Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli – Spoilery Review

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Title: Leah on the Offbeat
Author: 
Becky Albertalli
Series Name: 
Creekwood #2
Genre: 
YA Diverse Contemporary
Publication Date: April 24th, 2018
Pages: 339 (Paperback)
Publishers: Penguin Random House UK
Rating:
2 star

Goodreads Synopsis

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended

Cover-LeahOnTheOffbeat

This is the spoilery portion of this review! If you haven’t read the Spoiler Free section yet you will need to before reading this spoiler review. Find my Spoiler Free Review HERE!
This is mainly just where I want to elaborate on a couple things I spoke about in my Spoiler Free Review and also mention a couple other things that I had no way of discussing without spoilers.

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Firstly let’s talk about a few more things I had an issue with to do with Leah and elaborate on a couple things.

Let me talk about something I mentioned in the Anger Management Issues section. As I said half the time the reason she snapped was over nothing much. One example of this, the love interest, Abby & the guy Leah is leading on, Garrett is talking and they bring up the trip that Abby and Leah will be taking soon. Abby makes a joke and says “What happens in Athens stays in Athens” & Garrett replies with a raised eyebrow and a “Say no more”. They are just messing around but Leah takes it to a whole other level. She snaps & storms off and what is going through her head is that if Garrett is interested he should have taken Abby’s comment as a threat to his relationship and that if one of the guys said it there would be competition.
So first thing, he does know you are bi or that Abby is, so why would he think that is a threat to his relationship, my mates and I say shit like this all the time, that doesn’t mean we are hitting on each other… Second Abby has a boyfriend, yeah not everyone is loyal but you would think one of your friends wouldn’t go round actually flirting with someone else just to create issues in your relationship. Third, YOU ARE LEADING HIM ON!!! What do you care if he feels threatened anyway!
THENNNNN after this happens, the next day Garrett texts and apologises and Leah makes him promise to “stop being a dick” Uhm HI. He did nothing wrong except join in a joke! You’re the one throwing tantrums and acting like an ass.

My next point is actually related to the end of that last one and it is how Leah treats Garrett. Not only does she give him false hope and leads him on but she lies to him as mentioned in my spoiler free review. She also refers to him as ‘only Garrett’ more than once, like he isn’t even worth her time at all. She calls him annoying ALL THE DAMN TIME but in the book he does nothing annoying towards her except the awkward stages where he is nervous about how Leah feels about him and he is asking her to games or complimenting her and such. Not annoying, just nervous. If you have told the truth from the beginning this wouldn’t be happening because he would know you aren’t interested. Then there was this bombshell of a comment!
“I have to admit, I like the feeling of being pursued, even if it’s only Garrett. It just feels nice. And maybe nice is kind of refreshing.”
So you are leading him on because it feels nice to have someone interested in you. Wow bitch, wow.

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I just want to touch on something Leah thinks at one point. This has more to do with why the author included this than about Leah herself. So that is why this is in the writing section. I actually saw a picture of this quote on Facebook but didn’t realise it was from this book as the person didn’t say. But this is the quote
“The daily cringe, starring Garrett Laughlin. Today’s episode: Garrett missed the memo  about not calling women ladies
Overall, this is just confusing. I think I may have missed the memo on what the problem is with calling people ladies too. When I first read it I thought it may have had something to do with not assuming labels and prefixes and such. But in the sentence, she calls them women, so it obviously has nothing to do with what names/words people choose to identify with. So I have no bloody idea what the problem is with calling a group ‘ladies’… I understand some women not liking being called ‘madam’ as that has more that one meaning and the one people have an issue with is that it can refer to a female pimp of sorts in the prostitution world. However, if someone knows why ‘ladies’ is an issue please enlighten me because no one had an answer on that post I saw on facebook either. I even looked it up on Urban dictionary because I thought I might have missed something but no ‘lady’ there means pretty positive things. So I don’t know.

Okay, now next I want to talk about the biggest problem I  had and this was the one that I saw prior to reading the book and that is the “lowkey bi” situation. If you don’t know. In the book, Abby comes out to Leah as ‘Lowkey bi’. She is only just trying to come out and figure out her sexuality. She always thought she was straight, but with Leah, she is realising that may not be true. Which is great, a lot of people realise their sexuality when they meet a certain person that makes them realise.
The negative thing about this is when Abby comes out to Leah she completely shuts Abby down. She tells her that ‘lowkey bi’ isn’t a thing and tries to force her to come out as bisexual because she is just in denial. I’ll add quotes just so you get the full blow of it.

