SO MANY BOOKS
So, so, so, many. At the beginning of August I was starting to get a little worried that I would fall behind on my rampage of reading, but alas, I was able to keep up without a problem. Part of it was because I knew my reading time was going to plummet with the new school year just around the corner, but I also had some intensely excellent books in my TBR. And that, more than anything, kept me moving right along.
Look at all these words! Fifteen more books that I’ve read, bringing my yearly total to 110!!!! (Which also means I have to do a celebratory giveaway!) It's sooooooo many( how many times can I use “so many” in one blog post?? Keep reading to find out!).
So, I’m dividing my assessment into two categories this month in order to rave about more books.
First , books by people I know/have met.
Cattywampus by Ash Van Otterloo is a fantastical middle grade story about two clans of Appalachian witches, an accidental zombie infestation, the journey to loving yourself, and friendship. This book is was a hoot to read and the voice is so good. The two main characters, Delpha and Katybird, are endearing and flawed and their character arc was perfection. I myself identified with Delpha and her outlook on life and people so much. I cried at the end. Pretty much the final 25ish pages I was crying. Despite my tears, this book is a delightful romp. 10/10 Would Recommend Bonus: A queer normative world!
I was lucky enough to meet Ash at a writing workshop hosted by The Writing Barn back in October of 2019 (the before times! When we were allowed to be within 6' of each other!). They were so incredibly friendly and offered excellent feedback on pages (not just mine, but everyone’s at the workshop) and they continue to have a delightful Twitter feed & Instagram that has been a beacon of warmth through these past months. Plus, they sent me a cool skeleton moth figurine in the mail.
The Light Between Worlds by Laura Weymouth. Were you disappointed in how Narnia ended? (look, I can’t entirely speak to this, because I refuse to finish the Narnia books. I read ½ through the Last Battle and STOPPED. As long as I don’t finish the story, it never ends. That’s how it works). But if you were, then this is the book for you. It’s a beautiful story about trying to exist between two worlds and trying to find your place. It's also a story of two sisters and how they rely on each other, even in order to live without each other. Just like in Treason of Thorns, Laura’s writing is beautiful. This story is intense and you’re gonna cry. Probably ugly cry. 10/10 Would Recommend (CW: Depression, Self-harm--for full statement, see Laura’s website:https://www.lauraeweymouth.com/the-light-between-worlds)
So how do I know Laura? She was at the same writing workshop where I met Ash and was one of the presenters. It was fantastic to hear her speak about her writing and creative process and her feedback on my pages was also amazing. Just look at this note she left me when I asked her to autograph my book! If you don’t already follow Laura on Twitter, you are missing out on some amazing Baba Yaga witch vibes and excellent general content about Weymouth Manner.
The Fell of Dark by Caleb Roehrig. This is the best vampire book I’ve ever read. Auggie lives in a town that is a beacon for paranormal creatures and for the most part, the vampires are careful to not kill *too* many humans each year. But now there’s rumors of the reincarnation of a powerful being that would allow vampires to become daywalkers and Auggie gets caught in the middle of this while trying to date the cute barista or maybe the cute vampire boy? Choices are hard. The tongue-in-cheek humor had me cackling. This is the super gay vampire book that you need in your life. 10/10 Would Recommend.
Okay, so this is not so much a personal knowing of Caleb Roehrig, but I still feel like this totally counts. So way back in the before times, when his first novel, Last Seen Leaving debuted, I was lucky enough to attend the Fierce Reads tour where he was on a panel. He was a brilliant panelist, I bought his book, read it, fell in love. Later that same year, I went to Y’allfest for the first time, where he was an invited guest. I got to see him a second time and then, this is the best part dear readers, my friend and I were at the airport, heading home from Y’allfest, waiting to check in and my friend was like “Isn’t that Caleb Roehrig?” And I was all “Omg, it is!” So we proceeded to abandon our places in line and run over to him so she could tell him how much she loved his book (she binge read it in one day at Y’allfest while we waited in line). And then just a bit later, we were walking and he comes up behind us and said something to the equivalent of “and now I’m stalking you two” before turning off to go to his gate. It was amazing. Definitely follow him on twitter and Istagram where you will not only get fabulous queer content, but regular reminders about the importance of voting and making sure you check that your voter's registration is valid.
Second, Amazing Queer Books
Felix Ever After--by Kacen Callender--Just damn. This book. THIS. BOOK. It was beautiful and left me in a puddle of feels on the floor. This book delves into some great deep dive aspects of queer culture, addresses the systematic way in which we internalize bias and racism and it was just so well executed. I sent so many (non-spoilery) passages to my friend and just gushed over them because they caught the emotional essence of being queer in a world that pretends to accept you, but is still judging you pretty harshly. 10/10 Would recommend! (CW: Queer-phobia--this is a many faceted element of the book, but is mainly centered on trans-phobia)
The Extraordinaries-- by TJ Klune--This was my first TJ Klune book and wow, what an author! I already bought The House on the Cerulean Sea and can’t wait to read it. If you love superheroes, fanfiction, and queers, this is the book for you. What I loved most about this book was it was a mirror of our society today, but it was so queer friendly. None of the emotional angst or conflict comes from Nick’s queerness. And the SLOW BURN romance is just the cutest thing. And, omg, Jazz and Gibby are sapphic goals. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. But it is just so queer positive--there was a moment when Nick is picked up by two cops and they start talking about Drag Queens and I cringed, waiting for the cops to be intolerant jerks about it, but they weren’t! Please, we need more queer positive books, more queer normalization. 10/10 Would recommend!
The Fell of Dark--I know, I’m cheating because I mentioned it above. But like I am here for all the gay books where gays get to go out and save the world and just exist without having to also unpack gay pain. Auggie is such a great character and this book was a wild, enjoyable ride.
Honorable Mention: Days of Blood & Starlight/Dreams of Gods & Monsters I’m only giving this an honorable mention because my favorite part of the DoS&B trilogy is Liriz’s storyline. Like Akiva and Karou are cute hetero-soul mates or whatever, but Liriz’s story is where its at. As I was re-reading, with much more awareness this time around, it says directly on page that Liriz is asexual. Which, as someone who is on the demi-ace spectrum, made me love her that much more.
I am heading into September with a fairly manageable TBR and using the Sapphic September Readathon hosted by @manic_femme to help guide my reading choices this month. Currently, I’m reading: Forest of Souls, The Dark Tide, & Picture Us in the Light. Tell me what you’re reading! Tell me about your best sapphic book recs!
Okay, and now, the thing I know you are all here for, THE GIVEAWAY!!!!
This month I'm giving two people two books of their choice of those highlighted in this blog post. How do you enter? Let me tell you!
There are two separate giveaways, but feel free to enter both! I mean, why wouldn't you double your chances? I'm no maths major, but that sounds like good odds.
Entry #1 is achieved by liking, retweeting, & commenting on THIS TWEET with the two books you'd like.
Entry #2 will be achieved by following me on Instagram, liking THIS POST & again, commenting on the two books you'd like.
Look, I learned the other day that I need 10k Instagram followers before I’m allowed to post links to my stories. So, ah, I am in need of 9,944 Insta followers...your help is appreciated.
All Giveaways close on September 25 and there is no affiliation with Instagram for this giveaway!
One day I am going to figure out how to get the comments on this thing to work for all my lovely blog readers, but until then, hit me up on Twitter with your best sapphic recommendations!