December 16, 2021 · 6:50 am
2021 was another categorically Really Weird Year, but gosh there were some good books! This is my personal list of favourites, ranging from chaotic coming-of-age comedies to mythical urban fantasies to mecha battles to portal fantasies to time-hopping romances and back again. Take a look and see what catches your eye—and as always, let me know what your favourite reads were! There are always, always more novels to add to the pile.
(A title like “Best Queer Books I Read in 2021” would be superfluous—basically, assume these have queer protagonists or at least main ensemble cast members. It is the sensible option at this point on this blog)
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Filed under Alex Reads
Tagged as book recs, Cemetery Boys, Gearbreakers, Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating, Lore, Not My Problem, One Last Stop, queer YA mini reviews, The Boy From the Mish, The Falling in Love Montage, The Locked Tomb, The Lost Coast, The Mirror Season, The Starless Sea, This Poison Heart, Wayward Children, YA, YA fiction
September 30, 2021 · 6:44 am
That night left each of us holding pieces of broken glass. And ever since, we have been gripping them. We have been clenching our fingers around them, the edges cutting into our palms, blood on the silver.
We may never be able to set them down for good. They may be in our hands forever, something we’re always holding. But we don’t have to grip them. We don’t have to hold them so tightly that they’re forever cutting our fingers.
Instead, we hold them as lightly as we can. We let them rest on our palms. We don’t help them do the work of drawing our blood.
We live with them. We learn the ways that broken things can catch the light.
Premise: after Ciela and a boy she hardly knows are sexually assaulted by classmates at a party, Ciela’s world begins to change. She loses the ability she’s always had to guess exactly what sweets and pan dulce her customers want and need. The seasonal winds are eerily still. Trees are vanishing inexplicably from the neighbourhood. And, most troubling, everywhere Ciela goes objects and plants are turning to mirrored glass. When the boy turns up at school, Ciela sees someone she needs to protect—and wonders if them helping each other recover is what might bring the magic back.
Content considerations: sexual trauma as a main theme, the act itself described in detail; systemic racism, internalised victim-blaming
Rainbow rep: a pansexual protagonist, her ex-girlfriend turned best friend, various queer side characters
This is a beautifully written book about a difficult subject, making it simultaneously really fun and really stressful to read. It’s also a book I really want to tell people about, but it’s difficult to write on. I want to sing to the skies how good The Mirror Season was, but I also find myself just… floating, haunted yet serene, in the waters of the feelings this story left with me. That’s a kind of magic in itself, I suppose.
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