Book recs: favorite novellas

I recently realized I love novellas. Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite books or series are super long and I love getting to spend a lot of time with my favorite characters and see their development over a huge page count. But there is also some comfort in a story that can be told in a smaller amount of pages, often self-contained or as a complementary addition to an existing series. And sometimes we just need to read something short, be it to get out of a reading slump or to meet our goodreads goal.

So here’s a few of my favorite novellas I’ve read so far, roughly divided into 5 and 4 stars.

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5 stars

The Pursuit Of… by Courtney Milan — this is the novella that made me want to write this post in the first place. If you haven’t seen me talk about it on twitter then know that I finally reread it after about 1.5 years of reading it the first time, and it made me laugh and tear up just as much as the first time. It’s such a comfort read and every one of my friends who’s read it after I recommended it to them has loved it, so you should too! It follows a Black American soldier and a British soldier on their road trip together as they fall in love. Their relationship is so lovely and it has a great happy ending and please please please read it! It’s listed as book #2.5 in a series but I haven’t read it and you don’t need to read the rest of the books to understand it (although I’m sure the rest of the series is just as good, I just haven’t had a chance to read it yet).

Peter Darling by Austin Chant — this is a gay and trans retelling of Peter Pan and like with all enemies to lovers romances I was HOOKED. Get it? Hah. It’s also a novella I re-read somewhat recently and it confirmed just as good as the first time. If you only read two books out of this list, make it this one and The Pursuit of… .

Wayward Children by Seanan McGuire — This is a series where some novellas are somewhat standalones and others depend on having read the previous books. I have only read the first three so far but I highly recommend them for Seanan McGuire’s amazing writing and for how diverse each story is.

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells — Another series of novellas that follow a SecUnit that hacked itself and downloaded hundreds of thousands of hours of TV shows in order to escape reality (how relatable), only for reality to simply Not Give It A Break (also very relatable). It’s just as good as it sounds and I highly recommend the audiobooks. There’s also a novel that’s coming out later this year and I can’t wait for.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon — A f/f standalone novella about water-dwelling creatures that descend from pregnant African enslaved women, and about the importance of history.

Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon — The only contemporary romance on this 5-stars section, and with good reason. A sex positive f/f romance between two Black women, one of whom works as a stripper.

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4 stars

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone — A beautiful and poetic standalone novella about a time war and two time agents of opposing factions falling in love with each other over written words.

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole — This novella is set in a series and it can work as a standalone too. It follows two Black women in a past/present narration style as they get their second chance at a romance.

Finna by Nino Cipri — A weird and funny sci-fi standalone about what happens when you and your ex have to rescue an old lady who got lost in the Ikea-like store where you work, with portals to other deadly worlds. A somewhat second-chance f/nonbinary romance.

A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian — A really nice historical f/f romance novel where one of the women has a little daughter. It’s also part of a series which I haven’t read and this hasn’t affected my reading at all.

A Lady’s Desire by Lily Maxton — Another historical f/f, also part of a series I haven’t read, also lovely and absolutely gay.

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Have you read any of these? What are your feelings towards novellas as a book length? Recommend me some novellas I should read!

Favorite Posts // January 2020

favorite posts

In January I finally got back into blog hopping (I’m sorry I’ve been so bad at it lately with my blogging/reading slump) and that means I also got back into saving my favorite posts. I used to share them in my monthly wrap ups but I don’t know if I’m going to keep writing those, so I decided to dedicate a whole post for my personal recs of the month. I hope sharing this first month’s post will hold me accountable in the future and have me blog hop more often.

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Local Bee Hunter’s Little Nook

✍️ The guide to Spotify audiobooks: did you know you can listen to audiobooks on Spotify? My friend shares her experience with it with useful tips and recs.

✍️ Surviving Edelweiss: I find edelweiss so hard to navigate, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I admit I haven’t even had the patience to try out all of the stuff in this post yet (just the sight of edelweiss’ user interface makes me mad), but it has both “101” and more advanced tips so it’s useful for both beginners and older bloggers, and it’s really easy to follow.

