Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

If this gets out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published December 7th 2021 by Wednesday Books
Original Title
If This Gets Out
1250805805 (ISBN13: 9781250805805)

Eighteen-year-olds Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of the boy-band Saturday, one of the biggest acts in America. Along with their bandmates, Angel Phan and Jon Braxton, the four are teen heartbreakers in front of the cameras and best friends backstage. But privately, cracks are starting to form: their once-easy rapport is straining under the pressures of fame, and Ruben confides in Zach that he’s feeling smothered by management’s pressure to stay in the closet.

On a whirlwind tour through Europe, with both an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, Ruben and Zach come to rely on each other more and more, and their already close friendship evolves into a romance. But when they decide they’re ready to tell their fans and live freely, Zach and Ruben start to truly realize that they will never have the support of their management. How can they hold tight to each other when the whole world seems to want to come between them?

Thank you so much, NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday Books, for the chance to read one of my most anticipated reads of 2021!

Careful of spoilers!

TW: drugs, drug abuse, closeting

Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of the boy-band Saturdays and along with their bandmates, Jon Braxton and Angel Phan are teen heartbreakers in front of the camera and best friends in the real life. But behind the scene all of them are suffering from the pressure of their management and fame, above all for Ruben, forced to be closeted. During an intense tour through Europe, Ruben and Zach start to rely more and more on one other, until their already close friendship develops in a wonderful romance. Wanting to live free and to tell their fans, Ruben and Zach right away realize their management will do anything in their power to keep their love secret and separate them. With the support of Jon and Angel, Ruben and Zach fight to be free to love one other and from the management homophobic rules and chains.

I LOVED reading this book, it was such a pleasure and a privilege to have gotten the chance to read before the release date and I can’t wait to have the physical copy in my hands. A queer love in a boy-band? Sign me in!

Told by two POVs, Ruben’s and Zach it’s a journey, physical and emotionally, a journey that involves all the member of the band. The characterization is brilliant and even though the story is told by Zach and Ruben, so the reader gets to know them better, their fears, doubts, love and passions, Jon and Angel are not side characters. They are also skillfully written and complex, with their doubts and pressures, fears and desires.
The friendship between Zach, Ruben, Angel and Jon is beautifully written, with its ups and downs and fights, between friends who truly love and care about one other and who would do anything in their power to keep each other safe and happy.

Zach and Ruben are best friends and even though Ruben has ever had feelings for Zach, he has never told anyone (he was sure Zach was straight), but when something wonderful happens between them during the tour, their relationship changes, with cracks and tension, fear and confusion.
It was really intense, heartbreaking reading how Zach starts to understand his own sexuality, Ruben’s fear to have lost his best friend, Jon and Angel trying to solve their tension and understand what happened between them.

I had to admit I feared misunderstandings and unnecessary dramas, but this book is perfect!
Zach’s and Ruben’s relationship changes and evolves in a romance and, after a moment of “crisis”, silence treatment, tears and confusion, they emerge more strong and together than ever.
Their romance is adorable, I loved how they first feared to have lost one other, until they decided to finally talk and admit their own feelings. It was so beautiful, moving and satisfying and I loved how they were supported right away by Jon and Angel.
The romance is amazing, it made my heart sings and I love Zach and Ruben so much, I was squealing and swooning all the time, they are adorable together and I loved the way the author talked about their relationship, how it grew in something so beautiful and powerful, how they love, support and help one other, facing the world, the parents’, the management together.

Through If this gets out and through Zach’s and Ruben’s romance, the authors talk about the awful pressure placed on artists, queer above all, within the entertainment industry, the invasion of privacy, the exhausting working conditions, the abuse of power, the closeting, documented by many other real artists in the world. If this gets out explores this pressure, how someone can lose sense of oneself when forced to play a role they never choose, how they are abused and controlled by people in power and, also, in Ruben’s case, how the pressure and abuse can come from one’s family too.

It was clear in every member of Saturday how they were forced by the management to be four different heartbreakers in front of the camera, to play a specific role, even though they were very different from it, how Jon was forced to dress and act agains his own feelings and morality, how Angel was struggling to escape the pressure and control through substances, how being forced to be closeted for so many years weighed down on Ruben, how Zach, who discovers his own sexuality, was separated by his best friend and love.

