Miscellaneous

Top Ten Tuesday | Favourite Books with Fewer Than 1,000 Ratings on Goodreads

First, a brief check-in: I am still alive! I would say I haven’t had much time for this blog lately, but it might be more accurate to say I haven’t had the energy and the capacity. I have to read A LOT for university, including many tedious articles and books that I don’t even enjoy, and also my brother has moved out and he is taking the PS4 with him in March, which means I have to play as much as I can before that happens. I still have achievements to get in The Witcher: Wild Hunt, and want to replay at least some of Fallout 4 because I miss Preston and Nick.

And now on to the main topic of this post!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s theme is:

February 19: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

I actually read a lot of indie books that have way less than 2,000 Ratings, so this isn’t challenging at all. In fact, all ten of these books have less than 1,000 Ratings, which is just a crime, honestly.

Also: you wouldn’t know it from this list, but I do read books with allocishet protagonists. Sometimes.

🏳️‍🌈 LGBTQAI+ representation
💐 POC/Indigenous representation
🌱 Disabled or Mental Health representation

Life Within Parole: Volume 2 (Chameleon Moon Short Stories)🏳️‍🌈💐🌱 1) Life Within Parole: Volume 2 
Number of ratings: 8

Yes, yes, we all know I adore Chameleon Moon (which also has less than 400 ratings), but no, I will never shut up about it. And honestly, Life Within Parole: Volume 2 is my favourite book in the universe so far. It’s a collection of short stories with all my favourite characters, and it has TONS of polyamory. I mean, obviously the main books have polyamory too, but this collection has stories about how various pairs in the poly-clusters first met, and it’s wholesome and amazing.

Representation includes: a fully LGBTQAI+ cast (including transgender, nonbinary and asexual rep), characters of colour, mental health rep (mainly anxiety and PTSD, + an autistic character), as well as polyamory.

Out of Salem🏳️‍🌈💐 2) Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve (review here)
Number of ratings: 9

Do you want a YA book about nonbinary zombies and lesbian Muslim werewolves? Try Out of Salem, by a nonbinary author. This book had fascinating world-building that was painfully realistic at times, despite the fact that it’s full of imaginary creatures. I admit that I was a little let down by the ending, mostly because it’s very open, and as far as I know this isn’t a first book in a series – but I still hope I’ll find out I’m wrong about that.

Representation: nonbinary/genderfluid protagonist, lesbian Muslim protagonist, nonbinary author, lesbian side character, multiple transgender side characters, Black Jewish side character

How Saeter Robbed the Underworld🏳️‍🌈 3) How Saeter Robbed the Underworld by Meredith Katz
Number of ratings: 21

I could have put any of Meredith Katz’s work that I read here: The Cybernetic Tea Shop and Smoke Signals are also on my favourites list, and they also have less than 1,000 ratings. How Saeter Robbed the Underworld is inspired by Norse mythology, and it’s about a gay male couple telling their adopted children the story of another mythical gay male couple. (Or is it?) It’s a wonderful story with queer mains, mythology and family feels.

Representation: several gay male protagonists

 

Green Toes🏳️‍🌈 4) Green Toes by Avery Flinders
Number of ratings: 30

I read this a while ago, but I actually took a break from writing this post to re-read it – it’s only 30 pages, after all. Green Toes is a love story between a bisexual woman and a nonbinary love interest – it is mostly realistic, with a pinch of gardening magic, and it’s guaranteed to make you crave fresh vegetables. Seriously.

Representation: bisexual woman MC and nonbinary love interest, nonbinary author

The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist🏳️‍🌈 5) The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by S.L. Huang
Number of ratings: 76

“Hey, I wonder what the public would say if they knew two queer scientists were the ones trying to explain human sexuality to the much-romanticized atargati. There’s something else they’ll probably leave out of the book.”

Remember that time when Disney made me forget that original Little Mermaid did NOT have a happy ending, and then this short story completely blindsided me despite all the clues suggesting it’s a dark retelling? Yeah, that happened. And yet, I absolutely loved this story about a queer marine biologist and a nonbinary mermaid.

Representation: lesbian MC, nonbinary “love interest” (one-gender species), nonbinary minor side character

Failure to Communicate (Xandri Corelel #1)🏳️‍🌈🌱 6) Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby
Number of ratings: 91

So when is book 3 coming out? Failure to Communicate is one of my favourite sci-fi books, with an incredibly loveable autistic bisexual polyamorous protagonist, incredibly loveable potential love interests, and just, wonderful aliens, worldbuilding, and discussions of morality. Please read it because the fact that it has less than 100 ratings makes me really sad.

