Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Sidelined by Kara Bietz- TBR and Beyond Tours Book Tour




Hello and welcome to my stop for Sidelined by Kara Bietz book tour! Thank you so much to the publisher and TBR and Beyond Tour, for the free copy in exchange of an honest review!


Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing date: September 21st, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Indigo

An emotional YA romance about small town secrets, high school football, and broken hearts.

Julian Jackson has a short to-do list for his senior year at Crenshaw County High School in Meridian, Texas: football, football, and more football. He knows he’s only got one chance to earn a college scholarship and make it out of his small town, and keeping his head down, his grades up, and his cleats on the field is that one chance. And then Elijah Vance walks back into his life, throwing all of his carefully-laid plans into a tailspin.

Elijah and Julian used to be best friends, maybe even on their way to something more than just friends. But three years ago, Elijah broke into the school to steal money from the coach’s office, and Julian was the one who turned him in. After that, Elijah and his family disappeared without a trace. And now he’s back, sitting at Julian’s grandmother’s kitchen table.

But time and distance haven’t erased all of their feelings, and Elijah knows that he finally has a chance to prove to Julian that he’s not the same person he was three years ago. But with secrets still growing between them and an uncertain future barreling towards them, it may be harder to lean on each other than they thought.

Julian Jackson knows what to do in senior year: get good grades, play football and hoping to get a scholarship and make it out of Meridien, but all his plans are upset when his best friend (and maybe something more) comes back in his life. Elijah Vance and Julian Jackson were best friends years ago, but when Julian caught him breaking into school to steal the car wash money and turned him in, Elijah and his family left without saying goodbay. Now that he’s back, Julian and Elijah realize time and space didn’t erase their feelings and Elijah is determined to show Julian he’s not the person everyone thinks he is. Between secrets, between them and in the city and the fear for their own futures, Julian and Elijah fight to be themselves and together.

Sidelined was a brilliant, sweet and funny read I devoured right away. The story is told by two POVs, Julian’s and Elijah, while they navigate high school, expectations from others, their history together, their past and present. Julian and Elijah are very different from one other. Julian is the son of the town hero, a town obsessed with football, traditions and history, while Elijah is, unfortunately, seen as the son of Eric Vance, who is in jail and who tried to steal money, three years ago. Both of them are weighed down by people’s, right and wrong, expectations and both are struggling to fit and escape them, to show the world and themselves they are more than their fathers’ sons. Elijah’s return to Meridien upset Julian’s plans and changes everything, unearthing secrets and so much more.

The story focuses on Julian and Elijah, on their journeys, getting more and more close to one other and facing the world and future together, understanding each other better, while, also, focusing on football, friends, town’s traditions and funny and moving moments.

Through Julian’s and Elijah’s POVs, the author talks about their feelings, attraction and love, their passions and friends, their struggles and fears. Julian and Elijah are teenagers, dealing with school’s pressures and expectations, unpredictable futures, friends and family and they are very realistic in their feelings and actions. They fight, laugh, they are scared, upset, in love with one other, afraid to lose each other in a windwhirl of emotions and beautiful and intense moments.

Their relationship is lovely, complicated by misunderstandings and secrets and I loved the way they are open with one other, talking and explaining, trusting, helping, supporting and loving one other.

The author also deals with people’s prejudices and preconceptions, expectations and how hurtful they can be, how often push others into boxes and refuse to let them out. Julian and Elijah are determined to be themselves, to be seen as they are, to be free from others’ expectations and be in love and together.

Here’s my interview with the amazing author!

1) 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤?


I lived in Texas for a few years and worked in a high school guidance office and later in the school
library. I learned so much about the culture of high school football and homecoming, and just how
important some of these traditions are to the students and honestly, the whole school community. I
also had a personal wish to see more joyful stories with queer characters falling in love, feeling safe
and respected in their neighborhoods, and being loved and celebrated by their families. These two
things were front and center in my life when I began writing Sidelined.


2) 𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐪𝐮𝐨𝐭𝐞, 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐢𝐭 𝐛𝐞?


Ooh, that’s a tough one. I think I’ll go with a Maya Angelou quote: “In all the world, there is no heart
for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.”


3) 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐲?


I think Julian and Elijah were both equally hard to write. There was never a point in which I felt
overwhelmed by either of them, though, and I think that’s important. If I absolutely had to pick
between the two of them, I think it was slightly harder for me to fall into Julian’s voice. He’s a rule-
follower and often sees the world in black and white. While I’m definitely a rule-follower, I think I
see the world a whole lot differently than Julian does.


4) 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐮𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐮𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐬?


I have a couple of (secret) YA projects cooking at the moment. I’m so excited to share details when
the time is right!


5) 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬?


I think most writers will tell you that there’s a tiny little bit of themselves in every character they
write. There are some things about Julian that are very much like me, and some things about Elijah
that I can relate to. Usually, my characters tell me little quirks about their personalities throughout
the writing process. I don’t know that readers would be able to pick out the pieces of either Julian or
Elijah that are me, even readers who know me really well.

Kara Bietz was born in New England but currently resides just outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her family. Her first novel, Until I Break, was a Texas Library Association Spirit of Texas Reading Program selection. Her newest release, Sidelined, is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.
When she’s not writing, you can find Kara hanging out with her family, singing show tunes to her dogs, and adding to her impressive pen collection. 
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook


https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2021/08/19/tour-schedule-sidelined-by-kara-bietz/
Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Things we couldn’t say by Jay Coles- CP Tours Book Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for Thing we couldn’t say by Jay Coles! Thank you, CP tour, for the chance to read this amazing book and for the free copy.


Title:
Things We Couldn’t Say
Author:
Jay Coles
Publisher:
Scholastic Press
Publication Date:
September 21st, 2021
Genres:
Young Adult Contemporary



From one of the brightest and most acclaimed new lights in YA fiction, a fantastic new novel about a bi Black boy finding first love . . . and facing the return of the mother who abandoned his preacher family when he was nine.


There’s always been a hole in Gio’s life. Not because he’s into both guys and girls. Not because his father has some drinking issues. Not because his friends are always bringing him their drama. No, the hole in Gio’s life takes the shape of his birth mom, who left Gio, his brother, and his father when Gio was nine years old. For eight years, he never heard a word from her . . . and now, just as he’s started to get his life together, she’s back.


It’s hard for Gio to know what to do. Can he forgive her like she wants to be forgiven? Or should he tell her she lost her chance to be in his life? Complicating things further, Gio’s started to hang out with David, a new guy on the basketball team. Are they friends? More than friends? At first, Gio’s not sure . . . especially because he’s not sure what he wants from anyone right now.


There are no easy answers to love — whether it’s family love or friend love or romantic love. In Things We Couldn’t Say, Jay Coles, acclaimed author of Tyler Johnson Was Here, shows us a guy trying to navigate love in all its ambiguity — hoping at the other end he’ll be able to figure out who is and who he should be.


Book links:

Goodreads
Amazon
Book Depository
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound
Indigo

TW: racism, homophobia, parental abandonment, parental abuse, side character’s death, suicide (prior to the story), depression, trauma

I love reading Things we couldn’t say. With incredible sensitity, the author deals with themes like grief, parental abandoment, homophobia and racism, telling Gio’s story in his complexity, struggles and hopes. I loved the way the author talks about depression and anxiety, in a very relatable way and his writing style is absolutely amazing, I was really in love since the beginning.