If this gets out is a book about love and friendships, about fighting against abuse of power, control and bindings, about fighting to be oneself and not to caged anymore by pressure and people.
I loved everything in this book. The romance is to die for, Ruben and Zach are the cutest boyfriends ever, Angel and Jon are amazing characters and the story is amazing, full of cute and funny moments, flirting, jokes, adorable, while tackling important issues and problems.

I definitely recommend this book to those who love queer love and the power of love and friendship.

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.

View all my reviews

There’s also a brilliant preorder campaign here!

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Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Cemetery Boys di Aiden Thomas- Review Party

Salve e benvenut* alla mia tappa del review party dedicato a Cemetery Boys di Aiden Thomas. Un grazie enorme ad Ambra per aver organizzato l’evento, per le bellissime grafiche e alla casa editrice per una copia in anteprima. Le mie opinioni non sono state in alcun modo influenzate.

Disponibile su:    

Genere: Fantascienza e Fantasy

ISBN: 9788804739661

408 pagine

Prezzo: € 20,00


In vendita dal 26 ottobre 2021

Yadriel è un ragazzo trans, ma i suoi – una famiglia latinx molto tradizionalista – faticano ad accettarlo. Lui, però, è determinato a dimostrare loro di essere un vero brujo e con l’aiuto di Maritza, sua cugina­ nonché migliore amica, decide di celebrare da solo il rituale dei quinces, ritrovare il fantasma di suo cugino Miguel, morto assassinato, e liberarlo nell’aldilà.
Ma il fantasma che evoca è quello di Julian Diaz, il bello e dannato della scuola, il quale non ha alcuna intenzione di tornarsene buono buono tra i morti. Anzi è ben deciso a scoprire cosa gli è successo e a chiarire alcune questioni lasciate in sospeso. Yadriel, che d’altronde non ha molta scelta, accetta di aiutare Julian, in modo che entrambi possano ottenere ciò che desiderano. Solo che, più tempo passa con lui, meno ha voglia di lasciarlo andare.

Noi persone queer siamo come i lupi. Ci muoviamo in branco.

Se mi conoscete, online o offline, sapete quanto io abbia amato e ami questo libro. Cemetery Boys è uno dei miei libri preferiti ed ero sia spaventata che al settimo cielo quando ho scoperto che sarebbe stato tradotto. Spaventata, anzi, preoccupata, per le desinenze e come sarebbero state usate, se correttamente o meno. Sono stata piacevolmente sorpresa, quindi, quando ho letto le note della traduttrice, che ha parlato di come, “in spagnolo si usi la desinenza neutra “x”, come alternativa proposta, mentre, in italiano, una delle alternative neutre proposte dal movimento per il linguaggio inclusivo, sia la schwa per il singolare (ǝ) e la schwa lunga per il plurale (з) e usando desinenze “tipiche” di ogni lingua, invece che di uniformare. Sono presenti “combinazioni” di desinenze neutre, come “lз brujx”, coerentemente con la lingua in cui compare la desinenza.” In conclusione, devo ammettere che ho trovato la traduzione molto ben fatta e rispettosa e ho adorato rileggere per l’ennesima volta questo libro magnifico.

Cemetery Boys è il tipo di libro che non vuoi che finisca, che rileggeresti, e rileggi, ancora e ancora, memorizzando citazioni, sorridendo e appassionandoti alle vicende dei personaggi perché è impossibile non sentirsi coinvolti e amarli tutti. Il tipo di libro che devi finire di leggere perché hai bisogno di sapere cosa accadrà e il libro che vorresti gustarti lentamente, perché non vuoi abbandonare quel mondo pieno di magia, di personaggi complessi e straordinari e dei quali vuoi sapere ogni cosa. Ho adorato e adoro Cemetery Boys e ha tutto ciò che si potrebbe mai desiderare: colpi di scena, personaggi ben scritti e sviluppati, tematiche affrontate alla perfezione, cugine simpatiche, un gatto adorabile, cani affettuosi e due ragazzi che sono dei cinnamon rolls.

