The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses #2) by Cassandra Clare & Wesley Chu | Drumsofautumn Review

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“You’re my heart, Magnus Bane. Stay unbroken, for me.”

My love for the characters and world of the Shadowhunters has manifested a long, long time ago and yet I feel like every time I read about them, they carve out an even bigger space for themselves in my heart.

The Lost Book of the White follows Magnus and Alec as they travel to Shanghai to get back the very powerful Book of the White that was stolen from their home. And on their journey they get support from the rest of the main The Mortal Instruments cast, Jace, Clary, Simon and Isabelle.
That said, there is spoilers in this book (and review) for basically almost all of the other Shadowhunter series and books and you should definitely be caught up with them before you go into this!

I loved being back with the original The Mortal Instruments squad so, so much. While they obviously show up throughout the newer books too and we always know what they’re up to, seeing all six of them together on an adventure truly made me feel so blessed.

“Jace rarely spoke of his feelings, but he didn’t need to: Alec could read them on his face. Jace had chosen Clary to love, just as Alec had chosen Magnus, and he would love her forever and with his whole heart.”

I also adored that we got to see a little bit of Magnus and Alec being domestic and the ever-worried dads, even when they are stuck in some hell dimension (as you are). Magnus and Alec having such an intense, beautiful, unconditional love for each other and their son made my queer little heart feel so very soft and warm. And I am especially happy about seeing that kind of representation in a YA book!

Other than Magnus and Alec, Simon in particular had a really interesting character arc in this story. Obviously Simon had an entire short story collection dedicated to him and his journey of becoming a Shadowhunter but this story takes place just a little bit after and we see how much the events that happened at the Shadowhunter Academy really shaped him. He is still very much dealing with processing what happened and understanding what it really means to be a Shadowhunter.

“Someone, long ago, had told Magnus that human beings could never love the way immortals loved; their souls didn’t have the strength for it. That person had never met Alec Lightwood, nor anyone like him, Magnus thought, and their lives must have been the poorer for it.”

I feel like this book in particular was such a testament to the skill of Cassandra Clare writing the most memorable characters, even if it is side or even minor characters. There were a lot of characters in here that might not get a lot of “screen time” but that we see over and over in the different series and throughout different times and I just love them all dearly and am invested in what they are up to every time.

And I just genuinely think that this is one of those things that Cassandra Clare very much excels at and that makes reading these series particularly fun and at times heartbreaking. Which, to be fair, Cassandra Clare definitely very much excels at too. Lord knows she has broken my heart several times in the past seven years that I have been reading her books and you know what – I thank her for it.

That said, I didn’t find myself all too invested in the storyline itself. I feel like there is an infinite amount of interesting things to explore in this world and this was definitely one of them but I just felt like the plot didn’t enthrall me much.

“Alec drew the strokes of the rune with attentive care, and Magnus felt the same wonder as he had years ago, the same calming of fear. On the eve of battle, amid the darkened spin of a strange infernal city: it made no difference where they were. They would fight and live and die together.”

But despite what people might think and say, I think that Clare constantly brings new and refreshing ideas and character arcs to the table. She established this world and these characters and I am glad she is still playing around with them, even the ones that are already well-known and loved because that is the aspect of this book that I appreciated the most.
Seeing Simon’s journey, who has been through so much, dealing with the repercussions to his mental health, or seeing Alec and Magnus together as fathers, are additions to this series that I deeply appreciate.

Overall, even though I gave this a 3-star rating, I have a lot of love in my heart for this book because I adore these characters and I always love following them on their adventures.

If you liked the first book, if you like this world, and/or if you miss the The Mortal Instruments cast, this comes with a huge recommendation from me for sure.
And the bonus short story (which was in the audiobook but sadly not in the library ebook copy I had) was absolutely beautiful too and showed me that I will never grow tired of just reading about these character’s well deserved happiness too.

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✨ Lea posts a review on Meltotheany every Friday! Read more of her reviews HERE! ✨

END OF SUMMER BOOK TAG

BookTagI believe this tag was originally created by Bookchanted!
But I saw Destiny @ Howling Libraries do it and thought it looked very fun! 

