Bi The Way… by Adriana M

Hey-o! I is back with another #QueerPostsByQueerPeople and today we got Adriana M. talking about her bisexual experience.

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When I was seventeen, my then-boyfriend proclaimed that seeing two girls kiss was hot, and it filled me up with confused and righteous anger. When I asked him why he didn’t think the same about two men kissing he shrugged and said it just wasn’t the same. On the way home that day, I couldn’t help but realize that I had for a long time been thinking about kissing girls, not my boyfriend. Not long after that, I broke up with him.

Back then I rationalized the breakup many different ways: he was already in college while I wanted to enjoy my last year of high school; I had plans of going to the US to study; I didn’t feel the same about him as I did when I was fifteen. Really, it could all be boiled down to the fact that I wanted space to grow into who I was and he wasn’t going to give me that. Along the way, I broke two hearts, mine and his, but mine learned to mend faster than his because I was ready.

Throughout my senior year, I spent more time with my friends, and with myself. I was trying to relearn who I was before I got brainwashed into thinking my entire existence revolved around my desire for boys and men. What did it mean to have so many “girl crushes,” and what did it mean when I overcompensated with how many men I found hot (I had a list of over 100 hot male celebrities that I made with my friends because of course, I did).

A year later, I was well into my first year of college. I had a solid group of friends, a roommate who didn’t hate me and in fact became a close friend, and though struggling with my classes, I felt great. And yet, I kept coming back to my main questions: who did I like? Did I really like boys? What did it mean that I found girls pretty, and not always in a platonic way? I took so many online surveys it’s hilarious in hindsight. And yet, I did what I’d done many times: shoved the feelings aside, brushed it off as a passing phase (after all, people say that college is the time for your sexual exploration, to find out what you liked). My sexuality was like a suitcase I kept packing and repacking. I didn’t know where I was going, what the climate was going to be like, but I knew I had to have this suitcase because it was essential for my travels.

I kept going about my life, and in my second year of college, there was a girl flirting with me. And I didn’t know what to do. It was exhilarating and confusing, I was still in the middle of figuring out myself. She invited me to a house party, and I gladly accepted the invitation. One, I’d never been to a college party, and two, there was someone interested in me! And I was gladly reciprocating, my suitcase left disheveled once more.

That party ended up in disaster though. The girl spent the entire time drinking and then tried to make a pass at me, even after she told me she had a girlfriend who was just out of town. I made my escape, but I was in shock. Here was this girl who was indeed interested in me, who I’d confided about the newness of my sexuality. And I felt betrayed and heartbroken.

All this time trying to figure out who I could be able to love, I didn’t realize that it just opened me up to even more heartbreak. It opened up a new monster: biphobia and the ways in which I had internalized it. I had so much to learn, and so much to unlearn. Even though all of this journey, all the inner and external turmoil just made me wish harder to find someone who’d accept me for me. I learned that I didn’t have to be out to everyone, I didn’t have to do something that could put me at risk of discrimination or toxicity, and there has been a lot of it. I found community online, I found visibility in media (I’ll attach at the bottom a list of books that have made me feel seen), and in the process, I’ve come to terms that this suitcase I’ve been carrying for the past six or more years is ever-changing.

Right now, I’m steadfast in my belief that I identify as bisexual, in that I’m attracted to people of the same gender with which I identify as well as to other genders. But I also believe that it won’t necessarily be that way in six more years. Identity is a fickle thing for me. I just know I gotta board my flight, no matter what is in the suitcase, because I’ve been looking forward to this trip for the longest time.

Five Books with Bisexual Characters that Have Made Me Feel Seen:

  1. Labyrinth Lostby Zoraida Cordova
  2. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
  3. How To Make a Wishby Ashley Herring Blake
  4. They Both Die at the Endby Adam Silvera
  5. Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

Adriana’s social media handle:

Blog: boricuareads.tumblr.com

Twitter: Boricuareads

Intagram: Boricuareads

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Well, that was Adriana. I really hope you loved it as much as I did.

HAPPY READS!

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A Closeted Heartbreak by Jann Ma

Hey-o! I is back with another #QueerPostsbyQueerPeople—no, it’s not over just because Pride month is over—and today’s post is a little different. I’m sharing five poems written by my gorgeous and talented friend, Jann Ma. These are some of my favorite queer one she has written and I’m so excited for you guys to read. Her Instagram handle is down below. Check her out! Well, no more chit chat from me and let’s go on with the post.