Representation: autistic bisexual protagonist (ownvoices for autism, I’m not sure about bisexuality), multiple queer side characters

Chasing Stars🏳️‍🌈 7) Chasing Stars by Alex K. Thorne
Number of ratings: 242

I’m just going to let my Goodreads review speak for itself here:

Aliens / superheroes, secret identity ✓
Sapphic romance ✓
Boss/employee age difference romance ✓
Fake dating and PINING ✓
One of them is a single parent ✓
Supportive and positive adoptive families (multiple!) ✓
Close female friendship ✓
LI has complex relationship with both identities ✓
LI’s kid adores MC’s superhero identity ✓
Queer side characters ✓
Complex plot with both romance and mystery/action ✓
Alien having to hide non-human traits, failing ✓
Addresses social issues like racism ✓

Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live🏳️‍🌈 ✡️ 8) Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live by Sacha Lamb
Number of ratings: 317

Sacha Lamb’s entire brand is gay Jewish trans boys and magic, and I love it. This author unfortunately has only two published works, this book and a short story in a queer anthology, but I was subscribed to their Patreon for a while so I got to read a few other unpublished stories and they are all so good.

Note: despite the title, no queer people die in this book.

Representation: gay Jewish trans boy protagonists in a romance

The Queen of Ieflaria (Tales of Inthya Book 1)🏳️‍🌈 9) The Queen of Ieflaria by Effie Calvin
Number of ratings: 418

This is another book you might have seen me squee about. Effie Calvin’s debut is a fantasy romance between two pansexual princesses that you should definitely read if you like sapphic fantasy. It has a sequel in the same world with more awesome worldbulding, but I shamefully still haven’t read it.

Representation: pansexual princesses (word not used), sapphic romance

A Little Familiar (Familiar Spirits, #1)🏳️‍🌈 10) A Little Familiar by R. Cooper
Number of ratings:

The last book on this list is a romance between a gay male witch and a genderfluid love interest (using he pronouns). The writing was absolutely wonderful and magical, and I can’t wait to pick up more of this author’s work. So much mutual pining!

That’s all for now. Have you read any of these books? Do you have any favourites to recommend that are underrated in your opinion?

~ Alexa

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Miscellaneous

My January Book Haul

Remember when I said I’m cutting back on buying books in 2019? … Hey, I’m still going to do that! But it’s… a gradual process, and my hand slipped a few times in January. To be fair, most of these were on sale – and almost all of them were bought because they fit a rarer prompt in one of my yearly challenges. (Also, January was the last month I got scholarship money from the university, so I guess that motivated me.)

Basically just come look at these beautiful books with me.

I bought a total of 8 books in January, and I have already read 2 of those, so I’d say I’m doing relatively well so far. I hope I can keep this up for the rest of the year.

The ones I’ve already read are In Ageless Sleep and Skeleton Man, both for the Cornerfolds retelling challenge. I bought A Lake of Feathers and Moonbeams for the retelling challenge as well, and I’m super hyped about it since it has polyamory, and such a beautiful cover that I’m contemplating getting a physical copy if I end up enjoying it.

Widdershins and Hexbreaker are both M/M historical urban fantasy by the same (nonbinary) author – Widdershins has been on my TBR for a long time, and when I discovered Hexbreaker, which sounded awesome, I decided to go “what the hell” and bought both. I may regret this eventually because they are both first ones in a series, one of which is quite long, so if I end up loving them that’s going to be a longer commitment.

The Gospel of Loki is the only one of these that I bought a paperback of instead of an eBook, mostly because holy shit it’s beautiful. As you can guess, it’s a Norse mythology retelling. I love Loki as a character and I love the different ways people interpret him/them, so I’m curious how this one goes – I do hope it includes the part where Loki is obviously queer as hell, but we’ll see.

This is where I admit that I own like 4 books like Chelsea M. Cameron and haven’t read any of them. Which is kind of dangerous, because if I end up not liking the writing then I’ll be stuck with 3 others – but I’ve heard really good things about both Marriage of Unconvenience and the Violet Hills series, so I doubt that will happen. Gimme all the light lesbian romcoms please.

I haven’t read many stories with djinns, but I want to – so I imagine an anthology is a good place to start. The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories also includes Nnedi Okorafor, whose work I love, so bonus points.

Have you read any of these? What do you think?

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

TTT: Recent Additions to My TBR

Yes, yes, we all know how this goes, I own 400 unread books and my not-owned TBR is also over 500 books. Occasionally I try to go through it and delete the ones I’m not interested in anymore, but most of the time I decide to keep them, because hey, maybe one day I’ll get around to reading them.

