Tag Archives: YA

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: 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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M or F? by Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbetts

Rating: 5/5

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humor

Themes: High School, Instant Messaging

Queer Level: Gay Main Characters, Straight Main Characters

[Learn More on Goodreads]

Cute. What an endearing incident to read about! This has to be one of my favourite YA GLBT reads, ever. It’s sweet, right to-the-point, and funny in the best possible way. I was expecting something seriously dramatic/possibly friendship-killing when I first read the description; and while there were low points in the story (low mood-wise, I mean), it was not at the tragic level commonly seen in comedy. There were no tears; but there were some moments of empathy—worry and concern. My moods moved quite well alongside those of the cast. There was a resolution to everything, for everyone. Being a hopeless romantic, this fit the bill quite nicely. There’s a happily-ever-after ending that left me supporting all of the couples in the story: Frannie’s and Marcus’.

The characters in this book were good-natured and strongly developed, making for a fun read all the way from one cover to the other. And—though a tiny book—it took some unexpectedly pleasant turns.

As much as I would love to get into more details, it would give too much away! Just read it. It’s short, and so worth the time.

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


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The Culling by Steven dos Santos

Rating: 5/5

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

Themes: Survival, Training, Competition

Queer Level: Gay Main Characters; Straight Secondary Characters

[Learn More on Goodreads]

This is a really impressive book. Extremely engaging. I usually take my time to read, but I physically could not stop. It has not left my mind since I picked it up and I doubt it will for a long time after. This is exactly the kind of book that I’ve been looking for all this time. By that I’m referring to the rare genre (teen m/m dystopia – this has to become a thing) AND in terms of enjoyment level. It’s an amazing feeling to be untied with a favourite book.

Stylistically, the writing was well-crafted. Every paragraph serves a purpose. It holds your attention and was easy to read. The plot can get you mad, but it’s supposed to. The sadistic action is well paced and balanced out with character development. They were an interesting cast; the characters I loved proved I was drawn to them for a reason. Then there were a bundle who completely turned the tables during the duration of the story. It was unpredictable yet naturally – so even when you pull the plug on someone, you can still see how they became the way they did and can’t blame them entirely for their downfalls.

I found the ending frustrating beyond belief… but only because it evoked emotion and got me to care that strongly. So -as much as I want to throw the book across the room and hound the release date for the next volume- I believe this is a good thing? Hahaha. I just have an inkling that this is probably what the writer wanted. [Highlight for spoilers: One single question is left ambiguous -we never saw Digory die, so is there a chance he lives? Really hope that he made it, especially since the romance was young, enjoyable, and oh so cute. We must wait for the next book for answers; suffer as Lucky does and feel a fraction of his torment. His drive. His new motive to fight. A bit of comfort is that if the writer really wanted to kill Digory off, he’d likely do so in a way that would have you sobbing for weeks (because he can obviously pull emotional strings as tightly he pleases) …Maybe I’m just in denial? *sob*]

Now let’s take a moment and address the concerns regarding the similarities to the Hunger Games. I received this warning before reading, but I’m glad to have both ignored them and kept them in mind at the same time (to compare it without being taken off guard). In my opinion, it only sounds similar but the experiences are so vastly different that the small details are forgivable. I’d list off the differences if I had the time and would not spoil 90% of the book. It would be easier to read it. It very well could have been an inspiration, but they are not the same story at all.

Any-who, I’ll be smuggling this title into as many recommendations as I can. Pretty excited to talk about it with friends!

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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Gay, GLBTQ, Reviews


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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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