Mini reviews: my sapphicathon reads

This is me tackling my 2018 resolutions with my first mini reviews post!

I decided to group all these together since they all follow a common theme (sapphic relationships) and were all read during sapphicathon. I’m also including what kind of representation they have (if it was specified or somehow talked about) and possible trigger warnings (but please note that I might have forgotten or not have noticed some).

Books starred with * were review copies.

 

Ripped Pages by M. Hollis
★★★★

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This was a short Rapunzel retelling that went much farther than it probably intended, at least for me.

It was, at the surface, a cute f/f retelling, so just what you would expect. But there was so much more about this, with talk about the importance of representation in books and open and honest talk about sexuality.

It was also a story that I felt portrayed the recovery from emotional abuse in a perfect way, and that’s what made this a complete five stars for me.

Rep: unlabeled lesbian MC and bi/pansexual LI

TW: emotional abuse

 

* Kim Reaper: Grim Beginnings by Sarah Graley
★★★✩

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This was really funny and a quick read.

I really liked the premise and the execution was okay. There’s not much depth to the plot or characters but that’s okay for such a comic, it promised to be funny and to have a cute and diverse f/f relationship and it definitely delivered on that part.

I personally won’t buy the sequel just because this was not completely my cup of tea but someone with a similar humor as the author will enjoy it a lot.

 

 

The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis
★★★★✩

31193155 This was my third M. Hollis short story (well this is actually more like a novella) and I think it’s safe to say I really like the author.

It’s a contemporary about two girls meeting because they work in the same library (yay libraries!) and it’s just a fun and cute contemporary story while also managing to talk about important topics without going too deep.

Rep: pansexual MC and lesbian LI

 

 

The Edge of the Abyss by Emilie Skrutskie
★★★★

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This was the sequel to The Abyss Surrounds Us and I loved it so much. Probably not as much as the first one, but it was a well done sequel and it definitely lived up to the quality that was book one.

I can’t really say much without spoiling book one, so I’ll just say that my favorite thing in both installments was the romance, which was done perfectly in book one and was done almost as perfectly here. There were a few very minor things that I found were a bit too repetitive but overall it was believable, and I especially loved the kind of ending this got.

It’s definitely not a cliché worldbuilding and not a cliché romance, and I think it’s a really good series to start with if you’ve never read books with f/f romance.

Rep: unlabeled and not really talked about but I believe they’re both lesbians

 

Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
★★★★

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This was definitely my favorite read of sapphicathon. I can’t believe I’ve owned this book since last June and I’ve waited until now to read it, but I probably enjoyed it much more now that I would have this summer for various reasons.

It takes place in the US in the eighties, when it was also published. I believe it’s one of the first, if not the first, YA book that deals with female homosexuality in such an open and honest way.

Because it was published so long ago, I was a little scared that it wouldn’t work for me and that it would use harmful tropes (that weren’t regarded as such back then). Fool me, I should have done my research.

The author was apparently a lesbian herself and reading about the history of this book broke my heart a little (they banned it from schools and burned it publicly in a town somewhere – I don’t remember exactly and I don’t feel like looking it up again because I’m not ready to cry again).

I was so surprised to see how well female homosexuality was treated and this is totally both a “book to educate straight people and educating them on the fact that gay people are normal” (I’m paraphrasing the author) and a book for young sapphic girls to see themselves represented and learn that it’s okay and that they can get their happy ending.

Yes, this book has a happy ending and it killed the tragic lesbian trope before it was invented.

Rep: lesbian MC and LI

TW: homophobia

 

* Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew (DNF)
★★✩✩

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I didn’t really like this and even though I DNF’d it around 80% I marked it as read because I could have just as easily kept skim reading until the end and it would have made no difference.

I wasn’t interested in the romance or in the world building but honestly the writing was what ruined this for me completely.

I’m not someone who complains about writing style a lot, especially where I see that there’s something unique about it. And this was definitely unique, but it also didn’t feel genuine at all. It wasn’t fluid and it felt like every sentence was written in a contorted way on purpose to achieve some specific kind of style that I couldn’t even begin to try to describe. It’s not bad per se, it’s just something I can’t seem to understand or be able to enjoy.

The writing was really what ruined this for me, and paired with a story that starts without much explanation about the world building at all, it meant that I had almost no idea what was going on most of the time. I’m okay with being thrown into a world without it being explained but I can’t focus on that if I’m also trying to understand what every sentence means.

The only thing I loved about this was the diversity because there was absolutely no heteronormativity or cisnormativity and there were different sexualities and genders portrayed. I also believe that the world might have been interesting had I been able to understand it.