La storia è bellissima, struggente e dolce ed esplora l’identità trans Latinx, il folklore Latinx e le sue leggende, ingiustizie razziali e classiste, pregiudizi e via discorrendo, una lettura molto importante. Un libro che tratta dell’importanza di essere se stessi, amarsi e accettarsi e le difficoltà incontrate durante questo percorso. Cemetery Boys è una storia d’amore queer, un mistero da risolvere, il tutto in una corsa contro il tempo.

La trama è coinvolgente, la storia piena zeppa di personaggi ricchi e pieni di energia, complessi e molto realistici. Ho amato moltissime cose di questo libro. Una delle cose che mi ha coinvolto sin dall’inizio è lo stile di scrittura di Aiden Thomas, che è fenomenale. Aiden Thomas ha scritto un libro così realistico che è quasi possibile assaggiare e annusare il mondo di Yadriel, quasi vedere gli spiriti che popolano il cimitero, la magia, la cucina, quasi seguire Yadriel, Maritza e Julian nel loro viaggio. Il worlbuilding è evocativo e ben scritto, ricco e complesso ed è stato molto interessante poter imparare cose sulla cultura Latinx, le leggende, i miti, sulla comunità brujx, i poteri e via discorrendo. Affascinante e confortante anche la loro visione della vita e della morte, che ho trovato bellissima.

I personaggi sono ben scritti e sviluppati e mi sono immediatamente affezionata a loro. Yadriel è il protagonista principale, è un ragazzo trans, gay e lotta per essere accettato dalla sua famiglia e dalla comunità brujx sia in quanto ragazzo che brujo. Brillante, testardo, un po’ introverso e timido, Yadriel è costantemente combattuto tra il desiderio di essere se stesso, di essere accettato e l’amore per la sua famiglia. Stanco di combattere, di essere la pecora nera della famiglia, è stato un piacere poter leggere di lui. Compagna di avventure, Maritza è la cugina di Yadriel, sempre pronta a supportarlo e a combinare guai ed è ferocemente leale. Ho amato la relazione che c’è tra lei e Yadriel e quella che si instaura con Julian, fatta di battibecchi, prese in giro e risate. Il terzo e ultimo protagonista è Julian ed è impossibile non amarlo sin dall’inizio. Testardo, chiassoso, senza filtri, ho riso di cuore leggendo i suoi modi di dire, sbagliati, ho sorriso pensando a quanto fosse ferocemente leale e affezionato ai suoi amici e mi sono sciolta nel leggere come la sua relazione con Yadriel sboccia e prosegue nel corso della storia.

La presenza di Julian mette sottosopra la vita, già complicata, di Yadriel che, non solo vuole trovare lo spirito di suo cugino Miguel e liberarlo, provando di essere un brujo, ma che si ritrova trascinato nella vita…anzi, nella morte di Julian, a indagare su cosa sia successo e a mettere insieme i pezzi di un mistero che coinvolgerà e stravolgerà tutti. Uno degli aspetti più dolci e divertenti del libro è il rapporto che si instaura tra Yadriel e Julian, un rapporto che è complesso, ben scritto e ho amato il modo in cui i due personaggi imparano a fidarsi l’uno dell’altro, a confidarsi, aiutarsi ed amarsi, soprattutto visto e considerato quanto siano totalmente diversi. Yadriel e Julian imparano ad accettarsi, a volersi bene e a tenere l’uno all’altro, aprendosi gli occhi a vicenda sull’importanza di accettarsi, sulle relazioni e i sentimenti. Ho amato leggere le loro interazioni, ho riso, mi sono commossa e sono davvero indimenticabili.

Il libro affronta una serie di importanti tematiche, come il bullismo, la trasfobia, deadnaming. Yadriel lotta per essere visto e accettato sia in quanto ragazzo che brujo, stanco di perdonare e giustificare chi, pur senza volerlo (come nel caso della sua famiglia) lo ferisce. La famiglia, quella trovata negli amici e la biologica, è un tema molto presente all’interno della storia e l’autore ha descritto in modo molto realistico le interazioni tra i suoi componenti, tra genitori e figli, nonne e nipoti, fratelli, zie e cugini, tra incomprensioni, litigi, prese in giro. La difficoltà che riscontra Yadriel è proprio quella di essere se stesso in una famiglia, e comunità, molto tradizionale, che lotta tra tradizioni e cambiamenti.