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Just a Friend

“Staying inside the closet is easy when you don’t know how to love. Because if you did, then you’d know the pain it brings me when you say I’m just your friend while my heart’s under your bedsheets”

Capability

I never understood what she meant when she told me that she couldn’t be with me.
Until she had to kiss me behind corners, so no one would see.
Until she stopped texting me because that was too much commitment.
Until she pretended nothing had happened because no one could know that she was capable of loving a girl.
But I am capable, and I did.

Sinning hours

You said you didn’t want to talk because it was 1 in the morning, and those were sinning hours.
Turns out we were both sinners;
But you hid your horns behind my fallen wings.

Forget

How I wish I had your lack of memory,
your cruel ability to easily forget.
How I wish I could forget the words you echoed into my head,
cross my heart, and shuffled on repeat
until I could only hit pause when I fall asleep.

Hoping

When things get tough, people like to say it’s like stormy weather.
But with you, it was like a hundred million stars burning in a distant universe,
maybe one where you and I can be happy together.

Jann’s Instagram: @jann.ma

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Well, that is all for today. I really hope you loved it as much as I did.

What was your favorite poem from this post? What is your favorite poetry collection or favorite poet? Leave your answers down below.

HAPPY READS!

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

Hey-o! I is back with my very book tag and it’s one I’ve been dying to do. It’s the mid-year freak out tag. I can’t believe it’s mid-year already! Where did time go? New Year feels like yesterday and an eternity ago. I’ve just couldn’t wait for it to be June/July so I could gush about the books I read so far this year which is I thank God for this tag. It was the perfect excuse to gush non-stop. I’ve read 38 books so far and my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal was 29. I really liked and loved everything I read except for a book or two. So, it has been a good mid-year and I’m hoping for an even better rest of the year.

This tag was created by the lovely women whose videos are down below. Now I must say this post might seem really long but it’s only because I’m adding the synopsis, but I promise I tried to make the answers as short as possible. Okay, time for the fun part.

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2018

I’ve read a lot of good books this year, but I think Vicious by V. E. Schwab is my favorite one yet which is funny because when I first read the synopsis I thought it wasn’t going to be my type of book. I had a library copy and I loved it so much that I went and bought a signed hardcover edition. Yes, yes, I am trash. I have a review, so here read my feelings away.

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Synopsis:

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end.

Rating: 5/5

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2018

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I didn’t really focus on sequels so there are not many. I mean I only read The Crown’s Fate which is the sequel to The Crowns Game by Evelyn Skye and the Vampire Academy graphic novels. My very biased self has to choose Shadow Kiss by Richelle which is the third book in the Vampire Academy series and my favorite book ever. I won’t give the synopsis because it’s filled with spoilers, but just believe that’s really good. Vampire Academy is my favorite series ever, part of it because it’s one of the first series I read, partly because my mom and I read the books and would talk about it, and also because it’s so good. But from the whole series, my favorite book is Shadow Kiss.
Rating 5/5

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I actually preordered this book but Amazon ended up sending it like 2 weeks later *cough* like always *cought*. I was so excited to read it and I have no idea why I haven’t read it yet, but I plan on reading before this summer break is over. This book has so much hype around it, there’s a movie coming out and it’s even Jimmy Fallon’s Book Club pick of the summer, so I’m really hoping I love it. Honestly, I’m not really hard to please.
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Synopsis:
They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.Now we rise.Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

The other new release I haven’t read but want to is Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. This is the second book in the Creekwood series. I don’t know if there’s going to be more books though. YOU SHOULD NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA because of

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SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS. In this one, we follow Leah who’s Simon’s best friend who’s a closeted bisexual, and it’s struggling to come out. It deals with not being privilage, accepting oneself and a bunch more stuff that I don’t know because I haven’t read it. It’s also Book Blogs PR Book Club book of the month. You should totally join us, it will be fun.