The story is told by Gio’s POV and he’s a fantastic main character, complex and intricate, brave and scared, upset and willing to fight for himself, to be who he is. In his life there always have been an hole, ever since his birth mother left him, his bother and father, when he was nine years old. Gio struggled and struggles with depression, anxiety and, thanks to his therapy, is trying to get his life back together, when his mother suddenly came back, crashing into his life and upsetting everything and everyone. Things are even more complicated since the basketball team has a new member, Gio’s new neighbour, David and when they start to hang together, Gio is even more confused about his feelings, what he wants from life and for himself.

Things we couldn’t say is a powerful and moving book, written beautifully and I felt really involved in Gio’s story, following his struggles, fears, desires and hopes. He’s a very relatable character in his feelings, thoughts and actions and it was incredible following his journey towards accepting and loving himself, learning more about love, family and forgiviness.

Gio’s life isn’t easy. At home he struggles with his drinking and preacher father, who doesn’t want to accept his bisexuality and wants to impose his ideas and thoughts on Gio. He battles with his anxiety and depression, his feelings of unworthiness, ever since he was abandoned, fighting against nightmares and bad thoughts. His mother’s return upsets his already messy life, forcing him to deal with his feelings, fears and hopes. At the same time, while dealing with themes like abandoment, depression, homophobia and abuse, the story stands out for its hope and love, because it’s clear, right away, how Gio is surrounded by people who loves him, from the beautiful and strong bond with his best friends, Olly and Ayesha, his relationship with his brother Theo, with his stepmother Karina and, also, with David, his new friend and, maybe, something more.

I loved reading Gio’s journey, his friendship with Olly and Ayesha, the sweet and intense story with David, how they meet, fit together and love one other in a wonderful and brilliant relationship, made of love, understanding and support.

In Things we couldn’t say Gio tackles relationships and love, between friends, siblings, lovers and parents, grief, rage, identity, struggling to accept and love himself for who he is in all his parts, fighting against those who wants only some of him, learning what love and family means, learning to accept and forgive. It was moving and interesting reading how much Gio grows in this book, realizing how is worthy of love, what family means, the importance of being oneself in all his parts. I loved the importance of talking and therapy in this book, how much people can change and grow, how it’s vital to fight for one’s happiness and freedom.

I totally recommed this book to those who are looking for a cute love story, a journey to love and accept oneself and amazing friendships!





JAY COLES is the author of critically acclaimed
TYLER JOHNSON WAS HERE, a composer with ASCAP, and a professional musician residing in Muncie, Indiana. He is a graduate of Vincennes University and Ball State University and holds degrees in English and Liberal Arts. When he’s not writing diverse books, he’s advocating for them, serving with The Revolution church, and composing music for various music publishers. Jay’s forthcoming novel
THINGS WE COULDN’T SAY is set to be released 9.21.21 with Scholastic! His novels can be purchased at Barnes and Noble or at Amazon.

Author Links:
Website:
https://www.jaycoleswrites.com/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/mrjaycoles
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/mrjaycoles/?hl=en
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11573940.Jay_Coles
Tumblr:
https://jaycoleswritesbooks.tumblr.com/


“Lately I’ve felt so much like all my emotions are exposed to the world and I feel like I’ve got no place to hide.”

Loss fucks you up, but it doesn’t change who you are. I have to believe that. It forces you to be brave and strong so you can hold your life together, and the lives of the people you love together- the ones who are still here.”

“It’s like grief is a backpack we wear through life and we’re costantly putting hard things inside it. Not to ignore those things, but to carry them with us as we go on.”

“The most powerful and insanely beautiful thing you can be is yourself.”

“Memories can be recycled and forgotten, but feelings cannot.”

“When I look into your eyes, I see constellations.”

“You make me brave.”

“And I’m tired of feeling like a prisoner in my own body every damn day. I guess sometimes we meet people who remind us of all the reasons why we exist.”

This world can be so dark and cold and cruel and lonely. I’m so glad that we can face it all together.”

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Le streghe in eterno- Alix E. Harrow- Review Party

Salve a tutt* e benvenut* alla mia tappa per Le Streghe in eterno di Alix E. Harrow! Un grazie enorme a Valeria per aver organizzato l’evento, ad Ambra per la grafica meravigliosa e alla Mondadori per la possibilità di leggere in anteprima questo libro. Le mie recensioni non sono state in alcun modo influenzate.

Ecco a voi il calendario con le varie tappe!

Disponibile su:       
Collana: Fantastica
ISBN: 9788804737674
576 pagine
Prezzo: € 24,00

“Sono terrorizzata e sono terrificante. Sono spaventata e sono qualcosa da temere.” Nel 1893 non esistono streghe. Un tempo sì, c’erano, negli oscuri giorni selvaggi prima che iniziassero i roghi, ma adesso la stregoneria è solo una questione di graziosi incantesimi e filastrocche e vecchi racconti per bambini. Se le donne vogliono avere una qualsivoglia forma di potere, devono cercarla nell’urna elettorale.
Ma quando le sorelle Eastwood – James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth e Beatrice Belladonna – entrano nell’Associazione per le Donne di New Salem, iniziano a chiedersi se, recuperando antiche parole dimenticate, non sia possibile trasformare quello delle suffragette da un movimento di donne a un movimento di streghe. Inseguite da ombre e morbi, perseguitate da forze che vogliono impedire a una strega di votare – e forse persino di vivere -, le sorelle dovranno immergersi nell’antica magia, tessere nuove alleanze e recuperare il legame che le unisce.
Perché le streghe non esistono, ma esisteranno.
Le streghe in eterno è un racconto potente che parla di sfide, sorellanza, e del diritto di voto.

C’era una volta un tempo in cui esistevano le streghe, capaci di potenti incantesimi, prima dei roghi, prima delle violenze, prima di essere quasi del tutto estinte. Nel 1893 solo semplici incantesimi esistono, passati da donna a donna, di generazione in generazione, incantesimi per rammendare, pulire, guarire, magia nascosta in filastrocche, rime e canzoncine, considerate per bambini. Nel 1893 non esistono più le streghe di un tempo e l’unico potere che le donne possono sperare di avere è la speranza di poter votare. E’ all’interno del movimento di suffragette, che le tre sorelle Eastwood, James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth e Beatrice Belladonna, iniziano a pensare a ciò che potrebbero fare e ottenere se quel movimento diventasse un movimento di streghe, se ritrovassero i poteri perduti e riaffermassero le proprie identità.

Ambientato in un mondo profondamente patriarcale, all’interno del quale le donne sono incastrate in una serie di ruoli, quali la donna del focolare, la donna di chiesa e casa, le anime perdute, come le prostitute e le streghe, Le streghe in eterno è un libro potentissimo, brillantemente scritto e con una caratterizzazione fenomenale, ambientato in un mondo dominato dal sessismo, razzismo e dalla violenza, all’interno del quale le donne sono costrette a muoversi lungo binari precisi e violenza e morte aspetta chi osa ribellarsi. In queste circostante claustrofobiche e soffocanti, James e le sue sorella danno il via a una ribellione, determinate a recuperare il potere perduto delle streghe, ad affermare se stesse nelle loro complessità e desideri.

La storia è narrata da tre punti di vista, dalle tre sorelle che sono profondamente diverse l’una dall’altra. James nel suo essere selvaggia e ribelle, determinata a bruciare il mondo per ottenere rispetto e libertà, Agnes, quieta e attenta in un mondo che ha denti e non ha paura di usarli, Beatrice con i suoi libri, il suo rifugio e la sua saggezza. Le tre donne sono legate da un legame di sorellanza che, a causa di traumi, violenze e incomprensioni, si è sfilacciato e quasi distrutto nel corso del tempo. Ritrovatesi dopo anni, saranno costrette dagli eventi a ricucire il loro rapporto, a sostenersi e a riscoprire il loro legame, ritrovandolo più forte e solido che mai.

