read a collection of diverse and queer stories with a focus on faith, in a broad sense. It’s out now and you can buy it on Gumroad!

flower divider

TW: Self-harm mention, depression mention and mention of non-acceptance from family for sexuality and gender.

I was sixteen when I figured out that I’m bisexual.

I’d just moved from India, where I’d known of only three sexualities: being straight, being gay or being a lesbian. And only one out of those three were okay in my conservative family. So, you can imagine how deeply I repressed my feelings towards people who weren’t cis-men.

It wasn’t so much that there wasn’t information accessible on Queerness and being part of the LGBTQIAP+ community, but more so that it wasn’t easily accessible to me. On top of that, I didn’t have the encouragement to seek out that information as a kid or a teenager when I was surrounded by people who were disgusted at even the thought of someone not conforming to straight, cis-centric views of romantic and sexual relationships. I would’ve been ridiculed at best, and I don’t even want to imagine what would’ve happened at worst.

After I moved to Canada, when I was fifteen, a friend (at the time) of mine and I discussed queerness. I was fascinated at the fact that I could so openly and freely discuss this with someone and moreover, on the fact that a community of people who loved so freely existed. When she told me that bisexual people, those who are attracted to two or more genders, existed, I knew that that was me. I remember my exact words being, “I’m bisexual, I’ve always been bisexual.”

That conversation didn’t resolve all my issues with sexuality and gender. But it was a start, and it put me on the right path to find the labels for myself that I was comfortable in. After the conversation, I also realized that I had a lot of unlearning to do. Unlearning of internalized misogyny, homophobia and transphobia that I’d eaten up from my parents’ friends, and from conservative Indian news that promoted these bigoted views as patriotic and as what ‘good Hindus’ did.

And in my unlearning, I distanced myself from my religion because the news we’d watched in India, and that my papa put on in Canada, too, framed hating people who are queer as something every Hindu should be proud to do. It was quite possibly the worst thing I did to myself.

In the years I denied myself the love I held for my religion, my depression got worse, I selfharmed more often, and suffered in school. I hated everything about myself that made me who I am. I hated that I was from India, that I was from a Hindu family, that I wasn’t born in an accepting family. It didn’t help that my sister tried outing me to my parents because she was angry with me. It was even worse that my parents called me to say they didn’t believe her because ‘no kid of theirs is going to be disgusting’. Yeah, 2015-2017 were absolute hell for me.

My parents aren’t violent people, that’s not what I want anyone to take away from my
reluctance to tell them. I don’t think they would hurt me physically if I told them that I’m a bisexual, non-binary woman. I think it was the fear that they may not love me anymore—that their love isn’t unequivocal or limitless; that it is conditional—that has kept me from telling them. So, I felt like I had nowhere to go. No one to ask for help, no one to understand me.

This loneliness—this fear that kept blooming in me. It sent me into a spiral. I felt suffocated every single day until I finally fell on my knees, quite literally, in front of my gods in the prayer room we have at home. I don’t even think that’s where I was going, but that’s where I ended up.

My parents are from Cuttack and Ranikhet in India, and they have different rituals and
basically different religions, if you really look into it, but they worship similar gods, and their most important god is the same: Jagannath, or RadheKrishna. Him and Radhe are the gods I grew up worshipping the most. I was attracted to them from a very young age as it is; to their story, to their morals and…just…them. In general. I don’t really know how else to explain it than that I felt at home if I knew they were with me, or near me.

I remember the night I cried my eyes out to Krishna and Radhe. I begged them for guidance. I screamed at them for the world they’d brought me into. I pleaded that they take me away. I was so angry with them, and so desperately craved their help. It was the night that began my understanding of intersectionality. Slowly, I grew to understand that, to be queer, I didn’t have to deny myself other parts of me. I understood that there’s no one way to be queer. I can be religious and I can be a bisexual, non-binary woman. I can worship my gods and love who I love, be who I am. I understood, not fully, but slowly, that the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

The next day, or so, I started writing what would become Droplets of Starlight. I knew it
wasn’t going to be a novel from the get-go, but I also knew that it was something I needed to write. Something I needed to do for myself, and myself only. I didn’t think I’d ever share it. In fact, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to share it because it came from such a personal place. Although, that’s not new. My writing has always comes from a personal place. Sometimes it’s from happiness, sometimes from a burden I’ve carried for far too long.

I feel that art cannot exist in separation from its creator. So, everything I write, in one way or another, is deeply personal. Droplets of Starlight is no exception to that. It was, perhaps, the first time I understood not to force myself to be separate from my art, something I’d been trying so hard to do with all my previous manuscripts. I think my art is better for it. I think I am better for it.