January 29: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List

I don’t usually participate in Top Ten Tuesday, mostly because I’m horrible at keeping myself to schedules or planning ahead – but I happen to be at home today, so I would love to share 10 of my recent TBR additions in this post.

(Note: I added a couple of books based on Louise’s post,  so technically those are the most recent, but I’m not counting them here because I don’t want any repeats. Go check out that post if you’re interested!)

🏳️‍🌈 = LGBTQAI+ representation
💐 = POC/Indigenous representation
🌱 = Disabled or Mental Health representation
✡️ = Jewish main

1)💐 Love From A To Z by S.K. Ali (May 2019)

I’ll be honest, I don’t usually read contemporary romances so this is kind of on the bottom of my TBR, but I just couldn’t NOT add it. That cover is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s a romance with a Muslim girl, and a boy with multiple sclerosis.

2)🌱 Please Don’t Hug Me by Kay Kerr (2019)

I added this mainly because I was intrigued by the title. I have an ambivalent relationship with hugs, but I am eager to read a book about a “neuro-diverse and socially awkward” student, Erin.

3) 🏳️‍🌈 Behind These Doors by Jude Lucens

Brace yourself for 3 books I added based on Corey’s recent “best of 2018” posts. I always want to read more books with polyamory (especially books where it’s actual polyamory, not “just” a threesome hookup), and I’ve also been meaning to read more historical fiction, so this book definitely caught my eye.

4) 🏳️‍🌈✡️ The Art of Three by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese

Another polyamory novel (M/M/F this time) with a gorgeous cover that I’m excited to read. There also seems to be an age gap? (Note: both authors are queer and one is nonbinary.)

5)🏳️‍🌈✡️ All or Nothing by Rose Lerner

This one is also a historical romance novel with open polyamory, AND it’s a regency romance, so bonus points for that.

6) Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange

Pride and Prejudice is a beloved story of mine, and I am curious about this retelling from Darcy’s perspective. I especially like that it’s in diary format, which seems easier to read.

7) Asexuality and Sexual Normativity: An Anthology edited by Mark Carrigan, Kristina Gupta and Todd G. Morrison

Honestly, I’m horrible with nonfiction books, but this one is relatively short and I have never really read one that is focused specifically on asexuality, so I’m curious to pick it up.

8) Angel Mage by Garth Nix (October 2019)

Okay, so I’m literally always on the lookout for angel novels that don’t go too deeply into the religious aspects, but also aren’t cheesy YA straight romances. Basically I like a very specific genre of angel novels and I haven’t read many that haven’t disappointed me, but maybe this one won’t?

9)💐 Just South of Home by Karen Strong (May 2019)

I’m going to be honest, I added this 99% because of the cover. How do middle grade novels ALWAYS have the best covers? It just makes me feel good to look at them. The blurb does sound interesting though, so I’d love to read this if I can get my hands on it.

10) Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch (July 2019)

Another nonfiction book, specifically about internet language. I’m interested in sociolinguistics even though I’m horrible at it, so this should be good.

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

New Years Resolutions Book Tag

We might be halfway through the month, but it’s still January, so “New Year” posts still count – right? In any case, I saw this book tag over on Peridot Rose Books and found it to be a really fun way to make even more reading goals for the year.

Obviously I have tons of examples for most of these, but I’ll try really hard to pick only one.

An author you’d like to read (that you’ve never read before)

  • Jordan L. Hawk. I’ve had my eyes on Widdershins for a while, because it’s M/M historical fantasy that a lot of people praise, so recently I bought the first book, and also Hexbreaker, the first book in the author’s other series. Hawk is also nonbinary, which is a bonus point!

A book you’d like to read

  • Kindred by Octavia Butler

A classic you’d like to read

  • I have a list of 38 classics that I want to read, although I’ll allow myself to DNF them more easily than my other books. But to pick just one, let’s say The Island of Dr Moreau by H.G. Wells.

A book you’d like to reread

  • I really, really want to re-read The Bartimaeus Sequence, starting with The Amulet of Samarkand.

A book you’ve had for ages and want to read

  • Too many. Let’s say Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody.

A big book you’d like to read

  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

An author you’ve previously read and want to read more of

  • Claudie Arseneault. I’ve read Baker Thief but I really want to read City of Strife.

A book you got for Christmas and would like to read

  • Uhh, technically I didn’t “get” any books for Christmas, I just bought myself books in December that were equally for Christmas and my birthday, but – Bleeding Earth by Kaitlin Ward.

