Adult · Book review · contemporary

Review: Bury the Lede by Gaby Dunn

43199360._sy475_This was suspenseful, intoxicating, queer, and incredibly fucked up; I loved every moment of it.
Bury the Lede is a contemporary graphic novel following Madison, a bisexual Asian-American intern at the newspaper Boston Lede, as she gets drawn into the investigation of a murder that will end up having political implications.

One of the first things to draw me to this book was the art. Stark and beautiful, with a lot of blues, purples, grays – it sets the dark atmosphere right from the beginning, and it’s dynamic and detailed without becoming overwhelming. I loved it before I started to love the story, which – I have to admit – took me a little to warm up to; there are a lot of names I needed to remember to be able to follow this, and during my first read I was somewhat confused (it was also late at night, because I needed to finish this, I needed to know the truth; I was confused but I could tell it was great). However, during my second reread I understood that this was one of the best graphic novels I had ever read.

Books like these remind me how often queer women in media aren’t allowed to be full, flawed human beings. Madison is all of these things, and so is her sometimes-lover Lexi, or the mysterious alleged murderer Dahlia, also queer like so many other side characters. They all choose to pursue what they believe is justice, and to do so, they do some incredibly unethical things. As Madison gets more and more entangled in the case, she finds herself breaking the law multiple times, using people with barely any remorse, and yet the story never treats her like a villain.

Books like Bury the Lede also remind me that portrayals of queer women as sexual beings that are neither predators nor meant to be entertainment for men are not as common as they should be, especially in graphic novels and outside of stories that are specifically meant to be romances. This isn’t in any way a romance, and I loved that about it – and it still has a sex scene between two women on the page, one that is explicit and drawn in a way that cemented my feeling that yes, this was really written with queer women in mind, and not heterosexual men (as most graphic portrayals of queer women are).
It’s a story that portrays queer women engaging in casual sex, having multiple partners, and it’s not fetishizing in the slightest. Madison sleeps with a woman and kisses a man (who is also bisexual) and is in a relationship with neither; about this I also recommend reading the author’s post about bi representation, stereotypes, and who she writes for.

I don’t know if this is meant to have a sequel, but I really hope it does; I want more. More from Madison but also from “Harold”, from Dahlia, even from the reporter of the Trombone.

My rating: ★★★★¾

Content Warnings for: murder (on-page, bloody); talk of suicide that might not be suicide; mentions of pedophilia and people covering for child predators (no on-page sexual abuse); roofied drinks; on-page sex scene.

Adult · Book review · Fantasy

Review: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

35965482This book did the impossible, which, in this case, is making me wish I had paid attention during my mandatory philosophy class.

Sadly, the Acqua who would be fine with paying attention to high school philosophy classes instead of sneakily reading fantasy books during them isn’t the kind of person who would have ended up reading Middlegame, and as this book rightly says, you can’t have everything, even with infinite alternate timelines and even if you’re the living embodiment of logos, which I’m not.

So, this book is about evil alchemists trying to harness the Doctrine, which, as far as I understand, is basically the English name for what the ancient Greek philosophers called the logos, the rule that drives the universe. There is a fascinating history in this, written in this story like a book within a book, thin slivers of the past woven in and out of the present timeline, omens scattered in the form of excerpts of a children’s book. In the present, the immortal alchemist Reed is trying to embody different concepts into people who aren’t quite human, who look human but might one day be infinitely powerful, if they end up manifesting, if they end up being the Doctrine themselves. If this time he gets them right.
And this is where our main characters, Roger and Dodger, come in.
(Confusing? I’m not as good at explaining as this book, and this is weird.)

Roger is language, Dodger is math, and they are a harmony of opposites. We see them as children who are trying to navigate the world while being “gifted” while also discovering that they have a telepathic connection, and they might be magical, but the way the world fails them isn’t any different from the way it fails children with too many expectations on their shoulders. (The parts about Dodger never being able to understand how people work and the quote about you got a girlfriend, I got a therapist: painfully relatable.)
And then we see them during many different times of their lives, finding and losing each other and slowly learning about the puppeteers beneath reality, and it should be boring, but it’s not, and the time jumps should make it easy to get disconnected from the characters, but they don’t, because this book delights in doing the impossible. (Improbable, it whispers, as if it were a reincarnation of Nikolai Lantsov.)