In un libro molto stratificato, l’autore, tramite la famiglia di Julian e ciò che accade a Miguel, affronta anche tematiche come l’abuso familiare, gangs, ingiustizie sociali, razziali e classiste, i pregiudizi e quanto possano essere sbagliati e dannosi. Affronta il dolore e la difficoltà di accettarsi e venire accettati e visti, l’importanza di essere se stessi e fieri, il legame fortissimo presente tra amici e famiglia e una storia d’amore importante e forte.

In conclusione, consiglio questo libro a chiunque voglia innamorarsi di una storia con personaggi realistici e straordinari, una storia queer molto particolare, a chi voglia essere trasportato in un mondo popolato da spiriti, dee e dei, cinnamon rolls, famiglia e amore.

Potete trovare la recensione che scrissi in inglese, l’anno scorso sul mio goodreads. Le altre le trovate qui, seguendo questo calendario!

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

This is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us Edited by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby- Book tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for This is our rainbow: 16 stories of Her, Him, Them and Us! A huge thanks to Tbr and Beyond Tours for this opportunity!

Genre: Middle Grade Anthology
Publishing date: October 19th, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound

The first LGBTQIA+ anthology for middle-graders featuring stories for every letter of the acronym, including realistic, fantasy, and sci-fi stories by authors like Justina Ireland, Marieke Nijkamp, Alex Gino, and more!

A boyband fandom becomes a conduit to coming out. A former bully becomes a first-kiss prospect. One nonbinary kid searches for an inclusive athletic community after quitting gymnastics. Another nonbinary kid, who happens to be a pirate, makes a wish that comes true–but not how they thought it would. A tween girl navigates a crush on her friend’s mom. A young witch turns herself into a puppy to win over a new neighbor. A trans girl empowers her online bestie to come out.

From wind-breathing dragons to first crushes, This Is Our Rainbow features story after story of joyful, proud LGBTQIA+ representation. You will fall in love with this insightful, poignant anthology of queer fantasy, historical, and contemporary stories from authors including: Eric Bell, Lisa Jenn Bigelow, Ashley Herring Blake, Lisa Bunker, Alex Gino, Justina Ireland, Shing Yin Khor, Katherine Locke, Mariama J. Lockington, Nicole Melleby, Marieke Nijkamp, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro, Molly Knox Ostertag, Aisa Salazar, and AJ Sass.

Thank you so much, NetGalley, Random House Children’s and Knopf Books for Young Readers for the chance to read and review this book in exchange of an honest review.

This is Our Rainbow is the LGBTQA+ anthology for middle-graders and I loved every single story! There are 16 stories, a beautiful and intense collection of queer fantasy, contemporary, historical stories. We meet people with magical powers and special letters, a nonbinary pirate who makes a wish to a wind-breathing dragon, a zombie girl with a lovely relationship with her girlfriend, a girl crushing on her friend’s mum, a trans girl empowering her bestie to come out and be herself, a group of friends who are growing up and changing, realizing more and more things about themselves and what they love and like…there’s everything and it’s amazing.

It’s a collection about discovering, accepting and embracing yourself, your queerness, it’s filled with joy and laughter, intense and funny moments, fear, but happy ending. I laughed, cried with happiness, cheering them on and it was so amazing.

It filled my heart with love and hope and it was such an amazing journey through magic, first crushes, zombies, ex bullies, dragons, friendships, loves… These characters are realistic, in their fears, hopes, dreams, fighting, in some stories, against relatives, expectations and what others may think of them. They are brave, scared, eager to be themselves and to love without limits and it’s really empowering.
There are so many stories I loved, so many wonderful and brilliant characters, so skillfully written and I loved exploring with them their feelings, realizing their crushes and who they are. A wonderful collection, a definitely recommended read.

“She looked the way my heart felt sometimes, too loud and too bright, and maybe that meant she would understand what I was feeling lately.”

“You are wonderful and you are perfect, without conditions, just as you are.”

“I know who I am. And it’s time to say.”

I wonder what it would be like to walk out from my hiding place and say who I am, loud and clear. To not hide. To not be afraid of other people. To be…me.”

“It was a name I had been given. A name I had chosen. Didn’t that make it real?”

“Not everything worthwhile is easy.”

