Monday, January 30, 2017

Dreadnought by April Daniels

Dreadnought by April Daniels

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryDanny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of the world's greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, she was trying to keep people from finding out she's transgender. But then her second-hand superpowers transformed her body into what she's always thought it should be. Now there's no hiding that she's a girl. 

It should be the happiest time of her life, but between her father's dangerous obsession with curing her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he's entitled to date her, and the classmate who is secretly a masked vigilante, Danny's first weeks living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. 

She doesn't have much time to adjust. Dreadnought's murderer, a cyborg named Utopia, still haunts the streets of New Port City. If Danny can't sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

Review: In simple terms, this YA novel is about a transgender superhero. Doesn't that sound fantastic? It was that premise that immediately had me agreeing to review Dreadnought. This is just the first book in the Nemesis series and I can't wait to see where Daniels goes next.

Danny Tozer has always known she was a girl, even if everyone else thinks she needs to "man up", especially her overbearing, verbally abusive father. When the current superhero, Dreadnought, dies in front of Danny, she is given his mantle. Not only does Danny have superpowers, but she is also turned into the girl she always knew she was, and that's how Danielle Tozer comes to be.

It's not easy being Danny and you definitely appreciate the character as she's hit with challenge after challenge. Her dad is determined to turn her back into a boy, and while her mom seems to slowly accept the change, she's afraid to go up against her husband. During this time, Danny meets the other Legion superheros who worked with the previous Dreadnought. Danny is given throwaway colors to wear so she can practice her powers, instead of wearing Dreadnought's colors. While Danny loves her powers and wants to keep her new body, she's not sure she could ever live up to the original Dreadnought. I think most of us would feel the same way as a teenager, even if we weren't transgender like Danny.

One of the more prominent secondary characters is Calamity. She doesn't have superpowers, but she's a teenager like Danny, and she goes caping at night. Caping is essentially looking out for bad things to happen - like a robbery - and stopping them. She enlists Danny to help, and she loves it, but she's not really sure why Calamity hates the Legion so much.

All in all, this was a really enjoyable read. It could feel a bit long at times, but in general, I didn't want to stop reading. I was curious to see what obstacles Danny would have to face and how she worked through them. The ending is especially suspenseful and exciting!

Want to read Dreadnought? Check it out on amazon (I'm an affiliate- I get a small percent of any sales).

Friday, January 27, 2017

LGBT+ Book Reviews Around the Blogosphere

Hello everyone! I'm back with another LGBT+ Book Reviews Around the Blogosphere. Okay, that title is really long. Any ideas on something better? I also used Picmonkey to create a collage of some of the books mentioned. I thought it was more fun than just posting random pictures! What do you think?

Which book reviews are you checking out? Let me know in the comments! 

LGBT+ Book Reviews Elsewhere

Happy Indulgence reviewed It Looks Like This by Rafi Mittlefehldt

Pure Imagination reviewed Beast by Brie Spangler

Lost in Literature reviewed We Are Okay by Nina Lecour

For What It's Worth ALSO reviewed We Are Okay by Nina Lecour

Novel Ink reviewed History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Books for a Delicate Eternity ALSO reviewed History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Metaphors and Moonlight reviewed King's Lament by Lilia Blanc

Talk Supe reviewed Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger

Diva Booknerd reviewed The Flywheel by Erin Gough 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: We Are Okay by Nina Lecour

Tressa from Wishful Endings has created her own version of Waiting on Wednesday, since the host hasn't posted a link-up in months. Therefore, I thought I'd start doing Can't Wait Wednesday to share some LGBT+ books that I'm looking forward to in the future.

We Are Okay by Nina Lecour

Due Out: February 14

Add on Goodreads

Official Summary: Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

I haven't read anything by Nina Lecour but I've been meaning too. I'm really curious about We Are Okay and I hope it's a good read. I just love the cover though too. It's simple enough, but it stands out well.

What do you think? Do you want to read? 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Finding Your Feet by Cass Lennox

Finding Your Feet by Cass Lennox (Toronto Connections #2)

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryWhile on holiday in Toronto, Evie Whitmore planned to sightsee and meet other asexuals, not audition for a dance competition. Now she’s representing Toronto’s newest queer dance studio, despite never having danced before. Not only does she have to spend hours learning her routine, she has to do it with one of the grumpiest men she’s ever met. Tyler turns out to be more than a dedicated dancer, though—he might be the kind of man who can sweep her off her feet, literally and figuratively.

Tyler Davis has spent the last year recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship. So he doesn’t need to be pushed into a rushed routine for a dumb competition. Ticking major representation boxes for being trans and biracial isn’t why he went into dance. But Evie turns out to be a dream student. In fact, she helps him remember just how good partnering can be, in all senses of the word. Teaching her the routine, however, raises ghosts for him, ones he’s not sure he can handle.

Plans change, and people change with them. Learning a few steps is one thing; learning to trust again is another entirely.

