Review: Long Macchiatos and Monsters by Alison Evans

Review: Long Macchiatos and Monsters by Alison Evans

Title: Long Macchiatos and Monsters (2015)
Author: Alison Evans
Expect: New Adult, Trans and Non-Binary MCs, Visible Disability, Slice of Life, Short Fiction
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Summary

Jalen, lover of B-grade sci-fi movies, meets the far-too-handsome P in a café while deciding whether or not to skip uni again. When P invites them along to a double feature of Robot Monster and Cat Women of the Moon, Jalen can hardly believe that hot boys like bad sci-fi, too. But as their relationship progresses, Jalen realizes P leaves them wondering if they’re on the same page about what dating means, and if that’s what they’re doing.

My Review

Finding queer New Adult short fiction is slowly becoming my new favorite pastime. I feel like there’s a bit of an age gap sometimes in our fiction that forgets humans live a life after turning 18 and before the big 3-0 (but that’s a story for another time). I’m going to try not to make this a hype review, but I seriously love Long Macchiatos and Monsters. I’m so glad I decided to reread this one before writing the review because I had more of an appreciation for it when I knew what to expect.

This is very much a character-driven story, and you won’t be disappointed with following Jalen around. I fell in love with P and Jalen from the jump. Jalen was the perfect main character, and I found their love of cheesy sci-fi movies to be endearing af. Tbh, 100% would cuddle them in a heartbeat. Also, P and Jalen’s relationship was so refreshingly real and relaxed— from all of the jokes between the two to their moments of doing absolutely nothing but being in each other’s presence— that I was glad to just be along for the ride.

But while we get bits of Jalen’s life outside of the relationship, P remains a complete enigma. I know this was probably to put the reader in Jalen’s shoes of not being able to for sure define the relationship between the two, but this was a plot point that was never resolved. Hell, by the time the story ended, I felt like Jalen… “Bro, I know nothing about you. Tell me something right now, or I’m stepping.” And just when we’re about to get something of a backstory from P, the book… ends which just left everything seeming unfinished.

I did have some issues with the cohesiveness in this novella. It was a hit it and quit it story that tried to give so many different scenes and time frames but took away the cohesiveness of the story by doing so. There was too much jumping around for me, and it didn’t feel like all of the scenes always flowed together. I mean, I get it. It’s a short story, and there’s so much ground to cover; but it just got distracting. Scenes that could have been extended to better understand the characters– like Jalen’s life with their sister or P’s interactions with his mother (or any friends he may have had). By the time everything really started coming to a head, the book just ends. There isn’t a resolution. There isn’t really an explanation. There were just so many missed opportunities for expansion. I also need some sort of conflict to keep my interest high. While there is a little bit of tension waiting in the wings with P’s mom (which is never really explained), it wasn’t enough.

This book was short and sweet, but perhaps it was too short and sweet. Novellas are my thing, yo, but Macchiatos needed to be longer (because I’m utterly OBSESSED with P and Jalen and need more). IS THERE MORE? WILL THERE BE MORE?!

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Honestly, more of everything, please.

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Review: Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Book Review: Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Title: Peter Darling (2017)
Author: Austin Chant
Publisher: Less Than Three
Expect: New Adult, Trans MC, M/M Romance, Visible Disability
Rating: ★★★½ and ★★★★

Goodreads Summary

Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

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ARC Review: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Arc Review: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Title: History is All You Left Me (2017)
Author: Adam Silvera
Publisher: Soho Teen
Themes: Young Adult, M/M Romance
Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads Summary:

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.

My Thoughts:

Adam Silvera is the king of realistic YA fiction. Yeah, I said it.

How do you even begin a review for a book that made you feel so much? It’s been a while since I’ve read something with tears in my eyes, so thank you, Adam Silvera, for making me feel human. From page one, I was hooked and ready to dub History is All You Left Me (referred to as HISTORY moving forward) my fave read of the year. Seriously, the first 222 pages were so good and emotional that I went into a bit of a reading slump… So, I demand a support group to help me get over my hurt feelings.

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Audiobook Review: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Review: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan KielygoodreadsbadgeA bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad’s every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement?

There were witnesses: Quinn Collins—a varsity basketball player and Rashad’s classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan—and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketball team—half of whom are Rashad’s best friends—start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before.

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Audiobook Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick NessThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Published By: HarperTeen
Date Published: October 6, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
343 pages

My Rating:★★★★☆
Format: Audiobook read by James Fouhey

Goodreads

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshiped by mountain lions. (via Goodreads)

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Oh. My. God. I sat at my desk and nearly wept (I say nearly because you just don’t show weakness in front of the people who are supposed to fear you). The narrative was so damn good. Let me lead with this, I’ve never encountered Patrick Ness until this book. I recently added his more popular More Than This to my TBR and picked it up from the library after seeing all of the positive reviews. However, when I was looking for an audiobook to listen to while I waited for my work buddy to relinquish Outlander, I came across this and just… OH. MY. GOD. Continue reading

Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Nimona
by Noelle Stevenson
Published By: HarperTeen
Date Published: May 12, 2015
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
272 pages

My Rating: ★★★★☆
Format: Hardback

Goodreads

 Nimona is an unconventional book, so this is an unconventional review. You have been warned.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit. (via Goodreads)

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I’M A SHARK!

I have no clue how I stumbled upon this treasure, but I’m so very glad I did. Nimona is a fast-paced and beautifully drawn graphic novel that I recommend to anyone looking for a fun, quick read. This former web comic starts off with Nimona (duh!) claiming to be a our big baddie’s new sidekick sent over by the Agency… which is a bald-faced lie. She’s an aggressive shapeshifter with all of the potential to be a dangerous overlord if left to her own devices. Continue reading

Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Date Published: February 21, 2012
Genre: YA fiction, LGBT+ fiction
370 pages

My Rating: ★★★★☆
Format: Audiobook (read by Lin-Manuel Miranda)
Recommended for:
Anyone looking for a feel-good coming of age tale with philosophical nuggets of wisdom for everyone.

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Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. (via Goodreads)

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I can’t tell if every book I’ve read so far has been truly good, or if I’ve severely lowered my expectations after a year of disappointing reads last year. Seriously, last year was ROUGH for me… But I digress. I fell hopelessly in love with Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe about 1/4 of the way in, and I never fell out of it. Which is always a good thing, right? Right. Continue reading

Audiobook Review: Eleanor & Park

Bookenstein's Book Review of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow RowellEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Published By: St. Martin’s Griffin
(February 26, 2013)
Genre: YA Fiction
336 pages

My Rating: ★★★★☆
Format: Audiobook read by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra
Recommended for:
YA fiction lovers who are into quirky romance novels that are presented with an out-of-the-ordinary element (read: lovers John Green, Sarah Dessen etc.)

Goodreads


For the summary and book review, please check out this earlier post.

The Nitty Gritty

It occurred to me yesterday that I should also try to give a little something something on the audiobooks I listen to as their own separate entity (because, in a way, they are). Since yesterday’s Eleanor & Park book review went on much longer than I’d planned, I’ve created a new post to gush about the beauty that was Eleanor & Park: The Audiobook.

While it can be deduced that I didn’t really enjoy Eleanor & Park like everyone else in the world, I can say this: the audiobook saved its life. Based on the auditory work alone, I was almost willing to give it 3-4 stars (Almost).

Yeah, it was just that good. Continue reading