I truly can’t believe that summer is officially over! But I’ve read so many good books, and I have truly had a very good summer all things considered with this world! But I’m also so ready and excited to move on to a new season, and read more good books, and heal more, and just… be even more happier (hopefully)! But I hope this book tag brings you a little happiness, friends! ☀️🍂

1. What was your favorite book this summer?

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You know, this was a harder question that I thought it would be, because I have honestly had such a blessed reading summer, but I think the answer is truly The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) by R.F. Kuang the more I think about it! But Night Shine by Tessa Gratton is right up there competing with the spot! 💖

2. What was your least favorite book this summer?

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Whew, okay, let me go hide under my covers, and I almost put The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel for this one, but the more and more this year goes on, and the more and more people are just ignoring the problems with Loveless by Alice Oseman, the more and more it becomes my least favorite book of this summer.

3. What book do you wish you read this summer?

I truly think I am going to love The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth, and the cover and vibe feels so summery to me! But thank to Lea (and their amazing review!) I hope to read and love this one asap! 💓

4. What was your favorite classic you read this summer?

No, listen, I am closing my eyes and looking fully away. But the closest thing to a classic I’ve read all summer is Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins. You get it? Like, a modern classic. Goodbye.

5. Did you stray into a different genre and pick up a new and exciting book?

I feel like I always say that I just don’t like reading books with historical settings for the most part, and I feel like it’s very apparent to me with historical romances! But apparently I just needed the sapphics to win me over with The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics (Feminine Pursuits #1) by Olivia Waite! 💕

6. What was your favorite movie adaptation this summer?

No, listen again, I have to be honest here and say with my full chest this answer is also Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins, because I truly experienced the biggest serotonin boost watching this with Maëlys & Lea!

7. What was your favorite new book release?

Wow, blessings to be able to hype Night Shine by Tessa Gratton after all! Truly my favorite Summer 2020 book release! I hope you all pick it up! 💗

Okay friends, I hope you enjoyed! I feel like I haven’t done a book tag since coming back to blogging, so this was extra fun to write up! Please tell me what’s your favorite book from this last season! Or what book you’re looking most forward to this new season! I hope you’re all having happy reading and I love you! 💕

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3 Mini Reviews | The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics, Dragon Unleashed, Ice Planet Barbarians


The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics (Feminine Pursuits, #1) by Olivia Waite

“We thought we were separate satellites, but we aren’t. We’re stars, and though we might burn separately, we’ll always be in one another’s orbit.”

I really loved this a lot! I especially loved all the different kinds of reclaiming in this story! Maybe all it took for me to fall in love with a historical romance was sapphics in STEM (and art)! Who would have guessed? :]

This was so feminist, so queer, so healing, and so beautiful. And I loved hearing these girls talk unapologetically about how so many other women’s ideas have been taken all throughout history by men who then take the credit, too.

Trigger and Content Warnings: domestic abuse in the past, sexism, misogyny, talk of colonization, and talk of loss of a loved one in past.

4


Dragon Unleashed (Fallen Empire, #2) by Grace Draven 

1.) Phoenix Unbound ★★★★

“What must it be like to be loved this way? So devotedly that the person you parted with cried at your absence before you even left?”

Oh friends, this was such a disappointment for me, especially after loving the first book in this series, Phoenix Unbound, so much! Dragon Unleashed does read as a stand alone, and in this world magic is outlawed! That is why it is so important for our main character, Halani, to hide that she has earth magic, especially since it helps her family who are traveling traders. Yet, when her uncle finds a bone that she can tell will bring nothing but pain to them, he refuses to listen. And that bone happens to be a dragon bone that our other main character, Malachus, needs because the magic holding his dragon-self inside this human form is quickly waning.

Action and romance ensue, well, they ensue extremely slowly over these 400 pages. I was highly anticipating this one, and I always feel like good fantasy romance is hard to find, but I have enjoyed everything by Grace Draven in the past! But I just felt such a disconnect from this book for so many reasons (so much miscommunication, very questionable disability representation, the most long-winded banter), but also because it truly was so very boring for the first 90%.

Trigger and Content Warnings: talk of assault (unwanted touching), torture, violence, gore, blood depiction, captivity, kidnapping, mention of slavery, ableism (in a negative light), and talk of rape in the past.