Middlegame is, after all, deceptively simple: it’s really easy to follow, for something so complex – a narrative that plays at being linear just to make itself accessible when it’s actually a tapestry of timelines, with writing that gets its point across with an elegance that doesn’t call attention to itself. It has the beauty of efficiency and fits this book just right.
And it’s so clever. I want to look at all the facets and can’t and this is exactly what I want from a book, as much work as it is fun. Time is a joke to this book and it just occurred to me that as inside this book language is a trigger to math and consequently words are a trigger to time, this book in itself is words that command time in their own little universe and I, well, I should probably shut up now.

It’s not only the way it’s written, so readable even when it doesn’t seem to make sense (but it always does, sideways), that makes it not boring for something that almost feels like a slice-of-life story for a significant portion of the 500+ pages. It’s also the fact that there are books that have unpredictable twists, and then there are books that are unpredictable in essence, which you don’t even vaguely know which direction they will take until you’re near the ending, because they’re so different from everything you’ve seen before that you don’t even have something to build your expectations on.
And it’s also about stakes, of course. You know a book is taking things seriously when someone just caused mass death and you aren’t even near the climax.

Apart from that, and from what Middlegame has to say about society and the way stories shape consciousness which then shapes reality (which are all things I love to read about), I am predictable and was into this right from the moment I understood it involved evil, ruthless magical scientists. There’s no story about merging science and magic involving people being horrible that won’t interest me.
And yes, there are a few things I didn’t love about this, the main one being just how centered on America this book is despite the consequences befalling the whole world, because of course America is both the whole world and the only part of it in which interesting things actually happen.

In any case, I was trembling even while reading some of the calmest parts of this book, and maybe I can’t yet (ever?) explain fully why it affected me so much when it doesn’t make sense to me completely either, but I hope I got at least part of it, and if not, this is probably the reason I shouldn’t write reviews after midnight.

My rating: ★★★★★

Book review · contemporary

Reviews: Two F/F Romances

Because apparently, lately I review books two at a time.


41734205Looking back, there are many things I didn’t love about Her Royal Highness, but the book was entertaining enough to make me forget about that for most of its length, so does it really matter? Sometimes all you need is a quick read that won’t require that much of your attention and I’m glad that there are traditionally published queer YA books that fit this requirement.

Her Royal Highness is an f/f royal romance set in Scotland with an American main character. One of the first things that stood out in a bad way, to me, is how much this is specifically an American’s wish fulfillment story. I am not Scottish, so I might be wrong about this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this were significantly annoying to read if one were; I have read books in which my own country was on the end of an American main character’s weird obsession-borderline-fetish and it’s the worst kind of unintentionally unsettling. I have a lot of feelings about Americans and their portrayals/interpretations of other cultures (which gets listened to and exported over everyone else’s, even said culture’s) and they’re definitely not wholly this book’s fault, so I’m not going to get into this, but it’s still relevant because it’s the only thing that the book never managed to make me forget (it’s far more difficult to ignore in a contemporary book than in the fake fantasy versions).

Maybe this wouldn’t have been as much of a problem if everything about this book hadn’t been reliant on it being wish-fulfillment, one that was clearly not written for a non-American audience. The main character Millie is as devoid of a personality as any decent audience surrogate would be, which is not inherently negative – sapphics get to have cheesy self-insert romance like everyone else, too – but if you’re not the target audience (so you’re gay but not American), it stands out. This girl’s supposedly favorite hobby is geology. I think about rocks more than she does and I don’t even like them, and the book also manages to gets its geology facts wrong! Wonderful.

To get through the other main thing that didn’t work: the ending. I love every romance book whose ending isn’t the step-by-step typical romance ending featuring a breakup, but the thing is, I can love one that does that as well; reading romance means signing up for a certain degree of clichés and that’s perfectly fine. However, I don’t think this book managed to pull it off in a believable way and the ending felt both rushed and kind of forced.

Now, onto the things I liked. This was an adorable, fun read that got the instant-dislike to love dynamic just right, and it was just as dramatic (it’s alternate reality with royals. It can’t not be dramatic.) as it needed to be to be fun while not becoming cartoonish. I also think it captured the feeling of being a teenager and relationships being confusing really well (are we a thing? are we not?) and I really appreciated what was done with the Jude subplot. Teenagers are messy and I’m glad we let queer girls be messy as well without anyone turning into the caricature of a villainous ex.
And about the side characters as a whole and the love interest… are all the characters other than Millie well-developed? No. Did they need to be? Also no, so I guess we’re fine.