Writing Droplets of Starlight has been an honour. To write a story about a girl finding her
way to a place of happiness in her community is an honour. To write about her love for her gods, about her love for her family and the girl of her dreams…it has all been an honour.

Find Vanshika:

Website | Insta | Twitter

divider-2461548_960_720

b2v0zdvu

Keep faith, in the broad sense of the word. It doesn’t have to be a religion, unless you want it to be. It doesn’t have to speak about the universe, unless you want it to. It doesn’t have to be about anyone but yourself. Keep faith, in other planets and other houses; be it in the face of danger, grief, or while you spread your arms and laugh. Keep faith the same way you keep hope, bright and shiny, ever present. Keep faith in all your queer, beautiful self. Because you deserve it.

This is an anthology of 14 short stories, by 14 queer authors, where faith and queerness intersect. Incidental, purposeful, we-exist-and-that’s-why queerness. And faith meaning whatever you want it to mean.

An anthology edited by Gabriela Martins, with cover art by Kess Costales, and short stories by Adiba Jaigirdar, Bogi Takács, C.T. Callahan, Elly Ha, Gabriela Martins, Julia Rios, Kate Brauning, Kess Costales, Mary Fan, Mayara Barros, Megan Manzano, Shenwei Chang, Sofia Soter, and Vanshika Prusty.

ARC Review: Work For It by Talia Hibbert // the author’s first M/M romance doesn’t disappoint, and nobody is surprised

I was sent this book as an advance copy by the author for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 

47236949._sy475_

“He’s burning me down to the bone. They’ll find the scar of him on my remains.”

In this village, I’m an outcast: Griffin Everett, the scowling giant who prefers plants to people. Then I meet Keynes, a stranger from the city who’s everything I’m not: sharp-tongued, sophisticated, beautiful. Free. For a few precious moments in a dark alleyway, he’s also mine, hot and sweet under the stars… until he crushes me like dirt beneath his designer boot.

When the prettiest man I’ve ever hated shows up at my job the next day, I’m not sure if I want to strangle him or drag him into bed. Actually—I think I want both. But Keynes isn’t here for the likes of me: he makes that painfully clear. With everyone else at work, he’s all gorgeous, glittering charm—but when I get too close, he turns vicious.

And yet, I can’t stay away. Because there’s something about this ice king that sets me on fire, a secret vulnerability that makes my chest ache. I’ll do whatever it takes to sneak past his walls and see the real man again.

The last thing I expect is for that man to ruin me.

Work for It is 80,000 words of hot, angst-filled, M/M romance featuring a cynical city boy, a gruff, soft-hearted farmer, and a guaranteed happy-ever-after. No cheating, no cliff-hangers, just love. (Eventually.)

Release date: September 3rd

Add on Goodreads

review new

★★★★

Talia Hibbert quickly became one of my go-to romance authors for M/F romance last year, so I was very curious to see her write her first M/M romance. I had this feeling of calm about it that only comes with trusting an author without fear that your expectations will be disappointed, and in fact they weren’t.

The first thing that I noticed is how unique each main character is. Talia Hibbert doesn’t shy away from taking some risks in her choice of characters either, which here was especially evident in Griffin, a queer gentle giant that most people would at first glance describe as, frankly, a little ugly. Seeing how not only Olu’s first impression of him changes, but also how Griffin eventually finds himself good looking, was one of the highlights of the novel for me (among so, so many).

I’m so impressed by how many things were packed into this book. There’s class difference (handled, in my opinion, so well), small village culture, various aspects of mental health, friendship and family, and of course the romance itself, which I loved and I don’t really want to spoil for anyone. Despite some of these themes being a little on the heavy side, this is mostly a light-hearted and steamy romance that can be read very quickly.

As it happened with the other two novels I read from the author, the “drama moment” was a little overdramatic for my tastes, but even if there was miscommunication it was very understandable and not too frustrating, because you could see where the characters were coming from. It was by the end very satisfying and it reminded me that I need to read the first two books in this series (whose characters make cameos here — but the book stands perfectly on its own too).

TWs (taken from the author’s review): depression, anxiety, references to past sexual trauma and forced outing, references to a parent who died by suicide

ARC Mini-Review: The Avant-Guards by Carly Usdin & Noah Hayes // F/F basketball comic? F/F basketball comic!

I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

42201523

When Charlie transfers to the Georgia O’Keeffe College of Arts and Subtle Dramatics, she struggles to find her feet, but winds up exactly where she belongs…in the school’s (terrible) basketball team.

As a transfer student to the Georgia O’Keeffe College for Arts and Subtle Dramatics, former sports star Charlie is struggling to find her classes, her dorm, and her place amongst a student body full of artists who seem to know exactly where they’re going. When the school’s barely-a-basketball-team unexpectedly attempts to recruit her, Charlie’s adamant that she’s left that life behind…until she’s won over by the charming team captain, Liv, and the ragtag crew she’s managed to assemble. And while Charlie may have left cut-throat competition in in the dust, sinking these hoops may be exactly what she needs to see the person she truly wants to be.

