I only read 6 books in March?? Wahhhh. I may have gotten distracted by video games. Oops. But hey, I found plenty of new favorites. And I read my very first book with an aro/ace main character!
🔺Diverse Books Read: 5/6
-4 of them were queer! Two of those had m/m romances, one had a bisexual and polyamorous main character, and the third had an aro/ace main character
-1 of them had an autistic (and bisexual/polyamorous) main character!
-4 of them had autistic main characters
-1 of them (that I know of) was Own Voices for queer and autistic rep
🔺New Adult/Adult Books Read: 3!
🔺Middle Grade Books Read: 0
🔺Young Adult Books Read: 3!
🔺Graphic Novels Read: 2!
🔺Favorite reads of the month: Fence, Heartstopper, Barbed Wire Heart and Failure to Communicate!
🔺Least favorite read(s): Make it Count
🔺Longest Book Read: Barbed Wire Heart (416 pages)
🔺Shortest Book Read: Fence (27 pages)
Fence: Volume 1 by C.S Pacat, Johanna the Mad and Joana Lafuente.
Diversity: queer MLM (male who likes males) main character, queer and asian love interest
Own Voices? I don’t think so, but I’m pretty sure Johanna the Mad is queer
Thoughts: I was told I may need to read at least the first two volumes in this series before I became invested and when the first volume came in the mail I could see why. It was so thin! So short! But by the end I was already desperate for more. I think sports dramas/romances are becoming my new favorite thing. I’m loving the rivalries and friendships among the teammates and I can’t wait to see what happens next with Nicholas and Seiji (is this an ememies to lovers romance??!) and with Nicholas and his estranged father/half brother. I’ve never read a sports book centered around fencing before and it’s interesting to learn about all the different techniques and the jargon and all the hard work required to become a champion. So much fun. Give me more!
Rating: 5/5 stars
Make it Count by Megan Erickson
Diveristy: Brazilian and dyslexic main character
Own Voices? Don’t know!
Thoughts: This started off really good-I really liked the authors writing style, the sexual tension was amazing and it seemed like it could possibly be a new fave. Then some things started to bother me: there were some “not like other girls” thoughts/comments from the hero. And he like sexualized random things she did that weren’t sexual, like sucking on a straw. Called it a “sex kitten act” which made me cringe. Shit like that really annoys me, when the hero over-sexualizes the heroine, like “she looked at him from under her lashes” it just seems cringey to me. And there was a loooot of internalized ableism from the heroine when she first found out she might have a learning disability. But it got better. I liked the turn the story took, with the heroine learning to accept herself and the hero learning from his mistakes in their relationship. They learned to communicate better. And their relationship was really cute: sexy nerdy boy tutors a dyslexic girl (she’s also Brazilian) who people dismiss as an airhead cause she gets easily distracted and sometimes says really random things. But he likes those things about her and doesn’t treat her like she’s dumb. Despite the few things that irked me, I enjoyed this one. I’ll definitely read more from this author!
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman
Diversity: a gay main character and bisexual love interest (m/m)
Own Voices? the queerness miiiiight be OV in someway, I’m not sure
Thoughts: My. Heart. Is. so. Full. Such a sweet, heartwarming story. It does deal with some serious issues though: Charlie, the main character, has an abusive ex boyfriend. Some characters make homophobic comments (no slurs though!). The love interest, Nick, is realizing he’s bi for the first time and having some trouble coming to terms with it. I loved the way his realization of his sexuality was portrayed, it was realistic and made me cry a little cause I could relate so much. I loved Charlie’s supportive sister Tori and I loved how Nick stood up to his dickhead friends. I love every interaction between Charlie and Nick, they’re ridiculously adorable and I loved that they became really good friends first, friends who aren’t afraid to be intimate and talk about feelings and touch each other casually. Also, I didn’t realize how young they are at first. Only 14 and 15! Practically babies. I feel like a mom haha. Need the next volume now!!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe
Diversity: I don’t know if I’d call this book ‘diverse’ cause the main character, while female, is cishet, white, able bodied and neurotypical. BUT it has very strong feminist themes, it discusses racism and sexism and privilege. There are white supremacists and misogynists as the bad guys. The love interest is also half Native American, and it’s discussed often how much harder things are for him in their small town because of the color of his skin.
