Category Archives: Alex Reads

The Power of Whimsy and Magic in Queer Stories

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 82

Before the rose was there, the garden was full of moss. I started as a seed under it, waiting for the right time to sprout. Clover waited, and waited, and tended the garden, and didn’t listen to anyone who said she should give up. Moss, my other mother, she waited too. But Clover was the one who came out every morning and told me about her night, what she was planning on cooking that day, how Moss was going. […]

When my first two leaves emerged, Moss and Clover knew I would be okay.

I didn’t mean to be a strange baby made of plants, but it hasn’t caused any problems.

So begins Alison Evans’ Euphoria Kids, with the narrator, Iris, matter-of-factly regaling us with the tale of the beginning of their life: intermingled wordlessly with magic and a kind of dream-logic bizarreness, and intermingled effortlessly with queer love and affection. This sets the tone for the whole book: a dreamy, whimsical tale of understated magic that is almost rebelliously committed to letting its protagonists be. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Alex Reads, Fun with Isms

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Heroes, Heartbreak, and Heists (in Space!)

ya mini reviews 8

Reviews, reviews, reviews! I keep writing them because I keep reading absolutely fantastic queer books! This time round I’m delighted to recommend these three, featuring superhero conspiracies, adventures in outer space, and the emotional tale of a friendship falling apart. Read on… Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Alex Reads

I Can’t Believe I Care This Much About Marvel Again (A Review of Loki: Where Mischief Lies)

loki novel

I’ve made my exhaustion with the Marvel Cinematic Universe quite public in the last little while. It just got so big, so convoluted, so self-conscious and yet so self-congratulatory. Which is a shame, because there really is some good stuff in there, and a lot of potential for fun… as this book reminded me, coming out of left field and smacking me over the head with an emotional investment in a slice of the Marvel world. Loki: Where Mischief Lies (penned by Mackenzi Lee, most famous for her queer historical YA) is a gorgeously written, tightly plotted tale of gods and magic that contains just the right amount of hijinks, and contains a frankly graceful rendering of Loki that gets right what makes his character so interesting and so likeable… and, as a bonus, he’s not at all heterosexual. Having picked this up for work and gone in with very few expectations, this book blew me away, and I am so delightfully baffled that it gets its own post. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Alex Reads

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Soccer, Steampunk, and Survival Horror

ya mini reviews 7

And we’re back with the first trio of mini-reviews for 2020! This field continues to be a vibrant, diverse, very fun place to read: this time round we have a crew of Australian teenagers fighting off zombies, a summer camp romance, and a sci-fi-fantasy genre-blend with all the cogs and clockwork you could wish for. Read on for the thoughts and reflections… Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Alex Reads

A Big Ol’ Pile of Book Recommendations (2019)

skullface honda-san books

Guess who read an awful lot this year? With the amount of books that I enjoyed, I figured I’d put together a big roundup! This is divided into three sections based on the mix of things I was reading – expect to find manga, yuri, a bunch of good YA, and a sprinkling of genre studies. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Alex Reads

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Portraits, Premonitions, and Pink Hair

ya mini reviews 6

Guess who did some reading during the blog break? This guy. Click through for yet more recommendations, from cute summer rom-coms to heartfelt non-binary coming-of-age stories to lesbians on a quest to defy fate!

Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Alex Reads

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Broadswords, Birdwatching, and Band Geeks

mini reviews 5

Here we are again, gang: this time with a sci-fi myth retelling, a quiet historical coming-of-age story, and a contemporary romance (featuring a love triangle that stays triangular). Read on… Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Alex Reads

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Snow, Shapeshifters, and Spooky Castles

Ya mini reviews 4

The reviews and recommendations continue! This time round we have two different flavours of fantastical political intrigue and a gorgeously Gothic exploration of identity and freedom. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Alex Reads

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Unicorns, University, and the Underworld

YA recs U

And we’re back, with three more gloriously varied entries in the field of queer YA! This time we have a contemporary Australian coming-of-age story, a cheesy urban fantasy, and an exploration of trauma and yearning after coming “home” from a quest in a magical world. Take a gander and see if any call to you… Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Alex Reads

Bloom: A Graphic Novel That Made Me Cry About Bread

Bloom (1)

Bloom is a story about growing up, figuring out what you want, falling in love, and embracing the gentle catharsis of baking. It’s a sweet queer romance about two young people in weird transitory times in their lives, who are brought together by chance and, by even happier chance, end up being just what the other needs. It’s an all round delight to experience, capturing the magic of the graphic novel medium as well as everything I enjoy about YA. It also made me tear up and sniffle over sourdough starter, so consider that an endorsement of its emotional pulling power. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Alex Reads