Friday, June 17, 2016

Pride Month! Boys Like Boys

I am making a second book post for Pride Month. [Insert the crowd going wild]. 

This time it will focus on the stories of boys so gear up for some emotional stories of bros falling for other bros.  

                                                                                                                               


True Letters from a Fictional Life
by Kenneth Logan

James lives a life of fiction where he is the star athlete with the perfect girlfriend and the happy home.

It is only in the letters he never intends to send that he finds himself being honest. He is not happy. He is struggling to keep it together. He has feelings for another boy.


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Been Here All Along
by Sandy Hall

Gideon knows what he wants out of life and his plans have no room for a crush on his best friend, Kyle.


Kyle has everything going for him right now.  Except his best friend and his girlfriend are acting strange and he has no idea why.


Note:  This book is coming out August 30th, 2016.  I'm hoping this one is a fun one!

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One Man Guy
by Michael Barakiva

Alek is being sent to summer school by his parents to bring up his depressing grades. There he meets, Ethan, someone so cool and different that Alek can hardly believe they are friends.

Soon Alek finds himself, unexpectedly, falling for Ethan but not knowing how to handle it. Alek is still figuring out who he is.


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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli

Simon is not out at school.  In fact, he's so not out that when one of his emails falls into the hands of the class clown, Simon finds himself being blackmailed.  


Simon has to figure out a way to keep his friends, keep himself together and keep a budding romance with a pen pal safe.

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When Love Comes to Town
by Tom Lennon

Neil Byrne is gay but it is a secret.  He hides behind his popularity and tough rugby player image.

On the dark streets of Dublin, Ireland, Neil struggles  to work out  how to be honest with the world about who he is and how he feels.


  MUSIC RECOMMENDATION                                                                         

Years and Years is a fantastic group.  Not only is the lead singer gay but he made a point of including male pronouns in their songs so listeners would know they were about other men. It's all about true representation with this band and I hope you'll check them out.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Orlando Tragedy

I woke up this morning to the news coming from Orlando, Florida.  I am horrified and heartbroken that this has happened to such a powerful, resilient, and loving community.

It is Pride Month, where people from the LGBTQ community celebrate who they are, together and with friends. Love is love.  It is also Ramadan, a holy time for Muslims all over the world. And yet this tragedy has occurred during that time.  

Nothing I say feels like enough.  All I can do is offer my support in any way that I can give it and so should everyone else.  Be a friend, protect others, donate blood and donate money where you can. Hatred should not be met with more hatred.

If you're in the Tampa Bay area and want to donate blood, head to to OneBlood Blood Donation Center.

The phone number for the family hotline is (407) 246- 4357.

This post on tumblr collects information on blood donation centers, helplines, monetary donation sites.



Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pride Month! Happy Pride to the Ladies!

It's Pride Month in my city.  That's right, MONTH.  It's no longer just a week.  I'm going to celebrate it on the blog by bringing up some awesome books.

This post contains some YA books of girls that fall in love with other girls.  Lovely, right? 

                                                                                                                                       

Look Both Ways
by Alison Cherry

Brooklyn Shepard is having an exciting summer.  Her theater apprenticeship at Allerdale is going well and her roommate for the summer, Zoe, is amazing. But then her friendship with Zoe becomes something more and intense and Brooklyn starts to doubt herself.

Brooklyn Shepard still has a lot to figure out and discover before the summer is over.

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Forgive Me If I've Told You This Before
by Karelia Stetz-Waters

Triinu Hoffman does not fit in in her town.  From her clothes to her shyness to her crushes on girls, everything makes her a target.

As the battle for equal rights reaches her town and divides it, Triinu will fall in love, have her heart broken, take a stand and find out what it means to be her own person.

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Keeping You a Secret
by Julie Anne Peters

Holland Jaeger has everything she could possibly need: a boyfriend, a position on the student council, great friends and a good chance of getting into a good college.  Everything is as it should be for a girl her age.

When Cece Goddard moves to her school, she changes Holland's world.  Cece does not hide who she is.  New feelings and confusing thoughts take over Holland's life.  She has to figure out who she is and what she wants.

Also, check out her other novel Lies My Girlfriend Told Me.  It's about a girl dealing with the aftermath of her girlfriend's death and the secrets she discovers afterwards.

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No One Needs to Know
by Amanda Grace

Olivia has always been able to drive away her twin brother's girlfriends.  But this summer that all changes when her brother meets Zoey.  She is outspoken and smart and even worse is she sees through every one of Olivia's schemes.

As they get to know each other, Olivia and Zoey go from enemies to friends to something more.  Olivia falls hard for Zoey but so does her brother.  Olivia will have to decide whether or not her happiness is more important than her brother's.

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Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel
by Sara Farizan

Leila is not a risk taker.  She keeps to herself and has avoided crushing on anyone at her school.  Enter Saskia, who is beautiful and elegant and Leila is unable to stop herself from falling for her.

But does Saskia feel the same?  Leila sometimes thinks that she might.  As Leila explores her feelings and shares them with some of her classmates, she begins to realize that everyone's lives are complicated and everyone is keeping a secret of their own.

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Skim
written by Mariko Tamaki
illustrated by Jillian Tamaki 

When the boyfriend of a classmate commits suicide, the school Skim goes to goes into mourning.  As everyone around her tries to support each other and push the positives of life, Skim falls into an even deeper depression.