2


Ice Planet Barbarians (Ice Planet Barbarians #1) by Ruby Dixon

“It wasn’t a monster come to eat me. It was this monster. Who’s come to eat me out.”

Let me start out this mini review by saying that I had less than 48 hours on my audible escape membership and the hype was real, okay? Basically, our main character, Georgie, wakes up and doesn’t know where she is, but she quickly learns that she has been abducted by aliens who are planning to sell her and a lot of other girls. Only one of them has a translating device attached to her, and basically you have to be quiet or else. Well, one of the newly abducted girls are not quiet and they quickly see what horrible things will happen at the hands of the captors. But the spaceship quickly is forced to land on some other planet and they are forced to wait for more aliens to come help them out, but the girls take this advantage to plan an escape.

And Georgie, being the brave and slightly horny character she is, decides to go looking for other life who hopefully aren’t kidnappers and rapists. And what better way to get to know a blue alien that reminds me heavily of male draenei in World of Warcraft than to have him go down on you for a little bit, even though you all can’t understand each other. And together they try to prove that you don’t need to speak the same language to try to help your friends and have lots of good sex along the way back to the abandoned spaceship.

Listen, this was a mess and I don’t get the hype, but to each their own, truly. 2010 Melanie was reading some real questionable shit, so you all do you and I support it. But 2020 Melanie just can’t read about the “you’re my mate now” storylines with a straight face, especially when they are with blue people who can’t even understand each other in the midst some some really traumatic shit going on. Especially when that magical bond (and more magical sex) saves lives.

I’m giving this two stars because it wasn’t offensive, I enjoyed trying to see them communicate with each other, and this audiobook made me laugh so hard it was a bit unreal (the rock sex is 100% going to stick with me for a while). Truly the hidden serotonin boost.

Trigger and Content Warnings: abduction, sex trafficking, drugging, rape, murder, gore, violence, and death.

2


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Top Ten Tuesday | Books On My Fall 2020 TBR

AutumnReleasesTBR
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!

I truly cannot believe the Autumn Equinox is already upon us! This is always the start of my favorite time of the year, so I always want to be greedy and stretch it out, even if it might feel very different this year! But regardless of how wild 2020 is, I’m very excited for so many releases this autumn season! 🍁🍁

The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2) by Roshani Chokshi
This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
Over the Woodward Wall (Untitled #1) by A. Deborah Baker
The Ever Cruel Kingdom (The Never Tilting World #2) by Rin Chupeco
Skyhunter (Skyhunter #1) by Marie Lu
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #3) by Jessica Townsend
Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz
The Archive of the Forgotten (Hell’s Library #2) by A.J. Hackwith
How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air #3.5) by Holly Black

AutumnArcsIveRead

🍂 I’ve been very lucky to have been able to read some early ARC copies of some fall releases this year:

Well Played (Well Met #2) by Jen DeLuca
Vampires Never Get Old edited by Zoraida Córdova & Natalie C. Parker
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights #1) by Chloe Gong 
The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) by R.F. Kuang 
Vampires of Portlandia by Jason Tanamor


Also, this was my very first post written up in the new WordPress editor and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I feel like it took me twice as long and I kind of hate it, help me! But okay friends, I hope you enjoyed this little northern hemisphere seasonal recap of things I want to read and things I have read! Let me know an upcoming release you’ve read and loved or one that you are excited for! Sending you all my heart always, and happy reading! 🧡✨ 

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Vampires of Portlandia by Jason Tanamor | Blog Tour

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#AswanginPortlandTour
ARC Provided by the Author & Caffeine Book Tours 

Publication: September 29th, 2020 by Parliament House Press

Vampires of Portlandia is an ownvoices Filipino story about a young adult named Percival who is soon going to be in charge of taking care of his family, while also becoming the leader of what is left of the Filipino vampires! Right now, it is only him, his lola, his younger brother Roger, and their even younger twin siblings and they all fled the Philippines to hopefully have a safer life where they can live in hiding without anyone knowing what they are. But that becomes harder and harder when murders are happening more and more frequently, and it becomes easier and easier to tell that these acts are not being committed by mere humans.

