GENRE: Romance, LGBTQ+, YA, Plus-Size
I absolutely loved this book. It was so well written and it was really perfect in regards to representation. THE DOs & DONUTS of LOVE has plus-size representation, LGBTQ+ representation and POC representation. Not only that, but this issues around fatphobia and racism in a way that doesn’t preach or pull out from the story. I could not put this one down.
The novel address how food is so important and culturally significant. It touches on the idea that not eating food that was prepared for you was an insult but on the other hand being demonized and ridiculed and shamed for then for existing in a bigger body. How do you want me to eat but also be thin? I do love the fact that Shireen’s (MC) parents aren’t like that and love her regardless of her body; but it doesn’t change the fact that she experiences fatphobia.
This novel also addresses a lot of racial issues without it being preachy or out of place in the story. Sometimes, when authors want to address racism in a novel, they have these monologues or parts of the story that do not really fit the rest of the tone or the story, just to say that they included discourse on race (this may not be the case but it can feel this way at times). Within the context of the characters and the novel, the discourse meshes in perfectly. It is great if you are someone who wants to lean about the discourse.
If you love “British Bake Off”, Love Triangles, puns and donuts, I recommend you picking up this book
***I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
GENRE: Science Fiction, LGBTQ+, Dystopian
“What am I supposed to do?”
Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao was an great read. I normally do not read YA anymore, but let’s be real, this book is more New Adult with its very dark tones and subject matter. I had such a great time participating in the Tandem Collective’s Read-a-Long for this novel, being able to participate in discussions with other Canadian readers, reading the same book with me was just so much fun and a wonderful experience.
Now back to my review! I just want to say, I really think Iron Widow is what Suzanne Collins wishes The Hunger Games was. Not to bash The Hunger Games, that is not the point, it is just that this novel surpasses it incredibly with its nuance and darkness. For a novel that was labeled YA, the subject matter was incredibly diverse and created fruitful discussion. I particularly enjoyed the female anger depicted in the story, in contrast to the MC’s (Zetian) lack of bigger picture view. Without giving spoilers, while Zetian knows she has been wronged and mistreated for being a girl, she doesn’t notice that her mother also suffered in that system, and feels anger towards her. She notices that her family is only pretending to care about her now that she will be the one to bring money home, but doesn’t make the connection that perhaps that is the only reason they gave her elder sister any attention before. Zetian as a narrator isn’t perfect and I absolutely loved it!
I also want to mention Xiran Hay Zhao’s writing style, I personally do not tend to enjoy first person novels, especially in this genre and without a mixed perspective being present, but their writing is so well done, and paced so well, that in moments of anger, or anxiety, I felt that way along with Zetian.
I for one, cannot wait to pick up the second novel, and continue on with this SAGA. There are other aspects of the novel such as the presence of a poly relationship which I was so pleasantly surprised to find considering the genre!
GENRE: LGBTQ+, Monster, Retelling
Queer Little Nightmares is an anthology of monstrous fiction and poetry written by various authors. The stories and poems in this collection explore the experiences of creatures of myth and folklore seeking belonging and intimate connection, cryptids challenging their outcast status, and classic movie monsters coming into queerness. The characters in these works push against tropes that have historically been used to demonize them and instead ask what it means to be (and to love) a monster.
While I enjoyed the content of this anthology, I had a hard time with it because I received it as an audiobook. I often found myself getting lost in the narrator's voice, which I found lacking. If you are able to pick this up as a physical book or an ebook, I recommend you do.
Please note: I received this ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
RATING: 4/5 STARS
GENRE: ROMANCE, LGBTQ, Historical Fiction
This was a slow novel, but I really love how this novel progressed, although it was very slow. Most stories about the Trojan War, mainly focus on the perspective of Achilles. This novel follows Patroclus and his romance with Achilles.
The narration really gives off Greek. Even the dialogue, it has that precise and straight forward quality that Greek has. I also appreciated the details that were included that most retellings tend to keep out (such as Achilles’s son). It was romantic in that classical way, not overly word and there weren’t those grand gestures… It really touched my heart. It gave an alternate view to a beloved story. I also appreciated the different types of love that were also presented in the story. For instance, the love between Patroclus and Briseis. While she had romantic feelings for him, Patroclus still loved her although it was not in the same way he adored Achilles. There were moments he pictured even a future with her, marriage and a child. Madeline Miller is a beautiful writer and she took a very familiar story (at least to me) and was able to give it new depth and dimension.
If you are a fan of Greek mythology, I do recommend this read. If you haven’t been able to read the classics, it is a somewhat lighter narration. If you would like to further your knowledge and read Homer’s The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson.
RATING: 4/5 STARS
GENRE: ROMANCE, LGBTQ, SAPPHIC
I absolutely loved this novel. I have been wanting to read a sapphic novel with bi-representation and this one instantly caught my eye from the moment I saw the cover and immediately needed to pre-order it.
It did not disappoint. While there was ONE trope that
I CANNOT STAND that was included within the story, which is why I gave this novel a 4/5, it is still a great read. I just put this dislike as a personal preference.
It was hilarious, there were so many amazing characters, all relatable in their own way. I enjoyed the dynamic of Clare, the bisexual young mother and balancing her love-life, her friendships, her ex and their daughter. I also loved Delilah and her artistic style, her tattoos and the struggles of growing up feeling unloved. I didn’t like Astrid for the longest time, but even as "unlikeable" of a character as I thought she was, I grew to love her as the novel progressed, and I am very excited at the announcement of her own story progressing.
Ashley Herring Blake is very aware of our modern issues regarding bodies, motherhood and sexuality and she includes it within the story beautifully. I recommend picking up this book on your next bookstore visit.