And when love finds Skim, it only makes things worse.

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   MUSIC RECOMMENDATION                                                                           

Tegan and Sara do not need any introduction.  They are amazing women who are open and positive about who they are.  Also, they turn out some amazing tunes.  Check them out!



Thursday, June 2, 2016

Eurotrip: 3 Countries

My other list was about travelling all over the map, this time I am keeping things locked to three countries: France, England and Italy.  I also added three extra books at the end involving countries that did not fit in.

 France                                                                             

Vidalia in Paris
by Sasha Watson

Vidalia is away in Paris studying art, the thing she loves most.  There she gets to explore the city of lights, meet new people, make bad decisions and figure out how to survive on her own.

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Romancing the Dark in the City of Light
by Ann Jacobus

Summer Barnes is in Paris after being kicked out of another boarding school. She has to make this one work or risk losing her inheritance.  She is convinced that meeting the right person at the right time will save her.    In Paris, she meets two.  One who encourages Summer to embrace the light.  The other tells her to embrace the dark.

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Just One Day
by Gayle Forman

Allyson Healey lives a planned and ordered existence.  On the last day of her strict European vacation, she abandons those things and takes a risk.  She accepts a young traveling actor's invitation and together they spend 24 hours in Paris.

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One Paris Summer
by Denise Grover Swank

Sophie Brooks had plans to practice her piano and win a scholarship competition that would help her achieve her dream of becoming a pianist. Instead, she is going to Paris for the summer to spend time with a father who abandoned her a year ago.

With her new stepsister determined to make her life miserable, how will Sophie get the chance to work towards her dream?

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  England                                                                       


Meant to Be
by Lauren Morrill
While on a school trip in London, Julia starts to receive romantic messages from a secret admirer. Teaming up with her arch nemesis, Jason, they race through London and break rules together to track the admirer down.

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The Heir and the Spare
by Emily Albright

Evie Gray is on a journey of self-discovery. One that will take her all the way to Oxford to find out just what kind of person her mother was. Through her mother's letters, Evie is set on an adventure that will find her running into a real life prince.
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Sophomore Switch
by Abby McDonald

Tasha is off to Oxford in an effort to avoid the tabloids and leave behind her party girl ways.  Emily is going from Oxford to U.C. Santa Barbara to escape a broken heart.

Soon both girls are exchanging tips and tricks to help each other fit in, find love and figure out who they are.

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Falling in Love with English Boys
by Melissa Jensen

Catherine Vernon is stuck in London while her mother is off working on a research project.  With no friends and no one to show her around, she has nothing to do except read the diary of a girl from 1815.

But when Catherine meets a descendant of the diary writer, things start to get interesting.



 Italy                                                                                  


Flirting in Italian
by Lauren Henderson

Violet travels to Italy on a mission to uncover the history behind a painting of a girl that looks exactly like her.  Her three best friends tag along for the ride and together, they are looking to unravel a mystery, eat amazing food and meet Italian boys.

Note:  This one is a series!  Book 2: Kissing in Italian is already out.  A third is also expected to be released soon.  So if you love this one, there is more to read.

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Love, Lucy
by April Linder

While traveling in Florence, Italy during summer, Lucy falls for the city, the people and the culture.  She even falls a bit in love with a street musician named Jesse.  But now that she is home and getting ready for college, is what they had over or can it last for more than one season?

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Love & Gelato
by Jenna Evans Welch

Following her mother's dying wish, Lina heads to Tuscany to spend time with a father she hardly knows.  Once there, she is given a journal written by her mother.  It details her experiences in Italy from hidden spots to amazing art to romance.

This journal also has the power to reveal from secrets from her mother's past that will change Lina's life.

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Instructions for a Broken Heart
by Kim Culbertson

On the eve of her trip to Italy with her drama class, Jessa finds her boyfriend out with another girl.  Armed with a care package from her best friend, Jessa goes to Italy as planned.

She also goes with the promise that she will do one new thing every day.  One thing she would never do.




 PLUS THREE                                                                 


Sophomore Year is Greek to Me
by Meredith Zeitlin

Zona Lowell calls New York City home but for the next six months, she'll be living in Athens, Greece. Her journalist father says he is chasing a story but Zona isn't so sure. Her mom's side of the the family lives in Athens but they cut her off after she married an American. Zona thinks this might turn out to be a long lost family reunion.


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My Best Friend, Maybe
by Caela Carter

Colette and Sadie are no longer friends.  She has no idea what happened but the summer before they start high school, Sadie ends their friendship.  Colette may be lonely but she pushes forward for her parents, her boyfriend and her brothers.

Then Sadie shows up and begs Colette to come with her on a family vacation to the Greek Islands.  Despite the sadness and the hurt, Colette agrees to go. Eventually, the secret to why Sadie abandoned her and the reason for the trip come out.

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The Boy on the Bridge
by Natalie Standiford

In 1982, Laura Reid travels to Leningrad for a semester abroad.  There she meets Alexei, an artist, who takes her on a tour of the beauties of Russia.  But it is the Cold War and they must keep their relationship a secret or face the consequences.  Is it true love or does Alexei have secrets?

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If you want a little more travel & adventure, I wrote a post about an old book series that you can still find in used bookstores and on amazon.