Friday, June 11, 2021

Manga Review: Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide, Vol. 1


Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide, Vol. 1
(Our Not-So-Lonely Planet Travel Guide #1)
Mone Sorai
Release: April 20, 2021
Goodreads Amazon
Super serious Asahi Suzumura and laidback, easygoing Mitsuki Sayama might seem like an odd couple, but they made a deal; they'll vacation around the world and when they get back to Japan, they'll get married.

As they travel from country to country, the different people, cultures and cuisine they encounter begin to bring them closer together. After all they're not just learning about the world, but about themselves too.

Review:
The first thing that caught my attention about this manga was the cover. I was scrolling through Netgalley when I saw it and I immediately needed to know what it was about. Then I had to click the request button once I read the synopsis. This manga series chronicles the travels of a gay couple, Asahi and Mitsuki, as they travel the world before they head home to get married. I really haven't read a manga like this one ever.

We don't see many Boy's Love manga volumes that focus on an already established couple and it was refreshing to read it. You can tell that they are very comfortable with and care for each other but there is still a mystery for the reader around how these two got together. You get the feeling from their interactions that their relationship is still relatively new. One thing I loved about the relationship is that it falls very much into the sunshine and grump trope and I am here for it. It was interesting seeing the progression of this already established couple fall even more for each other and get even more comfortable with each other as they go on this adventure. I was living watching each character step out of their comfort zones to do activities and see places the other wants to experience. It was heartwarming to read.

As someone who misses traveling, I ate this one up. The art style took me a bit to get into but once I got used to it it really brought the story to life! The places they visited in this volume and the people they met made the story intriguing. I got sucked in and I read the whole thing in one sitting.  And you all! This manga was so cute! But now I have so many questions that I need answers to! How did they meet after college? How did they get together? What happened to Asahi before their trip? I need to know more! I can't wait to get my hands on the next volume but I might die of impatience waiting for it to drop in February 2022.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley


   
   4 / 5 Stars


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Review: One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston


One Last Stop
Casey McQuiston
Release: June 1, 2021
Goodreads Amazon
From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that will stop readers in their tracks...

Cynical twenty-three-year old August doesn’t believe in much. She doesn’t believe in psychics, or easily forged friendships, or finding the kind of love they make movies about. And she certainly doesn’t believe her ragtag band of new roommates, her night shifts at a 24-hour pancake diner, or her daily subway commute full of electrical outages are going to change that.

But then, there’s Jane. Beautiful, impossible Jane.

All hard edges with a soft smile and swoopy hair and saving August’s day when she needed it most. The person August looks forward to seeing on the train every day. The one who makes her forget about the cities she lived in that never seemed to fit, and her fear of what happens when she finally graduates, and even her cold-case obsessed mother who won’t quite let her go. And when August realizes her subway crush is impossible in more ways than one—namely, displaced in time from the 1970s—she thinks maybe it’s time to start believing.

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.

Review:
Have you ever read a book and immediately known that it will be one you’re going to be obsessed with? Just like with Red, White and Royal Blue, I knew within a couple chapters of One Last Stop that I was reading a new favorite book. To be honest, I heard the phrases "time traveling lesbians" and "stuck on the subway" and knew that I was going to love this story.

And this book was perfection! Absolute perfection! It was everything my little queer bisexual heart wanted and needed it to be plus so much more! This review could be pages and pages of me raving about how much I loved this book but I will limit myself to five reasons why I loved it so much and why you should go out and immediately buy it.

Reason one is the characters! This book would make an excellent case study on how to write fully formed queer characters that feel so real you want to go get dinner with them. They are diverse in race, gender, and sexuality. I fell in love quickly with prickly, reformed girl detective, August. She was a character that I immediately saw pieces of myself in. And her queer found family is serious friendship goals and I found myself wanting to move into Apartment 6F so I could be part of it. And let’s not forget about Jane. Glorious, soft, riot girl Jane stole my heart as quickly as August did.

Reason two is that this book is compulsively readable. You hit a point in the story where putting the book down is actually painful because you need to know what happens next. I stayed up reading until 1:30am and finished the book with a huge grin and tears on my face and my heart feeling like it grew three sizes too big. And despite it being after midnight, I immediately wanted to reread it after finishing and that is the highest praise I can give a book.

