This post has been a long time coming. I participated in #ReadProud in June, hosted by Julia Ember, and completed the gold level, which was to read two books in each category. One of the requirements for the challenge was to write a review for each book. I posted short reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, but never got around to sharing them here! There are eight total so I’m sharing the first four reviews today and the final four next week.
This was one of my favorite reading challenges I’ve participated in. I discovered so many great new books, and got lots of suggestions from what others were reading too. AND I won the gold level prize, a $100 Amazon gift card!! I finally used the gift card last week, and as soon as the last book I’m waiting for arrives, I’ll be posting a haul to show off all the great books I picked out.
Category A: TRANS YA
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
I read this entire book in one sitting and I don’t do that with books very often, so that should tell you something right off the bat. I was so excited to read a trans book by a trans author (and with a trans cover model!), and it didn’t disappoint. I loved Amanda, the main character, and the secondary characters were all written well too. I really appreciated that Amanda’s parents were both part of the story and we got to learn about their reactions and how they dealt with Amanda’s transition, but this was still primarily Amanda’s story and the book was centered around her and how she was coping being stealth at a new school. I loved it from the dedication all the way through to the great author’s note at the end. I’m definitely adding this one to my list of LGBTQIA recs for friends.
CATEGORY B: GAY CONTEMPORARY, NA or ADULT
The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic
It took me a long time to get into this, and I almost DNFed it at one point but I’m so glad I kept reading. It got so much better and now I’m really invested in these characters. I understand now why so many people binge read the entire trilogy in a day.
I’m usually not a fan of dark books, so I was really hesitant to pick this one up. If I hadn’t seen so much praise for it from friends, I probably would have passed right over it. The characters all have such complex backstories and relationships with each other, and we’re only just beginning to learn more about them. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
I had to knock down a star because the use of the r word multiple times was really hard for me to read.
Category A: LESBIAN SPECULATIVE
The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
I loved this world! The reckoners were fascinating and I found all the details about their growth and training to be so interesting. The romance was incredible, especially because the power imbalance was brought up and addressed from the very beginning. I’d love to get a backstory for the captain too. Her character didn’t have much depth and I really want to know more about her. I can’t wait to see what’s in store next for Cas, Swift, and the Minnow crew.
Category B: LGBTQ Middle Grade or Younger
George by Alex Gino
This was a really quick read and I loved it! George is such an important character. She’s so sure of her identity from page one, and I loved her inner voice. George’s best friend Kelly is so understanding and supportive. I also really loved George’s brother, and I wish we’d seen more from him. My only complaint about this book is that I didn’t want it to end. I hope George finds its way onto all public and school library shelves. This is a really important read for young people and adults alike.
Did you participate in #ReadProud? What is your favorite LGBTQIA+ book?