Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Price of Salt becomes...Carol

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith was originally published under a pseudonym, Claire Morgan. Most people probably know Highsmith (writing under her own name) as the author of such thrillers like The Talented Mr. Ripley. The reason I'm talking about The Price of Salt today is because the novel is what inspired the new movie, Carol, starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett. You can see the trailer for Carol below:

While Highsmight felt she had to publish under a fake name, it's still amazing that she wrote The Price of Salt and that this movie might help circulate the book some more. It's definitely something I'm curious to read (and I do want to see the film as well!) One personal reason I'm excited about seeing Carol is because it's meant to be 1950's New York (I believe around there...) but it was actually filmed in Cincinnati, Ohio, which is where I'm from. We've had a lot more studio companies using Cincinnati and its surrounding areas to film these past few years. Just a tidbit I thought I'd share.

So tell me...have you read The Price of Salt or seen Carol yet? Will you read the book and/or see the movie in the future?


Sunday, December 27, 2015

2016 LGBTQIA Reading Challenge

I'm taking part in a variety of different challenges for 2016 over at ShootingStarsMag, which should be interesting as I've never done more than like...two challenges in a year. I hope I do well though and check out some new books and meet new bloggers. As for this blog here, I HAD to sign up for the LGBTQIA Reading Challenge hosted by Pretty Deadly Reviews.

I read a lot of LGBTQIA books already so I think this will be a fairly easy challenge to do. However, I am really excited to see what the other participants read and hopefully I can find some new titles along the way. I tend to post a lot of LGBT+ book reviews over at ShootingStarsMag because they are from Netgalley and that's the blog linked there, but I am going to try and cross-post here in 2016 after the initial post to help with the challenge and for those of you who only follow this blog. I don't want you missing out on some great LGBT+ titles!

This challenge has levels based on colors of the rainbow, and I'm going to start at:

Green: 21 to 30 books (the highest is Purple - 41-50). I'm pretty sure I can do MUCH better than Green, but I like to start out easy enough just in case. 

Are you going to sign up for this challenge? Whether you do or not, what challenges are you doing in 2016?


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Give GAY for the Holidays + Merry Christmas to You All!

To everyone that celebrates, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas! If you do not celebrate any holiday this time of the year, I still hope all is well and you are having a great December. I got an email from author Robin Reardon a week or so ago that was titled "Give GAY for the Holidays" and that's totally something this blog can agree with!

To help with that, Reardon's three novels below are available at a discount price until January 3, 2016 so definitely think about grabbing at least one title. I know I'm planning too! This is a great deal to support LGBT+ fiction.

Something is drawing seventeen-year-old Jesse Bryce toward the community of Pagans who live in "the village," just outside his rural Oklahoma town. Maybe it's that he has a crush on Griffin Holyoke, a tall, dark-haired boy with a tree tattooed all up his back. Or maybe it's that the Pagans accept Jesse for who he is, unlike his family—or his church, where he hears that being gay is a sin.

Available soon at the reduced price on Barnes & Noble


Everything sixteen-year-old Simon Fitzroy-Hunt loves in is in England. There’s his school, his boyfriend, his cat, and especially Oxford University, which Simon plans to attend just as his beloved late father planned. But all of Simon’s certainties come crashing down when his mother remarries and drags him to Boston with her.

Barnes & Noble

Jude Connor’s rural Idaho hometown is a place of strong values and high expectations. For those who fit into the local church’s narrow confines, there’s support and fellowship. For those who don’t, there’s ostracism in this life and certain damnation in the next. Jude wants desperately to be saved—to believe with the fervor of the charismatic Reverend Amos King, whose sermons are filled with brimstone and righteousness. But every time Jude thinks he’s found the right path, there’s a fork in the road, and Truth seems to be in a different direction.
Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Etsy Pride (12): Rainbow Mug + Snowman Ornament

It's been a few weeks since I did an Etsy Pride, so I'm back! The holidays are either happening or are fast approaching, so I thought I'd share some fun items that you might want to use your holiday gifted money for after Christmas, etc. Or if you aren't going to see someone until later, you might be able to buy them something still!

Dancing in the Rainbow Mug from Pigment and Hugh for $15

This would be great for dancers or other types of artists, or even someone that really likes Singin' in the Rain!