A series you want to read (start to finish)

  • Honestly, I can’t think of any. All the ones I have are either ones I started, or the last books won’t be out this year.

A series you want to finish (that you’ve already started)

  • Again, not sure what series I have where the last book is already out and I plan to actually finish it. Crooked Kingdom, I guess, but apparently even that is getting another book.

Do you set reading goals? If so, how many books do you want to read in 2019?

  • I set the Goodreads challenge to 150 books for now but I will most likely increase it if I reach it too soon.

Any other reading goals?

Boy, do I!

  • Around the Year in 52 books (52 prompts, I plan to double it so 104)
  • Popsugar Reading Challenge (50 prompts)
  • Retellings Challenge (25 prompts)
  • #BeatTheBacklist Bingo (80 prompts – yes, you read that right)
  • A personal list of 47 books I own and 38 classics available online.

Of course, keep in mind that I’m usually able to use one book for several of these at once.

Tell me about your reading goals for 2019!

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

My Favourite Books of 2018

2018 is over, so time for a quick yearly wrap-up! By reading lots of short stories and some graphic novels in December, I managed to reach my goal of 300 books and a littl over 50,000 pages.

If 300 books seem like a lot, then remember that 1) most of these were under 200 pages (just look at my average length) – some people got 50,000 pages with half as many books!, and 2) I was unemployed and at home for most of the year. I’ll have much less time to read in 2019, because university and life troubles. (No, my year didn’t start too well, why do you ask? But that’s another story.)

stats

And now, have a collage of my absolute favourite books this year:

Key:

🏳️‍🌈 = LGBTQAI+ representation
💐 = POC/Indigenous representation
🌱 = Disabled or Mental Health representation

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a book about siblings and family with an unexpected twist. I adored this one, but make sure you have tissues ready.

🏳️‍🌈💐 Everything Leads to You is a fluffy, artsy F/F romance with loveable characters and lots of great scenes about movie set-planning. Also, a mystery.

🏳️‍🌈🌱 A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is a sci-fi book with a found family, and just as good as everyone says it is.

🏳️‍🌈 A Little Familiar is a magical romance between a gay witch and a nonbinary witch with beautiful writing and lots of pining.

🏳️‍🌈💐🌱 The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is historical fiction between a bisexual white boy and a biracial boy, with an aroace side character. It gets kind of dark at some points, but it’s a really funny read and I relate to the main character in a lot of ways.

🏳️‍🌈 The Cybernetic Teashop is a F/F read between a human and an android/robot where both of them are ace.

🏳️‍🌈💐🌱The Radical Element is a historical fiction anthology with all-female protagonists where the quality of writing is through the roof. Seriously.

Josie’s Coat is a sci-fi retelling of a Bible story, which isn’t something you see every day.

🏳️‍🌈💐🌱 The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase) has a bi/pan protagonist with my favourite genderfluid love interest, and I LOVE it.

💐 Akata Witch is a unique Nigerian fantasy with a tween protagonist, and I can’t wait to finally read the sequel this year.

🌱 All Systems Red (and the entire Murderbot series) is one of my favourite sci-fi reads, officially. I re-read all four novellas in one day on January 1st to kick off the year on the right note, and now I need MORE.

🏳️‍🌈🌱Failure to Communicate is a sci-fi with an autistic bisexual protagonist, with eventual polyamory later in the series. Seriously, when is book 3 coming out?

Sky in the Deep also had amazing sibling and family relationships, with a hopeful/positive ending, which was a nice surprise.

🏳️‍🌈Magic, Murder & Mistletoe is a quick and fun holiday F/F story with witches/sorcerers and a murder mystery.

💐 A Duke by Default is a contemporary romance novel, which I rarely read, but this had my absolute favourite dynamic, and also a Black heroine with a Scottish love interest.

🏳️‍🌈 The Queen of Ieflaria is F/F fantasy with pansexual princesses, talking dragons, and more!

🏳️‍🌈 Chasing Stars is another F/F romance with aliens, superheroes, fake dating, and all my favourite tropes in one place.

🏳️‍🌈 How Saeter Robbed the Underworld is M/M fantasy with (adopted) family feels – and I tried not to put the same author here several times, but people, Meredith Katz is GOOD.

🏳️‍🌈💐🌱 By now you probably know that anything Chameloon Moon-related is bound to be my favourite, but Life Within Parole 2 might just be my favourite collection in the universe – SO MUCH polyamory.

How was your 2018? Did you have many favourites this year?

