Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni, Book preview

Every Word You Never Said by Jordon Greene- ARC review

389 pages
Expected publication: April 26th 2022 by F/K Teen

Every Word You Never Said by Jordon Greene

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

TW: Homophobia, Bullying, Sexism, Ableism

First of all a huge thank you to Jordon Greene for the amazing ARC and the chance to read and review one of my most anticipated books of 2022!

Skylar Gray is adopted, nonverbal and he feels most comfortable in skirts and dresses. His life wasn’t easy, he was bullied and abused, he doesn’t trust easily and he’s scared to be seen as defective, a burden, to be unable to find family and friends. Now, living with new parents, going in a new school and in a different state, Skylar is a bit more hopeful things will get better for him. His life and feelings are complicated when he meets Jacob, with his white hair and gorgeous eyes, who is as anxious and nervous as he is.

Jacob’s life isn’t easy, either, since he came out over the summer, receiving his homophobic father’s hate and disgust, struggling to live in his own family and trying to live his life as freely as possible, even though painting his nails and dyeing his hair mean getting grounded every time. When Skylar wearing skirts prompts his father to propose a sexist dress code, Jacob refuses to remain silent and decides to take a stand.

I LOVED reading Every word you never said. The story is absolutely fantastic, very sweet and with care and sensivity the author deals with many important themes, like homophobia, ableism, bullying, sexism, abuse and so much more. Told by two POVs, Skylar’s and Jacob’s, with wonderful drawings of the boys at the beginning of their chapters, it’s impossible not to be involved in this story, to love these characters, who are so realistic, relatable, brimming with feelings, so alive and complex.
Skylar’s life wasn’t easy, he’s been through so much, he struggles to trust, to see himself as his new parents and new friends see him, to let himself go and trust he’s loved and cared for. His new friends, Imani and Seth are amazing, supportive and really brilliant. I loved reading their interactions, Imani’s loud voice and Seth’s quiet presence, their unconditional love and support. I also loved reading Skylar’s interactions with his new parents, who love him right away, supporting his decision to wear what he wants, to use makeup, to do whatever he’s comfortable with.

On the other side, Jacob is struggling with his coming out and the hate from his father, against his homophobic and sexist ideas, against his obsession for the church and the use of religion to support his ideas and hate speech. When he starts to feel something for the new student and when Skylar is threatened by the new dress code, Jacob is determined to take a stand and to fight for what is right.

I loved how the author talked about their relationship, between cute and sweet moments, sexual tension, romantic dates, but, also, doubts, anxiety problems, frustrations, it was really relatable and skillfully written. I also loved how the author addresses Skylar’s disability, how he, sometimes, struggles with it and with the difficulty of being understood through sign language, reading lips, or having to use his phone to communicate, but also with how, with Jacob, his friends and parents, Skylar uses other languages, the body’s, eyes’ expressions, movements and so on, to communicate. It was my first read with a nonverbal main character and I loved everything (mostly because I’m trying to learn sign language, so I was interested in that, too). I loved Skylar’s and Jacob’s relationship, how they help, support and love one other, between music and books, dates and friends.

I loved Jacob’s and Skylar’s friends, how they joke and are supportive, how they are willing to do the right things and support them. I loved how the author addresses important issues in this book and, through the new sexist dress code, how, even now, people struggle to understand that clothes, makeup and so on, have no gender, how is, basically, through and because of some culture that dresses or skirts are seen are feminine and associated to a certain sexual orientation, giving bullies their ammutions to attack and hurt people.
This could open, and it should, a discussion about gender and clothes, but I think it’s better to finish my review, without writing a poem.

I loved Every Word You Never Said. The characterization is brilliant, the writing style was immersive and evocative, I loved reading about Skylar and Jacob, their struggles and ideas, their pains and traumas, but, also, their love and friendships and how they learn to fight to be themselves and to be together. I loved everything.

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There’s also a brilliant preorder campaign here!

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Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni, Book preview

Dark Rise by C.S. Pacat- ARC review

464 pages
Expected publication: September 28th 2021 by Quill Tree Books

Dark Rise by C.S. Pacat

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of all, I wanted to thank the publisher and Edelweiss, for the chance to read and review this book in exchange of an honest review.

Dark Rise is the first book of the new epic fantasy series by C.S. Pacat and it was one of my most anticipated read in 2021. I loved reading Captive Prince and Fence and I was so happy when the publisher sent me the earc!

Once upon a time there was an ancient and magical world, but not its heroes are dead, the great battles between Light and Dark are forgotten and only the Stewards remember the ancient time, protecting their memories, keeping their vigil and swearing to protect humanity if the Dark King ever returns. In London, Will Kempen is sixteen years old, he’s on the run and he’s escaping the men who killed his mother, without knowing why and who are they, when an old servant finds him and tells him his destiny is to find the Stewards and fight beside them. Finding himself involved in a battle against Light and Dark, magic and power, with a peculiar ally in the almost stranger Violet, Will has to train and play the role of the Chosen One against villains, violence and death.
In a complex world made of reborn heroes and villains, past and present intertwined, magic and pawns, Will and Violet are the main characters in a fight between light and darkness, for themselves, their world and future, between love and hate, destiny and reality.

I loved reading Dark Rise! The worldbuilding is fascinating and complex, set in the Victorian London mixing knights, magic, powers, loves, deaths, allies and enemies, in a battle between light and darkness, good and bad. The Hall, the Stewards, the magic…everything was so intriguing and captivating, the plot full of twists, characters and amazing descriptions it felt like I was there with them.

The story is told by Will and Violet’s POVs and they are wonderfully complex characters, in their intricacies, with their traumas, doubts, fears and desires. Both of them find themselves in a strange and ancient world, in a battle fought in the past and that still threatens their future and everything they love. Will and Violet find each other by chance, fitting right away allies and then as friends, helping and supporting each other in a beautiful relationship, supporting one other in their battles, intrigues and discoveries.

One thing I noticed is how every character fits the role in the epic fantasy. The Chosen one, the villain, the helper, the love, the interest, some right away, others struggling with it and I loved them all. Even though we just get few glimpses of James, his character is complex and intriguing and I loved how he and Will face each other, feeling attraction, desire and curiosity, in their roles and fight of light and darkness.
At first I didn’t like how they fit their roles, because I was scared they would have been to stereotypical, but I was impressed by how wrong I was. Nothing is how it appears at first glance, nothing is fixed and the story and its characters are evolving, changing, twisting, with new secrets, plot twists and so many surprises I was left breahtless.
Nothing is like it appears and I had so many theories, some good, some outlandish and the story is incredible, because it keeps me on my toes.
The pacing is good and it feels like it’s the first book, since the author is laying down the beginning of the story, with the history and descriptions, so some part appears more slower than the others, but in the end the book is brilliant, captivating and I can’t wait to know more.