LGBT Ceramic Snowman Ornament from New Pride Designs for $11.99

I know the holidays are almost over, but snowmen are great throughout the Winter. Plus, you can always get it now and save it for next year so you have it on hand!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Nsync's "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays"

Christmas is exactly one week away! I can't believe it. Time really does fly by sometimes, doesn't it? In honor of the holidays, I thought I would share "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" by Nsync. Boy band member, Lance Bass, came out after Nsync and seems to have had mostly positive reception since then!

What are your favorite Christmas songs?


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Story: Honoring Your Transgender Children

source - Steve Peace Tattoos
I came across this story on Facebook and I had to share it. A mom from Calgary, Canada has portraits of all three of her children tattooed on her. However, her son Ace was born a girl and later transitioned to a male. In honor of that and to further show their son support, the father (a tattoo artist) retouched his wife's tattoo to better depict Ace. You can see the two tattoos side-by-side in the photo above. If you would like to read the article, please do!

As someone who is quite scared of needles, I don't see myself ever doing anything like this if I had children, but I know that if I did, I would want the tattoos to represent who my child identifies as, and if that means retouching a little girl into a little boy or vice versa, then so be it! I imagine if you had the names tattooed it might be a little more difficult, but I would want to find some way to honor my son or daughter.

What about you? Would you retouch a tattoo if your child came out as transgender? What do you think about this particular story in general?


Saturday, December 12, 2015

LGBT Book Reviews Elsewhere

Celebrity Readers reviewed Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Naomi's Reading Palace reviewed The Good Girls by Teresa Mummert

Candace's Book Blog reviewed George by Alex Gino

If you review an LGBT+ book or see one reviewed elsewhere, please feel free to let me know so I can add it to my next round up!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he's pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he's never met.

Review: This is easily one of my new favorite books and I think it's something that pretty much everyone should read. It took me a bit to find the time to grab this one, but I'm so happy I finally did. Don't wait too long - you're sure to love Simon!

Simon has an email relationship of sorts with a guy from his school. That's all he knows about his identify, as he refers to himself as Blue. Simon and Blue, instead, share all sorts of other personal and fun facts about themselves, trying hard not to give themselves away with anything too obvious. Simon is desperate to know the guy behind the computer screen, even though he isn't out himself. However, Blue is far more anxious about this than Simon and doesn't want to exchange phone numbers or meet in person.

Besides Simon and Blue's emails (which were great!), we have plenty of story lines with Simon. There's his family, his friends, and even a fellow musical theater guy who is blackmailing Simon to help him win over a girl. If Simon doesn't help, this guy will reveal that Simon is gay (and perhaps even share information about Blue). Simon isn't quite ready to come out, but he's far more worried about breaking Blue's trust than anything else.

This book feels like a guy wrote it, which is fantastic! It's funny, emotional, realistic. Yeah, Simon is gay and he likes a guy he doesn't quite know. But there is so much more to him and this story. You need to read it!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Check Out Status Update by Annabeth Albert

Sorry I didn't have many posts last week! It was quite hectic, but I hope to have more this week! Today, I'm more or less sending you over to ShootingStarsMag to see my latest m/m book review courtesy of Netgalley. It's called Status Update by Annabeth Albert and it's a really cute read for the holiday season! 

Official Summary: Adrian Gottlieb is winning at life. He's a successful video game designer with everything a man could ask for, including a warm comfy ride to Denver and a date for his sister's wedding. But he finds himself in need of a total reboot when he's left stranded at a snowy campground in Utah. Holiday plans? Epic fail.

That is until Noah Walters offers him shelter for the night and a reluctant cross-country ride. Nothing about the ultraconservative geoarchaeologist should attract Adrian, but once he discovers Noah's hidden love for video games, the two connect on a new level. Soon, a quiet but undeniable chemistry sparks.

Something doesn't add up, though. As the miles accumulate and time runs out, Noah must face the most difficult choice of his life. Meanwhile, Adrian must decide whether he's ready to level up. Is their relationship status worth fighting for, or has this game ended before it's even begun?

