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Category Archives: GLBTQ

She Loves You, She Loves You Not… by Julie Anne Peters

Alyssa has always been pretty confident in who she is, even if she hid that from her family. What mattered most was that she had Sarah and nothing could come between them. So when Alyssa’s father discovers she’s a lesbian  in the worst possible way (in flagrante delicto) she is stunned to find herself disowned and living across the country with a mother she barely knows. Oh, and Sarah refuses to talk to her.

This is a strong coming of age story that doesn’t stick with the typical teen plot line. Instead it dives into the real and often conflicting and sometimes just crazy feelings of being a teen. Alyssa is obsessed with Sarah and is just starting to recognize that behavior in herself. The plot is moderate and her growth is steady throughout the book. In a young adult market full of angst and dark topics, Peters seems to have a knack for ferreting out the topics others don’t touch. 2011, 288 pages

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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in GLBTQ, Young Adult

 

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Huntress by Malinda Lo

Kaede and Taisin are nearing the end of their time at the Academy of Sages. Kaede has struggled with the academy and has only remained because her father is the King’s Advisor. Her strengths lie closer to the earth, no magic. Taisin is one of the most gifted sages the academy has seen. When the sun stops shining, crops fail and the people of the kingdom start to rebel out of frustration and hunger, Oracle Stones are cast and Kaede and Taisin are thrust together on a journey to see the Xi, a fay kingdom that most no longer believes even exist.  Brought together with a single purpose, the two must fight many obstacles to reach their destination and perhaps each other.

While this novel is billed as a prequel to Ash, it easily stands on its own. The coming of age is almost standard in young adult fantasy. The lush details intertwined seamlessly with the character development and a lesbian twist is not. The reader walks away with a strong picture of the world and the creatures that inhabit it. In spite of this, the pace is never slow and the direction the story is going is quickly revealed. What will grab you though is the characters. Not just Kaede and Taisin who are complicated and intense characters but also the side characters that you grow to care about just as much. Ash took my breath away. Huntress has much the fantasy reader will enjoy and GLBTQs will be refreshed by a world where no one cares who you love. 2011, 371 pages

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Fantasy, GLBTQ, Young Adult

 

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Bi-curious. Volume 1, Serenity by Natalie Weber

For a straight girl, Serenity is surrounded by lesbians. Her older sister, college roommate etc… While her boyfriend Rock would love for her to be more “curious”, Serenity is certain she ain’t like that. Uh huh. When she meets Sadie, the lesbian version of every player you’ve ever known, her fantasies get the best of her and they begin an affair.  As we all know, first comes lust then comes lots and lots of complications.

Urban lit with a lesbian twist is a new trend I’ll be the first to admit I’m still adjusting to it. There is plenty of urban drama here and the requisite, “Oh girl, what DO you think you’re doing?”  This is a quick read with a lot of sex. Despite the lesbian slant-it felt very straight with male sexual terminology(with no men present) and strictly defined roles for the women characters. The story is predictable and a few pages in it will be clear what is going to happen.  However, Natalie Weber is the sister-in-law of Carl Weber so expect demand. 2011, 288 pages.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in GLBTQ, Urban Lit

 

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Rage: A Love Story by Julie Anne Peters

“The ache I feel every time I see her. It’s killing me.”

Those two sentences really could sum up my review if when you read them, you picture moments in your life when you can’t breathe when you are without that certain someone for even the briefest moments. Johanna is the good girl of the story. Gets good grades, is well liked, visits the hospice where her mom died several times a week and has a straight best friend that she’s had a crush on forever… Then she falls for Reeve who seems the polar opposite. Reeve is hypersexual, rebellious and abusive thanks to an abusive childhood and drug addicted mother. Johanna’s fall for Reeve is so complete that she breaks down walls that have been in place for years but is her love enough to stop the rage? Johanna thinks so.

This was a gut-wrenching read. Neither character is without fault and each carries baggage at their tender years that both brings them together and tears them apart. There are no bad guys here and the reader is left feeling unsettled and uncertain throughout the book-just like one would in a relationship where you never know if the next minute is to be good or bad.  The emotional roller coaster is intentional as the reader is drawn into the character’s hearts. Good character development with fairly quick and disjointed pace make this an intense read.  Not for the light-hearted. 2009, 304 pages.

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2010 in GLBTQ, Young Adult

 

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Ash by Malinda Lo

 The story of Cinderella is well-known. Ash has lost her mother, cares deeply for her father and struggles with the sadness that envelopes her everyday. When her father marries the ultimate wicked stepmother with two bratty children, Ash doesn’t think it can get much worse. That is, until her father dies.

What makes this telling different is the magical world that is not filled with cheerful mice and birds but rather a dark fairy world that entices Ash, especially the fairy prince Sidhean who offers her escape from the world she has come to not feel a part of. As the story goes on, Ash is introduced to the king’s huntress, Kaisa and struggles to decide what her future will be-the ultimate release or following her heart.

I decided a while ago to not write unbiased reviews. Lots of people do-this is my blog-I’m good with that. I’m so glad I did so I can say that I loved this book! Of course I’ve read a lot of lgbtq but this book has a magical, lyrical quality that transcends that angle. You can easily look at this as a Cinderella story with a lesbian twist.  That is a beautiful quality to me and readers will be thrilled to see themselves represented. Beyond that,the characters are beautifully developed, the world in which Ash lives is recognizable and comfortable with little effort and the language, sense of place and sense of self is well, magical. I was transfixed. 2009, 272 pages.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2009 in Fantasy, GLBTQ, Young Adult

 

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Worth Every Step by K.G. MacGregor

I was reading the back cover synopsis before writing this and realized it followed the same format as a romance-the only twist being instead of a heroine and hero, there are two heroines. 

Mary Kate is almost engaged to the hottest bachelor in Mooresville, Georgia when after a chance encounter with a PBS program on Mt. Kilimanjaro, she ducks his proposal and decides to climb the mountain by herself.

Successful investment banker Addison Falk is resistant to join her father’s firm in London but saying no is hard when you’ve always said yes. To avoid the looming move from Miami, Addison decides to take an adventure and climbing to Africa’s highest peak sound perfect. 

Will Mary Kate and Addison find the will to not only face Kili but also the forces in their lives that may be pushing them in the wrong direction?  A light and easy semi-romance. Romance is definitely a key factor but equally so is the journey each character takes to figure out their careers and life paths.  Characters are familiar and MacGregor does an excellent job of staying away from lesbian stereotypes. 2009, 228 pages.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2009 in GLBTQ

 

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Twelve Long Months by Brian Malloy

Molly Swain isn’t one of those girls in high school that gets noticed. In fact, she goes out of her way to make sure no one notices her and she quietly goes about life hoping that Mark(mysterious lab partner) will notice her.  Through many fumbles that can only happen in high school, Molly and Mark become friends and when Molly discovers Mark is also moving to New York after high school she imagines their romance blooming.

Only, you know it isn’t going to work out that way right? Sure enough, Mark admits to Molly that he is gay and Molly works on being “ok” with it. She tries so hard that she ends up dating and maybe falling in love with a very sensible guy named Simon.  Wanting something so bad it hurts and finally realizing that there is no conceivable way it can happen is an integral part to growing up and Molly finds herself right in the middle of that opportunity.

This is a quick and somewhat predictable read. I easily picked out the few surprises before they happened. But, the characterization is spot-on, you feel for Molly because you remember the feelings she evokes as you read. You hurt for what she is about to experience and cheer when she survives…like we all did. 2008, 316 pages.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2009 in GLBTQ, Young Adult

 

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