Thursday, 1 August 2019

Planned Reads For August.

I'm enjoying the smaller expectations each month, especially as I'm going through a bit of a slump at the moment. I have six books, mostly pulled over from last month's selections that I didn't get to, that I can hopefully read this month!


That's right. I'm still promising to read 'Reign Of The Fallen' by Sarah Glenn Marsh. In fact, I have actually started now, but it's taken me a long time to get to that point thanks to...the slump. I'm excited for the bisexual MC, necromancy and hopefully some fun, magical, queer shenanigans.

'Hello Me, It's You', a collection of letters compiled by Hannah Todd, caught my eye a while back but I'd like to read something that focuses on mental health this month as my own has been off lately. It has good reviews, with many saying they were bawling while reading, so I have a good feeling about this book!

I'm kind of feeling the non-fiction vibe this month, and I started reading 'They/Them/Their' by Eris Young a couple of days ago in a bis to read more on non-binary, queer and transgender issues. I'm learning so much so far!


So, pulled over from last month is 'Summer Bird Blue' by Akemi Dawn Bowman. I want to read this while it can still be considered summer, and this book focuses on grief which I tend to find are reads that I enjoy.

I have to say, 'The Love Interest' by Cale Dietrich looks like a lot of fun! If spy schools don't immediately catch your attention, how about a love triangle with a twist? Will my gay-loving heart be able to cope when the two boys battling to win the girl's heart fall for each other instead?

I liked 'They Both Die At The End' by Adam Silvera, and Love, Simon, the movie based on Becky Albertalli's 'Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda' was a big hit with me too, so it stands to reason that a collab beetween the two would be right up my street. Enter - 'What If It's Us'. I can't wait to read this book!

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

July Wrap-Up.

Reading-wise, it has been a pretty appalling month. I kind of expected it to be though as I've had lots to catch up on work-wise after the wedding/honeymoon and I'm finding myself falling into a bit of a reading slump again. I managed two reads overall, only one of which was on my original list. I'm getting better at not beating myself up over this stuff though!




  1. 'Naturally Tan' by Tan France. I have now got through Season 4 of Queer Eye and this was the perfect accompaniment. Tan France is one of the fabulous five hosts of the show and his British origins have meant I've always had a soft spot for him. I loved the insights about the show's processes that I gleaned from this read, and learning more about his life, though perhaps could have done without his slightly over-critical nature at times. 3.5/5 Stars.
  2. 'Mooncakes' by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu. Graphic novels might be the answer to this slump I'm having. Especially queer ones. I loved this little story for a variety of reasons - the diverse characters, fun plot and supernatural goodness. There's a lot of originality in here too! 4/5 Stars.

This month I read zero books for the Beat The Backlist Challenge, making my yearly total seventeen.




This month I read two books for the New Release Challenge, making my yearly total eight.


- Naturally Tan
- Mooncakes






This month I read zero books for the Finishing The Series Challenge, making my yearly total four.







This month I read two books for the Diversity Reading Challenge, making my yearly total eighteen.

- Naturally Tan 
*Mini Challenge: (LGBT Pride Summer)*
- Mooncakes 
*Mini Challenge: (LGBT Pride Summer)*

Monday, 29 July 2019

Last Week's Shenanigans (22nd July - 28th July)...

There's not much to talk about this week in all honesty, other than the fact that I went to the Dentist and got to see my family for the first time since the wedding! It was nice to have a catch-up! My sister is getting pretty close to her due date now so it's certainly getting more nerve-wracking and exciting my the minute.

I Read...

--

I Received...

--

Monday, 22 July 2019

Last Week's Shenanigans (15th July - 21st July)...

This week has been so much fun, particularly Monday, as for the first time in ages I went to the Theatre! Yay! I went with Mat and a good friend of mine, and we saw A Midsummer Night's Dream starring Gwendoline Christie at the Bridge Theatre! It is for sure one of the best Theatre experiences I've ever had as we were in the pit, meaning we were actually in the show and the actors acted around us! There was dancing, acrobatics, hilarity, and an eerie, enchanted feel. I absolutely loved it and would definitely recommend it!


Mat and I have also started a D&D group and Thursday was character creation day, or 'Session 0' as it's often referred to. I had so much fun making my character and I'm totally intrigued by the sheer complexity of this game, but it looks like so much fun! I've never played before - looking forward to trying!

I Read...


I Received...


- 'Mooncakes' by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu: NetGalley (19/07/19)

Friday, 19 July 2019

Book Review: Mooncakes; Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu.

I stumbled upon this one on NetGalley quite by accident but I'm so glad I did! What a find!