Katherine Locke lives and writes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with their feline overlords and their addiction to chai lattes. They are the author of The Girl with the Red Balloon, a 2018 Sydney Taylor Honor Book and 2018 Carolyn W. Field Honor Book, as well as The Spy with the Red Balloon. They are the co-editor and contributor to It’s A Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes and Other Jewish Stories, and a contributor to Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens and the forthcoming Out Now: Queer We Go Again. They are also the author of Bedtime for Superheroes and What are Your Words?. They not-so-secretly believe most stories are fairytales in disguise. They can be found online at and @bibliogato on Twitter and Instagram.

Katherine is represented by Lara Perkins at Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

Nicole Melleby, a born-and-bread Jersey native, is an award-winning children’s author. Her middle grade books have been Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selections, and have earned the Skipping Stones Honor Award, as well as being a 2020 Kirkus Reviews best book of the year. Her debut novel, Hurricane Season, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. She currently teaches college literature and creative writing, and spends most of her free time roller skating. She lives with her wife and their cat, whose need for attention oddly aligns with Nicole’s writing schedule.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Go check the tour schedule here:

Pubblicato in: Senza categoria

The ghosts we keep by Mason Deaver-Hear our voices book tours

Hello and welcome to my stop for “The Ghosts we keep” by Mason Deaver! A huge thanks to Hear our voices book tours for the chance to be part of it!

Hardcover, 336 pages

Expected publication: June 1st 2021 by PUSH Scholastic

Perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, this book will rip your heart out before showing you how to heal from tragedy and celebrate life in the process.

When Liam Cooper’s older brother Ethan is killed in a hit-and-run, Liam has to not only learn to face the world without one of the people he loved the most, but also face the fading relationship with his two best friends.

Feeling more alone and isolated than ever, Liam finds themself sharing time with Marcus, Ethan’s best friend, and through Marcus, Liam finds the one person that seems to know exactly what they’re going through, for the better, and the worse.

This book is about grief. But it’s also about why we live. Why we have to keep moving on, and why we should. 

Thank you so much, PUSH Scholastic, for the chance to read and review this book!

TW: death, grief, depression, self-harm, anxiety, panic attacks, misgendering

When their older brother Ethan is killed in a hit-and-run, Liam is forced to face the world without one of the people he loved the most and seeing their relationship with their two best friends slowly fading. Feeling lonely and devastated, Liam finds a friend and a support in Marcus, Ethan’s best friend and have to learn to go through the pain and grief and to move on.

I was DEVASTATED while reading this book. I devoured it and I couldn’t stop reading it, while, at the same time, crying my eyes out and thinking how life was so unfair and cruel.
The ghosts we keep is wonderful, moving and heartwrenching. Told by Liam’s POV, it swings from before Ethan’s death and after it, showing Liam’s and their parents’ struggling to move on and facing their grief and loss, the moments with Ethan and Marcus, with Joel and Vanessa, Liam’s best friends, the fights, the sweet moments and the sad ones.
I loved the way it swings from past to present, letting the reader know Ethan and his relationship with Marcus and Liam and Liam’s bond with their friends and parents.

This is a book about grief, moving on, struggling, lost chances, lost loves, growing up and life in its complexity and unfairness. It’s harrowing, sad and so important. Liam is a wonderful main character and I love their energy and passion about music and their struggle is really relatable in their lashing out, being upset, trying to move on, feeling lonely and lost. I love his relationship with Ethan and how much they loved one other, fighting as all siblings do, supporting and loving each other. I was devasted while learning about Marcus’ pain and loss and it was so hard to read.
Mason Deaver wrote a book that will torn your heart out of the chest and leave you bleeding. A book about life and love, family and bonds, grief and pain and moving on.

I loved everything about it.

“I was foolish in my belief that grief was a straightforward thing. I thought the first wave would it, and gradually the feelings of sadness and desperation would slip away until I found myself normal again. But I was so very wrong. Because grief is a complicated, ugly, messy thing. And it makes you do complicated, ugly and messy things.”

“Fingers finding lost bodies-
floating along the surface, despaired, drowned, dead.
Keeping secrets lost on pale blue lips-
For this is the place the dead things go-
This is the home of the ghosts we keep.

“And I wish you were here,
but you’ve left me alone.
Gone off on a journey,
that’ll never bring you home.”