Overall, if alternate reality contemporary royal romance is your thing, this is really good and you should probably ignore me, as it’s exactly the easy, fun read it promises to be. If not, you might enjoy it anyway! In the end, I did.

My rating: ★★★¼


23294595Treasure is a sweet f/f romance following two young Black women who meet at a strip club.
Alexis is an 18-year-old college student trying to make sense of her life after a really rough year; she has ADHD and is a lesbian, which her family – especially her father – doesn’t really approve of.
Trisha, aka Treasure, is 20 years old, a college student and a stripper, and finds herself in the same classes Alexis attends. Unlike Alexis, she is not from a rich family.

I loved Treasure. It’s a cute, quick read in which the characters have chemistry, and there are not that many books around with positive portrayals of sex workers – it was great that in the end the main conflict didn’t completely revolve around Trisha’s job, too, and Alexis wasn’t close-minded about it.
While for the most part I didn’t love the writing, I thought the sex scenes were really well-written, and I liked how the relationship developed; that’s what matters.
Also, as usual: novellas really are the best format for romance.

I really liked Alexis’ character arc. She is a suicide attempt survivor, and in this story, we see her go from someone who doesn’t really know what she wants and just goes along with what would please her overachieving, perfectionist parents, to a young woman who can stand up for herself.

This isn’t a full five stars for me because of a few minor things, the main one being the fact that, while I loved Trisha, it stands out when in a dual PoV story one character has a fully developed arc and the other doesn’t, not as much. Also, there were multiple occurrences of unintentionally aro/acephobic lines and I could have done without those.

My rating: ★★★★½


Have you read or want to read any of these?

Book review · Fantasy · Young adult

Reviews: Two M/M YA Fantasy Books

Today I’m reviewing two ownvoices m/m YA fantasy books, one that mostly worked for me and one that really didn’t, but that had an eerily similar flaw: the tendency to summarize important moments/tell the reader about them, instead of allowing the reader to experience them. I get that show, don’t tell is often overused as advice, but more showing would have helped with the pacing in both of these books.


40131428._sy475_Reverie is a story about the importance that dreams and fantasy have in people’s lives, and how balancing them with reality is just as necessary. It’s a story that gets on a deep level why the idea of escaping to a kinder world is so tempting to queer teenagers, but one that is also about learning to not run away from reality.

I think it’s important to state that a significant part of my problems with this book come from me wanting it to be something different than what it was. At first, I thought that Reverie was all flash and no substance, but I was wrong, because it can clearly drive a point home when it wants to. It’s just than more often than not, it seems to not want to, and I kept hoping it would.
So many topics, so many ideas are just touched upon, and I highlighted many parts, always hoping that I would get more about self-inserts, who gets to tell stories, belonging and not-belonging in reality, the reality of the unreal – specifically from a queer PoV, because all these things are important to me and I would love a book to actually go there. This isn’t that book, and I’ve always been more for the introspective kind of weird (for a queer book that is introspective and talks about not losing yourself into fantasies in a similar yet completely different way, I recommend The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz).

But this is weird, don’t doubt that for a minute. After all, it is about an amnesiac teenage boy and the powerful drag queen sorceress who is attempting to unravel the reality of Connecticut. Just not the kind of weird I like the most, and I didn’t fully get what this book actually wanted to be. For a story about something as intimate as dreams and fantasies, the unusually distant third person narration was a really unusual choice, and one I didn’t particularly like. Its penchant for telling and summarizing things (Kane did this and Kane did that and sense of passage of time, I don’t know her), which might have worked in another context, didn’t help here.
And apart from the angle about the meaning of dreams, I just don’t think this is a particularly good story. The side characters are kind of stereotypes – lovable for the most part, yes, but they still didn’t feel like they were people, especially the love interest – and the way this book starts with an amnesiac character rediscovering his friends muddled things instead of helping. I thought that being (re)introduced to these characters along with Kane would help me get to know their history, but I couldn’t even get a grasp on how much Kane remembered at different points of the story, much less on the characters themselves. All the friendships, sibling bonds and relationships felt shallow as a result.