I totally recommend this book! It’s impossible not to love and cheer on Will and Violet, to be intrigued by James and their fight, to be fascinated by the ancient world and magic!

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Pubblicato in: Book preview

As far as you’ll take me by Phil Stamper – ARC review

US Cover
UK Cover

320 pages

Expected publication: February 9th 2021 by Bloomsbury YA

Hardcover/eBook: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
Audiobook: Audible | | Penguin Random House

Categories: Young Adult Fiction – Romance – LGBT

Young Adult Fiction – Social Themes – New Experience

Young Adult Fiction – Coming Of Age


As Far As You’ll Take Me

The author of The Gravity of Us crafts another heartfelt coming-of-age story about finding the people who become your home–perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli

Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he’s excited to start his new life–where he’s no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents’ disapproval.

From the outside, Marty’s life looks like a perfect fantasy: in the span of a few weeks, he’s made new friends, he’s getting closer with his first ever boyfriend, and he’s even traveling around Europe. But Marty knows he can’t keep up the facade. He hasn’t spoken to his parents since he arrived, he’s tearing through his meager savings, his homesickness and anxiety are getting worse and worse, and he hasn’t even come close to landing the job of his dreams. Will Marty be able to find a place that feels like home?

Thank you so much, Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books and Bloomsbury YA, for the chance to read and review one of my most anticipated reads of 2021.

TW: anxiety, eating disorder, abusive relationship, underage drinking, forced outing, homophobia

Marty is seventeen, when he decides to leave his own home in Kentucky, where he feels unwelcomed and trapped as a gay young man and to move to London. With his meager savings, his oboe and the support of his cousin Shane, Marty is determined to live his life, not longer closeted, exploring his sexuality, without his parents’ disapproval, making new friends and finding new opportunities.
But even though in a few weeks he’s made new friends, travelled around Europe and, maybe, he’s also gotten his first boyfriend, he hasn’t spoken with his parents in a long time, his anxiety and homesickness are becoming worse and worse and he doesn’t know how to financially support himself, without managing to find a job, his dream job. Will Marty be able to find his own home?

As far as you’ll take me is the kind of book that makes you cry, laugh and clap your hands at the same time. It’s a wonderful story about finding your own home and family, your own people, becoming stronger and more confident, an intense coming-of-age story, with a main character so relatable it’s impossible not to love him.
There are so many things I loved about this book. The writing style is brilliant and it made me feel so connected with Marty, the characterization is so good and the way Phil Stamper wrote the story it felt like I was there with them.

The author dealt skillfully with important themes such anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorder (the beginning of one), abusive relationships and the strength in realizing the truth about them and self-preservating oneself.
With sensivity and care, Phil Stamper talks difficult relationships, between sibling, parents and son, friends and boyfriends, in a very realistic way, with their fights and misunderstanding, but also withthe hope of changing something for the better.
This is the kind of book that, in the end, leaves you drained, but in a very good way.

The story is divided in two, swinging between Marty during this summer in London and a diary assignment he had to do for his school, set in the last summer. Chapters after chapters the reader is able to know what happened last summer, what pushed Marty to lie to this parents and move to London, what gave him the last push and strength and to follow Marty in his time in London, between music, art and new friends.

Marty is an incredible main character and I felt so connected with him, with his anxiety, fears and attacks and his mental health. He’s strong, stubborn and it was amazing reading how much he changed and grew and realized things during this book. I loved seeing him pushing himself, finding new friends, trying new things, being more confident and sure of himself and his talent. I followed him falling, making mistakes, realizing them, growing up and I’m so incredibly proud of him.

The characterization is brilliant. Not only the main character is relatable and so lifelike, but all the characters, main and side ones, are amazingly written and their relationships so true and realistic, with their feelings of envy, jealousy, resentment, love, affection and so on. Exactly what you would find in a group of teenagers.
I really enjoyed reading the parts about music and art and their importance. Above all I loved reading about the relationships and their complexities, like Marty’s bond with Shane, who is a wonderful and supportive cousin, his friendship with Sophie, Dani and the others. Marty is surrounded by great friends, with their own intricacies and problems, tensions, hopes and dreams. I absolutely love Shane and his relationship with Marty, he’s such an amazing character.

The trope of found family is one of my favourite ever. I love the idea of finding your own people and home, a place where you can be accepted and loved, even though your biological family doesn’t get you. I loved the way Marty was able to find his place and people, his home and the courage and strength of cutting away those who were hurting him.. It takes great strength and the way the author wrote this part was heartwrenching and so true.

I was really impressed by this book and I saw myself so much in this story, about abusive friendship, the struggle with anxiety and his lists and being able to function every day and the importance of support, help and healing.

I totally recommend this book to…basically everyone! It’s such a wonderful and intense story, with friendships, love, found family, the courage of being oneself and to find your own home and people. It filled me with so much warmth and joy!

The author was so amazing to create a blogger interview form, so here’s my Q&A!!!!

Interview Answers:

Where did you get the inspiration for As far as you’ll take me?

I took a lot of inspiration from my own life while writing As Far As You’ll Take Me, which is why it’s such a personal story to me. As a queer teen, I always felt like I needed to escape my conservative rural village, and I was able to do that in college, studying music, falling into a group of wonderful and accepting friends who became family. 

But even though I could finally be myself for the first time, I really had to come to terms with my anxiety, I fell in love with the wrong guys, and I struggled with a ton of body image issues. I lived in London for a while, which is what inspired the setting. So, putting all of that together, I was able to fictionalize a lot of my own experiences and bring them into the dazzling environment in London and across various European travels. 

What advices would you give to aspirant writers?

I’d say my main advice is to keep trying. Focus more on the process of writing than on one specific book. The market’s always moving, and things are so subjective. I know every time I write a book, I get the feeling that that is my best work. But as soon as I put my soul into another piece, I realize it’s not true. So keep improving your craft. Keep trying out new stories. Write what comes naturally to you, even write what doesn’t. Try a bit of everything, really.

I received 92 total rejections from agents between two books, and 84 rejections from editors between three books. (And I’ll likely have plenty more rejections in my future!) This industry is not kind to its artists—even the nicest rejections hurt, bad. But I think you grow so much with each rejection and with each new story, that as long as you keep trying, one day it will turn around. Just know that for every supposed “overnight success” there’s usually years of frustration leading up to it that we never hear much about. Know you’re not alone, and stick with your writer friends—they’ll get you through the worst of it!

Could you tell me five random things about you?

Whew, I’m always bad at this, but let’s try: 1) I’m a classical pianist and studied music in college, 2) After I graduated from college, I moved into my friend’s walk-in closet in D.C. while trying to find my first job, 3) I used to have a blue truck named “Rio”—this is a character name in As Far As You’ll Take Me, but there’s no relation other than that I like the name, 4) I don’t collect cassettes, like Cal does in The Gravity of Us, but I do collect a lot of retro stuff: old magazines, retro video game systems, and records. I really got to explore my own feelings about nostalgia while writing that book, and 5) I put Frank’s Red Hot sauce on pretty much everything.

