Second third reviews: 4+ stars

Happy Friday! Today is the second instalment of my thirdly reviews, where I’ll be giving mini reviews of all the books I read in the last four months! Last week, I did all the books I rated 3 and 3.5 stars, and today are all the 4, 4.5 and 5 stars!

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe: 4 stars

I really enjoyed this graphic memoir! The art is gorgeous and the colours are fantastic, so that helped. But I also really loved reading Kobabe’s story. I think what e discussed regarding gender and sexuality would really resonate with a lot of people. As someone who is cis but has personally experimented with and explored gender, some of what Kobabe described in Gender Queer resonated with me. Overall, I definitely recommend this for people wanting to read more queer memoirs or about different gender identities and expressions.

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez: 4 stars

I enjoyed this book a lot! It follows Olga, a wedding planner for the ultra-wealthy in New York, and Prieto, her brother, a congressman representing their Brooklyn neighbourhood. It discusses a lot of politics, particularly the relationship between Puerto Rico and the US, as well as both of their relationship with their parents. I really enjoyed how gossipy and drama-filled this book felt, because I am a gossip and also nosy. I liked Olga — she’s a super interesting, well-rounded character. Prieto is also a great character, and they’re both really easy to root for. I liked the setting of their gentrified neighbourhood and how Gonzalez contrasted that with Olga’s clients and social circle. I also liked the little romance in the book. I did have a couple issues with the plot near the end, but I’ll direct you to my friend Sarah’s review for those. Overall, I highly recommend this.

Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales: 4 stars

This was just so cute and fun. It follows Darcy, a bisexual girl who runs a relationship advice line (of sorts), and Brougham, who enlists her to help him get back with his ex girlfriend. It was super fun and cute and silly. There was a lot of high school drama, but I was still entertained. I also really liked the discussions of biphobia, and even though I thought it was a little heavy-handed, I still thought it was great. It also didn’t have super dramatic, over-the-top ending, which I find happens a lot in romance, so I appreciated that.

Disfigured by Amanda Leduc: 4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this book! It’s a look at fairy tales and how they represent disability, and what that says about how we as a society view disability. It was really interesting and I really enjoyed listening to it. I thought Leduc did a ton of research into different fairy tales, and I liked how she wove those ideas in with her own personal experiences and the experiences of other disabled people. Overall, this was really good and I highly recommend it.

An Unauthorized Fan Treatise by Lauren James: 5 stars

This book,,,,, was so ridiculous and I loved it. It follows a fangirl trying to prove the existence of a relationship between two actors on a Supernatural-like tv show, and is written as a series of online posts. If you’ve spent any time in fandom, especially 2010s tumblr fandom, I think you’d love this. The language was just so spot on. You could tell it was written by someone deeply entrenched in fandom. From the comments to the matter-of-fact tone and entitlement to the messy drama. It was amazing and I inhaled it. Highly recommend if you’re looking for something ridiculous and messy.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert: 4 stars

This book was exactly what I needed to read when I read it. It was a lot of fun. It was dramatic and messy. It had a great setting — a run-down yet dazzling theatre in 1920s New York — and amazing characters. The writing was so good. It was just one of those books that was so much fun and so enchanting to read.

Yerba Buena by Nina Lacour: 4 stars

I really enjoyed this book but boy, was it not what I was expecting. I knew this was Lacour’s first adult book, and I know she tends to explore darker themes, but this was still much bleaker than I had anticipated going in. So much so that the first 20ish% actually affected my mood and made me really sad for a couple of days. So just know going in that it is fairly dark, especially at the beginning.

That aside, I did really enjoy this book. I love Lacour’s writing, and it really shone in this book. Both main characters were fantastic and I really enjoyed reading about them. I loved their relationship and the way it developed. Despite finding this really dark, I had a really great time reading it. Highly recommend.

People we Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry: 4.5 stars

There’s just something about Emily Henry’s romance novels that really work for me. I didn’t love this one as much as Beach Read, but I really enjoyed it. I liked Poppy and Alex and thought their dynamic was really cute. The friends to lovers aspect was really good too. This book was just a lot of fun to read, and felt like the epitome of summer in a lot of ways. It managed to be heartfelt without being too sad, and it made me genuinely laugh out loud. Overall, highly recommend.

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu: 5 stars

This book reminded me how good books are supposed to be. It’s a series of loosely interconnected short stories that follow society after a devastating pandemic. The pandemic was not airborne, so it didn’t feel covid-y at all. The short stories were amazing. From a euthanasia rollercoaster to a blackhole in someone’s brain to a Japanese funeral. It was dystopian and sci-fi and literary all at once. They were so varied and diverse, and just so good. I’m having a hard time putting into words why I loved this book so much. It was just one of those books.

So there are all the books I really enjoyed reading these past few months! Have you read any of these? What did you think? What was your favourite book you read over the summer? Let me know!

Ally xx

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7 thoughts on “Second third reviews: 4+ stars

  1. aw, thank you for linking to my review! I’m glad you overall enjoyed Olga Dies Dreaming though 🙂 I have a copy of Perfect on Paper and am excited to pick it up! also looking forward to Yerba Buena and People We Meet on Vacation. great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

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