Reason three is because it is a story of finding your people and your place in the world. For me, reading it felt like coming home and getting wrapped in a hug. It was also highly nostalgic for me because it made me miss my own found family I gathered while I was living away from home. And rolly bangs would have totally been something we would have played in our apartments.

Reason four is the romance! Casey McQuiston is a master of writing longing between love interests and this book had all of the longing in not just one romance but two! I'll be honest. If you told me that I would be getting hot and bothered by a subway sex scene before this book, I would have laughed. There were some seriously hot and steamy scenes and they were glorious!

Reason five was the setting in New York City. In this book, the city was almost a character of its own and it made me miss that huge, smelly, and glorious place! McQuiston's description of the magicalness of the subway totally captured me and took me there without me leaving my living room. And the food descriptions in this book made me hungry! I miss being close to diners that have been there decades before you were ever born and where they remember your order when you become a regular. It also made me want a real New York bagel and smear so badly and is something I can't even get close to here in Idaho.

Overall, this book will make you keep turning the pages while you feel all the emotions. I'll be raving about it for months to come and seriously can't recommend it enough already. I absolutely can't wait to read what Casey McQuiston puts out next! I need all of the queer rom-coms they'll write in my life!

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley


    
   5 / 5 Stars!


My reviews of other books by this author:
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

What the Weres Read: April and May 2021


Hello! The Weres took an unexpected hiatus for most of April and May because of busy schedules and life. We have still been reading and can't wait to share what we've read the last couple of months! 
 
Here is what the Weres read in April and May:

 

April and May Reading Wrap Up

Gretl

So this happened.

 
 Purchased:
 Hard Ware by Misha Bell

 Library:
Sam Quinn #1-2 by Seanna Kelly
Hexworld series by Jordan L Hawk

Kindle Unlimited:
Scales & Spells series by AJ Sherwood & Jocelyn Drake
Weavers Circle series by Jocelyn Drake
I Pucking Love You by Pippa Grant
The Unholy Trifecta series by AJ Sherwood
Jon’s Mysteries series by AJ Sherwood
VRC series by Alice Winters
The Hitman’s Guide series by Alice Winters
The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series by SJ Himes 
The Metahuman Files series by Hailey Turner
The Bodyguard by Anna Hackett
Wormwood Summer by Kai Butler
Soulbound series by Hailey Turner
The Blind Date by Lauren Landish
Wicked Outlaw by Jocelyn Drake
Stealing From Mr Rich by Anna Hackett

Rose Red


ARCs:

Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries #6) by Martha Wells
One Day All This Will Be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky


Purchased:

Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green
Remington (The Theriot Family #1) by Silvia Violet

 

Kindle Unlimited:


Born this Way by Macy Blake
The Detective's Familiar (Familiar Mates #5) by T.J. Nichols
The Siren's Familiar (Familiar Mates #6) by T.J. Nichols
Dragon Collector (Dragon Hoard #2) by Minerva Howe
Dragon Treasure (Dragon Hoard #3) by Minerva Howe
The Last One to Let You Down by K.L. Hiers
 

Rereads:

 The Necromancer's Dance (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1) by S.J. Himes
The Necromancer's Dilemma (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2) by S.J. Himes
The Necromancer's Reckoning (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #3) by S.J. Himes
Mastering the Flames (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #4) by S.J. Himes
A History of Trouble (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #3.5) by S.J. Himes
Wolfsbane (Werewolves of Boston #1) by SJ Himes

 June TBR

Gretl 
To Be Determined

Rose Red
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian
Yes, Daddy by Johnathan Parks-Ramage 
Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur
Playing the Palace by Paul Rudnick
Hell Breaks Loose by Macy Blake
 
What are you planning to read in June?
 
and

Monday, June 7, 2021

Review: One Day All This Will Be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky


One Day All This Will Be Yours
Adrian Tchaikovsky
Release: March 2, 2021
Goodreads Amazon
The bold new work from award-winning author Adrian Tchaikovsky  - a smart, funny tale of time-travel and paradox

Welcome to the end of time. It’s a perfect day.