PHIL STAMPER, Bestselling YA Author 
Website – Twitter – Facebook – Instagram

Phil Stamper grew up in a rural village near Dayton, Ohio. While it could be seen as a boring lifestyle to some, he kept himself entertained through playing the piano and writing stories that stretched his imagination. He has a B.A. in Music from the University of Dayton and an M.A. in Publishing with Creative Writing from Kingston University. And, unsurprisingly, a lot of student debt.

When he first left his home state, he landed in Washington, DC with no job prospects, $800 in graduation money, and the promise of a walk-in closet to live in. Not long after—and he’s not totally sure how—he was jumping headfirst into a career in non-profit PR and sleeping in a real bed. He loved writing for a living, even if he was writing press releases and news stories… and hundreds of emails to annoyed journalists. But after a while, the dry writing started to get to him, so he thought he’d finally work on that book he always wanted to write…

Years later, with a new degree and two new cities under his belt, he works in publishing development for a major book publisher in New York City. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband and their dog. That book he always wanted to write never sold, and neither did the second or third. But at the intersection of hard work, talent, and luck, his bestselling debut novel, The Gravity of Us, was first published by Bloomsbury YA in February 2020. His sophomore novel, As Far As You’ll Take Me, comes out February 2021.

Pubblicato in: Book preview, Most anticipated

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

352 pages
Expected publication: February 2nd 2021 by Tor Books

Ancillary Justice meets Red, White & Royal Blue in Everina Maxwell’s exciting debut.

While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances, several planets, including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat’s rule. When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with Taam’s cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control.

But when it comes to light that Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war… all while dealing with their growing feelings for each other.

Thank you so much, NetGalley, Macmillan-Tor/Forge and Tor Books, for the chance to read and review one of my most anticipated 2021 releases!

TW: murder, abusive relationship, kidnapping, torture

Prince Kiem is the Emperor’s least favourite grandchild, boisterous, cheeky, known for his attitude and adventures and his life is turned upside down when it’s decided he will marry Count Jainan, the recent widower of another royal prince and to assure the empire’s bonds with its vassals planet. But Jainan’s last partner’s death wasn’t an accident and somenthing is very wrong with a military operation. Between a war threatening the empire, a treaty hanging in the balance, lies, omissions and their own feelings and marriage at stake, Jainan and Kiem will have to prove their union and save everything from a possible conspiracy.

I LOVED reading Winter’s Orbit! Everina Maxwell’s romantic debut is absolutely fantastic. Sci-fi, so set in space, with a magnificent worldbuilding, space ships, mysterious powers and weapons, multiple planets with their own traditions and abilities, an arranged marriage between two very different characters, conspiracies, lies, lots of plot twists…everything is perfect!
Really interesting is the choice of using ornaments and accessories to express or not the gender and the choice of not using binary in titles, but gender neutral ones, like the Emperor, who is Kiem’s grandmother. It was really refreshing, something I’ve never read before!
Told by Kiem’s and Jainan’s POVs, while they navigate their new status as married couple, trying to know and understand each other, the story is intriguing and well written. The conspiracy is really interesting and I was really captivated, because I needed to know what was happening and happened. Most of all, I loved the characterization. Bel, Gairad, Audel, the Emperor…the side characters are really interesting, but Kiem and Jainan stand out in the story, with their building relationship, their marriage and bond.

Kiem and Jainan are amazing main characters, I really love them, even though sometimes I wish I could just yell at them because they struggled to talk about them and their feelings! They are very different from one other. Kiem is more cheerful, he’s able to get along with everyone and persuade even a rock, while Jainan is more quiet and reserved, but slowly they learn to know each other, to understand each other’s moods and feelings. It was really incredible reading how slowly they strengthen their bond, how they support, help and get to love one other, solving problems and saving everyone and everything. How they go from strangers, to cautious allies, to friends to lovers, to husbands!
The slow burn, the trope of marriage couple, one bed and so on is great!

I recommend this story to those who are looking for an intriguing plot, two idiots in love, slow burn, arranged marriage, one bed and love in space!

OUT 2 FEBRUARY 2021! (Probably the January Illumicrate box book *fingers crossed*)

So, what are you waiting for? Preorder this book! You won’t regret it!

Buy at:

US independents

UK independent

Everina Maxwell is the author of Winter’s Orbit, a queer romantic space opera about a diplomat who enters into an arranged marriage to save his planet.

She grew up in Sussex, UK, which has come a long way from the days of Cold Comfort Farm and now has things like running water and Brighton Pier. She was lucky enough to live near a library that stocked Lois McMaster Bujold, Anne McCaffrey and Terry Pratchett, so spent all her spare time devouring science fiction and doorstopper fantasy, with her family’s Georgette Heyer collection always a reliable friend when the library books ran out.

She first took part in NaNoWriMo in 2004 and continues to precariously balance writing, a day job, and watching Let’s Plays of video games she claims she doesn’t have time to play. She lives and works in Yorkshire.

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni, Book preview



A huge thanks to Tbrandbeyond tour for this chance!

The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising #2) by Kiersten White

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publishing Date: November 10, 2020

The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, exploring the nature of self, the inevitable cost of progress, and, of course, magic and romance and betrayal so epic Queen Guinevere remains the most famous queen who never lived.

EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.

When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. Thank you so much, Random House Children’s and Delacorte Press, for the chance to read and review this book.

In Camelot king Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence and queen Guinevere is at his side, but even though she accepted this new role, Guinevere fights against the feeling of not belonging. Plagued by nightmares and lost memories, Guinevere isn’t able to find her place in Camelot, not with her friends, each of them occupied with their own problems and troubles: Brangien pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight and Arthur, with his kingdom to deal with and less time for her.
When the younger sister of the real Guinevere comes to Camelot, Guinevere has to struggle with more and more deceptions.

The Camelot Betrayal is the second book in this new fantasy series and it explores magic and its consequences, romance, betrayals, memories and loss.
Like the first installment, The Camelot Betrayal is full of plot twists, magic and questions, with an intense main character who is struggling to understand who she is, what memories are real, what really happened and is happening around her and Camelot.
Hurt and betrayed by Mordred, fascinated and scared by him and by the Lady of the Lake, Guinevere tries to fit into a role made for someone else, wondering what and who she should be. Wife? Sister? Queen? Witch?

While Arthur is busy with politics and the Dark Queen, Guinevere has to deal with missing memories, intrigues, romances and more and more questions about everything. Her character is really complex and relatable in her wondering, in her trying to do the right thing, protecting her loved ones and her city.
Interesting her thoughts about magic and its aftermath, about her own intricate feelings about Arthur and Mordred and Merlin.
The Camelot Betrayal is full of strong female characters, both old and new, characters determined to protect, fight and save and do the right thing.