Il libro ruota attorno alla loro crescita, al loro legame e a ciò che saranno costrette ad affrontare, lottando contro i demoni del loro passato, contro una stregoneria potente fatta di ombre e controllo e disposta a tutto per impedire loro, alle donne, di reagire, vivere ed esprimere la loro opinione, di essere se stesse, di amare chi vogliono.

Le streghe in eterno è un libro molto stratificato. In quasi 600 pagine vengono affrontate numerosi questioni, quali il sessismo, il razzismo, la violenza di genere, abusi familiari, il diritto al voto e, in particolare, i problemi legati all’essere una donna nel 1893, in una società patriarcale, all’interno della quale incombe l’ombra dei roghi e delle violenze della Salem originale. Sono rimasta piacevolmente impressionata dalla caratterizzazione dei personaggi. James, Agnes e Beatrice si muovono in un mondo pericoloso e dove la politica si mescola alla violenza e alla magia, dove il loro sviluppo personale e la crescita del loro legame in quanto sorelle e streghe avviene di pari passo con i loro problemi, i ricordi, i traumi passati, nuovi amori e avventure.

I personaggi principali e secondari sono interessanti nelle loro complessità e sfaccettature, non sono stereotipati, si rifiutano di aderire ai ruoli imposti loro dalla società. James, Agnes e Beatrice sono donne che non rientrano nei canoni (non dirò in che modo per evitare spoilers) e non cercano di rientrarvi, si rifiutano di adeguarsi, ma lottano per essere libere di essere chi vogliono, vivere la loro vita e amare la persona che scelgono.

Ho adorato il modo in cui l’amore è presente all’interno della storia, nelle sue varie sfaccettature. L’amore nei confronti di una sorella, di una figlia, madre, nonna, di un’amica, di un’amante. La rappresentazione LGBTQIA+ è dolcemente presente in una relazione, della quale non parlerò per evitare spoilers, ma che ho molto adorato. Inoltre, è anche presente un personaggio secondario trans, del quale ho amato lo sviluppo, determinazione e forza.

Il libro è costellato di filastrocche e rime, incantesimi e formule magiche e il lettore segue le sorelle nella loro ricerca della magia antica, connettendosi al passato e al presente, incontrando diversi tipi di magia, tra storia antica, libri e magia nascosta in canzoni e storielle. La parte fantasy è mescolata sapientemente alla storia personale delle protagoniste, all’ambientazione storica e ho amato leggere Le Streghe in eterno. Se

Gli uomini presenti nella storia sono stereotipi di uomini crudeli, padri violenti e possessivi, mariti malvagi, politici assetati di potere e disposti a tutto per schiacciare le donne che non rientrano nei loro canoni. Pochissime le eccezioni (solo una, probabilmente) e il libro ruota interamente sulle donne, sul loro trionfo e la loro lotta.

Le donne sono le protagoniste assolute di Le Streghe in eterno. Donne come madri, sorelle, figlie, nonne, amiche, amanti, donne disposte a tutto per lottare per un mondo più giusto nei loro confronti, per proteggere se stesse e le persone che amano, per rivendicare il diritto di essere ciò che vogliono e amare chi vogliono. Questo libro è un inno al potere femminile, alla resilienza delle donne, capaci di trovare modi incredibili e fantasiosi per conservare e proteggere il loro passato e le loro conoscenze, in un mondo in cui uomini al potere sono disposti a tutto per schiacciarle e annullare la loro storia. Un inno alla sorellanza, alla speranza e alla resilienza e una storia che consiglio a tutt* coloro in cerca di un libro pieno di personaggi femminili nella loro complessità, trama avvincente e interessante e un bellissimo e coinvolgente stile di scrittura.

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

La casa sul mare celeste di TJ Klune- Review Party

Salve a tutti e benvenuti alla mia tappa del Review Party dedicato all’incantevole libro di TJ Klune, “La casa sul mare celeste”! Un grazie enorme alla Mondadori per l’opportunità di leggere il libro in anteprima e a Valeria per aver organizzato l’evento. Le mie opinioni non sono state influenzate in alcun modo.

Collana: Fantastica

ISBN: 9788804735144

396 pagine

Prezzo: € 18,00

Cartaceo

In vendita dal 13 luglio 2021

Linus Baker è un assistente sociale impiegato al Dipartimento della Magia Minorile. Il compito che esegue con scrupolosa professionalità è assicurarsi che i bambini dotati di poteri magici, cresciuti in appositi istituti in modo da proteggere quelli “normali”, siano ben accuditi. La vita di Linus è decisamente tranquilla, per non dire monotona: vive in una casetta solitaria in compagnia di una gatta schiva e dei suoi amati dischi in vinile.
Tutto cambia quando, inaspettatamente, viene convocato nell’ufficio della Suprema Dirigenza. È stato scelto per un compito inconsueto e top secret: dovrà recarsi su un’isola remota, Marsyas, e stabilire se l’orfanotrofio diretto da un certo Arthur Parnassus abbia i requisiti per rimanere aperto.
Appena mette piede sull’isola, Linus si rende conto che i sei bambini ospitati nella struttura sono molto diversi da tutti quelli di cui ha dovuto occuparsi in passato. Il più enigmatico tra gli abitanti di Marsyas è però Arthur Parnassus, che dietro ai modi affabili nasconde un terribile segreto.
Un’incantevole storia d’amore ambientata in una realtà fantastica, meravigliosamente narrata, su cosa significhi accorgersi che, a volte, si può scegliere la vita che si vuole. E, se si è abbastanza fortunati, magari quella vita ci sceglie a sua volta.

“La casa non è sempre quella in cui si vive. Sono anche le persone di cui scegliamo di circondarci. Lei magari non abita sull’isola, ma non può dirmi che quella non è casa sua. La sua bolla, signor Baker. È scoppiata. Non vorrà farsela ricrescere attorno?”

“La casa sul mare celeste” è un dei libri più belli che abbia letto recentemente. Ambientato in un’isola lussureggiante e piena di colori, è un libro che, con delicatezza, tratta di importanti tematiche quali il pregiudizio, l’odio e la discriminazione, abusi minorili e ingiustizie. Al tempo stesso è un libro pieno d’amore, appartenenza e di speranza, fitto di personaggi interessanti, il cui sviluppo, nel corso della storia, è stato meraviglioso da seguire. Si tratta di una stupenda e intensa storia d’amore e di crescita, di lotta contro le ingiustizie del mondo e dell’importanza di trovare un proprio posto del mondo, di scegliere la vita che si vuole e non lasciarla andare.

Il protagonista è Linus Baker, un assistente sociale del Dipartimento della Magia Minorile, fedele seguace delle regole del Dipartimento e del “Manuale delle norme e dei regolamenti”, la cui monotona vita è sempre stata contrassegnata dal grigiore e dal dovere. Il cambiamento, repentino, arriva con l’assegnazione di un particolare incarico top secret: visitare l’orfanotrofio di Marsyas e decidere se ha i requisiti per rimanere aperto. Sin dall’inizio Linus si scontra con una realtà ben diversa da quella cui è abituato. Non solo l’orfanotrofio ospita bambini molto particolari, tra cui anche l’Anticristo in persona, ma il direttore stesso è affascinante ed enigmatico e la permanenza di Linus sull’isola lo spingerà a cambiare e crescere, portandolo a rivalutare ogni cosa che credeva vera e giusta.