” “I don’t think I’m straight,” she says, and my heart almost stops.
“I don’t know,” she adds finally. “I guess I’m lowkey bisexual?”

“I don’t think that’s a thing.”
“What? It totally is.” She pokes my arm. “lowkey bi.”
“You’re either bi or you’re not. That’s like being a little bit pregnant.”
“That’s a thing, too. Why can’t you be a little bit pregnant?”
“I think that’s just called pregnant.”
“Well, I’m a little bit bi, and I’m sticking with that.”
I sit up. “I don’t get you.”
“What?”
I shake my head. “Lowkey bi, a little bit bi. Just be bi. Like, come on.”
“What? No.” She draws herself up. “You don’t get to decide my label.”
“It’s not a real label!”
Well, it’s real for me.”….
………….
…………
“Jesus Christ, Abby.” I press my hands over my eyes. “I want you to stop messing with my head.”
“I’m not—“
“Seriously? Lowkey bi?” I laugh flatly. “Otherwise known as what—you’re bi, but don’t want to admit it? I’m not saying you have to march in a Pride parade. You don’t have to come out. But God. At least admit it to yourself.”…. “

This entire thing is not fucking on! Leah never even apologises for this or even ever thinks that maybe she was wrong. After she walks off it is never mentioned again and then later Abby just comes out as bi.
At no point should you ever force someone into a box or force a label on someone! If someone wants to come out as bisexual, awesome and if someone wants to come out as ‘lowkey bi’ that’s amazing too. In this instance, she was just trying to figure everything out and if ‘lowkey bi’ is what suited what she felt then she has every right to use it. After reading ‘lowkey bi’ I thought, yeah that makes sense a little for me too. I’m bisexual, I not sure if I 100% love that specific label as I feel that I like males and females differently, so lowkey bi also kinda works for me, still not spot on but it doesn’t have to be. Sexuality is about expressing who you are and who you are attracted to, everyone is different and there isn’t just one word to describe every group.

The lowkey bi thing really was the downfall of this book! I love Albertalli’s other books for the diversity and how it also sends a good message, to be who you are and choose what you want. But this does not sit right with me at all. This is not the only quote from this book that actually got under my skin. In a book where you are trying to relate and help people these quotes just aren’t fair. If you want to use quotes like this then fine, but have another character call that person out and make sure the person that says it realises how wrong it is, especially when it is the main character that we are meant to enjoy! Make a lesson out of it! But how it was used in this book, I just can’t accept that and I most likely won’t support this author again when these are the types of messages she is sending to readers.

 Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

Well, I think that is all I want to talk about. There were other things that bugged me, but I have been working on this review for 4 days now and I’m sick of pulling myself down every time I have to remember the hurtful shit that was in this book. So I am ending it here.

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

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Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Leah on the Offbeat
Author: 
Becky Albertalli
Series Name: 
Creekwood #2
Genre: 
YA Diverse Contemporary
Publication Date: April 24th, 2018
Pages: 339 (Paperback)
Publishers: Penguin Random House UK
Rating:
2 star

Goodreads Synopsis

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended

Cover-LeahOnTheOffbeat

Okay, so I have read this and I have a lot of thoughts to share. I will be splitting this review into Spoiler Free & Spoilery! I will post both at the same time but you will need to read this one to understand the spoilery one. You can find the Spoilery review HERE!! This review also won’t be following my usual format, I will basically just be saying whatever I think of at the time.

I will try and use some quotes, but  I will use the name BOB for all character names in said quote so as no spoilers.

Okay, so I didn’t particularly like this book. Originally I was thinking about setting this review up as ‘what I loved’ & ‘what I hated’ but honestly I didn’t enjoy much. I wouldn’t even say I ‘liked’ much, it was more things that I didn’t like and thinks that I didn’t absolutely hate.

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However, what I did like was Simon & Blue. I am saying blue, so as not to spoil Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I did enjoy their relationship in the book. I’m not a romance person but they are cute. They add a little ray of sunshine to this not so great book.

Second I do like the range of diversity, even if I don’t like how the bisexual situation was handled (see that in my spoilery review). We had LGBT characters, POC, half Chinese, Jewish and more.

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My main problem with the book is the MC, Leah. It’s been a while since reading Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda so I didn’t remember a tonne about Leah, so I can’t fully comment on whether she has changed as that seems to be a lot of peoples problem in this book. However, I can talk about some of the reasons I didn’t like her.