Does this sound good? Definitely check out my review if you want to know more of my thoughts, but it was enjoyable in case you need a quick verdict!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Repost Review: The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography

I can't believe it's December! I really love this month though, so I'm pretty excited. Now, as to this post, I have decided to do some Repost Reviews every now and then. These are LGBT+ themed books that I reviewed over at ShootingStarsMag during my break from Let's Get Beyond Tolerance. I thought it would be nice to share them again here for you all to enjoy! If for whatever reason you want to see my original post, it's here.

The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography by Kathryn Hamm and Thea Dodds

Review by Lauren

Source: Copy from Blogging for Books; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: With nearly half of the states in the US (and 13 countries) currently recognizing same-sex partnerships, the market for LGBT weddings is poised for explosive growth, offering great opportunity for today's wedding photographers. But capturing portraits in this new market requires a new approach to posing, which until now has been nearly exclusively oriented toward pairing a larger man in black with a smaller woman in white. What works for Jack and Jill won't necessarily work for Jack and Michael, let alone Jill and Louise. The New Art of Capturing Love rewrites these traditional techniques, giving photographers the tools to create flattering, emotion-filled images for any couple in today's dynamic wedding market.

Review:  I might not be a professional photographer, but I can admire good photography. Plus, I'm a big fan of love, in all types of forms. Therefore, I really loved checking out this book about LGBT wedding photography. I've never given it much thought, but it's true that a lot of typical wedding shots would not work for a couple of the same sex. It was really interesting to see new pose ideas in this book. They even include ideas for the wedding "objects" like dresses, suits, shoes, rings, etc. as well as wedding party/group shots.

There are Behind the Lens moments where the photographer whose photo is highlighted share some thoughts about the shot, or the couple in the shot. I loved the more personal information the best, of course, since I don't take pictures for a living. I think this book has a nice mix for fans of photography to those who want to try and recreate these moments. I liked how the authors included their thoughts throughout the book to help photographers in using some of these ideas. They note to talk to the couple and see how comfortable they are with PDA and other things that photographers might take for granted. They also note how some poses will work better for some couples than others, depending on heights, what they are wearing, etc.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and I hope it does well because it has some great tips for Gay and Lesbian weddings!

Monday, November 30, 2015

In The News: Singapore For/Against Adam Lambert

do not own image - source
I've been a huge fan of Adam Lambert since his American Idol days. I've even seen him live, though I know his act has gotten more "scandalous" if you will as the years went on. I think it's great. He's just having fun and being himself! However, Lambert is meant to be performing on New Year's Eve in Singapore but over 18,000 people have signed a petition for him to be removed from the lineup.

The Advocate shares more about the petitioners and why they dislike Lambert, but they also note that over 23,000 people have signed in support of Lambert. It looks like Singapore has more in favor than in opposition. Irregardless of these petitions, Lambert is still set to perform at the end of the year.

Obviously people have their opinions and they can make a petition against or in support of someone/something. However, I do think the right decision was made in allowing Lambert to still perform since he was already asked. They had obviously decided that Lambert was fine to perform, so I'm glad that some complaints didn't deter them from keeping with their original decision.

What do you think?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Etsy Pride (11): Rainbow Ornament + Christmas Car Charm

December starts next Tuesday. I can't believe it! In honor of that, I thought I'd showcase a couple LGBT+/Pride items that are suitable for the upcoming holidays.

Rainbow Heart Christmas Ornament - Bead Filled Glass Bulb by Crafty Sue Shop. You can buy this awesome ornament now for $14.00. I love the look of the beads and of course, the rainbow aspect is fantastic!

Christmas Accessory Car, Rear View Mirror Charm, Car Accessory Charm for $7.50 from Baubles and ByGones. This would be great for the holiday season since the charms are little Christmas lights and a bell in the middle. It's also a nice rainbow mix for LGBT pride if you wish for it to be! Just hang this in your car and voila, a lovely and well-priced gift! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: My Year Zero by Rachel Gold

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My Year Zero by Rachel Gold

Released:  March 29, 2016

Add on Goodreads

Official Summary: Lauren thinks she has a pretty good life—so why is it that she feels crazy most of the time? She figures it’s nothing she can’t fix by getting her first girlfriend and doing better at school. But how is she ever going to find a girlfriend in Duluth, Minnesota?