What I liked about the characters was the casual queerness. There are two side f/f couple (the subplot about the two elderly women in love is the sweetest part of this book), and what stood out the most was the character of Dr. Posey. She is fascinating and completely unlike every other antagonist you’ll ever read about, the out-of-the-box heart of this unconventional book, and can I just say how great it is to read queer people’s takes on the feminine gay villain trope? A homophobic archetype that readers were meant to be disgusted by, or laugh at, becomes someone that is meant to be admired and feared at the same time, powerful and dangerous.

Ultimately, Reverie wasn’t really for me, but I think there’s still a lot to appreciate about it, and I’m so glad that a YA book that is as unapologetically weird and gay as this one got published.

My rating: ★★★


34510711._sy475_Infinity Son would have worked wonderfully as a comic book, and I think that it would also make a solid movie, because the bones of the story are there and there’s a lot of potential (urban fantasy novel in which the gay Puerto Rican main character gets to be the chosen one!), plenty of which would also lie in the visuals (It’s about modern-day Phoenixes, which as a concept is inherently cool.)

However, in the state it is currently? I read an ARC, but I think this needed at least another serious round of editing dedicated to structure, which I don’t think will happen before it gets released. As a multi-PoV novel with a neverending cast of side characters we’re supposed to care about (but can’t because what we know about most of them could be summed up in two words), it just doesn’t work. I’m not surprised by the many bad reviews, even though I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the story itself.

While Adam Silvera can clearly write emotional slice-of-life stories, as he has done multiple times, when it comes to action scenes, we’re really not there.
There was something seriously off with… the pacing? I’m not sure what’s the right word to use when a scene in itself doesn’t flow well because the book keeps summarizing things that shouldn’t be summarized or stating them in a really emotionless way. I’m talking about paragraphs and paragraphs of this:

“Stanton opens his mouth and emits a spray that smells like rotted animal carcass. Blood rushes to my head and I’m so dizzy and we all fall to our knees.”

I don’t know if it’s just me, but for the way this sentence is written, I’d think the character was telling me what he bought at the grocery store. It’s emotionless and makes everything in the story feel fake.

DNF 40%


Have you read or are you anticipating any of these?

Book review · contemporary · Fantasy

Reviews: Two Books I Loved

Today I’ll review two books I loved this summer, the flash fiction collection The Fox’s Tower and Other Tales by Yoon Ha Lee and the poetry novel The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. I’ve already mentioned them on this blog multiple times, but I never got around to reviewing them, and that needed to change.

Since we’re nearing the end of the year and many of us are behind on various reading challenges, I also want to mention that both of these are really short and quick reads.


25733384._sy475_The Fox’s Tower and Other Tales is a collection of flash fairytales, many of which gay, many of which featuring shapeshifting foxes and fox spirits, all of them delightful.

This was the book equivalent of a chocolate box. Every story is just a few pages, and maybe not all of them are as memorable, but all of them are pretty and a pleasure to read. And the ones that are memorable are the kind of stories I will never forget, for their wonderful atmosphere or their clever endings or just for how much they made me happy. I feel like we tend to talk a lot about the books that manage to make us cry, and while I can appreciate occasional heartbreak, books like this one will always be more valuable to me.

In The Fox’s Tower and Other Tales you’ll meet dormouse paladins, non-binary oracles, stories about animal wives with a gay twist, and so many surprisingly cuddly foxes. Here you’ll find stories to remind you that a dragon is a state of mind, stories that will give you some insight into the lives of carousel horses, stories that will show you how shadows are just another reminder of the importance of heartlight.

Apart from the really appreciated casual queerness these stories are full of, what I loved the most about this collection were the descriptions. They’re as unique as they’re beautiful, and maybe talking about crystals unfed by unsunlight and the ice-fruit of stars shouldn’t make sense but it does, it always does.

Also, if you’ve read Ninefox Gambit, a fun part is noticing how in some of these stories there are small references to the trilogy, so much that I almost think of this book as “what the people in the world of the Machineries of Empiretrilogy tell as fairytales”. I think the three prose poems – How the Andan Court explicitly, but very likely also Candles and Thunder – were written specifically with some of those characters/parts of that world in mind. The prose poems are really pretty even if you don’t know the context, but with context… I have too many feelings that I can’t put them into words.

Apart from the prose poems, my favorite stories were The Virtues of Magpies, featuring a non-binary youth and their mischievous magical magpie friends, and The Red Braid, whose ending was everything to me. Also, The Firziak Mountains made me laugh, and stories like The Youngest FoxThe Fox’s Forest and The Crane Wife were adorable.

