Moonstruck Vol 1: Magic to Brew

Moonstruck_Vol01-1Moonstruck Vol. 1: Magic to Brew by Grace Ellis, Shae Beagle, and Kate Leth
Image Comics, March 2018

Plot SummaryCurvy, queer, bi-racial werewolf Julie would love nothing more than to go on her date with fellow werewolf Selena and not ‘wolf out’. Unfortunately, when her centaur bestie Chet tags along on her date, everything goes haywire, including the transformation of Chet into a human!  With a crazed magician on the loose and a horse rump to find, the gang is thrown into a magical mystery that Julie’s new love life might not survive.

Shae Beagle’s dreamy art style perfectly captures a variety of body shapes and multiracial characters. The color work is gorgeous and sets the tone for a story that’s love-cute meets the supernatural.

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The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

ladysguideThe Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
Katherine Tegen Books, Oct 2018
Reviewed from ARC

Plot Summary: In this sequel to 2018 Stonewall Honor The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Felicity Montague knows that marriage isn’t for her. What she wants, fiercely, is to study medicine–an ambition that is met with rejection and ridicule in 18th-century England. One last lead takes her to Germany, where a physician she admires is seeking an assistant for an expedition. The journey tangles her fate with those of two women: Sim, an Algerian Muslim possibly-pirate, and Johanna, her estranged childhood best friend who is due to marry the physician. Secrets come to light, and Felicity is thrown into a globe-traversing quest that brings her closer to Sim and Johanna. With patriarchy-smashing aplomb, the novel celebrates the power of women working together against the societal forces that would rather see them crushed. Continue reading

Middle Grade Fiction Roundup

Per Savin-Williams and Diamond, the age at which people realize their LGBTQ identity tends to fall between eight and ten. This research was published in 2000. Yet, the (small) proliferation of queer-themed middle grade novels is still a relatively new phenomenon. Since Tim Federle’s Better Nate Than Ever (2013) and Alex Gino’s George (2015), we’ve seen a steady rise in the number of queer-themed middle grade novels being published.
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Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)

jack of heartsJack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen
Little, Brown, October 2018
Reviewed from ARC

Plot Summary: Jack is a very sexual young man. He’s certainly not afraid to “get it on” and try new things. But when school gossip about his sex life starts to get out of hand, Jack’s friend Jenna suggests he try to use his experiences to educate his classmates through a new sex advice column in the school newspaper. Though a bit hesitant at first, Jack eventually embraces the opportunity, and in the process manages to catch the attention of a secret admirer and get the administration after him for disrupting the status quo.

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Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World

ivy aberdeenIvy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake
Little, Brown BFYR, March 2018
Reviewed from hardcover

Plot Summary: A tornado interrupts twelve-year-old Ivy’s world, destroying her family’s home. Displaced by the disaster and disconnected from her family, Ivy begins to feel isolated. Meanwhile, Ivy also loses her secret journal—her “portable, papery hope chest” (2)—in which she has drawn pictures that no one else has seen. Pictures of herself and another girl holding hands. Along with notes urging Ivy to talk to someone, Ivy’s treasured drawings begin to resurface page-by-page in her locker.  Ivy writes back, wondering if (read: hoping that) this pen-pal is the girl from her drawings.
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Leah on the Offbeat

leahLeah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Balzer + Bray, April 2018
Reviewed from hardcover

Plot Summary: As the follow-up to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Leah has enjoyed a lot of automatic YA limelight from the get-go. Fat, bi, Jewish, and from a lower-income, single-mom family, Leah has always felt like the odd one out in her friend group. Her insecurities aren’t helped by shifting dynamics and rising tensions as the end of senior year looms large. In the months leading up to prom, relationships change, especially Leah’s with Abby. The prospect of attending college together and Abby’s recent break-up bring the former friends closer, and Leah is reminded of the attraction that caused her to keep her distance in the first place.

[Heads up, this discussion is spoilery.]

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Black Wings Beating

Black wings beatingBlack Wings Beating by Alex London
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, September 2018
Reviewed from ARC

Plot Summary: Uztar is a land full of people who revere birds of prey, holding those with the skill for falconry in high esteem. Brysen wants nothing more than to become one of these highly respected falconers, and it frustrates him that his sister has a gift for it that she doesn’t want to embrace. The twins also need money, and their abusive father is certainly not paying the bills. Kylee can’t wait to get out of town, out of the whole business and away from her home, but Brysen puts the two in a precarious position just as the shadows of war are descending. The two end up embarking on an epic quest to find the elusive ghost eagle and hopefully turn the tide of the impending battle.
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