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @bookblogspr

4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2018

For this one, I got three which I just can’t wait to have in my hands and those are The Dark Between Stars by Atticus which comes out on September 4, the sequel to Vicious, Vengeful by V. E. Schwab which comes out on September 25 and What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera which comes out on October 9. September is my favorite month ’cause it’s my birthday month and this time I have even more reasons to love it. There are a couple of more interesting books coming out on October so it’s also looking good.
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The Dark Between Stars is a collection of poetry by the famous Instagram poet Atticus. This is his second book and I loved Love Her Wild so I can’t wait for this one to come out like I NEED IT IN MY HANDS LIKE NOW. This is a poetry book so there’s no synopsis which freaking suck and I don’t know any of the poems that are in this collection which also sucks. Let me just tell you that I’ve read like 5 or 6 poetry book this year and Love Her Wild is the only one I’ve given 5 stars to. I must say that if there’s one thing I hated about Love Her Wild is the fact that it’s only 240 pages long and a lot of these pages are pictures, just pictures with nothing written in them. The pictures are gorgeous so there’s that but they should at least give me more poems to make it up. Anyway, all I can say about Love Her Wild and Atticus is Rupi Kaur, move over because Atticus stole my heart. As soon as you finish reading this go get Love Her Wild and preorder The Dark Between Stars.
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Vengeful, Vengeful, Vengeful… As you just read Vicious is my favorite so far this year and I don’t see any book stealing that place anytime soon. My copy of Vicious has a sneak peek and I will not read it because I know I will suffer it, so I’m crying internally while trying to ignore it. I’m so hyped for it that I’m marking that date on my calendar. Again, no synopsis because of spoilers, but just go back to question #1 to read the synopsis for Vicious. Now go and get it. I’m honestly so glad that I discovered this book this year because it took the author 5 years to publish the sequel. This was the sequel no one was expecting, and it’s also sequel nobody knew they needed until they heard of the possibilities.

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What If It’s Us is written by two gods when it comes to queer books and I just can’t wait. I mean they had my money the money I saw it, read the synopsis and I saw that there were Broadway references. S O L D! My queer heart just can’t handle these emotions that are bubbling in me.

Synopsis:

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

5. Biggest Disappointment

I don’t have disappointments even though I have books that did disappointment. They’re two different things like those books disappointed me but I still enjoyed them. One that did truly disappoint me was The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. Everyone seems to love this book. I’ve heard a lot of people calling it their favorite read of the year or one of their favorite book ever. This even has a fantastic rating on Goodreads, which is pretty much impossible, but I just truly did not love it. I was so disappointed because it has a lot of typical tropes that I detest with all my soul which made me so mad, annoyed and heartbroken but at the same time, I couldn’t stop reading it because of how addicting it was. I must say that it was pretty predictable even for someone who can never predict what’s going to happen. I actually wrote a review for it. Check it out!

Synopsis:

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Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

3/5

6. Biggest Surprise

I don’t want to sound like a broken record and mention Vicious again—oops, I guess I just did—but apart from that book I was really surprised by how much I liked Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve read how good this book was ever since it came out six years ago, but I wasn’t into the synopsis or the book cover. When I started getting interested I saw that there was a deal on Amazon and that they had a gorgeous new cover so I got it. I really wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did, but like with most YA books lately,

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I did have some problems with it, but at the end of the day, it was amazing.

Synopsis:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

7. Favorite New Author (Debut or new to you)

I got two authors for this one and those gotta be hands down Victoria Schwab (V. E. Schwab) and Adam Silvera.

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Victoria Schwab: I had read This Savage Song before and I wasn’t impressed, but this year I read Vicious and A Darker Shade of Magic and I fell in love. Now there’s a bunch of her books on my TBR. Also, I must say that if you’re following on Twitter, what you even using Twitter for? I usually ignore most of the content writers tweet but I just adore this woman’s tweets. Honestly, she just seems like an awesome and fun person to be around. I dream of the day she’ll come to Puerto Rico on a book tour.

Here are some:
Vengeful
A Gathering of Shadows & A Conjuring of Light (book #2 & #3 in the A Darker Shade of Magic triology)
Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince Vol 1 (prequel to A Darker Shade of Magic)
The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue (she’s currently writing it)
– The Archived
– City of Ghost
and I’m stopping there or I’ll never finish.

