Tag Archives: LGBT

Book Review: Release by Patrick Ness

“Release” by Patrick Ness

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Description: “Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.”

Review: I was so excited when I was able to get an advanced copy of “Release” and quickly read through it. Very rarely do I give half stars but this book was on the verge of being a 4 star book for me. What prevented me from giving it the full 4 stars is that the book is comprised of 2 different stories. There is the beautiful story of Adam Thorn, a character who you can’t help but fall in love with, and a strange paranormal story that left me confused more than anything.

This story really struck me. I recently was talking to an ex-moron friend about the difficult time her best friend had coming out to his religious family. It baffles and upsets me that there is still a stigma around the LGBT community. This book is very timely and is a must read for many people. Adam Thorn is such a likeable and relatable character. Patrick Ness does an amazing job of making the character so realistic. The book follows Adam for just 1 day but it is a day full of meaning for him. After I finished the book I was shocked by how many emotions I felt following just 1 day. Adam’s story is beautiful and sad all at once.

As for the odd paranormal sections… early on you learn about a girl who was murdered in the town. This girl comes back as a strange spirit queen looking for revenge. These sections did not add anything to the story for me and if anything I thought they took away from Adam’s story. I’m very curious to know why Patrick Ness felt the need to add this second story. I think the paranormal story would have been better off as a separate book.

I will definitely be recommending this book to other adults and high schoolers!

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Book Review: You Know Me Well by David Levithan & Nina LaCour

You Know Me Well by David Levithan & Nina LaCour

Description: Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour, the award-winning author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments, and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.”

Review: This is a great coming of age novel, not only for the LGBT community, but for all teens. There are love obstacles in this book (like most YA novels) but they aren’t overdone or blown out of proportion. I felt the teenage angst was appropriately portrayed. While I no longer feel it, I was able to enjoy the melodrama and it took me back to the feelings I had as a teenager. This novel poetically describes the struggles of trying to be yourself and find out who that is. The only issue I had was that at times it was hard to figure out who was speaking, I personally prefer when the character speaking is clearly stated. Don’t let the fact that this story has a LGBT element stop you from reading and recommending it, people from all walks of life can enjoy the beauty of this book! I would recommend it to adults and teens who connect with the LGBT community, who are struggling with their own identity and who enjoy realistic YA fiction.

*please note that I received an advanced copy of the book from NetGalley

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