Genderbent tropes and queer identity: 3 Books That I Read for Pride 2022

Okay, so. This post is a month late! I know, I know, I’m sorry. But life happens, and long story short, May, June and July have ganged up on me. So I haven’t been active much, haven’t been reading much as I used to. However, I was still able to read a few books from my Pride TBR for this year!

And let me just say, I have been blessed with three amazing books! So here’s a quick rundown, as well as my mini reviews!

Flip The Script

Summary: An aspiring K-drama teen actress falls for the actress who plays the second lead in their show, instead of her fake co-star boyfriend.

My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I think: This was my first read this June, and I can’t help but think how fitting it is. Flip the Script was just so cute and so fun, and most importantly, it shed some light on the queer community in South Korea and the entertainment industry in particular. It also gave us hope of what may come and what we can do to make a difference.

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Book Review: Kingston and the Echoes of Magic // Bigger and bolder

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Title: Kingston and the Echoes of Magic
Author: Rucker Moses, Theo Gangi
Genre/s and tags: Middle Grade, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Magic, Mythology, BIPOC Lead
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: October 12, 2021
Content warnings: Violence (mild), loss of a parent
Goodreads synopsis: 

In this duology’s finale, Kingston travels back in time and uses his growing magic to save the world.

Kingston might have saved Echo City but the victory is bittersweet without his pops by his side. The holidays are approaching and if Kingston could have one wish, it would be to have his father, who is trapped in the Realm, come home. But as new problems arise and blackouts blanket the city, Kingston begins to have a persistent feeling of deja vu, as if he’s lived this same day before–and he has. Echo City living up to its name, is caught in a repeating time loop.

Maestro, his father’s old rival, has found a way to overwrite reality with an alternate timeline where he rules over all. It will be up to Kingston, Too Tall, and V to find a way to enter the Realm and travel back through time to stop him. But with a magic he still barely understands, Kingston will needs his friends’ smarts and their collective courage to figure out the mystery and find Maestro before Brooklyn as they know it is erased for good.

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A big thank you to Megan Beatie Communications for sending me a finished copy!
(This, of course, did not affect my overall opinion of the book.)

Hello book nerds! Coming at you with another book review this week! Although, just to be transparent, this book is actually my last read of 2021! I have been reading and enjoying middle grade novels lately, and this book was another great journey.

Bigger and bolder, and yet still full of heart, Kingston and the Echoes of Magic is a finale that will keep you on your toes!

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Book Review: Almond // Simple yet profound

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: Almond
Author: Won-Pyung Sohn
Genre/s and tags: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Coming of Age, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Mental health
Publisher: Harper Via
Publication date: May 5, 2020
Content warnings: Physical assault/harassment, graphic violence, bullying, gore/blood, death of family members
Goodreads synopsis: 

The Witch King book cover

This story is, in short, about a monster meeting another monster.

One of the monsters is me.

Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and grandmother aren’t fazed by his condition. Their little home above his mother’s used bookstore is decorated with colorful post-it notes that remind him when to smile, when to say “thank you,” and when to laugh. Yunjae grows up content, even happy, with his small family in this quiet, peaceful space.

Then on Christmas Eve—Yunjae’s sixteenth birthday—everything changes. A shocking act of random violence shatters his world, leaving him alone and on his own. Struggling to cope with his loss, Yunjae retreats into silent isolation, until troubled teenager Gon arrives at his school and begins to bully Yunjae.

Against all odds, tormentor and victim learn they have more in common than they realized. Gon is stumped by Yunjae’s impassive calm, while Yunjae thinks if he gets to know the hotheaded Gon, he might learn how to experience true feelings. Drawn by curiosity, the two strike up a surprising friendship. As Yunjae begins to open his life to new people—including a girl at school—something slowly changes inside him. And when Gon suddenly finds his life in danger, it is Yunjae who will step outside of every comfort zone he has created to perhaps become a most unlikely hero.

The Emissary meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime in this poignant and triumphant story about how love, friendship, and persistence can change a life forever.

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Hello book nerds and bookmys! Happy December! Can you actually believe it’s the last month of 2021?! I mean, I’m still processing March 2020, to be honest. But let’s not dwell on the past! Today, I am here to talk about a recent read and one of my favorite reads this year—Almond!

Now, I first learned about Almond because BTS members RM and Suga were seen reading this on their show, In The Soop (Season 1). Upon knowing the synopsis, I was even more interested! I’ve heard mixed reviews prior to reading, so I was a little bit hesitant. But now that I’ve finished it, I can say that I was truly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book!

Almond is a gem. This book explores adolescence, the meaning of emotions, the diversity of people’s lives and journeys, and friendship. It was tender, honest, simple yet profound.

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Mini Book Reviews: August-September 2021

Hello book nerds! I am back with another mini review recap! I might really start doing this bi-monthly now. Especially if I find myself stressed and caught up on a lot of things, much like the past few weeks, this might be a really great way to still share my reviews and talk to you nerds about books.

So for now, I am featuring my August and September reads! I read some amazing (and may not so amazing?) books these months. From spooky books, to queer books, boyband romance, witchy books, and more! I am so excited to share them with you!

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Book Review: The Witch King // This queer YA fantasy has everything

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: The Witch king
Author: H.E. Edgmon
Genre/s and tags: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, LGBTQ+
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication date: June 1, 2021
Content warnings: Physical assault, sexual harassment, child abuse/neglect, suicide attempt; misgendering, deadnaming (off page); consensual sex (not too graphic), physical violence, gore/blood, parental death
Goodreads synopsis: 

The Witch King book cover

To save a fae kingdom, a trans witch must face his traumatic past and the royal fiancé he left behind. This debut YA fantasy will leave you spellbound.

Wyatt would give anything to forget where he came from—but a kingdom demands its king.

In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to change that. But when Wyatt lost control of his magic one devastating night, he fled to the human world.

Now a coldly distant Emyr has hunted him down. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr has no intention of dissolving their engagement. In fact, he claims they must marry now or risk losing the throne. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever. But as he gets to know Emyr, Wyatt realizes the boy he once loved may still exist. And as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide once and for all what’s more important—his people or his freedom.

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Hello book nerds and bookmys! Happy September! It’s been a little while, I know and I’m sorry. I have been quite busy these past few weeks, and my stress and anxiety are on another level unfortunately. I wanted to take it slow for a moment and just take a break. But now I’m here to share my review of one of my anticipated releases! I’ve already shared my a mini review on my bookstagram account, but I feel like a detailed review is necessary for this one.

The Witch King has everything for me. Political intrigue, romance, honest discussions of gender and sexuality, world building, hilarious writing, all of these make up this unforgettable queer YA fantasy novel.

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