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Two Book Thieves

✍️ This series of posts highlights upcoming LGBTQ+ releases and holy shit, it’s blown my mind because there are SO MANY. Your TBRs will thank you (or not).

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Reads Rainbow

✍️ Charlotte talks about some of the novellas she’s read on the tor.com website. Did you know there are a lot of free short stories/novellas on there? I am someone who gets anxious about starting shorter stories so I don’t always reach for them, but this post made me curious about so many of them. Plus, hey, they’re free and they count towards your reading goal.

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Naty’s Bookshelf 

✍️ Naty shares a lot of ideas for when you’re out of blogging juice and just don’t know what you’re supposed to write about. There’s so much on here that just reading it is going to make you want to start writing!

✍️ A “if you liked this, try that” post that pairs books to f/f books. I love this type of posts, even if I haven’t read the first book it still gives me an idea of the book that’s being recommended and I end up wanting to read it.

✍️ More f/f recommendations by Naty! Lots of different genres, lots of stuff I’ve read and I recommend too, and a few things I really need to get my hands on.

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Acquadimore Books

✍️ My friend Acqua talks about something I often think about: changing your mind about books you reviewed. I think we all have our own thoughts about this and something we do or don’t do about this particular phenomenon. In my indecisiveness about old reviews I usually just leave them as they are, trusting that people will read the date when they were written and understand that maybe I would word things differently now. Anyway, it was super interesting to see Acqua’s thought process in her post.

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Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Database

✍️ Not a blog but I found this useful database and I thought I’d share it.

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I hope nobody feels bad if they’re not included, it’s possible I haven’t seen your post or that I forgot to save the link, and your chance will certainly come in the future! Also, if you’ve written a post you’re particularly proud of, feel free to drop a link in the comments and I will check it out!

F/F romance recs: 2019 edition

best ff 2019

Last year I ended up reading more f/f than m/m for the first time since I started reading queer fiction. If you’ve read my wrap-up post for 2019 you’ll see that out of 7 new favorites, 4 were f/f and 3 were m/m. I count that as a win on my part and in this post I wanted to mention the books that maybe didn’t make it into my favorites or in any of the other categories I mentioned in the above post, but I still want to recommend.

As with my previous post, I’m going chronologically with my recs, and the ones that I liked best are in bold. There are more f/f books I read than these but these are the ones I fully feel comfortable recommending!

See also the f/f rec post I wrote in 2018 

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Into the Drowning Deepby Mira Grant – ★★★★★ // review

The Afterward by E.K. Johnston – ★★★★★ // no review, just endless screaming

The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum – ★★★★★ // review

The Stars are Legions by Kameron Hurley – ★★★.5✩✩ // review

Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan – ★★★★✩ // no review, just read it for old sapphic ladies kicking some ass

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – ★★★★★ // no review just pterodactyl screeches

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins – ★★★★.5✩ // review

Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter – ★★★★.5✩ // review

The Queen of Rhodia by Effie Calvin – ★★★★.5✩ // review

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite – ★★★★★ // review

A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian – ★★★★✩ // review

Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon – ★★★★★ // review

Out on Good Behavior by Dahlia Adler – ★★★★★ // no review but it’s a really nice college romance

The Impossible Contractby K.A. Doore – ★★★★.75✩ // review

Bloom Into You vol.1 by Nio Nakatani – ★★★★✩ // no review but it’s cute

The Deep by Rivers Solomon – ★★★★.5✩ // review

Tamen de gushi (Their Story) by Tan Jiu – ★★★★★ // no review but oh my god it’s my new favorite manhua

Being Hers by Anna Stone – ★★★✩✩ // no review but it’s good

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And this is it as for last year’s F/F recs! I hope this post was useful, I had a lot of fun going through last year’s books and I hope I can find a lot more recs this year.

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? How many f/f did you read last year?

