Hello everyone! Today I’m bringing you mini- reviews for three super fun books that I’ve read recently! All 3 have LGBTQ+ representation, and they are all highly recommended!
Click on the titles to add the books on Goodreads!
Title: Yes No Maybe So
Author: Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed
Rating: 4.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Content Warnings: Divorce, Xenophobia, Racism, Anti-Semitism, racist political policies
Jamie loves politics, so he is totally cool with volunteering for his local election- as long as he doesn’t have to interact with anyone. But, when his mother signs him up to ring doorbells with this cute girl from his childhood, Maya, he decides its time to take a chance. Maya has been having the worst Ramadan ever, so when she gets promised a car in return for political canvassing she agrees- although she starts to care about the issues more than she ever anticipated.
This was a cute book! I loved the dialogue throughout, and I appreciated reading about the characters’ experiences canvassing. Jamie was sweet, thoughtful, and it was fun to see him come out of his shell. Maya was sassy, amusing, and it was interesting to see how her issues with the Muslim laws played out during the book. I enjoyed seeing the different religions and family backgrounds come into play in this book, but many issues are glossed over. Many own voices reviewers have argued that this is a harmful, stereotypical Muslim representation, so be aware of that. Overall this was a fun book to read, and I really enjoyed watching the characters grow and learn throughout the novel! I recommend this book to anyone looking for a book that helps them understand political canvassing and elections but with an adorable love story throughout.
Title: The Fascinators
Author: Andrew Eliopulos
Rating: 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Content Warnings: homophobia, violence, drinking/ drugs
As Sam enters his senior year of high school, he is thrilled to have another year to do magic with his best friends- James and Delia. However, in a town where doing magic and having different sexualities is frowned upon, all three of these characters struggle with different issues fitting in and being happy. Sam has a crush on James that both boys refuse to discuss, and Delia is frustrated about their amateur magic club holding her back from bigger and better things after graduation. When James admits to getting into some trouble with a powerful magic group at a party, the three friends must band together to help him- but will they have the strength to stay together?
Wow, so this book was incredibly creative and fun to read! The whole magical system merging with the current world that we know was fascinating, although I really wish the book explained the magic more thoroughly. The villains were intriguing, and I loved the setup for the book- very dramatic and fun. That being said, I wish the plot was more thorough and emphasized solving the problem more as opposed to focusing on the characters’ relationships. I usually don’t mind a weak plot with strong characters, but I felt like these characters were annoying and underdeveloped– and the plot had a lot of potential! I loved the little love triangle going on throughout the book- you’ll have to see if you ship Sam more with Denver or James. Overall, this was an interesting book that fell flat a little for me- although I do see potential for a sequel which might help wrap things up! I recommend this book for anyone looking to read a LGBTQ+ love story with magic, sweet relationships, and high school drama.
Title: Only Mostly Devastated
Author: Sophie Gonzales
Rating: 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Content Warnings: homophobic jokes, death, alcohol/ drugs
When visiting his sick aunt across the country, Ollie has the best, most romantic summer fling that he has ever had. Sparks fly in this summer romance, but at the end of the summer, Will stops texting Ollie back and the boys expect to be parted. But with his aunt’s health declining, Ollie’s family decides to stay in the area and enroll Ollie in a brand new school for his senior year- which sucked until he realized that it’s the same school Will goes to. Expect that the sweet, thoughtful, queer guy Ollie knew over summer is not the same version of Will who attends school in his letterman jacket and laughs along to homophobic jokes with his basketball bros. Ollie doesn’t want a relationship with someone not ready to come out and be with him, but as Will starts to pop up in his life again, can he really stop the sparks from flying?
This boy-meets-boy spin off of Grease was incredibly entertaining! I enjoyed Ollie’s sweet, quiet, but also sassy character, and I’m really glad he found the group of girls to hang out with at school. The relationships in this book were really high school feeling which took me back, and it was a quirky, well written book! I both loved and hated Will for not committing to Ollie, but the love story was totally worth it! I wish the ending (with school and loves) wasn’t quite so happily ever after, all our problems are magically solved in a few pages, but that’s kind of how Grease works and I did really enjoy reading this book! The extra layer of Ollie’s sick aunt add a depth that I wasn’t prepared for, and I loved everything about this storyline. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I recommend it to anyone looking for an adorable, more thorough, queer retelling of Grease.
Thanks for reading! Have you read any of these books? What did you think about them? I’d love to discuss them and see Own Voices points of view! Let me know! 🙃
Be safe, stay strong, and change the world! ❤️🏳️🌈✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻🏳️🌈❤️