Thoughts: Oh. My. Lord. Tess Sharpe is definitely a new favorite author. Her first book, Far From You was the first book I ever read with a bisexual protagonist and it blew me away. This one did too. I mean, it’s basically a feminist Breaking Bad! And her name is Harley, which is perfectly suitable. Talk about a bad-ass female character who has to fend for herself and is smarter than any of the men in her life give her credit for. She knows how to use a gun and use her fists, yes, but she’s incredibly strong mentally as well. She’s quick thinking, she’s a problem solver, she knows how to use men’s sexist assumptions that she’s fragile and helpless to her advantage. If you love reading about female characters who take down sexist, racist scumbags and neo nazis getting shot, you’ll love this one. There’s also a cute little romance between Harley and her childhood best friend, Will. It’s cute and doesn’t override the intense revenge plotline at all and Will is one of the very few male characters in this book who isn’t trash. I’m blown away by this story and can’t wait for more from this incredible author!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Switchback by Danika Stone
Diversity: an aro/ace female main character
Thoughts: I really enjoyed this one! It’s the first book I’ve ever read where a POV character is both aromantic AND asexual. I liked how sure of her sexuality Vale was. Not that I don’t appreciate questioning queer characters, but it’s nice to read queer characters who KNOW who they are and put a specific label to it. I also loved her friendship with Ash, the other POV character and her best friend. He was super supportive and respectful of her boundaries and he was also adorably geeky and a huge gamer. I loved him. The survival aspect of the story was exciting and nerve wracking, although I did have to wonder how realistic it was that they seemed to run into every single animal they could possibly come across in the woods. But who knows, maybe the Canadian wilderness is just more dangerous!
Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sonderby
Diversity: a bisexual and polyamorous autistic main character, f/f/m polyam romance, 2 love interests of color (a black girl and man of color, I’m not entirely sure of his race)
Own Voices: for autism and bisexuality, yes
Thoughts: EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK IS PERFECT. I mean, we have an Own Voices autistic main character! Who’s also bisexual and polyamorous! And has feelings for both a boy and a girl! Polyamorous flirting! Strong hints at a f/f/m romance! And it takes place wayyyy in the future, in a world where eugenics has wiped out most disabled people. Xandri is one of the few autistic people left in the universe. And she’s the head of Xeno-Liasons on board the ship Carpathia, which deals in first contact with all different alien species on all different planets. Which basically means she helps solve disputes and form alliances between humans and aliens. So there’s a lot of politics in this book, and I may have been a bit lost at times trying to understand everything. But I didn’t even care cause I was so captivated by the many different alien species from all different cultures, by the different planets and foreign animal species they came across. Xandri loves animals and loves researching them and was super interested to learn everything about them. To which, I can relate. And she’s such a well written character, one who I related to more than I’ve related to any character ever. She’s incredibly smart and conscientious, but she also has some issues with touch and certain food textures and with reading people/situations, despite having studied social behavior and norms for years. I love her so much. Diver and Kiri, the love interests, are wonderful. I loved their flirting and I can’t wait for more in book 2, which is already out. And book 3, which will possibly come out this year. And 4. And 5. And so on. Because guess what? THERE’S GONNA BE 8 FLIPPIN BOOKS IN THIS SERIES. Which sounds crazy and for any other series I’d be like….buy why??? But when it comes to a series with a bisexual polyam autistic main character, I can’t get enough. I am psyched. The thought of 6 more books to come……is the most comforting thought in the world. I’m currently reading the prequel novella because I NEED more but don’t wanna start book 2 until I at least have an idea of when book 3 will be released. BUT GUESS WHAT? Book 2 is told from both Xandri AND Diver’s POV’s. I love Diver to death and can’t wait for a glimpse into his head. So, I may not be able hold off from starting it as soon as I finish the prequel. AHHHHHH. Okay, this is getting wayyyy to long and I gotta stop now! Bye! Read this book!!!
Rating: 5/5 stars
That’s it!! Thanks for reading. Check in soon for an Autistic Pride Month post about how to support Autistic people in April and how to discern good and bad Autistic rep in books.