In a world mixing politics and magic, roles and romance, enemies and allies, The Camelot Betrayal is an intriguing sequel, full of plot twists, sweet and intense moments, magic, love and friendships. 


Here there are my top 5 reason to read The Camelot betrayal.

Like in the first book, the magic used by Guinevere is peculiar and intriguing, made of knot, intricate knots, casting spells to protect her city and the people she loves. Her magic, her art is subtle, but intense and powerful and even though it costs her physically, Guinevere is ready to do anything to save and protect.

In a world of knights and people obsessed over king Arthur and his strength, women are the real protagonists. The Camelot betrayal is feminist, studded with women able to make their own choices, to fight, to love and protect, refusing to be in men’s shadows.

All the women in this book are fierce and determined, brave and stubborn, with their own plans and agency, their own strength and who refuse to stand still and wait for some man to save them.

I loved the presence, more prominent in this second book, of Brangien and Isolde and their love, so sweet and full of understanding and support.

Mordred is a very captivating, complex and deceptive character, his intentions unclear and his plans unknown to anyone.

Merlin. Like many other characters in this series, Merlin’s intentions are unclear and mysterious. It feels like his hands are everywhere, controlling and steering many characters’ fate, their opinions about him complex and not always positive.

Kiersten White is the New York Times bestselling and Bram Stoker award-winning author of the And I Darken trilogy, the Paranormalcy trilogy, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, Slayer, The Guinevere Deception, and many other novels. Kiersten lives with her family in sunny San Diego, California, where she perpetually lurks in the shadows.

Author Links:








Barnes and Noble:

Book Depository:



Giveaway (US Only):

Finished copy of The Camelot Betrayal. The giveaway ends on November 16th.

Direct Link:

Pubblicato in: Book preview, Most anticipated



448 pages

Expected publication: October 6th 2020 by Tor Books

Thank you, thank you so much, Macmillan-Tor/Forge and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

Victoria Schwab is one of my favourite author and this book is one of my most anticipated reads!

I remember you The invisible life of Addie La Rue is an unforgettable (sorry for the pun!) book! It’s everything I’ve never thought I needed in a story.

In 1714 young Adeline La Rue lives in Villon-Sur-Sarthe and she feels trapped in this small city, forced to be a wife, a mother, to live and die in the same place, like so many others like her. Desperate to escape a forced marriage, she makes a Faustian deal. She will live forever, but she’s cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. So starts her extraordinary life, than spanned through centuries, across music, art, wars, love, friendship and with the darkness, the devil, the god, as the only one who could remember.

Until, in 2014, after almost 300 years, she meets Henry in a bookstore in New York. And he remembers her. The invisibile life of Addie La Rue is phenomenal, intense and heartbreaking. The story swings between past and present, following Adeline becoming the cursed Addie from 1714 to 2014 and the present Addie and her life in 2014.

Through memories and flashbacks, through stories and people met, war seen, art inspired, the reader gets to know the stubborn, defiant and free Addie, the limits of her curse, her deal, her relationship with the god that cursed her, in a battle of wills, traps, deals and love and hate.

At the same time the reader knows Henry Strauss, his restlessness, his secrets, his being bottled lightning, his past and the uncertain future. Addie and Henry meet, they become friends, lovers, they connect, finding in one other exactly what are they looking for, love, friendship, being seen. Being remembered.

I felt really connected to Henry, because I could totally understand his fear of time, his restlessness, his uncertainty about what to do in life, what the future could and would bring. I won’t say anything more about this book, even though I wanted to ramble about every single page, because it’s the kind of book that is able to stay with you for so long.

I cried, I laughed, I marvelled reading about love and humanity and the messiness of being human, the need to have more time, to find reason in living, to find one’s place and be loved and happy with it. Wonderful, intense and heartbreaking.

Victoria Schwab did it again. This book is unforgettable.

There are so many amazing editions of this book! It will be in the next month Illumicrate box, Owlcrate does a special books and Forbidden Planet, Barnes and nobles and Waterstones have amazing editions, with extra, wonderful covers! Here’s the links:

This book is simply AWESOME! I totally recommend it to everyone!

Pubblicato in: Book preview

The summer of everything by Julian Winters

ARC review

  • Format Paperback | 312 pages
  • Dimensions 133 x 203 x 2mm
  • Publication date 08 Sep 2020
  • Publisher Interlude Press
  • Imprint Duet Book

An huge thank you to Edelweiss for the chance to read this amazing book. It is one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it didn’t disappointed me! It was unbelievably amazing.

Wesley Hudson is a comic book geek, he loves his job at the bookstore Once upon a page, chilling with his friends, above all with his best friend Nico, his secret crush. But articles about dating or online suggestions aren’t able to help him tell Nico the truth, too scared to lose his friendship with him and ruin everything.
To top it off, the bookstore is threatened by a coffeeshop franchise that wants to buy it and his brother wants help organizing his wedding and his parents are pressuring him to choose what he wants to do in college. Wes is, so, forced to confront the reality, while trying to save his childhood heaven, the bookstore, navigating a strained relationship with his older brother and trying to conquer his crush’s heart.

I loved so many things about The Summer of Everything. I need to do a list.

The characterization is amazing.
The story is told by Wes’s point of view and he’s such a relatable, complex and realistic character. His fears, his lists (I basically him, to be honest), his paranoias, his being uncertain about the future, what it means to be adult, what do to, everything was very realistic. I was really involved and able to identify in his feelings and thoughts.
Wes is a wonderful comic book geek, I love his passions, his geekiness, his being so wonderfully complex, with his lists, his books and crush.
He loves reading, he found in the bookstore a piece of heaven, a haven and when it threatened his world falls apart and he tries everything to save it, helped by his friend. Wes is burdened by the fear of the future, so relatable, because he doesn’t know what to do,what to choose in college and he feels pressured by his parents, above all his dad. He fears the changes and that’s so understandable.

Nico is an amazing and complex character, he’s funny, supportive, talented and his relationship with Wes is so pure, made of jokes, understanding, love, games, books. The way they get one other, how they help, support, understand and cuddle each other is beautiful. The way they act as boyfriends even before they are is so cute. There are so many fluffy and cute moments between them and I was constantly saying “AWWWWWWWW!”
Nico is also burdened by his father’s death and his need to do something, to become a doctor to help people. He’s a loving friend and brother and an amazing skater. Seeing everything through Wes’s eyes it’s impossible not to love Nico too.

Ella is Wes’s other best friend and she’s a whirlwind, stubborn, boisterous, supportive. She also, as Wes, has complex and outiright difficult relationship with her parents, above all her mother, battling with her about her physical appereance, to be what she wants to be.

Besides Nico and Ella, Wes’s best friends, he’s surrounded by a group of miscellaneous characters. Cooper, boisterous, funny and obsessed with social media, Anna, described as a wood nymph, but with an amazing brain, Kyra with her energy and colorful sneakers, Zay with his friendship and music taste. I love their friendships, made of jokes, shared or not, discussions about music and foods, their bickering, their being so close to one other.