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Adam Silvera: This man is bringing the queer literature I didn’t know I needed—okay, I kind of did but never actually searched for it—and I am so happy I discovered him. The fact that he’s Puerto Rican/Newyorican and his characters are usually Puerto Rican just makes my life 10x better. I’ve never felt more represented than the moment I read my first Adam Silvera book, They Both Die at the End. I got so excited, I started fangirl and I just felt this happiness that I’ve never felt before while reading a book. I also love the fact that his books are queer af because we need more great queer books like these. Honestly, he needs to bring his queer Puerto Rican ass to Puerto Rico as part of a book tour before I die. This year I read the three books that are officially out, History is All You Left Me, More Happy Than Not and They Both Die at the End, all the kind of book that makes you bawl your eyes out. He truly knows how to break your heart. I know I am going to read What If It’s Us before this year ends—I’m hoping it’s more on the cute, happy and fluffy side, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m getting all the books in hardcover because I need the physical copies in my life and I need to make sure they don’t get destroyed when I reread them. He’s actually writing a couple more books including a fantasy and I just can’t wait to read them. PLEASE FINISH IT ALREADY!

 

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8. Newest Fictional Crush

I’m no longer the type of reader who gets fictional crushes, but if I had to choose the amazing, the badass, the gorgeous Diana Prince from Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. Let’s be honest the real reason of why I have a crush on her is because I was imagining Gal Gadot even thought Gal Gadot and Diana from Warbringer are the complete opposite when it comes to how they look. I mean there’s also the fact that I just adore Wonder Woman. I adore her since I was little and I would watch the tv show with Lynda Carter. So, she’s my not-so-new fictional crush.

9. Newest Favourite Character

WHY IS IT SO HARD NOT TO REPEAT? I really want to say Victor from Vicious, but let’s talk about someone else. I think my second favorites were Jazz Bashara from Artemis by Andy Weir and Rocío Lopez from Ruthless by Megan Crewe. They both were badass female characters. Jazz was hilarious, sarcastic and freaking smart and Rocío was also hella smart, badass and kind. Act,ually both of these characters are of color, Jazz father is from Saudi Arabia and Rocío’s family are from Mexico. I actually have a review for Ruthless Magic. Check it out here.

 

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10. A Book That Made You Cry

I never, ever, ever cry while reading books so I did not cry while reading a book this year BUT More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera destroyed me, triggered me, and made me a whole different person. I read it during a read-a-thon and I remember while I was warming up my lunch I started sobbing and it took all my strength not to curl myself in a ball right there and cry all night. My poor queer heart couldn’t take it. BLESS ADAM SILVERA! I actually wrote a post talking about why this book is so important. You can check it out here.
Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after a family tragedy leaves him reeling. He’s slowly remembering what happiness might feel like this summer with the support of his girlfriend Genevieve, but it’s his new best friend, Thomas, who really gets Aaron to open up about his past and confront his future.

As Thomas and Aaron get closer, Aaron discovers things about himself that threaten to shatter his newfound contentment. A revolutionary memory-alteration procedure, courtesy of the Leteo Institute, might be the way to straighten himself out. But what if it means forgetting who he truly is?

11. Book That Made You Happy

I’m stuck between two books so I’m mentioning both. First I got Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz. This book made my Hamilton fangirl heart very, very happy. I love them so much and ship them way too much. The other book that even though the book isn’t a happy one it still made me happy was, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. I finished this book with all the feels and this happiness that just made me want to start it again. The fact that I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by my husband Lin-Manuel Miranda just made it even more perfect.

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Synopsis Alex and Eliza:

Their romance shaped a nation. The rest was history.

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

Synopsis for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

12. Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This YearMV5BNTMyZDdiMzUtZjcxNS00Mjc3LTljY2UtYjI4YmY5NzJlYjc1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTA5OTkwNTc@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_

I mean if you don’t say Love, Simon are you even okay? I ADORED Love, Simon. I was blessed to see a prescreening and then again because I just loved it so much. We need more mainstream queer movies. I hope that the success of Love, Simon will bring us that. This movie needs to be on Netflix like NOW. I just laughed, cry and felt so identified and touched that I couldn’t handle life. I must say it isn’t perfect and it definitely wasn’t that accurate compared to the book but it’s still amazing.
Synopsis for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (the book this movie was based on)

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year

I think I’ve only written three which were for Vicious, The Cruel Prince, and Ruthless Magic, but by far the one I’m the proudest of is the one for Ruthless Magic. I just know I won’t be able to top it. If you’re interested in reading it, here it is. Actually, I already link them all when talking about them but let me link them again. Vicious and The Cruel Prince

14. Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year

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OKAY. THIS IS HARD! The number of books I’ve bought this year is enough to be embarrassed about so choosing will be impossible. Let me look at them and see if I can make a decision. I think that to make it easier I should choose from the one I got this year and actually read and that is Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh. That cover killed me and was the main reason for me getting the book. I just want to use it as part of my decor. She just revealed the cover for the sequel and I am dead.

