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Slaying Isidore’s Dragons by C. Kennedy

Rating: 3.5/5

Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Action

Themes: High School, Abuse

Queer Level: Gay Main Character, Gay & Straight Secondary Characters

[Learn More on Goodreads][Purchase on Dreamspinner Press]

I absolutely adore Cody Kennedy’s writing and respect the awareness theses stories promote. It provides teens a resource that targets extreme abuse …and that is beyond admirable. Slaying Isidore’s Dragons reminded me a lot of Omorphi, but that is a good thing because I really enjoyed that read. Both are action packed and focus on dark topics, while planting seeds of hope. It tells the reader they are not alone and that you can make it out strong, no matter how impossible things may look.

I have to admit that it took a while for Declan to grow on me. He is a very likable character in many, many ways …but how he handled Jessica caught me off guard. Her actions did not seem to warrant the cruel things said about her (not until she was pushed near the end, at least). It all could have been avoided if he was honest and patient with her, so it felt like misdirected resentment and kinda made him look sexist. The only females that got his respect were parental figures; the rest were snakes, hoes, and hussies. Luckily these comments were few and far between. And he was indeed capable of gentleness towards others. Though this trait combined with the premature love made me worried that his initial interest in Isidore was shallow. This changed as they faced new experiences together, but the way he handled Isidore was a little controlling and overprotective at times. This can make victims more dependent then help them believe in themselves. That being said, maybe that’s what Isidore needed? He was easy to sympathize with, so maybe I’m just being protective of him too?

Beyond that, Delcan was a sweet guy who would stop at nothing to keep his loved ones safe. I wish everyone had someone like him in their lives. So he did indeed grow on me, it just took time. I have a guarded heart when it comes to people/characters. (maybe paranoid is a better word? Hard to say, haha!)

As for the story, I really enjoyed the mystery elements; trying to find out who drugged the boys had me paying extra close attention to the characters. They all go through a lot of challenges, yet it was paced out nicely so it wasn’t too tense or stressful. There were a few repetitive moments (when the characters would relay events to others) and some details felt a touch exaggerated, but it kept things lively and interesting. I especially enjoyed the courtroom scenes – very reminiscent of Law and Order: SVU. It makes you thirsty for justice.

What really makes this book is Isidore himself. He is such a doll and you want nothing more then a happy home for him. I’d be perfectly content to read on and on about him within that sanctuary, feeling safe. He really deserved it.

All in all, this was a rewarding story!

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Posted by on April 12, 2015 in Gay, GLBTQ, Reviews

 

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Hero by Perry Moore

Rating: 3.5/5

Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary, Young Adult

Themes: Superheroes, Coming Out

Queer Level: Gay Main Character

[Learn More on Goodreads]

After being told for over two years to read this book, I finally gave it a try. Superheroes are not my cup of tea, generally, and I can say that after trying and trying again to develop a taste for the genre.

That being said… I enjoyed this book.

The characters were loveable, relatable, and emotional. Regular guys and gals with extraordinary talents—and in the end that’s what sold me on the story. The book is written in a very engaging and honest style, and I admire honesty in fiction. I admire the courage it takes to create—and admit to—imperfect characters, even and especially when they’re superhuman or protagonists or villains, but in a down-to-earth, unexaggerated way. Each had their own unique traits, flaws, and insecurities. The raw beauty of that alone made this an easier read for me than I expected.

There were moments where the storytelling felt a little slow on the draw; but that was due to natural tangents and, while it dropped the pace in an otherwise action-based narrative, it didn’t feel out of place. Otherwise, the first-person perspective makes this novel a casual, conversational read.

The main part of the novel also didn’t focus too heavily on romance, so if you are looking for a romantic read, this is not it. However, if you want a book with an openly gay character living his life and dealing with his identity outside of a relationship, look no further. That’s not to say there is no romance, it just isn’t what the story is about.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2014 in Gay, GLBTQ, Reviews

 

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Stay With Me by Kira Hawke

Rating: 5/5

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Short Story

Themes: Drama, Murder, Dark

Queer Level: Gay Main Character

[Learn More on Goodreads]

Logan is easy to empathize with. His thoughts are clear and cohesive—all things considered. This is a love at first sight story that left me convinced, and that had nothing to do with the ending. I won’t give anything away here. It’s short (2.6k words), it’s free (FREE), and I highly recommend you go ahead and read it for yourself.