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

BOOK TAG | Birthday Book Tag

1.) Count Your Birthday Along Your Bookshelf and Then Subtract Your Birth Month

I went to my LGBT shelf, counted 15, then substracted 12 – and so, I landed on… Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour?! Definitely a fitting title. Maybe it was meant to be. It has one of the best covers, and I love touching it.

Everything Leads to You

2.) If You Could Spend Your Birthday With Any Fictional Character Who Would It Be and Why?

Okay, maybe this doesn’t count, but I would actually love to spend my birthday with my own original characters? I have one of them in particular, Alicia who is special to my heart and I love inserting her into new worlds, so… yeah.

Alternatively, it might be fun to meet Magnus and Alex. I’ve never eaten falafel before and I genuinely don’t know what it’s made of, but they make it sound so good. And it would be nice to bond over being bi/pan and enby.

I’m reading The Ship of the Dead right now so here is a little fierrochase smooch

(art by martsy-m)

3.) Find A Book That Takes Place In The Season You Were Born In

I suppose any Christmas book would work for this, but I’m not really a big fan of winter. I read The Tenderness of Wolves forever ago, and I barely remember any of it, but I’ve been meaning tore-read it… and it definitely takes place in winter.

Gyengéd, mint a farkasok

4.) Find A Book That Is The Color of Your Birthstone

The three birthstones for December are tanzanite, zircon and turquoise, all different shades of blue. Another book I’ve been meaning to re-read is The Amulet of Samarkand, which is the first in a trilogy I used to love by Jonathan Stroud.

A szamarkandi amulett  (Bartimaeus trilógia #1)

5.) Pick A Book Set In A Time Period, World, or Country You Would Like To Have Been Born In

I definitely wouldn’t like to have been born in most fantasy worlds, seeing what all those protagonists go through. I also wouldn’t like to visit the past, thank you very much! The present is bad enough for queer people.

I suppose I’d like to live in the world of Failure to Communicate, because there are many cool alien– no, nevermind, I just remembered what they did to literally all mentally ill people. Man, this question is tougher than I thought. I love the island setting of If I Loved You Less, but let’s be real, I’m not made for an outdoorsy smalltown life?

Going to Scotland and falling in love with a hot Duke sounds pretty awesome though, and Portia keeps all the advantages of the internet and social media, so I think I found my choice in A Duke by Default!

A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals #2)

I would love to look back on this in a year and see if anything changed. Happy birthday to me!

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

TTT: Siblings & Families

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Artsy Girl. The topic this week is: Platonic Relationships in Books.

I love a good sibling relationship in a book, which is why I actually have a tag on Goodreads called “siblings I love”. That shelf currently has 20 books on it, so I’m going to pick 10 of those to gush about – including some parent-child relationships and friendships as well!

siblings1.png

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler: Listen. This book is all about the life of three siblings and their parents with an unexpected twist, and it absolutely WILL make you sob. I just want them to be reunited and happy together. It’s true that, as my brother grew larger, he also grew dangerous, same as my sister. But they’re still ours and we want them back.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young: I would say Sky in the Deep is mainly about two communities learning to work together, but it is also about siblings – there are both blood siblings and adopted/found siblings, and several different types of sibling dynamics that I really loved.

Sadie by Courtney Summers: This is a mystery/thriller about a girl who goes on a revenge quest to find the murderer of her sister. It’s a relatively quick read because you’ll just need to know what happens next.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: One of my favourite books, a hilarious historical romance novel with a bisexual lead, a biracial love interest, and the lead’s aroace sister. Monty is one of the literary characters I relate to the most, which rarely happens, and the sibling relationship was relatable as well.

Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour: While the protagonist’s brother doesn’t often appear in the book directly, his request for his sister is central to the plot, and what little we see of him is wholesome. This book also has an amazing friendship between the main character and her female best friend, so it’s twice as good.

siblings2

The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden: This is a middle-grade book about a girl who has to help her mother raise her little siblings. It’s also about bravery, octopi and getting out of abusive relationships.

Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth: Wholesome sibling relationships between three members of the main cast, and also the children of superheroes who grew up in the shadow of their parents. Also, everyone is queer.

Not Your Sidekick / Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee: This series doesn’t only have bi, trans and aroace leads, but also great sibling interactions.

Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault: Both mains in Baker Thief have siblings who feature in the story, and the main plot actually revolves around one of them wanting to save his/her sister, among others.

In The Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Board: The love interest in this book is a single parent of two adopted children, and familial love and loyalty is a central theme of the book, so there are great sibling scenes and also parent/child platonic scenes.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

The End of the Year Book Tag

Hello, yes, November is still kicking my ass. I fear I won’t be able to finish the 4-5 books I still want to read for Mythoton, and I also barely have time to read blog posts by my bookish friends, which really, really sucks!