Synopsis:

Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?

If we’re talking about books that I already own those has to be either La Isla bajo el mar (island beneath the sea) by Isabel Allende, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. These are all pretty big books and I just need to sink my teeth into them as soon as possible. For books that I don’t own read the Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2018 part.

Synopsis for Island Beneath the Sea:

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Born a slave on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarité — known as Tété — is the daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage. Though her childhood is one of brutality and fear, Tété finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and in the voodoo loas she discovers through her fellow slaves.

When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, it’s with powdered wigs in his baggage and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his father’s plantation, Saint-Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. It will be eight years before he brings home a bride — but marriage, too, proves more difficult than he imagined. And Valmorain remains dependent on the services of his teenaged slave.

Spanning four decades, Island Beneath the Sea is the moving story of the intertwined lives of Tété and Valmorain, and of one woman’s determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been battered, and to forge her own identity in the cruellest of circumstances.

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Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

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Well, that was my mid-year freak out tag. I really hope you enjoyed it because I had so much fun writing it. My reading this year has been really good and I’m hoping for an even better rest of the year. I tag John from John’s Tainted Fantasy, Kevs from Drowning in Book Land, Coral from Palomitas literarias, and Adriana from Boricua Reads. I hope y’all will do it and enjoy it.

What has been your favorite read of this mid-year? What has been your least favorite?

HAPPY READS!

A taste of John, with a bit of contour an interview

 

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John

Hey-o! I is back and today we got an interview with John from John’s Tainted Fantasy. If you follow my blog then you know he’s my friend and I talk about him a lot. So, what better way for you to get to know him than by an interview. John identifies as a gay man (him/his) and is very open about it. He let me interview about his personal experience as a gay man and made it very clear I could ask anything so let’s see how it went.

 

Do you feel gay men are represented correctly?

-There could be better representation, whether it’s books, movies, tv shows or music videos. But looking back, and seeing how far we’ve come. I’d say it’s not perfect, but we’re being represented in some way.

How did you come out?

-I officially came out to a friend of mine, her name is Wanda, we were sitting on the steps of her house. And I just told her “I need to tell you something. To which she replied, “if you’re going to tell me you’re gay, I already know.” And after that, I just told people little by little.

Are you out to your whole family?

-Yes.

Did coming out affect your relationships with friends and family?

-My relationship with my family was already affected before I came out, but doing so definitely created an even bigger wedge between us, especially with my dad.

What advice would you give to those that are ready to come out and to those trying to accept themselves?

-Don’t be scared to talk to your friends. Don’t be scared of your doubts, of your insecurities. And when you do decide to talk about it, don’t let anyone force their opinions on you. Love yourself. Be proud of yourself. Most importantly, don’t ever feel like you’re worthless. Because you matter.

What advice would you give to those guys that are questioning whether they’re straight or gay?

-Take all the time you need. If you don’t want to talk to anyone, that’s ok. But whatever you do, don’t ever feel bad about it.

How do you cope with the fact that your sexual orientation is being frowned upon?

-I guess is the way we focus on things, or better said, what we decide to focus on. Personally, I focus my energy on the good. The fact that we can get married in many more states now. Or how we can adopt. How we help the younger generation fight and not give up. I can’t focus on the fact that it’s frowned upon because, at the end of the day, people will always find something to frown at.

Have you ever wished to be straight?

-Around the age of 19, I remember having a breakdown and crying and wishing that I were straight. Because straight people didn’t have to deal with as much rejection as we gay people do. The more I grew and the more I learned I regretted wishing that. Because, why would I wish to be something I’m not when I’m fabulous just the way I am?

Is there one thing you miss about being closeted?

-Nope.

Have you experienced any hate?

-Yes. Sadly, in many ways.

What is something you wish straight people knew and understand?

-That we’re literally the same. We just love the same sex. That we truly didn’t choose to be who we are, but we embraced it and learned to love who we grew to be. That our fight is not over. That we have the same struggles, bills, Jobs, lack of sex, worries, goals, and achievements.

How do you feel about the people who feel like representation isn’t important?

-In a way, I understand where some of them might come from. But, to them I say this, did you see how the black community felt when Black Panther came out? Their joy? Their happiness? How they were glowing? That my friends is why representation is important.

What is one thing you would love for people to stop saying about gay men?

-That all of us know about fashion, hair, and makeup.