The rep in this book is absolutely fantastic. Wes is gay and biracial, Nico is Mexican-American and attracted to multiple gender, there’s a fat rep with Ella, Cooper is aroace, Anna is bisexual, Kyra is a Black lesbian, Manu is a queer Hawaiian and Lucas, a customer that bond with Wes and the others are non-binary.

The way the author deals with themes like responsiblity, being anxious and indecisive about one’s future, the uncertainty of the future itself is really realistic and relatable. Wes’s anxiety is absolutely understandable, above all if he compares himself to his friends and brother who know what to do.

His relationship with Leo, his older brother, is complex, strained because in time they grew apart from one other and now they are struggling to be again brothers. Wes has problems talking with his father and brother, but I love how this book is hopeful about reconnections and to try again to listen and understand one other.

The relationships in this books are sweet, cute and intense. Wes is surrounded by supportive, funny and amazing friends, he loves Leeann, his brother’s future bride and their connection is beautiful, full of understanding. Leeann is a strong character, ready to face the Hudson boys and to push them to talk and understand one other.

I loved the importance of books in The summer of everything, how books were and are for Wes an escape, a haven, a world where he belongs, how books can change someone’s life and how the bookstore was for Wes a piece of his childhood, a piece he wasn’t willing to let go, a constant in his changing life.
Books and friends can change someone’s life.

I love the setting, in a bookstore, because I love books and I was really invested in this book. Wes is a captivating and realistic character and it was funny and heartbreaking seeing him pining after Nico, trying to confess his feelings for him, following unrealiable lists on Internet about dating.

The writing was really good and I could almost see Wes in the bookstore, admiring Nico skaterboarding, taking pictures of the sunset, smell the ocean’s salt, hear the music. It was really atmospheric and I love the way his characters jumped out of the book, because they were alive, relatable, Wes above all.

Wes and Nico relationship is wonderfully fluffy, made of jokes, games, food, understanding, love, pining and while reading this book I was constantly facepalming myself because they were two idiots too afraid to talk to one other, who clearly were pining for one other and love each other.
The romance, the pining, the angst and the sweet and hopeful, heartwarming ending.

The summer of everything is a book about growing up, facing reality and at the same time, fighting to keep something from your past and childhood, some memories you will treasure forever. It’s about family, loss, friendship, adulthood, about adapting to changes and learning to move on and grow.

Pubblicato in: Book preview, Most anticipated

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas Hear Our Voices Book tour


Cemetery Boys was my first 2020 read and I couldn’t have started this reading year better. I’ve been obsessed and in love with this book, basically freaking out about it with everyone willing (unwilling too) to listen and then I met an amazing person on Twitter who sent me an extra ARC of Cemetery Boys! The best gift ever!

I’m so happy now to be part of the Hear our voices tour to celebrate Cemetery Boys.

Cemetery Boys

by Aiden Thomas
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | The Book Depository | IndieBound | Google

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave. (from Goodreads)

Tw: abusive parents, murder, misgendering, deadnaming, murder, violence

The quotes in the review are from the earc, so they can be subject to changes.

Cemetery Boys is the kind of book you don’t want to end. It’s the book you decide to read over and over, committing to memory quotes and pages and squealing in delight and fear because you’re so involved with the story and its characters. It’s the kind of book you have to finish, because you need to see what will happen next. And at the same time you don’t want to, because its world is full of magic, its characters amazing and you wanna know more and more. You wanna read about Yadriel, Julian and Maritza and stay with them when they grow up, when they are adults and then old and even when they are dead and their adventures in the afterlife. They stayed and they are still with me.

I fell in love with Cemetery Boys and it was everything I could hope for, full of plot twists, intense and complex characters, important issues addressed, funny cousin, supportive cat, slobbering dogs, wonderful cinnamon rolls boys.

This book is brilliant, heartbreaking and it explores Latinx trans identity, identity issues, Latinx folklore and legends, racial and classist injustices, misconceptions and it’s a very important read. The plot is engaging and it’s full of characters brimming with life and energy, so intense you could almost touch them.

I loved so many things about this book I think it’s imperative to do some order.

The writing, worlbuilding and the magic system

The writing is evocative, lush and atmospheric. The author wrote a book so realistic, so incredibly engaging you could almost taste and smell Yadriel’s world, almost see the cemetery with the spirits, Tito and his marigolds, the calaveras and the magic. It feels like you are there with Yadriel and Julian on Yads’ bed, listening to music and talking all night, or with them and Maritza looking for clues, or laughing at Julian’s malaprop and his funny and constant questions.

“Hey, hey, hey, don’t use me as your escape goat.”
Yadriel exhaled a tired laugh. “Scapegoat, Jules

The worldbuilding is incredibly rich, complex and so wonderfully crafted. It was thrilling and interesting reading and learning more about Latinx culture, about their folklore, traditions and legends, about Lady Death, Bahlam, brujos and brujas, their powers and their portaje. Both brujos and brujas are able to see and sense spirits, but brujos can help them cross in the afterlife and brujas can heal people, while the portaje is a chosen conduit Lady Death ties brujos’ and brujas’ magic to.

It was really fascinating learning their view of death and afterlife. The idea of being able to see a dead loved one was incredible.

The characterization

The characters are complex, well-written, so brimming with life, so alive and intense it’s impossible not to love them.

Yadriel wasn’t trespassing. He’d lived in the cemetery his whole life, so he couldn’t trespass in his own home. But breaking into the church was definitely crossing the moral-ambiguity line.”

Yadriel is the main character. He’s a trans boy, he’s gay and he’s struggling to be accepted by his family and community as a boy and a brujo. He’s incredibly strong, brilliant, funny and he loves and respects the traditions, his community. In Cemetery boys he is constanly torn between his love for his family and community and his desire to be himself, to be accepted and seen as he really is.

He’s tired to fight to be himself, tired to accept others’ mistakes and to be the odd one out. It was a delight reading about a complex character like him.

Despite her words of warning, Maritza didn’t seem worried about getting into a heap of trouble with their family. In fact, she looked downright excited. Dark eyes wide, a devilish grin played across her lips that Yadriel knew all too well.”

Maritza is Yadriel’s cousin, always up to mischief, supportive and stubborn, fiercely loyal. She’s dynamic, realistic and ready to be with and make fun of Yadriel and bickering with him and Julian. Her relationship with Yadriel is intense, strong and she’s a force of nature, extrovert, smartass, stubborn and she shares with Yadriel the title of Black sheep of the family, because she’s vegan and she refuses her bruja’s power because she should use animal blood.

Unlike Yadriel, who suffers being an outcast, Maritza is not interested in being part of the brujx community, although believing in their traditions and in Lady Death.

Julian was achingly beautiful, but in the way a thunderstorm was beautiful—wild, rough, electric. And bound to leave devastation in his wake.”