End of the Year Recap: new life favorites, favorites of the year, most fun, most disappointing

Hi friends! I feel like this post grants a long time no see, given how absent I’ve been lately here on the blog, aside from a few reviews that I’ve posted. The truth is I’ve been reading more mdzs fanfiction than books lately so I didn’t feel like writing monthly wrap-ups and things like that because I just feel like I haven’t been reading enough books.

And the thing is, I am perfectly fine with that! I am having a lot of fun consuming all the mdzs adaptations several times and not feeling (too) guilty about reading a little bit less. If you’re wondering what the hell I’m even talking about, I wrote a guide to mdzs.

Despite all this, I still finished my 100-books reading challenge! I am writing this post on December 24th and I am currently at exactly 100 books, but I know I will finish a couple more by the end of the year. It’s the first time since I started reviewing books that I got so close to not finishing my challenge but I’m fine. This is fine. Even before this (which I refuse to call a reading slump because of its negative connotations), I was very busy with uni for several months and it makes sense that I’ve read less this year overall. I still read a ton and I will feel proud about it.

I was looking at all the books I’ve read and I decided to do a quick recap for posterity and because it’s always fun to look back. I divided things into a few categories that I named according to how the books made me feel. I will have a separate post with all the books I’ve DNF’d this year and I will post it later on, but for this post I wanted to keep things (mostly) positive, so let’s get into it! I won’t be talking about the single books in this post but I will post summaries and links to my reviews. Each list follows a chronological order (when I read the books).

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NEW FAVORITES FOR LIFE

Every year, I always feel like there are favorites and Favorites. The ones that will stay with you no matter what. The ones that would make the list Favorites of the decade. I felt like it was only fair to place these in their own category, and it’s the second and third book by the author Moxiang Tongxiu.

👑 魔道祖师 (Módào zǔshī – The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation)

As the grandmaster who founded the Demonic Sect, Wei WuXian roamed the world in his wanton ways, hated by millions for the chaos he created. In the end, he was backstabbed by his dearest shidi and killed by powerful clans that combined to overpower him. He incarnates into the body of a lunatic who was abandoned by his clan and is later, unwillingly, taken away by a famous cultivator among the clans—Lan WangJi, his archenemy. This marks the start of a thrilling yet hilarious journey of attacking monsters, solving mysteries, and raising children. From the mutual flirtation along the way, Wei WuXian slowly realizes that Lan WangJi, a seemingly haughty and indifferent poker-face, holds more feelings for Wei WuXian than he is letting on.

👑 天官赐福 (Tiān guān cì fú – Heaven Official’s Blessing)

For you, I’ll become invincible!

“Have you heard? The rubbish Heaven Official is having an affair with the ghost realm’s number one bigshot!”

Eight hundred years ago, Xie Lian was the Crown Prince of the Xian Le kingdom; one who was beloved by his citizens and the darling of the world. Unsurprisingly, he ascended to the Heavens at a very young age. Now, eight hundred years later, Xie Lian ascends to the Heavens for the third time as the laughing stock of all three realms. On his first task as a god, he meets a mysterious demon who rules the ghosts and terrifies the Heavens……yet unbeknownst to Xie Lian, this demon king has been paying attention to him for a very, very long time.

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TOP 5

 

I feel like this year was the year of good books that didn’t quite feel like favorites. I wish I could say I had a hard time narrowing them down to 5 but no, they just happened to be a nice number for a list lol.

A small observation: four out of five of these are books with an f/f romance in them and that makes me so happy. Despite this, this list is rather white, although the books themselves are very diverse.

What surprised me more was the mix of genres: deep-sea horror, two romances (I love romances but they usually don’t end up in my favorites, also one of them is a historical romance, a genre I almost never read), and two fantasy books (not surprised about these, usually fantasy books end up in my favorites). Of these, only one of them is YA. Could it be that I’m getting over YA?

🎉 Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant 

my review

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

🎉 Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

my review

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through?

Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

🎉 The Afterward by E.K. Johnston

It has been a year since the mysterious godsgem cured Cadrium’s king and ushered in what promised to be a new golden age. The heroes who brought the gem home are renowned in story and song, but for two fellows on the quest, peace and prosperity do not come easily.

Apprentice Knight Kalanthe Ironheart wasn’t meant for heroism this early in life, and while she has no intention of giving up the notoriety she has earned, her reputation does not pay her bills. With time running out, Kalanthe may be forced to betray not her kingdom or her friends, but her own heart as she seeks a stable future for herself and those she loves.

Olsa Rhetsdaughter was never meant for heroism at all. Beggar, pick pocket, thief, she lived hand to mouth on the city streets until fortune–or fate–pulled her into Kalanthe’s orbit. And now she’s quite reluctant to leave it. Even more alarmingly, her fame has made her recognizable, which makes her profession difficult, and a choice between poverty and the noose isn’t much of a choice at all.

Both girls think their paths are laid out, but the godsgem isn’t quite done with them and that new golden age isn’t a sure thing yet.

In a tale both sweepingly epic and intensely personal, Kalanthe and Olsa fight to maintain their newfound independence and to find their way back to each other.

🎉 The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

🎉 The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

my review

As Lucy Muchelney watches her ex-lover’s sham of a wedding, she wishes herself anywhere else. It isn’t until she finds a letter from the Countess of Moth, looking for someone to translate a groundbreaking French astronomy text, that she knows where to go. Showing up at the Countess’ London home, she hoped to find a challenge, not a woman who takes her breath away.

Catherine St Day looks forward to a quiet widowhood once her late husband’s scientific legacy is fulfilled. She expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project—instead, she is intrigued by the young woman who turns up at her door, begging to be allowed to do the work, and she agrees to let Lucy stay. But as Catherine finds herself longing for Lucy, everything she believes about herself and her life is tested.

While Lucy spends her days interpreting the complicated French text, she spends her nights falling in love with the alluring Catherine. But sabotage and old wounds threaten to sever the threads that bind them. Can Lucy and Catherine find the strength to stay together or are they doomed to be star-crossed lovers?

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

 

I adored all of these and I had so much fun with some of them, they just don’t totally qualify for favorites.  This list is a little bit more diverse (I mean, they’re still all queer like the previous list, but at least it’s not all white authors).

🎊 The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum

my review

Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends.

One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.

Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . .

In K. Ancrum’s signature poetic style, this slow-burn romance will have you savoring every page.

🎊 Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon

my review

Her sister’s bachelorette party is the highlight of a miserable year for Alexis Chambers, but once her bridesmaid’s dress is packed away, she’s back to coping with her life as a once popular athlete and violinist turned loner and the focus of her parents’ disappointment. She isn’t expecting much from her freshman year of college until she finds herself sharing a class with Treasure, the gorgeous stripper from her sister’s party.

Trisha Hamilton has finally gotten the credits and the money together to transfer to a four-year university. Between classes, studying, and her job as a stripper, she has little time for a social life, until she runs into the adorably shy baby butch from the club. Trisha can’t seem to hide her feelings for Alexis, even when Trisha discovers what she has been through, but will Alexis have the strength to be just as fearless about their new love?

🎊 Out on Good Behavior by Dahlia Adler

Frankie Bellisario knows she can get anyone she sets her sights on, but just because she can doesn’t mean she should—not when the person she’s eyeing is Samara Kazarian, the daughter of a southern Republican mayor. No matter how badly Frankie wants to test her powers of persuasion, even she recognizes some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.

But when Frankie learns she’s been on Samara’s mind too, the idea of hooking up with her grows too strong to resist. Only Sam’s not looking for a hookup; she wants—needs—the real thing, and she’s afraid she’ll never find it as long as Frankie’s in her head.