L’arrivo sull’isola lo spingerà a mettere in discussione ogni cosa, dalla sua vita, al suo lavoro, a ciò che è giusto o sbagliato alle idee diffuse e inculcate nella popolazione. La storia è ambientata in un mondo in cui le creature magiche sono schedate, controllate e tenute da parte, in cui bambini magici vengono posti in “orfanotrofi”, che di orfanotrofi non hanno nulla, ma sono solo luoghi in cui vengono tenuti separati dalla popolazione “normale”.

Attraverso la presenza di bambini, le cui capacità sono fuori dal comune e diverse da quelle incontrate da Linus in precedenza, l’autore affronta tematiche come l’odio e la discriminazione nei confronti di coloro che sono ritenuti “diversi”, per aspetto, capacità o natali, la paura nei confronti di chi non si conosce, paura che si può facilmente (come spesso accade) trasformare in odio.

Importanti protagonisti sono proprio loro, i bambini ed è impossibile non amarli. Incontriamo Talia, una gnoma scorbutica, ma leale e affettuosa, una volta conosciuta meglio. Phee, uno spirito della foresta, introverso, ma pieno di vitalità e curiosità. Theodore, una delle poche viverne esistenti, tenero e appassionato di bottoni. Chaunchey, la cui specie è sconosciuta, ma che fa tenerezza nella semplicità dei suoi sogni: infatti lui vuole diventare un concierge e si esercita tutti i giorni, Sal con la sua scrittura. E Lucy, che pur combattendo con i suoi natali, pur spaventando Linus e gli abitanti della terraferma perché è l’anticristo, è un bambino di sei anni che ama i vinili e canta a squarciagola mentre aiuta in cucina. Il legame tra i piccoli abitanti della casa è intenso e forte e loro si proteggono, sostengono e si amano. Loro, come Arthur, come Zoe, lo spirito dell’isola, brillante amica e protettrice, hanno subito abusi e maltrattamenti in passato e sono, giustamente, traumatizzati per questo, ma al tempo stesso dimostrano un forte coraggio, una grande resilienza e soprattutto la speranza che le cose possano cambiare. Anche partendo dal piccolo, da un sussurro.

https://64.media.tumblr.com/cc6d6ae83ece0dad570d52287eebd646/0488b31e922d0162-8e/s1280x1920/0b934f2528e61f5d7f7b33c4cf0a2fd9c5db114d.jpg

Se all’interno della storia si tratta della separazione tra creature dotate di poteri magici e di chi non possiede la magia, questa discriminazione può essere facilmente applicata al mondo reale, nei confronti di persone dal colore diverso della pelle, appartenenti a minoranze o non conformanti all’eteronormatività. Le tematiche affrontate nel libro sono universali.

Uno degli aspetti che mi ha colpito di più all’interno della storia è stata la crescita di Linus. Il cambiamento viene evidenziato non solo dal cambio di colori e ambienti, dal grigio e la pioggia della città e la sua monotonia, ai colori, al mare e l’allegria dell’isola, ma anche e soprattutto dai suoi modi di pensare, dalla liberazione dalle gabbie mentali in cui Linus viveva, pur senza rendersene conto. Impiegato modello, preciso e affidabile, Linus è corretto e rispettoso, svolge bene il suo lavoro e tiene a cuore i bambini di cui si occupa, ma è una parte di un meccanismo che non ha mai messo in discussione, del quale non si è mai interrogato, delle cui mancanze e carenze non si è mai posto domande. Linus cambia, cresce e apre gli occhi, iniziando finalmente a vedere il mondo a colori. Anche e, soprattutto, grazie alla presenza di Arthur, la cui allegria e spensieratezza, il cui affetto e l’essere protettivo nei confronti dei suoi bambini è stata una delle cose più belle anche abbia mai letto.

Ho anche amato il modo in cui TJ Klune, attraverso le figure di Linus e Arthur e le esperienze affrontate dai bambini, riflette sulla moralità e l’immoralità, sul mondo, che non è diviso tra bianco e nero e sulla mancanza di assoluti, sull’importanza della crescita e dell’educazione e di andare oltre le prime impressioni e i pregiudizi.

La gente vuole dividere il mondo in bianco e nero, morale e immorale. In mezzo, però, c’è il grigio. E solo perché qualcuno è capace di agire in modo malvagio, non significa che lo farà.”

Arthur è un personaggio che ho particolarmente amato. Con le sue discussione sui filosofi e la moralità, il suo essere enigmatico e coraggioso. Il suo rapporto con Linus è ben scritto ed è stato un piacere leggere del loro legame e di come sia diventato più profondo nel corso del tempo.

https://ace-artemis-fanartist.tumblr.com/post/634442900052246528/the-house-in-the-cerulean-sea-by-tj-klune-can

“La casa sul mare celeste” è un libro brillante, meravigliosamente scritto, dall’ambientazione da sogno e dai personaggi ben sviluppati e, pur essendo ambientato in un mondo fantasy, le tematiche affrontate sono tremendamente reali e così le lezioni imparate. Una storia piena di amicizia, speranza, famiglia e appartenenza, risate e musica.

Una storia d’amore, dolce e appassionante, il sogno e la possibilità di trovare un luogo e una famiglia cui appartenere, dell’importanza di lottare per un mondo migliore e su cosa significhi sentirsi finalmente a casa. Una fiaba indimenticabile.

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

May the best man win by Z.R. Ellor – Turn the page tours blog tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for “May the best man win” by Z.R. Ellor, organized by Turn the page tours! I’m so excited to be part of this tour, because this book was one of my most anticipated read of 2021 and I’m really happy to recommend it with all my heart!

TITLE: May the Best Man Win
AUTHOR: Z.R. Ellor
PUBLISHER: Roaring Brook Press
RELEASE DATE: May 18th, 2021
GENRE(S): YOUNG ADULT FICTION–Contemporary, Romance

https://bookshop.org/a/11727/9781250625120

    


A trans boy enters a throw-down battle for the title of Homecoming King with the boy he dumped last summer in ZR Ellor’s contemporary YA debut.

Jeremy Harkiss, cheer captain and student body president, won’t let coming out as a transgender boy ruin his senior year. Instead of bowing to the bigots and outdated school administration, Jeremy decides to make some noise—and how better than by challenging his all-star ex-boyfriend, Lukas for the title of Homecoming King?
Lukas Rivers, football star and head of the Homecoming Committee, is just trying to find order in his life after his older brother’s funeral and the loss long-term girlfriend—who turned out to be a boy. But when Jeremy threatens to break his heart and steal his crown, Lukas kick starts a plot to sabotage Jeremy’s campaign.
When both boys take their rivalry too far, the dance is on the verge of being canceled. To save Homecoming, they’ll have to face the hurt they’re both hiding—and the lingering butterflies they can’t deny.

REPRESENTATION: Trans*, Gay, Autistic, Queer

TW: transphobia, misgendering, deadnaming, abuse, dysphoria, physical violence, ableist language, homophobic slurs and homophobia

Thank you so much, NetGalley, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Roaring Brook Press, for the chance to read and review one of my most anticipated books of 2021!

Jeremy Harkiss is the cheer captain and student body president and he won’t let his coming out as trangender boy define him and ruin his senior year. He’s determined to be seen as he is, a boy and he’s ready to battle against bigots and the outdated school administration, so he decides to run as Homecoming King, challenging his ex Lukas for the title.
Lukas is a football start and head of the Homecoming Commitee and he’s struggling to put order in his life after being dumped by his long-term girlfriend, who turned out to be a boy and his own family falling apart and he won’t let Jeremy steal his crown, after having broken his heart.
So they start an intense battle, made of sabotage, cheating, involving their friends and, soon, the whole school, in their rivarly, while struggling with their own fears, doubts and wounds. But when they are forced to work together in order to save Homecoming, Jeremy and Lukas have to face the hurt they are hiding and their mutual attraction.