Julian Diaz. What can I say about Julian? He’s obnoxious, boisterous, chatty and impossible. He exudes Scorpio chaotic energy. He’s a whirlwind, a thunderstorm and he brings chaos in Yadriel’s life, complicating his plans to prove to his community he’s a brujio by finding his cousin Miguel, but slowly becoming someone Yadriel isn’t ready to leave.

Julian is energetic, unabashed, shaking Yadriel’s world with his blunt honesty and easy acceptance. I love his energy, how fiercely he loves and protects his family and it was refreshing reading about a character so pure and funny. His interactions with Yadriel and Maritza, but mostly with Yadriel, are hilarious, like when Yadriel corrects him all the time for his malaprop, creating funny moments and melancholic at the same time, because Yadriel is falling for him.

Romance and two wonderful and soft cinnamon rolls boys

The relationship between Yadriel and Julian is sweet, complex and I loved every moment of it, leaving me needing more of them. Their love story is one of the things I loved the most about Cemetery Boys. It’s complex, nuanced and intricate and I found myself so involved I squealed, cursed and cried in more than one occasion.

Yadriel and Julian are very different from each other. While Yadriel is quiet, reserved and focused, Julian is boisterous, chatty, loud and a “problem” in Yadriel’s plans. Slowly, though, they get to know, confide in and trust one other.

I loved reading about their interactions, funny and melancholic at the same time and how they fell moment moment by moment in love with each other in a impossible situation.

Julian is blunt, stubborn, boisterous and he was a refreshing surprise for Yadriel, who struggled all the time to be accepted. Julian becomes a person Yadriel can be himself with, feeling comfortable around him. Their trust in each other is complete and empowering.

The scene when they are in bed, listening to music and talking was one of my favourite ever. It was so sweet seeing them getting to know one other.

Gender identity, deadnaming and misgendering

The book shows the struggles of being transgender, the bullying at school, the hurt of being deadnamed and misgendered. Yadriel struggles to be seen and accepted for who he is, facing misgendering, deadnaming and ostracism both at school and in his community.

He is tired of people misgendering or deadnaming him, giving people the benefit of the doubt. Tired of fighting to be himself and to not belong. At the same time, though, he loves fiercely his family and he wants to be part of the brujx community.

“Well, Yadriel was tired of it. He was tired of forgiving. He was tired of fighting to just exist and be himself. He was tired of being the odd one out.”

Whenever Yads came out to someone it was always difficult because he didn’t know how would they react or understand, it’s always difficult for him. It’s refreshing and comfortable with Julian, even though at the beginning Yadriel braced himself, expecting the same reaction of everyone else, but Julian gets him right away, without making him feel uncomfortable.

During the whole book, through their conversation, Julian helps him feel more sure about being himself, even helping him using the boys’ bathroom for the first time at school.

One of the most beautiful and intense part of Cemetery boys was when Julian and Yadriel discuss why he has to prove his identity to his family.

I mean, Flaca isn’t any less of a girl just because other people look at her and don’t see her as one,” Julian went on. “Just because she’s not on hormones or whatever, or ’cause she’s not ‘passing,’ doesn’t mean other people get to decide who she is. And the same goes for you.”
Heat bloomed in Yadriel’s cheeks.
“You don’t owe anybody shit,” Julian told him, stormy anger brewing behind dark eyes.
He was kind of an asshole. Julian was abrasive, sometimes rude, and didn’t seem to have much tact. But, for some reason, Yadriel’s heart still fluttered in his chest.

Realistic representation of families and the identity issues

The family, found or biological, is an important and recurring theme. Aiden Thomas wrote realistic families, with a stubborn and fussy matriarch and grandmother, ready to worry about and feed you, protective aunts and uncles, squabbling siblings. It’s lifelike, showing their struggles, fights, misunderstandings between siblings and between father and son, who find hard and difficult being open about their feelings and talk.

For Yadriel being himself in a traditional family, in a community stuck in their ways and traditions is a constant struggle. His family, even though unintentionally, hurt his feelings, making everything more difficult. At the same time, though, the author shows a family, that is not perfect (none is), but that is open to change, to be better and understanding, to be more open-minded. A beginning to a more open era.

Julian’s family, consisting of his older brother and his friends, is beautiful, miscellaneous and intricate. Through Yadriel’s question and Julian’s stories about his friends, the author touches and addresses multiple issues, like abusive enviroments, gangs, parents kicking out their children or abusing them. There’s fierceness and intensity in their love for one other, ready to do anything to support and help each other, creating their own family, where there is love, acceptance and understanding.

Misconceptions, racial and classist prejudices

Yadriel, Julian and Maritza try to understand what happened to Julian and Miguel and the whole subplot is cliffhanging and captivating, not only for the mystery, but because it explores themes like misconceptions, racial and classist prejudices.

It’s really explicative when the police refused to issue an AMBER alert for Julian, deciding he was a runaway “Because he’s a latino boy living in East Los Angeles with no parents” and when Miguel’s parents tried to report him missing, struggling to speak English, asking for an interpreter and the police was uncooperative and they asked if they all were US citizens. It also showed the disinterest of the police towards the missing “street kids” and those, like Julian, labelled like that by misconceptions, called “bad boy”, thinking him involved in drugs and gangs, judging him by his quick temper and his school attendance, without caring to know if there is more.

In conclusion

I recommend this book to those who want to fall in love with amazing and realistic characters, who want to get involved in a brilliant and complex plot, who want to be transported in an unusual supernatural love story. If you love soft cinnamon rolls, gods and goddesses, spirits and love, this book is perfect for you.

This would be the first time he ever brought a boy home, and he was dead.

Wait, can ghosts eat food?” Julian asked in his ear, very concerned. Santa Muerte, help me.

It looked like a bomb had gone off. Or maybe just a human hurricane named Julian Diaz.

His big, obnoxious Scorpio energy is invading your cozy Cancer safe space!”

Queer folks are like wolves,” Julian told him. “We travel in packs.”

HAY NIÑAS CON PENE, NIÑOS CON VULVA Y TRANSFÓBICOS SIN DIENTES. In the lower corner, it read, ST. J. Yadriel recognized the handwriting. A smile tugged at the corner of his lip.

Yadriel didn’t think that was possible. He didn’t see how anyone could get a clean break from Julian once they entered his orbit. Himself included.

He envied whoever Julian gave his fiery devotion to. It was a warm and unyielding force to be shielded by.

Julian was the most alive person he’d ever met. Even as a spirit, he was bright and full of constantly moving energy. A sun crammed into the body of a boy. Yadriel didn’t want to see him without his light.

Unabashed and beaming, this was his favorite version of Julian. Bright, carefree, and overflowing with infectious energy.

Julian was in his element. He liked noisy places and noisy people. A stormy boy who seemed most comfortable in chaos.