1. Firstly, the amount of inappropriate negative things that goes through her head is just beyond a joke. She judges nearly everyone that isn’t in her direct friend group & even some of them get judged actually. Let me give you a quote!
“I have a theory that BOB literally gets off on the sound of her own voice. I’m pretty sure she’s having tiny secret orgasms right before our eyes.”
Then there is how she thinks about her friends. She describes one friend as “embarrassingly hetero”. No girl, no. Unless someone actually straight out tells you at some point that ‘I am straight’ then don’t go around thinking shit like that! You got angry at other characters when they assumed hetero things about you?!?! How is that any different from what you just did?!
2. She leads people on for no better reason than half the time she forgets they exist and the other half it makes her feel nice to be wanted (see spoilery section for a quote). She also half arse attempts to tell the truth a couple times but changes her mind because it will be awkward. Of course, it is awkward, you are about to reject someone that you think has a crush on, it’s going to be weird. But you NEVER LEAD SOMEONE ON!! It is not fair on them at all and it is just so damn sad! Then she has the nerve to get up a different character later on for leading her on and sending weird signals!!! UHM HELLO!
3. Her every second thought contradicted the one before it. As you can probably see by reading my first two points here. She gets annoyed when people assume she is straight but she does the same thing because that person has a boyfriend. Uhmmm, bisexuals like both, so we can blend in pretty well with the straight people sometimes.. She leads someone on and then later has a go at another character because she thinks that character is doing the same thing. This happens more than just these two explains, but I could be here all night explaining each.
4. The way she treats her mother, Jessica, my god. She is rude, blatantly doesn’t care about her mum’s opinions on things & the way she acts about her mum’s boyfriend good lord. She can’t just accept that her Mum is happy and likes this guy, no he is just a douche because he has a fancy job and money and offers to help them out. Let me give you a quote that literally floored me. I had to pause and make sure I read it right because I was shocked.
“”Why do I love BOB?”
“I get the money thing, obviously.””
Do you think so little of your mother that she would be in a relationship with someone just for the money? It would be different if she was draining him of money and buying fancy stuff and holidaying and crap like that, then you might be able to breach that subject with her. But no your mother still works her ass off to barely make ends meet, even with a rich boyfriend! So that makes no damn sense! And my god if I said that to my Mum I would get a whack around the ears. Apparently, respect for parents has gone out the window. I always complain that parents are absent in most YA but this bitch has a really nice caring and kinda fun Mum and she treats her like crap!!
5. THE LYING!!! You literally lied to someone that you went to a soccer game when someone asks you to come to the game and watch them. You felt like shit, I get it but instead of straight out lying you could have just told him you weren’t feeling up to it because that is the TRUTH! Good lord she lies sooo damn much it is not funny and in her head, she is always thinking ‘oh I should have told the truth, too late now.’ No girl you turn your arse around and march back over that and tell the truth! They are your friends and even best friends! Come on!
6. Definite anger management problems. Literally, someone would do something or say something that Leah didn’t like and she would throw a tantrum and storm off. Most of the time the thing that set her off was something that meant absolutely nothing (Again see the spoilery section for explanation and quotes).

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Now let’s talk about the writing a little.
1. Firstly we have the romance, I won’t say who, but I will say that it is plainly obviously about 60 pages in who the love interest is going to be. I also kinda felt like at the start the interest felt fake. It felt like this for a couple reasons, one for how the author wrote their interactions and how Leah reacted to those interactions. She could barely function whenever the love interest talked to her, but she had NO IDEA that she liked this person even a little apparently. The other reason was that it was just over the top. Leah’s every thought is the love interest and every single time she is described as perfect but confusing. It was like the author was just trying to emphasise that this is the person Leah has a crush on, just in case you missed the first 50 hints. It just felt so forced and fake. It felt a little more realistic towards the very end though and that is where the story just turned into a typical soppy YA love story.
2. Next, we have the references to pop culture. Usually, I don’t mind a couple, but in this book, it felt like these references were just being thrown in to be relatable. They were all over the place really.
3. How many times a page can one person use ‘God’ as an exclamation?!?! I don’t know, but you will find out in this book.
4. If Leah doesn’t say once a chapter that she ‘doesn’t understand’ the love interesting and that they are confusing, she says it like 20 fucking times a chapter!
I literally wrote in the thoughts part of Bookly while reading this “If she says she doesn’t understand BOB one more time I will throw this book across the creek on my walk this arvo”

Goodreads Synopsis (3)

Uhmm what plot??? It is basically none existent. This is more pure romance than Becky’s other books. Like Simon had the blackmail situation & Upside there is a bit going on, there is the romance, the anxiety, the stuff with her and her sister, there is their Mum’s wedding & so much going on. But in Leah there it is literally just a typical high school romance and prom. The only difference from half the prom type movies & books is that there are gay people involved.