Rep: multiple queer and nonbinary characters, nonbinary femme LI

* I was sent these as advanced copies by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.


Please let me know if you like this type of posts! I might try to save a bunch of mini reviews to post together like this in the future or just post them whenever I have them but I’m not sure what’s best, so I definitely welcome any feedback you might have!

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December and sapphicathon wrap-up

Welcome to this year’s last wrap-up post! I’m also sharing my results for Sapphicathon (while mini reviews for the books I’ve read are coming next month).

BOOKS

So here’s what I read in December:

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(The ones with 👭 are books I read for Sapphicathon)

  • A Night at the Mall by M. Hollis
  • Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff
  • Tripping Over You by Owen White
  • 👭 Ripped Pages by M. Hollis
  • 👭 Kim Reaper: Grim Beginnings by Sarah Graley
  • The Goose Girl by Robin Gallica
  • 👭 The Edge of the Abyss by Emilie Skrutskie
  • 👭 The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis
  • The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan
  • Fence #2 by C.S. Pacat
  • 👭 Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
  • 👭 Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew (DNF)
  • 👭 Set the Stage by Karis Walsh (DNF)
  • The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the gods of Asgard #2) by Rick Riordan
  • Always Raining Here by Bell and Hazel
  • Long Exposure by Kam “Mars” Heyward

I’m quite impressed because I managed to read a lot more than I did in the past months. I did get a little bit of a reading slump around the end of Sapphicathon, and that’s because sadly after a streak of great novels/novellas I started two books that weren’t great and made me want to change genre completely. Thankfully I fought the slump by starting the second book of Magnus Chase and I managed to finish it sooner than I thought I would, so there’s that.

Thoughts on Sapphicathon:

I’m so happy I decided to join. It was super chill and I loved seeing everyone read a lot of f/f stories and especially raise awareness on them. Even if I didn’t get to read a ton of books for it, I came out of the readathon with a lot more recs that I found on twitter and goodreads, so I now can’t claim anymore that “I want to read f/f but I don’t know of any good books.” That’s an easy excuse to give but that’s all it is. The books are there, they’re being created and they span all genres if you really care to find them. Don’t be afraid to use your social platforms to ask for recs if you can’t find them yourselves, and get familiar with people who regularly talk about about f/f content.

With that said, I’m a little sad that my last two reads for the readathon weren’t great. I had a lot of problems with the writing in Winterglass, and that put me in a slump, so I didn’t even feel like reading Set the Stage, which I started specifically to have something contemporary to read when Winterglass would bore me. Sadly, that too wasn’t great because I didn’t care about the characters at all, and at that point I really needed to read something completely different, meaning that I basically ended my sapphicathon after one and a half weeks instead of doing the full two weeks.

However, I came across a lot of (from what people say) great f/f books and I now own a few of them as ebooks and I’m looking forward to read.

CURRENTLY READING

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  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman: this is actually my first audiobook ever and I hope this format will work for me. I’ve already listened to half an hour of it while I was making food earlier and I feel like I could follow it well, so I’m confident that I will be able to enjoy “reading” in this format. I wasn’t even interested in this book until reading Magnus Chase made me want to know more about this mythology (we learn Greek and Roman mythology in Italy but we never talk about the Norse myths!)
  • The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee: this was given to me as a Christmas present in hardback format and I already started reading snippets of it, plus the introduction. It’s a nonfiction book about the discovery and history of DNA and genes, how mankind first reacted to it, and how science and medicine were and still are trying to uncover its many secrets.
  • If the Fates Allow (anthology by various authors): this is an anthology where every story features LGBTQ+ themes and characters, and the common theme is Christmas holidays. Admittedly anthologies aren’t my thing, so I’m taking it slow. I’ve read only one story so far and it didn’t work for me at all, so we’ll see what happens with the next ones. This was an ARC by Netgalley btw, but I don’t know if it’s still available there.

 

TV SHOWS

I caught up with Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Rosa Diaz is biautiful 💖💜💙) and I can’t stress enough how amazing this show is. It’s probably not perfect, but I don’t really know of any other show that is as woke as b99. And it’s SO funny without making fun of anyone.

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I also finished Stranger Things and I really liked it. The kids are all amazing actors and I’ve already signed the adoption papers. My only complaint is the unnecessary use of the girl hates girl trope, especially in characters so young and especially since there aren’t that many girls to begin with. That truly pissed me off and I expected better, but other than that it’s still a great show. My favorite thing in season 2 (without spoiling anyone) was the unlikely friendship between Dustin and Steve.