We also get to see the Philippines in the past too, where in this story people are scared of children carrying a chromosome that spreads this disease. This very much impacted the poor during this time of panic and because of this, and the dire and sad means to control it, there are not many aswang vampires. This story also talks about Filipino politics from the past that mirror a world we live in today, where men of god wouldn’t mislead their country and their people, right? (And I’m always here for a story with a Manny Pacquiao manananggal joke, because valid.) But this past story laced throughout is how we get to learn about how Percival’s lola, Leones, is forced to leave the Philippines and becomes the leader of the vampires. And seeing her life and history is so important to understand what Percival is going to face while carrying this legacy. Especially when a civil war starts breaking out between the aswangs in Portland because of these murders.

Aswang generally means “Filipino monsters” and there are a vast different array of creatures that can fall under that word! But in this book we get to see five different types of aswang all coexisting in the same city, but trying to remain hidden. Vampires, werebeasts, ghouls, witches, and viscera. But we also get to see another kind of creature and let me just say there are few things scarier than the manananggal. This take for sure depicts them spooky, but I grew up hearing much darker tales that still give me goosebumps until this day. Hands down one of the scariest parts of Filipino mythos, and for sure one of my favorites ever. And with my full chest I am here to say that western vampires could never.

My favorite aspects of the story were the Filipino values and culture always at the heart of the story. Family means so much to Filipinos and the story always shines a bright light on that and what it means to respect your family members and being willing to do whatever it takes to help them and care for them and love them. Responsibility is also a big part of this story and something that very much also resonated with me because I am the oldest sibling (and cousin) of my Filipino family! I also really liked the depiction of grief in this story and how it can take so many forms. And how the weight of grief can feel so very heavy to carry, especially when you’re trying to carry it alone.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and it made my heart very warm to read it and give it a 3.5 star rating! Also, it made my tummy hungry for chicken adobo, pancit (my personal #1 comfort food), lumpias, and just miss home a lot. Oh, and I also really enjoyed the queer brewing side relationship in this book too! My only real complaint is that I felt like the pacing was a bit wild at times (like for the main romantic relationship and ending) and it made the events feel like whiplash at times! Also, there is a lot (and I mean a lot) of talk about the homeless and drug users in this story because they are the victims in this book and it just felt very repetitive and very bad, even when it was the villains doing it. But I still enjoyed this one and I feel very honored to have read and reviewed it!

Trigger and Content Warnings: murder, death, loss of a loved one, grief, blood depictions, and some very sus sentences about homeless people (even in a negative light).

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September 20
 celuna maria
 The Filipina Bookish
 Sinking With Books
September 21
 Book Geek Musings
 mel to the any (hi)
 The Youngvamp’s Haven
September 22
 Grim Reader
 Read With Katrin
 The Queen Reads
September 23
 Carpe Diem Chronicles
 dmcireads
 Reads in Heels
September 24
 Quilling Time
 She Reads Again
 The Little Miss Bookworm
September 25
 Enemies to Lovers Reviews
 Tami’s Bookish Corner
 Tomes and Thoughts
Check out all of the amazing ownvoices blog stops! ☕

About the Author

Jason Tanamor is the critically acclaimed author of the novels “Anonymous” and “Drama Dolls.” His new novel “Vampires of Portlandia” is a NA urban fantasy about Filipino folklore – aswang. His writings have appeared in more than 250 publications. He’s interviewed personalities such as Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Pete Rose, and Dane Cook, and has covered U.S. President Barack Obama. Tanamor currently lives and works in the Portland, Oregon area.


Author links
Author website Facebook | Goodreads Instagram | Twitter

#5OnMyTBR | Classics

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#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook
You can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. 🐝

Hey, friends! I know this post is a day early! Tomorrow I have a very exciting review for a blog tour, but I had already written up this post before our dates were selected! Shhhhh… we will just pretend you are reading this tomorrow! But I can’t even begin to tell you all how many times I’ve vowed to read more classics. I feel like some years I do a decent job, but for the most part… I very much slack with reading classics. And I almost feel like it gets worse and worse the older I get. I mean, a lot of that is because so many classics are problematic as all hell, but there are still a few that I really hope to eventually read in my lifetime! Also, I asked on bookstagram what were some of my friends’ favorite classics and the response really helped me make this TBR list, so thank you so much if you answered my question! Okay, let’s get into it!


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)

“My good opinion once lost is lost forever.”

Might as well start this list out with maybe the most beloved classic of my friends! Okay, I have read this, but it was during high school and… it’s been many years ago now! So I’m saying this is back on my TBR, because I would love know my thoughts on P&P in 2020!


The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982)

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

Speaking of very loved classics, I feel like I couldn’t have made this list without including this one. Not only is this a sapphic classic about two Black girls, I believe it is also told in the form of letters and… so much for me to love.


Sula by Toni Morrison (1973)

“It was a fine cry – loud and long – but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.”

In August, my friend Jaime read this because it was the monthly pick for The Stacks Podcast Book Club and I knew this would be a book that I would have to pick up very soon! (I’m writing this post a little early, but by the time you’re reading it, their podcast episode will be up discussing it!)


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877)

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.”

This one honestly makes me giggle to think about! Okay, listen… I know this story, but I am very unsure if I’ve ever actually read this very large tome before. But I do have a very strong feeling I will read this one maybe much sooner than the rest on this list.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)

“I like good strong words that mean something…”

Everyone always says that this is the classic for people who don’t love classics. I’m not sure how true that is, or how influenced that is by the newest adaptation, but I can’t even begin to tell you how many people have not only recommended this to me, but promised me that I will fall in love with it too!


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Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall | Drumsofautumn ARC Review

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ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

“Now my heart is with a girl in a coffin in the ground. But that girl wanted me to be better, she wanted my heart to be in it, so I could keep running with her. So for her, I’ll try.”

Who I Was With Her is an incredibly powerful YA Contemporary about grief and figuring out what you want from life.

This story is about 17-year old Corinne, whose girlfriend, Maggie, suddenly dies in a car accident. But because both girls were still in the closet, nobody knew that they were in a relationship and so we follow Corinne as she tries to deal with this loss while nobody knows what Maggie meant to her.

So as you can tell from this synopsis, this is a very hard-hitting novel. The tone of this book is overall rather sad and melancholic and it is definitely not an easy read, so for sure be in the right headspace when going into this novel.
But it is also a very powerful read, that turns a devastating experience into a journey for Corinne to focus on herself and figure out what she really wants from life.

“I start to run down the hill, push myself as hard as I can. Running down this hill doesn’t feel quite like flying, not when I’m trying to pace myself, but it’s sure damn close. I just hope my wings don’t burn up in the sun.”

The grief depicted in this book is incredibly well done. Corinne feels like she no longer knows who she is without Maggie and she has trouble really defining for herself what not only the relationship but also this grief means for her when she can’t even talk about it with anyone or be open about the way she is feeling.

There is also a lot of guilt that Corinne deals with. Whenever she feels a second of happiness or she is laughing with friends, she immediately has thoughts about how she can’t believe she forgot about Maggie and her grief so easily.
And there is a lot of looking back to her relationship with Maggie and wondering about the way she behaved, how she should’ve reacted differently sometimes or certain things that she didn’t know about Maggie.
All those aspects add to a very nuanced and realistic depiction of grief.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be the girl she saw me as. I loved her, I loved her, I loved her. I don’t know who I am without her. She wanted me to be all these big, grand things; she had these dreams for us and—That’s not me. I am not out and proud; I am scared out of my mind. Maggie wanted, so I didn’t have to.”

The only person who knew about Corinne and Maggie’s relationship was Maggie’s brother, Dylan. They have a really messy but interesting relationship in this book too and you can always feel all the anger and sadness from the grief flowing into their conversations. But at the same time, you can also see how they both know they are two of the people who knew Maggie best and they definitely bond over that way more than they ever have before her death.

Dylan is also the one who introduces Corinne to Elissa, Maggie’s ex-girlfriend. Now this is a storyline that honestly feels a little bit questionable in parts but ultimately also offers a lot of realistic aspects. Dylan hopes that Corinne can find some comfort with Elissa, as they have dated the same person and can lean on each other.. and they do, which quickly turns into there being some chemistry between the two.
This all happens not too long after Maggie’s death and throughout the book you are definitely questioning the nature of these feelings. I felt like this aspect was handled okay and was very much just another part of Corinne’s grieving process but I also wish it would’ve been explored more and especially sooner in the book.