May the best man win is such an amazing novel and I loved everything about it. Told by two POVs, Jeremy’s and Lukas’, the stoy is intense, wonderful and heartwrenching, tackling important themes as transphobia and homophobia, misgendering, deadnaming, violence, aggression and so much more.
The story focuses on Jeremy and Lukas and their complicated and intense journey in finding themselves and one other, their places and community, facing family’s, school’s and society’s expectations.

Jeremy is struggling with the bigots at school, a complicated relationship with his mother, dysphoria and the desire to be finally seen as he is: a boy. Not Lukas’ ex girlfriend, not a lesbian, not a pretender, but himself, but he’s forced to face constant transphobia at school, above all from his ex friend Philip and to fight against the school administration, who doesn’t want to do anything in order to protect him, not wanting to jeopardize Philip’s father money donations.
His decision to run as Homecoming King is strongly connected with his desire to be seen as he is. At the same time Jeremy is acutely aware of how little the school is doing in order to protected the marginalized community and he’s determined to change things. His battle with Lukas is also complicated by unresolved feelings, painful and intense past and their profound wounds and bonds.

Lukas’ life is falling apart around him, since his older (and cruel) brother died and his family changed, stopping talking to one other. He wants to fix everything, to put order in his messy life and becoming a Homecoming King is the only way he’s seeing to attract college’s attentions and making his family proud of him, struggling to be seen by them. Lukas is autistic, even though few know about it and he’s under the costant pressure of being the perfect football player, the perfect son, the perfect student, carrying his family’s, his school’s expectations on his shoulder. The author wrote skillfully his complicated relationship with his family and brother, the pain of losing him, but also the relief of not being hurt by him anymore, his need to salvage what he can and to keep his family together.
His painful breakup with Jeremy, the pain of having lost him, after years and years together, the knowledge of not knowing exactly why it happened weighs down on him, filling both of them with anger and pain, pushing them in all-out war, threatening to burn down everything and everyone around them.

Their journey is messy and complicated by intrusive thoughts, like feeling unwanted and unloved, heartwrenching past and interactions, bad days. Both Jeremy and Lukas show the world a front, what people want to see, a fake Jeremy and a fake Lukas, in order to be accepted, loved and included, at school and at home. But slowly the pressure of not being themselves threatens to destroy them both and Jeremy and Lukas have to face themselves and one other and be finally honest and happy.
Both of them feel unwanted and unloved and keep thinking everything (family’s and their own’s expectations) will be solved with the crown, while the whole world is crashing around them. Slowly they are forced to accept the reality and start loving themselves for who they are and not what the others want them to be, realizing the love and support from their friends and family members.
On this note, I have to say I loved the side characters, above all Sol and their constant energy and jokes and Ben and Naomi, with their support and love, even though they all were “forced” in the middle of Jeremy’s and Lukas’ breakup, aftermath and fights.

Jeremy and Lukas are intense, complex and amazing main characters. They are teenagers, they are messed up, desperate, filled with anger and pain. They make mistakes, hurt people, apologize, struggle to be better, to be and find themselves in a world, often, bent into put people in labeled boxes and in smothering them.

I loved how the author talked about Jeremy’s anger and fire and the wonderful and supportive queer community he finally finds, where he can fit and be himself, how Lukas, after struggling for so long under the pressure of being someone he wasn’t, learns to embrace and be himself.

Jeremy’s and Lukas’ relationship is truly intense, moving and heartwrenching, made of still open wounds, unresolved tension and questions, pain and desires. While facing one other in the battle for the Homecoming King, while struggling with their own problems at home and school, between lessons and friends and fights, Jeremy and Lukas slowly realize how much they still care and love about one other, under all the pain and misunderstandings. It was really beautiful reading how they fit, how much they are still in love and how to move from there.

“We fit together like puzzle pieces, my fire and his reason, my energy and his comfortable arms.” (quote from the earc, so it can be subject to change)

May the best man win also tackles how often the powers, as the school administration, can turn a blind eye only for monetary gain, refusing to acknowledge and listen to victims denouncing harassments, sexual, physical, hate speech and so on, leaving more often than not people alone and afraid to speak, because they are afraid they won’t get their justice. Even though it doesn’t solve the problem with the whole school system at Jeremy’s and Lukas’ school, I was really moved and impressed by the community’s support and love in defending their classmates and in their desire to change things for the better.

The novel also talks about stereotypical thoughts about being gay, trans and female, about what it means “being a man”, misogyny and harmful behaviour.

I really loved reading May the best man win. The story is amazing, brilliant and I enjoyed so much reading about Jeremy’s and Lukas’ journey and their incredible and intense bond.

Z. R. Ellor (he/him) is the author of MAY THE BEST MAN WIN and the forthcoming adult fantasy SILK FIRE (written as Zabé Ellor.) He holds a BA in English Lit and biology from Cornell University. When not writing, he can be found running, playing video games, and hunting the best brunch deals in Washington D.C.. Find him online at https://zrellorbooks.com/

There’s also a giveaway!

Up for grabs, we have ONE (1) copy of May the Best Man Win by Z.R. Ellor. This giveaway is open to US residents only and will run from May 16th to May 23rd at 12 AM CST. No giveaway accounts allowed.


Giveaway Link:http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1e4a114d41/?

You can find here the tour schedule! Check all the other amazing posts!

https://turnthepagetours.wordpress.com/2021/04/29/tour-schedule-may-the-best-man-win/

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Follow your arrow by Jessica Verdi- Book Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for “Follow your arrow” by Jessica Verdi book tour, organized by Tbr and Beyond Tours! A huge thanks to Tbr and Beyond Tours, Edelweiss and the publisher for the chance to read and review this book!

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing date: March 2nd, 2021
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound Indigo

For fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, this is a riveting and irresistible take on love, life, and identity — both online and off.

CeCe Ross is kind of a big deal. She and her girlfriend, Silvie, are social media influencers with zillions of fans and followers, known for their cute outfits and being #relationshipgoals.

So when Silvie breaks up with her, CeCe is devastated. She’s lost her first love, and now she can’t help but wonder if she’ll lose her followers as well.

Things get even messier when CeCe meets Josh, a new boy in town who is very much Not Online. CeCe isn’t surprised to be falling for a guy; she’s always known she’s bi. And Josh is sweet and smart and has excellent taste in donuts… but he has no idea that CeCe is internet-famous. And CeCe sort of wants to keep it that way.

But when CeCe’s secrets catch up to her, she finds herself in the middle of an online storm, where she’ll have to confront the blurriness of public vs. private life, and figure out what it really means to speak her truth. 

CeCe and her girlfriend, Sylvie, are social media influencer, with millions of fans and followers and partnerships, but when Sylvie breaks up with her, CeCe loses a piece of her. And she’s afraid to lose her followers, too, so invested in their relationship, so much they created an hastag with their names combined: Cevie. CeCe is forced to figure out who is she without Sylvie and CeCe, while navigating her heartbreak and keeping up her profile. Meeting Josh, funny, smart and Not Online isn’t something she was expecting, but slowly CeCe starts to have feelings for him, determined to keep him away from knowing how famous she is. But when secrets are revealed, CeCe has to face an online and personal crisis and she will have to decide who she wants to be. If she wants to speak her truth or keep the facade on and off line.