When she meets a group of kids who are telling a science fiction story online and gets invited down to the Twin Cities, she gets more attention than she ever expected, from two very different girls: charming Sierra and troublesome Blake.

Blake helps Lauren understand that she’s not the crazy one in her life. But Blake's attention—and insights into life and living with bipolar disorder—threaten to destroy everything Lauren has created for herself, including her relationship with Sierra.

What do you think about this one? It looks like it will be a really fun read. I like that Lauren meets kids telling a science fiction story online. I'm all about those nerdy/dorky characters! I can usually relate. This one looks like it will include a bit of a love triangle, but since it involves all girls, I think I can handle it! It'll be different from the standard two guys love the same girl trope.

What are you waiting on?  

Happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S.! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

LGBT News/Reviews: Recommend to Me

made in PicMonkey ... just something fun for the post!
This Thursday in the United States is Thanksgiving. I'm grateful that I'll be off that day and Friday, but leading up to Thursday and even this coming weekend, I will be at work. Since I won't have a lot of time to schedule out posts, I thought I would start this week off with something a little easy for you all!

Recommend any LGBT-themed books, movies, musicians, etc. Anyone you want me to feature on the blog? I try and keep things at a YA level but I know that can differ on who is reading the book ... so don't worry about age level. Share what interests you! I might start sharing all things LGBT+ and not focusing so much on age level in the new year. What do you think about this?

 Any upcoming LGBT -themed entertainment news you want to share with me? I'd be happy to make a post or link up sometime in the near future if it's something you want everyone to know!

-Lauren Becker

Friday, November 20, 2015

Musical Choice: Chely Wright's "Shut Up and Drive"

Chely Wright had a big country career in the nineties, which is when this song is from. She came out many years later, which is fantastic, but country music doesn't seem like the most accepting place. I know this isn't true of everyone, but I don't know of any super successful out country stars. I do hope this changes! I commend Chely for being open and honest with herself and her fans though!

Do you find country music accepting of those that are LGBT+? Do you listen to country music? Have you heard of Chely Wright?

Share your thoughts below!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Look at The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

The Night Sister is the first book I've ever read by Jennifer McMahon, but it was so good and engaging that I know it won't be my last. I got this to read and review for my other blog, Shooting Stars Mag, so there will be a full review over there soon. However, I wanted to post about the book here as well because it does feature a bisexual main character. Piper has been in love with her best friend Amy since she was young. In the story line that takes place more in the present (this book features three different timelines, that all go together - so it's not confusing!) Piper notes that she has had many relationships over the years, with both men and women, but she's always had Amy stuck in the back of her head. I like how none of this is a big deal in the novel. It's just stated - that's not what the book is about at all. It's refreshing to find titles like that!

Please share your thoughts about this book below - have you read it? Do you want too? What do you think about LGBT characters that are just there and it's no big deal?

Monday, November 16, 2015

American Girl Magazine Features Two Dads - Causes Upset

do not own- from the American Girl issue
I came across this article last week about the November/December issue of American Girl magazine. Apparently the group One Million Moms is really upset about the article on foster care included...because they included the family you see in the picture above, where there are two fathers instead of a mother and a father.

These moms do not believe this should be included in a magazine for children and the article I read is highly against One Million Moms. Regardless of the tone of that article, I do agree that this is a horrible thing to be upset about and I do commend American Girl magazine for using their platform to show various types of families. People that foster and adopt kids (for the right reasons) are amazing - gay, straight, it doesn't matter. We need people in the world like them. We need people to help those children.

You can read the One Million Mom's post here if you wish. They talk about American Girl magazine "promoting sin" and they even write that One Million Mom's "encourages you to avoid shopping at American Girl until it takes a neutral stand. If you receive their magazine in the mail, 1MM recommends you unsubscribe and even cancel the shopping catalogue. Be sure to tell them why you are unsubscribing and cancelling."

Honestly, this makes me want to shop at American Girl. I loved those books and I even received a Samantha doll when I was younger. These stories give girl's positive representation of women - all different colors, all different backgrounds. If you believe in what American Girl is doing (and you think it's perfectly fine to show two dads in their magazine) then please spread the word and get other like-minded people to help support American Girl. I don't think this controversy will hurt their sales in a drastic manner, but you never know. It's good to show you stand by people who stick up for equal rights. When you can of course.

