It’s my favorite time of the month again – Book Review Day! Yay! There’s really not much that’s new that I can tell you all about my love of books at this juncture…I’m just kind of obsessed with books and reading. Some months it’s obvious that I need an intervention of some kind. Other months, well, it’s obvious that I got a little involved in life and had to scale back the reading time. This month was the latter.
Regardless, I’ve got a handful of books to share with you folks, and I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoyed reading them. If any of the reviews intrigue you, click on a picture/link and buy the book. Don’t forget that authors (especially independent authors) really need reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Litsy, etc. So, if you really enjoy a book, do the author a favor (besides buying/borrowing the book, of course). A simple “Great Book!” review anywhere is definitely more than enough!
Don’t forget to read my disclosure policy. Also, read my recent post about no longer including negative reviews of books. Those behoove no one. So, if I read a book, and it’s not included here–you can assume that I didn’t enjoy it. Additionally, these are my honest opinions about these books. No one has paid me to read or review them–I just do this because…well, I’m going to read anyway. May as well share with all of you what I thought to help you decide if you want to read them, too.
Having said that–if you want to give me a free book to read and review in my monthly book(s) review(s), I am not averse to that! I love my indie author brethren, and am always happy to help a fellow one out! And, ya’ know, FREE BOOK! You can reach out to me here.
Let’s talk books, friends!
Gavin’s Big Gay Checklist by Chase Connor – I reviewed another Chase Connor book (Just A Dumb Surfer Dude) in a previous post. This is another super sweet, super heartwarming LGBTQ+ YA Book that is well-written, fast-paced, fun, and filled with everything you’d expect from the genre. And I mean that in the best of ways. Chase gets additional props for having good people of color representation in this book. Gavin is a half-Mexican, half-white, Jewish-Catholic gay teen. Gavin wants all of the experiences that go along with being a high school senior (who just happens to be gay). So, Gavin’s Big Gay Checklist is created. Along with the help of his straight best friend, Eli, the son of the preacher next door, he makes a plan to start checking off boxes. Come out to his friends. Come out to his parents.
Have his first gay kiss and sex. Have his first kiss and sex. Try “that drug thing”. Survive high school. Experience true freedom. All the usual things. But, when things go wrong at home, his whole list becomes about survival. Sure to leave you with a lot of questions about family, friends, love, life. You’ll finish this book with a huge case of the “warm fuzzies”–and possibly a craving for menudo.
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman – Look, there’s no one out there that understands the human condition like Backman–besides maybe Alice Hoffman and Celeste Ng. This man can rip my heart out and put it right back in the span of a few sentences. And his characters come to life with a tap of a keystroke. This is the sequel to Beartown, also by Fredrik Backman. And that book was so great, I was leery of a sequel. And after his book A Man Called Ove, I didn’t think he could write anything better. My fear was misplaced and my assumptions were wrong. This is quite possibly the best of all of Backman’s books–and that’s saying something. Picking up where Beartown left off, Us Against You is a book that you won’t want to put down until the last page is turned and you’re a sobbing mess of a reader. At all times compelling, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching (as well as heart-warming), this is Backman’s magna opus. Although, Backman’s been killing it–so I doubt that it will remain his quintessential work for long. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Beartown and Us Against You–choose a day, and don’t leave your couch. You’ll thank me.
A Tremendous Amount of Normal by Chase Connor – Yes. Yes. I’m shamelessly plugging a writing buddy of mine. INDIE AUTHORS UNITE! But, seriously. Chase has been killing it in the LGBTQ YA genre with Just A Dumb Surfer Dude and Gavin’s Big Gay Checklist. And this one is no exception. A Tremendous Amount of Normal tells the story of Noah, Will, and Manny (Maneesh). Noah is normal. He’s overflowing with normal. Will, his older brother, tells everyone so all of the time. Bad people call Noah a “retard” and they call Will a “fag”. But Noah is not intellectually disabled–he just has Asperger Syndrome. And Will isn’t a fag, because, as Noah says, “Homosexuals aren’t bad. People who don’t like homosexuals call them fags.” Noah wants a girlfriend and may never have one. Will wants a boyfriend, but may never be able to have one. And then Manny arrives. Told from each character’s perspective in alternating chapters, this is a book you do not want to miss. Leaving readers with thoughts on family, friends, life, love, and what it means to be “normal”, this book hits all the feels. And Chase’s #NoahIsNormal hashtag on Twitter just punches me in the gut each time that I see it.
Dying To Get Laid!: Episode One – The Day Death Died (The Death Harem Chronicles Book 1) by Mason Richter – Long title aside–this is a pretty awesome short story. Recently, Mason and I started following each other on Twitter–and I saw his post about his upcoming book (just released 8/19/18–and the cover was intriguing. So, of course, I had to read another indie authors work! This is so creative and unique. It has humor, sex, action, death, and demons–all in an extremely fun book. This is a truly engaging story from beginning to end and a ton of fun packed into 36 pages. The only problem I had was that I wish it had been a bit longer, but that’s just because it left me wanting to know what would happen next. I can’t wait to see what Mason comes up with next for this series! I’d definitely suggest grabbing yourself a copy from Amazon or reading it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited. You can thank me later!
All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva – This is one of the five books that I promised myself that I would read in 2018. The others are Ready Player One (completed) by Ernest Cline, Brave by Rose McGowan (completed), The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (in progress), and An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (on the bookshelf). Anyhoozles, this one was a collection of nine short stories, and…WOW. Sachdeva has a real knack for telling the story of a life in a few short pages. From sci-fi to magical realism to pain ole fiction, the stories cover several genres. And each proves Sachdeva’s capability as a writer. Stunningly haunting, heartbreakingly beautiful, and unabashedly bold. Every story is a gem. I hope to see more from Sachdeva in the future because if this is her debut, I can’t wait to see what else is hidden inside of her.
Until next time…