Still, I saw Destiny doing this book tag and decided to check in with you all about my year between two classes.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Oh boy. I have two books that I need to finish because I’m supposed to have reviews up for them on the 1st and 8th of December respectively, and I’ll still need to read a sapphic book + write a review of it for the 9th of December. I haven’t chosen this third book yet, but I might use the book club pick for the Sapphic Book Club, to kill two birds with one stone. Also, 3 more ARCs with publishing dates in 2018.

There are of course plenty more I would like to finish before the end of the year, but these are the ones with deadlines that I really shouldn’t leave for next year.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

I don’t really pay attention to the seasons while reading, to be honest. Although I was sent an ARC of The Ghosts of Halloween by Ceillie Simkiss, which is definitely an autumn read, and I want to finish it this year even if Halloween is over.

The Ghosts of Halloween: A Learning Curves Short Story Collection (Learning Curves 1.5)

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Yes and no? Daughter of the Sun came out this November, but I haven’t had the time to buy it yet. I admit I’m horrible at keeping up with release dates since I rarely have money to pre-order books, so I’m not sure what is coming out in December, and I likely wouldn’t buy them before next year.

Daughter of the Sun (Tales of Inthya, #2)

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Honestly, there are a few sequels that I wanted to read this year, but I think I’ll be postponing them for next year – both for lack of time, and because some of them fit prompts on my 2019 challenges. So, what I really want to finish before the end of the year are all my ARCs up until 2019 January.

Polyamorous: Living and Loving More

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

Hah, I’m not really sure, unless I somehow find the time to read The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. But… Dear Earthling sounds hella cute.

Dear Earthling: Cosmic Correspondent

Have you already started making reading plans for 2019?

Definitely! I made 3 different reading challenge lists: Around the Year in 52 Books, a personal challenge, and the Popsugar Reading Challenge. I’m hoping to finish everything on the first two lists, and hopefully a lot of Popsugar as well!

How is everyone else doing? I would love to hear from all of you!

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous · Readathon/Bingo

Book Tag | The Greek Gods

November is all about Mythoton, so this Greek Gods Book Tag will be a great way to link books to Greek gods, and also maybe update you on my progress. The tag was created by Zuky, and I picked it up from Louise.

I started out #Mythoton strong in the first couple of days, but unfortunately university hasn’t left me much time for anything else, and then I started catching up on Doctor Who, so I haven’t been making as much progress as I wanted – but I’d say I’m still doing well, considering.

Zeus: King of the Gods – your favourite book

Life Within Parole: Volume 2 (Chameleon Moon Short Stories)

Chameleon Moon is one of my favourite books, and the new short story collection that recently came out has so much polyamorous goodness that I simply have to list it here. It sure deserves a crown. Also, look at that cover.

Hera: Queen of the Gods – a badass female character

The Radical Element (A Tyranny of Petticoats, #2)

There are so many good answers for this, it’s difficult to pick one. So I’m going to pick 12 of them. The Radical Element was one of the best anthologies I’ve read this year, and it had twelve beautifully well-written historical fiction stories all with badass female protagonists.

Janus: God of Beginnings – your favourite debut(s)

The Queen of Ieflaria (Tales of Inthya, #1)

Definitely The Queen of Ieflaria. I can’t talk enough about how much I love this F/F fantasy book with pansexual princesses. And talking dragons.

Athena: Goddess of Wisdom – your favourite non-fiction book

Polyamorous: Living and Loving More

I… don’t think I really have one? I rarely enjoy reading non-fiction books. I’m really excited to read Polyamorous, though.

Aphrodite: Goddess of Love – a book you adore and recommend everyone read (other than your favourite book!)

Everything Leads to You

I actually used this book for the Aphrodite prompt in Mythoton as well, because damn, it has a beautiful cover – and it was amazing. It had sapphic love, artsy stuff, character development, addressing real issues, and just a wonderful writing style. It’s one of my new favourite books and everyone should read it.

Hades: God of the Underworld – an evil book you wish didn’t exist

Thirteen Reasons Why

There are exactly 3 books that I rated 1 star on Goodreads, so any of them would qualify, I think. Definitely this one, though, for a lot of reasons.

Hypnos: God of Sleep – a book so boring you almost fell asleep

The Energy Between Us (Lesbian Short Story Series, #1)

Listen, if it’s 47 pages and I can’t make it through it then something is definitely wrong somewhere.

