My Top Ten All-Time Favourites

I know I’ve already written a favourites po

st in the past, but my favourites change so much that I just wanted to rewrite it for what my current favourites are. In a couple of months, they might be completely different but I personally like that because that means I’m reading a lot of great, great books!! Anyway, here we go. My top favourites:

children of blood and bone

  1. Children of Blood and Bone
    Tomi Adeyemi

Like most books in this list, I’m probably going to find it difficult to explain exactly why I loved it so much, but I did. I really did. I don’t usually like long fantasy novels, and I especially don’t usually like backpack trip books because they tend to drag but this really, really didn’t. Everything in this book was amazing and fantasically well written. I believe it’s turning into a movie and you can bet I will be one of the first lining up.

radio silence

2. Radio Silence
Alice Oseman

I loved this one so much because it was about friendship, and how sometimes friendship can be just as important as a romantic relationship or even more so. One of them was a lesbian, and the other one was gay, which was even better. There was zero romantic interest in each other. They bonded over a podcast, which is even better. I’m currently reading another book by Alice Oseman and I just adore her writing style.

we are okay

3. We Are Okay
Nina LaCour

Again, I’m not entirely sure why I loved this book so much. From what I remember, there was a girl/girl relationship in here that I adored. I loved how it spoke about grief and the different ways it can affect you. How you’re not okay, but things can and will be okay. It just really touched my heart and it has a special place on my bookshelves.

under rose tainted skies

4. Under Rose Tainted Skies
Louise Gornall

This is about a girl suffering from mental illnesses while she’s falling in love with a boy. And, again, I don’t know why I love this book so much (sorry you have to read that so many times!). It’s just…so cute, and so good, and so well written. It’s beautiful and really pulls at my heart strings.

the little princed

5. The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I first saw this as a movie on Netflix, after never hearing about the book, and absolutely fell in love with it. I rewatched it so many times and still do. Luckily, the same can be said about the book. I just love the story, and how it talks about the importance of creativity and love.

george

6. George
Alex Gino

This is something that I would have loved to read as a child, that would have probably answered a lot of questions I had in my childhood. I think all young children should read this (and everyone else, too!). I had a copy of this, but I lost it somehow and I haven’t been able to find it since. It’s about a transgendered girl who is discovering her gender identity and confiding in her very accepting best friend who shares her clothes, it was an adorable friendship.

the upside of unrequited

7. The Upside of Unrequited
Becky Albertalli

This is probably one of the first and only books I’ve read that talk about being fat as something positive. She spoke about having crushes on people and nobody laughed at her claiming she shouldn’t have crushes because of her weight. She was allowed to experiance strong friendships and a beautifully adorable relationship with another fat person with no making fun of her. I’m not used to this kind of descriptions of us. I have Dumplin’ but I have yet to read it! I’m sure I’ll love that for the same reasons, too. I just love Becky Albertalli in general.

the hate u give

8. The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas

Revolution!! I love Angie Thomas, and I love the very important messages she had in this book about standing up against the prejudice and racism happening to you and people you know and fighting for the change that you want (obviously, I’m not the intended audiance for this, but I adored it all the same). I have her next book, ON THE COME UP, and I can’t wait to get around to that one.

the spiderwick chronicles

9. The Spiderwick Chronicles
Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

I think I love this just for being a childhood favourite. I love the story and I love the plot and everything that happens. I have a really pretty edition sitting on my bookshelves that I admire pretty much everyday – I should re-read this sometime.

the vegetarian

10. The Vegetarian
Kang Han

This was so…weird. And I loved that. A friend (that isn’t my friend anymore, unfortunately) gave me this. This whole thing revolved around physcholigical (sorry, I can’t spell that) issues, and (cis) female anatomy. It’s even more interesting that the whole book is about a woman who gets closer and closer to nature, but whose perspective we never actually hear from. I could relate a lot to it in parts, although this book was written to be an allegory of South Korea. I just found the whole thing fascinating and the way I thought of it was how beauty was born from violence and I just…adore this book, it has stayed with me for a really long time and probably will for even longer.

 

I hope you liked it and most importantly I hope it inspired you to pick up one of the books I’ve mentioned!! What are your favourite books?