What is one stereotype you hate or doesn’t make sense to you?

-“Gay men recruit children” like, pardon my French, WHAT THE FUCK? I hate that. I hate when I hear it. I hate how it makes me feel.

How do you feel about the stereotype that gay people are fashion icons or that just because a person acts, dress or looks a certain way they must be gay.

-It’s a bit ridiculous. That’s like saying, oh she’s a lesbian? She must know how to fix a car. Or she’s extremely manly. Even saying it sounds ridiculous.

Is there anything you would like to say or ask homophobic people?

-A million things. But I would start out with this, “if our roles were reversed and every straight person in the world was gay, and every gay person was straight, would you like someone to treat you the way we’re being treated?”

Have you ever dealt with homophobic people?

-Many times, at work. At school and as sad and as heartbreaking as it is, at home. My father was the most homophobic person I knew. It’s taken basically my whole life, to get to where we are today. It hasn’t been easy, but it wasn’t impossible.

How do you feel about the laws that they want to impose that allows people to judge, fired, and discriminate against those from the queer community?

-I am a firm believer that, your sex, the color of your skin, your weight, your height, your tattoos, your hair color, etc. Does not define the quality of a person. I’ve met the trashiest gay people, but I’ve also met the most loving and caring. My sexuality has nothing to do with how I am as a person. And people telling me that I can get fired for being gay? It breaks my heart. Now even more than ever. To think that what happened in Stonewall can soon be for nothing? I just feel horrible about it.

How do you feel about same-sex adoption? Would you ever adopt a baby?

-I feel extremely happy about it! It’s one of the most glorious things that has happened in our community. I can’t wait to adopt! I just need to have something things taken care of first and the rest is history.

 

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Deysha Richardsson Poisonlips of The House D’Vour

 

 

So, you’re into the drag world. Is there a misconception that you wish you could erase?

-You know, a few years ago I would’ve said yes. But by learning about the art of drag, is better to educate than to erase.

 

What is your drag name? Does your family and friends support this?

-It’s mouth full, are you ready? My drag name is Deysha Richardsson Poisonlips of The House D’Vour. My friends support it. My family, well only my mom.

Is there any queer book you love/adore and would recommend?

-I think you know the answer to this one. Without a doubt, I love/adore and would recommend “Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda”.

Is there a queer movie or tv show that you adore and wish more people would watch?

-There’s a few.

•Prayers For Bobby
•Boys Don’t Cry
•Philadelphia
•The Mathew Sheppard Story
•Soldier’s Girl
•Contracorriente
•Cuatro Lunas

What is your favorite queer couple and character in movies, books or show and why? If there’s a huge spoiler then well bleep the name.

-Yes!

•Lito & Hernando from Sense8
•Jaques & Blue (avoiding spoilers here)

I mean, they’re so imperfect that they’re perfect.

 

Wil, I want to thank you for lending me your platform and for giving me a chance to reach more people out there.

 

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Well, that is all for today. I hope you enjoyed the interview and the #queerpostsbyqueerpeople which will be extended. I am overwhelmed with the love and participation of other queer people on this and I do not want to exclude anyone which is why I’m extending it until every post is up. I hope you enjoyed it and stay tuned for Sunday’s new post.

HAPPY READS!

More Happy Than Not & Why it’s so important

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Recently I read More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera and it killed me. That book had me trying not to cry. I NEVER CRY WITH BOOKS!!! After I was done I was warming up something to eat while suppressing sobs. I had to talk to my friends, I had to breath in and I had to distract myself because I felt broken. There is a reason that this book killed me this way and that is that it hit way too close to home. This book is about a boy named, Aaron Soto whose dad’s killed himself and he’s trying to move on. Long story short he starts falling for a guy but he has a girlfriend. He then decides that he was to get this procedure where you can erase/repress certain memories and he wants to do it so he can forget that part of him. He wants to do it because it’s easier being straight than gay. Reading that you might guess why it broke me, but if you don’t let me break it down. I’m a gay woman (hey, if you didn’t know then now you do. If you know my grandma DO NOT say a word) and I’ve been in that position. Being gay is hard, the discrimination, the inequality, the hate crime, the hate in general, and just the way we are seen as abnormal. When I found I was gay I got depressed, I truly wanted to die because being straight is what everyone expects you to be and the only way to be treated like everyone else. Being gay is being told that you’re an abomination, that you shouldn’t get married or have kids, it’s believing in a God and hearing how He will condemn you, it’s being scared of holding hands, being afraid of getting killed, not seeing yourself represented, having to come out to the world while being deadly scared of the consequences, being gay is having the world against you. Even those that support you are reminding you that you’re not normal because they’re fighting for your rights and that reminds you that you don’t have them, because they feel like they have to fight for you because it’s necessary, because they ask for representation and would try to support others like you and that reminds you that it’s needed because to the world you’re not normal. You are grateful for the allies that remind you that you deserve those things but being gay is needing those allies because you’re different. I don’t want you to think that we are ungrateful and that we are criticizing them but I’m reminding you and everyone than being gay, or queer in general, is this constant reminder that you are not considered normal.

