F/F February TBR

Today I officially decided to join next month’s F/F February readathon! I am so excited for this, first of all I have a lot of F/F books I own and especially a lot of novellas that were free at some point and I just never get to them, so this is going to be my chance to read some of them. And then any even that celebrates not only F/F relationships but sapphic books in general (like the announcement post explains) obviously is going to own my whole heart.

I decided to just focus mostly on what I already own so I am not joining the challenges, although some of these books definitely meet some of them.

If you want to join but don’t know what to read, make sure to read Charlotte’s announcement that also has A LOT of awesome recs, divided both by genre and by readathon challenges! I also have F/F recommendation posts here and here so make sure to check them out if you need inspiration for joining in on the fun.

I will try not to read anything else, but I am in the middle of my tgcf reread (that’s like, probably 2000+ pages if it was a physical book) and I don’t want to pause it for a whole month, so I will also be reading that although it’s not f/f.

I am sharing here a tentative TBR where I basically just dumped all the books I found in my kindle/audible/shelves that meet the criteria for the challenge and that I think I might read. I definitely know I won’t be able to read all of them but that’s okay! The titles in bold are the ones I definitely count on reading, the other ones are options I’m giving myself in case I finish the ones I want to get to first.

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Books:

👭 Female General and Eldest Princess by 请君莫笑 

👭 Lesbisch für Anfängerinnen: Willkommen in der WG! by Celia Martin

👭 Long Steady Distance by Helena Hill

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Novellas:

👭 A Lady’s Desire by Lily Maxton

👭 That Could Be Enough by Alyssa Cole

👭 Learning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss

👭 Deadline by Stephanie Ahn

👭 Special Delivery by J.A. Armstrong

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Short stories:

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👭 Swelter by Jules Kelley

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Audiobooks:

👭 Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

👭 Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

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Graphic novels:

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👭Sunstone vol. 3 (and possibly also volumes 4—6) by Stjepan Šejić

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Are you joining the readathon? What’s your TBR? 

F/F romance recs: 2019 edition

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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?

Books I DNF’d in 2019

Hi everyone and welcome to the first post of 2020! Which is… still one of those wrap-up posts of 2019 because I got lazy during the holidays (and, to be fair, I was either chilling at my grandma’s with no internet or out with friends, so I don’t feel too bad about it).

I’ve been updating this post since the beginning of last year because I always tend to forget my DNF’s unless they’re really bad or there is something otherwise memorable about them. Note that not all my DNF’s have the same value or explanation and that I also not always rate them.

The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke – no review/rating, I tried listening to the audiobook but I really didn’t care about anything that was happening.

American Queen by Sierra Simone – no review/rating, I loved the writing and the audiobook made me fall into it right away, the characters sounded very interesting and the concept of the plot intrigued me immensely. Unfortunately one scene made me very very uncomfortable (MC is 16 and future LI is 26) and I couldn’t continue.

Definitely, Maybe, Yours by Lissa Reed – no rating, review here

Island of Broken Years by Jane Fletcher – no rating, review here and discussion post inspired by this book here

Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern – no rating, review here

The Second Mango by Shira Glassman – no rating, review here

Reverb by Anna Zabo – no rating (but it would’ve been a positive one), review here. This is probably the first book that I had to DNF although I was loving it because it made me too anxious, the stalking element can be very triggering and I personally decide to take care of myself by asking friends how the book ended but not finishing it myself. I would still absolutely recommend this book and this series to lovers of the contemporary romance genre!

Villains Don’t Date Superheroes by Hayden Archer – no rating/review, I barely read one chapter and it read way too childish for my tastes (I’m not trying to be the adult reading YA and complaining that it’s YA, just saying for me it was not something I’m interested in). I think teens would like this though, it sounds like it’s fun and it’s sapphic!

Reverie by Ryan La Sala – no rating, review here

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Do you DNF books sometimes? What do you think about DNF’ing in general?

I hope everyone has an amazing 2020 filled with good books!

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

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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: Bookish Things I’ve Changed My Mind About

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 1st: Bookish Things I’ve Changed My Mind About
— This can cover any bookish topic you want: tropes, characters, TBRs, genres, anything!