Also what little plot there was present was very predictable. I knew basically the whole plot after the first 1/3 of the book and I was pretty spot on. This is why I don’t read contemporary! Real life is too damn predictable. It’s not like in fantasy where you think you have everything figured out and then the love interest turns into a bloody werewolf or something! I need unpredictability!!

Goodreads Synopsis (4)

Besides Leah, Simon & Blue the other characters kinda felt a bit weird or flat to me. There was one character who completely went off the rails after a breakup but it was never mentioned how he sorted that out in the end and whether he calmed down as the story cut off before any chance of that happening. There was also a racist side character that just kinda felt like it was thrown in there just for a plot point. It didn’t actually add anything to the book except an argument & that a POC has to deal with comments like that often.

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

Well, I think that is all. If you want spoilery thoughts as well go HERE!

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS please do that in the spoilery post.

Lizaxx1

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Love is Love is Love – TBR & Beyond Pride Event – Possible Reads

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So in June TBR & Beyond is holding a Pride event called Love is Love is Love. If you want to join us over at TBR and Beyond you can join the group HERE! We also have some awesome live talks with authors in June and the coming months!!

This challenge is based on a word search. So the idea is that you find the LGBT+ related words in the word search and create your TBR based on those words. The words aren’t specific things that you have to read, it is more just a book that reminds you of that word. For example, Melanie, one of the awesome admins at TBR and Beyond just put up some examples of  how you can take this challenge. Here is one of those:

Pink = The cover or something on the cover is pink. Maybe you love the book and it makes you think of love – therefor PINK! Maybe the book has lesbians and it makes you think of the Lesbian flag – PINK AGAIN!

Here is the word search.

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Now I am not going to try and choose books based on the words. What I will do is read some LGBT books throughout June and then figure out which words fit them best. I like going into books knowing very little. So for most of these books, I don’t even know what type of LGBTQIAP+ characters I will find, so I can’t really choose a word for them. So I will just match the words at the end. Is that cheating? Since when do I care?

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These are the books that I 100% plan on reading in June. Leah on the Offbeat & Ramona Blue is both on my TBR for a ReadAThon happening in June. Heart of Iron is the June BOTM for the Facebook Group I run, The YA Book Nerds.

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Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Every Heart a Doorway
Author: 
Seanan McGuire
Series: Wayward Children #1
Genre: 
YA Diverse Fantasy
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
Pages: 173 (Hardback)
Publishers: Tor
Rating:
4 and a half star

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Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

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I really like the cover of this book. It is simple, but catches your eye and also betrays the story well. I really enjoy how all the covers in this series just have a landscape background with a single item in the middle standing out.

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This book is beautifully written and to some degree, the writing is fairly lyrical, similar to Laini Taylor’s but not quite as much. But also a lot darker! Overall, the book was a lot darker than I expected. I just thought it would be a casual YA Fantasy, but it actually turned out to be a Murder Mystery as well. So even though it was unexpected, it was done well and I enjoyed the reading.

I was worried that being such a short book there might be confusion or details left out, however, everything flowed together nicely and was concluded well. The only real mystery was the worlds that these children had been to and I do find it a shame that we only get to dive into two of them with the companion novels Down Among the Sticks and Bones & Beneath the Sugar Sky. Hopefully, it will be extended later on as I would love to dive a bit further into the other worlds!

I also enjoyed the multi-POV, however, I did wish that it was specified whose POV we were reading from at the time as it did swap around randomly and sometimes to completely random characters that we hadn’t heard from before. It wasn’t really an issue but it just would have been nice.

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So the plot itself was a little typical when it comes to murder mysteries, but they all kinda are I guess, someone gets murdered and the MC tries to discover the murder. I did enjoy it, but it was a little predictable, I didn’t guess from the start of the murders, but I did guess a little further in. I still enjoyed myself while reading and it was still pretty well down, even with the predictability. The plot wasn’t my favourite part of the book though and the reason I didn’t give the book 5 stars.

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My favourite thing is the diversity in this book! The MC is Asexual, which is rare to find and I’m pretty sure I haven’t read a book with an Asexual MC. I can’t speak for the rep but I have heard all the diversity is well done! As well as the Asexual rep we also have a Trans character, characters of varying races & characters with different gender identities. So A+ for the diversity!