Forced to choose between her first relationship and losing the girl who’s been clawing her way under her skin, Frankie opts to try monogamy…under her own condition: 30 days of keeping things on the down low and remaining abstinent. If she fails as hard at girlfriending as she’s afraid she might, she doesn’t want to throw Samara’s life into upheaval for nothing. But when neither the month nor Frankie’s heart go according to plan, she may be the one stuck fighting for the happily ever after she never knew she wanted.

🎊 The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee

Six months after Noam Álvaro helped overthrow the despotic government of Carolinia, the Atlantians have gained citizenship, and Lehrer is chancellor. But despite Lehrer’s image as a progressive humanitarian leader, Noam has finally remembered the truth that Lehrer forced him to forget—that Lehrer is responsible for the deadly magic infection that ravaged Carolinia.

Now that Noam remembers the full extent of Lehrer’s crimes, he’s determined to use his influence with Lehrer to bring him down for good. If Lehrer realizes Noam has evaded his control—and that Noam is plotting against him—Noam’s dead. So he must keep playing the role of Lehrer’s protégé until he can steal enough vaccine to stop the virus.

Meanwhile Dara Shirazi returns to Carolinia, his magic stripped by the same vaccine that saved his life. But Dara’s attempts to ally himself with Noam prove that their methods for defeating Lehrer are violently misaligned. Dara fears Noam has only gotten himself more deeply entangled in Lehrer’s web. Sooner or later, playing double agent might cost Noam his life.

🎊 Human Enough by E.S. Yu

my review

When Noah Lau joined the Vampire Hunters Association, seeking justice for his parents’ deaths, he didn’t anticipate ending up imprisoned in the house of the vampire he was supposed to kill—and he definitely didn’t anticipate falling for that vampire’s lover.

Six months later, Noah’s life has gotten significantly more complicated. On top of being autistic in a world that doesn’t try to understand him, he still hunts vampires for a living…while dating a vampire himself. Awkward. Yet Jordan Cross is sweet and kind, and after braving their inner demons and Jordan’s vicious partner together, Noah wouldn’t trade him for the world.

But when one of Jordan’s vampire friends goes missing and Noah’s new boss at the VHA becomes suspicious about some of his recent cases, what starts off as a routine paperwork check soon leads Noah to a sinister conspiracy. As he investigates, he and Jordan get sucked into a deadly web of intrigue that will test the limits of their relationship—and possibly break them. After all, in a world where vampires feed on humans and humans fear vampires, can a vampire and a vampire hunter truly find a happy ending together?

🎊 The Deep by Rivers Solomon

my review

Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.

Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.

Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.

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MOST FUN

 

Some of these could easily be in my honorable mentions but I decided that the feeling they gave me felt more right in this category. These are books that were really fun to read, whether the adventure itself was fun or the fandom experience of it was.

🥳 The Disasters by M.K. England

Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.

But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.

On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.

They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.

🥳 The Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

🥳 The Chronicles of Ghadid series by K.A. Doore

my review (of book 2)

A novice assassin is on the hunt for someone killing their own in K. A. Doore’s The Perfect Assassin, a breakout high fantasy beginning the Chronicles of Ghadid series.

Divine justice is written in blood.

Or so Amastan has been taught. As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, he’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs.

Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, Basbowen’s finest start showing up dead, with their murderous jaan running wild in the dusty streets of Ghadid. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders, before the family gets blamed.

Every life has its price, but when the tables are turned, Amastan must find this perfect assassin or be their next target.

🥳 Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

my review

Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can’t believe her luck when she’s accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess.

She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other–Flora is both high-class and high-key–but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?

🥳 The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu

Can’t I read stallion novels anymore?! [TN: genre with OP protag & harem]

Shen Yuan is reborn into a young man and scum villain destined to die, Shen Qingqiu.

But it must be known that the original Shen Qingqiu was sliced alive by his disciple, Luo Binghe, into a human stick! A human stick!

Shen Qingqiu’s heart is a full herd of grass mud horses running full tilt, yet:

“It’s not like I don’t want to hug this main character’s thighs, but who let this fucking man be so black. The revenge that needs to be taken is some thousands of deeds!