SOURCE: NetGalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Mooncakes
AUTHOR: Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu
SERIES: --
PUBLISHER: Lion Forge
PAGES: 256
GENRE: Graphic Novel, LGBTQ+, Fantasy, Romance

RATING: 4/5 Stars


Blurb:
Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers' bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

What I Liked:

  • This story just felt so effortless. I liked the plot because it was heartwarming and felt like a fresh take on a few common tropes! I was intrigued by the world-building and wanted to know more about this world filled with witches, ghosts, demons and people with pigeon heads.
  • I really loved the diversity in this one. In this story you'll find a non-traditional family structure, Chinese-American characters, a deaf MC, a F/NB romance, and so much more! If you support diverse books then please give this adorable story a try!
What I Disliked:
  • I'd have liked this to be longer? Currently, it seems to be a standalone and I'd love to see this as part of a series because I'm so intrigued by a lot of aspects of this and want some of my questions answered! It did give me that 'snapshot' feeling rather than that of the whole picture, so I'm hoping that this turns into something bigger!
Overall Conclusion:
I really loved this graphic novel, and am so glad that it caught my attention while browsing NetGalley. Not only was it a quick, easy read but it was a great story, and had oodles of great characters and fun supernatural shenanigans. I'd like to see more from this world please!

Monday, 15 July 2019

Last Week's Shenanigans (8th July - 14th July)...

I'll be honest, this week has been a little on the uneventful side. I did get a few sneak peeks of some of the wedding photos that Mat and I can expect to see, and we are very excited to see more! They are stunning!



One great thing that did happen was that I finally received my FairyLoot June box! It has been a bit of a debacle trying to get hold of it seeing as it was delivered nearly a month prior but honestly the team at FairyLoot have been nothing short of amazing in quickly responding and trying to make it right. I received a very exciting book too!

I Read...


I Received...


- 'Sorcery Of Thorns' by Margaret Rogerson: FairyLoot Box (08/07/19)
- 'Crossfire' by Malorie Blackman: NetGalley (13/07/19)

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Book Review: Naturally Tan; Tan France.

Season 4 of Queer Eye is almost here, and so I'm celebrating by reading Tan France's newly released book, 'Naturally Tan'!

SOURCE: NetGalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Naturally Tan
AUTHOR: Tan France
SERIES: --
PUBLISHER: Virgin Digital
PAGES: 271
GENRE: Autobiography, Memoir, Non-Fiction, LGBTQ+

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars


Blurb:
Growing up gay in a traditional South Asian family in South Yorkshire, Tan France could never have imagined he’d become part of a worldwide phenomenon. One of the few people of colour at his school, he experienced racist bullies, found solace at his grandad’s denim factory and eventually discovered his true calling at fashion college. Told with his trademark humour, for the first time Tan reveals the experiences that have made him the witty, compassionate man he is today.

From meeting the love of his life Rob (a Mormon cowboy from Salt Lake City) to juggling three demanding businesses, Tan charts the highs and lows on his path to Queer Eye. And of course he can’t help but pepper this book with fashion dos and don’ts. Full of candid observations about US and UK cultural differences, celebrity encounters, and behind-the-scenes revelations about Queer Eye, Naturally Tan gives us Tan’s unique perspective on the happiness to be found in being yourself.

What I Liked:
  • I love Queer Eye and so getting to see the production of the show in more depth was really cool. The audition process especially was awesome to read about, it sounds like a lot of fun and a very interesting approach! I think reading more about the show, the fab five and Tan's experiences within Queer Eye was my favourite part of this book.
  • I also liked reading about Tan's childhood, and it was interesting to read about the culture that he grew up in and how the fact that he was gay was not the only reason that he ended up feeling isolated in his community.
What I Disliked:
  • The writing was not bad and felt very distinctly Tan, but there was a common theme in which Tan would ask a rhetorical question and then answer it a few times in a row repeatedly and that annoyed the heck out of me. I'll give an example: 'Were Tan's rhetorical questions repetitive? Yes. Did I want him to stop? Yes. Did it ruin my life? No.' The good news is that I read it all in his voice in my head, so the writing definitely contained the essence of Tan.
  • For someone who is about promoting individuality and staying true to yourself, Tan France is very critical. He gives a variety of top tips on how men and women shouldn't dress, wear their hair, and behave in order to become sexier or more likeable. I'm not 100% surprised as he is the 'style' portion of the show and it is his job. But some of it felt unnecessarily harsh.
Overall Conclusion:
This was an enjoyable read - Tan France originates from England so I totally got his sense of humour, gripes about American culture and language and found a lot of his experiences relatable. Of course, I also learnt a lot about the South Asian community and culture, gay culture (something I have not really immersed myself in), Queer Eye and personal style. It's a shame that the writing was not as edited as I'd have liked and that some of the advice that Tan gave grated on me a little (there is nothing I love more as a women than being told how to dress and look by a man) but I think  everything that Tan wrote was well-intentioned and fit well with the image of the show. I still love him and look forward to watching more Queer Eye when the new season hits!