From Carly Usdin (Heavy Vinyl) and artist Noah Hayes (Wet Hot American Summer, Goldie Vance) comes an ensemble comedy series that understands that it’s the person you are off the court that matters most.

Release date: September 3rd

Add on Goodreads

review new

★★★★✩

This was a nice comic about a newly formed and diverse basketball team with a cute developing f/f romance. I really like the art and it made the story easy and relaxing to follow. There’s also not a lot of basketball talk and the focus is more on the characters and friendships, at least so far, which I personally really liked (confession: I kind of…don’t like basketball lmao).

If I have the chance I’m going to read the next volume whenever it comes out and if you like light-hearted queer comics that display a variety of genders, races and sexualities (and if you like sport comics) this is definitely something you need to check out!

ARC Review: The Impossible Contract by K.A. Doore // or: sometimes a family can be an assassin, her girlfriend, an annoying magical nerd and three dead camels

I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 

43263188

Second in K. A. Doore’s high fantasy adventure series the Chronicles of Ghadid, a determined assassin travels to the heart of the Empire in pursuit of a powerful mark, for fans of Robin Hobb, Sarah J. Maas, and S. A. Chakraborty

Thana has a huge reputation to live up to as daughter of the Serpent, who rules over Ghadid’s secret clan of assassins. Opportunity to prove herself arrives when Thana accepts her first contract on Heru, a dangerous foreign diplomat with the ability to bind a person’s soul under his control.

She may be in over her head, especially when Heru is targeted by a rival sorcerer who sends hordes of the undead to attack them both. When Heru flees, Thana has no choice than to pursue him across the sands to the Empire that intends to capture Ghadid inside its iron grip.

A stranger in a strange city, Thana’s only ally is Mo, a healer who may be too noble for her own good. Meanwhile, otherworldly and political dangers lurk around every corner, and even more sinister plans are uncovered which could lead to worldwide devastation. Can Thana rise to the challenge—even if it means facing off against an ancient evil?

Release date: November 12th

Add on Goodreads

review new

 

★★★.75✩

This book is the second in The Chronicles of Ghadid series and while it follows different main characters than The Perfect Assassin, you shouldn’t jump directly into this one if you haven’t read that first, because you will miss important information and context that makes this world so interesting.

And speaking of the world, after reading TPA I knew I loved it, but this second book solidified my appreciation for it (and it made me realize that it’s perfectly possible to get attached to a fictional city, and oh how I am attached to Ghadid).

While TPA was more focused on the city, giving a cozy introductions to the world and its rules, The Impossible Contract expands our horizon and shows us what’s beyond Ghadid, bringing us to the sands below and to the Empire’s capital. I loved seeing the different rules and customs, I loved the different stakes that this book’s characters faced, and the fact that magic played a much bigger role than in book one. It’s also simultaneously rather darker than TPA and funnier, and a little more hopeful. Also, camels. 🐪

TIC follows Thana, Amastan’s cousin, who has a contract to kill Heru, the Empress’s en-marabi (sort of a necromancer) and a man whose work many people consider blasphemous. When she doesn’t succeed on her first try, she finds that there’s so much more going on, and the stakes are higher than she could have ever imagined. Also it doesn’t hurt that her healer is really cute. What follows is a rather action-packed adventure among zombies, guuls, sand, magic, sand, and more sand. And have I mentioned camels? 🐪

Thana, Mo and Heru are one of the best and most fun travelling trio I’ve ever met in fiction. Heru is exactly the type of character I can’t help falling in love with, with his deadpan, accidental humor. He’s a first class nerd, a Ravenclaw who does everything he does for the sake of expanding the horizons of knowledge. Someone please keep him away from camels.

Thana is a wonderful MC. She wants to prove herself not just as the daughter of a famous assassin, she wants to built her own name and to do so she ends up having to cross the desert with unlikely allies. My heart ached for and with her more than once, and I just wanted her to get her happy ending.

Mo is the other side of the nerd coin, she and Heru have very different principles but rely on similar strengths. Usually it’s the MC that has to see their beliefs challenged during their character arc, but here Mo takes on that role and it works so well. I love her (and so does Thana).

I’m sure I could say much more (and come up with more camel jokes), but I’ll finish by saying that this was such a joyful experience for me, and this series is so much fun to read and to talk about with my friends who’ve also read it. Even though I’ve already read the ARC I think I will listen to the audiobook when it comes out because that’s how I read TPA and it was so nice.