Why is all the romance that should be going to the women in the plot imposed on him?

Why as a scum villain, should he still have to block gun and knife for the protagonist and sacrifice himself?

Shen Qingqiu: “…… _(:□)∠)_I think I can still save him one more time.”

He wants to prove – even scum villains can live, and live coolly at that!

It’s also the story of a small white flower who later became a black flower attacking a scholarly, scum villain type.

This is the story of a master and disciple’s everyday unknowing, very strange, dog-blood process of falling in love.

It’s also a scum villain’s firsthand account of the male protagonist turning from a small white sheep into an overbearing black king, sort of story……

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WON’T EASILY FORGET

I think there are more books that deserve to be on this list but this is the main one. This category is for books that don’t quite qualify for the above categories but that made me think about a lot of things, mainly how I/we view books and how we jump to conclusions without knowing anything about the actual book at all.

39863312❗️ Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

my review

Seductive. Cruel. Bored.
Be wary of…

Prince and his fairy courtiers are staggeringly beautiful, unrelentingly cruel, and exhausted by the tedium of the centuries ― until they meet foster-siblings Josh and Ksenia. Drawn in by their vivid emotions, undying love for each other, and passion for life, Prince will stop at nothing to possess them.

First seduced and then entrapped by the fairies, Josh and Ksenia learn that the fairies’ otherworldly gifts come at a terrible price ― and they must risk everything in order to reclaim their freedom.

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FANDOM FUN

I decided to not have books in multiple categories, otherwise mdzs and tgcf would be on top of this list. But there’s still one book that made it here and now that I think about it it might actually be the show’s fault more than the book itself, but I decided to put this here anyway. Being in this fandom was/is a lot of fun and even though the fanart influx has died down it’s still lovely to see it on my timeline.

13418329🥰 Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

‘Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.’

People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be sceptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it.

It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist…

 

MOST DISAPPOINTING

I don’t feel like adding covers and summaries since these disappointed me lmao.

😔 King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

😔 Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff – my review

😔 The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – my review

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And here it is. I always feel so satisfied after having done a wrap up of some sort and it was fun to look back at all the books I’ve read this year. If I were to give a rating to my reading year I think it would be a 4/5. I think I learned a few more things about myself in the process and hopefully this means I can make the next reading year even better than this one was.

I would love to hear what everyone has been up to while I was absent on the blog! If you have already written a wrap up post for the year please feel free to link to it and I will check it out, I love those kinds of posts! If not, tell me one book you read this year that you feel will stay with you forever.

Until the next post!

LGBTQIAP+ Books that Don’t Feature AlloCis M/M Relationships, Part 2

without mm

find part 1 here🌈

 

Hey friends! Pride month is here!!! This post is a bit later than I would have liked but with real life keeping me busy I’m only now managing to post it. With pride month come a lot of really cool readathons that are a perfect opportunity to branch out and read more diversely, whether you already read a lot of queer books throughout the year or not.

So I remembered I wrote this post last year with the same title as this one, and I thought since I’ve read a lot more books in the meantime I would update this list so y’all don’t end up only reading the same allocis m/m romances that, frankly, don’t make your reading very diverse.

(PS: see also my F/F romance recs from last year)

So, what are “LGBTQIAP+ books that don’t feature allocis m/m relationships”?

Basically anything where the focus isn’t two allo and cis men in a m/m relationship. This varies from m/m where one of the main characters is trans or asexual or aromantic, to a m/f romance where one (or both!) are bi or pan or queer, to f/f, to f/nonbinary, etc etc. They can also be books with queer characters that don’t have any romance in it! I’m also only going to mention books where at least one queer character has a POV or is the love interest or is otherwise very prominent. And these are all books I’ve read and enjoyed or at least thought that the queer rep was good (although obviously I can’t speak for a whole community). So let’s get right into it!

