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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Pantomime by Laura Lam

Rating: 5/5

Genres: Young Adult, Gaslamp Fantasy

Themes: Circus, Aristocrat, Theater

Queer Level: Intersex & Bisexual Main Character; Gay, Lesbian & Straight Secondary Characters

[Learn More on Goodreads]

This was a fantastic read full of so many themes I’m passionate about; gender identity, sexual orientation, the circus, high society, ancient mythology, AND all within a fantasy setting. It had my imagination running nonstop. Not only did this book make me crave visiting a circus, but it also fulfilled that desire through vivid descriptions from the perspective of the audience and from behind the scenes.

The plot deals with hidden identities, secrets, love, lies… what more could you ask for? I loved the contrast of Gene’s struggles as a high class lady and Micah’s trials as a rising performer on the run. There was always something interesting going on that kept me from being capable of putting it down (or eating and sleeping).

There were many things to admire in this story, but I adored the cast the most. Micah/Gene made a great main character and I found him/her relatable on so many levels. His/her voice and opinions were convincing so I found myself equally drawn those he/she cared about. But the connection goes beyond that; I have read many books where I relate to character’s personalities but I haven’t met my match when it came to gender identity. Not until now. I may not be intersex, but I am genderqueer so it was a very pleasant surprise to cross a character that embraced both male and female qualities (and at times questioned these labels). Its books like these that prove the world is changing – that people like us can be accepted, represented, and hopefully understood.

I was recommending this book before I’d even finished, and -now that I have- the craze will only increase. Really looking forward to the next volume …and just about anything this author will come out with! She is one I’ll be keeping a watch on.

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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Bisexual, Gay, GLBTQ, Intersex, Lesbian, Reviews

 

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The Witch Sea by Sarah Diemer

Rating: 4/5

Genres: Fantasy, Short Story

Themes: Magic, Freedom, Gods

Queer Level: Lesbian Main Characters

[Learn More on Goodreads]

This story was so beautiful and heartwarming that I’ve caught myself rereading it on more than one occasion. From the language to the setting to the overall theme, there is no doubt in my mind that the characters were developed far beyond what we see in the story itself.

The conflict and resolution are well-balanced, great for someone looking for a story that’s both evocative and a quick read. It deals with a lot of issues from loneliness to familial ties and loyalty, expectations, duty, and what the main character really wants out of her life. Although a short story, Sarah Diemer does an excellent job selling the romance between the two main characters, Meriel and Nor. There are enough touching moments to make their relationship feel absolutely authentic.

The situation, although fantasy-based and revolving around the curse, triggers emotions and reactions in the characters that are easy to relate with—Meriel’s loneliness, expressed through such a strong voice, was made all the more penetrating. Since the story was written from her perspective, readers get to know her intimately; her tone is vibrant and her motives are introduced clearly.

As for Nor—the love interest—she is the cutest thing in the history of… ever. She’s sweet and innocent without being too sugary, and acts as the ideal support for Meriel. Though at first there is an underlying purpose to Nor’s visits, she eventually comes just to spend time with the other girl.

All in all, I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a sweet, genuine story of self-exploration. It’s definitely one of my favourites.

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in GLBTQ, Lesbian, Reviews

 

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Omorphi by C. Kennedy

Rating: 5/5

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Action

Themes: High School, Abuse, Bullying

Queer Level: Gay & Queer Main Characters; Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Straight Secondary Characters

[Learn More on Goodreads]

What an exciting, heartbreaking, powerful, and motivating story this turned out to be! Omorphi a long one, but it’s so consumable and I’d happily read hundreds of pages more if given the opportunity. This story is guaranteed to pull at your emotions while it boldly tackles the heavy topic of abuse …yet is surprisingly hopeful, despite this.

The tension and drama build up as details are revealed. It sort of plays out like a mystery in a way. …It certainly has the depth of one! The foundation is strong and the results make for a gripping read. The information itself is paced out very evenly – enough that you are constantly asking questions but not so deprived to make you feel like you are left in the dark. Honestly, the climax had me so involved that my heart was literally racing for the last fifty pages or so! A lot of scenes had this effect on me. There are many frustrating points that made me want to flip tables, but it is supposed to make you mad; if the content doesn’t bother you then I don’t know what will. It has a cause and important messages. Highly recommended to those fond of hurt/comfort situations and those sadistic readers who want characters bleeding all over the pages!

The characters appeased me on so many levels. First of all; the entire spectrum of queer is represented from gay, lesbian, straight, transgender, to bi-curious… hell, there was even an intersex baby! It is rare to hit all in one book. What a treat! Second; C. Kennedy is exceptionally talented at handling victimized characters that you adore and sympathize with, yet still have the motivation to move forward and heal. It gives hope to fellow victims and empathy to readers who may know someone. And third; the romance was just so freakin’ cute. And there was a lot of it! These boys had me smiling so much. Michael -the main character- was the ideal boyfriend for poor Christy since he was such a tender and caring person who would tolerate anything to keep him safe. He embraced and encouraged Christy’s femininity with such ease too. He and his best friend Jake earned so much of my respect whenever they’d stand up against homophobia and speak out. The world needs more people like them.

Most importantly: this book is incredibly valuable because Christy’s case of abuse was very extreme, so it provides a lot of resources for many related situations and can act as a manual to handle them.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2013 in Gay, GLBTQ, Lesbian, Queer, Reviews, Transgender

 

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