Follow your arrow is a captivating and interesting story, with a compelling main character. CeCe is both an Influencer, with an apparently perfect life on social medias, and a teenager, dealing with friends, relationships, romantic and familial, school and so on. Told in first person by CeCe, the story follows her through heartbreak, new relationships, friends, both on and off line, her thoughts, her rage, fears, pain and memories. The reader gets to know a brilliant main character, weighed down by her complex and painful relationship with her conservative father, her passion for politics and queer rights, the enviroment and, at the same time, her fear of being herself, of losing followers, of being forgotten if she decided to be outspoken and truthful to her beliefs. Through CeCe’s eyes, the reader is able to see how dangerous and obsessive social medias can be, how fake is the life many show the world, how difficult and draining can be keeping up a facade in front of everything. At the same time, though, the author shows how important Internet can be, the support and love and understanding people can get through it, the bonds it can create, the news it can share.

Between social media posts, messages and emoticons, partnerships posts, the reader follows CeCe in her journey and growth into being more confident of herself, her beliefs and identity, realizing the importance of being surrounded by people who loves her exactly for what and who she is and not from what other see on social medias.

I really appreciated how the author tackles the complexity of social medias, Internet hate and bullying and the conversation and definition of being bisexual, how CeCe isn’t less bisexual or queer if she dates a cisgender male, how there are infinite choice and not just two, how:

“Yes,” I say, turning another page “the labels, the letters in the initialism- LBTQIAP- are important. Owning your identity is powerful, and something to be proud of. But sometimes the letters also box people in, put margins and rules on what does and doesn’t qualify, and who is and isn’t welcome, and what someone who IDs a certain way is and isn’t allowed to do.” (quotes from the earc, so they can be subject to changes)

I really enjoyed reading this book. There were some predictable moments, but the story is very captivating, the characters are well written and relatable and I loved realizing how much CeCe grew through the story, becoming more confident, stronger and less focused on what other people think.

I definitely recommend this book. It’s funny, it tackles many important themes, like sexuality, being oneself, bullying, the good and bad part of social media, love, family and frienships.

Jessica Verdi is an author of books for kids and teens about identity, family, acceptance, and love.

Though she’s always been a bookworm (her childhood was basically defined by the philosophy that working your way through giant stacks of library books is far superior to playing outside), she remained convinced throughout high school and college that theatre and music were meant to be her creative outlets. After nearly ten years in the NYC theatre world, she got an idea for a novel. While that first attempt at a “book” will never see the light of day—nope, don’t ask—it was the book that started her love affair with writing. Now she can’t imagine doing anything else.

Jess received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School and is a freelance editor of romance and women’s fiction. She lives in New York with her family.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook Goodreads

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

La vita invisibile di Addie LaRue di V.E. Schwab- Review Party

Buongiorno a tutti e benvenuti al review party dedicato all’uscita italiana de “La vita invisibile di Addie LaRue” di V.E. Schwab, Mondadori, collana Fantastica, in uscita il 24 novembre.

Sono molto emozionata, poiché questo è il primo evento che organizzo e spero vada tutto per il meglio.

Volevo ringraziare la signora Anna e alla Mondadori per avermi concesso l’opportunità di leggere questo libro, la copia in anteprima e di fare il review party.

Titolo: La vita invisibile di Addie LaRue
Autrice: Victoria Schwab
Casa Editrice: Oscar Mondadori
Genere: Fantasy, romance, storico
Link di acquisto: Amazon

E se potessi vivere per sempre, ma della tua vita non rimanesse traccia perché nessuna delle persone che incontri può ricordarsi di te?
Nel 1714, Adeline LaRue incontra uno sconosciuto e commette un terribile errore: sceglie l’immortalità senza rendersi conto che si sta condannando alla solitudine eterna.
Tre secoli di storia, di storie, di amore, di arte, di guerra, di dolore, della solennità dei grandi momenti e della magia di quelli piccoli.
Tre secoli per scegliere, anno dopo anno, di tenersi stretta la propria anima.
Fino a quando, in una piccola libreria, Addie trova qualcuno che ricorda il suo nome.

Chi mi conosce, sia nella vita online che in quella reale, sa quanto adori Victoria Schwab. Amo il suo stile di scrittura e la sua capacità di spaziare dal middle grade allo young adult, all’adult, alle graphic novel ed è un’autrice estremamente fantasiosa e prolifica. Tra i libri giunti in Italia abbiamo “Questo canto selvaggio” e “Questo oscuro duetto” (Giunti), la trilogia di Shades of magic con “Magic”, “Legend” e “Dark” e il primo volume della trilogia di “The Villains”, tradotto con “Evil” (non chiedetemi il perché la Newton Compton abbia tradotto così i titoli perché per me resta un mistero).

La Mondadori, con la collana Oscar Ink, ha tradotto e portato in Italia il primo volume della sua graphic novel “Il principe d’acciaio” che racconta le vicende di un giovane Maxim Maresh (genitore biologico di Rhy e adottivo di Kell in Shades of magic) e…insomma, la Schwab spazia tra generi ed è una scrittrice che reputo a dir poco straordinaria, capace di tessere trame complesse, creare personaggi realistici e intensi e farmi stare sempre con il fiato sospeso, trepidante mentre leggo pagina dopo pagina.

Devo ammettere di aver letto tutti i suoi libri in lingua originale e se, ovviamente, ho dei preferiti, per me la Schwab non sbaglia un colpo. Dico, quindi, di essere un po’ di parte!

Chi segue la scrittrice sui social sa che questo suo ultimo libro è in lavorazione da anni, un libro cresciuto e curato da quasi 10 anni. Sono venuta a conoscenza di Addie da ciò che V.E. Schwab scriveva su Twitter e Instagram, ne ho seguito la crescita pian piano, attendendolo entusiasta e non vedendo l’ora di poterlo finalmente leggere. Ho avuto l’occasione di leggere un arc digitale in lingua originale nel mese di marzo e da allora è stato amore a prima vista. Poterlo rileggere in italiano è stata un’emozione altrettanto forte e non vedo l’ora di sapere cosa ne pensano i fan italiani.

Rosiethorns88 artwork del virtual tour

“La vita invisibile di Addie LaRue” è il lavoro più personale e intenso di Victoria Schwab. Se è logico che uno scrittore metta del suo nelle sue opere è anche vero che questo libro è estremamente Victoria, nelle emozioni che trasmette, negli argomenti trattati, nella delicatezza con cui vengono affrontati alcuni argomenti. Victoria Schwab ha fatto un lavoro straordinario, oltre che di scrittura, anche di ricerca dei luoghi, dell’arte e degli eventi, creando quello che ritengo un capolavoro.

Un libro particolare che non prevede vie di mezzo, secondo me. O lo si ama o lo si odia. Mescola vari generi, dal fantasy, al romance, al fantasy storico, al romanzo horror, nel narrare questa storia di stampo faustiano. Non ci sono molti colpi di scena ed è un libro molto diverso da quelli scritti in precedenza. È una storia introspettiva e intensa che si snoda attraverso tre secoli, precisamente partendo dal 1714, a Villon-Sur-Sarthe, in Francia per “concludersi” a New York, tre secoli di arte, guerre, amori, conflitti, tempo e sfide.

Lo stile è particolare, ricco di metafore, quasi lirico. La trama prosegue in maniera non lineare, bensì oscillando tra passato e presente, presentando, dapprima e per la maggior parte del libro, il punto di vista di Addie e poi aggiunendo quello di Henry. Il lettore segue Addie crescere fino all’incontro che le cambierà l’esistenza e, attraverso il suo punto di vista, si reca ovunque, in un salotto ad ascoltare Voltaire e Rousseau, alla rappresentazione di “Tristano e Isotta” di Wagner, a passeggiare per Firenze, ad ammirare Londra, a fare un picnic sulle scalinate del Sacro Cuore. Con gli occhi di Addie il lettore vive i cambiamenti di stile, le guerre, l’arte, la rivoluzione, sente la fame e il freddo, la frustrazione e la solitudine, la rabbia e la tenacia.