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🏳️‍🌈 Not M/M:

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway – f/f romance; lesbian character; family/sibling focus | YA | my review

Toil & Truble (anthology) – various queer characters, among which many f/f romances and m/f | YA | my review

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon – fantasy, nonbinary/nonbinary romance (not a big focus); autistic intersex MC | Adult

Shootaround by Suspu – webcomic, different relationships including f/f, polyam f/f/f, m/f with a trans character, m/m in the past, and basically everyone is queer | YA

Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler – f/f romance, lesbian MC, bisexual LI | YA | my review

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston – contemporary f/f romance | YA | my review

On The Fly by P.J. Trebelhorn – contemporary f/f romance | Adult | my review

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole – contemporary f/f romance | NA

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant – sci-fi horror, f/f romance, autistic lesbian and bisexual characters | NA/Adult | my review

Graham’s Delicacies by Em Ali – f/nonbinary, m/m, m/nonbinary romances | NA | my review

The Afterward by E.K. Johnston – fantasy f/f romance | YA

Proud by Juno Dawson – anthology with different types of queer character and relationships (although a disappointing lack of ace/aro characters) | YA | my review

The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum – contemporary f/f romance | YA | my review

The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley – fantasy f/f romance, all lesbian cast | Adult | my review

Ms Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan – historical f/f romance | Adult

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – fantasy f/f romance; multiple queer characters | Adult

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins – contemporary f/f; multiple queer side characters | YA | my review

The Queen of Rhodia by Effie Calvin – fantasy, established f/f couple | NA

Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter – fantasy, f/f romance (I think they’re both bi) + pansexual character | YA | I haven’t written a review for this yet but please, please, please, don’t go into this book without knowing what you’re getting yourself into. Massive trigger warnings for emotional abuse, incest, neglect, sexual assault, death, body horror.

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🌈 M/M but not allocis:

Pisces Hooks Taurus by Anyta Sunday – contemporary m/m; demisexual character | NA | my review

Squared Away by Annabeth Albert – contemporary m/m; ace character| Adult | my review

Stake Sauce by RoAnna Sylver – urban fantasy, m/m (with a hint of polyamory) with trans and aro/ace character| NA

The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson – contemporary, m/m romance (not the focus of the book though) with a trans character| YA

The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore – fantasy, ace main character | NA

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🏳️‍🌈 M/F but at least one of them is queer:

Sweet on the Greek by Talia Hibbert – contemporary m/f romance; bisexual main character| NA

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee – contemporary m/f romance; ace character| YA

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – fantasy, (only hinted at) m/f romance; ace MC + trans character| YA

King Of Fools by Amanda Foody – m/f romance; bisexual main character; brief m/m and side f/f | YA | my review

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🌈 No romance/romance not the focus or not resolved:

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab – ace main character| Adult

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman – trans and gay main character| YA

The Disasters by M.K. England – sci-fi, no actual romance I guess but kind of somewhat of a m/f vs m/m love triangle (bisexual character), plus trans side character| YA | my review

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – fantasy, kind of a m/f vs m/m love triangle, bi or pan characters, but the romance is not resolved yet| YA | my review

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🏳️‍🌈 Not sure if they belong on this list so I’m going to write them in a tiny font:

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum – m/m/f romance with heavy focus on the m/m side | YA 

No End by Erly and Kromi – there’s prominent m/m romances but all main characters are queer (ace, bi, pan, trans and lesbian, and more to come because the comic is ongoing) | YA | my review

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And this is it for this post. I really hope this is helpful and it inspires some of you who want to diversify your queer reading, and tackle those pride month challenges and readathons.

Happy pride month y’all, and remember to celebrate all the colors and all the letters of the rainbow ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

#T5W: Favorite Friends in Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

May 15th: SFF BFFs -BooktubeSFF Awards Crossover Topic-
— Discuss your favorite friends in Scifi and Fantasy, or characters you’d be BFFs with.

I could do a whole different post about characters I’d be BFF with (and maybe I will) and since the prompt doesn’t specify and I feel very strongly about groups of friends in fiction, for this post I’m only going to talk about my favorite friend squads (three or more friends) because that’s a trope that gives me life.