My rating: ★★★★★


41020406._sx318_A beautiful coming-of-age story about a gay biracial black boy as he find his voice through poetry and drag.

For me, it’s always a breath of fresh air to read about marginalized characters who are not from the US. Yes, Michael is British, and it’s not difficult to find stories set in England, but stories about marginalized characters in contemporary are overwhelmingly American. In this story, you’ll see Michael come to terms with what it means for him to be British and Jamaican and Cypriot; to be all of these things and also a gay man, one who wants to be a drag artist.

It’s a really emotional journey, one I would really recommend to everyone who liked The Poet X. The poems in here were so beautiful, especially the ones about biracial and multicultural identity not being made of halves, about best friends being the ones who can hurt you the most with their internalized homophobia and racism (House of Mirrors. That hurt so much), about toxic masculinity, and the final one about coming out.
I also thought that the way this book focused on family relationships – Michael’s somewhat complicated relationship with his mother, who accepts him but still messes up; Michael’s nonexistent relationship with his father; his connection with his uncle and grandmother on his father’s side – and friendships was something that isn’t as common as it should be in YA. Daisy’s (his best friend) storyline was probably my favorite part of the book.

I also really liked the flamingo symbolism, and all the illustrations.

My rating: ★★★★½


Have you read any good short fiction/poetry lately?

Wrap-Up

October 2019 Highlights

Welcome to a new post in the Monthly Highlights series, in which I talk about the books I read this month, what happened, and some book-related news.


What I Read

So, this month I ended up reading 7 books:

  • 4 new novels, of which 2 were ARCs and one I DNFed 75% in;
  • 2 novellas
  • 1 reread of a novel.

I would have read more, but I got sick at the end of the month and didn’t manage. Anyway, this wasn’t the best reading month, not because of quantity (I haven’t been reading much in general) but because of quality; I rated three books two stars, which is the most two stars I’ve found in a month this year.

As usual, let’s talk about what I liked:

42265183

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh is a historical paranormal romance set in New Orleans in 1872.

  • this was… unexpected
  • I had only seen bad reviews before going into the book, and then I loved it and disagreed with every single thing that has been said about this book (apart from it being slow and dramatic, which it is)
  • can we stop comparing this to Twilight just because it has vampires in it
  • gorgeous, decadent atmosphere; the kind of writing that needs to be savored
  • underground paranormal society composed mostly of marginalized people! I would die for Odette, the mysterious magical lesbian
  • I also really really liked our main character, that mess named named Celine, and her character arc meant so much to me
  • about power, desire, and grappling with self-loathing brought by a strict religious (Catholic) upbringing. Relatable content!
  • when I say that this is dramatic I mean it. One of the characters even has a pet snake

23294595

Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon is a new adult f/f romance novella following two Black women who meet at a strip club, in which one of the two works.

  • this was wonderful and I’m always here for well-written f/f sex scenes
  • positive sex worker representation! And really diverse in other ways too, as one of the main character is a suicide attempt survivor and has ADHD
  • about learning to stand up for yourself and the people you love
  • I’ve tried other books by this author before and they didn’t work for me but this one was everything
  • novellas really are the best format for romance

Life (Plant) Update

I have new plant friends!

20191005_161024

(yes, I have since repotted them, as these pots were clearly too small)

I didn’t know what they were when I got them and neither did the person I got them from, so I tried to identify them through internet searching, and this is what I got (left to right):

  • Fenestraria rhopalophylla, which according to the internet is known in English as “babies’ toes“; of this one I’m pretty sure about.
  • some Aloe hybrid, maybe Aloe cultivar “peppermint”, I’m not completely sure – anyway, a plant in the Aloe genus
  • Some other species in the Aloe genus. I’m going with “maybe Aloe aculeata, but it could also be an Aloe ferox or Aloe marlothii (or: a hybrid involving these species); it’s very difficult to tell when it’s so young.

So! A Fenestraria and two Aloe. I hope I’m able to keep them alive.


Cover Reveals

October really is cover reveal month! So many gorgeous book cover got released that I won’t even be able to talk about all of them as I usually do, but I couldn’t exclude that many either because they’re all gorgeous:

Favorite Covers of the Month

The Damned by Renée Ahdieh – I finished The Beautiful just a few weeks ago and I already can’t wait to see what happens next, especially after this very eerie cover that doesn’t mirror the “this is exactly Twilight” misleading style of the first one, was revealed. I love it and I can’t stop looking at it.

Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena – the other gorgeous cover that was revealed this month. I haven’t read anything by this author yet, but I need to try this YA fantasy inspired by medieval India. Also, those who think people on the cover don’t work are just wrong.

Other Beautiful Covers

The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth – no cover portrays the gay atmospheric summer romance aesthetic as much as this one does and I love it so much. Also isn’t the premise just amazing

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar – illustrated covers should be more common in YA, and if someone asks why, just show them this cover. Not only it’s pretty, it also tells you “YA fantasy involving astronomy and inspired by Hindu mythology” in a moment.

The Unconquered City by K.A. Doore – the third and final book in this series about queer assassins is almost here and it’s so pretty. How did this series somehow get all the best adult fantasy covers.

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee – another beautiful Charlie Bowater cover! This YA fantasy novel should be inspired by Hmong shamanism and it’s being advertised as “for fans of Naomi Novik”? (Am I hearing… creepy forests? I’m so here for this.)

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles – so atmospheric! I’ve been anticipating this since its announcement because it sounded like it would be (I mean, Phantom of the Opera x Moulin Rouge) and the cover didn’t disappoint.

The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke – queer witches! I don’t know anything else about this and I’m not sure I’ll read it until I hear more, but the cover’s aesthetic is everything to me.

The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinka – this cover isn’t the most remarkable thing I’ve ever seen, but it has a quiet beauty to it and apparently it’s an f/f villain romance?? I need it now

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender – …visibly trans black boy on the cover. On a beautiful illustrated cover. Sometimes I feel hopeless about publishing, and then I remember that just two years ago, this would never have happened.

This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling – I like this one more than the first book’s! I should really get around to reading These Witches Don’t Burn, by the way.


What are your favorite covers revealed this month? Have you read anything good in October?

Weekly

T10T: Fall Vibes

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Books That Give Off Autumn Vibes.


Fall Covers

These are the books I’ve read that remind me the most of fall because of the cover (and sometimes, also because of the content).

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson: let’s start with what’s probably the most obvious one and kind of the quintessential fall YA fantasy. This is a fae romance between a human and a fae from the autumn court named Rook, so the fall tones of the cover (and the crows) make sense. And it’s just… so nice to look at.

Far From the Tree by Robyn Benway: I remember this one being a beautiful, quiet-but-emotional contemporary novel, which I do like to read during these months, but I don’t remember if the novel actually had anything to do with fall. Anyway, falling leaves! It hardly gets more of an autumn cover than that.

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum: the muted, gray tones, the odd, vaguely ominous yellow drawings, the way everything looks old and faded… yes, this reminds me of fall. It has a nostalgic feel to it and so does this season. (I don’t remember the book having anything to do with fall, though.)

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton: falling leaves (petals?), red like blood; a naked tree. Everything in this book, even its content, reminded me of fall, as fantasy stories that stand on the line between dark fantasy and horror often do.

For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig: I love the bright red of this one – this was kind of a cover buy to begin with – and the red/orange/yellow tones here are really autumnal. The book itself doesn’t have anything to do with the season as far as I remember (but you should read it anyway, really).


Fall Content

Books that remind me of fall because of the inside, not their covers.

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore: all of Anna-Marie McLemore’s books remind me of fall, but this more than the others, because one of the plotlines (as far as you can call anything in a magical realism book a plotline) involves pumpkins and pumpkin carving and pumpkin patches. It’s magical and one of the most beautiful, autumnal things I’ve ever read.

Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist: this is the season for ghost stories and thrillers! This story is both, and it’s also gay, so it’s perfect.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle: an atmospheric, quiet and cozy magical story with a mystery aspect. All of this screams autumn to me, even though I’m not sure the book actually takes place in that season. It’s set in an Irish small town and has an almost timeless, nostalgic quality to it too.

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh: thinking about historical fiction featuring dangerous paranormal societies makes me think of fall more than any other season, even though this story is technically set in winter. It’s the decadence! Very autumnal if you ask me. It does help that I read it (and loved it) just a few weeks ago.

Witchmark by C.L. Polk: a steampunk-like magical story about witches with a cozy , rainy atmosphere. How could that not be a fall read? It’s also very gay and I can’t wait for its f/f sequel, Stormsong.


Which books/covers remind you of fall?