“Things grow old-
everything does.
But I promise you-
No matter the distance-
My hearts beats the same as yours
and you make it full.”

“But I have to learn to live alongside the pain, alongside this missing part of my life that I’d never get back.”

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

MASTER OF ONE by Dani Bennett & Jaida Jones book tour- Tbrandbeyond tours


Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: November 10, 2020

Goodreads Amazon Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | IndieBound

Sinister sorcery. Gallows humor. A queer romance so glorious it could be right out of fae legend itself. Master of One is a fantasy unlike any other.

Rags is a thief—an excellent one. He’s stolen into noble’’s coffers, picked soldier’s pockets, and even liberated a ring or two off the fingers of passersby. Until he’s caught by the Queensguard and forced to find an ancient fae relic for a sadistic royal sorcerer.
But Rags could never have guessed this “relic” would actually be a fae himself—a distractingly handsome, annoyingly perfect, ancient fae prince called Shining Talon. Good thing Rags can think on his toes, because things just get stranger from there…

With the heist and intrigue of Six of Crows and the dark fairy tale feel of The Cruel Prince, this young adult fantasy debut will have readers rooting for a pair of reluctant heroes as they take on a world-ending fae prophecy, a malicious royal plot, and, most dangerously of all, their feelings for each other

Thank you so much, NetGalley, HarperCollins Children’s books and Harperteen for the chance to read this book!

TW: murder, torture, violence, loss of free will, kidnapping, death

Rags is an excellent thief, until he’s caught by the Queensguard and forced to help a sadistic and cruel sorcerer to find an ancient Fae relic, a powerful relic unlike anything they ever knew. But after Rags finds a Fae, a beautiful, powerful prince called Shining Talon, things begin to become more and more dangerous and complex and he finds himself involved into a deeper plot. Between gallows humor, sinister and sadistic magic, prophecies and Fae magic, Rags has to face adventures, new allies and enemies, dangers and, above all, his and Shining Talon’s feelings for each other.

Master of one is an intense, brilliant and funny young adult fantasy debut and it’s unbelievably amazing. Set in a world ruled by a cruel and sinister Queen, Rags’ life is a difficult one, living on the streets, stealing and building his name as a thief. His world expands when he’s thrust into a complex and dangerous situation, forcing him to grow, to work with others, to understand himself and the world around him.

Rags is an unlikely and reluctant hero, fighting with self doubts, fears and using gallows humor to get by and survive the pain and the dangers. He’s a wonderfully relatable character, with his feelings and thoughts.

The story is told, at first, by Rags’ POV, but, as his world expands so the POVs. Each character is skillfully written, well rounded and complex, with their pasts to face, secrets, lies, family to protect, revenge, guilt, remorse and so on. They are relatable in their fierceness, flaws and mistakes. It’s impossible not to love, support and freak out about them and their adventures.

They are introduced slowly, piece by piece, like a puzzle, adding more and more to the initial plot. This is one the things I loved the most about Master of one.

Everything starts with Rags and a mission he’s forced to do by a sinister sorcerer and the dangers he will find, facing it. But slowly the story breathes and expands, including more characters, places and plots, truths that have to be uncovered and faced, secrets and magic.

The worldbuilding is lush and well written, the story set in a world medioeval or similar to that time, but with magic and sorcerers, a cruel queen and enslaved people. There are a lot of dark themes in Master of one, like murder, torture, death, enslaved people, exploitation and cruel and complex characters.

The interactions between characters are amazing and brilliant. The main relationship the reader sees is between Rags and Shining Talon, self deprecating, full of dark humor and doubts the first, a Fae brilliant, honorable and brilliant the second. Their relationship is a slow burn, an achingly beautiful queer romance between them, a chemistry and a yearning intense and lovely to read.

It was amazing reading how much they grow to trust, help and love one other, above all witnessing the growth of Rags, from a lonely and stubborn thief, self-deprecating and sure of being better alone, to someone able to trust, protect and work with others and relying on them.

The magic is another interesting element in this book, both sinister and cruel if used by sorcerers, but full of wonder and beauty when used by the Fae, heartwrenching and so beautiful.

I won’t say anything more about this book, because it’s an experience and everyone should read and love it! So if you love queer romance, yearning, action packed plot, slow burn, suspence and an intriguing worlbuilding this book is perfect for you.

