REVIEW / Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire / Mystery, Crime, Witches, Paranormal…

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Summary

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else. But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter. No matter the cost.

Things I Liked:

  • truly delightful
  • a really fast paced, intriguing plot
  • a lot of interesting themes going on – witchery, magic, hidden doors, asexuality, all sorts
  • oh, the asexual representation, I really really loved that
  • amazing diversity and representation and not just asexuality – there was also a trans man, and diverse enthnities)
  • it…actually managed to live up to the hype? which I feel like not many books are capable of doing
  • It’s really unique to most things that I’ve read before so it stands out a lot
  • super gruesome and creepy which I was not expecting from this, but it turned out to be a nice surprise because I do love paranormal thrillers and horrors so it was exactly my cup of tea

Things I Didn’t Like:

  • I wanted to know the characters more in depth and to have more character development and arcs
  • if the story was longer because then we could go more into depth about things like world building
  • It’s very predictable, but I knew that would probably be the case as I’m nearly in my mid twenties and this was written for teenagers

 

I listened to this on audiobook and finished it in a day (for an audiobook, that’s extremely fast, even if it is a short book) and ended up giving it four out of five stars. It was a delightful read, and I’m so excited to get through the rest of the series. I really hope the characters are developed more in future novels, and that maybe they’ll increase in length as well, and that we get to know more about the world as these are really my only criticisms. Plus, being asexual myself, I really apprechiated the representation.

Until next time,

A.W

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Books Ft Aromantic or Asexual Characters!

demisexual

Aromantic and asexual people get a lot of negative attention during Pride Month from both the non-LGBT people and the LGBT alike. So, in order to shed some light for them (well, I’m asexual, so for me too), here are some asexual and aromantic book recs that I feel like we can all enjoy!:

Radio Silence
Alice Oseman

This one features a gay, demisexual (yay, my identity!!) major side character with depression. As an add on, it also includes a bisexual and biracial MC, and a gay English/Korean side character, a lesbian side character and an Indian side character. You may have noticed this book was in my all time favourites in my queer book category, but it is also one of my favourite books of all time ever – do yourself a favour and read this one!

Baker Thief
Claudie Arseneault

This one features a bigender aromantic (and alloace) fat MC and a demisexual MC, which also has a queerplatonic relationship and several queer side characters which include nonbinary, aromantic, trans and other queer characters. I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my queer TBR on Amazon and has been for a while, but eventually I do plan on getting around to this one.

Chameleon Moon
RoAnna Sylver

This one features a polyam asexual main character with anxiety. There is also a main charecter that is transgender and polyam, a queer polyam disabled woman of colour, a polyam nonbinary character, depression, another nonbinary side character, and PTSD rep. The polyam relationships are f/f/f and M/NB/M. RoAnna happens to be a friend of mine, but I’ve had this book for a long long time and I still haven’t read it – I do plan on getting around to it at some point, though

The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me
Olivia Hinebaugh

The main character is a biromantic asexual. I believe this one also talks about safety in sex, and about music which I find interesting personally! I’ve added this one to my TBR during research for this book post, and I’m already excited for it.

Birthday
Meredith Russo

I’m just going to say that the first thing I noticed about this one was that it was written by the same person who published IF I WAS YOUR GIRL which is on my queer favourites blog post, as well! I have an instant interest in this because of that. The main character is transgender who is a questioning aromantic/asexual with depression.

If It Makes You Happy
Claire Kann

This author, I believe, has published a couple other asexual/aromantic books as well as I believe the author themselves are asexual/aromantic, possibly? But don’t quote me on that because I’m not sure if it’s true. The main character is black, fat and asexual. There are also other queerplatonic relationships.

The Gentleman’s Guice to Vice and Virtue
Mackenzie Lee

I’m sure you’ve heard of this one, as everyone has by now! It’s a very popular book, although I know the author has been known to be problematic but I can’t remember why at the moment. The major side character is aromantic and asexual, and they are the MC in the sequel. There’s also an MC who is black and bisexual, and a major side character with a neurological disorder who is gay/bisexual, a m/m romance and a sapphic Muslim side character)

Tash Hearts Tolstoy
Kathryn Ormsbee

The main character is asexual, but I haven’t heard about any of the other representation because I haven’t read this one yet. It’s on my TBR, and it’s also on my asexual post that I wrote before I deleted it and rewrote it. It absolutely sounds like my sort of thing.

Let’s Talk About Love
Claire Kann

Yes, here she is again!! This one has a black biromantic asexual main character in a f/f romance. The love interest is Japanese and there are also Latinx and Flipino side characters.

Immoral Code
Lillian Clark

The main character is aromantic and asexual. There is also a Mexican- American main character and a Japanese-American main character.

Sawkill Girls
Claire Legrand

This features a black, bisexual and asexual main character as well as a bisexual main character, an abuse survivor, a lesbian and a f/f romance

Summer Blue Bird
Akemi Dawn

This includes someone who is on the aromantic and asexual spectrum who is also a questioning biracial character. There are also biracial side and minor characters.

 

If you have any other books featuring aromantic and asexual characters, then please do let me know! I’m always looking for more.

A.W

Misconceptions About my Identities – Gay, Transgender, Demisexual

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Hello! Welcome to my second post of Pride Month. As I said in my last post, I was originally going to reccomend books on each identity in the queer community but I was insecure about my choices, so I’m doing this instead which is a bit more personal anyway! I got this idea from this post.

Identity One: Demisexual

demisexual

Demisexuality is only being able to form a sexual attraction to someone if you have a strong emotional connection to them. This is most common in romantic relationships, but it can be formed within any relationship.