Share your thoughts below  - be honest, but be respectful!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Etsy Pride (10): Memory Locket + Coffee Cozy

It's our 10th Etsy Pride! I have decided to try and do these posts every other week, as I don't want to bombard you with too many items at once (especially if you are interested in buying something - gotta save some money in between, right?)

This is an LGBT Pride and Awareness Floating Charm Memory Locket from Rebels Creations. You can buy it for just $10 and you get the option of a necklace or a key chain. I love these memory lockets - they are so cute! It's nice to see one for LGBT pride. I would love the key chain. This shop has all sorts of themed lockets, so be sure to look around!

It's that time of the year for warm drinks, so why not check out this Gay Pride Rainbow Coffee Cup Cozy (20 oz or 16 oz) from New Pride Designs. This shop is full of LGBT+ Pride items, so definitely check out what else is on offer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Add on Goodreads

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Out: May 3, 2016

Official Summary: Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. She's determined not to get too close to anyone.

But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can't help but start to let him in. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself--including her past. But Amanda's terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won't be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda's been keeping? It's that she used to be Andrew.

Will the truth cost Amanda her new life--and her new love?

Why I Want to Read: I came across this book on Goodreads and I immediately knew that I needed to read it. Too bad it's coming out in May of next year...sigh. At any rate, I think it sounds fantastic and I love that there are more and more transgender books being released. The LGBTQ spectrum is so wide and encompasses many people, so it's important to have books that focus on that.

What made me even more excited about this book is reading the blog Read.Read.Read's Waiting on Wednesday post for the same title. Apparently the book is partly inspired by the author's experiences as a trans woman, PLUS the cover model for the book is Kira Conley, a transgender model. How amazing is that?! I love the cover by the way. I think the pose and facial expression says a lot. 

Are you excited for this one too? What are you waiting on today? 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Make it a Gift: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Make it a Gift is a feature that I do over at my other blog, Shooting Stars Mag. I usually post a book review and then at least one item that I think could be given with the book to truly make it a gift. However, sometimes I like to feature books without the review - just post about a book and share a gift I think would be good for it.  

Today, I am featuring More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, which I actually reviewed on here already. If you want to purchase this book to gift to someone, here is what I think you should include with it:

101 Smiles Make a Sunshine: A Happiness Journal by Hannah Rogge

Check it out on Amazon now: Record 101 happy moments in this journal, then fold each page to watch the book transform into a paper sculpture. When complete, the rising sun will be a record of bright moments.

In More Happy Than Not, Aaron writes down moments in his life - especially the happy ones -and I think this is a particularly good journal to do that in because it actually creates a happiness-inducing sunshine when the journal is completed. It's something you can fill out and keep afterwards!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Goodreads Giveaways: Find New LGBT Books

Goodreads Giveaways- here are some more LGBT books that are currently up for giveaway on Goodreads. Click the link and scroll down a bit - you should see where you can enter!

A Little Bit Langston by Andrew Demcak - add to goodreads

Tearing Us Apart by Amanda Clay - add to goodreads


Would you read any of these? I think both sound really good! Did you enter the giveaways? Let me know! 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Musical Choice: Sam Smith's "Writing's On the Wall"

Sam Smith sings the official theme song for the new James Bond film, Spectre. It's called "Writing's On the Wall" and I thought I'd share that music video with you all today! I know I've been doing Musical Mondays, but there isn't really a link-up there anymore so if you know of any other bloggers that share music posts on certain days, let me know! I might try and link there. Otherwise, I'll just post musical posts on random days!!

I love Sam's voice. What are your thoughts about this song? I think he does a great job and I love the higher notes. I can't easily sing along with them, but it sounds really cool. Very dramatic!

Share your thoughts below!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

HavenCon: LGBTQIA Geek and Gaming Convention


HavenCon "is the first geek and gaming convention in Texas to focus on the LGBTQIA and Ally communities." HavenCon is April 22-24 in 2016 and you can register now!

While I do not personally live close enough to Texas to attend, I still really love this idea. I imagine it's a place where people can truly be themselves. You might think comic cons and the like are open to everyone, but that's not always the case. I've heard a lot about sexual harassment toward women at comic con because it was always such a male-oriented arena. For those that identify as LGBTQIA, I do not know what reception they get but I'm sure there are people who have had to deal with a lot of intolerance and it's not right.