This is why I did not want to be gay. I did not want to have my family act weird, I did not want to be scared, I did not want to have to fight for my rights, to have people treat me different, to have to come out to the world. I’m not going to start with how having to come out shouldn’t be a thing, but the movie Love, Simon is full of moments talking about it. So, life is different when you’re gay and I did not want to deal with that. I just wanted a normal life and realizing I was not getting it sucked. I hated myself. I was, am, so scared of hell and I would constantly ask God why made me this way only to condemn me. If being gay was a choice then I would’ve decided on not being it. I was in a heterosexual relationship and I considered continuing it because I was told that I could choose to be straight.

So, this whole story reflects on that, on the possibility of that choice and if you would take it. There could be many consequences but how far would you go to be straight? This story reminded me that I am not the only one feeling this way. If it was me, how far would I go to not be gay? This is why this book is so important because it makes you reflect on this topic, on you felt, how you feel, what would you do, but most importantly it tells the story of a lot of people in the queer community. If you ever felt this way you will cry, you will not be okay, but you will not feel alone in these feelings anymore.

Straight people should read this book so they can see that it isn’t a choice.

This post is a mess, but I just needed to talk about it. PLEASE, read this book. It is only 295 pages and it will help you. I just adore this book.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR

Get it on Amazon

Get it on Barnes and Noble

 

** TO MAKE IT CLEAR, I AM NOT SAYING US GAYS, OR QUEER IN GENERAL, ARE ABNORMAL BUT THAT THE WORLD SEES US THIS WAY**

 

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye Cover Unveiling

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Evelyn Skye

Hey-o! I is back with a micro-post. I was part of those chosen to unveil the cover of Circle of Shadows by the amazing, New York Times bestselling author Evelyn Skye. You’ve probably heard of her as the author of the Crown’s Game duology—Well, I’m almost sure it’s a duology but don’t quote me on that. I am actually going to be marathoning those books. I already read the The Crown’s Game which is the first one, but hadn’t had the chance to read The Crown’s Fate Well. Anyway, she has shook our world with a new series. So far we got Circle of Shadows which is coming on January 22nd, 2019, but if you look at her Goodreads page it shows an untitled sequel for it. I don’t know you, but after reading The Crown’s Game and skyping with her on a bookclub I am so excited for this book. I mean I haven’t read The Crown’s Fate, again I’m marathoning both soon, but I loved The Crown’s Game enough that this book will probably be on my pre-order list. The waiting is excruciating. Just the words “spies” and “adventures” are enough for me to be in. Anyway, no more talking and more unveiling. Here is the cover for Circle of Shadows.

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Isn’t it gorgeous? I’m totally a cover buy, don’t judge me, and this cover is calling my name. Here I will leave you the synopsis and you can tell me what you think.

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied behind his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging to the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group.Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart.

Well, what do you think? Are you as sold on this book as am I? Well, that’s all for my micro-post. I’ll see you guys soon.

HAPPY READS!

 

 

Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe Review

Hey-o! I is back with another review. I think is the third one in a month which is a lot compared to the fact that before that the number was none. Well, I really wanted—and by that mean needed—to write a review for this book because it does not have the hype it deserves.

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Name: Ruthless Magic (Conspiracy of Magic #1)

Author: Megan Crewe

Genre: fantasy

Synopsis:

In the contest to keep their magic, the only options may be die… or kill.

Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages’ Exam.

Disadvantaged by her parents’ low standing, Rocío Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.

Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.

Thrown into the testing with little preparation, Rocío and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?