A common misconception I get is “isn’t that just like every relationship?” and a short answer would be that no, it isn’t. Although if you really identify with the demisexual label, the chances are you may be demisexual yourself but that’s up to you to decide on whether or not you want to be labelled like that.

Another common misconception is that we will feel sexual attraction towards our partner. There is no gurantee of this happening. Although in my case, it did, because I’ve never had such a strong emotional connection before, this isn’t the case for every demisexual.

We can still have sex with no sexual attraction. This is common among asexuals, as well. Some of us do it just because everyone else is, or because we want to even when there is no attraction is there. Some of us don’t want to have sex which can include trauma or religious reasons.

Because demisexual can feel like we’re “in the middle” (much like I did when I identified as bisexual), we get a lot of flack from both asexual people and sexual people. This is usually for things like “not picking a side” or because it “doesn’t really count” as a sexuality, because sometimes we can have sexual relationships with sexual attraction – much like how bisexuals get flack for being bisexual and dating someone of an opposite gender

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Identity Two: Gay

I think I can just jump right in with this one and say that, whenever I’ve come out as gay to someone, they always assume that means I’m attracted to everyone. I get confused when people think this, because straight people aren’t attracted to everything that breathes so why would we?

We don’t only come out once – this is something we have to do constantly throughout our life, thanks to the assumptions people make about us in thinking we are straight without asking us and especially if we don’t show stereotypical “gay” behaviours.

Another one is that, in a relationship, one of us is “male” and the other one is “female”. In my relationship with Kai, we both play the role of being non-binary because we’re both non-binary transgender. There is no male one and no female one. I think to think otherwise would be homophobic because it lies on the assumption that straight is the default.

Also, just because same sex marriage has been legalized in some countries does not mean that homophobia doesn’t exist. We cope with it nearly everyday, in some places more severe than others.

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Identity Three: Transgender/Non-Binary

This one, I tend not to talk about much because I’m so afraid my family and real life friends won’t accept me or will say hurtful/harmful things about my identity. They’re not as into reading as I am, though, so here’s hoping they never got this far if they have found my blog – if they did, hello, and lets never mention this again

There’s a misconception that we all want surgery and, personally, I do not. I’m not happy with my apperance so plastic surgery I’d accept, but not surgery relating to my gender. I don’t want to be the “opposite gender”, but I’m not a woman, I am non-binary. I don’t want to be andronynous (or however you spell that…) either, I just want to be me and I want to do that without having to prove anything.

There’s also this misconception that if a trans person is AFAB but is into women, they’ll make themselves a transgender male/masculine non-binary as a result of that which is wrong. You’re attracted to whoever you’re attracted to, and your sexuality and gender are not intertwined with one another. They are seperate identities.

There’s a lot of assumptions that you have to be either male or female to be transgender, and a lot of people make fun of how there are genders inbetween just like me. Sometimes, I feel like I’d be slightly more accepted if I was a binary trans gender rather than a non-binary one (although I’ll never really know, because I’m not a binary trans gender)

There’s a myth that we are just snowflakes or we are wanting to follow a trend or do what everyone around us is doing. This is untrue, this is really who we are and it’s not because we are “social justice warriors” or because it’s what our close friends are doing.

There’s also that misconception that our pronouns are ridiculous. In many languages, they include pronouns other than feminine and masculine pronouns. After a little learning and incorperating it into your everyday language, it’ll become easier.

 

There’s so much more than I could add to this, but I feel like it’s already so long as it is so I’ll just leave it here for now. I may make more specific and detailed posts in the future about misconceptions of my identities but, for now, this is what I have! What are some of the misconceptions you get from your identities?

A.W

Pride Month #1 – My Identities

gay flag

Hello!! It’s Pride Month!! I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now, and originally I had planned to reccomend books on different identities (asexual, aromantic, polyam, intersex, transgender, etc…) but I felt so insecure about my decisions that I deleted them all and instead I’m doing some queer related posts throughout June. I got a lot of the ideas from this post.

The original one was to talk about coming out but either I never came out or people just found out so instead of that one, I’m going to talk about what my identities are.

asexual flag 2

First is my asexuality! More specifically, I’m demisexual. This is someone that does not experiance sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone, most commonly seen in romantic relationships but this isn’t the only type of relationship it can be found in.

I discovered this when I started dating my current partner, Kai. I’ve never experianced sexual attraction in a romantic relationship before. Kai is my whole world, and I’ve never connected to anyone like this before. When Kai didn’t exist to me (what a horrifying memory), I just thought I was asexual and I discovered this when I was sixteen. Everyone else has sexually charged relationships, and I never understood the attraction.

queer disability

My next identity would be that I’m gay. I’m using this flag because I’m also disabled, but not physically (aside from my unknown chronic illness causing fatigue). My mental disabilities are autism and being mentally ill.

I’m not attracted to cis men. I’m only really attracted to Kai but if they weren’t in my life (God forbid) then I have the potential to be attracted to anyone, really, but cis men have caused me so much trauma in my past that it would be hard to emotionally connect and trust another cis man ever again.

I called myself bisexual since I was fifteen, but for the past few months I’ve changed the label to gay because I personally think it fits more than bisexual.

trans flag

My last identity is that I’m non-binary, which I only came to understand last year. A majority of my close friends are also non-binary, and they spoke about how they came to understand their own gender. I realized that I felt the same way, and this eye opener has helped my mental health so much.

 

I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything but these are all my queer identities! And a little bit about how I discovered these identities. What are your identities?

A.W