Risultati immagini per stranger things 2 gif

 

And this is it for this month and this year. I’ll see you all in my next post, and I wish you all to have fun celebrating New Year’s Eve!

Happy 2018!

 

My #SapphicAThon TBR

So I finally settled on a TBR for the upcoming SapphicAThon! (Reminder: it starts this Thursday, December 14th!) I tried to prioritize a few books and ARCs I already own, and even counting only those I’m really not sure that I will manage to read them all during the event, but I also made a wishlist in case I finish my owned TBR and want/can read some more. In that case I’ll just buy the ebooks because they’re not too expensive and it’s also around Christmas so #treatyoself.

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Owned:

The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis (Bingo spots: under 500 ratings, non coming out story, interracial relationship)

The Edge of the Abyss by Emilie Skrutskie (Bingo spots: SFF, QWOC mc, non coming out story, hate to love, interracial relationship)

Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew (Bingo spots: SFF, QWOC mc, they’re both WOC)

Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden (Bingo spots: friends to lovers, MC realizing they’re queer)

Falling for Forever by Caitlin Ricci (Bingo spots: under 500 ratings, something else probably)

Ripped Pages by M. Hollis (Bingo spots: retelling, under 500 ratings)

Set the Stage by Karis Walsh (Bingo spots: under 500 ratings, not sure what else)

Kim Reaper: Grim Beginnings by Sarah Graley (Bingo spots: not sure??)

This is already a lot for a slow reader like me but counting that there are a few novellas and graphic novels among these I hope to get to most of them.

 

Wishlist:

Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon (Bingo spots: disabled mc, QWOC mc)

Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman  (Bingo spots: not sure!)

The Second Mango by Shira Glassman (Bingo spots: not sure!

Cinder Ella by S.T. Lynn (Bingo spots: trans MC, retelling)

Waiting on a Bright Moon by J.Y. Yang (Bingo spots: SFF)

I don’t really plan to do the bingo thing but I still want to know what categories I’m reading from. I don’t know realistically how much time I’ll have since I don’t want to ignore my friends/family/cat in order to read more so I’m hoping I’ll manage to stay chill throughout the event and just enjoy these reads. I’ll also probably change my mind ten thousand times (mood reader and all) and find new things that I want to read, so I guess this post has very little reason to exist but hey, all’s good as long as I get to talk about this readathon again. I just really want people to join it and know about it ok.

I left a few more “popular” (but lbr they’re never truly popular when it comes to F/F sigh) books out of my wishlist simply because I know that I will get to them eventually, and I wanted to focus on things I might be less likely to read once I don’t have this added pressure from the readathon.

Are you joining sapphicathon? Did you post your TBR already? If you did please let me know in the comments because I don’t want to miss anyone’s posts when it comes to this!

I’m joining SapphicAThon!

SapphicAThon is a readathon created by Tasha @catsandpaperbacks and co-hosted by AmelieEliseJamieson, and Miriam.

It’s all about reading books where the main character is involved in a F/F romance (it can’t be a side romance!) and it runs from December 14th to December 28th of your timezone.

This post is kind of late because I wasn’t sure that I would have time to participate, but since I’m flying home for the holidays it looks like I will (hopefully) get a lot of reading time.

Even if you aren’t sure you can participate, I still encourage you to look at Tasha’s post because it comes with a ton of F/F recs.

Kind of side note, but people, it’s not enough to complain that there aren’t many F/F romances out there and do nothing about it. The books are there and they’re getting published and they’re often by marginalized authors and it’s everyone’s job to find them and boost them the same way M/M romances are. I myself know that I need to do better in this regard and participating in this readathon is hopefully a step forward in this sense.

If you do decide to participate and need some extra sense of accomplishment, you can look at the bingo board below. It has challenges that can help you decide which books you want to read, and you don’t have to get a bingo but it’s an added bonus if you want to challenge yourself more.

I myself don’t know exactly how many books I’m going to be able to read. I am a slow reader after all and I have a few things I need to do before Christmas, other than spending time with my family obviously, but I decided that no matter how many books I’ll manage to read, it will still be better than not participating.

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I will probably make a quick TBR post next week to help me stick to it and I’ll also try to link a few other rec threads/posts that I found over the months to help you find even more F/F books.

Let me know if you will participate and make sure that if you’re on twitter you follow along with #SapphicAThon and follow the official account @wlwreadathon. I will probably make a thread in order to track my progress during the challenge so if you want you can follow me there too and laugh at me when I fail (just kidding, there is no failing 💪🏻).