A.W

 

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REVIEW | Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Hey! Yeah, it’s been a while. I’m quite busy and so I don’t have the time or the energy to make posts recently. I’ve also been in a bit of a reading slump, as well. I’m trying to get back into the habit of reading but it’s quite difficult!

leah on the offbeat.png

Synopsis:

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

Review:

I know this book has received a fair amount of backlash, and I don’t think the backlash is misplaced, however I did really love this book. I think Leah and her type of anxiety are extremely relatable. I am also super happy to see a fat woman getting a conventially attractive girl and being in a happy relationship. As someone who is gay and fat, this is extremely rare to see in young adult books, and it’s especially rare to see it done positively and so for these reasons this book meant a whole lot to me

I loved seeing Simon again, I loved seeing his relationship again. I just love being taken back into the world that these characters are built into. It feels like a hug.

There were some things that I don’t think were positive, like when Leah told her love interest that you can’t be a little bit bisexual and although I took it as Leah being upset that her love interest didn’t want to commit to her, I think an explanation later on in the book where Leah could apologize would have been a nice addition because despite understanding her reasons for this, readers who are unsure about sexuality should know that it’s okay to feel the way they do. I also understand that people thought she acted in an unfair way, but as someone who is insecure too and deeply feels the need to be the best and to be good enough, I understand why she turned her hurt into anger and although again I wish Leah would have apologized for the way she behaves later on, I otherwise like this addition to the book. I think it’s okay for a character to be problematic, as long as this problematic thing is acknowledged, which I don’t think it really was outside of Leah’s own head

I gave this book a four of five stars and it’s probably going to be one that I re-read over and over again because I love hearing about her experiences being fat, coming to terms with her own sexuality and discovering her feelings that she has for her love interest. It was just heartwarming, and I really liked them together as a couple.

Until next time,
Alyx

Some More New Books!

Hey!

So I recently posted on my Twitter not that long ago that I wasn’t in any desperate need of money but I did mention how I was low income and one of my mutuals suggested that I post my book wishlist so I did and three people so very kindly bought me some books. I’m ecstatic about it. I won’t publicly say their names unless they say they would like me to or they wouldn’t mind but I’d rather not do it now just in case. If they’re reading though, thank you a lot!

The Upside of Unrequited
By Becky Albertalli

You can read the review here
This book follows a fat girl called Molly, who’s Jewish with anxiety so there’s some great rep there already, who is well known among her little family and group of friends for having crushes but never really setting out to do anything about that. She just assumes that they won’t like her back. Her sister gets a new girlfriend and this girlfriend (a Korean American called Mina) has a best friend called Will and Cassie wants them to form a relationship of some sort, but Molly finds herself falling for a fat Jewish boy called Reid instead and the story sort of follows Molly Peskin-Suso as she tries to understand what her feelings are and what she should do.

It’s a really cute little romance, made me feel warm and fluffy and took me back. It’s humorous in parts. It’s also very diverse. Mina is pansexual. Cassie is, I think, bisexual or a lesbian. Cassie and Molly have two mothers (in a f/f relationship). One is white, the other is black. I think it’s great to see more diverse young adult literature being published and I can’t wait to read more of it. This book is also #OwnVoices for fat and Jewish rep.

becky

Odd Girl Out
By Laura James

I think this one will be a hard read but I’m really excited for it anyway. It’s about, I believe, an autistic woman who only finds out she’s autistic in her forties and has to navigate in a neurotypical world. This is #OwnVoices for autistic rep, as well, and I feel like this might highlight a few issues like how women are unlikely to be diagnosed as children and will probably be self-diagnosed as adults before seeking an official diagnosis. Although I was diagnosed as a child (my mother works with children and saw early signs, but they still took a long time to diagnose) so I might not be able to relate completely, I will to how we are both autistic of course and it’s something I’m really looking forward to reading.

odd girl out

I, Robot
By Issac Asimov

Now I don’t usually read science fiction, especially adult science fiction. I do every now and again but with a lot of science fiction I find myself getting really bored (which is a shame but I keep reaching for it in the hopes that one will interest me). I recently read a young adult/middle grade book called Alien Rain (review here) that I thought was really good because it left out all the technical details and it made me want to look into science fiction again.

I saw someone I watch on YT talk about this book and how the robots sort of have a slow rise to “power”, in a way, as they are considered second class citizens to humans. This is, of course, very unfair and I’m looking forward to seeing how this is handled in the book. It’s quite short, as well, and I’ve been wanting to read an Isaac Asimov novel for a really long time so I’m looking forward to this one too.