“La vita invisibile di Addie LaRue” è divisa in sette parti, ognuna con l’illustrazione di un’opera e la sua descrizione e il punto di vista appartiene, almeno fino a metà della storia, ad Addie e in seguito oscillerà tra lei e Henry.

I protagonisti principali sono tre, Addie LaRue, lo sconosciuto che verrà chiamato Luc e Henry Strauss. Secondo me uno degli aspetti migliori di questo libro è la caratterizzazione dei personaggi.

Addie è piena di gioia ribelle, di stupore e curiosità, di determinazione, nonostante sia chiaro il peso degli anni e della sua maledizione. È un personaggio che è stata costretta ad adattarsi nel mondo, a tastare i confini della sua maledizione, disseminando idee e tracce di se stessa in opere d’arte e nel corso dei secoli, e al tempo stesso a non perdere la sua testardaggine e il coraggio. Il suo amore per la vita, la sua resilienza sono da ammirare, così come la sua curiosità e capacità di adattamento.

Henry è un personaggio intenso e se in lui c’è un’angoscia e un’irrequietezza, il suo personaggio è un personaggio curioso, brillante, sveglio e appassionato di libri. Del personaggio di Henry parlerò più dettagliatamente nel mio approfondimento, quindi mi limiterò a dire che è uno dei personaggi che mi ha colpito di più.

Lo sconosciuto, chiamato Luc da Addie, è un mostro, un dio, l’oscurità, è un essere che, nel corso dei secoli, ha fatto patti e ottenuto anime. Il rapporto che istaura con Addie è molto particolare, fatto di rabbia e risentimento, nostalgia e attrazione ed è geniale vedere i due personaggi sfidarsi in continuazione, in una lunghissima partita a scacchi, cercando di far cedere l’altro e di vincere. Addie e Luc si odiano, si “amano”, si ingannano, si provocano, si feriscono a vicenda, nell’arco di tre intensi secoli.

https://www.instagram.com/nicole.deal.art/

Spesso Victoria Schwab ha parlato di “defiant joy”, della ribelle felicità di Addie, che è un personaggio straordinario. Addie è una giovane donna che nasce in un piccolo villaggio e che si rifiuta di essere ingabbiata dalle costrizioni del suo tempo e del suo essere donna, dalle aspettative della sua famiglia e del suo villaggio, di ricoprire ruoli che le vengono imposti, come quello di moglie e madre. Il desiderio di vivere e vedere il mondo, la necessità e disperazione di sfuggire a una vita già prestabilita, di vivere e morire in quel villaggio la inducono a commettere un errore, dando inizio a una vita complessa e straordinaria, fatta di sofferenze e gioie, stupore e rabbia, frustrazione e libertà.

Non pregare mai gli dèi che sono in ascolto dopo il tramonto.”

Adeline voleva tanto essere un albero. Crescere spontanea e mettere radici profonde, senza appartenere a nessuno fuorché al suolo sotto ai piedi e al cielo sopra la testa, proprio come Estele. Avrebbe vissuto una vita non convenzionale, forse un tantino solitaria, ma almeno sarebbe stata la sua. Aveva la ferma intenzione di non appartenere a nessuno all’infuori di sé.”

Non voglio appartenere a nessuno, ma solo a me stessa. Voglio essere libera. Libera di vivere e trovare la mia strada, di amare o restare sola, purché la decisione sia mia. Sono così stufa di non avere scelta, così atterrita dagli anni che mi scorrono ai piedi come un torrente. Non voglio morire come sono vissuta, cioè non vivendo affatto.”

L’immortalità che Addie ottiene è pagata con un prezzo enorme: l’essere dimenticata da tutti coloro che l’incontrano. Una maledizione e un dono, i cui limiti e cavilli imparerà a testare nel corso dei secoli, muovendosi nella gabbia in cui è stata imprigionata e trovandone i punti deboli. La storia è particolare e solleva molte domande nel lettore, o almeno è accaduto a me, immaginando di immedesimarmi in Addie e in Henry e nel domandarmi cosa avrei fatto al loro posto, se il prezzo pagato sarebbe valso la candela, se l’immortalità sarebbe valsa l’essere dimenticati, non avere radici, non poter trattenere nulla se non i propri ricordi. Ci sarebbe da impazzire, vivere in un mondo dove nessuno ti vede.

Sono molti i temi che vengono affrontati all’interno de “La vita invisibile di Addie LaRue”, primo fra tutti il tempo. La sensazione che scorra troppo velocemente, l’angoscia di non averne abbastanza, la paura di sprecarlo, la necessità di riempirlo, sono sfaccettature che contraddistinguono sia Addie che Henry, anche se in modo diverso.

L’immortalità, o meglio, il suo peso, nel caso della maledizione di Addie, è un’ulteriore tematica che viene sviluppata e che pone ulteriori domande. Chi vorrebbe essere immortale? Nel caso di Addie, essere immortale vale il prezzo pagato? Avere più tempo compensa l’essere costantemente dimenticati appena qualcuno distoglie lo sguardo o cambia stanza?

È interessante vedere la storia attraverso gli occhi di Addie, vederla muoversi attraverso i secoli, assistere a scoperte, a guerre e rivoluzioni, ammirare arte e artisti, vagare tra continenti e nazioni.

Un aspetto curioso di questo libro è che, spesso e volentieri, i capitoli sono frammenti, istantanee di alcuni incontri e momenti, vicende e pensieri. Come briciole vengono inseriti pezzi della vita di Addie che vive (è costretta a farlo), soffre, si dispera, si meraviglia, s’invaghisce, si stupisce del mondo che la circonda, ma che mai perderà la sua forza, orgoglioso e curiosità. Nonostante la sua maledizione, Addie resta un personaggio forte e testardo, decisa ad avere la meglio sullo sconosciuto, a vincere la partita.

Ho visto un elefante”

Chi siamo noi? Cosa ci lasciamo dietro? Che tracce lasciamo della nostra esistenza, del nostro passaggio? Ne “La vita invisibile di Addie LaRue”, Victoria Schwab sottolinea l’importanza del ricordo, di essere amati, di avere qualcuno al proprio fianco, qualcuno in grado di vederci e amarci per ciò che siamo ed è il caso sia di Addie che di Henry.

Henry è un personaggio che non si sente mai abbastanza, che non riesce a trovare la propria strada, che sente la pressione del passaggio del tempo ed è estremamente realistico. Amo il modo in cui Addie e Henry riescono finalmente a vedersi, e non parlo delle loro maledizioni, ma di come finalmente siano riusciti a trovare, soprattutto Henry qualcuno che possa ascoltarlo e vederlo e amarlo per ciò che è, dandogli la spinta per continuare a vivere e volersi bene. Lasciare che le persone ci vedano e amino per ciò che siamo, senza doverci conformare e adattare e cambiare.

Lui pare un fulmine imbottigliato, un concentrato di tensione inquieta, sempre refrattario a starsene più di tanto con le mani in mano; ogni volta che c’è un tempo morto o una parentesi di pace e calma, si avventa su una penna e il taccuino di turno e, malgrado l’entusiasmo alla vista delle parole – delle proprie parole – che tappezzano la pagina, Addie non può non punzecchiarlo per la foga con cui le mette per iscritto.

L’incontro con Henry cambia l’esistenza di Addie perchè, per la prima volta in trecento anni, qualcuno si ricorda di lei.

«Io mi ricordo.» Tre parole, un numero sufficiente per spedire il mondo gambe all’aria.