Five stars rating vector icon

There are many reasons you should read Master of one, but here’s my top 5! There could be spoilers ahead, so be careful!

If you love slow burn romance, yearning and two stubborn characters (let’s be honest, one stubborn and self-deprecating character), this book is perfect for you. The relationship between Rags and Shining Talon is amazingly written and complex, the chemistry between them intense and intricate. Their queer love is *chef’s kiss*.

I loved reading about them, following them in their adventures, slowly learning to trust, confide and help one other and open up. They grow up so much in this book and I’m so proud of them. I was freaking out about Rags and Shining Talon since the beginning, smiling at every small interaction and touch. They are perfect together.

While reading Master of one it’s impossible not to laugh or facepalm thanks to Rags dark and gallows humor, able to defusing a tense situation or simply helping getting by and face the dangers. Rags is darkly funny and his interactions with Shining Talon are hilarious. It’s thanks to this kind of humor, these characters move on, trying to see the silver lining in their troubles and situations.

As written above in my review, Master of one has multiple POVs. The story begins with Rags’ and slowly expands, introducing more and more characters. They are intricate, burdened by loss, past traumas, intense feelings and intentions. Like pieces of a broken mirror (pun intended), the reader is able to know them and, through their eyes, to follow and know the whole story, above all when the characters are separated, learning about their feelings and thoughts, doubts and fears.

There are many themes in Master of One and some of them are dark. Master of one deals with murder, torture, enslavement, exploitation, cruelty, loss of free will and consent, using dark and sinister magic.

It also deals with love, yearning, friendship, loyalty, connection, rebellion and trust. These characters, each of them from different social classes, upbringing and even species, are bonded through accidents, fate, adventures and destiny and they have to learn how to rely on, trust and help one other, fighting for the right thing and supporting each other.

The magic used in Master of one is a sinister and cruel one, used by the Queen’s sorcerer’s. In this world of enslaved, dark magic and cruel intentions, the fragments’ and Fae’s magic is in stark contrast, full of beauty, wonder and deeply connection. It was intriguing and captivating starting to learn more about the Fae and their kind of magic, the connections between them, their powers and pasts.

Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett are married co-authors (without wanting to divorce yet) who live in Brooklyn with 8 cats. Danielle is from Victoria, British Columbia, and works freelance as an independent editor, proofreader and plagiarism checker. Jaida is a native New Yorker. Their published work includes four novels from the Volstovic Cycle, in addition to their many twitter rants on intersectional feminism and the NYC subway system. COMING FALL 2020 FROM HARPERTEEN: MASTER OF ONE.

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: As Travars-Recensioni

Dangerous remedy by Kat Dunn


I had the chance to read an earc, thanks to NetGalley and Head of Zeus and Zephyr, months ago and I fell in love with this wonderful book.

Here’s my review!

Camille is a revolutionary’s daughters and, with her friends, a runaway girl, an aristocrat in hiding and a deserter, she created the Battalion des Mortes and their mission is to save those condemned to the guillotine. But the girl they were hired to save is not what she seems and their job and their own lives become more and more dangerous when both sides, the Revolutionaries and the Royalists, want the girl.

Set in the dangerous world of the French Revolution, Dangerous remedy is the first book in a magical and brilliantly written new series.

This book is a rollercoaster of action, plot twists, revelations, magic, science, love, daring escapes with a band of unforgettable characters, unable to even catch a break for a second in their job, during all the book.

What I loved the most, beside whirlwind of action, is the characterization, because each character is skillfully written and it’s impossible not to love or emphatize with them. They are painfully human and really relatable in their faults, mistakes, in their jealousy, rage, anger, hope and love.

Camille is the leader of the group, she’s smart and brilliant, planning plan after plan to save people and those she loves, but she’s painfully grieving for her parents’ loss and she feels the responsibility of her friends’ lives if her plans go wrong.

Ada is in love with Camille, she is a scientist, inquisitive, resourceful, but she is torn between their relationship and her father, who wants to take her away from Cam.

Guil is a deserter, stubborn, smart, who could come back to his family, but choose to fight for the right thing and help his battalion.