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1. Audiobooks

This is probably the biggest change in my reading life. It’s not that I thought audiobooks weren’t valid or bad or anything, I just thought they wouldn’t be for me and I wouldn’t be able to focus on them. Now I always have one audiobook on my currently-reading shelf and I can’t do without them. (Psst, you should read my audiobook guide!)

2. Reading only one book at the time

I used to be someone who could only read one book and wouldn’t start another one until I was done with that one. That’s still somewhat true if we look at the genres of books (I won’t have two contemporaries on my CR shelf, or two high fantasy, etc), but I will generally have a few books that I’m reading at different paces and usually in different formats (audio/ebooks, rarely physical).

3. Writing 

I used to just read whatever sounded good and in a way I still do, but I’m much more aware of how much I like the writing style of the author I’m reading, and sometimes it can make or break my enjoyment of a book. I’m not even talking about the actual prose but more about how the writer seems to treat their readers, if that makes sense? It’ll obviously depend on the genre and age target of the book, but I hate feeling like the author doesn’t trust me to not pick up on clues (especially when it comes to what the characters are feeling, etc) and feeds me redundant information.

4. Contemporary genre

I’m not sure this counts because I’ve always read contemporary, but when I started reading in English I started with YA fantasy and for a while (like…two years??) that’s all I would read. It’s not that I hated contemporaries, I just only wanted to read fantasy! That obviously changed almost to a point where I could barely read any fantasy because it takes me more time and focus, but thankfully audiobooks are helping with that so now I would say I read a healthy amount of both genres.

5. Rating

I’m someone who gives out four and five stars very easily. Looking back at some of the five-star reads I’ve had over the years, I can’t say that they really all deserved such a high rating, especially since I can barely even remember what some of them were about. So I’m trying to always think before giving five stars, “Will this book still be relevant to me in a month? Will I remember it? Has it changed something in me?” Generally speaking I still have a hard time deciding whether to rate purely on enjoyment or on quality, because the two are sometimes very different and I can say that objectively a book is 5-stars-good but I didn’t enjoy it because of personal taste. I see people switching to 10-stars-ratings but I wouldn’t know what that would change for me. So this is not a topic I’ve exactly changed my mind about, but I’m somewhat always working on rating more critically than I did before.

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Have you changed your mind about something book-related? What would your past self say if they saw you now?

 

#T5W: Rainy Day Reads

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.

I haven’t done a T5W in a while but I checked out this week’s topic and it just so happens that it’s been raining constantly for two days (as it’s custom in the week after Easter, at least in my hometown), so I jumped at the opportunity.

What makes a book a rainy read for me?

I think, as boring as it sounds, what makes a book a rainy read is…the fact that it’s raining while I’m reading a book. Is this cheating? Perhaps, but I truly believe that rainy day books can be either dark and broody (to go with the mood) or cheerful and more sunshiny (to cheer you up). With that said, some books feel more rainy than others, so I’m just going to go ahead with my list.

🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️🌧️☔️

🌧️ The Pursuit Of… by Courtney Milan

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This book is on this list because I’ve been feeling like rereading it for months now, basically every time my mood isn’t great I think, “I should reread The Pursuit of…” because it put me in such a good mood the first time. And when I read it I was at the beach this summer so I think if I were to read it while it rains it would channel some of that sunny feeling.

 

☔️ The Magnus Chase trilogy by Rick Riordan

This trilogy is not here because of its aesthetics (it has many different locations throughout the books, some are rainy, some are snowy, etc…) but because of how good it feels when I (re)read it. I think it would immediately cheer me up.

🌧️ Sadie by Courtney Summers

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Sadie is a dark, dark book and it definitely goes with a rainy mood, if you’re not in need for something to cheer you up. Because this won’t. This will make everything worse and you will love it (the book, but you will hate the world just a tiny bit more).

☔️ The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

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This book is like, psychologically dark. It’s a descent that gets darker and darker and I can only imagine how fitting this would be during a rainy day (I read it in summer when it was 37°C outside…)

🌧️ Elysium by Nora Sakavic

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It took me a while to get into this book and while I found it confusing a lot of the time, its aesthetic was always the same in my head: dark, black, grey, more dark. I don’t know if I’ve ever read another book where literally every scene in my head was completely gloomy and depressing, but Nora Sakavic managed it! (That is not to say every scene was set in a dark place, I just couldn’t imagine it any other way regardless of the description.)

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What are your rainy days reads? Have you read any of mine?