Mini Reviews or “Give me all the Lesbians!”

I read some LGBTQ+ (or rather only L) books recently and thought I’d compile my thoughts about them in a batch of mini reviews.

Without any further ado – let’s get started!

 

#1: “Keeping you a Secret” by Julie Anne Peters

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Rating: 4/5

Oh man, this book! It hit very close to home. I was bawling all through the last quarter of it. This book has a lot of love, but also equally as much hate. It’s not your typical coming of age story, rather it’s a story about finding yourself without even realising you were looking.

We have our main character Holland, who seems like she leads the perfect life. She is student body president, an average A-student, has the “perfect” boyfriend and a doting yet sometimes overprotective mother. And then she glimpses the new girl Cece in her locker mirror and – however cliché that might sound – her life gets turned upside down.

I finished this book in one sitting, reading until 3am not being able to put it down. And even after I finished it, I lay awake for quite a while thinking about it. On top of the great story the writing was absolutely beautiful and I highly recommend you pick this one up! Like, now!

 

#2: “Landing” by Emma Donoghue

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Rating: 3/5

We have Sile (pronounced Sheila, which all throughout the book I constantly forgot so I always pronounced it wrong, but hey – whatever…) who enjoys the big city life in Dublin, Ireland and is a 39-year-old Indian-Irish flight attendant. And then we have Jude, who lives in very rural Ireland, Ontario and is a 25-year-old historian working in the tiny towns museum and has never been in a plane. The one time she does get on one the two women’s paths cross over the Atlantic and the lives of these two completely contrary beings are changed in unexpected ways.

I went into this book with mixed expectations, because I’ve read very mixed reviews. Some hated it and some loved it. I ended up finding it ok.

This part could get spoilery, since I’m summing up the entirety of the plot so be warned! Although there’s not really a lot to spoil since this was a really predictable read.

It was quite a nice story in the beginning, but when I reached the halfway-point of the book, the two ladies had already consummated their relationship, which left me wondering where this was going. I was expecting full on lesbian drama, with break-ups and getting back together and more break-ups and maybe some intense fighting. However it turned out to be a rather detailed and therefore sadly rather dull narration of a long-distance relationship. What bothered me the most about this read was that the resolution of this story was so obvious that I got pretty furious about how much time it took for the main characters to figure out the solution to their problem.

All in all it was a well-written book, but sadly very uneventful and like I mentioned at times even a bit boring.

P.s.: Still madly in love with Emma Donoghue though! You should check out “Stir-Fry” by her, which also is an excellent story by her!

 

#3: “Ash” by Malinda Lo

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Rating: 4/5

This is a fairy tale re-telling of Cinderella, which at first immediately turned me off of reading it, because I’m not a big fan of Cinderella. However, I heard nothing but good things about Malinda Lo so I decided to give it a go (I made a rhyme! 😜). And holy crap – I LOVED IT! While “Keeping you a Secret” and “Landing” were very easy and conversational reads, this one requires a bit more involvement from the reader. It’s difficult to read at all, but it’s also not a book you can just simply skim on the surface. The writing is very lyrical and eloquent, and at times very haunting.

We probably all know the storyline of Cinderella so I don’t think I have to get into much detail about the basic happenings.

There are of course major differences. Instead of a fairy godmother we have a fairy godfather named Sidhean (kind of a creepy dude). Instead of the prince as the love interest, we have the King’s Huntress named Kaisa (*swooningly fans air* 😍). And we take a very close look into the faerie world and its inhabitants, which – apart from Kaisa – I loved the most about this read!

Lo managed to re-create this story and turn it into something completely unique and entirely her own. I hate to see this book labelled as “just a lesbian retelling of Cinderella” because it’s so much more than that. A very beautiful book, which I highly recommend!

 

#4: “That Certain Something” by Clare Asthon

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Rating: 3/5

My initial thoughts when I finished this were “man this was disgustingly fluffy!” Which is not at all a bad thing! It’s basically your typical sweet rom-com with loveable characters.

The plot is quickly explained: We have quirky Pia who falls madly in love with glamorous Cate after spending one wild, crazy and romantic night with her. Ashton writes the story that unfolds between the two very different ladies with squire some team and also a healthy serving of humour. We get a wonderful and highly entertaining cast of characters, my favourite being Pia’s foul-mouthed and brutally honest editor Ed. She has the most amazing one-liners, which made me burst out laughing many times!

All in all a highly enjoyable and very witty romance, which I recommend to everybody who just wants to kick back and relax and have a good long laugh!

 

#5: “Twixt” by Sarah Diemer

Rating: 4/5

I read “The Dark Wife” by Sarah Diemer not long ago and it immediately turned into one of my favourite reads of all time so my expectations for this book were extremely high! And I was not disappointed!

The story starts out as a complete mystery and over the course of the book we are gradually fed all the pieces of the puzzle until we reach a twist in the end that was incredible (although admittedly I saw it coming for some time, but it was a great plot development none the less!). And that is all I’m going to say about this book. I went into it blind and that’s how I would recommend you do it too!

The whole book has a very tense and foreboding atmosphere and at times it gets very chilling and creepy. As with “The Dark Wife”, the characters are not simply black or white but wonderfully human and the writing style is very lyrical and beautiful. Easily one of the best paranormal reads out there, and in my opinion it can be read and thoroughly appreciated even well beyond the book’s intended YA readership.

 

And this marks the end of my review mash up.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! ❤️

 

— Alina xx

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