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Category Archives: Questioning

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

Rating: 5/5

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Themes: Verse, Prostitution, Drugs

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

[Learn More on Goodreads]

That… was a dark read. Beautiful in its own way, but heavy. You follow a set of teenagers who start off in vastly different places (some good, some bad) but all end up traveling down the road of prostitution due to desperation. Stuff like this actually happens and that is what makes it powerful. This threw me off because I had no idea what to expect – didn’t really muse over the title. Honestly, I just wanted to try a glbt friendly book in verse. Speaking of witch, the topic of sexuality was far more prominent than anticipated which was a pleasant surprise. The description is misleading because it only mentions one character is gay… but another main character is a lesbian and another questions his sexuality (comes off slightly bisexual with a strong preference for girls, even if it’s never confirmed). Not sure while they numbered them off incorrectly?

What I found interesting about this book is the amount of understanding it has. It shows the readers the draw to the darker things – what temps some and what pushes others. At first, I was a little concerned that the glorification of drugs, alcohol, and sex (referring to the unhealthy kind of course) and that it could be potentially influential, but it quickly proved itself as a warning. It shows the seriously ugly side of addiction and how easily these situations can turn bad, while ALSO proving credibility. These are lessons; almost like talking to a counselor who has been there and recovered. Someone who knows what it’s like. This method is far more effective at reaching people, especially those who need to hear it. Teen prostitution is unfortunately more common than we think, so the target audience is spot on. The book not only offers help, but spreads awareness. It says it cares and gets you caring as well. For this reason, I would definitely recommend it (assuming the individual can handle the content).

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Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Gay, GLBTQ, Lesbian, Questioning, Reviews

 

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Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz

Rating: 4/5

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy

Themes: Merfolk, Abuse, Supernatural

Queer Level: Questioning & Gay Main Characters; Straight Secondary Characters

[Learn More on Goodreads]

What a quirky, endearing, funny, original, devastating, frustrating, and oddly beautiful story this was. I loved it, but it also hurt. I was not expecting that. Still recovering.

Let’s start off with the good and healthy part of the relationship I had with this book: the unique flair. When you imagine merfolk I’ll bet you picture a beautiful creature with brilliant, colorful scales and flowing hair on a warm beach. That’s not Teeth. …And for some reason this makes it that much more lovable? The ocean around this island is cold and the merman is has dry, flaky, grey scales, is almost constantly bruised, and has creepy piranha teeth. The poor thing can’t even breathe under water. He also comes with so much attitude/personality that you would not expect right away. Nothing classy about him at all. I love how he learned to curse off the sailors and even picks up a few of Rudy’s habits (like nicknaming others “kiddo”). He was just too cute and I don’t think I’ll ever read about a similar character again. Reading from Rudy’s point of view was a lot of fun as his insight was strange, perceptive, and seemed random at times but was also very easy to follow (if that makes any sense). He had a really great voice and was able to pull other characters to life. Without his input, his brother Dylan would have just been a poor sick kid. Through Rudy’s devotion, you loved that adorable little thing as if he were your own blood. Very powerful writing.

However this book also sorta killed me a little inside. But even after it bruised my heart to a bloody pulp, I still have to give it a high rating because it stuck in my mind (though it would have been a 5 hands down if there was a different ending). I could not even eat dinner without wanting to end it early to go read more. For those who are interested, my only complaints are: [Highlight for spoilers: the unresolved romance. I need my gay boys to be in love for ever and ever. But they don’t even kiss or say, “I love you” once. It’s still obvious they do care, but… Gawd, I’m greedy, okay? I wanted more. A lot more – to a point where I had to double check the author’s comments at the end just to make sure their relationship was not just a figment of my gay-obsessed imagination. Hell, Rudy kisses Teeth’s sister more and UGGH. Bisexuality is fine (and actually preferred because love is not about gender), but he did not feel anything for her and was willing to risk his life to rescue Teeth. So why so little gay for a gay book?

The second complaint is the resolution (though this is highly tied to the first reason). I can’t handle the separation at the end with a higher probability that they will never see each other again. I needed Teeth to come back once things calmed down and everyone forgot about him. I needed Rudy to go out and find him because they were only complete when they were together. I wanted the romance, the “happily ever after”. My heart is broken. I’ve never done this with a story but I HAD to come up with my own resolution – when Rudy entertains the thought about going to Paris, I took that as, “I’ll never stop until I find him” because I needed that. I’m a sucker for closure.]

So all the frustration is out of love for the story and characters… but ouch. Sometimes caring can really backfire.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Gay, GLBTQ, Questioning, Reviews

 

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Proxy by Alex London

Rating: 5/5

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-fi

Themes: Poverty, Terrorism, Prejudice

Queer Level: Gay & Questioning Main Characters; Straight Secondary Characters

[Learn More on Goodreads]

I’m almost lost for words writing this review. It’s plain and simple: I loved this book. This is one of those stories that will stick with you for a long after it’s over. You’ll just have to trust me on this.

…Oh, fine. Here is my late-night attempt to articulate:

The plot gets moving fast, and once it starts it does not stop. The twists and turns made for quite a ride all the way to the end. It’s not predictable at all. There was some unexpected humor that caught me pleasantly off guard. It was cheeky and I loved it. But it also knew how and when to be serious. Very good balance and great use of contrast.

The setting and its politics were so wonderfully developed. The combination of the futuristic world of the upper class, the grungy lower class, and the dangerous wastelands surrounding the city is the best combination for dystopia. It is totally eye candy for the imagination.

The characters were quite original and I liked how each had their own drive guiding them. It rounded them out and justified their decisions. I worried a bit about Knox because he was a difficult character to like, but he eventually proved himself and grew on me. He’s worth tolerating. Syd is really what drives this book, though. He made the perfect protagonist. He was just so real and deserved so much better. Easy to root for. [Highlight for spoilers: I also adored Marie and her passion. The love triangle-ish-shape-thing that seemed to revolve around the three was quite entertaining too. The chemistry was strong and made for many amusing scenes!]

This is one book I’d happily read again and spread word on. Gonna smuggle it into as many recommendations as possible!

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2013 in Gay, GLBTQ, Questioning, Reviews

 

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