This is the second post I’ve done in this “unofficial” series! You can find the first one here. Basically everyone knows how much I LOATHE writing reviews. It causes me literal anxiety for a number of reasons. I tend to only write reviews for books that I received from Netgalley or Publishers so that means a lot of backlist books I read don’t really get a chance to have the spotlight. I decided to do these posts as a way to bring some attention to them
also because I’m lazy.
Covers = Goodreads
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli – A book that focuses on crushes and a relationship is normally my Worst Nightmare, but Becky Albertalli just knows how to tug at my heartstrings. Molly was an incredibly relatable character in terms of her anxiety. I really appreciated the fat rep too. I’m mostly okay with not having a “conventional” or “socially acceptable” body, but it’s still nice to see it be represented in a way that doesn’t involve shaming. If I had this book when I was in my early teens it would have helped SO much. This book made me laugh and cry and it put me in a really good headspace.
Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology edited by Danielle Binks – As an Aussie I LOVE supporting and promoting Aussie YA. This is a collection of short stories written by Australian authors. Not all of them are set in Australia. One of my favourite’s is by Amie Kaufman and it’s about two girls in love on Mars!!!! Another favourite is by Lili Wilkinson which is about two girls falling in love whilst trying to find a witch in an underground drain. There’s sci-fi and contemporary and it’s a perfect mix of everything. If you want a sampler of some great Aussie authors definitely check this out!!
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas – I love thrillers, but I’m so familiar with the genre it takes A LOT to truly impress me and Dangerous Girls did that. It has a lot of tropes, but it’s one of the most addicting thrillers I’ve read (especially in YA). I love unreliable narrators and Abigail Haas portrayed it perfectly. Whilst I did guess the plot twist I still found myself feeling incredibly anxious during the “reveal”. I couldn’t sleep one night and started reading this at 3am and then suddenly it was like 7am. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book once I finished it. // Trigger Warnings: violence, death
We Are Okay by Nina Lacour – A lot of people say this book is boring, but I completely disagree. It definitely isn’t plot driven and is more of a character study, but it’s so incredibly beautiful. The way it handles grief related so much to situations I’ve been through. When I was reading this it was like Nina Lacour took all my jumbled thoughts and put them into words that made sense. It made me feel sad and hopeful all at the same time. We Are Okay is easily one of my new all time favourite books and one of the best books I’ve read this year. // Trigger Warnings: depression, grief, death
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Equally heartbreaking (there are some SERIOUS topics discussed in this book) and heartwarming Gentleman’s Guide was such a fun ride. I don’t normally get along with historicals, but this was just so good. I loved the adventure feel. Everything was super vivid and I felt like I was right there. The thing that hooked me the most about this though was the characters. I loved them all. A lot of people definitely won’t get along with Monty, but I always have a weak spot for the overly pretentious characters who learn and grow. The M/M romance between Percy and Monty was ADORABLE and I hadn’t shipped something so much in a really long time. Felicity is one of my new all time favourite female characters. // Trigger Warnings: parental abuse (physical & emotional), homophobia, racism, suicidal thoughts and alcohol
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire – I fell in love with Every Heart A Doorway last year. It hit me so hard because it captured the feeling of your home not really being a home. It was also the first time I’d seen the word “aromantic” mentioned. Whilst I didn’t love this prequel quite as much I still really, really loved it. There were EXTREMELY important discussions about how harmful it is to force gender roles on people. It was also super whimsical and haunting. // Trigger warnings: death of a queer character
All the Rage by Courtney Summers – Another really important book that looks at how hard it is for women to deal with rape. Everyone tells women to come forward, but they do and no one believes them. One of the things I really appreciated about All the Rage was that it focused on the aftermath of rape and what a victim goes through rather than giving page time to the actual rapist. This was an incredibly hard read, but it’s also an important one because this gives voice to so many women’s stories. I wish we didn’t live in a world were the default was to not believe women who report assaults and rapes, but since we do I’m glad this book exists. // Trigger Warnings: rape, sexual assault, non-consensual actions, drug and alcohol use
The Refridgerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente – If you love comics and women in comics this is a MUST READ. Hell, even if you just love women. For too long women have been tortured and killed simply to further the storyline of men and it’s so wrong. This collection of intertwined short stories gives voices to those women. Each short story is loosely based on an existing comic book character like Gwen Stacy and Harley Quinn. // Trigger Warnings: abuse, violence
Have you read any of these or are they on your TBR?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I hope you’re all having a fantastic day.