Let’s start with the story. We are the set in this world except for the fact that those with magic, mages, are now out in the open. In that world, there are three type of people—the Dulls, those were born without magic, so basically muggles, the Burned which were those whose magic was taken away, and the Dampered which are those that didn’t get accepted at the university and could not continue using magic except for one specific thing. The Dampered were only allowed magic for one use, Rocio’s mom for sewing and her dad for cooking, yet those with magic, especially the Dampered, were pushed aside by the Dulls. Those that were not accepted by the university were to be damped and because there were some people who would not accept this fate, the Confederation created an exam that they could take. Those who were champions would get to keep their magic and would get special mentors, but there’s a catch if you lost you would get burned. This test was hard and it was known for some to lose their life while taking it. That’s where the hunger games reference comes from since it is similar in the sense of fighting to stay alive and survive each test they were put through, but they had an advantaged they were allowed to use their magic. So, this is the setting which honestly just by that you should read the book.

Then we got the characters: Mark, Desmond, Prisha, Rocio, Finn, Judith, and Lacey. There are others but these are the one the story focuses on. I won’t talk about each specific characters because that would take too long, but I want to talk about the diversity in this book and the two main characters. We got African-American, lesbian, latina and disable representation with a touch of an interracial relationship.

Rocio López, one of the two main character. is a badass, smart af, latina who is truly kind. I think she’s specifically Mexican-American, but that’s only mentioned once so I’m not sure. She is smart and powerful and she knows it, but she’s also new magic which means you can’t track the magic back to her ancestors. For what it seems her dampered parents were the first one in her family to have magic. The reason she declares for the exam: new magic weren’t really accepted so they rejected her aplication.

Finn, he doesn’t represent the minority since he’s white, old magic, and is rich, but the other point of view in this story is his. He is funny, kind, positive, and smart, but not the most powerful. After he gets accepted to the university he decides to declare for the exam to prove that he should keep his magic because he deserves it and not because of his last name.

Prisha, she’s Finn’s best friend and the lesbian representation. We don’t know enough for me to write a whole paragraph about it, but I must mention that even though they mention the fact that she’s gay this doesn’t really become the focus of her character. She’s a normal character who’s gay and that’s it.

And then for disable and African-American representation we got Desmond (I’m really hoping I’m writing his name correctly) he’s a geek who happens to be black, but is also blind. This doesn’t stop him from anything, therefore he isn’t used to make you feel bad, but to prove that those with disabilities can be as powerful, independent and badass as everyone else.

For the interratial aspect I won’t say a thing because of spoilers. Some might call it insta-love, but considering it is not love at first sight, but love as they interact and they see how powerful and amazing are each other. I’m not one to love relationship in stories like these, but this one I loved and I ship so hard.

The story. At first the story can be slow as they explain the world, they introduce the characters and all that jazz. I basically explained most of it at the beguining, but I don’t consider it spoilers since it’s basically an introduction to the world and what starts the story. Anyway, after you get through all the introduction and boring stuff it gets good like I thought I read 15 minutes but it was really 50 kind of good. The kind of good it doesn’t let you stop.

This leads me to the question, why is this story not well-known? Most reviews are of arcs and the story is not known among those in the reading community and it also does not get the hype it deserves. This is why people don’t read it because we tend to read what’s in. This is because what’s in is what we see everywhere. I am not the exception because I found out about this book because of a friend who helped the author make an authentic Latina character, and the only reason I got it was because of the fact that pre-ordering the Kindle version costed less than buying a lunch. But I will definitely be getting a physical copy.

I dare to say that this one is one of my favorite reads of 2018 and that everyone should read it. Get it! The Kindle version is only $3.99 and if you have Kindle unlimited then you can read it for free.

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There’s also a prequel novella called Magic Unmasked that is based on Finn’s parents. The story is about how his dad was fighting for the integration of Mages with the Dulls and how he met his wife. The prequel is $0.99 cents on Kindle, but if you go to her website you can get it for free. I believe you don’t need to read Ruthless Magic to read the novella and the other way around.

As you can see I loved this story which is why I gave it a 5/5. If I can convince just one person to read the book then all this was worth it. I mean it’s worth just talking about it, but if you read it then it’s worth it x 10.

Add to your Goodreads‘ TBR

Get it on Amazon

Get it on Barnes & Noble

Get the prequel novella, Magic Unmasked, on Amazon

Get the prequel novella, Magic Unmasked, for free.

Add Magic Unmasked to your Goodreads’ TBR.

Question of the day: Are you considering reading it? I definitely hope you do

HAPPY READS!