Review: Finding Your Feet is the second book in the Toronto Connections series, the first being Blank Spaces (you can read my review here). The couple in Blank Spaces does appear in Finding Your Feet, which I love when it comes to companion novels. As for the main characters in this latest book, we have Evie Whitmore from England and Tyler Davis who is living in Toronto as a dance teacher.

Evie is asexual and she's in Toronto to check out the sights (she'll be back in a few months time to attend grad school) and meet an online friend named Sarah. As for Tyler, he's a friend of Sarah's but he's not in the best place when the book begins as he's still trying to get used to being out of a relationship after dealing with an emotionally abusive ex. When Evie is pushed into trying out for a dance competition, she ends up being paired with Tyler for a Pride Day dance competition between the studio Tyler works at and another in the Toronto area.

Despite being very different, the two eventually get to know each other better - after a rough first start - and Evie even finds that she loves to dance. As someone who never danced growing up, but has taken a couple of dance classes as an adult, I could really understand Evie's enthusiasm. Granted, I didn't have to practice as many hours in one day as she did, since all the couples only have one week to get a dance together for the competition. It was an intense project, but I loved hearing about the various dance lessons.

One of the things that I really loved about this book - and the other, Blank Spaces - is that it's full of diversity. Finding Your Feet has Evie who is asexual but isn't opposed to sex if she really falls for someone. Then there is Tyler, who is a trans, biracial man. I liked the secondary characters too and they are all equally as diverse! The next book in the series (Growing Pains) will focus on Gigi and Brock, who you meet in Finding Your Feet. I can't wait!

Want to buy a copy of Finding Your Feet? Check it out on Amazon (I'm an associate, so I get a small percent of any sale. Thanks). Oh, and if you want to start with Blank Spaces, find it here.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Long Shadows by Kate Sherwood

Long Shadows by Kate Sherwood

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryLA cop Jericho Crewe got the hell out of Mosely, Montana, when he was seventeen. Fifteen years later, he’s back, and everything is just as messed up as when he left. He planned a quick visit to deal with his injured father, but of course things are never that simple. Family complications, police complications, social complications—and, as always, Wade Granger complications.

Jericho and Wade had been so close, once upon a time. First friends, then more than friends—and then, after Jericho’s escape, nothing. Wade’s magnetism hasn’t been lessened by a decade and a half apart; even when Jericho learns that Wade is the prime suspect in the death of Jericho’s father, the old connection still sparks.

When Jericho’s newly discovered half siblings are kidnapped, he needs to trust someone to help him find them. Wade’s a terrible choice, but Jericho’s never been known for his good judgment. Anyway, he’d rather make a bad decision with Wade than a good one with anybody else.

Review: One thing that you don't tend to get with m/m books is a sequel with the same characters, so I'd like to start this off by saying that Long Shadows has a sequel (not out yet) and I'm so excited. If that doesn't tell you how much I enjoyed Long Shadows, then I guess I'll have to write some more.

Something else that's different from most m/m novels is that there is no physical relationship in this one. It's first and foremost about Jericho Crewe coming back home because he thinks he's father's had a bad fall and he's planning on finding someone to care for him so he can get back to his new life in L.A. Upon his arrival, he realizes that his dad is actually dead and his old friend, and more, Wade Granger is on the top of the suspect list as Wade and Jericho's father did illegal dealings together.

Jericho also learns his father remarried and has two other kids, and they are definitely in danger, meaning Jericho has to stick around and try and keep them safe. He also works with Wade, and another old friend - and new sheriff- to figure out just what happened to his father and why. It's a bit of a mystery, full of suspense and intrigue. It's also about going home to a place you wanted to run away from and wondering if things have changed enough to stay. It's about old friends, and old loves, and trying to make things work. Like I said before, there is no physical relationship, but I have a feeling that might change a bit in the sequel.

Long Shadows is a quick, enjoyable read!

I'm an Amazon Associate, so I get a small percent if you buy from them. Check out Long Shadows here

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Off Base by Annabeth Albert

Off Base by Annabeth Albert

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryAfter trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike's flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike's arrival would spark from Zack's teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can't refuse.

Pike Reynolds knows there won't be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He's an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he's had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can't risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack.

Living with Pike crumbles Zack's restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn't know how to be the man Pike deserves.

Review: If you've read the #gaymers series by Albert, then this book starts off essentially where the last one in that series ended. Off Base starts the new Out of Uniform series, but the couple from the last #gaymers novel does appear in Off Base. I really like how the author created a new series but connected to a previous one, especially since I really loved that series.

As for Off Base, I really enjoyed it too and I can't wait to see what the second book, At Attention, brings. Off Base follows navy SEAL Zack and new professor Pike. These two have known each other for awhile, as their respective best friends are dating. However, while Pike has always had a crush on Zack, he wasn't sure if he was gay for awhile. Plus, Zack didn't really hide that he wasn't much of a fan of Pike. This is mostly due to Pike's forward nature and flirting. While Zack is a hard-working guy and loves his friends, he's hiding his sexuality due to a very conservative and religious family. His brother is a screw up, so his parents are always commenting on getting one son right. Zack knows they won't still think that way if he ever comes out.