HavenCon is something that should be supported, so definitely think about going if you live close enough. If not, then let people who live in Texas know (if you know of anyone or simply wish to share with your readers if you're a fellow blogger!)

Monday, November 2, 2015

LGBT Book Reviews Elsewhere

do not own image - source
I wish I had all the time in the world to read books, especially those that feature LGBT+ characters, but alas, I do not. However, I thought I could try (every now and then) to post about reviews I've seen around that DO feature LGBT+ characters for your perusal. Some of these books may be ones I've reviewed on here already or that I will review, but it never hurts to get varying thoughts!

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - reviewed by The Social Potato

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley - reviewed by One Way or An Author

Willfull Machines by Tim Floreen - reviewed by Books for a Delicate Eternity

Postcards from No Man's Land by Aidan Chambers- reviewed by Read All the Things! 

Have you read any of these? If not, do you want too?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Etsy Pride (9): Rainbow Candle and Necklace

The holidays are fast approaching, so make sure you are keeping an eye out for suitable gifts for all those people in your life!

How cool is this candle? It's a Rainbow Mosaic Pillar Candle from Cosmic Candle Co and you can get it for just $9.99!! The shop says it has a burn time of 60-80 hours. Nice! If you don't want the rainbow, you can always go for a single color too!

I've never seen a necklace quite like this one. It's called Here Comes the Sun - rainbow, dove, and last drop of rain.

The last drop of rain is on the back of your neck, as you can see from the above photo. What a cool idea! You can purchase this necklace from MIXKO for $35.00 - FYI, this shop is based in London, UK.


That's it for this week's Etsy Pride. Would you purchase either of these? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Goodreads Giveaways: Find Some New LGBT Reads!

A great way to find new LGBT+ books that are coming out (or maybe already came out) is through Goodreads, so today, I thought I'd share a couple books labeled as LGBT that you can actually win on Goodreads at the moment.

Please let me know if you enter any of these giveaways, or if any of the books interest you! I try and mostly focus on things for a YA audience on here, but for this feature, not all of of these books are labeled YA so pay attention when you check them out/enter giveaways!

All these books are currently being given away. You can find how to enter by clicking the Add on Goodreads links!

Broken Records by Lilah Suzanne - add on Goodreads

An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes by Randy Ribay - add on Goodreads 


I wanted to include books you could win, so only two today! Do either of these look interesting to you? I think they both sound great!


Monday, October 26, 2015

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Review by Lauren

source: copy from library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: In the months after his father's suicide, it's been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again--but he's still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he's slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron's crew notices, and they're not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can't deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can't stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

Review: This book is just...woah! Seriously, read it now. It's not something you want people to talk to you about too much until after you've read it because there is so much about Aaron and the world around him that is not known to readers at first. He's just tried to commit suicide after his own father does the same, and he's not sure there is true happiness in the world. He wants to find it though. He spends time with his girlfriend, Genevieve, and he plays games with the same group of guys he's grown up with. It's not until he meets Thomas that he starts to feel okay again.

I think Silvera did a fantastic job describing the world that Aaron lives in. You feel like you're in the Bronx, playing manhunt with Aaron and these guys who are his sort-of-friends, including his sort-of best friend, Brendan. Aaron meets Thomas and finally knows what a true friend is like. They can hang out and just feel free, like any normal teenager. Aaron knows his feelings toward aren't "normal." He finds himself not really missing Genevieve when she's away at camp because he has Thomas, who seems to make him happier than his girlfriend does.

In the version of the world that Aaron lives in, there is a place called the Leteo Institute that can do brain surgery to help people forget horrifying or damaging events in their life. Aaron thinks it's all made up until he hears about a former friend having the surgery to forget about his twin brother, whose death was essentially his fault. Knowing this and dealing with his feelings about Thomas, Aaron desperately wants the procedure. He doesn't want to lose Genevieve and he definitely doesn't want to deal with whatever anger he might get from his sort-of friends. This aspect of More Happy Than Not is a huge part of the book, but it really helps make this story about discovering one's sexuality that more unique and poignant.

