Tag Archives: LGBT Young Adult Novel

Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Published: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: LGBTQ, Romance, Young Adult, Highschool
Length: 325 pages, ebook
Characters: Simon Spier, Martin Addison, Abby Suso, Nick Eisner, Leah Burke

When Simon Spier’s emails to his secret pen pal, Blue, fall into the wrong hands, he is forced to play wingman to his blackmailer

In a usual high school setting where everything is supposed to be a big ol’ cliche, the author tried her best to make this a “not another high school”story but it is a “high school story” so inevitably, it totally reads like one. Only the focus of this one involves the forced “coming out” from the closet of our main protagonist Simon and the not so big reveal of his penpal, Blue.

I liked this one mainly because it’s an easy read. It’s predictable, but good predictable. I loved Simon’s character. He’s got a very fun family and friends who are surprisingly all so supportive of him.

Althought I didn’t find anything out of the box about the whole thing, I do loved its consistency. This could end up all wrong what with the whole blackmailing thing and the whole e-mail thingy between Simon and Blue merely keeping the story afloat but the author was able to maintain the excitement until the end. I mean, I actually guessed Blue’s identity midway through the book but I enjoyed the whole works of the author trying to deviate its readers from its obvious clues. I loved the dynamics between his friends but they’re just too ideal for me. I mean, I loved that it doesn’t have this despicable evil person for a villain and that’s what maybe I was looking for. Something to stir shit up but not to the level, the “villain” of the story did it. I mean, like REALLY stir shit up.

I also want to address the issue of coming out on our own terms. I think everyone should be able to do it the way they want to – No questions asked.

This is an okay read for me, overall. It’s cute, it’s fun and I reckon, very intune with its target audience.

Now, I am really curious to see Love, Simon.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars


About The Author
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.

Book Review: Micah Johnson Goes West (Get Out, #2) – Sean Kennedy

Date of Publication: April 4, 2017
Genre and Themes: LGBTQ Young Adult, Homophobia, Sports, HIV
Format: 186 pages, ebook
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
ISBN: 1635333644 (ISBN13: 9781635333640)
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Characters: Micah Johnson

I was not the biggest fan of Micah Johnson. I didn’t like him when he first appeared in the third book off the Tigers and Devils series but after reading The On-going Reformation of Micah Johnson, I realized that he wasn’t that bad. I was actually excited to read this one but I got hesitant when I’ve read its blurb.

BLURB: On the outside, Micah Johnson seems to have everything. He is proving his worth on the field during his rookie year with his new professional football team, the Fremantle Dockers, but his personal life is a mess. Homesick, three thousand kilometres away from his family and friends on the other side of Australia, Micah isn’t coping. He’s using casual sex, alcohol, and drugs as crutches since he doesn’t feel comfortable approaching his foster family with his problems, and he’s left with nowhere to turn. It isn’t until he experiences a health scare and a friend is rocked by a personal tragedy that Micah realises he does have the strength to succeed at a new life in the West—but he has to learn to ask for help

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed it. I loved that Micah is maturing overtime. He still got a lot to work on especially when dealing with his emotions but I ought to give him a break I guess because he’ still very young after all. I loved that the story arc is very relevant what with different athletes coming out of the closet and bravely enduring the taunts of closed-minded people who still thinks that no gay men could ever play sports. I also adore his friends and family and how supportive they are with his budding career. It was a really good read and another top notch sequel from the author. Fans of the first book won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author

Sean Kennedy was born in Melbourne, Australia, but currently lives in the second most isolated city in the world (although there still seems to be conjecture over whether it is actually number one). Living in such deprived circumstances can only affect his writing, which is published by Dreamspinner Press.

You can find him at http://www.seankennedybooks.com


Book Review: Willful Machines – Tim Floreen

Willful MachinesIt’s very difficult to write a review about this book. There are a lot of things that I could say about it – mostly positive and maybe some philosophical shit but I’ll try to incorporate the notes I’ve written while reading it. First thing you need to know – this is one fucking lovely book! I don’t find the premise too original but I find it very unique. Huh? I know right? It is unique because the author decided to use LGBT young adult characters and that is what I loved most about it. The author could’ve easily follow the “straight characters” YA route that would obviously garner much more readers but fortunately, He gave us this wonderful story where the main character is gay albeit very much closeted at the beginning. I know there are a lot of LGBT theme young adult novels coming out these days but it’s very seldom that we read something from this genre. It still the same teenage angst but it’s more current, much exciting and very much provocative if I may say.

Willful Machines takes place in a future where scientists create a new form of life: an artificial human named Charlotte. Everything is good and dandy until she decided to terrorize the world via the internet.

Enter Lee Fisher, the closeted son of the US president. Lee’s not too concern about Charlotte because he’s got other things to worry about including his crush on Nico, a new student at his school he’s trying to impressed until an attack at his school led him to believe that Charlotte’s actually targeting him. Should he trust Nico with his plan to uncover Charlotte’s plan? What is he willing to sacrifice to get the truth?

This is one of those books that make you stop reading it to think. Stop. Take a break. Hmmm. Think. Then read again. And read again until you’re done. It’s one of those special books that you’d both take by its face value and look underneath its written verses. Here, you get to be in the places of Lee and Nico respectively. It was solely narrated by Lee but there’s a very definite description pertaining to Nico’s actions and emotions.

One particular point that really struck me was when Nico vehemently said that “being willing to die for a cause you believe in isn’t the same thing as just wanting to die” pertaining to the bomb planted into Nico’s body. I thought about the suicide bombers used by the terrorist nowadays. I guess you get the drift and I guess those people especially the kids or pregnant women used as one doesn’t really wanted to die but they have no choice in the matter – they may have been forced. Kids, I would have to agree about them being forced to do it along with the majority of women /men but there are people who are really willing to die for what they believe in right? They’re doing it for something that they aggressively believe in regardless of the end results, in today’s cases, a bloody and chaotic end results. At one point in the book, I thought – it must be this strong feeling from them that pushed them to do it. I am not validating their deeds, I do not agree with them personally but there’s definitely something in it right? It was a thought that really made me think about these people who are doing what they’re doing. Just the whole WHY thing percolating inside my brain.

And I guess at one point, this would happen yeah? I mean the whole human-robot thing finally realized. I.Robot is scary enough if that would be the case but it’s very possible especially with the deluge of new technologies almost everyday.

I need to sum this up now because I don’t want to spill more spoilers about the book. You’d definitely get a kick out of this book. It’s nothing if not an incredible imagining of what could our future world will be like. Very much recommended.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Expected publication: October 20th 2015 by Simon Pulse


About The Author
Tim Floreen writes young adult fiction. His debut novel, WILLFUL MACHINES, will come out from Simon Pulse in the fall of 2015.

One of Tim’s earliest memories involves sitting in front of the television and staring in awe at a raven-haired, star-spangled Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. He went on to spend much of his childhood running around in a paper tiara and bracelets and tying up his grandma with his “magic lasso.” When not doing that, he was developing crushes on his Masters of the Universe action figures, memorizing the entire libretto of Les Miserables, and carefully maintaining his huge (and now mostly worthless) comic book collection. Also, he read a lot and wrote a lot.

Tim majored in English at Yale and earned a master’s degree in creative writing at Boston University. He now lives in San Francisco with his partner and their two cats. His recollection of the words to Les Miz and his adoration of Wonder Woman remain fully intact. He has yet to manifest super powers of his own, despite doing lots and lots of yoga.

An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest and impartial review.