And Al is sarcastic and he escapes his pain for his family’s rejection and fate in alcohol and sneers. They get involved in a dangerous game, finding themselves between two sides, while trying to protect the girl they saved, Olympe, and her right to be free, while dealing with their own emotions, unexpected past lover, secrets and doubts.

I really liked this band of rebels, Al with his jokes, Guil with his calm, and, above all, Cam with her trousers and Ada with her knowledge and resources, fighting against the idea of the women as damsels in distress, same as Olympe, who was hurt and used all her life, but she stubbornly ready to fight back and get her own freedom.

Dangerous remedy took my breath away, because it’s captivating, full of complex characters, set in a cruel and dangerous world and it deals with homosexuality, love, friendship, revolution, death, torture and scientific experiments and the lenght someone would go for the country, to be at the winner’s side.

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

You brought me the ocean by Alex Sanchez

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

An HUGE thanks to DC comics for this free book for review.

TW: homophobia, homophobic slurs, physical assault

Jake Hyde lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, a city in the desert, with his overprotective mother, eager to keep him safe and away from the water, since his father drowned.

But Jake is attracted to and longs for the ocean, he wants to leave his hometown where he feels suffocated and go to college on the coast, while Maria, his best friend and neighbour, wants to stay there and Jake’s mom wants him safe and sound with her.

But Jake isn’t safe, not when he starts to question his sexuality, not when he applies to Miami University without telling anyone, not when he’s attracted to the swim team captain, Kenny, who is out and rebel and stick out in their hometown, bullied for being himself.

Jake’s life is complicated and full of secrets, secrets he hides from others and secrets he doesn’t even know about himself. When the time comes to face them, will he be ready?

I loved You brought me the ocean. I already knew Julie Maroh and Alex Sanchez and this graphic novel is simply amazing.

The artwork is so beautiful and evocative, I was really in love since the first page. The plot is captivating and I was right away able to relate and connect to the characters and their struggles.

Jake feels trapped in his hometown and his eagerness to get away and explore the world and the oceans, his dreams, fears and secrets are drawn and written skillfully. So his relationship with his overprotective and kind mother, with sweet Maria, with rebel Kenny.

It was so sweet reading how slowly Jake starts to understand his own feelings and decided to be himself around himself and others. How Jake starts to question his “birthmarks” and his affinity for the water, how he discovers his powers and past.

I was able to feel how he felt, his being trapped and eager to explore, to move, to be true and honest to himself. Maria and Kenny are also amazing characters, Maria with her secret feelings and the difficulty of being honest with herself and her best friend, Kenny with the fact he didn’t want to conform to anything and pretend to be anyone, with his complicated relationship with his father, who is struggling to accept his sexuality.

It’s beautiful and intense reading about Jake’s journey, in discovering his identity, his sexuality, supported by his friend, love and family.

You brought me the ocean deals with a lots of important themes, like homophobia and bullying (since, first Kenny, then Jake too are bullied by the bigots of the town), coming out, the difficulties of following your dreams, the loss of parents, friendship issues, physical assault.

It’s a book about the difficulty and strength in being true and honest to oneself, friendship and first love.

I recommend to everyone who wants to lose her/himself/themselves in a wonderful graphic novel about identity, love, courage and friendship.


About Alex Sanchez

Alex Sanchez has published eight novels, including the American Library Association “Best Book for Young Adults” Rainbow Boys and the Lambda Award-winning So Hard to Say. His novel Bait won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Book Award and the Florida Book Award Gold Medal for Young Adult Literature. An immigrant from Mexico, Alex received his master’s in guidance and counseling and worked for many years as a youth and family counselor. Now when not writing, he tours the country talking with teens, librarians, and educators about books, diversity, and acceptance. He lives in Penfield, New York, and at

About Julie Maroh

Julie Maroh is a cartoonist, illustrator, feminist, and LGBTQ+ activist from Northern France. They wrote and illustrated the graphic novel Blue is the Warmest Color, about the life and love of two young lesbians, which was adapted into the award-winning film of the same name.

About DC’s YA Graphic Novels

DC’s young adult graphic novels introduce DC’s most iconic Super Heroes to a new generation of fans with stories told by some of the most successful authors from the young adult publishing space. The YA titles are standalone stories, not part of DC’s ongoing continuity, and completely accessible to new readers who have no previous knowledge of DC characters.