Book Reviews, Contemporary, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Mini Book Reviews: July 2020 – Part 2

Being continents away is exciting, but come with me next time! (12)

*Books included in this batch of mini book reviews: The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey, & All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

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» The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams

TheBromanceBookClub

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5-Star Rating SystemWhatILiked» The Bromance Book Club was an entertaining romance novel about a married couple that has fallen on hard times.  As much as I love the intensity of a budding romance, I’m also a sucker for a second-chance romance too.

» I couldn’t help but root for Gavin as he jumps through hoop after hoop to win Thea back.  While Gavin is pretty oblivious at first, he was really open to admit his mistakes and do anything to fix his marriage.  I also really appreciated that Adams gave Gavin a stutter, which I haven’t seen represented in many books, especially in a main character in an adult romance.

» Thea might seem a bit cold at first, however as her story was slowly revealed, I felt more sympathetic towards her.  Like many Wives and Mothers, Thea feels as if she has lost herself along the way.  As a wife and mother myself, I could definitely relate to Thea’s struggles.  I know what it is like you put yourself on the back burner to focus on your family.

» I loved the “bromance book club” aspect to this story.  The Bromance Book Club really challenges the stereotypical societal norms of “masculinity.”  I adored the members of the book club and their interactions.

WhatIDidntLike» Lack of communication between a couple is a big pet peeve of mine.  The whole scenario where Gavin stops all communication & basically throws a temper tantrum when he discovers that Thea has been faking it was annoying.

› Recommended to ⇒ RomCom fans

› If you liked this book, try ⇒ Another great RomCom – The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

TheUnhoneymooners


» White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

WhiteFragility

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5-Star Rating SystemWhatILiked

» White Fragility is basically Racism 101 for white people.  While I have read a few books about racism prior to now, I was interested in reading one that was specifically geared to white people and was more of a “beginner” type of book.  This book fit that bill perfectly, and now I feel ready to continue on with my anti-racist TBR.

» I appreciated that Robin DiAngelo doesn’t “put on airs” in White Fragility.  Robin is brutally honest about her struggles with her own racism, and provides specific examples.

» White Fragility really put my own privileges & unconscious biases into perspective.  I did a lot of self reflection while reading this book.

› Recommended to ⇒  white people interested in learning more about being anti-racist


» Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

UprightWomenWanted

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5-Star Rating System

When I read the synopsis, the last line really caught my attention: “The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.”  Of course I was on board for “queer librarian spies on horseback!”WhatILiked» I thought this was a super unique genre mash up of historical, dystopian, and western.  I love when authors take elements from various genres and create a story that blends these elements all together.  This doesn’t always work for everyone, but I personally enjoy it.

» I loved the LGBTQIA+ representation!

WhatIDidntLike» I wanted a full length novel with more development, but this is a novella.  The focus on this story is much more on the characters and their relationships, so there were many things, like world building and the overall storyline, that were lacking.

» While Upright Women Wanted is pitched as following pack horse librarians, there was almost nothing in the story about the librarians actually handing out library materials… The plot was much more about the characters & their relationships, which was a bit of a disappointment.

» The insta-love.  It just wasn’t believable that Esther would have romantic feelings so quickly after the death of her girlfriend.

› Recommended to ⇒ fans of unique genre mash ups; those looking for LGBTQIA+ novellas

› If you liked this book, try ⇒ For a unique western story: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

TheSistersBrothers


» All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

AllBoysArentBlue

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5-Star Rating SystemWhatILiked»  All Boys Aren’t Blue is a compelling story about identity, masculinity, sexuality, race, family, and friendship.  Johnson shares his experiences growing up as a queer black boy in this powerful memoir.

» Johnson is truly courageous for sharing such intimate details of his life.   His story is raw, emotional, gritty, heartbreaking, inspirational, and insightful.  I really appreciated that he shares all of the lessons that he has learned along the way.

» I love that Johnson wrote his story for the teen audience.  While there is definitely mature content within this memoir, the topics discussed throughout are important for this audience in particular.

» George’s relationship with his Grandmother was everything!

» The audiobook, narrated by the author himself, was a delight.  Listening to Johnson narrate his life experiences made the book feel that much more authentic.  I always try to listen to memoirs via audiobook, especially if they are narrated by the author themselves.

» One topic that Johnson addresses is the lack of LGBTQIA+ representation in sex education.  He describes the dangers of this education gap to these young people.  This is a topic I’ve never even realized was an issue.

› Trigger/content warnings ⇒ sexual abuse (graphic); racism; homophobia; physical assault

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Have you read any of these books?  If so, what did you think?

Comment below & let me know 🙂

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