Nobody remembers how the Causality War started. Really, there’s no-one to remember, and nothing for them to remember if there were; that’s sort of the point. We were time warriors, and we broke time.

I was the one who ended it. Ended the fighting, tidied up the damage as much as I could.

Then I came here, to the end of it all, and gave myself a mission: to never let it happen again.

Review:
I've heard a lot of praise for Adrian Tchaikovsky over the years but had never read him before this year. The first thing that caught my attention about this novella was the dinosaur on the cover but then I read the synopsis and I was sold! And this story was so much fun!

What would you do if your time war broke time? That's what this story explores. And it was a cynical portrayal of time travel and a time war and what someone would do to end said war. It gave me some serious This is How You Lose the Time War vibes and I loved it! I laughed so much while reading this and the farm setting at the end of time was a perfect main setting for the novella! It made me want a Miffly so badly!

I want to fangirl a little bit about how this story took the time travel trope and turned it on its head! At the first of the story, I thought I knew where the story was going but I was totally wrong. I was trying to mow my lawn while listening to this and I found myself standing in the middle of my yard just listening to the story. I was enthralled from the start.

I’ve had an ARC of this book for a while but I ended up checking the audiobook out from my library which was an A+ decision on my part. The author narrates the audio and his performance increased my enjoyment of the story. It's on the shorter side and can easily be listened to in less than a day.

I can't recommend this novella enough! I can't wait to dive into Tchaikovsky's backlist later this summer!

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.


    
   5 / 5 Stars

 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Rose Red's Pride 2021 TBR

Hello! I'm back from our unplanned hiatus! School's out for the summer and do you know what time it is? It's time for Pride month! I can't believe it's already June but here we are! It's become a tradition to post what I plan to be reading for Pride and it was hard to narrow down my list of queer books I wanted to read specifically in June. Because let's be real, I read queer books all year long.

I have a lot of books I want to this month but the ones I am prioritizing reading are:


One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Y'all know that I absolutely adored Casey McQuiston's debut novel, Red, White and Royal Blue. Once I heard the premise for her next book I was immediately sold! Time traveling lesbians on the subway! One Last Stop has been compared to a modern queer retelling of Kate and Leopold and I am here for it! I've already started this one and I love it so much!


Soulstar by C.L. Polk

I have had the last book in The Kingston Cycle in my hands for months now but I'm finally in a head space where I'm ready to finish this series. I am dying to find out how this series wraps up and I can't wait to learn more about Robin and Clan Thorpe.

 

Yes, Daddy by Jonathan Parks-Rampage

I've been trying to expand my queer reading beyond romance and urban fantasy so I joined an online book club, #QueerForLit hosted by @IansReads. This month's pick is Yes, Daddy which is a queer thriller that I don't know much about besides that. I ended up requesting it on Netgalley so I'll be posting a review for it as soon as I get it read.


Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur

I read Written in the Stars last fall and I absolutely adored it! While I was reading it, I was dying to know more about Darcy's brother. I'm so excited to read his story and hope to get to it soon.


The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian

I don't even know what this book is really about but I know it's by Cat Sebastian and has a reformed highway man as a main character. And honestly, that's all I need to know to pick this book up. 

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Our school does a summer book club with our students and the book they picked for June is The Black Flamingo. I'm excited to read this book! I've heard nothing but awesome things about this story about figuring out who you are and where you belong.

 

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho 

This is an urban fantasy novel about a closeted lesbian who moves back to Malaysia and starts to hear the voice of her dead grandmother. This book was billed as a fantasy with "Grannies and Gangsters" and I was sold. This is one of my review books I need to catch up on.

An Echo in the Sorrow by Hailey Turner

This is one of my most anticipated books of the year that I am scared to read because it is going to be a punch in the feels. This is the second to last book in the series and I'm nervous because things are about to get real.

Playing the Palace by Paul Rudnick

I am a sucker for a queer royal romances after reading RWRB so I'm excited to read this one between the Prince of Wales and a New York event planner. It sounds super cute! I haven't seen much about this one but what I have seen has been positive.

What books are you planning to read in June?

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