Overall I didn’t feel huge connections or have a full understanding of any of the characters. But with the amazing world building and the mystery going on, and only in 170 pages, you can’t expect everything I guess! For that reason, I don’t have a tonne to say about them.

Nancy was the Main Character I guess but as it was multi POV all the focus wasn’t always on her. She also didn’t get thrown into the typical female MC in Fantasy trope that we usually see! The Badass or powerful girl who even if she doesn’t think she can, she ends up saving the world type MC.

Kade was enjoyable but also kinda felt like a typical male side character.

Sumi was overactive and loud but also kinda hilarious. Some of the crap she came out with was pretty damn funny, so that was enjoyable even if the other half of her time she was saying negative stuff.

Jack and Jill were very different characters for twins, but now after reading Down Among the Sticks and Bones that makes total sense. All the forensic stuff that Jack did was a little confusing at times as it was hard to see her as a character that has had life experience and not a child. Jill was a little more absent and mysterious in this book. She played a part but didn’t have as much page time as Jack did. Also, it was so hard at the start to think of ‘Jack’ as a female with a nickname ‘Jack’.  After a while, I got used to it, but it was a bit hard at the start.

Eleanor, the women who started Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward children gave me huge Alma Peregrine vibes! And also just the name of the school reminds me of the  Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series!

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children…
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children…

This makes me slightly iffy about the book itself. I know authors take inspiration from other books but that is just a little to close for comfort.

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Overall, the world building and writing was the best part of the book. The world building was amazingly down and the writing was gorgeous but dark! The Characters could have used some more development, but as I say in 170 pages you can’t have everything. The plot was my least favourite part of the book and the reason it didn’t get 5 stars!

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!

IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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*GIVEAWAY CLOSED* – YA Diverse 2017 release Giveaway!

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Yes, I am doing another giveaway! Why? Well, I don’t actually know! I was planning on doing this giveaway just on my Instagram but I wanted one of the entry options to be to join my bookish facebook group The YA Book Nerds and there was no easy way to do that on Instagram! So here it is!



Prize:

The choice of any 2017 YA Diverse release up to the value of $20 AUD.

Here are some examples!

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!?

This giveaway is international as long as Book Depository ships to you!

This giveaway runs from today 24th of October until the 31st of October! So that is a week!



RULES!

I will keep this short and sweet.

– Click the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post to find out how to enter

– You MUST follow me on either Instagram or Twitter as that is where I will be contacting the winner! *See those entry sections in RaffleCopter*

– Entrants must be 18+ years or have parental permission as I will need your address!

–  Please understand that once I have purchased the item I am no longer responsible for it, the shipping process will be up to Book Depository. I will send a screen capture of the receipt to you once it is purchased as proof, as  Book Depository doesn’t offer tracked free shipping.



RAFFLECOPTER LINK



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Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Queens of Geek
Author: 
Jen Wilde
Genre: YA Diverse Contemporary
Publication Date: March 14th, 2017
Pages: 288 (Paperback)
Publishers: Swoon Reads
Rating:
4 star

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When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

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Absolutely love it! I have had hair a very similar colour so as soon as I saw this cover back at the start of the year I wanted to pick it up.

This was the only photo I could find when I had full pick hair. So, yes is it a pretty crappy photo, but oh well. Also, when I sent it from my phone to my mac the colouring went kinda off too, on the mac it makes it look really bright and it kinda lost the actual strands of my hair and just looks like a big pink blob. Hopefully, that is just my computer doing that and it looks normal to you guys.. Gotta love technology.

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Okay, so I have one major issue with this book. I am Aussie and so is the author. Also, so is 2 of the main characters and the third is a former American that now lives in Aus.
But it is clear that this book was written to appeal to the American audience. Why do I say that you aks?? Well while I was reading I came across a couple things that are not accurate to Australians. For one thing, the spelling of COLOUR! They used the American spelling COLOR in this book, which really irritated me.
The second major thing is the word FRIES! I have never heard any Aussie call them Fries, we call them CHIPS! So please explain to me why exactly does in the book Charlie walk into the room and say “Do I smell fries?” and also in Taylor’s head she calls them fries. I would understand if it was Jamie calling them fries, as I said he is a former American. But why would the two girls that are meant to be born and raised in Aus? It just doesn’t make sense and it frustrated the hell out of me. As an Aussie myself I don’t agree with using words that suit another country when you are trying to represent your own! I would have let it slide if it was a non-Aussie author, but come on!