Hermes: Messenger of the Gods – a book you sped through

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)

It’s not a book tag without recommending one of my favourite sci-fi series.

Poseidon: God of the Sea & Earthquakes – a beautiful & ground-breaking book

Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)

Akata Witch was one of the most imaginative fantasies I have ever read. I can’t wait to pick up the sequel, although I’m not sure I’ll get to it this year – there’s just so many great books to read!

Apollo: God of the Arts – a beautiful book cover

Birthing Orion

Birthing Orion is a poetry collection with sapphic goddesses, galaxies, and beautiful illustrations.

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

My Favourite Visual Novels

Hey, visual novels are still reading! That’s why they’re called visual novels, duh. Only they also have beautiful art AND you can make choices that affect the story, so really, they are objectively the best things ever. I have played/read many visual novels that caught my interest, so in this post I would like to share my favourites with you.

All of these have a free version available, although some have paid extra content, or you can choose to pay for them if you can afford it. The itch.io ones all have an option to pay what you want and/or tip the creator, so consider doing that if you have enjoyed the game!

Get ready for magic, 1920s speakeasies, regency romances, androids, post-apocalyptic stories, and queer characters as well!

Note #1: these are not in order of my enjoyment. If they were, Your Dry Delight would be way higher.

Note #2: I am happy to give everyone extra specific recs on which stories/routes are my favourite. Just leave a comment about the game that interests you!

🏳️‍🌈 1. Lovestruck (multiple stories)

Protagonist: always bisexual female, looks not customizable, name customizable
Love interests: over 50 love interests in various stories, mostly male, at least one female/story, and a couple of nonbinary LIs
Genre: various genres, including paranormal, sci-fi, portal fantasy, Greek mythology, 1920s speakeasies, etc.
Updates: regular, 3 times a week
Paid content: yes, optional (can play daily games or occasional weekend events for currency)

I wrote an entire post on Lovestruck before – it is still one of my favourite visual novel apps, although lately I’ve been having some issues with the plotlines… Regardless, it has MANY stories all in one place with many love interests, so everyone is sure to find something they like. Unfortunately, the protagonist can only be female, but all protagonists are canonically bi and there are many queer love interests. Also, many queer side characters who are not romanceable, including nonbinary and aroace characters.

🏳️‍🌈 2. Choices: Stories You Play (multiple stories)

Protagonist: mostly female, but some stories have male options as well. looks and names are both customizable.
Love interests: both male and female options, although more male ones than female. all love interests can be pursued regardless of the MC’s gender. some stories can be played without choosing a romantic partner, but not all.
Genre: various genres, e.g. fantasy, mystery, horror, magical school, historical
Updates: regular, three times a week
Paid content: yes, optional (can watch ads or play new chapters for currency)

Choices has let me down many times, both with its storylines and its heavy reliance on paid content that is supposed to be extra – and yet, it keeps drawing me back in, because sometimes it’s just that good. My new favourite story takes place in a magical school, with both female and male protagonists, bi love interests, and an aroace side character! You can romance several characters at once, although usually you have to choose one towards the end. One of the stories, Perfect Match has a pretty solid polyamorous cluster though if you choose that way, so I’m hoping I won’t have to choose.

🏳️‍🌈 3. The Arcana

Protagonist: not visible, customizable name and pronouns (she, he or they)
Love interests: currently one male, one female and one nonbinary (he/him pronouns) love interest. two male and one female side character may become LIs in the future.
Genre: fantasy with magicians, Tarot cards, ghosts and mystery
Updates: regular, about once a month
Paid content: yes, optional (can play daily games for currency)

The art in this game is just wonderful, and I’m in love with all three love interests. I also loved how the story became more and more complicated and mysterious, and it’s as much of a mystery as a romance, really. Also, there are multiple nonbinary side characters with they/them pronouns, and two minigames that you can play every day to get coins and extra content. (Note: the fandom has such beautiful art, but also its fair share of discourse, so proceed with caution.)

4. Aloners

Protagonist: human female, not visible, name customizable
Love interests: one human male companion who can be either your friend or romantic partner
Genre: Post-apocalyptic
Updates: complete game
Paid content: base version is free, the paid version has new backgrounds and an extra chapter

“One day, the last man on Earth came home to find a girl sleeping in his bed.”

This is a post-apocalyptic story with one of my favourite male companions ever. His name is Trash, he is funny, sarcastic, loveable, and also incredibly tragic if you think more than two seconds about what he went through. The base version is free, while the Redux version is 5 USD and has an extra chapter that is absolutely worth it.

