Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Synopsis: "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 Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be cojnmpromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. 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: I always say things like I recommend this book to everyone, and I do mean it, BUT this book is THE book I think everyone needs to read. It is not just a "coming out" book, it is a book that really captures the teenage experience and something that just really resonated with me.
BLUE. Simon and Blue have this amazingly, natural, and realistic back and forth conversation that was so real it was beautiful. Fantasy romances are often fast paced and exciting, but this book has a more realistic example and that made it all the more touching and emotional to read.
The parent teenage relationship is also so realistically portrayed in this novel. It's not like other YA novels where parents never interrupt their crazy, adventurous teenager's lives. It's also not a perfect relationship of simply being best friend's with their children. It's real and raw and delves into the feelings of dislike between each other, but the love that still holds them all together.
This book should be read not only because it is a well-written book, but it is important. It covers LGBTQ topics of course, but also a lot of race and how even a person, who isn't considered a racist, can have some concerning racial thoughts, like simply assuming someone was white, just natural instincts and thoughts that being in this society has ingrained into us.
* on a lighter note, I LOVE golden retrievers so kudos to Bieber. (Simon's adorable golden retriever) Also love oreos, so I'm with you Simon.
Anyways, for all these reasons and many more that I can't even truly express in words, I would recommend picking up this book for a quick, yet life changing read. Now I'm off to go and see how the movie compares!
Cover: ★★★★☆ (Who cares though, the words are so much more important)
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Synopsis: "Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.
Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.
Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.
Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.
This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves."
Review: After the Grisha trilogy I fell in love with this world and this collection of the grisha fairytales has stolen my heart. I can't help but wish I grew up with stories like this. Leigh Bardugo actually made these stories pretty empowering, possibly even unintentionally, but it was a much appreciated change to the princess and fairy magic we got as little girls.
*I also HAVE to mention that the art is STUNNING and just such a beautiful flow that connected the story so well.
I loved each and every story but here's a quick idea of how I see it:
Amaya and the Thorn Woods
Cover: ★★★★★ (AND ALL THE BEAUTIFUL ART INSIDE)
* MILD SPOILERS IN QUOTES PROCEED WITH CAUTION*
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.