You need to read this book. You need to meet Aaron. Then let's discuss.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Let's Discuss: The Future of This Blog


Today I want to discuss the blog and what you want to see more of on here! I was hoping to keep up with some of the features such as Musical Mondays and Etsy Pride, but instead of doing this every week and overwhelming you, I thought each feature could be done around twice a month - probably varying weeks.

I'd really like to do more discussion posts, but I tend to get inspired by things I come across at random and that doesn't leave me much time to write a post and schedule it (as I like to do!). So, this is where you come in - what types of topics would you like to discuss?

Apart from discussion posts, what else do you want to see on this blog? I want this to be a place where people can learn as well as enjoy themselves. I want more people to hopefully comment and take part in conversation, but if you're reading, that's enough too!

Thanks to everyone who has supported this blog in whatever way - reading, commenting, etc. It's sometimes difficult to keep up with two blogs, but I think it's worth it and I'd love more ideas of what to post about. This is for all of you too!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Look Both Ways

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine 

Look Both Ways by Alison Cherry

Out: June 14th, 2016

Add on Goodreads Now!

Official Summary: A summer away from the city is the beginning of everything for Brooklyn Shepard. Her theater apprenticeship at Allerdale is a chance to prove that she can carve out a niche all her own, surrounded by people who don't know anything about her and her family of superstar performers.

Brooklyn immediately hits it off with her roommate, Zoe, and soon their friendship turns into something more. Brooklyn wants to see herself as someone who's open to everything and everyone, but as her feelings for Zoe intensify, so do her doubts. She's happier than she's ever been—but is it because of her new relationship? Or is it because she's finally discovering who she wants to be?

Why I Want to Read: First off, I think it's cool that Brooklyn is taking part in a theater apprenticeship because I love theater! I wish it was something I was good at, but alas...Beyond that, I think this sounds like a really good story of growing up and finding yourself. I hope that Brooklyn and Zoe have a good relationship; I'm curious to find out!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Musical Mondays: "King" by Years & Years

Musical Mondays is hosted by My So-Called Chaos

I found an article on Bustle called 5 LGBT Singers You Should Know About Right Now- Before They Hit the Big Time and the first artist on their list was band Years and Years, whose lead singer Ollie Alexander identifies as gay. Bustle writes that "the fact that all of their love songs feature the male pronoun is pretty cool" and I have to agree -that IS pretty cool.

I decided to feature their hit song "King" this week, but I'm sure I'll be including more of their songs on Musical Mondays posts in the future!

Share your thoughts below!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Etsy Pride (8): Beanie and LGB...Tea Mug

Another Etsy Pride! I thought I'd try and limit these to about two a month, so it doesn't get overwhelming for all of you! Please do share your thoughts below. Would you purchase any of these items for yourself or as a gift?

Where I live, the weather is really starting to turn chilly so it's definitely sweater and hat weather! Now, you can represent your LGBT pride by sporting this awesome gray/rainbow stripe beanie. The hat is $35 and is sold on Etsy by Cuteling.

I thought this LGB...Tea Mug was so super cute! It's really simple, but clever, and perfect for any tea lovers out there whether they identify as LGBT+ or are simply an ally. This mug is $15.11 and is sold by Etsy shop Scene Designs (they sell a lot of LGBT cards and gifts).

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Actress Evan Rachel Wood on Being Bisexual

The Human Rights Campaign shared a bunch of tweets that actress Evan Rachel Wood made about being bisexual and the bisexual community in general. Please visit the link to read more of what she had to say and not just the one I shared above, though that statement is really important.

It is true that people inside the LGBT community are often not as accepting of people who identify as bisexual as they should be. Some do not think bisexuality exists; instead, they think someone is simply gay and afraid to truly admit that. That's not the case for everyone. Sure, some people might say they are bisexual instead of gay or lesbian, and they are really the latter, but that's their choice. However, bisexuality does exist and there are plenty of people who find themselves attracted to both men and women.

Furthermore, I want to state that being attracted to both genders does not mean you are attracted to everyone you meet - something people who identify as heterosexual sometimes think when they hear about bisexuality. Just like a straight male isn't attracted to all women, or a lesbian isn't attracted to all women, people who identify as bisexual are not attracted to all men and women.

Share your thoughts below- but remember, be respectful!