Fair disclaimer, this list is 100% queer but it’s also so white it pisses me off. That’s totally on me and I need to do better.

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In Other Lands

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This is the only trio out of this list and I’m not sure it even counts as a squad (maybe a squad is four+ people? idk) but I decided to give my own definition of squad because I couldn’t not talk about Elliot, Luke and Serene. One of the best things is that this book takes place over several years, and it’s basically a huge character study for Elliot. We see him grow up from when he’s 13 until he’s 17 and of course the way he interacts with everyone, including his best friends, changes over time. And they’re all so precious you can’t help but whip out those adoption papers as soon as you meet them (also, please read this book? You would make me very happy. And you’d also be happy because that’s what this book does. It’s a win-win, really).

 

Shades of Magic

I almost didn’t put this here because I feel like we get to know pairs dynamics first (Kell with Rhy, Kell with Lila, Lila with Rhy, Lila with Alucard, Alucard with Rhy, Alucard with Kell) and only later we see them (+ Holland) interact as an actual squad in different occasions. But the fact that the single relationships were developed/lay out before we even get to those good squad moments makes all the difference and gives so much more to think about while you’re away from the books and just thinking about these characters. I 100% love every single one of them and their dynamics.

 

The Raven Cycle

For many reasons I don’t love putting this series here, but when it comes to squad dynamics this automatically comes to mind. The Gangsey is just the best element of these books and I’m so mad that this is stealing the spot I could have given a less well-known series, but I wanted to be honest.

 

Six of Crows

I know this is going to be on everyone’s list, but it’s well deserved. One of the elements where Leigh Bardugo shines is writing squads. She already showed that in Ruin and Rising and it was only confirmed when she wrote the Dregs.

 

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

Last but definitely not least. It’s so hard to rank these but if I had to say which one is my actual favorite, this is definitely it. I think it’s a mix of it being genuinely one of the best squads dynamics there is and that feeling of nostalgia I’ve had since I read this trilogy (and that hasn’t left me even after rereading). Even though I only read this one and a half years ago for the first time and not as a child, this is probably to me what Percy Jackson is to most people, and I am at any given time this close to rereading it.

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Who are your favorite friends or squads in books? Do you live vicariously through book friendships like I do? 

 

#T5W: Favorite Magic Systems

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.

This week’s topic:

October 3rd: Favorite Magic Systems
— This October, T5W is exploring not only the paranormal, but also magic and wizardry in general!

Just a very quick post today! Today is national holiday in Germany so I’m recovering from a few very wild and tiring days and I don’t feel like writing a long post, but I loved this topic too much not to write about it.

In no particular order:

Shades of Magic trilogy 

Everything about the magic in this world is so amazing, from the different Londons to the way Antari magic works and the way magic feels like a main character throughout the whole series.

 

Grishaverse (Grisha trilogy + Six of Crows duology)

In this world, those who have magic abilities are called Grisha and they’re divided into different Grisha orders depending on what their magic can do. There’s also the powers that Alina and the Darkling possess. In Six of Crows we find out there may be more to the way magic works and I hope we’ll see this explored in the upcoming Nikolai duology (King of Scars).

 

The Nevernight Chronicles

I feel like this world’s magic is much more complicated than we’ve even gotten to see within the books so far, and I’m confident we’ll be mindblown when the last book comes out. I hope we’ll get to learn about the Darkins’ magic, what they are, how their magic works, and why we have to suffer so much while reading the books lmao.

 

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I feel like I’m putting this here more because of the overall worldbuilding than the magic itself, but I do love that the trilogy is basically an incarnation of the good ol’ “magic has a price” concept.

 

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Avatar: The Last Airbender

I feel like I’m the last person to watch this and I’m only on season 1 but I already love it and its magic system! I’m sure there’ll be more to find out in the next seasons (please don’t spoil).

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What are your favorite magic systems?