5. This My Soul

Protagonist: female, not customizable
Love interests: one male android companion who can become your friend, romantic companion or neither
Genre: sci-fi
Updates: complete game
Paid content: none

You are stuck on a spaceship with only an android to keep you company. Will you treat him as a servant like most people would, or will you form a relationship with him? (Please romance the android, I love him so much. Or at the very least be nice to him, or I’ll eat you.)

6. The Blind Griffin

Protagonist: Chinese female, not customizable
Love interests: three male love interests
Genre: 1920s, magicians
Updates: complete game
Paid content: none

This magical speakeasy with a Chinese girl protagonist, three awesome male love interests and a transgender side character stole my heart. I have a weakness for speakeasies and magicians, okay? Beware of the bad endings though, they are pretty tragic.

🏳️‍🌈 7. Your Dry Delight

Protagonist: male, not customizable
Love interests: two male love interests, polyamorous ending
Genre: 1920s, detectives and speakeasies
Updates: complete game
Paid content: none

This is one of the only exclusively M/M visual novels I’ve played, and it was SO GOOD. All three characters feel real, and they have amazingly snarky personalities. You play a detective, and your two love interets are your boss/partner and a totally-not-a-gangster. The interesting thing is that the two routes join together in a polyamorous ending, which was just amazing and more games should be like that.

8. Halloween Otome + Valentines Otome

Protagonist: female, non-customizable in both cases
Love interests: 3-3 male love interest
Genre: uhh, holiday romance, I guess? celebrities? fake marriage trope?
Updates: complete game
Paid content: none

I’m listing these together because the second one is a sequel, with cameos from the first one if you play them both. They are pretty standard dating sims, but still a lot of fun, with unique love interests. The first one takes place at a Halloween masquerade where you slowly get to know your love interests both in and out of a mask, and the second one has fake dating! Seriously, do you need more?! They also have some puzzles and stats that make the game more interesting, and sometimes a little difficult. (Okay, but… ouch, Erik. That sweater.) Unfortunately, the second game does have a group of annoying side characters that feel like walking advertisements for an upcoming game, and they kind of ruined the enjoyment for me – but Daire’s and Zane’s routes are still worth it. Just make sure to have a walkthrough nearby.

🏳️‍🌈 9. Loan Wolf

Protagonist: werewolf woman, non-customizable
Love interests: two female love interests, a nymph and a succubus
Genre: paranormal romance
Updates: complete game
Paid content: none

This is a kind of short, but adorable F/F paranormal romance with two love interests and beautiful art. Also, funny IT shenanigans. I definitely recommend it just for those.

10. The Lady’s Choice

Protagonist: female, not customizable
Love interests: three male love interests
Genre: Regency romance
Updates: complete game
Paid content: none

Scandal! Gossip! Proper introductions and matchmaking! Okay, so I kind of have a thing for Regency romances, and The Lady’s Choice is one that has three unique, interesting love interests, all with their own secrets and plot twists. I enjoyed all three routes, although Isaac Stanton is probably my favourite.

(Honorary mention to The Crossroads by the same artist.)

🏳️‍🌈 11. Love on the Peacock Express

Protagonist: female, not customizable
Love interests: three female love interests
Genre: mystery and romance
Updates: complete game
Paid content: none

You play a young detective woman on a train who meets three older women, each shrouded in their own mystery. I believe this game was made partly in response to Dream Daddy, or at least around that time, and all three of the love interests are indeed mothers. It is a fun game with mystery as well as romance elements.

🏳️‍🌈12. When The Night Comes

Protagonist: not visible, gender customizable (he, she or they pronouns)
Love interests: four male, one female and one nonbinary love interest. two polyamorous routes planned
Genre: fantasy/supernatural
Updates: only one chapter out yet
Paid content: none so far

Listen. This game had me at polyamorous routes. And also at the wonderful character designs. I was already in love with three characters when I started, but by the time I finished Chapter One, I loved all of them, so now I’m a little lost when it comes to choosing who to romance. You play a hunter about to investigate a murder mystery…

Képernyőkép🏳️‍🌈 13. Stellamore

Protagonist: not visible, gender customizable (she, he or they pronouns)
Love interests: both male and female love interests
Genre: fantasy
Updates: only the prologue is out yet
Paid content: none yet

In the prologue, you play as a person with visions who arrives at a multi-national talk with many cultures and species in one place. Since not much of the game is out yet, I can’t say much more, but so far I’m really intrigued by all the characters, and excited about being able to choose gender and pronouns.

 

Have you played any of these? What are some of your favourite visual novels (especially queer ones)? Feel free to recommend me new ones I should try!

~ Alexa