Update: currently reading, I’m at 31% and it’s just as scary as I thought but also a lot better than I thought, the writing style is really good.

i robot

As Old As Time: A Twisted Tale
By Liz Braswell

I was originally going to get the black edition (and still might) to match my other two Liz Braswell books but I saw this cover and I just had to have it. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Now I want to collect all these editions, as well. This book basically follows an alternative story to my favourite movie, The Beauty and The Beast, where Belle looks into the mirror and sees something she probably didn’t want to see – what if Belle’s mother cursed the Beast? It sounds so, so interesting and I plan to read this one as soon as possible. The pages inside are really pretty as well, and I wasn’t expecting it to be so long (500 pages) but I’m really, really glad it’s a long book. I was so excited when I saw this (well, I was excited anyway, I had book mail but you know what I mean!).

as old as time
I also received two E-Arcs, one from the author and one from Netgalley. You can see my review for The Library of Souls here and my next one, As You Wish, I am currently reading and it will have a review coming up very soon – it’s a good one.

Again, I am so grateful to everyone who sent me something, it’s so generous. Until next time.

Lorna

Goodreads | Twitter: @Crankyautistic | Insta: @actuallyautisticautie | Snap: Lozthekittycat

REVIEW: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

becky
Genre:
contemporary, romance, young adult
Rep: Jewish, fat girl, fat boy, f/f relationships (including pansexual and bisexual), anxiety, POC, etc.
Pages: 336, British paperback
Publisher: Penguin

“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances”
Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly is always careful. Better to be careful than to be hurt. But when Cassie gets a new girlfriend who comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick, everything changes. Will is funny, flirtatious and basically the perfect first boyfriend. There’s only one problem: Molly’s co-worker, Reid, the awkward Tolkien superfan she could never fall for…right? A heart-warming and hilarious story about growing up and learning to be comfortable in your own skin

REVIEW:

Well, first of all I was not expecting to get through this so quickly. I started this midday on Thursday, and then finished it in the afternoon the next day. It’s almost a 350 page book so that’s something right there. I also heard that this was a companion novel to Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Simon made an appearance in the book. Due to not reading Simon VS first, I missed this but…it just gives me an excuse to re-read the whole thing again.

There was so much diversity in this book. So. Much. Molly herself is Jewish, she’s fat and she takes medication for her anxiety. Her twin sister, Cassie, is a lesbian who’s love interest is a pansexual Korean American. Their parents are in a female/female relationship (I believe one is bisexual, and one is a person of colour). Molly’s love interest, Reid, was chubby and not like your usual young adult male love interest at all and he was also Jewish. My favourite thing about this was how none of it was made into a big deal. It was just something that existed.

I knew that, due to being autistic and not with a pretty face, I wouldn’t be able to relate to Molly a whole lot but I could relate to her more than I can usually relate to non-autistic main characters. She even has anxiety, hers is at a lower level than mine is at the moment but she is taking medication for hers and I’m not so that probably has something to do it. We share similar thought processes, as well. I also think this is the first fat main character I’ve read with good rep and the first fat character I’ve read in a book with no fatphobia (aside from her Grandma, which was addressed).

I don’t usually like contemporary, cutesy love stories but this one was just…great. Adorable, and great.  It just made me remember what falling in love feels like. I love being in my long term relationship but it’s just nice to feel it again, you know? Even if it is kind of “second hand” emotions.

Thought I think my favourite part was how comfortable the whole novel felt. It felt like I was with friends I had known for a long time. It was cozy and comfortable and fluffy.

So yes. Read it.

I am going to list some minor issues I had with the story though, that I think you should not read if you haven’t read the book because seriously you should read the book, but if you have read it already (and it’s likely that you have), then read on:

  • Some things were just a little too convenient. I wish the way the story connected together flowed a little better (despite really liking the writing style), as everything just felt really carefully planned out
  • I know that seventeen year olds really enjoy sex and I know being asexual makes my opinion a little biased, but I thought there was also a lot of sex talk that I wasn’t really fond of. I felt like that could ease down a bit *spoilers in italics* also, the whole situation between Reid and Molly was just sexual tension and why, why would you do that, I wanted something to happen!
  • There was some drama near the end of the book that I didn’t feel like it belonged there, although it did help the next part of the story happen, it just kinda bugged me a little

So there you go! I loved this book a lot. It was so cute and fluffy and lightweight and that’s exactly the kind of book I wanted to read right now. I want to read more of them so Simon VS is next on my shopping list.

Thank you for reading

Lorna