I was so annoyed with this that I was actually putting it on my insta story. Here are 2 of those pics.

Anyway, that little rant over. Besides that, I did enjoy the rest of the writing. This book was honestly one of my quickest reads, I feel like. It took me a total of 4hrs and 15mins to read this book. Which just felt crazy, I literally read it overnight!

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I  enjoyed the plot of this book even if it was a little predictable, but to me the majority of contemporaries I have read are predictable. So I don’t really judge them on that.
But still, I enjoyed it and I really enjoyed the whole Queen Firestone thing. Skyler Atkins is definitely the J.K. Rowling of that world.

There isn’t much I can say as like I said it’s kinda predictable and fairly standard for a YA contemporary.

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I love the diversity in this book! Charlie is an Asian-Australia Bisexual and Taylor has social anxiety and is on the autism spectrum. I can’t speak about the rep for autism and anxiety as I don’t have either of those things. However, as a bisexual, I did enjoy the bisexual rep and thought it was really well done.
I especially liked when Charlie had an argument with her ex-boyfriend when he said he doesn’t believe in bisexuals as I have literally had the same conversation with my best friends mum when discussing the Marriage Equality vote that is happening in Aus atm. #voteyes

As for Taylor, I can’t speak of the rep as I already said but I did really enjoy her. It was good seeing her develop and come to accept the things she has to deal with and trying new things.

I also really liked Jamie, he was interesting, fun, flirty and obviously paid a lot of attention to his best friends as he could read them really well and knew when something was off.

Charlie was really cool too. She a bit more bold but was kinda struggling too and again it was really good seeing her develop and adapt to what has been happening in her life.

Reese was an ass! It’s as simple as that. Cheating is never okay! I don’t give a damn what excuses you try and swing. He was up himself and a jerk. If I had of been Tay in that scene at the party I would have kicked him in the balls and punched him in the nose. Give him an actual reason to call me her a ‘bitch’. But that’s just me haha.

I really enjoyed Mandy, at first I thought she might have played the annoying manager roll but that was not the case. She was pretty fun really.

Brianna was a really interesting character too. It was good seeing that even someone who usually doesn’t suffer from any of those issues can have it sneak up on them. I really liked how Taylor dealt with it and help her out and they basically instantly became friends purely because they both liked Queen Firestone.

Josie was also a nice addition to the story and another diverse character. I’m pretty sure she suffered from the same things as Taylor, anxiety & on the Autism spectrum. Having a character come in that has the same issues and is overcoming them and could give Taylor some good advice was a great addition and really helped Taylor develop.

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I really enjoyed the book. It was a fun and easy read and also a cute diverse contemporary. Besides that big issue I had I really enjoyed the writing. The plot was a bit predictable, but I find most contemporaries predictable so it didn’t really bother me. I love the characters, they were all written really well and I even enjoyed Reese as a character as he was written well and represents a large group of people even if he wasn’t nice, he was necessary.
Overall a really good book.



HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT?!
IF YOU ARE GOING TO SHARE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS THEN PLEASE WARN IT SO OTHERS DON’T GET SPOILED!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Books That Feature LGBTQIAP+ Characters

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Top Ten Tuesday is a monthly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and you can find all the info and upcoming prompts Here.

Prompt: Ten Books That Feature Characters ____________: Examples: Ten books that feature black main characters, characters who hold interesting jobs, characters who have a mental illness, characters that are adopted, characters that play sports, etc, etc. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!



Review Titles (23)

1. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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Lesbian twin sister with a pansexual girlfriend, same-sex parents (females) & there were also other LGBTQIAP+ characters that popped in as well but weren’t major characters.

2. You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan

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This book starts on the night that kicks off pride week in San Fransisco! So you know there are going to be tonnes of LGBTQIAP+ characters. This book is Multi-POV following Kate who is lesbian & Mark who is Gay.

3. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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The 1700s with a bisexual MC who is in love with his male best friend set off on an adventure that does not go to plan!

4. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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A coming out story for a Gay MC with blackmail & mystery.

 5. Daughter of the Burning City by Amada Foody

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One of Sorina’s illusions are lesbian (or maybe bisexual) and also this is just an amazing book and I couldn’t not put it here!

6. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater



The rest are books that are on my TBR that have LGBTQIAP+ characters

7.  Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

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8. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

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9. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

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10. The Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey

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What is your favourite LGBTQIAP+ book?!

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