BOOK HAUL! April 2017

So, a few weeks ago my friend Murron and I were cleaning up my room and found a jar on the window sill full of loose change that i had been using to save up for cosplay. That was ages ago, cause I haven’t cosplayed in a long, long time. So I dumped all that change in a lunchbox and went to the nearest Coinstar machine to see how much I could rustle up. Turns out I was sitting on $137 dollars worth of spare change. So after indulging in some Starbucks, a new drawing eraser, and a cherry sucker, I did what any rational adult would do. I spent the rest of it on a Barnes and Noble gift card.

As it turns out, buying these six books left me with about 20 bucks left on the gift card, which means another book is in my future (and since I have little to no self control, a part two book haul may be in order). Meanwhile, though, I have my hands full with these:

  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  • Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall
  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson
  • History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
  • We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

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So, anyone who knows me knows that I really don’t read straight romance very often at all. But this one has a movie coming out soon, and that movie has Amandla Stenberg in it, so really, what choice do I have but to read it? I also did like the book’s description; it seemed a bit different from usual young adult het romance fare:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. 

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean, and wearing all black: black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. 

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I, Maddy, am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster. 

Some parts of the description make me cringe (like the overly detailed description of what he’s wearing, unless the fact that he’s wearing all black is somehow an important plot point) but it interests me. I’m more than a little morbidly curious as to whether or not she’ll die at the end.

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I’m sort of a hypocrite because a lot of the time, I will pick up LGBT romance novels even though their descriptions sound like things I would absolutely hate from a het romance. Case in point:

Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, leading the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. They do not include falling head over heels for his best friend and next door neighbor, Kyle. It’s a distraction. It’s pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn’t know what to do…

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong… 

See, if Gideon was replaced with, oh, I don’t know, Gwen, or Gabby, or Grace, I would absolutely hate the sound of this story and never pick it up. The tropes are overused in het romance. And even though I have my hesitations about this one as well (I’m almost positive Ruby is going to be portrayed negatively, and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if she doesn’t), I’m starved enough for good LGBT fiction that I’m more than willing to risk it.

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For some reason, I hate the title of this book. Don’t ask me why. But it’s been putting me off reading it for a really long time, until today I just decided to get my shit together and buy it, because lots of people have recommended it to me. Also, I hear there’s a movie coming up and there’s literally no way I’m not going to see it.

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 with, will be jeopardized. 

As his email correspondence with Blue grows more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. 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. 

This is one that I can’t say I’d ignore if Simon (or Blue) was replaced with a girl, because the whole story hinges on Simon being gay, which I have mixed feelings about. I usually skip stories that have a strong focus on coming out, for various reasons, but this book has been recommended to me so many times, I think I’ve got to read it.

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I just finished reading The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by this same author, which I had mixed feelings about, but most of my complaints were technical, and that had been his first novel (as far as I know). So I’m hoping he’s had room to improve his dialogue, which was my main complaint. So I picked up this and one other by him (the last one I’ll talk about).

Tommy and Ozzie have been best friends since second grade, and boyfriends since eighth. They spent countless days dreaming of escaping their small town; and then Tommy vanished. 

More accurately, he ceased to exist, erased from the minds and memories of everyone who knew him. Everyone except Ozzie. Ozzie doesn’t know how to navigate life without Tommy and soon suspects that something else is going on: that the universe is shrinking.

When Ozzie is paired with the reclusive and secretive Calvin for a physics project, it’s hard for him to deny the feelings that develop between them, even if he still loves Tommy. 

But Ozzie knows there isn’t much time left to find Tommy, that once the door closes, it can’t be opened again. And he’s determined to keep it open as long as possible.

So, the description of this book confuses the shit out of me, which I think is the point here. But a pet peeve of mine in books is when a fantasy or sci-fi element is introduced with no further explanation. I’ll be disappointed with this read if the whole ‘universe is shrinking’ thing is just happening for no reason, caused by nothing. But we shall see.

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Listen to me, I already know this book is going to make me cry. I just finished More Happy Than Not, also by Adam Silvera, and I had to lay down on the floor for twenty minutes after I put it down. I really love his writing style, so picking this one up was a no-brainer. He has another one coming up called They Both Die at the End, which I’m also very very excited about. If he ever does a book tour and comes to Boise, I would freak out. But quite frankly, just the description of this book made me tear up:

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

SEE? This shit’s gonna be sad no matter how it ends. I also already know I’m gonna have to read this one and Been Here All Along relatively far apart because Gideon and Griffin sound the same to my brain and I’m gonna get confused. But yeah, I’m honestly an absolute sucker for stories that seem like they’re going to make me ugly cry, so I hope this one delivers.

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I’ve saved (what I hope is) the best for last. A while ago I was in Barnes and Noble looking for LGBT reads and this one was recommended very strongly to me by an employee that was extremely sweet and (admittedly) very cute. And back then, I read the description and was already head over heels. However, the dealbreaker at the time was that it was hardcover, and I don’t really like reading hardcover books. But this one isn’t coming out in paperback for a while, it seems, so I could no longer control myself.

There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

Seriously, this sounds SO GOOD TO ME and I’m so excited to read it that I’m barely gonna be able to finish More Happy Than Not before gobbling this one down. I have such high hopes for this that if I end up not liking it, it’s going to absolutely break my heart and I’m gonna be extremely hard to live with.


So anyway, that’s my haul! I’m hopefully gonna be able to review these as I read them, so look for that. And I’ll always be updating my progress on GoodReads, so if you want, follow me on there too!

Until next time!

xoxo Gossip Girl Kell

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