Especially the power dynamic between the two was off sometimes. Corinne is 17 and still goes to high school while Elissa is 19 and at college and Elissa also reads older than 19 to me personally. On top of that, she was definitely placed in this book as someone that Corinne could lean on for support while dealing with her girlfriend’s death. While I understood where Corinne’s attraction and thoughts about Elissa came from, I really would’ve wanted for Elissa to be more of a sensible and responsible person in this scenario. Obviously she is also still quite young and grieving too and you can tell she has her doubts about this whole situation sometimes but I wish it would’ve been on-page a little bit more, especially when it feels like, again, her purpose in this book was to help Corinne with her grief. It just made me feel weird and slightly uncomfortable about their dynamics sometimes.

“I thought I didn’t have more tears left but I guess I do, because I’m crying into her shirt, because I don’t want her to lose me, either. I don’t want to be lost. ”

This story also very heavily deals with Corinne’s family relationship. Her parents are divorced and her mother struggles with alcoholism. While the divorce was a while ago, we can still see Corinne struggle with it and especially feeling like her dad just abandoned her mum and her alcohol issues, which Corinne now has to deal with herself.

Apart from the obvious sapphic storyline and Corinne being bisexual, we also have an asexual side-character, Julia, who figures out that she is asexual and finds this label for herself throughout the story. I thought that it was a really well-done element and showed that this is an aspect that can be easily packed into a side-storyline, while still being done with care.

In general, the friendship between Corinne and Julia, who is her best friend, was a really interesting and nuanced aspect of this book too. Their friendship definitely suffered in the past year because Corinne spend so much time with Maggie and also could never tell Julia what she was doing and so that definitely created a rift between the two. Within this book, they find their way back together and I very much liked seeing their development throughout.
They also had a short but important discussion about privilege, as Julia is a woman of colour, as is her boyfriend, but I think there is no description beyond Julia having “deep brown skin”.

On top of all that, this book obviously also has a huge focus on coming out and talks a lot about how different circumstances can really influence your experience with coming out. All the actual on-page coming out processes are super good experiences and show that it is also different for everyone but there are definitely discussions in this book that are quite tough when it comes to other people pressuring you into coming out or making you feel not valid for being scared to do so. I think that it was a well-done aspect and the discussions were always nuanced, where you could understand everyone’s POV but I definitely think that in part it very hard to read.

“This is my coming out. One person at a time. No big statement, no grand gesture. Only people I want to tell. Why should I come out the way everyone else wants me to?”

I also very much enjoyed the form of storytelling. We go back and forth in time, to when Corinne and Maggie met or had their first kiss and then back to the current times. This worked perfectly for this kind of book! Plus, all the chapters, but especially the ones in the past, where super short, which is honestly my favourite kind of chapters.

This book also talks about Corinne getting her period and masturbating and there is a sapphic sex scene (with an emphasis on consent) that is not explicit but still makes it very clear what is happening, which are all elements I am always glad to see in YA.

“I have stopped counting how long it’s been since she died. She deserves to be remembered, not measured by the days of my grief or how long it’s been since she left. She deserves to be remembered for who she was.”

Overall, this book just deals with so many different things, so many messy characters and relationships but I enjoyed reading about it all so much. There is a lot of guilt-tripping and forcing people to do stuff and not accepting what people want and changing who you are or what you want for another person.. but after finishing the novel you are left with a sense that all these characters have learned from their mistakes and really developed as people.
And that, ultimately, is all that I wanted as I was reading the book.

The aspects are very nuanced and I am deeply impressed with how many topics were packed into this short Contemporary novel.
If you can handle the tougher themes within this book, it definitely comes with a huge recommendations from me.

Trigger and Content Warnings for loss of a loved one, car accident (off-page), grief, alcoholism, underage drinking/alcohol abuse.

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✨ Lea posts a review on Meltotheany every Friday! Read more of her reviews HERE! ✨