E, di contro, per la prima volta nella vita di Henry, qualcuno lo vede, non vuole cambiarlo, non si aspetta qualcun altro, non lo ferisce.

Ho amato la relazione tra Addie e Henry, fatta d’amore, complicità e affetto. Un rapporto dove possono essere se stessi, senza inganni, maledizioni e bugie. Sono tantissime le scene che ho amato leggere e vedere come imparano a conoscersi, ad amarsi, a vedersi.

«Vedo una persona premurosa» aggiunge lei lentamente. «Forse troppo. Una persona molto sensibile. Una persona smarrita e irrequieta. Di quelle che sentono che si stanno consumando in un mondo pieno di cibo, solo perché non sanno scegliere cosa vogliono.”

La cosa che voglio, la sola cosa che ho sempre voluto, è che qualcuno si ricordasse di me. È per questo che riesci a chiamarmi per nome. È per questo che puoi andare e venire senza scordarti chi sono. Ed è per questo che posso guardarti e vederti per quello che sei. E questo mi basta. Sarà sempre abbastanza.» “Abbastanza.” La parola si tende tra loro, liberando la gola di Henry. Finalmente si fa largo un grande respiro. “Abbastanza.”

Un altro aspetto che ho amato nel libro è l’importanza dell’arte in tutte le sue forme, soprattutto delle storie ed è sviluppata nel libro. Come le idee possano essere feroci e resilienti e, nel muoversi nei confini della sua maledizione, come Addie sia stata in grado di ispirare artisti e di lasciare parte di sé nelle loro opere.

Però l’arte, l’arte è costituita di idee. E le idee sono più indomite dei ricordi. Come le erbacce, trovano sempre il modo di farsi strada.”

Le storie sono un modo di preservare se stessi. Di essere ricordati. E di dimenticare. Le storie si trasmettono in una miriade di forme: nel carboncino e in una canzone, in quadri, poesie, film. E nei libri. I libri, ha scoperto, sono un mezzo per vivere infinite vite o per trovare la forza di affrontarne una bella lunga.”

Ho amato da morire incontrare due protagonisti così appassionati d’arte e di letteratura e l’importanza data ai libri, alla forza che danno per sfuggire a certe realtà, alla loro capacità di farci vivere mille avventure e vite, senza mai spostarci è davvero bellissimo. Addie è un personaggio che ha trovato la forza di andare avanti in se stessa e nella bellezza che vedeva attorno a sé, nelle persone, nella natura, nelle opere. Questa capacità di andare avanti, di non abbattersi, di non lasciarsi schiacciare dalle avversità è impressionante e da ammirare.

Addie è un personaggio molto realistico e, nonostante non lo sia, terribilmente umano nelle sue emozioni, stanchezza, gioia, curiosità e determinazione. Dotata di una grandissima forza di volontà è quasi impossibile non prenderla ad esempio e non immaginarsi al suo posto.

Lui scuote la testa. «Sarei impazzito.»

«Oh, l’ho fatto» replica lei, allegra. «Ma quando vivi abbastanza, passa anche la follia.»

Ho molto apprezzato la rappresentazione LGBTQ+ all’interno del libro, poiché sia Addie che Henry hanno avuto relazioni con persone del loro stesso sesso, Bea, una dei migliori amici di Henry è gay e Robbie, l’altro migliore amico, ha avuto una relazione con lo stesso Henry. Entrambi sono attratti prima dalla persona e poi dal suo genere d’appartenenza.

Inoltre, ho amato la delicatezza con cui si parla della salute mentale e della depressione e le metafore utilizzate per riferirsi ai momenti bui di Henry, le sue “tempeste” sono decisamente azzeccate. L’autrice tratta argomenti delicati come l’ansia e la depressione, l’angoscia, il non sentirsi abbastanza, il non riuscire ad appartenere, l’inadeguatezza, l’abuso di alcool e droghe per attenuare i momenti bui, la depressione con estrema sensibilità. I capitoli dedicati ad Henry e ai suoi momenti bui sono alcuni dei più dolorosi che abbia mai letto, poiché sono estremamente veri e intensi. Tramite la bravura della Schwab, il lettore è in grado di immedesimarsi sia in un ventottenne umano, sia in un immortale di trecento anni, nella sua sofferenza, rabbia, risentimento, angoscia e ferocità.

https://www.instagram.com/nicole.deal.art/

La storia di Addie è bellissima e molto particolare. Coinvolge il lettore al punto che sembra di camminare con Addie e Henry in giro per New York, visitare Villon-Sur-Sarthe e notarne i cambiamenti, assistere a opere e rivoluzioni. Suscita domande nel lettore, fa commuovere e sorridere, fa riflettere sull’importanza dei ricordi e della memoria, sul bisogno di essere amati e visti, sul tempo e la velocità con cui scorre.

“La vita invisibile di Addie LaRue” è un inno alla vita, all’amore, all’arte.

È un libro che mi ha insegnato che bisogna volersi bene e darsi del tempo, di accettare i propri ritmi e le proprie indecisioni, di non confrontarsi con gli altri e i loro percorsi, ma di prendersi spazio e modo di trovare la propria strada, grazie al personaggio di Henry, la cui angoscia e irrequietezza l’ho sentita molto vicina a me.

Ho amato questo messaggio, l’importanza di lasciare che gli altri ci vedano e ci amino per ciò che siamo, di amarci per primi e curarci, di avere qualcuno in grado di vederci al nostro fianco, per non dover affrontare il mondo da soli.

“La vita invisibile di Addie LaRue” è spettacolare e lo consiglio a tutti coloro che vogliono essere trasportati nei secoli in compagnia di personaggi tenaci e brillanti, vivere storie d’amore intense e ammirare arte e letteratura. Innamorarsi e lasciarsi, conoscere e scoprire in una straordinaria avventura.

Un grazie alle mie compagne di avventura, Sylexlibris (https://sylexlibris.wordpress.com/), Captain Nelyafinwee, che ha creato i fantastici banner, (https://nelyafinwee.wordpress.com/) e Jules e Ophelia (http://everyfandomhasastory.blogspot.com/).

Passate dai loro blog per dare un’occhiata alle loro recensioni e approfondimenti.

Pubblicato in: Book preview, Most anticipated

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas Hear Our Voices Book tour

WELCOME TO MY STOP FOR THE CEMETERY BOYS 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.
Alive.

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: 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.

HERE SOME IMAGERY TO SHOW YOU HOW AMAZING IS THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL!

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 http://www.alexsanchez.com.

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.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-brought-me-the-ocean-alex-sanchez/1136623920?ean=9781401290818

https://www.amazon.com/You-Brought-Me-Ocean-Aqualad/dp/1401290817/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

https://www.bookdepository.com/You-Brought-Me-Ocean-Aqualad-Graphic-Novel-Alexander-Hitz-Sanchez/9781401290818

Pubblicato in: Book preview

Camp by Lev A.C. Rosen FFBC Blog Tour

HELLO AND WELCOME TO MY STOP OF THE CAMP 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.

Beautiful.

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 LevACRosen.com and @LevACRosen

https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2020/04/tour-schedule-camp-by-lev-ac-rosen.html

AMAZING NEWS!

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:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48081823-camp

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2xTMIj7

Bookdepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Camp-L-C-Rosen/9780241428252?ref=grid-view&qid=1584822573045&sr=1-1

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/camp/id1479840904

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/camp-l-c-rosen/1133331865?ean=9780316537759

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/camp-22

Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Camp.html?id=LQ6vDwAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y

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

Starts: May 20th 2020

Ends: June 3rd 2020

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86500/?

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!

https://www.instagram.com/lilsbooks/