As you may know the month of June was Pride Month, and to celebrate the occasion I decided to tackle four LGBTQIAP books from my shelves. My #PrideTBR consisted of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide #1) by Mackenzi Lee, More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert, and Amberlough (The Amberlough Dossier #1) by Lara Elena Donnelly. These had all been sitting on my shelf for quite a while and Pride Month seemed like the perfect time to tackle them. I successfully completed all four novels before the month was out and luckily for me I liked them all. To be honest though, I was particularly enamored with the work of Mackenzi Lee and Adam Silvera. I hadn't had any previous experience with either of their works, but they've quickly become a couple of my favorites. I will need to their future release! Read on for my mini reviews of these titles:
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The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee was exactly what I needed! Why didn't I read this sooner? I mean, that was exactly my kind of YA historical fiction with some romance and a dash of fantasy. I think I'm in love with Lee's style and sense of humor. Rather than just being laugh out loud all the way through there are a lot of truly heart breaking moments for our characters. The characters really make this story - I felt like they could all walk right off the page from Monty, Percy, and to Felicity. All of them are fantastically written characters, and the best part is that all of them have flaws. I liked seeing them grow from where they started off at the beginning of their romp across the Continent - I was especially pleased to see Felicity call Monty out on his crap. Personally, I think Felicity is totally the MVP of the novel and I'm so excited to see she's the focus of the coming sequel, The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. If you like the style of My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton and Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Mansicalco, I have a feeling you'll like this too. By the way, did anyone else catch the moment where Monty channels his inner William Thatcher when he pulls out the, "Have you a name, my foxy lady?"
I read this book from June 13 - 28 and my review is also on Goodreads.
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More Happy Than Not is an incredibly powerful debut. I honestly have no idea why I hadn't picked up this YA contemporary earlier. I have no excuse for it, but I'm glad I finally made the plunge during Pride Month. Aaron's story packs quite the emotional gut punch that's for sure. You may need a tissue or two to make it through this book because his life is anything but easy. By the way, Me-Crazy's name is definitely appropriate. Just judging from his debut, but I think Adam Silvera could be a new favorite. Next up, I'll have to get to History Is All You Left Me and They Both Die at the End.
I read this Kindle library book from June 18 - 20, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.
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When it comes to Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert, I've seen quite a few mixed reviews featuring great, good, meh, and worse reviews, but I still wanted to try it out for myself. The description of the story sounded to intriguing to pass up. Now that it's all said and done though I have to admit I'm kind of underwhelmed. I liked that the story is so focused on complex family relationships particularly between siblings and that it features good representation for instersectional diversity. Unfortunately, I didn't feel particularly close to anyone in the story - they were lacking that spark of depth to really make me want to latch on. Overall, Little & Lion isn't a bad book in the least, but even though it has so much going for it it was a little too bland for my tastes.
I read this book on June 28, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.
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Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly is a brilliantly executed John le Carre meets Cabaret LGBT+ fantasy spy thriller set in a Weimar Republic, Germany-esque world. I had read many fantastic and gushing reviews of this story before going in (and just look at that awesome cover, to boot!) and, luckily for me, the story totally lives ups to it! I couldn't get enough of their world and the spies at the center of the story - Amberlough City is practically a character in its own right. All in all the story comes across as character driven and I was intrigued by everyone we met on the page, even if they were quite unlikable I couldn't help but become invested in their stories. I love the fact that many spy tactics and other things we see throughout this novel are taken from real world history. If you need a refreshingly awesome take on fantasy novels and political spy thrillers, then you absolutely need Amberlough in your life. After that ending I'm dying for the sequel, Armistice.
I read this novel from June 28 - 29, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.
Have you read any of these books before? If so, what did you think of them? Did you read any LGBTQIAP+ books for Pride Month this year? As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!