While I understood Zack's reason for staying in the closet, sometimes I did want him to think of himself more often. Regardless, you have to love him. Pike too, as he's a really patient guy who wants to show Zack love that he hasn't received from anyone else. The two end up being roommates before anything romantic occurs, and that's how they got to know each other better, and I loved that.

Definitely recommend!

I'm an Amazon Associate, so if you want to get the book from Amazon, I'll get a small percent. Check it out here

Monday, January 16, 2017

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Review by Lauren

source: copy from BEA16; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryWhen Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

Review: When I read Adam Silvera's debut novel, More Happy Than Not, I knew I'd found a new favorite author. After checking out his sophomore effort, I am happy to say that I wasn't wrong. Adam is still very much one of my favorite authors. I love that he shares stories that may follow under the LGBT+ umbrella, but they are always so much more than that.

In History is All You Left Me, the book is told in Griffin's point of view. There are chapters marked Today and chapters marked History. Today takes place in 2016 and follows Griff's life after learning that his ex-boyfriend, Theo, has died. He might have been broken up with Theo, but he always imagined them getting back together in the long run. For Griff, him and Theo were end game. The History chapters chronicle various moments before Theo's death, starting with the two of them admitting they like one another as more than just best friends.

This book is why I love contemporary fiction. There are tough issues dealt with, like watching your first love get a new boyfriend, death and learning to go on, but it's also a story of empathy and friendship. Trying to move on from Theo's death, Griff finds himself getting closer to Theo's boyfriend, Jackson. Griff lives in New York and Jackson is in town from California. It makes sense that they would end up in each other's lives, though they fought it when Theo was alive. These are the only two people that loved Theo in the same way and while one was a current boyfriend and the other was an ex, they are still hurting in much the same way. While I liked how they were able to help each other, I also knew it couldn't last. Griff needed to get help beyond Jackson and he couldn't keep pushing away people, especially his and Theo's other friend, Wade, who was left to grieve on his own.

Another aspect of this book was Griff's OCD and it was handled really well. I liked that it showed that not all people who have OCD end up doing or obsessing over the same things. Griff calls it his quirks, as he's not entirely sure in the beginning what it means. He feels like he's going crazy, always wanting even numbers, unless it's an odd number he can handle. He has to walk on the certain side of someone and he won't sit shotgun in a car.

I always appreciate when there are more to contemporary novels than just a romance or just this or just that. I think Silvera handled all of the topics and characters in this novel really well. Throughout the book, I thought that I really got to know the characters well. Everyone felt fully-formed, even the secondary characters, and I appreciated that. It all felt real and brought the story together.

I can't wait for more from Silvera, and I highly recommend History Is All You Left Me!

History Is All You Left Me comes out tomorrow and you can check it out on Amazon now (I'm an amazon associate, I get a small percent if you buy from my link).

Friday, January 13, 2017

Happy Friday: Goodreads Giveaway of Queens of Geek

Hello everyone! I'm so excited it's are you spending this Friday the 13th?

I thought I'd share some current LGBT+ book giveaways on Goodreads, but I could only find one. Regardless, I want people to have a chance to check it out, so here we go ! If this isn't open to your country, still check it out and see if you want to add it to your to-read list.

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Enter to win

Open to US only

Official SummaryWhen BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Jason Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Due Out: March 14, 2017

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Etsy Pride: Picture Frame + Bookmark

When I asked at the end of the year, nobody seem opposed to having more Etsy Pride posts. I hadn't done one in awhile, so why not kick off the new year right?

Rainbow Picture, Picture Frame, Frames, Photo Frame, Rainbow Pride, Rainbow Gifts, Rainbow Decor, Rainbow Glitter, Summer 2016, ROYGBIV

Buy it from Reidefy 

Shop based in the U.S.

LOVE IS LOVE Bookmarks - Lin-Manuel Miranda Quote with Rainbow Pride Flag Ribbon!

Buy it from Mark Your Book

Shop based in the U.S. 

There you have it! The first Etsy Pride of 2017. Please let met know if you want more of these. One is a slightly more pricey item, and the other is quite cheap. I love them both though and they are perfect whether you identify as LGBT+ or not! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year: LGBT+ Book Reviews Around the Blogosphere

I'm back with some LGBT+ book reviews I've seen around the blog world. Remember, if you want me to include your link in a future round up, let me know!

In Bed With Books reviewed The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

Diva BookNerd reviewed The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis

Metaphors and Moonlight reviewed Whispers of Old Winds by George Seaton

Unconventional Book Views reviewed Cowboys Don't Come Out by Tara Lain

With Love for Books reviewed Freckles by Amy Lane

Bibliobibuli YA reviewed Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz