Advance Review: Waves

40744544★★★★☆

Waves is a brief and poignant story of the world-shattering loss of a child and a young couple’s life in the aftermath. Chabbet weaves their tale of recovery, based on her own experiences.

It’s hard to say that I enjoyed this story in the typical sense. My heart ached at every page during their journey of learning to cope with the reality of losing their son as I was touched by Carole Maurel’s gorgeous illustrations. My only qualm with Waves is that it left me wanting more.

 

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Advance Review: A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities

★★★★★

This is a book I wish I could’ve handed to a younger version of myself. In this beautifully illustrated graphic novel queer identities of all varieties are explored by our narrator, a snail. It is clear that this book was made to be accessible to younger readers, but I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about identities beyond their own, those trying to figure out what identity suits them, and allies trying to educate themselves.

Other reviewers have critiqued the fact that a book geared towards younger readers includes a section on relationship basics, but it was a touch that I actually loved. If you are closeted or struggling with your identity, there may never be an opportunity for you to learn about what the basis of a healthy relationship is or signs of a partner that may be controlling and/or manipulative. I think there is little harm in the way this was approached- emphasizing self love and open communication. It is clear that the authors aimed to make this an accessible, inclusive read and I can wholeheartedly say they succeeded. Continue reading “Advance Review: A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities”

Review: No Man of Woman Born

★★★★★39878322

Simply put, wow. I needed this book and I had no idea until I picked it up on a whim.

No Man of Woman Born is a collection of seven short stories, all featuring trans and nonbinary characters in epic fantasy settings. Aside from how overjoyed I was with the representation in this collection, I must take a moment to comment on Ana Mardoll’s incredible talent as a writer. In each brief story xie conjures an elaborate, fleshed out world that could support its own collection of tales. Though the world xie creates may be filled with strife and warfare, xer characters persevere. While some protagonists experienced hardship in their past, none suffer gruesome deaths or tragic fates, no characters are deadnamed, and misgendering and bigotry are minimal. Each story elegantly subverts well established tropes in the fantasy genre, and left me smiling each time it did. Mardoll puts the heart of this book best in xer own words:

The heroes and heroines in these pages aren’t special because they are trans; they are special and they are trans.

I loved this book from cover to cover and I highly recommend it to any lovers of fantasy, retellings, and queer fiction. Continue reading “Review: No Man of Woman Born”

Review: Defense of an Other

★★★★☆

Outside a gay bar in New Orleans, a young lawyer and a man he met only hours before are confronted by a group of drunks that have targeted them for a hate crime. So begins Grace Mead’s Defense of an Other. In the first few chapters leading up to the inciting incident, plenty of the dialogue and character interactions fell flat, but after the fight that ultimately ends a man’s life, our protagonist is thrown in jail. Then the book really takes off.

Mead lays out the trial proceedings and events that follow in the riveting way I’m sure only a lawyer of 17 years could do. She presents vivid drama with none of the theatrics or hyperbole that I’ve found pervasive in other legal thrillers. Instead, reading Defense of An Other felt like sitting in the court alongside all the other spectators, reeling as the case transpires, hoping for a not guilty verdict. Continue reading “Review: Defense of an Other”

Review: Lord of The Butterflies

★★★★★

I didn’t intend to tear through Andrea Gibson’s collection of poems so quickly, at such a late hour. But now it’s one in the morning and I have been deeply moved by all of their words. I found myself in tears, filled with hope, and warmed by the sweetness of some of these poems- and then through this cycle of these emotions once again. This collection touches on gender, sexuality, love, loss, and the state of our world in an age of apathy. Navigating each topic Gibson writes powerfully and sweetly, in a way that dares you not to connect with this outstanding collection. 

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