LGBT

Juliet Takes a Breath

Juliet Takes a Breath

Summary:

Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff. 

Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle? 

With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

This book had a really slow start for me and I was pretty skeptical when reading the “excerpts” from Harlowe’s book, but I was eventually won over.  Understanding and bearing witness Juliet’s journey to shy and unsure young woman who is learning to be comfortable in her own skin was absolutely wonderful – and often hilarious.  There were multiple moments I was laughing out loud.  Sometimes I felt I could never relate, and then on the next page I related so well to Juliet, Harlowe and all the other characters it felt like Rivera was inside my head.  I think alternating between challenging my way of thinking and completely understanding is what made the book so thought-provoking and stuck with me.

Rivera tackles extremely complex, politically charged and touchy topics with compassion and non-judgement that I have never encountered before.  This is not a book at a superficial level that dismisses people’s perspectives, but instead tries to address the complexities in a way that anyone could understand.  I’d highly recommend this read even if you don’t think you’re directly impacted by the topics because I think it will help you step into someone else’s shoes and understand the trials others face on a daily basis.

Warning: Contains sexual content and repeated strong language.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Anyone trying to understand a little more insight to feminism, LGBT or minorities and the intersection of any of the above.

 

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)

Crooked Kingdom.jpg

Summary:

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

I LOVED the first book in this duology so I knew that Bardugo was going to be hard-pressed to follow up.  I definitely would say that she delivered, but almost too much.  This book is jam-packed with action from start to finish.  The team makes their way from impossible situation to impossible situation.  It was hard to keep up some time!  The reason this didn’t work as well for me is because in the previous book there was time for the slow reveal of the “gotchas” and genius of planning.  In this one it was boom! Boom! Boom! and it didn’t allow the reader a chance to digest exactly what happened.

That being said, this book was still fantastic and I really loved finding out what happened next for each of the characters.  I just almost wish that this had been a series of three books rather than two.  The end has some serious heart strings pulled (realistically) and had me wondering what was going to be next for each of the characters.  I absolutely loved this series and can’t wait to catch up on the Grisha series!

Warning: Contains sexual content and repeated violence.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Folks who have read the first one – this is going to be super confusing if you don’t have the background of the first!

Want to read the whole series?

  • Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

Six of Crows

Summary:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. 

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review courtesy of the publisher.

Review:

This book was amazing.  I finished it in under 24 hours once I started it and I have to say – I had put it off because I felt the blurb on the back was pretty lackluster for all the hype it was getting.  So forget the description and just get your hands on this one!

This book has a lot of similarities to “Throne of Glass”, but with a couple changes in perspectives.  I know some folks felt Celaena was whiny (I disagree, but regardless), if that was the reason you put down the book, you HAVE to give this one a try.  Kaz is immediately intriguing and as we slowly get to know more about him I just absolutely feel in love with the complexity of his character.  We get to know all of the characters, but I have to admit a particular soft spot for Jesper as well.  And Inej… you get the point, the character development is incredibly well done.

Although apparently taking place in the same world as Bardugo’s Grisha series, I have not read the prior series and don’t believe it had any detriment to my enjoyment.  I think the best part of this story is the constant surprises.  I haven’t read a book in a while that completely caught me off guard and went in a different direction I thought it would go.  All that being said, just go get this one!!  Bonus: The sequel is going to be coming out in the next month or so.

Warning: Contains repeated violence. 

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of multi-point, twisting and turning fantasies.

Want to read the whole series?

  • Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)

The New Vampire (The Vampyr #3)

The New Vampire

Summary:

Gianna Logan had it all, a new family, a baby on the way, and a future as bright as a shooting star. She lost that life one spring night to the ruthless greed of a half-mad vampire. After months in a cage, she awakens to the searing light, her memory threadbare, the shadows roiling through her mind, and the bond with her husbands broken. 

As she slowly rediscovers herself, she must navigate the often treacherous world of the Vampyr, where nothing is ever as it seems. Under the glittering surface, war brews and the past Gianna thought long gone slithers into her life, claiming a part of her she thought never to have again. 

Author's Note: Like all stories set in the world of the Vampyr, “The New Vampire” contains scenes of erotic romance between single and multiple partners, both male and female, is a dark fantasy (i.e. horror with supernatural elements), and is not intended for readers under the local legal age. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review courtesy of the author.

Review:

In “The New Vampire” we finally get to find out what happened to Gianna!  (Spoiler if you haven’t yet read “The Vampire’s Favorite”.)  I think I related less to Gianna than to the other narrators in the previous books in this series, which meant I wasn’t quite as into this one, but that may just be because Eric’s point of view makes the most sense to me.  It is interesting to see the different points of view because I feel like Gianna was the one we got to know the least in “The Vampire’s Pet”.

I also thought it was interesting to get to know the politics and some of the over-arching plans that are going on in the vampyr world and where the last in the series might be going.  Consider yourself warned though, the last in the series is not yet out so you’ll be left with a cliffhanger!

Warning: Contains repeated sexual content and some violence.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it?  Fans of the series! It won't make much sense if you haven't started at the beginning.

Want to read the whole series?