What I will tell you is this:

Yes, this story made me cry. The pacing was well-done. The mood was right. The flow as plausible and believable as fiction can be. I held it together through most of the story… for some reason, my breakdown was slow and unforeseen and caught me off-guard. Maybe I am just emotionally squishy, but I know I wasn’t the only one to shed tears.

This is the kind of short story that, once all the drama is over, leaves you feeling cleansed. Like listening to a sad song or watching a dramatic movie; it stays with you, but when it’s over, so is the heartbreak. It pulls just enough to make you feel; but not so much that it becomes overwhelming or frustrating.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Gay, GLBTQ, Reviews

 

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Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling

Rating: 5/5

Genres: Fantasy, Action

Themes: Magic, Rogue, Aristocrat, War

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

[Learn More on Goodreads]

Oh lord, I could not summon enough praise for The Nightrunner. I honestly have never been more obsessed with a series before. It consistently had me at the edge of my seat and biting my nails with such vivid suspense. The characters are so honest and believable that you quickly grow attached to them and it makes you concerned for their safety. Even if you are not an emotional masochist, it has enough passionate content to make anyone giggle and blush. The relationship between the main characters, Seregil and Alec, is just so touching and at times silly, cute, or even dramatic. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but members of the GLBTTQ community in particular. And if that is not enough to keep you hooked, then the plot will have you up beyond sleeping hours.

The main character, Seregil í Korit Solun Meringil Bôkthersa, better known as Lord Seregil of Rhiminee, is a character who is as interesting and complex as his name sounds. Flewelling evidently put a keen amount of care and attention into the development of her protagonist. Although Seregil plays the hero in The Nightrunner series, he does not always act as such. His questionable morals have led him down the path of spying and thievery, though his heart is still true. He has a dark past but a charming personality that lures the readers to follow his every step. He is charismatic, quirky, and sharp. The depth behind him creates a well-rounded identity that is thoroughly composed. He so perfect and flawed all at once and I crave to know what he is going to do next. There is a certain unpredictability that keeps his actions fresh. It is a pleasure to join him on his journey for he makes for wonderful company and entertainment.

Rambling about my affections for this book is only the tip of the iceberg; to fully comprehend the perfection of this series, you must read it. The only thing I could think to complain about is how thirsty I am for more! So if you are not familiar with this book, do yourself the favor and pick it up. Flewelling provided us readers with the wonderful gift of sharing her imagination. It is quite inspiring! I can safely state this is, without a doubt, my favorite book.

Aristocrat

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2014 in Bisexual, Gay, GLBTQ, Reviews

 

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Hero by Perry Moore

Rating: 5/5

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy

Themes: Superheros, Coming of Age

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

[Learn More on Goodreads]

Hero is a captivating “fish out of water” story. You follow Thom Creed’s steps in discovering his powers, becoming a super hero, learning more about himself and those who are important in his life, and even discovering love and what it means to be gay. He must adapt to these changes while balancing the needs of his owns with the needs of others… which is not always an easy task.

The dynamics of Moore’s characters are interesting and the plot-line is punchy (no pun intended). This is the sort of book you will plough through in one sitting because it is that easy to get into. The author knew how to pace his scenes and hold the reader’s interest.

I absolutely adore the premises of this book; the idea is so fresh and edgy. I am not even that big of a super hero fan, but reading this book alone was enough to convert my interest. What I did not overly adore was the spouts of homophobia that some of the characters gave Thom, as realistic as it may be. The target is for teens, so I can see why they would touch on such subjects (hence why I did not let it affect my score) but I am a little tired of that reoccurring issue in gay novels. I would much prefer to embrace a world where gay people are just seen as normal people and focus on other things. That being said, I find it hard to cross any other flaws. It could be predictable at points, but in a more rewarding way where you cheer and go “yeah, I figured it out!”

This novel is just a bundle of fun. Stuck on my mind for a long time after reading it.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Gay, GLBTQ, Reviews

 

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