So, if you’re looking for a well-crafted world, a cute f/f romance set in a scary desert, well-rounded characters and an adventure that’s above all fun, definitely get your hands on this book. And don’t forget to read The Perfect Assassinfirst for soft gay ace assassins and murder mysteries.

TWs: blood, gore, blood magic, violence, slavery, vomiting, injury, magical healing, animal deaths, eye horror, minor character deaths, zombies, mind control

ARC Review: Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé // or: if you’re looking for hope, you’re in the wrong place

I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 

36445966._sy475_

The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of codependent sisterhood, the struggle to claim one’s own space, and the power of secrets

Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over.

In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears.

And when something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming she’s the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

Add on Goodreads

review new

★★★✩✩

This was my first book by Amelinda Bérubé, so I didn’t know what to expect. I don’t read much horror anymore and I haven’t read a lot of YA horror at all, so I feel like I had contrasting expectations from the end of this book, and it’s hard to say whether they’ve been met or not. But let’s start with the rest of the book before I talk about the ending.

I would describe this as Sadie meets Never-Contented Things(and those are both novels I loved). The quest of the missing sister, the uncaring parents and the overall failure of adults to be there for teens paired well with the creepy forest atmosphere, and it was at times almost terrifying. If I were someone who rates different points of a book to do a mathematical avg, I would definitely be giving the atmosphere a solid five stars.

I have a harder time judging the characters. My first instinct is to mark them as stereotypes, but that’s not exactly right. They’re more archetypes of teens, and a lot of them are terrible (more on this later). If I were to say something about any of them, is how the love interest is a soft boy who wouldn’t hurt a fly, and since the stereotypical YA love interest is the asshole, brooding type, I more than appreciate this. Whether this book was kind to him, or to any of its character for that matter, is something I doubt, and I’ll let everyone draw their own conclusions.

While I enjoyed most of this book and it was definitely going to be at least a full 4 stars, the ending left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. It’s not, per se, a bad ending. I feel like it’s not the plot itself that let me down, but the message that was sent, or at least the message I understood. And here comes what I mentioned before: horror doesn’t have to be hopeful, but YA does. What does, then, YA horror need to achieve? Is it okay to stick to the genre’s message without taking into account the target group? Is it okay to do the opposite? Is there a way to achieve both?

I feel like strictly speaking, the ending tried to be both hopeful and hopeless, which probably wasn’t easy to do. But inevitably when there’s both hope and not-hope, the negative will always override the positive, like mixing a lot of light paint and a little dark one will inevitably result in a dark color. And here there was so much more dark than light. When I say dark I don’t mean tragic. Perhaps that’s what throws me off, it’s so dark because it isn’t tragic. Tragic we can handle, we can get closure. Here, I’m not sure we get closure of any kind. In a way, this is where this book diverges from my Sadie comparison: Sadie is tragic and it has very good reasons to be that. This book had every chance to be hopeful or at the very least tragic, but it wasn’t either.

Terrible teens exist, and there are often reasons why they’re terrible, and all of us are or were terrible as teens in our own way. And we need to see that we’re not alone. But to see that and accept that in a narrative that’s so, ultimately, hopeless, without seeing a sliver of light other than “you’re not alone in being terrible, you’re surrounded by other terrible people too”, is frankly a little disappointing and defies at least part of this novel’s genre. That’s, at least, how I felt about it.

I don’t know if I would recommend this book. If you need hope in your life, if you can handle a dark story as long as there’s light at the end, I would say maybe avoid it. If you don’t care and want to read a creepy novel, give it a try.

TWs: animal deaths, violence, missing girl, blood, gore

ARC Mini-Review: How to be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters

I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. 

42371064._sy475_

Everyone on campus knows Remy Cameron. He’s the out-and-gay, super-likable guy that people admire for his confidence. The only person who may not know Remy that well is Remy himself. So when he is assigned to write an essay describing himself, he goes on a journey to reconcile the labels that people have attached to him, and get to know the real Remy Cameron.

Release date: September 10th

Add on Goodreads

review new

★★★.75✩✩

This book follows Remy, an out and proud gay teen, in his quest to find out who he is. I feel like the question “who am I really?” is something that everybody has asked themselves before, and this can be especially hard to answer when you are a marginalized person and you need to understand how your marginalizations intersect.

Personally I felt like the writing improved from the author’s debut and the book’s themes were also stronger. It was still a little awkward at times but I could overlook that in favor of the characters and the themes.

Overall I feel like this is an important book for all teens and I would highly recommend it if “who am I?” has ever crossed your mind.

TWs (taken from the end of the book): discussions of racism, homophobia, past minor characters’ death, and alcoholism, as well as depictions of homophobic bullying, and a scene involving brief sexual harassment/racial fetishism