Eyes closed and smiling, the firelight danced over his skin. Yadriel was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. To his reckless charm and striking features. Julian was achingly beautiful, but in the way a thunderstorm was beautiful—wild, rough, electric.
And bound to leave devastation in his wake.

It was overwhelming, but Yadriel wouldn’t mind getting his breath robbed by Julian’s brilliant smile over and over again.

Growth isn’t a deviation from what we’ve done before, but a natural progression to honor all those who make this community strong.”

Still, in a sea of faces, his eyes went right to Julian, and he couldn’t look away. His sharp grin. His burning gaze. It sparked a fire in his chest. It smoldered in his stomach. It flooded him with heat. Yadriel would happily let himself be consumed by Julian’s fire.

From Freepik

Aiden Thomas is a YA author with an MFA in Creative Writing. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, OR. As a queer, trans, latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, Harry Potter trivia, Jenga, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE”, and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.

Pubblicato in: Book preview

FURIA BY Yamile Saied Méndez ARC REVIEW

368 pages

Expected publication: September 15th 2020 by Algonquin Young Readers

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. Thank you, Algonquin Young Readers, for the chance to read it.

TW: domestic violence, abusive relationship and parents, murder, sexism

Camila Hassan lives in Rosario, Argentina, in the barrios and she lives a double life. At home she tries to be a perfect daughter, careful around her quick-tempered and abusive father, trying to live within her mother’s expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow.
But in the fields she’s La Furia, a brilliant and talented futbolera and when her team qualifies for the South American tournament she’s excited and ready to take this chance and see how far she can go. Her dream is to get a scholarship and study in a North America University. But her life is complicated by family relationships and when her childhood friend and first love, Diego, now a famous star playing for the Juventus, comes back, Camila tries not to get distracted by their feelings for each other.
Camila is then forced to face her secrets, her feelings and dreams, ready to fight to have a place in a world who doesn’t want to make place for a girl like her.

Furia is a brilliant and intense #ownvoices contemporary, a coming-of-age story, told by a stubborn and fierce character, who is fighting to live and follow her dreams in a sexist and patriarcal society. Camila is a complex and captivating character. She doesn’t want to follow her parents’ expectations, she doesn’t want to hide in her brother’s shadow anymore, to hide and fear her father, to not fight back.
She’s ambitious, smart and she won’t let anyone stop her dreams, not even herself and her feelings. Her story with Diego is sweet and cute and I loved the trope childhood friends to lovers, but their relationship is complicated by Diego’s job and home in Italy, a glamorous life that clashes with Camila’s simple one and Camila’s desires to be someone, to become a futbolera and get away from her house and life.

I really liked how Camila refuses to give up, how she keeps fighting, finding a way to play, to train, to partecipate to the tournament, not letting anything in her way, trusting herself, her passion and talent, her team.
She wants to have her own life, refusing to be shackled by other’s dreams or expectations, by her abusive father, by her submissive and abused mother. She won’t let anyone stop her and she’s really amazing and strong. Her relationship with Roxana, her best friend, is truly intense and I love how they support, help and understand one other. I loved reading how she teaches to kids from the group home to keep them off the streets, helping and supporting them and her relationship with the fierce and stubborn Karen. Women supporting women is so beautiful and empowering. I really appreciated how it was underlined the education’s importance.

The women’s condition is addressed in Furia, by hinting at the pro-choice movement, at the missing women and girls and at movement “No una menos”, above all when a girl they knew is killed. Camila lives in a deeply patriarchal and sexist society and she’s hit and hurt by this ideology both outside and inside her home.
Always being underestimated by her father, Camila is conscious of the risks of being a woman in Argentina, risks addressed when she dresses, when she’s out at night, when she’s alone, listening to her family’s worries and ideas.
The deeply patriarchal society is clear in their words, in what a “respectable” girl should do or be, in their victim-blaming:

“Kind of late for a respectable girl to be out and about, don’t you think?”

“If she hadn’t being hanging with the wrong crowd, she’d still be alive”

“When you aren’t at home, we worry you’ll be on the next poster. If you’re not careful, it’ll be your fault if you are.”

(quotes from the earc, so they may be subject to changes)

Camila’s brother Pablo, her mother, her father seemed to be surrendered to the world where they live, where girls are afraid to come home alone at night because they are scared to be attacked and killed, but Camila, her friends, they don’t want to live like that and they fight to be safe, protesting, arguing, fighting back.

Camila is trapped, almost until the end, in a cycle of violence and bitterness with her family, a cycle made of wrong choices, unwanted and unexpected pregnancies, lost opportunities, family’s expectations, betrayals, lies and cheatings.

Furia is an intense and brilliant coming-of-age story about a young woman fighting to have her own life, following her dreams and desires, a thrilling love story and set in a world where women want to be free and safe.

Pubblicato in: Book preview

Camp by Lev A.C. Rosen FFBC Blog Tour


An HUGE thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this wonderfully funny and intense book! Thanks to NetGalley for the digital copy and the FFBC for the chance to be part of this blog tour!

Camp by Lev A.C. Rosen

Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers

Release date: May 26th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Conteporary, LGBT, Queer

Randy Kapplehoff loves Camp Outland, a camp for queer kids where he can be himself, with nail polish, rainbow unicorn sheets, surrounded by his friends, doing theater, dancing and acting. But he has this huge crush on Hudson Aaronson-Lim, who is only into masculine guys and doesn’t know he exists.

This year Randy is determined to make Hudson fall in love with him and not just the usual flirt Hudson is famous for. So Randy decides to reinvent himself. Now he’s Del and he’s more masculine, his hair cut, weight lost and he’s ready to give up his passions, theater, dancing, nail polish and so on, to get the boy of his dreams.

But even though his plan seems to work, Randy starts to ask himself how much he’s ready to give up and if Hudson falls in love with him, it’s really love since he’s not himself?

I loved everything about this book, but I’m gonna put some order in my review or I will only rant about it.

I absolutely loved this queer camp. The whole idea of a safe place for queer people, a safe haven where they could be themselves without fearing others’ judgments or worse is fantastic.

I don’t know if a place like that exists, but reading about Camp Outland was like a breath of fresh air. An haven. Amazing.

The cabins, the bonfires, the games, the s’more, the water fight, the color wars, everything was beautiful and, at the same time, educational since there are also history queer classes, where they talked about queer rights and the protests and fights in the past, learning about how queer people were treated in the past and their achievements.

I really loved the author’s writing style. His characters are skillfully written and so realistic. They are alive, well written and well rounded and brimming with life, love and friendship.

The story is told through first person, through Randy’s POV, so the reader can right away connect with him, able to experience his feelings, doubts, joys.

For most of Camp Randy plays a role to win Hudson over and be his boyfriend. His plan means he has to change everything about him, everything that could be seen as feminine and become the perfect butch boyfriend. And, even though he suffers because he’s giving up his passions, he thinks Hudson is worth it.

