Title and Author: The Masterpiece by Bonnie Dee
Genre: Historical M/M Romance
Reviewed by: Anya
Why you need this book: Slow-build, adorable romance which is perfect to chill with on hot summer days. Read More
Shadows of Ourselves by Apollo Blake
Published by: Self-published
Genre: urban fantasy/queer fiction
Order at: Amazon
Reviewed by: Edwin
What to Expect: Remarkably ambitious urban fantasy with fascinating world-building. A young writer brimming with ideas, though a few rough edges do show through. Read More
Published by: Bold Strokes Books
Format: Kindle edition
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance (possibly mm but there’s an alien so…it’s actually m/a?)
Reviewed by: Judith
While the cover has been the subject of many a disturbing tweet (note to publishers: that cover is not…the greatest. You think I kid but I’m asking seriously, why would you use that? I would never in a million years have purchased this book except for the urging of trusted sources. No, really, not at all. EVER. It’s – what’s the word? Oh yes, AWFUL), the book itself is a rich and beautifully written find that lingered far longer than it should have and actually had me questioning my own humanity at points. It’s a rare romance novel that is able to do that!
On your birthday, does the internal monologue run a little something like this?
“I am fierce! FIERCE! You bought that cake for me, right?! Of course you did! It’s my day. I can eat the whole thing if I want to. Yum-my! Costco makes a mean sheet cake and it is all mine…no, you can’t have any. Get your grubby stubs off my cake! Whew, close one. That kid almost got a bite of my cake but I showed her…ooh presents! For me??? Aw, man, that kid is back and eyeing my cake. Hands off!”
So the other day, my husband’s niece asked me, “How come you don’t do anything but read? I mean, you’re always on your kindle.”
I stared at her, dumbfounded. The kid is four so her idea of always is a little skewed. And how the heck does she know what a kindle is for that matter? “No, I’m not,” I said and even to myself it sounded a bit shrill. “I have plenty of other interests.”
“Like what? You’re always reading something.”
As my husband smirked at me from the couch, I realized that she was a) far too perceptive for a four year old and b) 100% correct. I am always on my kindle. It’s beside me when I wake up; it follows me to the coffee maker; is my constant companion as I get ready in the morning (hell, I even read the thing while blow drying my hair!); and it’s the last thing I see before drifting off each night.
Now, don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with reading but if I were to tell everyone around me that all I do is read YA fiction, they’d probably smirk like hubby and tell me to get another hobby. Because hobbies like knitting or skeet shooting are somehow more acceptable these days than reading a feel good book where the main character is generally a spunky, intelligent girl who over the course of the story learns and grows from various mistakes while either winning or losing the guy. Case in point: A friend of mine recently tried to coerce me into giving up the password on my kindle so he could check out what I’m reading. He’s evidently some sort of highbrow, book snob because when I mentioned it was a YA novel, he dropped
the thing as if it were covered in anthrax. He just didn’t get it.
YA fiction is good. Okay, better than good. It’s fantastic. And I’m hellbent on spreading the word and making converts of us all. I use a highly scientific review system that examines the following:
How much did I like the heroine:
How much did I like the love interest:
How believable is the plot:
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc:
How much did I want to keep reading:
****The droolworthiness of the main love interest has been known to add bonus points to a review. Likewise, the amount of self-worth the main character places in her relationship with a love interest subtracts points (Yes, Bella Swan I’m pointing a finger at you!)