Randy is a complex main character. He’s funny, sarcastic, sweet, determined. An amazing friend. He’s proud of who he is, he loves himself and his passions, his nail polish, his fans and his theater friends, but at the same time he changes for Hudson, wanting to win him over and then easing him into the real Randy, basically creating a rom-com for the whole camp, where only Hudson doesn’t know anything about it.

Hudson is right away drawn to Randy (as Del) as he’s the type he’s convinced he has to want and desire, the butch boyfriend, interested in sport, with butch clothes and passions.

The reader sees Hudson through Randy’s eyes, this amazing boy able to inspire everyone, convincing them they can be anything they want, they can be special and able to be supportive and proud.

As Randy (and the reader) gets to know him, the real Hudson that becomes more and more complex and layered and through his talking with Randy an internalized homophobia is discovered, because of his parents’ ideas and actions, his relationship with his grandma, his real feelings about being queer.

Hudson’s beliefs are changed throughout the book, thanks to Randy and through talking and self-analysis. I absolutely the way Hudson changes and betters himself, deciding to be more like the himself he wants to be, getting out of his shell, discovering what he likes without fearing others’ judments.

At the same time Randy realizes changing for someone, even temporarily, isn’t worth it and he decided to be sincere and himself, above all when he understand how his acting has hurt his friends.

Randy’s and Hudson’s relationship is sweet, above all when it’s clear they have real feelings for each other and it’s not only sexual and physical attractions.

George and Ashlegh are wonderful and funny characters, George with his fans and jokes and flirt and Ashleigh with her crushes and sarcasm. They are such supportive and amazing friends, ready to be there for Randy and his crazy plan and after. I love this trio. They are unbelievably funny and so sweet.

The other side characters are also amazing, like Brad and his crush for George, Mark and Connie, the counselors, Paz.

One of the things I loved about this book is the queer representation. Randy, George, Brad and Hudson are gay, Ashleigh is demi, Connie is trans, Jordan is non-binary. I also liked that the book talks about sexual exploration and the safety of it, reading about queer people enjoy and discovering themselves, flirting with one other.

It’s pretty rare reading queer sex in book and its normalization (like it should be). I really liked it. Another important thing is the normalization of therapy in the book. Mark talks often of his therapist and the importance of talking and healing.


Camp is a book that, through a cute comedy and amazing characters, critiques the toxic masculinity in the queer community, the whole idea that there is a right way to be gay. That wearing “feminine” clothes or colors, or doing things usually seen as feminine, like wearing makeup, painting your nails, loving unicorns and so on means being a weak stereotype, means being “wrong”.

Through Hudson the reader is able to see him battling his parents’ ideas of being the “right” gay, that, for them (and many others) means being buff, masculine and like certain things, like certain clothes and sports.

Camp is a hymn to be queer and to love oneself. I love the message that it doesn’t exist a “right” or “wrong” way to be queer and the importance of loving and expressing yourself. It’s a lesson Randy already knows (and has to remember, while becoming again to the real Randy) and Hudson has to learn throughout the book and their relationship, through self-analysis and talking through his feelings.

I loved this message and, at the same time, the book is very realistic. Through Connie’s talk with Randy it’s clear that being oneself and proud is the way things should be, BUT in the outside world it’s not so simple and queer people can be in danger, because there’s still so much hate and homophobia in the world.

Camp is for them a safe haven, a place that was created for them. And it’s beautiful. Camp is a love story about being queer, a book about love and friendship, passions and being proud. An haven and the hope people can create and find place like this in the future. It’s beautiful, funny, heartbreaking and unbelievably cute.

It’s like a warm hug, it’s like home.

I love this smell. I love it every summer. It’s the smell of freedom. Not that stupid kayaking-shirtless-in-a-Viagra-commercial freedom. That’s for straight people. This is different. It’s who-cares-if-your-wrists-are-loose freedom.

But safer and happier don’t always go hand in hand. It’s a choice that a lot of us have to make- when to come out, who to come out to.

You’re all at that age when you’re trying on identies anyway, so I don’t know if you understand what it’s like to be told there’s a right and a wrong way to be queer, and the right way looks just like bein straight, yet probably some of you do.

So maybe the equality we’re fighting for isn’t just marriage or the ability of not be fired from our job for being queer- which is still perfectly legal in over twenty-five states, by the way- but the ability to be whoever we want, jeans, skirts, makeup, heels, beards, whatever, and still be treated like anyone else.

Because theather is who we are. Those identities aren’t different costumes we try on- they’re different facets of us, differents bits of truths. And it takes bravery to show those truths to the outside world.

Terrible things happening to you are never an excuse to do them to someone else.

But what I mean is there’s an out and then there’s the sort of out people don’t want you to be.

There are different degrees of out…and you need to stick to the ones that are safe. Now, what’s safe changes with where you are, and who are with.

“So it’s not really hiding” I say “It’s a role. For an audience of two- your parents. And you only have to play it around them. But you’re still you. You have nail polish on underneath your nails, and eye shadow under your lids and the fiercest eye’s cat…they’re just under everything, waiting to come out. Which you can be with me. With me you alway get to be whomever you want to be.”

I pull his arms tight around me and take a deep breath. I can smell the grass and the trees outside, the hairspray and wood of the theather, the sweat of the actors and Hudson, that smell that I’ve given up to name, but I know is him. All of it blends together and I can see a life extending from it in front of me, a future. Freedom, love…no, it’s better than that. It smells like home.

Lev Rosen is the author of books for all ages. Two for adults: All Men of Genius (Amazon Best of the Month, Audie Award Finalist) and Depth (Amazon Best of the Year, Shamus Award Finalist, Kirkus Best Science Fiction for April). Two middle-grade books: Woundabout (illustrated by his brother, Ellis Rosen), and The Memory Wall. His first Young Adult Novel, Jack of Hearts (and other parts) was an American Library Association Rainbow List Top 10 of 2018. His books have been sold around the world and translated into different languages as well as being featured on many best of the year lists, and nominated for awards. 

Lev is originally from lower Manhattan and now lives in even lower Manhattan, right at the edge, with his husband and very small cat. You can find him online at and @LevACRosen


CAMP has been optioned by HBO Max to be turned into a feature film for the streaming device. Academy Awards winner Dan Jinks (American Beauty, Milk) will produce through his Dan Jinks Company, and Kit Williamson (creator, director, and star of the Emmy-nominated EastSiders) will write the screenplay.

I absolutely recommend this book. It’s sweet, funny and intense and it will stay with you for a very long time. Check it out on goodreads and here’s some links to online shops:







Google Books:

Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of CAMP by Lev A. C. Rosen (US Only)

Starts: May 20th 2020

Ends: June 3rd 2020

So, this is my HUGE review on Camp and if you’re interested in it, if you wanna read it or if you have already, let me know!

There will be another Camp giveaway on my Instagram, if you wanna double your chances to win it!